Performance of linear and nonlinear two-leaf light use efficiency models at different temporal scales

Xiaocui Wu, Weimin Ju, Yanlian Zhou, Mingzhu He, Beverly E. Law, T. Andrew Black, Hank A. Margolis, Alessandro Cescatti, Lianhong Gu, Leonardo Montagnani, Asko Noormets, Timothy J. Griffis, Kim Pilegaard, Andrej Varlagin, Riccardo Valentini, Peter D. Blanken, Shaoqiang Wang, Huimin Wang, Shijie Han, Junhua YanYingnian Li, Bingbing Zhou, Yibo Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The reliable simulation of gross primary productivity (GPP) at various spatial and temporal scales is of significance to quantifying the net exchange of carbon between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. This study aimed to verify the ability of a nonlinear two-leaf model (TL-LUEn), a linear two-leaf model (TL-LUE), and a big-leaf light use efficiency model (MOD17) to simulate GPP at half-hourly, daily and 8-day scales using GPP derived from 58 eddy-covariance flux sites in Asia, Europe and North America as benchmarks. Model evaluation showed that the overall performance of TL-LUEn was slightly but not significantly better than TL-LUE at half-hourly and daily scale, while the overall performance of both TL-LUEn and TL-LUE were significantly better (p < 0.0001) than MOD17 at the two temporal scales. The improvement of TL-LUEn over TL-LUE was relatively small in comparison with the improvement of TL-LUE over MOD17. However, the differences between TL-LUEn and MOD17, and TL-LUE and MOD17 became less distinct at the 8-day scale. As for different vegetation types, TL-LUEn and TL-LUE performed better than MOD17 for all vegetation types except crops at the half-hourly scale. At the daily and 8-day scales, both TL-LUEn and TL-LUE outperformed MOD17 for forests. However, TL-LUEn had a mixed performance for the three non-forest types while TL-LUE outperformed MOD17 slightly for all these non-forest types at daily and 8-day scales. The better performance of TL-LUEn and TL-LUE for forests was mainly achieved by the correction of the underestimation/overestimation of GPP simulated by MOD17 under low/high solar radiation and sky clearness conditions. TL-LUEn is more applicable at individual sites at the half-hourly scale while TL-LUE could be regionally used at half-hourly, daily and 8-day scales. MOD17 is also an applicable option regionally at the 8-day scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2238-2278
Number of pages41
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the authors.


  • Gross primary productivity (GPP)
  • Light use efficiency model
  • Sunlit and shaded leaves
  • Temporal scales
  • Vegetation types


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