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Evaluation of regional estimates of winter wheat yield by assimilating three remotely sensed reflectance datasets into the coupled WOFOST–PROSAIL model

Huang, Jianxi, Ma, Hongyuan, Sedano, Fernando, Lewis, Philip, Liang, Shunlin, Wu, Qingling, Su, Wei, Zhang, Xiaodong, Zhu, Dehai
European journal of agronomy 2019 v.102 pp. 1-13
Landsat, Triticum aestivum, algorithms, crop yield, data collection, models, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, reflectance, time series analysis, winter wheat, Arizona, China
To estimate regional-scale winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) yield, we developed a data-assimilation scheme that assimilates remotely sensed reflectance into a coupled crop growth–radiative transfer model. We generated a time series of 8-day, 30-m-resolution synthetic Kalman Smoothed reflectance by combining MODIS surface reflectance products with Landsat surface reflectance using a KS algorithm. We evaluated the assimilation performance using datasets with different spatial and temporal scales (e.g., three dates for the 30-m Landsat reflectance, 8-day and 1-km MODIS surface reflectance, and 8-day and 30-m synthetic KS reflectance) into the coupled WOFOST–PROSAIL model. Then we constructed a four-dimensional variational data assimilation (4DVar) cost function to account for differences between the observed and simulated reflectance. We used the shuffled complex evolution–University of Arizona (SCE-UA) algorithm to minimize the 4DVar cost function and optimize important input parameters of the coupled model. The optimized parameters were used to drive WOFOST and estimate county-level winter wheat yield in a region of China. By assimilating the synthetic KS reflectance data, we achieved the most accurate yield estimates (R2 = 0.44, 0.39, and 0.30; RMSE = 598, 1288, and 595 kg/ha for 2009, 2013, and 2014, respectively), followed by Landsat reflectance (R2 = 0.21, 0.22, and 0.33; RMSE = 915, 1422, and 637 kg/ha for 2009, 2013, and 2014, respectively) and MODIS reflectance (R2 = 0.49, 0.05, and 0.22; RMSE = 1136, 1468, and 700 kg/ha for 2009, 2013, and 2014, respectively) at the county level. Thus, our method improves the reliability of regional-scale crop yield estimates.