Spatiotemporal fusion of multi-source remote sensing data for estimating aboveground biomass of grassland

Yajun Zhou, Tingxi Liu, Okke Batelaan, Limin Duan, Yixuan Wang, Xia Li, Mingyang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Accurate estimation of aboveground biomass of grasslands is key to sustainable grassland utilization. However, most satellites cannot provide high temporal and spatial resolution data. Patterns of grassland dynamics associated with variability in climate conditions across spatiotemporal scales are yet to be adequately quantified. A spatiotemporal fusion model offers the opportunity to combine the resolution advantages of different remote sensing data to achieve a high frequency and high precision monitoring of vegetation. We test a flexible spatiotemporal data fusion (FSDAF) methodology to generate synthetic normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat data sets. The methodology is tested for the semi-arid grassland of the Xilin River Basin, China. Based on NDVI data fusion and field measured aboveground biomass an aboveground biomass estimation model is established for the watershed. Exploring the temporal and spatial changes of biomass and its relationship with environmental factors. The results show that: (1) The FSDAF model performs well (R2 = 0.75) and has clear textural features. (2) The established Support Vector Machine Aboveground Biomass model not only ensured the accuracy of estimation (R2 = 0.78, RMSE = 15.43 g/m2), but also generated spatiotemporal maps of biomass with higher spatial (30 m) and temporal resolution (8 days). (3) The grassland aboveground biomass in this area decreases from southeast to northwest, and the grassland biomass reaches its peak at the end of July. The average biomass of different grasslands decreases in the order of meadow grassland > typical grassland > desert grassland. (4) Aboveground biomass increased linearly with increasing water content, organic carbon and total nitrogen, and was most sensitive to soil water content. During the early growing and rapid growing period, aboveground biomass is mainly affected by both air temperature and precipitation, while the effects of temperature and human activities gradually dominate in the middle and late growing periods. This study helps to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of dynamic monitoring of grassland biomass, and provides a scientific basis for grassland protection and management in arid and semi-arid regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109892
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Indicators
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Biomass
  • Spatiotemporal data fusion
  • Support Vector Machine
  • Xilin River Basin


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