Simulation of ecosystem fluxes with the SCOPE model: Sensitivity to parametrization and evaluation with flux tower observations

Egor Prikaziuk*, Mirco Migliavacca, Zhongbo (Bob) Su, Christiaan van der Tol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Accurate estimates of carbon, water and energy fluxes between the Earth surface and the atmosphere are crucial for enhancing our understanding of ecosystem–climate interactions. Such estimates can be made by combining remote sensing derived land surface parameters with climate reanalysis data. We analysed to what degree generic (plant functional type (PFT)-independent) satellite-derived vegetation properties and climate reanalysis data can explain land surface fluxes and to what extent the PFT-specific information extends the flux simulations. For this purpose, we used the Soil Canopy Observation, Photochemistry and Energy fluxes (SCOPE) model, which combines radiative transfer in plant leaves and vegetation canopies with photosynthesis and energy balance in a single model representation of the vegetation. We evaluated the performance of SCOPE in simulating fluxes by comparison to 63 eddy covariance sites representing 10 PFTs. We varied the sources of maximum carboxylation capacity (Vcmax25) and BallBerrySlope values (default vs literature), the seasonality of Vcmax25 and the meteorological forcing (locally measured and climate reanalysis). The average performance of daily flux in terms of root-mean-square error (RMSE) was 2.3 ± 0.8 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 (R2= 0.74 ± 0.12) for gross primary productivity (GPP), 24 ± 8 W m−2 (R2= 0.68 ± 0.16) for latent heat flux (λE) and 50 ± 15 W m−2 (R20.47±0.17) for sensible heat flux (H). The inter-site variability of the annual accumulated GPP flux was captured well with seasonally varying PFT-specific Vcmax25 (R2= 0.74, RMSE = 308 g C m−2 yr−1 and bias = −68 g C m−2 yr−1). The annual accumulated evapotranspiration (ET) was overestimated (R2= 0.31, RMSE = 101 mm yr−1 and bias = 37 mm yr−1), mainly in the ecosystems with subtropical Mediterranean climate, for which the soil resistance to evaporation from porous space (rss) had to be constrained from soil moisture content (SMC) or land surface temperature (LST). Overall, the study demonstrates that SCOPE model can simulate ecosystem flux with high accuracy without site-specific calibration of its parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113324
Number of pages27
JournalRemote sensing of environment
Early online date25 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Ball-Berry slope
  • ERA5
  • ET
  • GPP
  • LAI
  • LE
  • OLCI
  • SCOPE model
  • Sentinel-3
  • Vcmax
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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