5.1.2 - Leaf Area Index (LAI)

LAI [m2/m2] is geometrically defined as the total one-sided area of photosynthetic tissue per unit of ground surface area. It represents the amount of leaf material in ecosystems and controls the links between biosphere and atmosphere through various processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration and rain interception.

lai

Monitoring the distribution and changes of LAI is important for assessing growth and vigour of vegetation on the planet. It is fundamentally important as a parameter in land-surface processes and parameterizations in climate models.

MAIN APPLICATIONS:

LAI is a key parameter in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, regional and global climate modelling, weather forecasting and global change monitoring. Monitoring the distribution and changes of LAI is important for assessing growth and vigour of vegetation on the planet. (Leaf Area Index Product User Manual (PUM)).

FVC and LAI are important structural properties of land surface areas occupied by plant canopies, which yield complementary information to describe the three-dimensional structure of the vegetation attributes.