Ecosystem models and field measurements using
measuring equipment are the traditional methods for determining
the CO2- or carbon balance in afforested areas. The carbon balance
is the difference between the absorption and the discharge or emission
of carbon. However, local measurements only apply for a limited
area. If we want to know the CO2 balance for a more extensive geographical
area, for example Belgium, then these measurements must be calculated
or extrapolated both in time and space from various local observations.
In heterogeneous areas, therefore, accuracy is highly dependent
on the number of measuring points. Remote sensing provides the necessary
data for applying these processes on a larger scale, so that a spatial
extrapolation technique becomes unnecessary.
That is why the VITO
Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek, the Flemish Institute for
Technological Research) developed the C-Fix model. This is a method
based on remote sensing for calculating the carbon balance of vegetation
for a specific geographical area. This model not only takes afforested
areas into account, it also determines the carbon balance for the
whole of Belgium and maps it out for all types of vegetation.
Concretely, the model is used to determine the gross primary productivity
(GPP), the net primary productivity (NPP) and the net ecosystem
productivity (NEP) for all types of vegetation in Belgium on a daily
and/or yearly basis.