Combining high-resolution remote sensing products with a crop model to estimate carbon and water budget components: application to sunflower.

Gaétan Pique, Rémy Fieuzal, Philippe Debaeke, Ahmad Al Bitar, Tiphaine Tallec, Eric Ceschia (2020) Remote Sensing. DOI:


To meet the incoming growth of the world’s food needs, and the demands of climate change, the agricultural sector will be forced to adapt its practices. To do so, the contribution of agricultural fields to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the impact—on soil, climate and productions—of certain agricultural practices have to be known. In this study, the SAFY-CO2 crop model is driven by remote sensing products in order to estimate CO2 fluxes on the main crop rotation observed in the study area, i.e., winter wheat followed by sunflower. Different modeling scenarios are tested, particularly for intercropping periods, the approach being validated locally, thanks to eddy covariance flux measurements, and then applied regionally. Results showed that the model was able to reproduce crop production with high accuracy (rRMSE of 21% and 24% for winter wheat and sunflower yield, respectively) as well as daily net CO2 flux (RMSE of 1.29 and 0.97 gC.m2.d1 for winter wheat and sunflower respectively). Moreover, the tested modeling scenarios highlight the importance of taking the regrowth events into account for assessing accurate carbon budgets. In a perspective of large-scale application, the model was upscaled over more than 100 plots, allowing discussion of the effect of regrowth on carbon uptake.

The annual carbon budget (NECB) simultated for 200 fields with SAFYE-CO2 inside the study area. Digital elevation model from shuttle Radar Topography Mission is displayed in the background

More news

The team

A multidisciplinary team contributes to the development and validation of the SAFYE-CO2 model and AgriCarbon-EO processing chain. Our team covers a wide range of expertise, essential for the devellopment of complex tools. Our expertise include agronomy, hydrology, remote sensing, numerical methods, scientific computing, and field observation systems. We cherish this diversity as it is the […]

Net Ecosystem Exchange of covercrops using AgriCarbon-EO [IGARSS’2022]

In July 2022, the AgirCarbon-EO approach for estimation of carbon budget of covercrops was presented by Ahmad Al Bitar at the IGARSS’2022, the flagship conference of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS).

Estimation of daily CO2 fluxes and of the components of the carbon budget for winter wheat by the assimilation of Sentinel 2-like remote sensing data into a crop model. 

Gaétan Pique, Rémy Fieuzal, Ahmad Al Bitar, Amanda Veloso, Tiphaine Tallec, Aurore Brut, Morgan Ferlicoq, Bartosz Zawilski, Jean-François Dejoux, Hervé Gibrin, Eric Ceschia (2020) Geoderma, 376, 114428. DOI : Highlights We developed a model estimating the components of the carbon budget for croplands. The model assimilates remote sensing products for up-scaling the carbon budget. Biomass, […]