Leaf Area Index (assimilated data)
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Leaf area index (LAI) is unitless measure of the total area of leaves per unit ground area (e.g., an LAI of 1 equates to 1 m2 of leaf area above 1 m2 of ground area), which can be a vital variable for predicting primary production of plants and evapotranspiration. The LAI data in SEEDS are calculated by the SURFEX land surface model. The seasonal changes in vegetation growth and senescence are simulated in a dynamic way by the model taking into account vegetation type, sunlight, and meteorological conditions that affect the growing season. The LAI is calculated over different vegetation types separately and are then spatially averaged to combine them into a single LAI for all natural surface types in the SURFEX model.