Fractional cover is the exposed proportion of PV, NPV or BS within each pixel. In forested canopies the photosynthetic or non-photosynthetic portions of trees may obscure those of the grass layer and/or bare soil
Nationally consistent and regularly updated ground cover information is critical for assessment of environmental targets related to soil erosion and land management in Australia.
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The quality of the fractional cover product is dependent on the quality of the MODIS NBAR data, and subject to uncertainties and bias as described in Guerschman et al. (2009 and 2012). The phased production strategy of producing a 16-day composite every 8 days and the combination of the Terra and Aqua sensors in the MCD43A4 collection 5 enhances the chances of obtaining enough cloud-free data for each pixel in each date compared to the same data in collection 4. However, there are still areas with poor data availability, notably in the tropical areas during the monsoonal rains (November to April).