Estimating Ecosystem Respiration in the Grasslands of Northern China Using Machine Learning: Model Evaluation and Comparison
While a number of machine learning (ML) models have been used to estimate RE, systematic evaluation and comparison of these models are still limited. In this study, we developed three traditional ML models and a deep learning (DL) model, stacked autoencoders (SAE), to estimate RE in northern China's grasslands. The four models were trained with two strategies: training for all of northern China's grasslands and separate training for the alpine and temperate grasslands. Our results showed that
... sults showed that all four ML models estimated RE in northern China's grasslands fairly well, while the SAE model performed best (R2 = 0.858, RMSE = 0.472 gC m−2 d−1, MAE = 0.304 gC m−2 d−1). Models trained with the two strategies had almost identical performances. The enhanced vegetation index and soil organic carbon density (SOCD) were the two most important environmental variables for estimating RE in the grasslands of northern China. Air temperature (Ta) was more important than the growing season land surface water index (LSWI) in the alpine grasslands, while the LSWI was more important than Ta in the temperate grasslands. These findings may promote the application of DL models and the inclusion of SOCD for RE estimates with increased accuracy.