Evaluating post-disaster ecosystem resilience using MODIS GPP data

Amy E. Frazier, Chris S. Renschler, Scott B. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


An integrated community resilience index (CRI) quantifies the status, exposure, and recovery of the physical, economic, and socio-cultural capital for a specific target community. However, most CRIs do not account for the recovery of ecosystem functioning after extreme events, even though many aspects of a community depend on the services provided by the natural environment. The primary goal of this study was to monitor the recovery of ecosystem functionality (ecological capital) using remote sensing-derived gross primary production (GPP) as an indicator of 'ecosystem-wellness' and assess the effect of resilience of ecological capital on the recovery of a community via an integrated CRI. We developed a measure of ecosystem resilience using remotely sensed GPP data and applied the modeling prototype ResilUS in a pilot study for a four-parish coastal community in southwestern Louisiana, USA that was impacted by Hurricane Rita in 2005. The results illustrate that after such an extreme event, the recovery of ecological capital varies according to land use type and may take many months to return to full functionality. This variable recovery can potentially impact the recovery of certain businesses that rely heavily on ecosystem services such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and tourism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecological capital
  • Ecosystem resilience
  • Gpp
  • Modis
  • Resilus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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