Terrestrial gross primary productivity (GPP) plays an essential role in the global carbon cycle, but the quantification of the spatial and temporal variations in photosynthesis is still largely uncertain. Our work aimed to investigate the potential of remote sensing to provide new insights into plant photosynthesis at a fine spatial resolution. This goal was achieved by exploiting high-resolution images acquired with the FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) airborne demonstrator HyPlant. The sensor was flown over a mixed forest, and the images collected were elaborated to obtain two independent indicators of plant photosynthesis. First, maps of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (F), a novel indicator of plant photosynthetic activity, were successfully obtained at both the red and far-red peaks (r2 = 0.89 and p < 0.01, r2 = 0.77 and p < 0.01, respectively, compared to top-of-canopy ground-based measurements acquired synchronously with the overflight) over the forested study area. Second, maps of GPP and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) were derived using a customised version of the coupled biophysical model Breathing Earth System Simulator (BESS). The model was driven with airborne-derived maps of key forest traits (i.e., leaf chlorophyll content (LCC) and leaf area index (LAI)) and meteorological data providing a high-resolution snapshot of the variables of interest across the study site. The LCC and LAI were accurately estimated (RMSE = 5.66 μg cm−2 and RMSE = 0.51 m2 m−2, respectively) through an optimised Look-Up-Table-based inversion of the PROSPECT-4-INFORM radiative transfer model, ensuring the accurate representation of the spatial variation of these determinants of the ecosystem's functionality. The spatial relationships between the measured F and modelled BESS outputs were then analysed to interpret the variability of ecosystem functioning at a regional scale. The results showed that far-red F is significantly correlated with the GPP (r2 = 0.46, p < 0.001) and APAR (r2 = 0.43, p < 0.001) in the spatial domain and that this relationship is nonlinear. Conversely, no statistically significant relationships were found between the red F and the GPP or APAR (p > 0.05). The spatial relationships found at high resolution provide valuable insight into the critical role of spatial heterogeneity in controlling the relationship between the far-red F and the GPP, indicating the need to consider this heterogeneity at a coarser resolution.

Tagliabue, G., Panigada, C., Dechant, B., Baret, F., Cogliati, S., Colombo, R., et al. (2019). Exploring the spatial relationship between airborne-derived red and far-red sun-induced fluorescence and process-based GPP estimates in a forest ecosystem. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 231 [10.1016/j.rse.2019.111272].

Exploring the spatial relationship between airborne-derived red and far-red sun-induced fluorescence and process-based GPP estimates in a forest ecosystem

Tagliabue, Giulia
;
Panigada, Cinzia;Cogliati, Sergio;Colombo, Roberto;Rossini, Micol
2019

Abstract

Terrestrial gross primary productivity (GPP) plays an essential role in the global carbon cycle, but the quantification of the spatial and temporal variations in photosynthesis is still largely uncertain. Our work aimed to investigate the potential of remote sensing to provide new insights into plant photosynthesis at a fine spatial resolution. This goal was achieved by exploiting high-resolution images acquired with the FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) airborne demonstrator HyPlant. The sensor was flown over a mixed forest, and the images collected were elaborated to obtain two independent indicators of plant photosynthesis. First, maps of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (F), a novel indicator of plant photosynthetic activity, were successfully obtained at both the red and far-red peaks (r2 = 0.89 and p < 0.01, r2 = 0.77 and p < 0.01, respectively, compared to top-of-canopy ground-based measurements acquired synchronously with the overflight) over the forested study area. Second, maps of GPP and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) were derived using a customised version of the coupled biophysical model Breathing Earth System Simulator (BESS). The model was driven with airborne-derived maps of key forest traits (i.e., leaf chlorophyll content (LCC) and leaf area index (LAI)) and meteorological data providing a high-resolution snapshot of the variables of interest across the study site. The LCC and LAI were accurately estimated (RMSE = 5.66 μg cm−2 and RMSE = 0.51 m2 m−2, respectively) through an optimised Look-Up-Table-based inversion of the PROSPECT-4-INFORM radiative transfer model, ensuring the accurate representation of the spatial variation of these determinants of the ecosystem's functionality. The spatial relationships between the measured F and modelled BESS outputs were then analysed to interpret the variability of ecosystem functioning at a regional scale. The results showed that far-red F is significantly correlated with the GPP (r2 = 0.46, p < 0.001) and APAR (r2 = 0.43, p < 0.001) in the spatial domain and that this relationship is nonlinear. Conversely, no statistically significant relationships were found between the red F and the GPP or APAR (p > 0.05). The spatial relationships found at high resolution provide valuable insight into the critical role of spatial heterogeneity in controlling the relationship between the far-red F and the GPP, indicating the need to consider this heterogeneity at a coarser resolution.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescenceSpectral fitting methodPlant traitsINFORMGPPAPARLUEBESSForest ecosystemsHyPlantAirborne spectroscopy
English
2019
231
111272
none
Tagliabue, G., Panigada, C., Dechant, B., Baret, F., Cogliati, S., Colombo, R., et al. (2019). Exploring the spatial relationship between airborne-derived red and far-red sun-induced fluorescence and process-based GPP estimates in a forest ecosystem. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 231 [10.1016/j.rse.2019.111272].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/236264
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