Scientific and technical challenges in remote sensing of plant canopy reflectance and fluorescence
State-of-the-art optical remote sensing of vegetation canopies is reviewed here to stimulate support from laboratory and field plant research. This overview of recent satellite spectral sensors and the methods used to retrieve remotely quantitative biophysical and biochemical characteristics of vegetation canopies shows that there have been substantial advances in optical remote sensing over the past few decades. Nevertheless, adaptation and transfer of currently available fluorometric methods aboard air- and space-borne platforms can help to eliminate errors and uncertainties in recent remote sensing data interpretation. With this perspective, red and blue-green fluorescence emission as measured in the laboratory and field is reviewed. Remotely sensed plant fluorescence signals have the potential to facilitate a better understanding of vegetation photosynthetic dynamics and primary production on a large scale. The review summarizes several scientific challenges that still need to be resolved to achieve operational fluorescence based remote sensing approaches.