Publication Details

Ac, A., Olejnickova, J., Mishra, K., Malenovky, Z., Hanus, J., Trtilek, M., Nedbal, L. & Marek, M. (2008). Towards remote sensing of vegetation processes. In L. Kooistra & A. Ligtenberg (Eds.), Proceedings of International Workshop Sensing a Changing World 2008 (pp. 19-23). The Netherlands: Wageningen University and Research Centre.


The latest advances in imaging spectroscopy of vegetation enabled remote sensing (RS) of plant reflected or emitted signals associated with photosynthetic processes as the photoprotective transformation of xanthophyll pigments or the chlorophyll fluorescence (Chl-F). A potential future European Space Agency (ESA) satellite mission FLEX is expected to sense, apart from other parameters, so-called steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence (Chl-FS) signal, which may be potentially used for monitoring of photosynthesis (vegetation canopy carbon assimilation rate). Nevertheless, geometric complexity of plant canopies and signal disturbing atmospheric factors require a proper approach for scaling the information of a single leaf optical properties up to the RS image data of anisotropic vegetation canopies. Such up-scaling approach can be established only via synergic measurements of ground based and air-/space-borne optical sensors. Our initial experiment revealed that Chl-FS, being strongly driven by the air temperature, is able to accurately indicate onset and off-set of the photosynthetically active period for the evergreen plants. Next field experiment, carried out with the VNIR imaging spectroradiometer AISA Eagle (SPECIM Ltd., Finland) mounted above the montane grassland and Norway spruce (Picea abies /L./ Karst.) canopies, showed that the fluorescence signal is retrievable from passive optical imaging spectroscopy data. Further analyses revealed that some of the vegetation 'process-related' optical indices (e.g., photochemical reflectance index - PRI) are closely correlated to the parameters measured over the experimental canopies by eddy-covariance flux systems. The future objective is to continue in development the leaf-canopy Chl-F up-scaling approach by setting up local scale experiments employing the field pocket-size cost effective instruments measuring the leaf optical indices and Chl-F parameters simultaneously with canopy reflectance acquired by RS sensors from tower and aircraft platforms.