Publication Details

Wyber, R., Malenovky, Z., Ashcroft, M. B., Osmond, B. & Robinson, S. A. (2017). Do daily and seasonal trends in leaf solar induced fluorescence reflect changes in photosynthesis, growth or light exposure?. Remote Sensing, 9 (6), 1-19.


Solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) emissions of photosynthetically active plants retrieved from space-borne observations have been used to improve models of global primary productivity. However, the relationship between SIF and photosynthesis in diurnal and seasonal cycles is still not fully understood, especially at large spatial scales, where direct measurements of photosynthesis are unfeasible. Motivated by up-scaling potential, this study examined the diurnal and seasonal relationship between SIF and photosynthetic parameters measured at the level of individual leaves. We monitored SIF in two plant species, avocado (Persea Americana) and orange jasmine (Murraya paniculatta), throughout 18 diurnal cycles during the Southern Hemisphere spring, summer and autumn, and compared them with simultaneous measurements of photosynthetic yields, and leaf and global irradiances. Results showed that at seasonal time scales SIF is principally correlated with changes in leaf irradiance, electron transport rates (ETR) and constitutive heat dissipation (YNO; p < 0.001). Multiple regression models of correlations between photosynthetic parameters and SIF at diurnal time scales identified leaf irradiance as the principle predictor of SIF (p < 0.001). Previous studies have identified correlations between photosynthetic yields, ETR and SIF at larger spatial scales, where heterogeneous canopy architecture and landscape spatial patterns influence the spectral and photosynthetic measurements. Although this study found a significant correlation between leaf-measured YNO and SIF, future dedicated up-scaling experiments are required to elucidate if these observations are also found at larger spatial scales.

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