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Far-red sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence shows ecosystem-specific relationships to gross primary production: an assessment based on observational and modeling approaches


Damm, Alexander; Guanter, Luis; Paul-Limoges, E; van der Tol, C; Hueni, Andreas; Buchmann, N; Eugster, W; Ammann, C; Schaepman, Michael E (2015). Far-red sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence shows ecosystem-specific relationships to gross primary production: an assessment based on observational and modeling approaches. Remote Sensing of Environment, 166:91-105.

Abstract

Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a radiation flux emitted from chlorophyll molecules and is consid- ered an indicator of the actual functional state of plant photosynthesis. The remote measurement of SIF opens a new perspective to assess actual photosynthesis at larger, ecologically relevant scales and provides an alternative approach to study the terrestrial carbon cycle. Recent studies demonstrated the reliability of measured SIF signals and showed significant relationships between SIF and gross primary production (GPP) at ecosystem and global scales. Despite these encouraging results, understanding the complex mechanisms between SIF and GPP remains challenging before SIF can be finally utilized to constrain estimates of GPP. In this study, we present a comprehen- sive assessment of the relationship between far-red SIF retrieved at 760 nm (SIF760) and GPP, and its transferabil- ity across three structurally and physiologically contrasting ecosystems: perennial grassland, cropland and mixed temperate forest. We use multi-temporal imaging spectroscopy (IS) data acquired with the Airborne Prism EXperiment (APEX) sensor as well as eddy covariance (EC) flux tower data to evaluate the relationship between SIF760 and GPPEC. We use simulations performed with the coupled photosynthesis–fluorescence model SCOPE to prove trends obtained from our observational data and to assess apparent confounding factors such as physiolog- ical and structural interferences or temporal scaling effects. Observed relationships between SIF760 and GPPEC were asymptotic and ecosystem-specific, i.e., perennial grassland (R2 = 0.59, rRMSE = 27.1%), cropland (R2 = 0.88, rRMSE = 3.5%) and mixed temperate forest (R2 = 0.48, rRMSE = 15.88%). We demonstrate that as- ymptotic leaf level relationships between SIF760 and GPPEC became more linear at canopy level and scaled with temporal aggregation. We conclude that remote sensing of SIF provides a new observational approach to de- crease uncertainties in estimating GPP across ecosystems but requires dedicated strategies to compensate for the various confounding factors impacting SIF–GPP relationships. Our findings help in bridging the gap between mechanistic understanding at leaf level and ecosystem-specific observations of the relationships between SIF and GPP.

Abstract

Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a radiation flux emitted from chlorophyll molecules and is consid- ered an indicator of the actual functional state of plant photosynthesis. The remote measurement of SIF opens a new perspective to assess actual photosynthesis at larger, ecologically relevant scales and provides an alternative approach to study the terrestrial carbon cycle. Recent studies demonstrated the reliability of measured SIF signals and showed significant relationships between SIF and gross primary production (GPP) at ecosystem and global scales. Despite these encouraging results, understanding the complex mechanisms between SIF and GPP remains challenging before SIF can be finally utilized to constrain estimates of GPP. In this study, we present a comprehen- sive assessment of the relationship between far-red SIF retrieved at 760 nm (SIF760) and GPP, and its transferabil- ity across three structurally and physiologically contrasting ecosystems: perennial grassland, cropland and mixed temperate forest. We use multi-temporal imaging spectroscopy (IS) data acquired with the Airborne Prism EXperiment (APEX) sensor as well as eddy covariance (EC) flux tower data to evaluate the relationship between SIF760 and GPPEC. We use simulations performed with the coupled photosynthesis–fluorescence model SCOPE to prove trends obtained from our observational data and to assess apparent confounding factors such as physiolog- ical and structural interferences or temporal scaling effects. Observed relationships between SIF760 and GPPEC were asymptotic and ecosystem-specific, i.e., perennial grassland (R2 = 0.59, rRMSE = 27.1%), cropland (R2 = 0.88, rRMSE = 3.5%) and mixed temperate forest (R2 = 0.48, rRMSE = 15.88%). We demonstrate that as- ymptotic leaf level relationships between SIF760 and GPPEC became more linear at canopy level and scaled with temporal aggregation. We conclude that remote sensing of SIF provides a new observational approach to de- crease uncertainties in estimating GPP across ecosystems but requires dedicated strategies to compensate for the various confounding factors impacting SIF–GPP relationships. Our findings help in bridging the gap between mechanistic understanding at leaf level and ecosystem-specific observations of the relationships between SIF and GPP.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:09 Oct 2015 15:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:26
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0034-4257
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2015.06.004

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