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Diversity of 3D APAR and LAI dynamics in broadleaf and coniferous forests: Implications for the interpretation of remote sensing-based products


Kesselring, Jasmin; Morsdorf, Felix; Kükenbrink, Daniel; Gastellu-Etchegorry, Jean-Philippe; Damm, Alexander (2024). Diversity of 3D APAR and LAI dynamics in broadleaf and coniferous forests: Implications for the interpretation of remote sensing-based products. Remote Sensing of Environment, 306:114116.

Abstract

Forests substantially mediate the water and carbon dioxide exchanges between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The rate of this exchange, including evapotranspiration (ET) and gross primary production (GPP), depends mainly on the underlying vegetation type, health state, and the composition of abiotic environmental drivers. However, the complex 3D structure of forest canopies and the inherent top-view perspective of optical and thermal remote sensing complicate remote sensing-based retrievals of biotic and abiotic factors that eventually determine ET and GPP. This study investigates the sensitivity of remote sensing approaches to 3D variation of abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. We use 3D virtual scenes of two structurally different Swiss forests and the radiative transfer model DART to simulate the 3D distribution of solar irradiance and reflected radiance in the forest canopy. These simulations, in combination with LiDAR data, are used to derive the absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (APAR) and the leaf area index (LAI) in 3D space. The 3D variation of both parameters was quantified and analyzed. We then simulated images of the top-of-canopy bi-directional reflectance factor (BRF) and compared them with the hemispheric-conical reflectance factor (HCRF) data derived from HyPlant airborne imaging spectrometer measurements. The simulated BRF data was used to derive APAR and LAI, and the results were compared to their respective 3D representations. We unravel considerable spatial differences between both representations. We discuss possible reasons for the disagreement, including a potential insensitivity of the inherent top-of-canopy view for the real 3D product dynamics and limitations of the processing of remote sensing data, especially the approximation of effective surface irradiance. Our results can help understanding sources of uncertainties in remote sensing based gas exchange products and defining mitigation strategies.

Abstract

Forests substantially mediate the water and carbon dioxide exchanges between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The rate of this exchange, including evapotranspiration (ET) and gross primary production (GPP), depends mainly on the underlying vegetation type, health state, and the composition of abiotic environmental drivers. However, the complex 3D structure of forest canopies and the inherent top-view perspective of optical and thermal remote sensing complicate remote sensing-based retrievals of biotic and abiotic factors that eventually determine ET and GPP. This study investigates the sensitivity of remote sensing approaches to 3D variation of abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. We use 3D virtual scenes of two structurally different Swiss forests and the radiative transfer model DART to simulate the 3D distribution of solar irradiance and reflected radiance in the forest canopy. These simulations, in combination with LiDAR data, are used to derive the absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (APAR) and the leaf area index (LAI) in 3D space. The 3D variation of both parameters was quantified and analyzed. We then simulated images of the top-of-canopy bi-directional reflectance factor (BRF) and compared them with the hemispheric-conical reflectance factor (HCRF) data derived from HyPlant airborne imaging spectrometer measurements. The simulated BRF data was used to derive APAR and LAI, and the results were compared to their respective 3D representations. We unravel considerable spatial differences between both representations. We discuss possible reasons for the disagreement, including a potential insensitivity of the inherent top-of-canopy view for the real 3D product dynamics and limitations of the processing of remote sensing data, especially the approximation of effective surface irradiance. Our results can help understanding sources of uncertainties in remote sensing based gas exchange products and defining mitigation strategies.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Soil Science
Physical Sciences > Geology
Physical Sciences > Computers in Earth Sciences
Language:English
Date:1 May 2024
Deposited On:24 Apr 2024 14:15
Last Modified:25 Apr 2024 20:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0034-4257
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2024.114116
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID197243
  • : Project TitleFLUO4ECO - Combining Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Mechanistic Modelling for Advanced Assessments of Ecosystem Photosynthesis
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)