Coupling forest canopy and understory reflectance in the Arctic latitudes of Finland

Miina Rautiainen, Juha Suomalainen, Matti Mõttus, Pauline Stenberg, Pekka Voipio, Jouni Peltoniemi, Terhikki Manninen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


The Arctic region is predicted to experience considerable climatic and environmental changes as the global atmospheric CO2 increases. Growing awareness of the role of tundra and taiga ecosystems and their transition zone in the climate change process has resulted in a recent increase in remote sensing studies focusing on the Arctic latitudes. Remote sensing of biophysical properties of the canopy layer in the forested part of the region is often, however, challenged by the dominating role of the understory in the spectral signal. In this paper, we examine the influence of understory vegetation on forest reflectance in the Arctic region of Finland during no-snow conditions. The study is based on SPOT HRVIR images, field goniospectrometry, 300 ground reference plots and a physically-based forest reflectance model (PARAS). The results indicate that lichen-dominated forest site types can be distinguished from sites dominated by dwarf shrubs. The paper also contains results from applying an analytical method for calculating photon recollision probability from canopy transmittance data for forest stands, and then using it to simulate the reflectance of the same stands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-343
Number of pages12
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Goniospectrometry
  • Leaf area index
  • Recollision probability
  • Understory BRDF


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