On the relationship of canopy LAI and photon recollision probability in boreal forests

Miina Rautiainen, Matti Mõttus, Pauline Stenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The theory of spectral invariants, or 'p-theory', states that the canopy scattering coefficient at any wavelength can be related to the leaf scattering coefficient at the same wavelength through a spectrally invariant canopy structural parameter - the photon recollision probability p. The p-theory has recently gained interest in the vegetation reflectance modeling community as an efficient tool for characterizing scattering in clumped foliage structures. In this short communication paper, we report empirical data of the relationship of canopy leaf area index (LAI), diffuse non-interceptance and photon recollision probability for 1032 coniferous and broadleaved forest plots measured in Finland. Our results indicate that the relationship of canopy LAI and diffuse non-interceptance is near-universal in boreal stands i.e. it does not depend on stand age, tree species or growth conditions. This allows improving parameterizations used by canopy reflectance models which utilize the photon recollision probability concept. Our results also suggest that establishing species-specific p-LAI functions for northern European forests requires more research on the influence of micro- and macroscale foliage grouping on photon recollision probability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-461
Number of pages4
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Forest reflectance model
  • Leaf area index
  • Photon recollision probability
  • Spectral invariants


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