Photon recollision probability in discrete crown canopies

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The photon recollision probability in vegetation canopies, defined as the probability that a photon, after having interacted with a canopy element, will interact again, is a useful tool in remote sensing and ecological applications, enabling to link canopy optical properties at different wavelength and to estimate radiation absorption. In this work, a method is presented to estimate the photon recollision probability for horizontally homogeneous leaf canopies with arbitrary leaf angle distribution as well as for discrete crown canopies. The estimation is based on analytical approximation of the first-order recollision probability. Using the analytical solution of the two-stream equations of radiative transfer and Monte Carlo modeling, the first-order photon recollision probability is shown to slightly underestimate the mean recollision probability. Also, an approximation formula for the mean recollision probability in a horizontally homogeneous canopy is presented as a function of leaf area index. The method to calculate photon recollision probability in discrete crown canopies requires only the knowledge of total and between-crown canopy transmittance and is thus independent of the geometric-optical model used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-185
Number of pages10
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Canopy transmittance
  • Geometric-optical reflectance model
  • Leaf inclination angle
  • Photon recollision probability


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