Spectral properties of coniferous forests: A review of in situ and laboratory measurements

Miina Rautiainen, Petr Lukeš, Lucie Homolová, Aarne Hovi, Jan Pisek, Matti Mõttus

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

    71 Citations (Scopus)


    Coniferous species are present in almost all major vegetation biomes on Earth, though they are the most abundant in the northern hemisphere, where they form the northern tree and forest lines close to the Arctic Circle. Monitoring coniferous forests with satellite and airborne remote sensing is active, due to the forests' great ecological and economic importance. We review the current understanding of spectral behavior of different components forming coniferous forests. We look at the spatial, directional, and seasonal variations in needle, shoot, woody element, and understory spectra in coniferous forests, based on measurements. Through selected case studies, we also demonstrate how coniferous canopy spectra vary at different spatial scales, and in different viewing angles and seasons. Finally, we provide a synthesis of gaps in the current knowledge on spectra of elements forming coniferous forests that could also serve as a recommendation for planning scientific efforts in the future.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number207
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


    M.R., A.H., M.M. were supported by the Academy of Finland (grants: 13286390 and 266152). J.P. was supported by the Estonian Research Council grant PUT1355 and Mobilitas Pluss MOBERC-11. P.L. and L.H. were supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of CR within the National Sustainability Program I (NPU I), grant number LO1415. P.L. was also supported by the Czech Science Foundation through Project No. GJ17-05608Y. L.H. was also supported by the Czech Science Foundation grant No. 17-05743S.


    • Albedo
    • BRDF
    • Conifer
    • Forest
    • Needle
    • Reflectance
    • Shoot
    • Spectrum
    • Transmittance
    • Understory


    Dive into the research topics of 'Spectral properties of coniferous forests: A review of in situ and laboratory measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this