During the growing season, the photosynthesis and growth of boreal forests are regulated by physiological responses to environmental factors. Physiological variations affect the spectral properties of leaves. Linking canopy-level spectral reflectance to leaf-level processes for monitoring forest seasonal physiology using satellite images is hindered by view and illumination effects and variations in canopy structure. To better understand the connection between the two structural levels, we used nine narrow-band vegetation indices (VIs) derived from Hyperion imagery to track the seasonal dynamics of boreal forest stands: the photochemical reflectance indices (PRI and PRI 515 ) related to the xanthophyll cycle, the red edge (RE) index, the Maccioni (Macc) and the green normalized difference vegetation index related to chlorophyll concentration (Ca + b), the carotenoid simple ratio and Gitelson carotenoid concentration index related to carotenoid concentration (Cx + c), the normalized difference vegetation index related to fractional cover, and the plant senescence reflectance index related to the Cx + c/Ca + b ratio. As ground truth, we used measurements of exposed pine shoot light use efficiency (LUE) and photosynthesis. Over the study period (May to August), LUE and photosynthesis were best correlated with the chlorophyll VIs Macc and RE. Both indices also exhibited the lowest coefficient of variation in association with forest structure. PRI, on the other hand, was affected by canopy structure and observation geometry and was uncoupled from LUE during the growing season. Our findings demonstrate that the photosynthesis and productivity of boreal forests in the growing season are best tracked using VIs related to total pigment concentration (i.e., chlorophyll).
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|