Ecophysiological Remote Sensing of Leaf-Canopy Photosynthetic Characteristics in a Cool-Temperate Deciduous Forest in Japan

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Hibiki M Noda, NIES National Institute of Environmental Studies, Ibaraki, Japan and Hiroyuki Muraoka, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan
Satellite remote sensing of structure and function of canopy is crucial to detect temporal and spatial distributions of forest ecosystems dynamics in changing environments. The spectral reflectance of the canopy is determined by optical properties (spectral reflectance and transmittance) of single leaves and their spatial arrangements in the canopy. The optical properties of leaves reflect their pigments contents and anatomical structures. Thus detailed information and understandings of the consequence between ecophysiological traits and optical properties from single leaf to canopy level are essential for remote sensing of canopy ecophysiology.
To develop the ecophysiological remote sensing of forest canopy, we have been promoting multiple and cross-scale measurements in “Takayama site” belonging to AsiaFlux and JaLTER networks, located in a cool-temperate deciduous broadleaf forest on a mountainous landscape in Japan. In this forest, in situ measurement of canopy spectral reflectance has been conducted continuously by a spectroradiometer as part of the “Phenological Eyes Network (PEN)” since 2004. To analyze the canopy spectral reflectance from leaf ecophysiological viewpoints, leaf mass per area, nitrogen content, chlorophyll contents, photosynthetic capacities and the optical properties have been measured for dominant canopy tree species Quercus crispla and Betula ermanii throughout the seasons for multiple years.
Photosynthetic capacity was largely correlated with chlorophyll contents throughout the growing season in both Q. crispla and B. ermanii. In these leaves, the reflectance at “red edge” (710 nm) changed by corresponding to the changes of chlorophyll contents throughout the seasons. Our canopy-level examination showed that vegetation indices obtained by red edge reflectance have linear relationship with leaf chlorophyll contents and photosynthetic capacity. Finally we apply this knowledge to the Rapid Eye satellite imagery around Takayama site to scale-up the leaf-level findings to canopy and landscape levels on a mountainous landscape.