Multidisciplinary Research on Canopy Photosynthetic Productivity in a Cool-Temperate Deciduous Broadleaf Forest in Japan
Friday, 19 December 2014: 1:40 PM
Forest canopy has crucial roles in regulating energy and material exchange between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems and in ecological processes with respect to carbon cycle and growth in the ecosystems. Challenges to the canopy of tall forests for such research involve the access to the leaves for ecophysiological observations, responses of leaves to the changing environments from seconds to years, and up-scaling the leaf-level phenomena to canopy and landscape-levels. A long-term, multidisciplinary approach has been conducted in a cool-temperate deciduous broadleaf forest in Takayama site (ca. 1400m a.s.l.) in central Japan. This forest canopy is dominated by Quercus crispula and Betula ermanii. We have been focusing on the phenology of photosynthetic productivity from a single leaf to canopy, and to landscape level, by combining leaf ecophysiological research, optical observations by spectroradiometers and time-laps cameras with the aid of “Phenological Eyes Network (PEN)”, and process-based modellings. The canopy-level photosynthesis is then compared with the micrometeorolgical observation of CO2 flux at the site. So far we have been clarifying that (1) inter-annual variations in seasonal growth rate and senescence rate of leaf photosynthetic capacity and canopy leaf area are largely responsible for the inter-annual change in forest photosynthesis, and (2) spectral vegetation indices such as enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and chlorophyll index (CCI) can be the indicator to observe the phenology of forest canopy photosynthesis. In addition to these efforts since 2003, we established an open-field warming experiment on the branches of the canopy trees, to investigate the possible influence of temperature increase on leaf photosynthetic and optical properties and then to examine whether the optical satellite remote sensing can detect the changes in photosynthetic capacity and phenology by ongoing global warming.