Ground based remote sensing and physiological measurements provide novel insights into canopy photosynthetic optimization in arctic shrubs
Thursday, 18 December 2014: 2:25 PM
Because changes in vegetation structure and function in the Arctic are rapid and highly dynamic phenomena, efforts to understand the C balance of the tundra require repeatable, objective, and accurate remote sensing methods for estimating aboveground C pools and fluxes over large areas. A key challenge addressing the modelling of aboveground C is to utilize process-level information from fine-scale studies. Utilizing information obtained from high resolution remote sensing systems could help to better understand the C source/sink strength of the tundra, which will in part depend on changes in photosynthesis resulting from the partitioning of photosynthetic machinery within and among deciduous shrub canopies. Terrestrial LiDAR and passive hyperspectral remote sensing measurements offer an effective, repeatable, and scalable method to understand photosynthetic performance and partitioning at the canopy scale previously unexplored in arctic systems. Using a 3-D shrub canopy model derived from LiDAR, we quantified the light regime of leaves within shrub canopies to gain a better understanding of how light interception varies in response to the Arctic’s complex radiation regime. This information was then coupled with pigment sampling (i.e., xanthophylls, and Chl a/b) to evaluate the optimization of foliage photosynthetic capacity within shrub canopies due to light availability. In addition, a lab experiment was performed to validate evidence of canopy level optimization via gradients of light intensity and leaf light environment. For this, hyperspectral reflectance (photochemical reflectance index (PRI)), and solar induced fluorescence (SIF)) was collected in conjunction with destructive pigment samples (xanthophylls) and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements in both sunlit and shaded canopy positions.