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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 10 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 10 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Combining hyperspectral remote sensing and eddy covariance data streams for estimation of vegetation functional traits

Javier Pacheco-Labrador1, Tarek S. El-Madany1, M. Pilar Martin2, Rosario Gonzalez-Cascon3, Arnaud Carrara4, Gerardo Moreno5, Oscar Perez-Priego6, Tiana Hammer1, Heiko Moossen1, Kathrin Henkel1, Olaf Kolle1, David Martini1, Vicente Burchard2, Christiaan van der Tol7, Karl Segl8, Markus Reichstein1, and Mirco Migliavacca1 Javier Pacheco-Labrador et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans Knöll Straße 10, Jena, 07745, Germany
  • 2Environmental Remote Sensing and Spectroscopy Laboratory (SpecLab), Institute of Economic, Geography and Demography (IEGD-CCHS), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), C/Albasanz 26-28, 28037 Madrid, Spain
  • 3Department of Environment, National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (INIA), Ctra. Coruña, 10 Km. 7,5, 28040 Madrid, Spain
  • 4Fundación Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo (CEAM), Charles Darwin 14, Parc Tecnològic, 46980 Paterna, Spain
  • 5Forest Research Group – INDEHESA University of Extremadura, 10600 Plasencia, Spain
  • 6Department of Biological Sciences Macquarie University, 6 Wally's Walk, NSW 2109, Australia
  • 7Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, PO Box 217, AE Enschede 7500, the Netherlands
  • 8Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 1.4 Remote Sensing, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Remote Sensing (RS) has traditionally provided estimates of key biophysical properties controlling light interaction with the canopy (e.g., chlorophyll content (Cab) or leaf area index (LAI)). However, recent and upcoming developments in hyperspectral RS are expected to lead to a new generation of products such as vegetation functional traits that control leaf carbon and water gas exchange. This information is pivotal to improve our understanding and capability to predict biosphere-atmosphere fluxes at global scale. Yet, the retrieval of key functional traits such as maximum carboxylation rate (Vcmax) or the Ball-Berry stomatal sensitivity parameter (m) remains challenging, as they only have a weak and indirect influence on optical reflectance factors. Recently, the assimilation of different observations in coupled soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (SVAT) and radiative transfer models (RTM) is allowing Vcmax and m estimates; notably using the Soil Canopy Observation of Photosynthesis and Energy fluxes (SCOPE) model. In this work we assess the potential of airborne and satellite emulated hyperspectral imagery jointly with eddy covariance (EC) data for the retrieval of functional traits. Specifically, we made use of time series of gross primary production (GPP) and thermal irradiance measured with net radiometers, together with 17 hyperspectral airborne images. The potential of satellite-borne sensors was tested with emulated EnMAP imagery from the airborne data. EnMAP was selected because of the availability of the emulator, and because is one of the foreseen hyperspectral satellite missions expected to contribute to a new generation of RS products. We estimated ecosystem functional traits by inverting the senSCOPE model, a novel version of SCOPE adapted to represent partly senescent canopies. The experiment takes place in a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem subject of a large scale manipulation experiment with nitrogen and nitrogen plus phosphorus, monitored by three EC towers. Parameter estimates and predicted fluxes were evaluated using both ground observations and pattern-oriented model evaluation approach. The method developed in this study provided robust estimates of functional and biophysical parameters for both airborne and synthetic EnMAP datasets. Cab and Vcmax estimates followed observed relationships with leaf nitrogen concentration; whereas m and predicted underlying water use efficiency showed expected relationships with discrimination of 13C isotope in leaves. Results prove that the inversion of coupled RTM-SVAT models against a combination of hyperspectral imagery (e.g., EnMAP), and time series of GPP and thermal irradiance provides reliable estimates of key functional parameters of vegetation that are robust to several sources of uncertainty. The forthcoming satellite hyperspectral missions combined with ecosystem station networks (e.g. Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), NEON, FLUXNET, etc…), offers unique possibilities to characterize the spatiotemporal distribution of functional parameters relevant for terrestrial biosphere modeling.

Javier Pacheco-Labrador et al.

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Status: open (until 24 Mar 2020)
Status: open (until 24 Mar 2020)
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Javier Pacheco-Labrador et al.

Javier Pacheco-Labrador et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The new generation of sensors on-board satellites have the potential to provide richer information about the function of vegetation than before. This information, nowadays missing, is fundamental to improve our understanding and prediction of carbon and water cycles, and therefore to anticipate effects and responses to Climate Change. In this manuscript we propose a method to exploit the data provided by these satellites to successfully obtain this information key to face Climate Change.
The new generation of sensors on-board satellites have the potential to provide richer...