Disentangling Changes in the Spectral Shape of Chlorophyll Fluorescence : Implications for Remote Sensing of Photosynthesis

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Magney , T S , Frankenberg , C , Kohler , P , North , G , Davis , T S , Dold , C , Dutta , D , Fisher , J B , Grossmann , K , Harrington , A , Hatfield , J , Stutz , J , Sun , Y & Porcar-Castell , A 2019 , ' Disentangling Changes in the Spectral Shape of Chlorophyll Fluorescence : Implications for Remote Sensing of Photosynthesis ' , Journal of Geophysical Research : Biogeosciences , vol. 124 , no. 6 , pp. 1491-1507 . https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JG005029

Title: Disentangling Changes in the Spectral Shape of Chlorophyll Fluorescence : Implications for Remote Sensing of Photosynthesis
Author: Magney, Troy S.; Frankenberg, Christian; Kohler, Philipp; North, Gretchen; Davis, Thomas S.; Dold, Christian; Dutta, Debsunder; Fisher, Joshua B.; Grossmann, Katja; Harrington, Alexis; Hatfield, Jerry; Stutz, Jochen; Sun, Ying; Porcar-Castell, Albert
Contributor organization: Viikki Plant Science Centre (ViPS)
Department of Forest Sciences
Ecosystem processes (INAR Forest Sciences)
Forest Ecology and Management
Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
Date: 2019-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Journal of Geophysical Research : Biogeosciences
ISSN: 2169-8953
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JG005029
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/312469
Abstract: Novel satellite measurements of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) can improve our understanding of global photosynthesis; however, little is known about how to interpret the controls on its spectral variability. To address this, we disentangle simultaneous drivers of fluorescence spectra by coupling active and passive fluorescence measurements with photosynthesis. We show empirical and mechanistic evidence for where, why, and to what extent leaf fluorescence spectra change. Three distinct components explain more than 95% of the variance in leaf fluorescence spectra under both steady-state and changing illumination conditions. A single spectral shape of fluorescence explains 84% of the variance across a wide range of species. The magnitude of this shape responds to absorbed light and photosynthetic up/down regulation; meanwhile, chlorophyll concentration and nonphotochemical quenching control 9% and 3% of the remaining spectral variance, respectively. The spectral shape of fluorescence is remarkably stable where most current satellite retrievals occur (far-red, >740nm), and dynamic downregulation of photosynthesis reduces fluorescence magnitude similarly across the 670- to 850-nm range. We conduct an exploratory analysis of hourly red and far-red canopy SIF in soybean, which shows a subtle change in red:far-red fluorescence coincident with photosynthetic downregulation but is overshadowed by longer-term changes in canopy chlorophyll and structure. Based on our leaf and canopy analysis, caution should be taken when attributing large changes in the spectral shape of remotely sensed SIF to plant stress, particularly if data acquisition is temporally sparse. Ultimately, changes in SIF magnitude at wavelengths greater than 740 nm alone may prove sufficient for tracking photosynthetic dynamics. Plain Language Summary Satellite remote sensing provides a global picture of photosynthetic activity-allowing us to see when, where, and how much CO2 plants are assimilating. To do this, satellites measure a small emission of energy from the plants called chlorophyll fluorescence. However, this measurement is typically made across a narrow wavelength range, while the emission spectrum (650-850 nm) is quite dynamic. We show where, why, and to what extent leaf fluorescence spectra change across a diverse range of species and conditions, ultimately informing canopy remote sensing measurements. Results suggest that wavelengths currently used by satellites are stable enough to track the downregulation of photosynthesis resulting from stress, while spectral shape changes respond more strongly to dynamics in canopy structure and chlorophyll concentration.
Subject: chlorophyll fluorescence
solar-induced fluorescence
vegetation spectroscopy
remote sensing
nonphotochemical quenching
RATIO F690/F730
1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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