Curran, P.J., Dungan, J.L. and Peterson, D.L.
Estimating the foliar biochemical concentration of leaves with reflectance spectrometry: Testing Kokaly and Clark methodologies
Remote Sensing of Environment, 76, (3), . (doi:10.1016/S0034-4257(01)00182-1).
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In an effort to further develop the methods needed to remotely sense the biochemical concentration of plant canopies, we report the results of an experiment to estimate the concentration of 12 foliar biochemicals (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, lignin, nitrogen, cellulose, water, phosphorous, protein, amino acids, sugar, starch) from reflectance spectra of dried and ground slash pine needles. The three methodologies employed used stepwise regression and either of the following: (i) standard first derivative reflectance spectra (FDS), (ii) absorption band depths, following continuum removal and normalisation against band depth at the centre of the absorption feature (BNC) or (iii) absorption band depths, following continuum removal and normalisation against the area of the absorption feature (BNA). These latter two methodologies have been proposed in this journal [Remote Sens. Environ., 67 (1999) 267.] on the basis of an experiment using reflectance spectra of dried and ground tree leaves and the concentration of three foliar biochemicals: nitrogen, lignin and cellulose. All three methodologies were implemented on a spectra/biochemical data set from early in the growing season and tested on a similar data set from late in the growing season. The accuracy with which foliar biochemical concentration could be estimated, while high for all methodologies, was highest when using the two proposed by Kokaly and Clark. At an illustrative R2 threshold of .85 (between estimated and observed biochemical concentration), all three methodologies could be used to estimate total chlorophyll, nitrogen, cellulose and sugar; in addition, the BNC methodology could be used to estimate chlorophyll a and b, and in addition to this, the BNA methodology could be used to estimate lignin and water. Given the advantages offered by the Kokaly and Clark methodologies (over and above the standard methodology) for a wide range of foliar biochemicals, it is recommended that their utility is investigated for the estimation of foliar biochemical concentration from field, airborne and spaceborne spectra.
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