Estimating leaf functional traits by inversion of PROSPECT: Assessing leaf dry matter content and specific leaf area in mixed mountainous forest: Assessing leaf dry matter content and specific leaf area in mixed mountainous forest

Abebe Mohammed Ali*, Roshanak Darvishzadeh, Andrew K. Skidmore, Iris van Duren, Uta Heiden, Marco Heurich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Assessments of ecosystem functioning rely heavily on quantification of vegetation properties. The search is on for methods that produce reliable and accurate baseline information on plant functional traits. In this study, the inversion of the PROSPECT radiative transfer model was used to estimate two functional leaf traits: leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and specific leaf area (SLA). Inversion of PROSPECT usually aims at quantifying its direct input parameters. This is the first time the technique has been used to indirectly model LDMC and SLA. Biophysical parameters of 137 leaf samples were measured in July 2013 in the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany. Spectra of the leaf samples were measured using an ASD FieldSpec3 equipped with an integrating sphere. PROSPECT was inverted using a look-up table (LUT) approach. The LUTs were generated with and without using prior information. The effect of incorporating prior information on the retrieval accuracy was studied before and after stratifying the samples into broadleaf and conifer categories. The estimated values were evaluated using R2 and normalized root mean square error (nRMSE). Among the retrieved variables the lowest nRMSE (0.0899) was observed for LDMC. For both traits higher R2 values (0.83 for LDMC and 0.89 for SLA) were discovered in the pooled samples. The use of prior information improved accuracy of the retrieved traits. The strong correlation between the estimated traits and the NIR/SWIR region of the electromagnetic spectrum suggests that these leaf traits could be assessed at canopy level by using remotely sensed data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-76
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation (JAG)
Volume45
Issue numberA
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE
  • Functional leaf traits
  • Radiative transfer model
  • PROSPECT
  • LDMC
  • SLA

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