Nitrogen and phosphorus effect on sun-induced fluorescence and gross primary productivity in mediterranean grassland

D. Martini*, Javier Pacheco-Labrador, Oscar Perez-Priego, C. van der Tol, Tarek S. El-Madany, Tommaso Julitta, Micol Rossini, Markus Reichstein, Rune Christiansen, Uwe Rascher, Gerardo Moreno, M. Pilar Martín, Peiqi Yang, Arnaud Carrara, Jinhong Guan, Rosario González-Cascón, Mirco Migliavacca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Sun-Induced fluorescence at 760 nm (F760) is increasingly being used to predict gross primary production (GPP) through light use efficiency (LUE) modeling, even though the mechanistic processes that link the two are not well understood. We analyzed the effect of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) availability on the processes that link GPP and F760 in a Mediterranean grassland manipulated with nutrient addition. To do so, we used a combination of process-based modeling with Soil-Canopy Observation of Photosynthesis and Energy (SCOPE), and statistical analyses such as path modeling. With this study, we uncover the mechanisms that link the fertilization-driven changes in canopy nitrogen concentration (N%) to the observed changes in F760 and GPP. N addition changed plant community structure and increased canopy chlorophyll content, which jointly led to changes in photosynthetic active radiation (APAR), ultimately affecting both GPP and F760. Changes in the abundance of graminoids, (%graminoids) driven by N addition led to changes in structural properties of the canopy such as leaf angle distribution, that ultimately influenced observed F760 by controlling the escape probability of F760 (Fesc). In particular, we found a change in GPP-F760 relationship between the first and the second year of the experiment that was largely driven by the effect of plant type composition on Fesc, whose best predictor is %graminoids. The P addition led to a statistically significant increase on light use efficiency of fluorescence emission (LUEf), in particular in plots also with N addition, consistent with leaf level studies. The N addition induced changes in the biophysical properties of the canopy that led to a trade-off between surface temperature (Ts), which decreased, and F760 at leaf scale (F760leaf,fw), which increased. We found that Ts is an important predictor of the light use efficiency of photosynthesis, indicating the importance of Ts in LUE modeling approaches to predict GPP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2562
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalRemote sensing
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


  • Canopy structure
  • Fertilization
  • Gross primary production (GPP)
  • Light use efficiency
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Sun-induced fluorescence (SIF)


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