University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Radiative transfer, interception and scattering in coniferous forests
models and applications for production ecology and remote sensing
Doctoral dissertation, June 2006.
This work develops methods to account for shoot structure in models of coniferous canopy radiative transfer. Shoot structure, as it varies along the light gradient inside canopy, affects the efficiency of light interception per unit needle area, foliage biomass, or foliage nitrogen. The clumping of needles in the shoot volume also causes a notable amount of multiple scattering of light within coniferous shoots. The effect of shoot structure on light interception is treated in the context of canopy level photosynthesis and resource use models, and the phenomenon of within-shoot multiple scattering in the context of physical canopy reflectance models for remote sensing purposes.
Light interception. A method for estimating the amount of PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) intercepted by a conifer shoot is presented. The method combines modelling of the directional distribution of radiation above canopy, fish-eye photographs taken at shoot locations to measure canopy gap fraction, and geometrical measurements of shoot orientation and structure. Data on light availability, shoot and needle structure and nitrogen content has been collected from canopies of Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis (Dougl.) Forbes) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). Shoot structure acclimated to light gradient inside canopy so that more shaded shoots have better light interception efficiency. Light interception efficiency of shoots varied about two-fold per needle area, about four-fold per needle dry mass, and about five-fold per nitrogen content. Comparison of fertilized and control stands of Norway spruce indicated that light interception efficiency is not greatly affected by fertilization.
Light scattering. Structure of coniferous shoots gives rise to multiple scattering of light between the needles of the shoot. Using geometric models of shoots, multiple scattering was studied by photon tracing simulations. Based on simulation results, the dependence of the scattering coefficient of shoot from the scattering coefficient of needles is shown to follow a simple one-parameter model. The single parameter, termed the recollision probability, describes the level of clumping of the needles in the shoot, is wavelength independent, and can be connected to previously used clumping indices. By using the recollision probability to correct for the within-shoot multiple scattering, canopy radiative transfer models which have used leaves as basic elements can use shoots as basic elements, and thus be applied for coniferous forests. Preliminary testing of this approach seems to explain, at least partially, why coniferous forests appear darker than broadleaved forests in satellite data.
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Last updated 19.05.2006