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Creators/Authors contains: "Gamon, John A."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Located at northern latitudes and subject to large seasonal temperature fluctuations, boreal forests are sensitive to the changing climate, with evidence for both increasing and decreasing productivity, depending upon conditions. Optical remote sensing of vegetation indices based on spectral reflectance offers a means of monitoring vegetation photosynthetic activity and provides a powerful tool for observing how boreal forests respond to changing environmental conditions. Reflectance‐based remotely sensed optical signals at northern latitude or high‐altitude regions are readily confounded by snow coverage, hampering applications of satellite‐based vegetation indices in tracking vegetation productivity at large scales. Unraveling the effects of snow can be challenging from satellite data, particularly when validation data are lacking. In this study, we established an experimental system in Alberta, Canada including six boreal tree species, both evergreen and deciduous, to evaluate the confounding effects of snow on three vegetation indices: the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), the photochemical reflectance index (PRI), and the chlorophyll/carotenoid index (CCI), all used in tracking vegetation productivity for boreal forests. Our results revealed substantial impacts of snow on canopy reflectance and vegetation indices, expressed as increased albedo, decreased NDVI values and increased PRI and CCI values. These effects varied among species and functionalmore »groups (evergreen and deciduous) and different vegetation indices were affected differently, indicating contradictory, confounding effects of snow on these indices. In addition to snow effects, we evaluated the contribution of deciduous trees to vegetation indices in mixed stands of evergreen and deciduous species, which contribute to the observed relationship between greenness‐based indices and ecosystem productivity of many evergreen‐dominated forests that contain a deciduous component. Our results demonstrate confounding and interacting effects of snow and vegetation type on vegetation indices and illustrate the importance of explicitly considering snow effects in any global‐scale photosynthesis monitoring efforts using remotely sensed vegetation indices.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  4. Summary

    The Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) provides an optical indicator of photosynthetic light‐use efficiency, photoprotection, and stress in plants. Although PRI can be applied in remote sensing, its interpretation depends on irradiance, which is hard to obtain from satellite or airborne imagery.

    To quantify forest photoprotective responses remotely, we developed a framework for modeling and interpreting PRI‐light responses of individual trees and species using airborne imaging spectrometry coupled with georeferenced forest inventory data from a temperate broad‐leaved forest. We derived an irradiance proxy, used hierarchical modeling to analyze PRI‐light responses, and developed a framework of physiological interpretations of model parameters as facultative and constitutive components of photoprotection.

    Photochemical Reflectance Index declined with illumination, and PRI‐light relationships varied with landscape position and among tree crowns and species. More sun‐exposed foliage had lower intercepts and slopes of the relationship, indicating greater constitutive, but less facultative, photoprotection.

    We show that tree photoprotective strategies can be quantified at multiple scales using airborne hyperspectral data in structurally complex forests. Our findings and approach have important implications for the remote sensing of forest stress by offering a new way to assess functional diversity through dynamic differences in photoprotection and photosynthetic downregulation and providing previsual indicators of forest stress.

  5. Reflectance spectra provide integrative measures of plant phenotypes by capturing chemical, morphological, anatomical and architectural trait information. Here, we investigate the linkages between plant spectral variation, and spectral and resource-use complementarity that contribute to ecosystem productivity. In both a forest and prairie grassland diversity experiment, we delineated n -dimensional hypervolumes using wavelength bands of reflectance spectra to test the association between the spectral space occupied by individual plants and their growth, as well as between the spectral space occupied by plant communities and ecosystem productivity. We show that the spectral space occupied by individuals increased with their growth, and the spectral space occupied by plant communities increased with ecosystem productivity. Furthermore, ecosystem productivity was better explained by inter-individual spectral complementarity than by the large spectral space occupied by productive individuals. Our results indicate that spectral hypervolumes of plants can reflect ecological strategies that shape community composition and ecosystem function, and that spectral complementarity can reveal resource-use complementarity.
  6. Abstract Despite the importance of high-latitude surface energy budgets (SEBs) for land-climate interactions in the rapidly changing Arctic, uncertainties in their prediction persist. Here, we harmonize SEB observations across a network of vegetated and glaciated sites at circumpolar scale (1994–2021). Our variance-partitioning analysis identifies vegetation type as an important predictor for SEB-components during Arctic summer (June-August), compared to other SEB-drivers including climate, latitude and permafrost characteristics. Differences among vegetation types can be of similar magnitude as between vegetation and glacier surfaces and are especially high for summer sensible and latent heat fluxes. The timing of SEB-flux summer-regimes (when daily mean values exceed 0 Wm −2 ) relative to snow-free and -onset dates varies substantially depending on vegetation type, implying vegetation controls on snow-cover and SEB-flux seasonality. Our results indicate complex shifts in surface energy fluxes with land-cover transitions and a lengthening summer season, and highlight the potential for improving future Earth system models via a refined representation of Arctic vegetation types.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023