Investigating Forest Photosynthetic Response to Elevated CO2 Using Uav-Based Measurements of Solar Induced Fluorescence

Maseyk, Kadmiel; Atherton, Jon; Thomas, Rick; Wood, Kieran; Tausz-Posch, Sabine; Mac Arthur, Alasdair; Porcar-Castell, Albert and Tausz, Michael (2018). Investigating Forest Photosynthetic Response to Elevated CO2 Using Uav-Based Measurements of Solar Induced Fluorescence. In: IGARSS 2018 - 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 22-27 Jul 2018, Valencia, Spain, pp. 8830–8833.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/IGARSS.2018.8517348

Abstract

The response of ecosystems to increasing atmospheric CO2 will have significant, but still uncertain, impacts on the global carbon and water cycles. A lot of information has been gained from Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments, but the response of mature forest ecosystems remains a significant knowledge gap. One of the challenges in FACE studies is obtaining an integrated measure of canopy photosynthesis at the scale of the treatment ring. A new remote sensing approach for measuring photosynthetic activity is based on Solar Induced Fluorescence (SIF), which is emitted by plants during photosynthesis, and is closely linked to the rates and regulation of photosynthesis. We proposed that UAV-based SIF measurements, that enable the spectrometer field of view to be targeted to the treatment ring, provide a unique opportunity for investigating the dynamics of photosynthetic responses to elevated CO2. We have successfully tested this approach in a new FACE site, located in a mature oak forest in the UK. We flew a series of flights across the experiment arrays, collecting a number of spectra. We combined these with ground-based physiological and optical measurements, and see great promise in the use of UAV-based SIF measurements in FACE and other global change experiments.

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