Relationships between photochemical reflectance index and light-use efficiency in deciduous and evergreen broadleaf forests

TitleRelationships between photochemical reflectance index and light-use efficiency in deciduous and evergreen broadleaf forests
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSoudani, K., Hmimina G., Dufrêne E., Berveiller D., Delpierre N., OURCIVAL JEAN-MARC., Rambal S., & Joffre R.
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
KeywordsForests, Light use efficiency LUE, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), photochemical reflectance index (PRI)

In this study, we evaluate the relationships between the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) and light-use efficiency (LUE) based on eight years of continuous in situ measurements acquired on a half-hourly basis for PRI, NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), the main micrometeorological variables and net CO2 exchange data in two deciduous and evergreen mature forests. More specifically, the objectives of this study include investigating the daily, seasonal, and interannual variations of PRI and LUE; linking PRI variations to the main influencing meteorological and eco-physiological variables; and evaluating the performance of PRI as a remote-sensing proxy of LUE under different environmental conditions. The data analysis was performed at different time scales within the season using moving temporal windows and between years. On a seasonal scale, statistical analyses revealed positive relationships between PRI and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (aPAR) and negative relationships between PRI and LUE. Over shorter periods of a few days, the signs of these relationships remained unchanged; however, their correlations were strongly improved. The highest correlations were most often observed over periods characterized by clear or slightly overcast skies. However, all the periods of clear skies did not involve improvements in the relations of PRI vs. aPAR or PRI vs. LUE. Temporal variations of the intercept (called PRI0 in this study) of PRI vs. aPAR regressions suggest the presence of a temporal trend that may reflect seasonal changes of the biochemical characteristics of the canopy. Regardless of the cause of this trend, it is important to note that once PRI0 was subtracted from the measured PRI, the correlations between the corrected PRI and LUE for each year were significantly improved, and a stable multi-year model was obtained. Nevertheless, further studies are required to explain the temporal changes of PRI0 during the season and to develop a more accurate disentangling approach that would make PRI-based remote-sensing of ecosystem light-use efficiency less sensitive to confounding factors related to spatial and temporal changes in the structural and biochemical properties of the canopy.