Optical Properties of Leaves: Modelling and Experimental Studies

  • Jean Verdebout
  • Stephane Jacquemoud
  • Guido Schmuck
Part of the Eurocourses: Remote Sensing book series (EURS, volume 4)


This paper deals with the interpretation of leaves spectra following an approach based on modelling and laboratory studies. First, the leaves structure and principal constituents are described together with the way they interact with light. The effects of growth, senescence and environmental factors on the leaf optical properties are summarised. A laboratory study conducted on drought stress of maize (Zea Mays) plants is reported as an example. A succinct review of the existing models is then made: ray tracing, Kubelka-Munk and developments, plate models, and the stochastic model. The use of these models to determine leaf constituents and structure by inversion on reflectance spectra is then discussed with an emphasis on the research of good specific absorption coefficients for the constituents. The validation of the PROSPECT model (generalised plate model) on the basis of leaves spectra is presented. The problems linked with the application of these procedures to remote sensing data is evoked, and an example of inversion on experimental spectra of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L) fields is briefly reported.


Infrared Reflectance Palisade Parenchyma Specific Absorption Coefficient Canopy Reflectance Leaf Water Status 


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Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels and Luxembourg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Verdebout
    • 1
  • Stephane Jacquemoud
    • 1
  • Guido Schmuck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Remote Sensing ApplicationsCommission of the European Communities Joint Research CentreIspra (Va)Italy

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