Estimating Canopy Biochemistry through Imaging Spectrometry

  • Carol A. Wessman
Part of the Eurocourses: Remote Sensing book series (EURS, volume 4)


Broad-band reflectance measurements of vegetation have been widely applied in the form of indexes based on the unique differential between chlorophyll absorption in the red wavelengths and reflectance in the near infrared region. Background and atmospheric effects also have an influence on the measured signal and are only partially removed through ratioing of wavebands. High spectral resolution data acquired by imaging spectrometers provides information on absorption feature characteristics. Spectral shape parameters such as width, depth, skewness, and symmetry are more indicative of biochemical state and canopy physiology than average reflectance measured over relatively broad spectral regions. Variations in spectrum shape in the visible region relate to chlorophyll concentration, chlorophyll degradation, and other pigment activity. Other canopy biochemical constituents, such as cellulose and lignin, influence reflectance in the shortwave infrared and can potentially be quantified using imaging spectrometry. Capability to estimate biochemical properties in terrestrial ecosystems would aid in the assessment of carbon fixation/allocation patterns, nutrient availability and soil respiration.


Remote Sensing High Spectral Resolution Imaging Spectrometry Canopy Reflectance Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels and Luxembourg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol A. Wessman
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology (C1RES) Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulder

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