The seasonal cycle of satellite chlorophyll fluorescence observations and its...

Joiner, J., Y. Yoshida, A. P. Vasilkov, K. Schaefer, M. Jung, L. Guanter, Y. Zhang, S. Garrity, E. M. Middleton, K. F. Huemmrich, L. Gu, and L. B. Marchesini (2014), The seasonal cycle of satellite chlorophyll fluorescence observations and its relationship to vegetation phenology and ecosystem atmosphere carbon exchange, Remote Sensing of Environment, 152, 375-391, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2014.06.022.

Mapping of terrestrial chlorophyll fluorescence from space has shown potential for providing global measurements related to gross primary productivity (GPP). In particular, space-based fluorescence may provide information on the length of the carbon uptake period. Here, for the first time we test the ability of satellite fluorescence retrievals to track seasonal cycle of photosynthesis as estimated from a diverse set of tower gas exchange measurements from around the world. The satellite fluorescence retrievals are obtained using new observations near the 740 nm emission feature from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment 2 (GOME-2) instrument offering the highest temporal and spatial resolution of available global measurements. Because GOME-2 has a large ground footprint (~40 × 80 km2) as compared with that of the flux towers and the GOME-2 data require averaging to reduce random errors, we additionally compare with seasonal cycles of upscaled GPP estimated from a machine learning approach averaged over the same temporal and spatial domain as the satellite data surrounding the tower locations. We also examine the seasonality of absorbed photosynthetically-active radiation (APAR) estimated from satellite measurements. Finally, to assess whether global vegetation models may benefit from the satellite fluorescence retrievals through validation or additional constraints, we examine seasonal cycles of GPP as produced from an ensemble of vegetation models. Several of the data-driven models rely on satellite reflectance-based vegetation parameters to derive estimates of APAR that are used to compute GPP. For forested (especially deciduous broadleaf and mixed forests) and cropland sites, the GOME-2 fluorescence data track the spring onset and autumn shutoff of photosynthesis as delineated by the upscaled GPP estimates. In contrast, the reflectance-based indicators and many of the models, particularly those driven by data, tend to overestimate the length of the photosynthetically-active period for these biomes. Satellite fluorescence measurements therefore show potential for improving the seasonal dependence of photosynthesis simulated by global models at similar spatial scales.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Program (CCEP)