National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Date of this Version



Published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 101 (2000).


Using a helicopter-mounted portable spectroradiometer and continuous eddy covariance data we were able to evaluate the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) as an indicator of canopy photosynthetic light-use efficiency (LUE) in four boreal forest species during the Boreal Ecosystem Atmosphere experiment (BOREAS). PRI was calculated from narrow waveband reflectance data and correlated with LUE calculated from eddy covariance data. Significant linear correlations were found between PRI and LUE when the four species were grouped together and when divided into functional type: coniferous and deciduous. Data from the helicopter-mounted spectroradiometer were then averaged to represent data generated by the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS).We calculated PRI from these data and relationships with canopy LUE were investigated. The relationship between PRI and LUE was weakened for deciduous species but strengthened for the coniferous species. The robust nature of this relationship suggests that relative photosynthetic rates may be derived from remotely-sensed reflectance measurements.