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Houborg, R; Anderson, MC; Daughtry, CST; Kustas, WP; Rodell, M (2011). Using leaf chlorophyll to parameterize light-use-efficiency within a thermal-based carbon, water and energy exchange model. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 115(7), 1694-1705.

Chlorophylls absorb photosynthetically active radiation and thus function as vital pigments for photosynthesis, which makes leaf chlorophyll content (C(ab)) useful for monitoring vegetation productivity and an important indicator of the overall plant physiological condition. This study investigates the utility of integrating remotely sensed estimates of C(ab) into a thermal-based Two-Source Energy Balance (TSEB) model that estimates land-surface CO(2) and energy fluxes using an analytical, light-use-efficiency (LUE) approach to estimating bulk canopy resistance. The LUE model component computes canopy-scale carbon assimilation and transpiration fluxes, internally estimating fluctuations in effective LUE from a nominal (species-dependent) value (LUE(n)) in response to short-term variations in environmental conditions. LUE(n), however, may vary on a daily timescale, responding to changes in plant phenology, physiological condition and nutrient status. Therefore, remote sensing methodologies for improving daily estimates of LUE(n) have been investigated. Day-to-day variations in LUE(n) were assessed for a heterogeneous corn crop field in Maryland, U.S.A. through model optimization with eddy covariance CO(2) flux tower observations. The optimized daily LUE(n) values were then compared to gridded estimates of C(ab) over the tower flux footprint, retrieved from a canopy reflectance model driven by green, red and near-infrared imagery acquired with an aircraft imaging system. The tower-calibrated LUE(n) data were generally well correlated with airborne retrievals of C(ab), and hourly water, energy and carbon flux estimation accuracies from TSEB were significantly improved when using C(ab) for delineating spatio-temporal variations in LUE(n). The study highlights the potential synergy between thermal infrared and shortwave reflective wavebands in producing valuable remote sensing data for estimating carbon, water and heat fluxes within a two-source energy balance framework. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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