Linking Photosynthesis and Sun-Induced Fluorescence at Sub-Daily to Seasonal Scales


Due to its close link to the photosynthetic process, sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (F) opens new possibilities to study dynamics of photosynthetic light reactions and to quantify CO2 assimilation rates. Although recent studies show that F is linearly related to gross primary production (GPP) on coarse spatial and temporal scales, it is argued that this relationship may be mainly driven by seasonal changes in absorbed photochemical active radiation (APAR) and less by the plant light use efficiency (LUE). In this work a high-resolution spectrometer was used to continuously measure red and far-red fluorescence and different reflectance indices within a sugar beet field during the growing season in 2015. Diurnal and seasonal developments were compared to eddy covariance derived GPP. Additionally, part of the time series coincided with a heatwave. The induced drought stress allowed us to observe F and its relationship to GPP under changing environmental conditions during the seasonal cycle. Across the season a strong linear relationship between GPP and F760 was found. This relationship however, was mainly driven by changes in APAR and was strongly reduced under drought conditions. We could show that far-red fluorescence yield can explain 59% of the diurnal and 79% of the seasonal variance in the light use efficiency. However, an even stronger relationship between FY760 and the structural vegetation index MTVI2 was found, implying that FY760 is affected by seasonal structural changes of the canopy. Nevertheless, the seasonally de-trended FY760 and PRI show that they share strong interdependencies with seasonal and diurnal LUE, in particular under drought stress conditions.

Remote Sensing of Environment