Investigating forest photosynthetic response to elevated CO 2 using UAV-based measurements of solar induced fluorescence

Kadmiel Maseyk, Jon Atherton, Rick Thomas, Kieran Wood, Sabine Tausz-Posch, Alasdair Mac Arthur, Albert Porcar-Castell, Michael Tausz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The response of ecosystems to increasing atmospheric CO 2 will have significant, but still uncertain, impacts on the global carbon and water cycles. A lot of information has been gained from Free Air CO 2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments, but the response of mature forest ecosystems remains a significant knowledge gap. One of the challenges in FACE studies is obtaining an integrated measure of canopy photosynthesis at the scale of the treatment ring. A new remote sensing approach for measuring photosynthetic activity is based on Solar Induced Fluorescence (SIF), which is emitted by plants during photosynthesis, and is closely linked to the rates and regulation of photosynthesis. We proposed that UAV-based SIF measurements, that enable the spectrometer field of view to be targeted to the treatment ring, provide a unique opportunity for investigating the dynamics of photosynthetic responses to elevated CO 2 . We have successfully tested this approach in a new FACE site, located in a mature oak forest in the UK. We flew a series of flights across the experiment arrays, collecting a number of spectra. We combined these with ground-based physiological and optical measurements, and see great promise in the use of UAV-based SIF measurements in FACE and other global change experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2018 - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018


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