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Friday, 23 September 2016 17:33

Satellite signals of chlorophyll fluorescence?

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Satellites provide a key method for measuring properties of the biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere on global scales. In particular, in recent years the detection and quantification of solar induced fluorescence (SIF) as a means to quantify plant growth and productivity has been a key goal of both NASA’s OCO-2 mission and the proposed European FLEX mission. However, the processes driving SIF are not fully understood.

Over the past four months at Wollongong’s ecology research centre, Rhys and Zbyněk have been trying to understand the processes driving SIF using the Robinson lab LIFT instrument. The LIFT or light induced fluorescence transients instrument is an instrument capable of measuring the properties of photosynthesis from a distance using pulses of blue light. By combining the LIFT instrument with a motorized tripod and spectroradiometer, simultaneous measurements of photosynthesis and SIF can be made from leaves of plants under varying light conditions. This setup is currently being used to make measurements from leaves of Avocado plants and canopies of orange jasmine plants in order to gain a better understanding of how changes in light and photosynthesis drive changes in SIF at both leaf and canopy scales, with the ultimate goal of up-scaling photosynthetic measurments from leaves to large canopies.

For a time lapse of experiments see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlab8kEk8kE

Read 2528 times Last modified on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 18:38
Sharon Robinson

Senior Professor at University of Wollongong