Current issue: 54(1)
Under compilation: 54(2)
Leaf reflectance and transmittance spectra are essential information in many applications such as developing remote sensing methods, computing shortwave energy balance (albedo) of forest canopies, and monitoring health or stress of trees. Measurement of coniferous needle spectra has usually been carried out with single integrating spheres, which has involved a lot of tedious manual work. A small double integrating sphere would make the measurements considerably faster, because of its ease of operation and small sample sizes required. Here we applied a compact double integrating sphere setup, used previously for measurement of broad leaves, for measurement of coniferous needles. Test measurements with the double integrating sphere showed relative underestimation of needle albedo by 5–39% compared to a well-established single integrating sphere setup. A small part of the bias can be explained by the bias of the single sphere. Yet the observed bias is quite significant if absolute accuracy of measurements is required. For relative measurements, e.g. for monitoring development of needle spectra over time, the double sphere system provides notable improvement. Furthermore, it might be possible to reduce the bias by building an optimized measurement setup that minimizes absorption losses in the sample port. Our study indicates that double spheres, after some technical improvement, may provide a new and fast way to collect extensive spectral libraries of tree species.
Spectral libraries have a fundamental role in the development of interpretation methods for airborne and satellite-borne remote sensing data. This paper presents to-date the largest spectral measurement campaign of boreal tree species. Reflectance and transmittance spectra of over 600 leaf and needle samples from 25 species were measured in the Helsinki area (Finland) using integrating sphere systems attached to an ASD FieldSpec 4 spectroradiometer. Factors influencing the spectra and red edge inflection point (REIP) were quantified using one-way analysis of variance. Tree species differed most in the shortwave-infrared (1500–2500 nm) and least in the visible (400–700 nm) wavelength region. Species belonging to same genera showed similar spectral characteristics. Upper (adaxial) and lower (abaxial) leaf sides differed most in the visible region. Canopy position (sunlit/shaded) had a minor role in explaining spectral variation. For evergreen conifers, current and previous year needles differed in their spectra, current-year needles resembling those of broadleaved and deciduous conifers. Two broadleaved species were monitored throughout the growing season (May–October), and two conifers were measured twice during summer (June, September). Rapid changes were observed in the spectra in early spring and late autumn, whereas seasonal variations during summer months were relatively small for both broadleaved and coniferous species. Based on our results, shortwave-infrared seems promising in separating tree species, although it is to-date least studied. The spectral library reported here (Version 1.0) is publicly available through the SPECCHIO Spectral Information System.