Canopy observations on the hyperspectral properties of a community of tropical dry forest lianas and their host trees

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Lianas are non‐self‐supporting systems that dominate in tropical secondary forests and their abundance is increasing as a result of global environmental change. The impact of liana coverage on canopy spectral reflectance is unknown. This research letter documents observations associated with spectral measurements of tropical trees infested with lianas in a tropical dry forest of Panama. From a construction crane, hyperspectral reflectance of five Anacardium excelsum tree crowns with different levels of liana infestation and two additional tree crowns were measured and compared using spectral vegetation indices. Results suggest that some leaf level properties of lianas (e.g. lower chlorophyll concentration and higher spectral reflectance at 550 nm) are transfer to the canopy level; in addition our results suggest that indices such as mSR 705 , mND 705 and SR 680 could be used as potential tools to map the presence or absence of liana communities.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Earth Observation Systems Laboratory (EOSL), Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E3

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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