Sensitivity analysis of the spectral response of the plant leaf to the biophysical-biochemical variables using the PROSPECT radiative transfer model

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Remote sensing and Geographic Information System, Faculty of Geography and Environmental sciences, Hakim sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran

2 Lecturer of Remote Sensing & GIS Dep., Shahid Beheshti University

3 Department of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, Faculty of Planning and Environmental Sciences, Tabriz University, Tabriz, Iran , Iran

4 Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran


To determine the effect of the leaf biochemical contents on its spectral reflectance behavior via remote sensing (RS) can help to understand the process of the ecosystem and its parameters such as plant water stress. The present study aimed to do a quantitative analysis of the effect of leaf parameters, including the amount of leaf chlorophyll, leaf structure, and leaf water content, on the leaf spectral reflectance. To this end, the PROSPECT radiative transfer model which developed to simulate the spectral behavior of plant leaves, was employed. The research results showed that the increase of chlorophyll with the effect of reducing the leaf spectral reflectance leads to the increase of Triangular Vegetation Indices (TVIs). In the visible light spectrum, it is possible to distinguish monocotyledons (monocots), dicotyledons (dicots), and old plants. Also, in the near-infrared (NIR) light spectrum, the amount of reflection decreases in old and unstructured plants, dicotyledonous plants, and monocotyledonous plants, respectively. The drying of the plant does not have much effect on the reflection, but drying more than a certain amount causes a significant increase in the reflection, especially outside the water absorption spectra. Therefore, finding the critical points of the reflectance curve against the water content can contribute to detecting severe water stress in plants. By examining the graphs, it can be observed that the critical point occurs about the water content of 0.03 to 0.04 g⁄〖cm〗^2 . In the PROSPECT radiative model, the effect of soil on the spectral reflectance of plants is not considered. Therefore, it is recommended to use models such as SAIL and SLC that have been upgraded for this purpose.