Evergreen broadleaf greenness and its relationship with leaf flushing, aging, and water fluxes

Yunpeng Luo, Javier Pacheco-Labrador, Andrew D. Richardson, Bijan Seyednasrollah, Oscar Perez-Priego, Rosario Gonzalez-Cascon, M. Pilar Martín, Gerardo Moreno, Richard Nair, Thomas Wutzler, Solveig Franziska Bucher, Arnaud Carrara, Edoardo Cremonese, Tarek S. El-Madany, Gianluca Filippa, Marta Galvagno, Tiana Hammer, Xuanlong Ma, David Martini, Qian ZhangMarkus Reichstein, Annette Menzel, Christine Römermann, Mirco Migliavacca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Remote sensing capabilities to monitor evergreen broadleaved vegetation are limited by the low temporal variability in the greenness signal. With canopy greenness computed from digital repeat photography (PhenoCam), we investigated how canopy greenness related to seasonal changes in leaf age and traits as well as variation of trees’ water fluxes (characterized by sap flow and canopy conductance). The results showed that sprouting leaves are mainly responsible for the rapid increase in canopy green chromatic coordinate (GCC) in spring. We found statistically significantly differences in leaf traits and spectral properties among leaves of different leaf ages. Specifically, mean GCC of young leaves was 0.385 ± 0.010 (mean ± SD), while for mature and old leaves was 0.369 ± 0.003, and 0.376 ± 0.004, respectively. Thus, the temporal dynamics of canopy GCC can be explained by changes in leaf spectral properties and leaf age. Sap flow and canopy conductance are both well explained by a combination of environmental drivers and greenness (96% and 87% of the variance explained, respectively). In particular, air temperature and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) explained most of sap flow and canopy conductance variance, respectively. Besides, GCC is an important explanatory variable for variation of canopy conductance may because GCC can represent the leaf ontogeny information. We conclude that PhenoCam GCC can be used to identify the leaf flushing for evergreen broadleaved trees, which carries important information about leaf ontogeny and traits. Thus, it can be helpful for better estimating canopy conductance which constraints water fluxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109060
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
StatePublished - Aug 15 2022


  • Digital repeat photography
  • Evergreen broadleaved trees
  • Green chromatic coordinate (GCC)
  • Leaf age
  • PhenoCam
  • Water fluxes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Evergreen broadleaf greenness and its relationship with leaf flushing, aging, and water fluxes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this