Arctic tundra vegetation functional types based on photosynthetic physiology and optical properties

Karl Fred Huemmrich, John A. Gamon, Craig E. Tweedie, Petya K.Entcheva Campbell, David R. Landis, Elizabeth M. Middleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Non-vascular plants (lichens and mosses) are significant components of tundra landscapes and may respond to climate change differently from vascular plants affecting ecosystem carbon balance. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring plant cover types, as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional estimates of biophysical properties, for which spatial-temporal patterns may be analyzed. Gas exchange measurements were collected for pure patches of key vegetation functional types (lichens, mosses, and vascular plants) in sedge tundra at Barrow AK. These functional types were found to have three significantly different values of light use efficiency (LUE) with values of 0.013pm 0.001, 0.0018pm 0.0002, and 0.0012pm 0.0001± mol± C ±mol}-1 absorbed quanta for vascular plants, mosses and lichens, respectively. Discriminant analysis of the spectra reflectance of these patches identified five spectral bands that separated each of these vegetation functional types as well as nongreen material (bare soil, standing water, and dead leaves). These results were tested along a 100 m transect where midsummer spectral reflectance and vegetation coverage were measured at one meter intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6507561
Pages (from-to)265-275
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental factors
  • ecosystems
  • geoscience and remote sensing
  • hyperspectral imaging
  • remote sensing
  • vegetation mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science


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