Dynamics of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and reflectance to detect stress-induced variations in canopy photosynthesis
Passive measurement of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (F) represents the most promising tool to quantify changes in photosynthetic functioning on a large scale. However, the complex relationship between this signal and other photosynthesis-related processes restricts its interpretation under stress conditions. To address this issue, we conducted a field campaign by combining daily airborne and ground-based measurements of F (normalized to photosynthetically active radiation), reflectance and surface temperature and related the observed changes to stress-induced variations in photosynthesis. A lawn carpet was sprayed with different doses of the herbicide Dicuran. Canopy-level measurements of gross primary productivity indicated dosage-dependent inhibition of photosynthesis by the herbicide. Dosage-dependent changes in normalized F were also detected. After spraying, we first observed a rapid increase in normalized F and in the Photochemical Reflectance Index, possibly due to the blockage of electron transport by Dicuran and the resultant impairment of xanthophyll-mediated non-photochemical quenching. This initial increase was followed by a gradual decrease in both signals, which coincided with a decline in pigment-related reflectance indices. In parallel, we also detected a canopy temperature increase after the treatment. These results demonstrate the potential of using F coupled with relevant reflectance indices to estimate stress-induced changes in canopy photosynthesis.