A spectral directional reflectance model of row crops

F.J. Zhao, X.F. Gu, W. Verhoef, Q. Wang, T. Yu, Q. Liu, H.A. Huang, W. Qin, Liangfu Chen, H. Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


A computationally efficient reflectance model for row planted canopies is developed in this paper through separating the contributions of incident direct and diffuse radiation scattered by row canopies. The row model allows calculating the reflectance spectrum in any given direction for the optical spectral region. The performance of the model is evaluated through comparisons with field measurements of winter wheat as well as with an established 3D computer simulation model. Especially the systematic comparisons with the computer simulation model demonstrate that the model can adequately simulate the characteristic distribution of directional reflectance factors of row canopies, which is shown in the polar map of reflectance as a high or low value stripe approximately parallel to the row orientation, besides the hotspot effect. Physical mechanisms causing the dynamics were proposed and supported by comparison studies. The features of reflectance distributions of row canopies, which are distinctively different from those of homogeneous canopy, imply that it is problematic to use one-dimensional radiation transfer model to interpret radiation data and estimate the structural or spectral parameters of row canopies from reflectance measurements. Finally, further improvements needed for the current model are briefly discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-285
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • canopy reflectance
  • bidirectional reflectance
  • radiative-transfer
  • leaf canopies
  • gap probability
  • plant canopy
  • vegetation
  • scattering
  • light
  • inversion

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