Impact of multiangular information on empirical models to estimate canopy nitrogen concentration in mixed forest

S. Huber, B. Koetz, A. Psomas, M. Kneubuehler, J.T. Schopfer, K.I. Itten, N.E. Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Directional effects in remotely sensed reflectance data can influence the retrieval of plant biophysical and biochemical estimates. Previous studies have demonstrated that directional measurements contain added information that may increase the accuracy of estimated plant structural parameters. Because accurate biochemistry mapping is linked to vegetation structure, also models to estimate canopy nitrogen concentration (C-N) may be improved indirectly from using multiangular data. Hyperspectral imagery with five different viewing zenith angles was acquired by the spaceborne CHRIS sensor over a forest study site in Switzerland. Fifteen canopy reflectance spectra corresponding to subplots of field-sampled trees were extracted from the preprocessed CHRIS images and subsequently two-term models were developed by regressing C-N on four datasets comprising either original or continuum-removed reflectances. Consideration is given to the directional sensitivity of the C-N estimation by generating regression models based on various combinations (n=15) of observation angles. The results of this study show that estimating canopy C-N with only nadir data is not optimal irrespective of spectral data processing. Moreover adding multiangular information improves significantly the regression model fits and thus the retrieval of forest canopy biochemistry. These findings support the potential of multiangular Earth observations also for application-oriented ecological monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043530
JournalJournal of Applied Remote Sensing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • hyperspectral brdf data
  • imaging spectroscopy
  • bidirectional reflectance
  • spectral measurements
  • absorption features
  • ecosystem processes
  • chlorophyll content
  • carbon
  • leaf
  • photosynthesis


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