Forest reflectance modeling: theoretical aspects and applications

Ambio. 2003 Dec;32(8):535-41. doi: 10.1579/0044-7447-32.8.535.


Forest reflectance models are able to contribute to the interpretation of satellite images over forested areas. A multipurpose forest reflectance model, its basic ideas, model input and output options are briefly described. The possibility to apply the model in forest remote sensing is demonstrated through the following simulation examples: the age dependence of forest reflectance, the seasonal course of forest reflectance, defoliation effects on forest reflectance, sensitivity of chlorophyll and water indices with respect to leaf chlorophyll and water content, respectively, and uncertainties in these indices introduced by the variation in stand parameters. When used together with the atmospheric radiative transfer and sensor calibration models, the forest reflectance model is applicable in satellite-imagery-aided forest ecology and health assessment, forest inventory and management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Chlorophyll / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Spacecraft*
  • Trees*
  • Water / analysis


  • Water
  • Chlorophyll