Estimation of Chlorophyll Fluorescence at Different Scales: A Review

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jul 8;19(13):3000. doi: 10.3390/s19133000.


Measuring chlorophyll fluorescence is a direct and non-destructive way to monitor vegetation. In this paper, the fluorescence retrieval methods from multiple scales, ranging from near the ground to the use of space-borne sensors, are analyzed and summarized in detail. At the leaf-scale, the chlorophyll fluorescence is measured using active and passive technology. Active remote sensing technology uses a fluorimeter to measure the chlorophyll fluorescence, and passive remote sensing technology mainly depends on the sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence filling in the Fraunhofer lines or oxygen absorptions bands. Based on these retrieval principles, many retrieval methods have been developed, including the radiance-based methods and the reflectance-based methods near the ground, as well as physically and statistically-based methods that make use of satellite data. The advantages and disadvantages of different approaches for sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence retrieval are compared and the key issues of the current sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence retrieval algorithms are discussed. Finally, conclusions and key problems are proposed for the future research.

Keywords: Fraunhofer lines; chlorophyll fluorescence; physically-based method; statistically-based method.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Atmosphere
  • Chlorophyll / analysis*
  • Fluorescence
  • Models, Statistical
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Remote Sensing Technology / methods*
  • Spacecraft
  • Spectrophotometry / methods


  • Chlorophyll