Radiative balance and temperature of differently pigmented cotton canopies

Int J Biometeorol. 2022 Mar;66(3):591-600. doi: 10.1007/s00484-021-02221-x. Epub 2022 Jan 6.


Pigments are known to modify the spectral properties of foliage, which in turn affect the amount of radiant energy stored by the plant canopy. Studies have shown that red pigments (anthocyanin) increase leaf absorptivity of solar radiation, but little is known about their effect on canopy net radiation and temperature. We hypothesized that increased absorptivity of solar radiation caused by red pigments would result in higher canopy temperature when compared to that of a green canopy. To better understand the role of red pigments on canopy net radiation and temperature, we conducted a study where we measured leaf spectral properties, canopy spectral reflectivity, stomatal conductance, net radiation, and leaf and canopy temperature of red and green cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) canopies. On average, albedo of the red canopy was 0.02 lower than that of the green canopy, and most of the differences in reflected solar irradiance were in near-infrared wavelengths. Red canopy had greater net radiation than the green canopy throughout the measurement period, and that was due to its lower albedo. Red canopy was about 1 °C warmer than the green canopy on average; however, computer simulation indicates that albedo was of secondary importance in controlling canopy temperature. Contrary to our hypothesis, results suggest that lower stomatal conductance in the red leaves was the main driver of canopy temperature differences between red and green canopies.

Keywords: Albedo; Anthocyanin; Gossypium hirsutum L.; Leaf spectral properties; Leaf temperature; Stomatal conductance.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Gossypium*
  • Plant Leaves* / radiation effects
  • Sunlight
  • Temperature