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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1189; doi:10.3390/rs9111189

Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) for Detecting Responses of Diurnal and Seasonal Photosynthetic Activity to Experimental Drought and Warming in a Mediterranean Shrubland

1
CREAF, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
2
CSIC, Global Ecology Unit CREAF-CSIC-UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Arid/Semiarid Lands)
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Abstract

Climatic warming and drying are having profound impacts on terrestrial carbon cycling by altering plant physiological traits and photosynthetic processes, particularly for species in the semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. More effective methods of remote sensing are needed to accurately assess the physiological responses and seasonal photosynthetic activities of evergreen species to climate change. We evaluated the stand reflectance in parallel to the diurnal and seasonal changes in gas exchange, fluorescence and water contents of leaves and soil for a Mediterranean evergreen shrub, Erica multiflora, submitted to long-term experimental warming and drought. We also calculated a differential photochemical reflectance index (ΔPRI, morning PRI subtracted from midday PRI) to assess the diurnal responses of photosynthesis (ΔA) to warming and drought. The results indicated that the PRI, but not the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), was able to assess the seasonal changes of photosynthesis. Changes in water index (WI) were consistent with seasonal foliar water content (WC). In the warming treatment, ΔA value was higher than control in winter but ΔYield was significantly lower in both summer and autumn, demonstrating the positive effect of the warming on the photosynthesis in winter and the negative effect in summer and autumn, i.e., increased photosynthetic midday depression in summer and autumn, when temperatures were much higher than in winter. Drought treatment increased the midday depression of photosynthesis in summer. Importantly, ΔPRI was significantly correlated with ΔA both under warming and drought, indicating the applicability of ΔPRI for tracking the midday depression of photosynthetic processes. Using PRI and ΔPRI to monitor the variability in photosynthesis could provide a simple method to remotely sense photosynthetic seasonality and midday depression in response to ongoing and future environmental stresses. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; evergreen; midday depression; photochemical reflectance index (PRI); photosynthesis; remote sensing; warming; water index (WI) drought; evergreen; midday depression; photochemical reflectance index (PRI); photosynthesis; remote sensing; warming; water index (WI)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, C.; Filella, I.; Liu, D.; Ogaya, R.; Llusià, J.; Asensio, D.; Peñuelas, J. Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) for Detecting Responses of Diurnal and Seasonal Photosynthetic Activity to Experimental Drought and Warming in a Mediterranean Shrubland. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1189.

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