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Open AccessReview

Ground-Based Optical Measurements at European Flux Sites: A Review of Methods, Instruments and Current Controversies

DIBAF—University of Tuscia, Via S.C. de Lellis, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK
School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JN Scotland, UK
DISAT—University of Milan-Bicocca, piazza della Scienza 1, 20126 Milano, Italy
CRI—Fondazione E. Mach, Viote del Monte Bondone, Trento, Italy
Institut für Ökologie, Universität Innsbruck, Sternwartestr. 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
CNRM/GAME–Meteo-France, CNRS, URA 1357, 42 avenue Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse Cedex 1, France
Fundacion CEAM, Parque Tecnologico, Calle C.R. Darwin, Paterna, SP-46980, Valencia, Spain
Forest Research Centre, School of Agriculture, Technical University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017, Lisboa, Portugal
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Ecole Polytech., Palaiseau, France
Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, SE-223 62, Lund, Sweden
Alterra, ESS-CC Group, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Department of Environmental Engineering, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Gölköy Campus, 14280 Bolu, Turkey
CSIRO, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA, 6913, Australia
Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
INRA, Grassland Ecosystem Research Unite, UR874, 63100 Clermont Ferrand, France
INRA, Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestière, UMR1137, Centre de Nancy, F-54280 Champenoux, France
CNR, Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean, Via Cavour, 4-6 I-87036, Rende, Italy
European Commission, DG-JRC, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Monitoring Agricultural Resources Unit, Via Fermi 2749, 21027, Ispra, Varese, Italy
Forest Services and Agency for the Environment, Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
DREAM-CEFE-CNRS, UMR5175, BP5051, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293, Montpellier Cedex 5, France
IAA–CSIC, c/Camino Bajo de Huétor, 50, Granada 18008, Spain
Laboratoire d’Ecologie Végétale, CNRS URA 1492 Bât. 362, Université Paris Sud-Orsay, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
Dept. of Meteorology, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Piatkowska 94, 60-649 Poznan, Poland
CSIR, Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics, PO Box 395, 0001 Pretoria, South Africa
CCHS—CSIC, Albasanz 26-28, Madrid 28037, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2011, 11(8), 7954-7981;
Received: 18 July 2011 / Revised: 8 August 2011 / Accepted: 8 August 2011 / Published: 12 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture and Forestry)
PDF [1319 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


This paper reviews the currently available optical sensors, their limitations and opportunities for deployment at Eddy Covariance (EC) sites in Europe. This review is based on the results obtained from an online survey designed and disseminated by the Co-cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action ESO903—“Spectral Sampling Tools for Vegetation Biophysical Parameters and Flux Measurements in Europe” that provided a complete view on spectral sampling activities carried out within the different research teams in European countries. The results have highlighted that a wide variety of optical sensors are in use at flux sites across Europe, and responses further demonstrated that users were not always fully aware of the key issues underpinning repeatability and the reproducibility of their spectral measurements. The key findings of this survey point towards the need for greater awareness of the need for standardisation and development of a common protocol of optical sampling at the European EC sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical measurements; sensors; protocol standardisation; European flux networks optical measurements; sensors; protocol standardisation; European flux networks
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Balzarolo, M.; Anderson, K.; Nichol, C.; Rossini, M.; Vescovo, L.; Arriga, N.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Calvet, J.-C.; Carrara, A.; Cerasoli, S.; Cogliati, S.; Daumard, F.; Eklundh, L.; Elbers, J.A.; Evrendilek, F.; Handcock, R.N.; Kaduk, J.; Klumpp, K.; Longdoz, B.; Matteucci, G.; Meroni, M.; Montagnani, L.; Ourcival, J.-M.; Sánchez-Cañete, E.P.; Pontailler, J.-Y.; Juszczak, R.; Scholes, B.; Martín, M.P. Ground-Based Optical Measurements at European Flux Sites: A Review of Methods, Instruments and Current Controversies. Sensors 2011, 11, 7954-7981.

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