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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(3), 196;

Phylogenetic Structure of Foliar Spectral Traits in Tropical Forest Canopies

Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3FF, UK
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, UK
Department of Botany, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Susan L. Ustin, Randolph H. Wynne and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 3 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 27 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biodiversity)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3440 KB, uploaded 27 February 2016]   |  


The Spectranomics approach to tropical forest remote sensing has established a link between foliar reflectance spectra and the phylogenetic composition of tropical canopy tree communities vis-à-vis the taxonomic organization of biochemical trait variation. However, a direct relationship between phylogenetic affiliation and foliar reflectance spectra of species has not been established. We sought to develop this relationship by quantifying the extent to which underlying patterns of phylogenetic structure drive interspecific variation among foliar reflectance spectra within three Neotropical canopy tree communities with varying levels of soil fertility. We interpreted the resulting spectral patterns of phylogenetic signal in the context of foliar biochemical traits that may contribute to the spectral-phylogenetic link. We utilized a multi-model ensemble to elucidate trait-spectral relationships, and quantified phylogenetic signal for spectral wavelengths and traits using Pagel’s lambda statistic. Foliar reflectance spectra showed evidence of phylogenetic influence primarily within the visible and shortwave infrared spectral regions. These regions were also selected by the multi-model ensemble as those most important to the quantitative prediction of several foliar biochemical traits. Patterns of phylogenetic organization of spectra and traits varied across sites and with soil fertility, indicative of the complex interactions between the environmental and phylogenetic controls underlying patterns of biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional traits; hyperspectral; imaging spectroscopy; phylogeny; phylogenetic signal; soil fertility; spectranomics; tropical forest functional traits; hyperspectral; imaging spectroscopy; phylogeny; phylogenetic signal; soil fertility; spectranomics; tropical forest

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McManus, K.M.; Asner, G.P.; Martin, R.E.; Dexter, K.G.; Kress, W.J.; Field, C.B. Phylogenetic Structure of Foliar Spectral Traits in Tropical Forest Canopies. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 196.

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