OCO-2 advances phtosynthesis observation from space via solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence

by Y. Sun, C. Frankenberg, J. D. Wood, D.S. Schimel, M. Jung, L. Guanter, D.T. Drewry, M. Verma, A. Porcar-Castell, T.J. Griffis, L. Bu, T.S. Magney, P. Kohler, B. Evans, K. Yuen


Reliable estimation of gross primary production (GPP) from landscape to global scales is pivotal to a wide range of ecological research areas, such as carbon-climate feedbacks, and agricultural applications, such as crop yield and drought monitoring. However, measuring GPP at these scales remains a major challenge. Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a signal emitted directly from the core of photosynthetic machinery. SIF integrates complex plant physiological functions in vivo to reflect photosynthetic dynamics in real time. The advent of satellite SIF observation promises a new era in global photosynthesis research. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2(OCO-2) SIF product is a serendipitous but critically complementary by-product of OCO-2’sprimary mission target—atmospheric column CO2(XCO2). OCO-2 SIF removes some important roadblocks that prevent wide and in-depth applications of satellite SIF data sets and offers new opportunities for studying the SIF-GPPrelationship and vegetation functional gradients at different spatiotemporal scales.

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Publication Citation

Science 2017 358 (189) November 9, 2017
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5747