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Nat Commun. 2013;4:2604. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3604.

Photochemical reflectance index as an indirect estimator of foliar isoprenoid emissions at the ecosystem level.

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1] CSIC, Global Ecology Unit CREAF-CEAB-UAB, Cerdanyola del Vallés, Barcelona 08193, Catalonia, Spain [2] CREAF, Cerdanyola del Vallés, Barcelona, 08193, Catalonia, Spain.


Terrestrial plants re-emit around 1-2% of the carbon they fix as isoprene and monoterpenes. These emissions have major roles in the ecological relationships among living organisms and in atmospheric chemistry and climate, and yet their actual quantification at the ecosystem level in different regions is far from being resolved with available models and field measurements. Here we provide evidence that a simple remote sensing index, the photochemical reflectance index, which is indicative of light use efficiency, is a good indirect estimator of foliar isoprenoid emissions and can therefore be used to sense them remotely. These results open new perspectives for the potential use of remote sensing techniques to track isoprenoid emissions from vegetation at larger scales. On the other hand, our study shows the potential of this photochemical reflectance index technique to validate the availability of photosynthetic reducing power as a factor involved in isoprenoid production.

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