Sun-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence, Photosynthesis, and Light Use Efficiency of a Soybean Field from Seasonally Continuous Measurements

Guofang Miao, Kaiyu Guan, Xi Yang, Carl J. Bernacchi, Joseph A. Berry, Evan H. DeLucia, Jin Wu, Caitlin E. Moore, Katherine Meacham, Yaping Cai, Bin Peng, Hyungsuk Kimm, Michael D. Masters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Recent development of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) technology is stimulating studies to remotely approximate canopy photosynthesis (measured as gross primary production, GPP). While multiple applications have advanced the empirical relationship between GPP and SIF, mechanistic understanding of this relationship is still limited. GPP:SIF relationship, using the standard light use efficiency framework, is determined by absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) and the relationship between photosynthetic light use efficiency (LUE) and fluorescence yield (SIFy). While previous studies have found that APAR is the dominant factor of the GPP:SIF relationship, the LUE:SIFy relationship remains unclear. For a better understanding of the LUE:SIFy relationship, we deployed a ground-based system (FluoSpec2), with an eddy-covariance flux tower at a soybean field in the Midwestern U.S. during the 2016 growing season to collect SIF and GPP data simultaneously. With the measurements categorized by plant growth stages, light conditions, and time scales, we confirmed that a strong positive GPP:SIF relationship was dominated by an even stronger linear SIF:APAR relationship. By normalizing both GPP and SIF by APAR, we found that under sunny conditions our soybean field exhibited a clear positive SIFy:APAR relationship and a weak negative LUE:SIFy relationship, opposite to the positive LUE:SIFy relationship reported previously in other ecosystems. Our study provides a first continuous SIF record over multiple growth stages for agricultural systems and reveals a distinctive pattern related to the LUE:SIFy relationship compared with previous work. The observed positive relationship of SIFy:APAR at the soybean site provides new insights of the previous understanding on the SIF's physiological implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-623
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


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