Remote sensing of ecosystem-scale vegetation water content: Current status and research opportunities
Vegetation water content and status are important biophysical parameters for plant physiology as well as the associated carbon and water fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Satellite passive microwave remote sensing offers an effective way to monitor spatial and temporal variations in the vegetation water content across the globe. Although being characterized by a coarse spatial resolution (>25 km), valid observations at both daytime and nighttime facilitate study of plant hydraulics at an ecosystem scale.
Since vegetation water content is highly linked to biomass, satellite passive microwaves are also promising for operationally monitoring inter-annual carbon dynamics. Feng Tian will summarise the current research status of using satellite passive microwaves for plant hydraulics and carbon/biomass dynamics and discuss further potential ecological applications.