Multi-angular reflectance spectra of small single trees

Petri R. Forsström*, Aarne Hovi, Giulia Ghielmetti, Michael E. Schaepman, Miina Rautiainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding the reflectance anisotropy of forests and the underlying scattering mechanisms is needed to improve the accuracy of retrievals of fundamental forest characteristics from optical remote sensing data. In this paper, we developed a laboratory measurement set-up for a large goniometer (LAGOS) and measured multi-angular spectra (350–2500 nm) of 18 small trees, composed of three common European tree species: Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst), sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.). For all trees, we measured tree spectra in 47 view angles in the upper hemisphere. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting multi-angular reflectance spectra of single trees. We also measured the reflectance and transmittance spectra of needles and leaves, as well as reflectance spectra of bark of the sample trees. We analyzed the spectro-directional characteristics of the trees, and the inter- and intraspecific variations of these characteristics. The anisotropy of trees was shown to be strongly asymmetrical and characteristic to species: while pine and spruce exhibited strong hotspot effects, oak showed a strong specular component. Our results indicate that simultaneous measurements of both spectral and directional characteristics of trees may enhance the discrimination of species and thus, support the retrieval of information of their biophysical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112302
Number of pages14
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anisotropy
  • Goniometer
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Scattering
  • Spruce
  • Tree spectrum


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