Small geographical variability observed in Norway spruce needle spectra across Europe

Aarne Hovi*, Petr Lukeš, Lucie Homolová, Jussi Juola, Miina Rautiainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Foliage spectra form an important input to physically-based forest reflectance models. However, little is known about geographical variability of coniferous needle spectra. In this research note, we present an assessment of the geographical variability of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) needle albedo, reflectance, and transmittance spectra across three study sites covering latitudes of 49–62°N in Europe. All spectra were measured and processed using exactly the same methodology and parameters, which guarantees reliable conclusions about geographical variability. Small geographical variability in Norway spruce needle spectra was observed, when compared to variability observed between previous measurement campaigns (employing slightly varying measurement and processing parameters), or to variability between plant functional types (broadleaved vs. coniferous). Our results suggest that variability of needle spectra is not a major factor introducing geographical variability to forest reflectance. The results also highlight the importance of harmonizing measurement protocols when collecting needle spectral libraries. Furthermore, the data collected for this study can be useful in studies where accurate information on spectral differences between broadleaved and coniferous tree foliage is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10683
Number of pages10
JournalSilva Fennica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeB1 Non-refereed journal articles


  • albedo
  • land surface modeling
  • leaf optical properties
  • radiative transfer modeling
  • reflectance
  • remote sensing
  • transmittance


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