A Caltech Library Service

A physiological signal derived from sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence quantifies crop physiological response to environmental stresses in the U.S. Corn Belt

Kimm, Hyungsuk and Guan, Kaiyu and Jiang, Chongya and Miao, Guofang and Wu, Genghong and Suyker, Andrew E. and Ainsworth, Elizabeth A. and Bernacchi, Carl J. and Montes, Christopher M. and Berry, Joseph A. and Yang, Xi and Frankenberg, Christian and Chen, Min and Köhler, Philipp (2021) A physiological signal derived from sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence quantifies crop physiological response to environmental stresses in the U.S. Corn Belt. Environmental Research Letters, 16 (12). Art. No. 124051. ISSN 1748-9326. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac3b16.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) measurements have shown unique potential for quantifying plant physiological stress. However, recent investigations found canopy structure and radiation largely control SIF, and physiological relevance of SIF remains yet to be fully understood. This study aims to evaluate whether the SIF-derived physiological signal improves quantification of crop responses to environmental stresses, by analyzing data at three different spatial scales within the U.S. Corn Belt, i.e. experiment plot, field, and regional scales, where ground-based portable, stationary and space-borne hyperspectral sensing systems are used, respectively. We found that, when controlling for variations in incoming radiation and canopy structure, crop SIF signals can be decomposed into non-physiological (i.e. canopy structure and radiation, 60% ∼ 82%) and physiological information (i.e. physiological SIF yield, Φ_F, 17% ∼ 31%), which confirms the contribution of physiological variation to SIF. We further evaluated whether Φ_F indicated plant responses under high-temperature and high vapor pressure deficit (VPD) stresses. The plot-scale data showed that Φ_F responded to the proxy for physiological stress (partial correlation coefficient, r_p = 0.40, p < 0.001) while non-physiological signals of SIF did not respond (p > 0.1). The field-scale Φ_F data showed water deficit stress from the comparison between irrigated and rainfed fields, and Φ_F was positively correlated with canopy-scale stomatal conductance, a reliable indicator of plant physiological condition (correlation coefficient r= 0.60 and 0.56 for an irrigated and rainfed sites, respectively). The regional-scale data showed Φ_F was more strongly correlated spatially with air temperature and VPD (r = 0.23 and 0.39) than SIF (r = 0.11 and 0.34) for the U.S. Corn Belt. The lines of evidence suggested that Φ_F reflects crop physiological responses to environmental stresses with greater sensitivity to stress factors than SIF, and the stress quantification capability of Φ_F is spatially scalable. Utilizing Φ_F for physiological investigations will contribute to improve our understanding of vegetation responses to high-temperature and high-VPD stresses.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kimm, Hyungsuk0000-0001-8189-0874
Guan, Kaiyu0000-0002-3499-6382
Jiang, Chongya0000-0002-1660-7320
Miao, Guofang0000-0001-5532-932X
Wu, Genghong0000-0002-6227-6390
Suyker, Andrew E.0000-0002-4394-1607
Ainsworth, Elizabeth A.0000-0002-3199-8999
Bernacchi, Carl J.0000-0002-2397-425X
Montes, Christopher M.0000-0002-7295-3092
Berry, Joseph A.0000-0002-5849-6438
Yang, Xi0000-0002-5095-6735
Frankenberg, Christian0000-0002-0546-5857
Chen, Min0000-0001-6311-7124
Köhler, Philipp0000-0002-7820-1318
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 15 September 2021. Accepted 18 November 2021. Published 6 December 2021. Guan, Kimm, Ainsworth, and Bernacchi acknowledge financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Project (20176701326253) titled 'Parsing Multiple Mechanisms of High Temperature Impacts on Soybean Yield Combining Infrared Heating Experiments and Process Based Modeling'. Guan and Kimm acknowledge funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Carbon Monitoring System Award (80NSSC18K0170) and Carbon Cycle Science (NNX17AE14G). Guan and Kimm also acknowledge fellowship support from the Illinois Water Resources Center (IWRC) affiliated to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Block Grant fellowship support from the department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Suyker acknowledges the AmeriFlux Management Project funding of this core site provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 and partially supported by the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station with funding from the Hatch Act (Accession Number 1020768) through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Data availability statement. The data that support the findings of this study are available upon reasonable request from the authors.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute of Food and Agriculture20176701326253
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station1020768
Subject Keywords:sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, U.S. Corn Belt, T-FACE, corn and soybean, physiological stress, physiological SIF yield, TROPOMI
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211217-98402000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hyungsuk Kimm et al 2021 Environ. Res. Lett. 16 124051
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112528
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Dec 2021 00:17
Last Modified:12 Jul 2022 19:51

Repository Staff Only: item control page