Discriminating species using hyperspectral indices at Leaf and Canopy scales

M. A. Cho*, I. Sobhan, A. K. Skidmore, J. De Leeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Developments in hyperspectral remote sensing have provided new indices or indicators of biochemical and biophysical properties. Most of the studies involving the novel spectral indices have been conducted at the leaf scale and have been rarely investigated for species discrimination. The objectives of the study were to determine hyperspectral indices that (i) are likely to be influenced by change in spectral measurement from the leaf to the canopy scale and (ii) can discriminate species at both scales. Leaf and canopy reflectance measurements were made from six species (3 shrubs, 3 trees) using an ASD spectroradiometer. The two-sample t test was used to evaluate whether significant differences exist between leaf and canopy indices, while differences between species pairs (15 pairs) were evaluated with ANOVA and pair-wise Bonferroni adjusted t tests. The hyperspectral indices evaluated in this study were, in general, sensitive to the change in spectral measurement scale from the leaf to the canopy. However, among the indices studied, red-edge positions (REP) extracted by the linear extrapolation I method were least sensitive to the change in measurement scale as three out of the six species showed no significant differences between the leaf and canopy indices. With respect to species discrimination, the canopy indices were better discriminators than the leaf indices. This is essential for air- or spaceborne remote sensing of species assemblages. The photochemical reflectance index (PRI) showed the highest potential to discriminate species at the canopy scale (all 15 pairs), while the linear extrapolation REPs showed the highest potential to discriminate the same species pairs (10 pairs) at both scales. Hyperspectral indices might provide new possibilities of differentiating plant species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalThe International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Issue numberPart B7
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event21st Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, ISPRS 2008 - Beijing, China
Duration: 3 Jul 200811 Jul 2008


  • Imaging Spectroscopy
  • Spectral Indices
  • Species Discrimination
  • Leaf and Canopy Remote Sensing


Dive into the research topics of 'Discriminating species using hyperspectral indices at Leaf and Canopy scales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this