Remote sensing of plant-water relations

Global environmental change causes variable pattern of the gas and energy exchange within terrestrial ecosystems. In the remote sensing of water systems group, we investigate how a changing environment impacts the functioning of vegetation ecosystems and focus on related consequences for the terrestrial water cycle. We develop and apply field, airborne, and space borne imaging spectroscopy techniques to extract novel informative priors of plant photosynthesis, including sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, and other key environmental variables driving plant-water relations in vegetation ecosystems. The combination of these remote sensing techniques with principles of ecohydrology and soil-plant-atmosphere-continuum (SPAC) based process modeling allows us to assess spatio-temporal fields of water storage and flow in the soli-vegetation-atmosphere system. We are further interested how environmental change impacts the relation between plant transpiration and gross primary productivity to better constrain estimates of water use efficiency in agricultural and natural ecosystems.


  • Estimating near-infrared reflectance of vegetation from hyperspectral data
    Zeng, Yelu; Hao, Dalei; Badgley, Grayson; Damm, Alexander; Rascher, Uwe; et al.
    Remote Sensing Of Environment 10.1016/j.rse.2021.112723 DEC 15 2021
  • Downscaling of far-red solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence of different crops from canopy to leaf level using a diurnal data set acquired by the airborne imaging spectrometer HyPlant
    Siegmann, Bastian; Cendrero-Mateo, Maria Pilar; Cogliati, Sergio; Damm, Alexander; Gamon, John; et al.
    Remote Sensing Of Environment 10.1016/j.rse.2021.112609 OCT 2021
  • Remote sensing of sun-induced chlorophyll-a fluorescence in inland and coastal waters: Current state and future prospects
    Gupana, Remika S.; Odermatt, Daniel; Cesana, Ilaria; Giardino, Claudia; Nedbal, Ladislav; Damm, A.
    Remote Sensing Of Environment 10.1016/j.rse.2021.112482 SEP 1 2021
  • On the seasonal relation of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and transpiration in a temperate mixed forest
    Damm, Alexander; Haghighi, Erfan; Paul-Limoges, Eugenie; van der Tol, Christiaan
    Agricultural And Forest Meteorology10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108386  JUL 15 2021
  • A first assessment of the impact of the extreme 2018 summer drought on Central European forests
    Schuldt B; Buras A; Arend M; Vitasse Y; Beierkuhnlein, C; Damm, A; Gharun, M; Grams, TEE; Hauck, M; Hajek, P; Hartmann, H; Hiltbrunner, E; Hoch, G; Holloway-Phillips, M; Koerner, C; Larysch, E; Lubbe, T; Nelson, DB; Rammig, A; Rigling, A; Rose, L; Ruehr, NK; Schumann, K; Weiser, F; Werner, C; Wohlgemuth, T; Zang, CS; Kahmen, A
    Basic And Applied Ecology 2020, 10.1016/j.baae.2020.04.003
  • Partitioning evapotranspiration with concurrent eddy covariance measurements in a mixed forest
    Paul-Limoges, Eugenie; Wolf, Sebastian; Schneider, Fabian D.; Longo, Marcos; Moorcroft, Paul; et al.
    Agricultural And Forest Meteorology  DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2019.107786  Published: JAN 15 2020
  • Remote sensing of forest gas exchange: Considerations derived from a tomographic perspective
    Damm, Alexander; Paul-Limoges, Eugenie; Kuekenbrink, Daniel; Bachofen, Christoph; Morsdorf, Felix
    Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.15007 FEB 2020
  • The High-Performance Airborne Imaging Spectrometer HyPlant-From Raw Images to Top-of-Canopy Reflectance and Fluorescence Products: Introduction of an Automatized Processing Chain
    Siegmann, Bastian; Alonso, Luis; Celesti, Marco; Cogliati, Sergio; Colombo, Roberto; et al.
    Remote Sensing 11(23) Article Number: 2760 DOI: 10.3390/rs11232760 DEC 1 2019
  • Remote sensing of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) in vegetation: 50 years of progress
    Mohammed, GH; Colombo, R; Middleton, EM; Rascher, U; van der Tol, C; Nedbal, L; Goulas, Y; Perez-Priego, O; Damm, A; Meroni, M; Joiner, J; Cogliati, S; Verhoef, W; Malenovsky, Z; Gastellu-Etchegorry, JP; Miller, JR; Guanter, L; Moreno, J; Moya, I; Berry, JA; Frankenberg, C;
    Zarco-Tejada, PJ
    REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 231 10.1016/j.rse.2019.04.030 SEP 15 2019
  • Using reflectance to explain vegetation biochemical and structural effects on sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence
    Yang, PQ; van der Tol, C; Verhoef, W; Damm, A; Schickling, A; Kraska, T; Muller, O; Rascher, U
    REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 231 10.1016/j.rse.2018.11.039 SEP 15 2019
  • Downscaling of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence from canopy level to photosystem level using a random forest model
    Liu, XJ; Guanter, L; Liu, LY; Damm, A; Malenovsky, Z; Rascher, U; Peng, DL; Du, SS; Gastellu-Etchegorry, JP
    REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 231 10.1016/j.rse.2018.05.035 SEP 15 2019
  • Hyplant-Derived Sun-Induced Fluorescence-A New Opportunity to Disentangle Complex Vegetation Signals from Diverse Vegetation Types
    Bandopadhyay, S; Rastogi, A; Rascher, U; Rademske, P; Schickling, A; Cogliati, S; Julitta, T; Mac Arthur, A; Hueni, A; Tomelleri, E; Celesti, M; Burkart, A; Strozecki, M; Sakowska, K; Gabka, M; Rosadzinski, S; Sojka, M; Iordache, MD; Reusen, I; Van der Tol, C; Damm, A; Schuettemeyer, D; Juszczak, R
    REMOTE SENSING, 11 (14):10.3390/rs11141691 JUL 2 2019
  • Ecosystem service change caused by climatological and non-climatological drivers: a Swiss case study
    Braun, D; de Jong, R; Schaepman, ME; Furrer, R; Hein, L; Kienast, F; Damm, A
    ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, 29 (4):10.1002/eap.1901 JUN 2019
  • Mapping the Irradiance Field of a Single Tree: Quantifying Vegetation-Induced Adjacency Effects
    Kukenbrink, D; Hueni, A; Schneider, FD; Damm, A; Gastellu-Etchegorry, JP; Schaepman, ME; Morsdorf, F
    IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 57 (7):4994-5011; 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2895211 JUL 2019
Alexander Damm UZH

Prof. Dr. Alexander Damm
University of Zurich
Department of Geography
8057 Zürich

Tel: +41 44 63 55251

Research topics

  • Measurement of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence from leaf to ecosystem level
  • Remote sensing of plant photosynthesis
  • Modelling of plant transpiration and carbon assimilation using Earth observation data and process models
  • Assessment of plant functional traits and their dynamics under environmental change
  • Landscapes of gas and energy exchange


  • Combination of measurements of light interactions and gas exchange
  • Carbon and water cycle research  
  • Plant mediated ecosystem services  
  • Sustainability of water use