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.

Publications

  • Advancing retrievals of surface reflectance and vegetation indices over forest ecosystems by combining imaging spectroscopy, digital object models, and 3D canopy modelling.
    Fawcett, Dominic; Verhoef, W; Schläpfer, Daniel; Schneider, Fabian D; Schaepman, Michael E; Damm, Alexander
    Remote Sensing of Environment, 204:583-595. https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-142727  2018
  • Spatio-temporal trends and trade-offs in ecosystem services: An Earth observation based assessment for Switzerland between 2004 and 2014.
    Braun, Daniela; Damm, Alexander; Hein, Lars; Petchey, Owen L; Schaepman, Michael E
    Ecological Indicators, 89:828-839 https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-150262 2018
  • Variability of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence according to stand age-related processes in a managed loblolly pine forest
    Colombo, Roberto; Celesti, Marco; Bianchi, Remo; Campbell, Petya K E; Cogliati, Sergio; Cook, Bruce D; Corp, Lawrence A; Damm, Alexander; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Guanter, Luis; Julitta, Tommaso; Middleton, Elizabeth M; Noormets, Asko; Panigada, Cinzia; Pinto, Francisco; Rascher, Uwe; Rossini, Micol; Schickling, Anke
    Global Change Biology, 24(7):2980-2996. https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-152061 (2018).
  • Remote sensing of plant-water relations: An overview and future perspectives
    Damm, Alexander; Paul-Limoges, Eugénie; Haghighi, Erfan; Simmer, Clemens; Morsdorf, Felix; Schneider, Fabian D; van der Tol, Christiaan; Migliavacca, Mirco; Rascher, Uwe
    Journal of Plant Physiology, 227:3-19. https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-152153   2018
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

Interdisciplinarity

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