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Influences of Leaf-Specular Reflection on Canopy BRF Characteristics: A Case Study of Real Maize Canopies With a 3-D Scene BRDF Model
The diffuse and specular components of leaf reflection are both important to determine the leaf optical properties as well as to describe the leaf bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). However, the specular component is usually ignored in practice in numerous canopy reflectance models that describe the interaction between solar light and vegetated scene components. To evaluate the impact of leaf-specular reflection on canopy bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF) characteristics, we introduce a leaf BRDF model into the radiosity-graphics combined model (RGM; a 3-D scene model) to calculate canopy BRFs with nondiffuse leaves. The modified RGM is validated by comparing simulated BRFs against in situ measured BRFs over real maize canopies. The results show that ignorance of leaf-specular reflection can result in up to 50% of relative error in the blue band (435.8 nm). A series of maize canopies with different leaf angle distributions (LADs) is reconstructed to investigate the effect of five major biophysical/geometrical parameters such as leaf area index, LAD, leaf surface property, view direction, and solar zenith angle on leaf-specular reflection contributions to the canopy BRF. It is demonstrated that increasing the incident solar zenith angle and decreasing the mean leaf angle impact the angular distribution of the canopy BRF more significantly than other factors. The cumulative hemispherical relative and absolute errors of canopy BRF caused by the leaf-specular reflection are often too large to be ignored, even for canopies with rough surface leaves. Moreover, the relative error of BRF in visible waveband shows that, in general, leaf-specular reflection has a large impact than that in near-infrared waveband. However, such impact can be sufficiently accounted for by even just consideration of the first-order leaf-specular reflection in canopy reflectance calculation, leading to a substantial improvement in simulation accuracy for most vegetation canopies.