We performed active and passive measurements of diurnal cycles of chlorophyll fluorescence on potato crops at canopy level in outdoors conditions for 26 days. Active measurements of the stationary fluorescence yield (Fs) were performed using Ledflex, a fluorescence micro-LIDAR described in Moya et al. (Photosynth Res 142:1–15, 2019), capable of remote measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence under full sun-light in the wavelength range from 650 to 800 nm. Passive measurements of solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) fluxes were performed with Spectroflex, an instrument based on the method of filling-in in the O2A and O2B absorption bands at 760 nm (F760) and 687 nm (F687), respectively.
Diurnal cycles of Fs showed significant variations throughout the day, directly attributed to changes in photosystem II yield. Contrasting patterns were observed according to illumination conditions. Under cloudy sky, Fs varied in parallel with photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). By contrast, during clear sky days, the diurnal cycle of Fs showed a “M” shape pattern with a minimum around noon.
F687 and F760 showed different patterns, according to illumination conditions. Under low irradiance associated with cloudy conditions, F687 and F760 followed similar diurnal patterns, in parallel with PAR. Under high irradiance associated with clear sky we observed an increase of the F760/F687 ratio, which we attributed to the contributions in the 760 nm emission of photosystem I fluorescence from deeper layers of the leaves, on one end, and by the decrease of 687 nm emission as a result of red fluorescence re-absorption, on the other end.
We defined an approach to derive a proxy of fluorescence yield (FYSIF) from SIF measurements as a linear combination of F687 and F760 normalized by vegetation radiance, where the coefficients of the linear combination were derived from the spectral transmittance of Ledflex. We demonstrated a close relationship between diurnal cycles of FYSIF and Fs, which outperformed other approaches based on normalization by incident light.