Field and satellite optical methods for estimation of chlorophyll content were applied in three study sites of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. Those sites represent a wide range of land use disturbance in secondary and pristine lowland rainforest. The first field method is based on transmittance from the SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter index, the second field method is based on reflectance measurements collected by a spectroradiometer, and the third method estimates chlorophyll content from the PROSPECT radiative transfer model. For the first method, seven models that account for a wide range of vegetation species showed similar average leaf chlorophyll contents until 80 units of SPAD-502. An average of the results of these models was computed and used as ground truth from where a generalized second-order polynomial model was created. For the second method, five chlorophyll indices based on reflectance measurements provided similar chlorophyll content estimations for all SPAD range (15–95 units). The third method estimates chlorophyll content based on the inversion process of the PROSPECT model. The satellite methods estimate vegetation indices sensitive to chlorophyll content from space. All methods have shown to be an alternative approach to detect forest degradation at local and regional levels caused by forest disturbances and land use changes.
Part of the book: Tropical Forests