HYPI - Assessment of Isoprene emission by HYperSpectral data

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Context and objectives

BACKGROUND: Isoprenoids represent an important class of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOCs). Among plant BVOCs, isoprenoids form the most abundant class, with isoprene representing about half of the total BVOCs emitted globally. The presence of BVOCs – and in particular of isoprene – alters the cycle NO–NO2–O3 responsible for O3 formation & degradation leading to the formation of other secondary pollutants such as peroxyacyl nitrates (PAN’s) and particulate matter.

OVERALL AIM: In the HYPI project we linked isoprene flux measurements at the leaf and canopy levels to hyperspectral vegetation indices. We aimed to demonstrate whether hyperspectral vegetation indices offer the possibility for an improved estimation of the spatial and temporal variability of isoprene emissions of ecosystems.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results


The overall anticipated outcome of the project will be a novel demonstration of the remote sensing methodology to assess the isoprene emissions from terrestrial ecosystems. This will allow for an improved quantification and understanding of their variability. The developed methodology might need further testing and validation after this project, but at least HYPI will establish a solid scientific basis for further development. The scientific result of HYPI will be a thorough knowledge of the correlation between the hyperspectral vegetation indices and the isoprene emissions at different scales (i.e. leaf and canopy) as well as the suggestion of a future strategy for improvement of an existing model to predict emissions.


HYPI project will provide hyperspectral, VOCs and water and carbon fluxes data for the season 2016 for the experimental field site at Lochristi.


The project examined the relation between isoprene emission and PRI. There was a slightly significant correlation between isoprene emissions for mature leaves at the top of the canopy. However, environmental conditions affected this relation and a good relationship was only found for sunny days. Indices related to pigment pool (e.g. carotenoids) are promising vegetation indices for remotely based estimation of isoprene emission.