Hyperspectral biomonitoring: air quality and the city (HYPERCITY)

In urban areas the exceedances of air quality target values commonly occur and pose serious health risks. As conventional air pollution monitoring stations only provide coarse-scale spatial information on exposure to pollutants, alternative monitoring techniques with high spatial resolution are necessary. A possibility is biomonitoring of local urban vegetation. Pollution can induce stress in tree leaves altering the morphological and physiological characteristics of the leaves. The changes in these characteristics are likely to be detected in leaf radiative transfer measurements.

In this study the potential of hyperspectral reflectance and chlorophyll fluorescence as an indicator for air quality is explored, both at leaf and at canopy level. Furthermore the dorsi-ventral leaf asymmetry is taken into account as a promising indicator for pollution.