Ligot G., Balandier P., Courbaud B., Claessens H.

[2014] Forest radiative transfer models: which approach for which application? Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 44(5), 385-397

Radiation is fundamental in forest ecosystem ecology as it drives plant photosynthesis, morphogenesis, and fluxes of carbon, water and energy between soil, vegetation, and the atmosphere. Though all approaches of forest radiative transfer models (FRTM) share general properties, they differ greatly in terms of calibration parameters, required assumptions, and model objectives. They use different precision levels of canopy description (from 1D to 3D) and different mathematical relationships to model the attenuation of radiation through the canopy. To date no general guideline has been given to help modeler in choosing the approach that best suit to his needs. We therefore reviewed evaluation, sensitivity, and performance of FRTMs recently reported in the literature. We quantified FRTM uncertainty and we identified the most sensitive parameters relative to the modeling choices. Their advantages and drawbacks are discussed and recommendations are made relative to application potential.

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