On Radiative Transfer in Dense Vegetation Canopies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article presents a review of the special features exhibited by the transport of photons in dense vegetation canopies. The conservation of photons for particles moving in canopy media yields a linear Boltzmann Equation similar to conventional participating media. However, because of the turbid medium approximation where the atomic leaves are modeled as a gas cloud of infinitesimal plates with specified orientation, the overall system is not rotationally invariant. The latter affects the mathematical nature of the canopy equation and requires special numerical treatment to generate accurate numerical solutions. Here, the most common solution techniques are reviewed with special emphasis on two highly accurate methodologies, namely the Singular Eigenfunction Expansion, which is the basis of the F N method for canopy transport and the Analytical Discrete Ordinate (ADO) method. It is shown that the conventional ADO method can be easily extended to canopy transport problems by taking advantage of special symmetries exhibited by the intercept function and the area scattering function employed to describe the canopy optical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-244
Number of pages22
JournalTransport Theory and Statistical Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Anisotropic scattering/absorbing media
  • Photon transport in vegetation canopies
  • Radiative transfer in turbid media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Transportation
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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