Ultraviolet leaf reflectance of common urban trees and the prediction of reflectance from leaf surface characteristics

Richard H. Grant, Gordon M. Heisler, Wei Gao, Matthew Jenks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The spectral reflectance and transmittance over the wavelength range of 250-700 nm were evaluated for leaves of 20 deciduous tree species and leaf sheaths of five isogenic wax variants of Sorghum bicolor differing in visible reflectance due to cuticular waxes. Using the sorghum sheath reflectance and cuticle surface characteristics as a model, it was concluded that tree leaf reflectance above 0.06 was likely due to the presence of variously-shaped fine epicuticular wax structures on the leaf surface. Increasing the density of sub-micron wax structures corresponded to an enhanced ultraviolet (UV) reflectance over the PAR reflectance of a given leaf surface - either S. bicolor sheath or tree leaf. Amorphous globular epicuticular wax structures did not appear to scatter UV as well as wax filaments or vertical plates in varying patterns even when the dimensions of the structures were similar. Further work is needed to clarify this relationship and the influence of cellular pigments on subsurface contributions to the reflectance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Dec 24 2003


  • Deciduous forest
  • Radiation
  • Reflectivity
  • Sorghum
  • UV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultraviolet leaf reflectance of common urban trees and the prediction of reflectance from leaf surface characteristics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this