This study was conducted to evaluate the diurnal and seasonal, spectral reflectance characteristics of burned and unburned areas of a tallgrass prairie, based on field measurements and models of radiation transport in plant canopies. Burning of the senescent vegetation, resulting from the previous years' growth, is a common management practice, which results in improved productivity and affects the succession of grass species. The burned and unburned grass canopies showed distinctly different, diurnal and seasonal, spectral reflectance characteristics in the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. These were attributed to the differences in development of the two plant canopies and the azimuthal differences in sensor-sun-canopy positions during field measurements of spectral reflectance. The radiation transfer model properly simulated the diurnal spectral behavior of the two canopies. The simulated, seasonal, spectral reflectance values for the unburned grass canopy were greater than the measured ones, because of limitations in proper representation of the layer of senescent vegetation in the model.
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING
Remote Sensing of Environment (ISSN 0034-4257); 27; 143-155