Leaf Scattering Polarimetry and Chlorophyll Fluorescence
A number of spectropolarimetry measurements on leaves using white light and narrow band illumination have been reported in recent years because of interest in signatures for remote sensing of exoplanet life. Chlorophyll fluorescence occurs in white light illuminated experiments and is known to be polarised and so might contaminate surface scattering measurements. A displacing filter experiment was performed on the leaves of two common plants, Ficus benjamina and Chamaedorea elegans, to estimate the contribution of chlorophyll fluorescence in the spectropolarimetry of leaf scattering and transmission. Chlorophyll fluorescence is present as a measurable polarised component of up to 15% of scattered and transmitted light for the leaf samples. Other effects emerged which indicate that in vivo measurements on leaves are subject to the responsive nature of the leaves to changes in colour and intensity of the incident light.