Published August 16, 2021 | Version 1
Dataset Open

Spectral library of vegetation from Mediterranean woodlands

  • 1. Forest Research Center, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon
  • 2. Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University of Évora


Site description:

All reflectance measurements have been collected in Mediterranean oak woodland at Herdade da Machoqueira do Grou, located in Central Portugal (39° 08′ 18.9″ N, 9° 19′ 56.22″ W, 165-m height). The site is characterized by a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot dry summers. The average annual precipitation recorded at the climate station of Santarém (39° 12′ N, 8° 44′ W) for the period 1981–2010 was 652 mm, and mean daily temperature was  17°C  ( Detailed meteorological measurements of radiation, temperature, and air humidity are also publicly available (Cerasoli et al., 2020). The soil is a cambisol (FAO) with 81% sand, 5% clay, and 14% silt. The tree layer is represented exclusively by cork oak trees (Quercus suber L.) with a tree density of 177 tree ha-1 and leaf area index (LAI) of 1.5. The mean total tree height and height below the canopy are 7.9 and 3.1m respectively (Cerasoli et al., 2015). Tree canopy represents 36% of the soil cover fraction. The understorey is composed of a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous species. The site was plowed in 2013 (Correia et al., 2016), hence the cover fraction of shrubs changed across years. A field survey in 2017 estimated an 18% coverage of shrubs and 41% of herbaceous species, while the remaining 41% was represented by litter and bare soil (Heuschmidt et al., 2020). The most represented shrub species are Cistus salvifolius (cistus) and the Ulex airensis (ulex). In spite of occupying the same habitat, the two species have different growth habits and stress strategies. While the cistus is a semi-deciduous species with shallow roots, decreasing its canopy area during the summer period, the ulex has a deep root system and spine shaped leaves and shoots conferring high drought resistance (Correia et al., 2014). The herbaceous layer is composed of C3 species mainly grasses (44.5%) and legumes (28.7%) (Cerasoli et al., 2015).


Reflectance measurements:

All spectral observations were acquired with an ASD FieldSpec3 spectroradiometer (Malvern Panalytical, Boulder, USA) in the range of 350-2300nm. The visible and near-infrared region (350-1000nm) has a spectral resolution (full-width half maximum) of 3nm and a sampling interval of 1.4nm, while the mid infrared region (1000-2500nm) has a spectral resolution of 10nm and a sampling interval of 2.0nm. Canopy spectral data were collected by a fiber optic cable inserted into a pistol grip. A white reference of known reflectance (Spectralon panel, Labsphere, Inc., North Sutton, USA) was used to normalize for variation in atmospheric conditions and to convert the measurements into absolute reflectance. All targets were fully exposed to solar radiation at the time of the measurements. Measurements were performed on cork oak, cistus, and ulex canopies. Herbaceous plots were delimited by a 50X50 cm quadrat. Oak trees canopy measurements were done using a scaffold on the south side of the canopy. All canopy measurements were performed with a nadir view, a field of view angle of 25º, and a distance of about 90cm from the target, which resulted in a field of view of about 1256 cm2. All spectra were collected for 2 hours around solar noon, to minimize the effects of shadowing and solar zenith changes, with five replicates for each target, representing each the average of 25 spectra. All reflectance values in the range 1350-1400nm and 1800-1950nm were excluded, corresponding to the atmospheric water vapor absorption regions. A leaf clip including a white and a black standard was used for the measurement of the reflectance of cork oak leaf blades avoiding main veins.


File description: 

The file "specveg_data_spectra" concerns all spectral data, the "specveg_metadata" covers the additional data of every single measured vegetation including photos (URL), and the "specveg_meta" describes all the existing variables.


This work was funded by the project PORBIOTA (e-infrastructure for information and research on Biodiversity), (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-022127), supported by Operational Thematic Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization (POCI), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER). The research was also funded by CEF (Centro de Estudo Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa (UIDB/00239/2020) and the Associated Laboratory TERRA (LA/P/0092/2020). The authors are also grateful to the Herdade da Machoqueira do Grou for permission to undertake research.



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Additional details


  • Correia et al. (2014)
  • Cerasoli et al. (2015)
  • Correia et al. (2016)
  • Heuschmidt et al. (2020)
  • Cerasoli et al. (2020)