Although primarily valued for their suitability for oceanographic applications and soil moisture estimation, microwave remote sensing observations are also sensitive to plant water content (Mw). Since Mw depends on both plant water status and biomass, these observations have the potential to be useful for a range of plant drought response studies.
In this paper, we introduce the principles behind microwave remote sensing observations to illustrate how they are sensitive to plant water content and discuss the relationship between landscape‐scale Mw and common stand‐scale metrics, including plant‐scale relative water content, live fuel moisture content and leaf water potential. Lastly, we discuss how various sensor types can be leveraged for specific applications depending on the spatio‐temporal resolution needed.
Temporal and spatial scales relevant to several applications, compared to resolution of representative microwave sensors of different types.