Estimating Corn Leaf Chlorophyll Concentration from Leaf and Canopy Reflectance

Estimating Corn Leaf Chlorophyll Concentration from Leaf and Canopy Reflectance Farmers must balance the competing goals of supplying adequate N for their crops while minimizing N losses to the environment. To characterize the spatial variability of N over large fields, traditional methods (soil testing, plant tissue analysis, and chlorophyll meters) require many point samples. Because of the close link between leaf chlorophyll and leaf N concentration, remote sensing techniques have the potential to evaluate the N variability over large fields quickly. Our objectives were to (1) select wavelengths sensitive to leaf chlorophyll concentration, (2) simulate canopy reflectance using a radiative transfer model, and (3) propose a strategy for detecting leaf chlorophyll status of plants using remotely sensed data. A wide range of leaf chlorophyll levels was established in field-grown corn ( Zea mays L.) with the application of 8 N levels: 0%, 12.5%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 125%, and 150% of the recommended rate. Reflectance and transmittance spectra of fully expanded upper leaves were acquired over the 400-nm to 1,000-nm wavelength range shortly after anthesis with a spectroradiometer and integrating sphere. Broad-band differences in leaf spectra were observed near 550 nm, 715 nm, and >750 nm. Crop canopy reflectance was simulated using the SAIL (Scattering by Arbitrarily Inclined Leaves) canopy reflectance model for a wide range of background reflectances, leaf area indices (LAI), and leaf chlorophyll concentrations. Variations in background reflectance and LAI confounded the detection of the relatively subtle differences in canopy reflectance due to changes in leaf chlorophyll concentration. Spectral vegetation indices that combined near-infrared reflectance and red reflectance (e.g., OSAVI and NIR/Red) minimized contributions of background reflectance, while spectral vegetation indices that combined reflectances of near-infrared and other visible bands (MCARI and NIR/Green) were responsive to both leaf chlorophyll concentrations and background reflectance. Pairs of these spectral vegetation indices plotted together produced isolines of leaf chlorophyll concentrations. The slopes of these isolines were linearly related to leaf chlorophyll concentration. A limited test with measured canopy reflectance and leaf chlorophyll data confirmed these results. The characterization of leaf chlorophyll concentrations at the field scale without the confounding problem of background reflectance and LAI variability holds promise as a valuable aid for decision making in managing N applications. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Remote Sensing of Environment Elsevier

Estimating Corn Leaf Chlorophyll Concentration from Leaf and Canopy Reflectance

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0034-4257
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0034-4257(00)00113-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Farmers must balance the competing goals of supplying adequate N for their crops while minimizing N losses to the environment. To characterize the spatial variability of N over large fields, traditional methods (soil testing, plant tissue analysis, and chlorophyll meters) require many point samples. Because of the close link between leaf chlorophyll and leaf N concentration, remote sensing techniques have the potential to evaluate the N variability over large fields quickly. Our objectives were to (1) select wavelengths sensitive to leaf chlorophyll concentration, (2) simulate canopy reflectance using a radiative transfer model, and (3) propose a strategy for detecting leaf chlorophyll status of plants using remotely sensed data. A wide range of leaf chlorophyll levels was established in field-grown corn ( Zea mays L.) with the application of 8 N levels: 0%, 12.5%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, 125%, and 150% of the recommended rate. Reflectance and transmittance spectra of fully expanded upper leaves were acquired over the 400-nm to 1,000-nm wavelength range shortly after anthesis with a spectroradiometer and integrating sphere. Broad-band differences in leaf spectra were observed near 550 nm, 715 nm, and >750 nm. Crop canopy reflectance was simulated using the SAIL (Scattering by Arbitrarily Inclined Leaves) canopy reflectance model for a wide range of background reflectances, leaf area indices (LAI), and leaf chlorophyll concentrations. Variations in background reflectance and LAI confounded the detection of the relatively subtle differences in canopy reflectance due to changes in leaf chlorophyll concentration. Spectral vegetation indices that combined near-infrared reflectance and red reflectance (e.g., OSAVI and NIR/Red) minimized contributions of background reflectance, while spectral vegetation indices that combined reflectances of near-infrared and other visible bands (MCARI and NIR/Green) were responsive to both leaf chlorophyll concentrations and background reflectance. Pairs of these spectral vegetation indices plotted together produced isolines of leaf chlorophyll concentrations. The slopes of these isolines were linearly related to leaf chlorophyll concentration. A limited test with measured canopy reflectance and leaf chlorophyll data confirmed these results. The characterization of leaf chlorophyll concentrations at the field scale without the confounding problem of background reflectance and LAI variability holds promise as a valuable aid for decision making in managing N applications.

Journal

Remote Sensing of EnvironmentElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2000

References

  • Use of a green channel in the remote sensing of global vegetation from EOS-MODIS
    Gitelson, A.A; Kaufman, Y.J; Merzlyak, M.N
  • Optimization of soil-adjusted vegetation indices
    Rondeaux, G; Steven, M; Baret, F
  • Predicting nitrogen and chlorophyll content and concentrations from reflectance spectra (400–2500 nm) at leaf and canopy scales
    Yoder, B.J; Pettigrew-Crosby, R.E

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