The amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 0.4–0.7 μm) absorbed by plants for photosynthesis relative to incident radiation is defined as the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR). This is an important variable in both plant biomass production and plant growth modeling. This study investigates the application of a newly developed, linear irradiance sensor (LightScout Quantum Bar Sensor, LightScout, Spectrum Technologies, Inc. USA), to quantify fAPAR for a demonstrator crop, Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack). A protocol was devised for sensor placement to determine reflected PAR components of fAPAR and to determine the optimal time of day and sensor orientation for data collection. Coincident, top of canopy, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) measurements were also acquired with a CropCircle™ ACS-210 sensor and measurements correlated with derived fAPAR values. The optimum height of the linear irradiance sensor above soil or plant canopy was found to be 0.4 m while measuring reflected PAR. Measurement of fAPAR was found to be stable when conducted within 1 h of local solar noon in order to avoid significant bidirectional effects resulting from diurnal changes of leaf orientation relative to the vertically-placed sensor. In the row crop studied, averaging fAPAR readings derived from the linear irradiance sensor orientated across and along the plant row provided an R2 = 0.81 correlation with above-canopy NDVI. Across row sensor orientation also gave a similar correlation of R2 = 0.76 allowing the user to reduce sampling time.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 14, 2014
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