Leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC), a good indicator of nitrogen (N) status in crops, is of special significance to diagnose nutrient stress and guide N fertilization in fields. Due to non-destructive and quick detectability, hyperspectral remote sensing plays a unique role in detecting LNC in crops. Barley, especially malting barley, is very demanding for N nutrition and requires timely monitoring and accurate estimation of N concentration in barley leaves. Hyperspectral techniques can help make effective diagnosis and facilitate dynamic regulation of plant N status. In this study, canopy reflectance spectra (between 350 and 1 050 nm) from 38 typical barley fields were measured as well as the corresponding LNC in Hailar Nongken, China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in July, 2010. Existing spectral indices that are considered to be good indicators for assessing N status in crops were selected to estimate LNC in barley. In addition, the optimal combination (OC) method was tested to extract the sensitive indices and first-order spectral derivative wavebands that are responsible for variation of leaf N in barley, and expected to develop some combination models for improving the accuracy of LNC estimates. The results showed that most of the selected indices (such as NPCI, PRI and DCNI) could adequately describe the dynamic changes of LNC in barley. The combined models based on OC performed better in comparison with the individual models using either spectral indices or first-order derivatives and the other methods (such as PCA). A combined model that integrated the first-order derivatives from five wavebands with OC performed well with R 2 of 0.82 and RMSE of 0.50 for LNC in barley. This good correlation with ground measurements indicates that hyperspectral reflectance and the OC method have good potential for assessing N status in barley.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 3, 2013
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