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Modelling PRI for water stress detection using radiative transfer models

AuthorsSuárez Barranco, María Dolores ; Zarco-Tejada, Pablo J. ; Jiménez-Berni, José A. ; González-Dugo, Victoria ; Fereres Castiel, Elías
KeywordsWater stress
Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI)
Multispectral remote sensing
Radiative transfer modelling
Issue Date23-Jan-2009
CitationRemote Sensing of Environment 113(4): 730-744 (2009)
AbstractThis paper presents a methodology for water stress detection in crop canopies using a radiative transfer modelling approach and the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI). Airborne imagery was acquired with a 6-band multispectral camera yielding 15 cm spatial resolution and 10 nm FWHM over 3 crops comprising two tree-structured orchards and a corn field. The methodology is based on the PRI as a water stress indicator, and a radiative transfer modelling approach to simulate PRI baselines for non-stress conditions as a function of leaf structure, chlorophyll concentration (Cab), and canopy leaf area index (LAI). The simulation work demonstrates that canopy PRI is affected by structural parameters such as LAI, Cab, leaf structure, background effects, viewing angle and sun position. The modelling work accounts for such leaf biochemical and canopy structural inputs to simulate the PRI-based water stress thresholds for non-stress conditions. Water stress levels are quantified by comparing the image-derived PRI and the simulated non-stress PRI (sPRI) obtained through radiative transfer. PRI simulation was conducted using the coupled PROSPECT-SAILH models for the corn field, and the PROSPECT leaf model coupled with FLIGHT 3D radiative transfer model for the olive and peach orchards. Results obtained confirm that PRI is a pre-visual indicator of water stress, yielding good relationships for the three crops studied with canopy temperature, an indicator of stomatal conductance (r2 = 0.65 for olive, r2 = 0.8 for peach, and r2 = 0.72 for maize). PRI values of deficit irrigation treatments in olive and peach were consistently higher than the modelled PRI for the study sites, yielding relationships with water potential (r2 = 0.84) that enabled the identification of stressed crowns accounting for within-field LAI and Cab variability. The methodology presented here for water stress detection is based on the visible part of the spectrum, and therefore it has important implications for remote sensing applications in agriculture. This method may be a better alternative to using the thermal region, which has limitations to acquire operationally high spatial resolution thermal imagery.
Description15 pages, 13 figures, 2 tables.-- Printed version published Apr 15, 2009.
Full-text version available Open Access at: http://quantalab.ias.csic.es/pdf/pri_lola_rse_2009.pdf
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2008.12.001
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