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Monitoring water stress and fruit quality in an orange orchard under regulated deficit irrigation using narrow-band structural and physiological remote sensing indices

AuthorsStagakis, S.; González-Dugo, Victoria ; Cid, Patricio ; Guillén-Climent, M. Luz ; Zarco-Tejada, Pablo J.
KeywordsWater stress
Remote sensing
Narrow-band indices
Fruit quality
Regulated deficit
Issue DateJul-2012
CitationISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 71: 47-61 (2012)
AbstractThis paper deals with the monitoring of water status and the assessment of the effect of stress on citrus fruit quality using structural and physiological remote sensing indices. Four flights were conducted over a citrus orchard in 2009 using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) carrying a multispectral camera with six narrow spectral bands in the visible and near infrared. Physiological indices such as the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI 570), a new structurally robust PRI formulation that uses the 515nm as the reference band (PRI 515), and a chlorophyll ratio (R 700/R 670) were compared against the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Renormalized Difference Vegetation Index (RDVI) and Modified Triangular Vegetation Index (MTVI) canopy structural indices for their performance in tracking water status and the effects of sustained water stress on fruit quality at harvest. The irrigation setup in the commercial orchard was compared against a treatment scheduled to satisfy full requirements (based on estimated crop evapotranspiration) using two regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategies. The water status of the trees throughout the experiment was monitored with frequent field measurements of stem water potential (Ψ x), while titratable acidity (TA) and total soluble solids (TSS) were measured at harvest on selected trees from each irrigation treatment. The high spatial resolution of the multispectral imagery (30cm pixel size) enabled identification of pure tree crown components, extracting the tree reflectance from shaded, sunlit and aggregated pixels. The physiological and structural indices were then calculated from each tree at the following levels: (i) pure sunlit tree crown, (ii) entire crown, aggregating the within-crown shadows, and (iii) simulating a lower resolution pixel, including tree crown, sunlit and shaded soil pixels. The resulting analysis demonstrated that both PRI formulations were able to track water status, except when water stress altered canopy structure. In such cases, PRI 570 was more affected than PRI 515 by the structural changes caused by sustained water stress throughout the season. Both PRI formulations were proven to serve as pre-visual water stress indicators linked to fruit quality TSS and TA parameters (r 2=0.69 for PRI 515 vs TSS; r 2=0.58 vs TA). In contrast, the chlorophyll (R 700/R 670) and structural indices (NDVI, RDVI, MTVI) showed poor relationships with fruit quality and water status levels (r 2=0.04 for NDVI vs TSS; r 2=0.19 vs TA). The two PRI formulations showed strong relationships with the field-measured fruit quality parameters in September, the beginning of stage III, which appeared to be the period most sensitive to water stress and the most critical for assessing fruit quality in citrus. Both PRI 515 and PRI 570 showed similar performance for the two scales assessed (sunlit crown and entire crown), demonstrating that within-crown component separation is not needed in citrus tree crowns where the shaded vegetation component is small. However, the simulation conducted through spatial resampling on tree+soil aggregated pixels revealed that the physiological indices were highly affected by soil reflectance and between-tree shadows, showing that for TSS vs PRI 515 the relationship dropped from r 2=0.69 to r 2=0.38 when aggregating soil+crown components. This work confirms a previous study that demonstrated the link between PRI 570, water stress, and fruit quality, while also making progress in assessing the new PRI formulation (PRI 515), the within-crown shadow effects on the physiological indices, and the need for high resolution imagery to target individual tree crowns for the purpose of evaluating the effects of water stress on fruit quality in citrus. © 2012 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. (ISPRS).
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2012.05.003
issn: 0924-2716
Appears in Collections:(IAS) Artículos
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