Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New non-destructive method to estimate leaf area index in vegetables

Date:
June 27, 2011
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Scientists designed a new, non-destructive method for estimated leaf area index (LAI) in vegetable crops. The experiments analyzed digital images obtained with a commercial camera with open-source software to measure percentage of ground cover in tomato and cauliflower plants. The economical, non-invasive method produced accurate estimations of LAI comparable to more expensive destructive methods.

The productivity and health of horticultural crops depends on the ability of the plant cover to intercept light energy. This ability is a function of the amount of leaf area, the architecture of the vegetation cover, and plants' ability to convert light energy. One estimate of a crop's ability to capture light energy is the leaf area index (LAI). Introduced in 1947, the concept of the LAI was defined as the ratio of leaf area to a given unit of land area. Today, understanding LAI is critical for successful crop management.

Many methods have been used to measure LAI directly; most are variations of either leaf sampling or litterfall collection techniques. To date, direct methods for determining leaf area have been restricted to the use of an automatic area-integrating meter (planimeter). Tracing, shadow graphing, and the use of a planimeter to measure LAI are all time-consuming and tedious approaches. These direct, or "destructive" sampling methods also have multiple limitations; equipment handling by different operators, limitations in sample size, and measurement errors in the planimetry can all reduce the reliability of the sampling method.

Scientists Carlos Campillo, M.I. Garcνa, C. Daza, and M.H. Prieto designed a research study they describe as "aimed at developing a cheap and simple method to estimate LAI." The researchers measured percentage of groundcover (PGC) in two vegetable crops with prominent differences in leaf type and plant architecture. "Our experiments analyzed digital images obtained with a commercial camera with open-source software," explained Campillo.

At an experimental farm near Extremadura, Spain, the team set up a polyethylene frame along a crop row in an area containing six tomato and four cauliflower plants. Photographs of the selected areas were taken using a commercial camera with a resolution of 8 megapixels at a height of 160 cm above the soil surface at 10-day intervals, with a total of 12 measurements for each crop from transplantation to harvest. Free software (GIMP 2.2) was used to analyze the digital images and to differentiate between the vegetation and the soil or plastic by means of a color reclassification process. A reclassification method as a measure of PGC was used to quantify the percentage of vegetation cover.

Results showed that the method produced non-destructive estimations of LAI comparable to more expensive indirect methods. The method produced rapid, accurate estimation of leaf area. "This method allows non-destructive estimations of LAI measured from complex types of cover compared with other indirect methods that are more expensive and require skilled operators," the researchers concluded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Campillo, Carlos, Garcia, M.I., Daza, C., Prieto, M.H. Study of a Non-destructive Method for Estimating the Leaf Area Index in Vegetable Crops Using Digital Images. HortScience, 2010 45: 1459-1463 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "New non-destructive method to estimate leaf area index in vegetables." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627095810.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2011, June 27). New non-destructive method to estimate leaf area index in vegetables. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627095810.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "New non-destructive method to estimate leaf area index in vegetables." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110627095810.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins