Estimating chlorophyll and nitrogen contents in maize leaves (Zea mays L.) with spectroscopic analysis

Estimación de los contenidos de clorofila y nitrógeno en hojas de maíz (Zea mays L.) mediante análisis espectroscópico

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Carlos Arturo Ramos-García
Luis Joel Martínez-Martínez
Jaime Humberto Bernal-Riobo


The relationship between reflectance and chlorophyll (Chl) and nitrogen (N) contents in maize leaves was analyzed to identify useful spectral indices for diagnosing the nutritional status of crops in terms of N. An experiment was carried out in random blocks with five treatments of nitrogen fertilizer (0, 50, 100, 150, 200 kg ha-1) and four repetitions and the foliar spectral responses were measured with a FieldSpec 4 spectroradiometer in three phenological stages. Several spectral indices and values of red edge position (REP) were calculated using various methods. Red-edge position linear interpolation (REP-L), Red-edge position linear extrapolation (REP-LE), REP-Inverted Gaussian fitting technique (REP-IG), REP-Polynomial fitting technique (REP-P) and NDVI had the best relationship with chlorophyll and nitrogen contents. The first derivative of reflectance, between 560 and 760 nm, transformed by the normal state variable (SNV) also had highly significant correlation coefficients with the N, Chl, and yield. Additionally, the corn yield showed highly significant correlations with the N and Chl contents. From the point of view of the diagnosis of the nutritional status of corn, the spectral indices and REP values were suitable for establishing the nutritional status of corn in relation to N in the phenological stages V8 and R1.



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