Assessing field spectroscopic methods for grapevine chlorophyll content estimation




Parton, Diana

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Vancouver Island, British Columbia, is at the northern extent of natural climate zones conducive for grape growing, making vineyards susceptible to any changing weather patterns and temperature extremes. Grapevine monitoring is an important aspect of the viticulture industry, and remote sensing technologies are a powerful aid in reporting vegetation information for better vineyard management practices. However, the understanding of vine spectral responses as viewed by optical sensors has to be developed further, and was undertaken in this study. Chlorophyll pigments drive photosynthesis, a biochemical process in plants, which contributes to physiological performance and productivity, making it an appropriate leaf characteristic for detailed examination. This study aimed to develop a thorough understanding of the relationship between (i) leaf-level spectral reflectance and transmittance properties and (ii) pigment concentrations, via ground-based sampling. This was achieved through the examination of two ground campaign tools, as well as current spectral data processing techniques and workflow methods. A spectrometer and SPAD chlorophyll meter collected nondestructive measurements during leaf senescence and grape harvest, and wet chemical extraction methods determined chlorophyll content (expressed in terms of unit leaf area and leaf fresh weight). Reflectance indices,first order derivative indices, and a continuum removal approach were used to generate eighteen reflectance-based attributes. This study performed a series of chlorophyll estimation models through iterative ordinary least square regression, followed by two methods of model validation. Performance metrics indicated strong models with high explanatory power; the continuum removed depth normalized total area metric was presented as the optimal nondestructive attribute for accurate chlorophyll estimation for leaf level field campaigns (R2 = 0.93). Chlorophyll expressed in units of fresh weight yielded more consistent models than in units of leaf area. The chlorophyll meter also presented compelling results (R2 ≥ 0.78), and both sensors were determined to be appropriate for field validation campaigns for this vineyard study.



chlorophyll, grapevine, senescence, spectroscopy, hyperspectral, SPAD, modeling