New Paper: Plant water stress detection based on aerial and terrestrial infrared thermography: a study case from vineyard and olive orchard

Authors: C. Poblete-Echeverrı́a1,a, D. Sepulveda-Reyes2, S. Ortega-Farias2, M. Zuñ iga1 and S. Fuentes3

1Escuela de Agronomı́a, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaı́so, Quillota, Chile; 2Research and Extension Center for Irrigation and Agroclimatology (CITRA), Universidad de Talca, Chile; 3The University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, Victoria 3010, Australia.

Abstract: 

Irrigation scheduling is critical for vineyards and olive orchards, since it directly affects yield and fruit composition. Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategies have been applied on both crops with positive results in the past. However, to successfully regulate stress levels, it is necessary to have accurate measurements of plant water status, which is usually achieved using a pressure chamber. In this regard, canopy temperature (Tc) has been shown to be an accurate indicator of plant water stress. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of water stress detection based on aerial and terrestrial infrared thermography for a vineyard and an olive orchard. Lateral infrared thermal images were obtained using a handheld infrared camera and nadir-view infrared thermal images were obtained using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In addition, measurements of midday stem water potential (Ψstem) from olives trees (Olea europaea L. ‘Arbequina’) and grapevines (Vitis vinifera L. ‘Carménère’) were taken under different RDI strategies during the 2013- 2014 growing season. The image analysis was performed using a customized code written in Mathlab® defining thresholds to exclude non-plant elements. Results showed that the use of infrared thermal images aided in recognizing the differences in the water availability for irrigation treatments when the plants were under stress conditions.

Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), lateral infrared thermal images, nadir-view infrared thermal images

Irrigation scheduling is critical for vineyards and olive orchards, since it directly affects yield and fruit composition. Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategies have been applied on both crops with positive results in the past. However, to successfully regulate stress levels, it is necessary to have accurate measurements of plant water status, which is usually achieved using a pressure chamber. In this regard, canopy temperature (Tc) has been shown to be an accurate indicator of plant water stress. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of water stress detection based on aerial and terrestrial infrared thermography for a vineyard and an olive orchard. Lateral infrared thermal images were obtained using a handheld infrared camera and nadir-view infrared thermal images were obtained using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In addition, measurements of midday stem water potential (Ψstem) from olives trees (Olea europaea L. ‘Arbequina’) and grapevines (Vitis vinifera L. ‘Carménère’) were taken under different RDI strategies during the 2013- 2014 growing season. The image analysis was performed using a customized code written in Mathlab® defining thresholds to exclude non-plant elements. Results showed that the use of infrared thermal images aided in recognizing the differences in the water availability for irrigation treatments when the plants were under stress conditions.

Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), lateral infrared thermal images, nadir-view infrared thermal images

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s