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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 255; doi:10.3390/s16020255

UAV-Based Estimation of Carbon Exports from Heterogeneous Soil Landscapes—A Case Study from the CarboZALF Experimental Area

1
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Soil Landscape Research, Eberswalder Straße 84, Müncheberg 15374, Germany
2
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Landscape Hydrology, Eberswalder Straße 84, Müncheberg 15374, Germany
3
University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, Potsdam 14476, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Felipe Gonzalez Toro and Antonios Tsourdos
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 12 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Sensors for Environmental Monitoring)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [9670 KB, uploaded 19 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

The advantages of remote sensing using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are a high spatial resolution of images, temporal flexibility and narrow-band spectral data from different wavelengths domains. This enables the detection of spatio-temporal dynamics of environmental variables, like plant-related carbon dynamics in agricultural landscapes. In this paper, we quantify spatial patterns of fresh phytomass and related carbon (C) export using imagery captured by a 12-band multispectral camera mounted on the fixed wing UAV Carolo P360. The study was performed in 2014 at the experimental area CarboZALF-D in NE Germany. From radiometrically corrected and calibrated images of lucerne (Medicago sativa), the performance of four commonly used vegetation indices (VIs) was tested using band combinations of six near-infrared bands. The highest correlation between ground-based measurements of fresh phytomass of lucerne and VIs was obtained for the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) using near-infrared band b899. The resulting map was transformed into dry phytomass and finally upscaled to total C export by harvest. The observed spatial variability at field- and plot-scale could be attributed to small-scale soil heterogeneity in part. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; multispectral; VI; agriculture; carbon export; soil landscape UAV; multispectral; VI; agriculture; carbon export; soil landscape
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wehrhan, M.; Rauneker, P.; Sommer, M. UAV-Based Estimation of Carbon Exports from Heterogeneous Soil Landscapes—A Case Study from the CarboZALF Experimental Area. Sensors 2016, 16, 255.

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