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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(4), 4213-4232; doi:10.3390/rs70404213

High-Resolution Airborne UAV Imagery to Assess Olive Tree Crown Parameters Using 3D Photo Reconstruction: Application in Breeding Trials

1
Departamento de Botánica, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Escola Politécnica Superior, Campus Universitario s/n, E-27002 Lugo, Spain
2
IFAPA Centro Alameda del Obispo, Avda Menéndez Pidal, s/n, E-14004 Córdoba, Spain
3
Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (IAS), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Alameda del Obispo s/n, E-14004 Córdoba, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Arko Lucieer, Uwe Rascher, Georg Bareth, Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 17 December 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [14261 KB, uploaded 8 April 2015]   |  

Abstract

The development of reliable methods for the estimation of crown architecture parameters is a key issue for the quantitative evaluation of tree crop adaptation to environment conditions and/or growing system. In the present work, we developed and tested the performance of a method based on low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery for the estimation of olive crown parameters (tree height and crown diameter) in the framework of olive tree breeding programs, both on discontinuous and continuous canopy cropping systems. The workflow involved the image acquisition with consumer-grade cameras on board a UAV and orthomosaic and digital surface model generation using structure-from-motion image reconstruction (without ground point information). Finally, geographical information system analyses and object-based classification were used for the calculation of tree parameters. Results showed a high agreement between remote sensing estimation and field measurements of crown parameters. This was observed both at the individual tree/hedgerow level (relative RMSE from 6% to 20%, depending on the particular case) and also when average values for different genotypes were considered for phenotyping purposes (relative RMSE from 3% to 16%), pointing out the interest and applicability of these data and techniques in the selection scheme of breeding programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); olive phenotyping; tree crown architecture; 3D image modelling; consumer-grade camera; very high-resolution imagery; digital surface model; geographical object-based image analysis unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); olive phenotyping; tree crown architecture; 3D image modelling; consumer-grade camera; very high-resolution imagery; digital surface model; geographical object-based image analysis
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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

Díaz-Varela, R.A.; de la Rosa, R.; León, L.; Zarco-Tejada, P.J. High-Resolution Airborne UAV Imagery to Assess Olive Tree Crown Parameters Using 3D Photo Reconstruction: Application in Breeding Trials. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 4213-4232.

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