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Water 2015, 7(1), 1-11; doi:10.3390/w7010001

Prediction of Biomass Production and Nutrient Uptake in Land Application Using Partial Least Squares Regression Analysis

1
Region of Crete, Directorate of Agricultural Economy, Iraklion 71201, Greece
2
Agricultural Statistics Lab, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
3
National Agricultural Research Foundation (N.AG.RE.F.), Institute of Iraklion, Iraklion 71307, Hellas
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 10 September 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
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Abstract

Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) can integrate a great number of variables and overcome collinearity problems, a fact that makes it suitable for intensive agronomical practices such as land application. In the present study a PLSR model was developed to predict important management goals, including biomass production and nutrient recovery (i.e., nitrogen and phosphorus), associated with treatment potential, environmental impacts, and economic benefits. Effluent loading and a considerable number of soil parameters commonly monitored in effluent irrigated lands were considered as potential predictor variables during the model development. All data were derived from a three year field trial including plantations of four different plant species (Acacia cyanophylla, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Populus nigra, and Arundo donax), irrigated with pre-treated domestic effluent. PLSR method was very effective despite the small sample size and the wide nature of data set (with many highly correlated inputs and several highly correlated responses). Through PLSR method the number of initial predictor variables was reduced and only several variables were remained and included in the final PLSR model. The important input variables maintained were: Effluent loading, electrical conductivity (EC), available phosphorus (Olsen-P), Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, K2+, SAR, and NO3-N. Among these variables, effluent loading, EC, and nitrates had the greater contribution to the final PLSR model. PLSR is highly compatible with intensive agronomical practices such as land application, in which a large number of highly collinear and noisy input variables is monitored to assess plant species performance and to detect impacts on the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: land application; land treatment systems; biomass production; nutrient uptake; partial least squares regression (PLSR); JMP land application; land treatment systems; biomass production; nutrient uptake; partial least squares regression (PLSR); JMP
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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Tzanakakis, V.A.; Mauromoustakos, A.; Angelakis, A.N. Prediction of Biomass Production and Nutrient Uptake in Land Application Using Partial Least Squares Regression Analysis. Water 2015, 7, 1-11.

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