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Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 538-560; doi:10.3390/agriculture5030538

Transferability of Models for Estimating Paddy Rice Biomass from Spatial Plant Height Data

1
ICASD-International Center for Agro-Informatics and Sustainable Development, Institute of Geography (GIS & Remote Sensing Group), University of Cologne, 50923 Cologne, Germany
2
ICASD-International Center for Agro-Informatics and Sustainable Development, Department of Plant Nutrition, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yanbo Huang
Received: 6 May 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 17 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote sensing for crop production and management)
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Abstract

It is known that plant height is a suitable parameter for estimating crop biomass. The aim of this study was to confirm the validity of spatial plant height data, which is derived from terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), as a non-destructive estimator for biomass of paddy rice on the field scale. Beyond that, the spatial and temporal transferability of established biomass regression models were investigated to prove the robustness of the method and evaluate the suitability of linear and exponential functions. In each growing season of two years, three campaigns were carried out on a field experiment and on a farmer’s conventionally managed field. Crop surface models (CSMs) were generated from the TLS-derived point clouds for calculating plant height with a very high spatial resolution of 1 cm. High coefficients of determination between CSM-derived and manually measured plant heights (R2: 0.72 to 0.91) confirm the applicability of the approach. Yearly averaged differences between the measurements were ~7% and ~9%. Biomass regression models were established from the field experiment data sets, based on strong coefficients of determination between plant height and dry biomass (R2: 0.66 to 0.86 and 0.65 to 0.84 for linear and exponential models, respectively). The spatial and temporal transferability of the models to the farmer’s conventionally managed fields is supported by strong coefficients of determination between estimated and measured values (R2: 0.60 to 0.90 and 0.56 to 0.85 for linear and exponential models, respectively). Hence, the suitability of TLS-derived spatial plant height as a non-destructive estimator for biomass of paddy rice on the field scale was verified and the transferability demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: terrestrial laser scanning; plant height; biomass; rice; precision agriculture; field level terrestrial laser scanning; plant height; biomass; rice; precision agriculture; field level
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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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Tilly, N.; Hoffmeister, D.; Cao, Q.; Lenz-Wiedemann, V.; Miao, Y.; Bareth, G. Transferability of Models for Estimating Paddy Rice Biomass from Spatial Plant Height Data. Agriculture 2015, 5, 538-560.

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