The objective of this study is to provide complete information on the dynamic relationship between X-band (3.11 cm) backscattering intensity (σ°) and rice crop’s leaf area index (LAI) at all growth phases. Though the relationship between X-band σ° and LAI has been previously explored, details on the relationship at the reproductive phase remain unstudied. LAI at the reproductive phase is important particularly at the heading stage where LAI reaches its maximum as it is closely related to grain yield, and at flowering stage where the total leaf area affects the amount of photosynthates. Therefore, this study examined the relationship of increasing LAI (vegetative to reproductive phase) and decreasing LAI (ripening phase) with TerraSAR-X (TSX) ScanSAR (3.11 cm) σ° at HH polarisation and 45° incidence angle. The results showed a statistically significant (R2
= 0.51, p
value < 0.001) non-linear relationship of LAI with σ° at the vegetative to reproductive phase while no significant linear relationship was found at the ripening phase. This study completes the response curve of X-band σ° to LAI by filling in the information on the reproductive phase which more accurately characterises the dynamic relationship between the rice crop’s LAI and X-band’s σ°. This contributes to improved knowledge on the use of X-band data for estimating LAI for the whole crop cycle which is essential for the modelling of crop growth and estimation of yield.
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