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Review

A Review of Remote Sensing Challenges for Food Security with Respect to Salinity and Drought Threats

1
Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, Box 9518, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010006
Received: 16 November 2020 / Revised: 17 December 2020 / Accepted: 18 December 2020 / Published: 22 December 2020
Drought and salinity stress are considered to be the two main factors limiting crop productivity. With climate change, these stresses are projected to increase, further exacerbating the risks to global food security. Consequently, to tackle this problem, better agricultural management is required on the basis of improved drought and salinity stress monitoring capabilities. Remote sensing makes it possible to monitor crop health at various spatiotemporal scales and extents. However, remote sensing has not yet been used to monitor both drought and salinity stresses simultaneously. The aim of this paper is to review the current ability of remote sensing to detect the impact of these stresses on vegetation indices (VIs) and crop trait responses. We found that VIs are insufficiently accurate (0.02 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.80) to characterize the crop health under drought and salinity stress. In contrast, we found that plant functional traits have a high potential to monitor the impacts of such stresses on crop health, as they are more in line with the vegetation processes. However, we also found that further investigations are needed to achieve this potential. Specifically, we found that the spectral signals concerning drought and salinity stress were inconsistent for the various crop traits. This inconsistency was present (a) between studies utilizing similar crops and (b) between investigations studying different crops. Moreover, the response signals for joint drought and salinity stress overlapped spectrally, thereby significantly limiting the application of remote sensing to monitor these separately. Therefore, to consistently monitor crop responses to drought and salinity, we need to resolve the current indeterminacy of the relationships between crop traits and spectrum and evaluate multiple traits simultaneously. Using radiative transfer models (RTMs) and multi-sensor frameworks allow monitoring multiple crop traits and may constitute a way forward toward evaluating drought and salinity impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; salinity; traits; crop; remote sensing; meta-analysis drought; salinity; traits; crop; remote sensing; meta-analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wen, W.; Timmermans, J.; Chen, Q.; van Bodegom, P.M. A Review of Remote Sensing Challenges for Food Security with Respect to Salinity and Drought Threats. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010006

AMA Style

Wen W, Timmermans J, Chen Q, van Bodegom PM. A Review of Remote Sensing Challenges for Food Security with Respect to Salinity and Drought Threats. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(1):6. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010006

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wen, Wen, Joris Timmermans, Qi Chen, and Peter M. van Bodegom 2021. "A Review of Remote Sensing Challenges for Food Security with Respect to Salinity and Drought Threats" Remote Sensing 13, no. 1: 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13010006

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