This paper investigates the influences of several limiting factors on the performance of ground penetrating radar (GPR) in accurately detecting huanglongbing (HLB)-infected citrus roots and determining their main structural characteristics. First, single-factor experiments were conducted to evaluate GPR performance. The factors that were evaluated were (i) root diameter; (ii) root moisture level; (iii) root depth; (iv) root spacing; (v) survey angle; and, (vi) soil moisture level. Second, two multi-factor field experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of the GPR in complex orchard environments. The GPR generated a hyperbola in the radar profile upon root detection; the diameter of the root was successfully determined according to the width of the hyperbola when the roots were larger than 6 mm in diameter. The GPR also distinguished live from dead roots, a capability that is indispensable for studying the effects of soil-borne and other diseases on the citrus tree root system. The GPR can distinguish the roots only if their horizontal distance is greater than 10 cm and their vertical distance is greater than 5 cm if two or more roots are in proximity. GPR technology can be applied to determine the efficacy of advanced crop production strategies, especially under the pressures of disease and environmental stresses.
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