Special Issue "Remote Sensing for Crop Water Stress Detection and Irrigation Management"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Yafit Cohen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agricultural Engineering Institute, Agrcultural Research Organization (ARO), Volcani Center, Israel
Interests: precision agriculture: (a) fusion of thermal and hyperspectral imagery for monitoring and mapping water status and nitrogen level in various crops and orchards; (b) spatio-spectral analysis of thermal and hyperspectral imagery for management zones delineation; spatio-temporal analysis of pests and diseases dispersion: medfly, olive fly, heliothis, leaf-roll virus in grapevine and soil-borne diseases in potato; development of spatial decision support tools and systems for pest control
Dr. Carlos Ballester Lurbe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Regional & Rural Futures (CeRRF), Faculty of Science Engineering & Built Environment, Deakin University, Hanwood, NSW 2680, Australia
Interests: agriculture; irrigation; deficit irrigation; water stress; plant water relations
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to population growth and increasing food demands, irrigated agriculture will increasingly take place under water scarcity. Thus, management techniques that can produce ‘more crop per drop’ will assume increased importance. Remote sensing data can be used to assess crop water status in the field, to estimate evapotranspiration, to delineate homogeneous management zones, and ultimately characterize and analyze them to produce application or prescription maps for variable rate irrigation. Remote sensing data provides a wide range of use levels, from mapping crop variability to measuring and mapping plant water status that supports irrigation actions that would have positive influence on irrigation water productivity and/or harvest outcome.

 

Dr. Yafit Cohen
Dr. Carlos Ballester Lurbe
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • Canopy water status
  • Canopy water content
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Thermal imaging
  • Time-series spectral indices
  • Water stress indices
  • In-field water status variability
  • Irrigation decision making
  • Precision irrigation
  • Decision support tools
  • Water use efficiency

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Estimation of Grapevine Crop Coefficient Using a Multispectral Camera on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(13), 2639; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13132639 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
Crop water status and irrigation requirements are of great importance to the horticultural industry due to changing climatic conditions leading to high evaporative demands, drought and water scarcity in semi-arid and arid regions worldwide. Irrigation scheduling strategies based on evapotranspiration (ET), such as [...] Read more.
Crop water status and irrigation requirements are of great importance to the horticultural industry due to changing climatic conditions leading to high evaporative demands, drought and water scarcity in semi-arid and arid regions worldwide. Irrigation scheduling strategies based on evapotranspiration (ET), such as regulated deficit irrigation, requires the estimation of seasonal crop coefficients (kc). The ET-driven irrigation decisions for grapevines rely on the sampling of several kc values from each irrigation zone. Here, we present an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based technique to estimate kc at the single vine level in order to capture the spatial variability of water requirements in a commercial vineyard located in South Australia. A UAV carrying a multispectral sensor is used to extract the spectral, as well as the structural, information of Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines. The spectral and structural information, acquired at the various phenological stages of the vine through two seasons, is used to model kc using univariate (simple linear), multivariate (generalised linear and additive) and machine learning (convolution neural network and random forest) model frameworks. The structural information (e.g., canopy top view area) had the strongest correlation with kc throughout the season (p ≤ 0.001; Pearson R = 0.56), while the spectral indices (e.g., normalised indices) turned less-sensitive post véraison—the onset of ripening in grapes. Combining structural and spectral information improved the model’s performance. Among the investigated predictive models, the random forest predicted kc with the highest accuracy (R2: 0.675, root mean square error: 0.062, and mean absolute error: 0.047). This UAV-based approach improves the precision of irrigation by capturing the spatial variability of kc within a vineyard. Combined with an energy balance model, the water needs of a vineyard can be computed on a weekly or sub-weekly basis for precision irrigation. The UAV-based characterisation of kc can further enhance the water management and irrigation zoning by matching the infrastructure with the spatial variability of the irrigation demand. Full article
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Article
In-Season Interactions between Vine Vigor, Water Status and Wine Quality in Terrain-Based Management-Zones in a ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ Vineyard
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1636; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091636 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 945
Abstract
Wine quality is the final outcome of the interactions within a vineyard between meteorological conditions, terrain and soil properties, plant physiology and numerous viticultural decisions, all of which are commonly summarized as the terroir effect. Associations between wine quality and a single soil [...] Read more.
Wine quality is the final outcome of the interactions within a vineyard between meteorological conditions, terrain and soil properties, plant physiology and numerous viticultural decisions, all of which are commonly summarized as the terroir effect. Associations between wine quality and a single soil or topographic factor are usually weak, but little information is available on the effect of terrain (elevation, aspect and slope) as a compound micro-terroir factor. We used the topographic wetness index (TWI) as a steady-state hydrologic and integrative measure to delineate management zones (MZs) within a vineyard and to study the interactions between vine vigor, water status and grape and wine quality. The study was conducted in a commercial 2.5-ha Vitis vinifera ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ vineyard in Israel. Based on the TWI, the vineyard was divided into three MZs located along an elongate wadi that crosses the vineyard and bears water only in the rainy winter season. MZ1 was the most distant from the wadi and had low TWI values, MZ3 was closest to the wadi and had high TWI values. Remotely sensed crop water stress index (CWSI) was measured simultaneously with canopy cover (as determined by normalized difference vegetation index; NDVI) and with field measurements of midday stem water potential (Ψstem) and leaf area index (LAI) on several days during the growing seasons of 2017 and 2018. Vines in MZ1 had narrow trunk diameter and low LAI and canopy cover on most measurement days compared to the other two MZs. MZ1 vines also exhibited the highest water stress (highest CWSI and lowest Ψstem), lowest yield and highest wine quality. MZ3 vines showed higher LAI on most measurement days, lowest water deficit stress (Ψstem) during phenological stage I, highest yield and lowest wine quality. Yet, in stage III, MZ3 vines exhibited a similar water deficit stress (CWSI and Ψstem) as MZ2, suggesting that the relatively high vigor in MZ3 vines resulted in higher water deficit stress than expected towards the end of the season, possibly because of high water consumption over the course of the season. TWI and its classification into three MZs served as a reliable predictor for most of the attributes in the vineyard and for their dynamics within the season, and, thus, can be used as a key factor in delineation of MZs for irrigation. Yet, in-season remotely sensed monitoring is required to follow the vine dynamics to improve precision irrigation decisions. Full article
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Article
Field Scale Assessment of the TsHARP Technique for Thermal Sharpening of MODIS Satellite Images Using VENµS and Sentinel-2-Derived NDVI
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(6), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13061155 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Remotely sensed-based surface temperature is an important tool for crop monitoring and has great potential for improving irrigation management. However, current thermal satellite platforms do not display the fine spatial resolution required for identifying crop water status patterns at the field scale. The [...] Read more.
Remotely sensed-based surface temperature is an important tool for crop monitoring and has great potential for improving irrigation management. However, current thermal satellite platforms do not display the fine spatial resolution required for identifying crop water status patterns at the field scale. The thermal sharpening (TsHARP) utility provides a technique for downscaling coarse thermal images to match the finer resolution of images acquired in the visible and near infrared bandwidths. This sharpening method is based on the inverse linear relationship between vegetation fraction calculated from the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST). The current study used the TsHARP method to sharpen low-resolution thermal data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer MODIS (1 km) to the finer resolution of Sentinel-2 (10 m) and Vegetation and Environment New micro-Spacecraft (VENµS) (5 m) visible-near infrared images. The sharpening methodology was evaluated at scene and field scales in southern Georgia and northern Mississippi, USA. A comparison of sharpened temperature was made with reference temperatures from Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) in four different spatial resolutions (30, 60, 120, and 240 m) for method validation. Coarse resolution comparison on the dates in which imagery from both sensors were acquired on the same day resulted in average observed mean absolute error (MAE) of 1.63 °C, and R2 variation from 0.34 to 0.74. Temperature errors at the field scale ranged from 0.25 to 3.11 °C using both Sentinel-2 and VENµS. Sharpened maps at 120 and 60 m resolution showed the highest consistency for all fields and dates. Maps sharpened using VENµS images showed comparable or higher accuracy than maps sharpened using Sentinel-2. The superior performance coupled with the better revisit time indicates that the VENµS platform has high potential for frequent in-season crop monitoring. Further research with ground data collection is needed to explore field use limitations of this methodology, but these results give useful insights of potential benefits of implementing the TsHARP technique as a tool for crop stress monitoring. Full article
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Article
High-Resolution Spatiotemporal Water Use Mapping of Surface and Direct-Root-Zone Drip-Irrigated Grapevines Using UAS-Based Thermal and Multispectral Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(5), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13050954 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
Site-specific irrigation management for perennial crops such as grape requires water use assessments at high spatiotemporal resolution. In this study, small unmanned-aerial-system (UAS)-based imaging was used with a modified mapping evapotranspiration at high resolution with internalized calibration (METRIC) energy balance model to map [...] Read more.
Site-specific irrigation management for perennial crops such as grape requires water use assessments at high spatiotemporal resolution. In this study, small unmanned-aerial-system (UAS)-based imaging was used with a modified mapping evapotranspiration at high resolution with internalized calibration (METRIC) energy balance model to map water use (UASM-ET approach) of a commercial, surface, and direct-root-zone (DRZ) drip-irrigated vineyard. Four irrigation treatments, 100%, 80%, 60%, and 40%, of commercial rate (CR) were also applied, with the CR estimated using soil moisture data and a non-stressed average crop coefficient of 0.5. Fourteen campaigns were conducted in the 2018 and 2019 seasons to collect multispectral (ground sampling distance (GSD): 7 cm/pixel) and thermal imaging (GSD: 13 cm/pixel) data. Six of those campaigns were near Landsat 7/8 satellite overpass of the field site. Weather inputs were obtained from a nearby WSU-AgWeatherNet station (1 km). First, UASM-ET estimates were compared to those derived from soil water balance (SWB) and conventional Landsat-METRIC (LM) approaches. Overall, UASM-ET (2.70 ± 1.03 mm day−1 [mean ± std. dev.]) was higher than SWB-ET (1.80 ± 0.98 mm day−1). However, both estimates had a significant linear correlation (r = 0.64–0.81, p < 0.01). For the days of satellite overpass, UASM-ET was statistically similar to LM-ET, with mean absolute normalized ET departures (ETd,MAN) of 4.30% and a mean r of 0.83 (p < 0.01). The study also extracted spatial canopy transpiration (UASM-T) maps by segmenting the soil background from the UASM-ET, which had strong correlation with the estimates derived by the standard basal crop coefficient approach (Td,MAN = 14%, r = 0.95, p < 0.01). The UASM-T maps were then used to quantify water use differences in the DRZ-irrigated grapevines. Canopy transpiration (T) was statistically significant among the irrigation treatments and was highest for grapevines irrigated at 100% or 80% of the CR, followed by 60% and 40% of the CR (p < 0.01). Reference T fraction (TrF) curves established from the UASM-T maps showed a notable effect of irrigation treatment rates. The total water use of grapevines estimated using interpolated TrF curves was highest for treatments of 100% (425 and 320 mm for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, respectively), followed by 80% (420 and 317 mm), 60% (391 and 318 mm), and 40% (370 and 304 mm) of the CR. Such estimates were within 5% to 11% of the SWB-based water use calculations. The UASM-T-estimated water use was not the same as the actual amount of water applied in the two seasons, probably because DRZ-irrigated vines might have developed deeper or lateral roots to fulfill water requirements outside the irrigated soil volume. Overall, results highlight the usefulness of high-resolution imagery toward site-specific water use management of grapevines. Full article
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Article
Understanding Vine Hyperspectral Signature through Different Irrigation Plans: A First Step to Monitor Vineyard Water Status
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(3), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13030536 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
The main challenge encountered by Mediterranean winegrowers is water management. Indeed, with climate change, drought events are becoming more intense each year, dragging the yield down. Moreover, the quality of the vineyards is affected and the level of alcohol increases. Remote sensing data [...] Read more.
The main challenge encountered by Mediterranean winegrowers is water management. Indeed, with climate change, drought events are becoming more intense each year, dragging the yield down. Moreover, the quality of the vineyards is affected and the level of alcohol increases. Remote sensing data are a potential solution to measure water status in vineyards. However, important questions are still open such as which spectral, spatial, and temporal scales are adapted to achieve the latter. This study aims at using hyperspectral measurements to investigate the spectral scale adapted to measure their water status. The final objective is to find out whether it would be possible to monitor the vine water status with the spectral bands available in multispectral satellites such as Sentinel-2. Four Mediterranean vine plots with three grape varieties and different water status management systems are considered for the analysis. Results show the main significant domains related to vine water status (Short Wave Infrared, Near Infrared, and Red-Edge) and the best vegetation indices that combine these domains. These results give some promising perspectives to monitor vine water status. Full article
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Article
Kc and LAI Estimations Using Optical and SAR Remote Sensing Imagery for Vineyards Plots
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(21), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12213478 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Daily or weekly irrigation monitoring conducted per sub-field or management zone is an important factor in vine irrigation decision-making. The objective is to determine the crop coefficient (Kc) and the leaf area index (LAI). Since the 1990s, optic satellite imagery has been utilized [...] Read more.
Daily or weekly irrigation monitoring conducted per sub-field or management zone is an important factor in vine irrigation decision-making. The objective is to determine the crop coefficient (Kc) and the leaf area index (LAI). Since the 1990s, optic satellite imagery has been utilized for this purpose, yet cloud-cover, as well as the desire to increase the temporal resolution, raise the need to integrate more imagery sources. The Sentinel-1 (a C-band synthetic aperture radar—SAR) can solve both issues, but its accuracy for LAI and Kc mapping needs to be determined. The goals of this study were as follows: (1) to test different methods for integrating SAR and optic sensors for increasing temporal resolution and creating seamless time-series of LAI and Kc estimations; and (2) to evaluate the ability of Sentinel-1 to estimate LAI and Kc in comparison to Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8. LAI values were collected at two vineyards, over three (north plot) and four (south plot) growing seasons. These values were converted to Kc, and both parameters were tested against optic and SAR indices. The results present the two Sentinel-1 indices that achieved the best accuracy in estimating the crop parameters and the best method for fusing the optic and the SAR data. Utilizing these achievements, the accuracy of the Kc and LAI estimations from Sentinel-1 were slightly better than the Sentinel-2′s and the Landsat-8′s accuracy. The integration of all three sensors into one seamless time-series not only increases the temporal resolution but also improves the overall accuracy. Full article
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Article
Modeling Directional Brightness Temperature (DBT) over Crop Canopy with Effects of Intra-Row Heterogeneity
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(17), 2667; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12172667 - 19 Aug 2020
Viewed by 874
Abstract
In order to improve the simulation accuracy of directional brightness temperature (DBT) and the retrieval accuracy of component temperature, a model considering intra-row heterogeneity to simulate the DBT angular distribution over crop canopy is proposed. At individual scale, the probability of leaf appearance [...] Read more.
In order to improve the simulation accuracy of directional brightness temperature (DBT) and the retrieval accuracy of component temperature, a model considering intra-row heterogeneity to simulate the DBT angular distribution over crop canopy is proposed. At individual scale, the probability of leaf appearance is inversely proportional to the distance from central stem. On the basis of this assumption, we formulated leaf area volume density (LAVD) spatial distribution at three hierarchical scales: individual scale, row scale, and scene scale. The equations for directional gap probability and bi-directional gap probability were modified to adapt the heterogeneity of row structure. Afterwards, a straightforward radiative transfer model was built based on the gap probabilities. A set of simulated data was generated by the thermal radiosity-graphics combined model (TRGM) as the benchmark to evaluate both forward simulation and inversion ability of the new model; we compared the new DBT model against an existing model assuming row as homogeneous box. With the growth of crops, the canopy structure of row crops will gradually change from row structure to continuous canopy. The new DBT model agreed with the TRGM model much better than the homogeneous row model at the middle stage of the crop growth season. The new model and the homogeneous row model achieve similar accuracy at early stage and end stage. At the middle growth stage, the new model can improve the accuracy of soil temperature retrieval. We recommend the new DBT model as an option to improve the DBT simulation and component temperature retrieval for row-planted crop canopy. In particular, the more accurate component temperatures during the middle growth stage are fundamentally important in characterizing crop water status, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture, which are subsequently critical for predicting crop productivity. Full article
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Article
Using Satellite Thermal-Based Evapotranspiration Time Series for Defining Management Zones and Spatial Association to Local Attributes in a Vineyard
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(15), 2436; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12152436 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 961
Abstract
A well-planned irrigation management strategy is crucial for successful wine grape production and is highly dependent on accurate assessments of water stress. Precision irrigation practices may benefit from the quantification of within-field spatial variability and temporal patterns of evapotranspiration (ET). A spatiotemporal modeling [...] Read more.
A well-planned irrigation management strategy is crucial for successful wine grape production and is highly dependent on accurate assessments of water stress. Precision irrigation practices may benefit from the quantification of within-field spatial variability and temporal patterns of evapotranspiration (ET). A spatiotemporal modeling framework is proposed to delineate the vineyard into homogeneous areas (i.e., management zones) according to their ET patterns. The dataset for this study relied on ET retrievals from multiple satellite platforms, generating estimates at high spatial (30 m) and temporal (daily) resolutions for a Vitis vinifera Pinot noir vineyard in the Central Valley of California during the growing seasons of 2015-2018. Time-series decomposition was used to deconstruct the time series of each pixel into three components: long-term trend, seasonality, and remainder, which indicates daily fluctuations. For each time-series component, a time-series clustering (TSC) algorithm was applied to partition the time series of all pixels into homogeneous groups and generate TSC maps. The TSC maps were compared for spatial similarities using the V-measure statistic. A random forest (RF) classification algorithm was used for each TSC map against six environmental variables (elevation, slope, northness, lithology, topographic wetness index, and soil type) to check for spatial association between ET-TSC maps and the local characteristics in the vineyard. Finally, the TSC maps were used as independent variables against yield (ton ha-1) using analysis of variance (ANOVA) to assess whether the TSC maps explained yield variability. The trend and seasonality TSC maps had a moderate spatial association (V = 0.49), while the remainder showed dissimilar spatial patterns to seasonality and trend. The RF model showed high error matrix-based prediction accuracy levels ranging between 86% and 90%. For the trend and seasonality models, the most important predictor was soil type, followed by elevation, while the remainder TSC was strongly linked with northness spatial variability. The yield levels corresponding to the two clusters in all TSC were significantly different. These findings enabled spatial quantification of ET time series at different temporal scales that may benefit within-season decision-making regarding the amounts, timing, intervals, and location of irrigation. The proposed framework may be applicable to other cases in both agricultural systems and environmental modeling. Full article
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Article
A Hyperspectral-Physiological Phenomics System: Measuring Diurnal Transpiration Rates and Diurnal Reflectance
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(9), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12091493 - 08 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
A novel hyperspectral-physiological system that monitors plants dynamic response to abiotic alterations was developed. The system is a sensor-to-plant platform which can determine the optimal time of day during which physiological traits can be successfully identified via spectral means. The directly measured traits [...] Read more.
A novel hyperspectral-physiological system that monitors plants dynamic response to abiotic alterations was developed. The system is a sensor-to-plant platform which can determine the optimal time of day during which physiological traits can be successfully identified via spectral means. The directly measured traits include momentary and daily transpiration rates throughout the daytime and daily and periodical plant weight loss and gain. The system monitored and evaluated pepper plants response to varying levels of potassium fertilization. Significant momentary transpiration rates differences were found between the treatments during 07:00–10:00 and 14:00–17:00. The simultaneous frequently measured high-resolution spectral data provided the means to correlate the two measured data sets. Significant correlation coefficients between the spectra and momentary transpiration rates resulted with a selection of three bands (ρ523, ρ697 and ρ818nm) that were used to capture transpiration rate differences using a normalized difference formula during the morning, noon and the afternoon. These differences also indicated that the best results are not always obtained when spectral (remote or proximal) measurements are typically preformed around noon (when solar illumination is the highest). Valuable information can be obtained when the spectral measurements are timed according to the plants’ dynamic physiological status throughout the day, which may vary among plant species and should be considered when planning remote sensing data acquisition. Full article
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