Detection of Internal Leaf Structure Deterioration Using a New Spectral Ratio Index in the Near-Infrared Shoulder Region

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pectral ratio index, spectral reflectance, vegetation index, dehydration, paraquat herbicide, stripe rust

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Spectral reflectance in the near-infrared (NIR) shoulder (750-900 nm) region is affected by internal leaf structure, but it has rarely been investigated. In this study, a dehydration treatment and three paraquat herbicide applications were conducted to explore how spectral reflectance and shape in the NIR shoulder region responded to various stresses. A new spectral ratio index in the NIR shoulder region (NSRI), defined by a simple ratio of reflectance at 890 nm to reflectance at 780 nm, was proposed for assessing leaf structure deterioration. Firstly, a wavelength-independent increase in spectral reflectance in the NIR shoulder region was observed from the mature leaves with slight dehydration. An increase in spectral slope in the NIR shoulder would be expected only when water stress developed sufficiently to cause severe leaf dehydration resulting in an alteration in cell structure. Secondly, the alteration of leaf cell structure caused by Paraquat herbicide applications resulted in a wavelength-dependent variation of spectral reflectance in the NIR shoulder region. The NSRI in the NIR shoulder region increased significantly under an herbicide application. Although the dehydration process also occurred with the herbicide injury, NSRI is more sensitive to herbicide injury than the water-related indices (water index and normalized difference water index) and normalized difference vegetation index. Finally, the sensitivity of NSRI to stripe rust in winter wheat was examined, yielding a determination coefficient of 0.61, which is more significant than normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), water index (WI) and normalized difference water index (NDWI), with a determination coefficient of 0.45, 0.36 and 0.13, respectively. In this study, all experimental results demonstrated that NSRI will increase with internal leaf structure deterioration, and it is also a sensitive spectral index for herbicide injury or stripe rust in winter wheat.

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Journal of Integrative Agriculture, v. 13, issue 4, p. 760-769