Use of Hyperspectral and Biochemical Data from Black Spruce Needles to Map Soils at a Forest Site in Manitoba
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Biochemical assessment of Black Spruce (Picea mariana Mill.) needles collected from trees near Thompson, Manitoba reveals that there are concentrations of potassium (K) in them which reflect the K distribution in the rooting zone. Exchangeable potassium amounts ranged from low to high at lowland/upland locations and were found to be associated with either poorly or well-drained brunisol and luvisol soils. An ammonium-acetate extraction performed on soil samples established that K is in an available form for uptake by the Spruce trees overlying them. A relatively high degree of correlation exists between plant K content and its magnitude in the soil (r=0.868). Comparison of mean spectral signatures between needles with low and high K concentrations showed statistically significant differences in their response patterns in the green and infrared edge wavelength regions. Pearson Product Moment correlation analysis of foliar K content and original and first derivative spectra found that these differences were, to a considerable degree, attributable to K content variability. These relationships indicate that hyperspectral scrutiny of Spruce needles, in conjunction with biochemical examination, may be a useful method for indirectly mapping upland and lowland soils in this area. 1998, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.