Narrow-waveband reflectance ratios for remote estimation of nitrogen status in cotton. Conference Paper uri icon


  • Tailoring nitrogen (N) fertilizer applications to cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in response to leaf N status may optimize N use efficiency and reduce off-site effects of excessive fertilizer use. This study compared leaf and canopy reflectance within the 350 to 950 nm range in order to identify reflectance ratios sensitive to leaf chlorophyll (Chl), and hence N status, in cotton. Plants were grown outdoors in large pots using half-strength Hoagland's (control) solution until some three-row plots received a restricted supply of N. Treatments comprised control, 20% of control N at first flower bud (square) onward; 0 and 20% of control N at first flower onward; and 0% of control N at fruit-filling onward. Despite leaf N values ranging from 51 to 19 g kg-1 across treatments and sampling dates, a weak correlation was obtained between Chl and N (r2 = 0.32, df = 70). In general, N stress led to increased reflectance at 695 +/- 2.5 nm (R695) and decreased reflectance at R410, and changes in leaf N were best correlated with either R695 or R755 in leaves and either R410 or R700 in canopies. The strongest associations between leaf constituent and canopy reflectance ratio were Chl vs. R415/R695 (r2 = 0.72), carotenoids vs. R415/R685 (r2 = 0.79), and N vs. R415/R710 (r2 = 0.70). The R415 measure appears to be a more stable spectral feature under N stress, as compared with more pronounced changes along the reflectance red edge (690-730 nm). Multiple regression identified a three-waveband canopy reflectance model that explained 80% of the variability in leaf N. Results indicate that remote sensing of N status in cotton is feasible using narrow-waveband reflectance ratios that involve the violet or blue region of the spectrum (400 to 450 nm) and the more commonly featured red-edge region.

published proceedings

  • J Environ Qual

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Read, J. J., Tarpley, L., McKinion, J. M., & Reddy, K. R.

citation count

  • 109

complete list of authors

  • Read, JJ||Tarpley, L||McKinion, JM||Reddy, KR

publication date

  • September 2002