Assessment of seasonal dry-matter yield and quality of grass swards with imaging spectroscopy
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The potential of imaging spectroscopy for the assessment of seasonal dry-matter (DM) yield and sward quality was studied. Relationships between spatial heterogeneity of tiller density, light interception, ground cover and seasonal DM yield were developed. Sward heterogeneity was quantified by the spatial standard deviation of ground cover and of logarithmically transformed ground cover, and patterns in ground cover transects were quantified by wavelet entropy. An experiment was conducted with eight control (C) swards, eight naturally damaged (ND) swards and twelve artificially damaged (AD) swards. Swards were established in containers and spectroscopic images were recorded twice weekly. Seasonal DM yield was linearly related to a combination of means of ground cover and index of reflection intensity (r2 = 0·93). Spatial variation of tiller density was larger for AD and ND swards than for C swards. Values of the spatial standard deviation of ground cover and wavelet entropy were larger for AD and ND swards than for C swards. A single spatial standard deviation of ground cover value of 13% discriminated ND and AD swards from C swards. Seasonal means of wavelet entropy (r2 = 0·70) and the spatial standard deviation of ground cover (r2 = 0·63) at harvest were linearly related to seasonal DM yield. It is concluded that imaging spectroscopy can be used for assessing seasonal DM yield and sward heterogeneity.
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