Ground cover and leaf area index relationship in a grass, legume and crucifer crop

https://doi.org/10.17221/195/2012-PSECitation:Ramirez-Garcia J., Almendros P., Quemada M. (2012):   Ground cover and leaf area index relationship in a grass, legume and crucifer crop. Plant Soil Environ., 58: 385-390.
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Canopy characterization is essential for describing the interaction of a crop with its environment. The goal of this work was to determine the relationship between leaf area index (LAI) and ground cover (GC) in a grass, a legume and a crucifer crop, and to assess the feasibility of using these relationships as well as LAI-2000 readings to estimate LAI. Twelve plots were sown with either barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), vetch (Vicia sativa L.), or rape (Brassica napus L.). On 10 sampling dates the LAI (both direct and LAI-2000 estimations), fraction intercepted of photosynthetically active radiation (FIPAR) and GC were measured. Linear and quadratic models fitted to the relationship between the GC and LAI for all of the crops, but they reached a plateau in the grass when the LAI > 4. Before reaching full cover, the slope of the linear relationship between both variables was within the range of 0.025 to 0.030. The LAI-2000 readings were linearly correlated with the LAI but they tended to overestimation. Corrections based on the clumping effect reduced the root mean square error of the estimated LAI from the LAI-2000 readings from 1.2 to less than 0.50 for the crucifer and the legume, but were not effective for barley.  
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