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11 November 2014 E.O.-based estimation of transpiration and crop water requirements for vineyards: a case study in southern Italy
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An efficient use of water for irrigation is a challenging task. From an agronomical point of view, it requires establishing the optimal amount of water to be supplied, at the correct time, based on phenological phase and water stress spatial distribution. Indeed, the knowledge of the actual water stress is essential for agronomic decisions, vineyards need to be managed to maintain a moderate water stress, thus allowing to optimize berries quality and quantity. Methods for quickly quantifying where, when and in what extent, vines begin to experience water stress are beneficial. Traditional point based methodologies, such those based on Scholander pressure chamber, even if well established are time expensive and do not give a comprehensive picture of the vineyard water deficit. Earth Observation (E.O.) based methodologies promise to achieve a synoptic overview of the water stress. Some E.O. data, indeed, sense the territory in the thermal part of the spectrum and, as it is well recognized, leaf radiometric temperature is related to the plant water status. However, current satellite sensors have not detailed enough spatial resolution to detect pure canopy pixels; thus, the pixel radiometric temperature characterizes the whole soil-vegetation system, and in variable proportions. On the other hand, due to limits in the actual crop dusters, there is no need to characterize the water stress distribution at plant scale, and a coarser spatial characterization would be sufficient. The research aims to assess to what extent: 1) E.O. based canopy radiometric temperature can be used, straightforwardly, to detected plant water status; 2) E.O. based canopy transpiration, would be more suitable (or not) to describe the spatial variability in plant water stress. To these aims: 1) radiometric canopy temperature measured in situ, and derived from a two-source energy balance model applied on airborne data, were compared with in situ leaf water potential from freshly cut leaves; 2) two source energy balance components were validated trough flux tower measures, then, the actual canopy latent heat flux is compared to in situ leaf water potential.
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Guido D'Urso, Antonino Maltese, and Mario Palladino "E.O.-based estimation of transpiration and crop water requirements for vineyards: a case study in southern Italy", Proc. SPIE 9239, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XVI, 92390T (11 November 2014);

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