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Proceedings Paper

Noninvasive detection of plant nutrient stress using fiber optic spectrophotometry
Author(s): Jun-Wei Chen; Anand Krishna Asundi; Oi Wah Liew; William S. L. Boey
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Paper Abstract

In a previous paper, we described the use of fiber optic spectrophotometry as a non-destructive and sensitive method to detect early symptoms of plant nutrient deficiency. We report further developments of our work on Brassica chinensis var parachinensis (Bailey) showing reproducibility of our data collected at a different seasonal period. Plants at the mid-log growth phase were subjected to nutrient stress by transferring them to nitrate- and calcium- deficient nutrient solution in a standing aerated hydroponic system. After tracking changes in leaf reflectance by FOSpectr for nine days, the plants were returned to complete nutrient solution and their recovery was monitored for a further nine days. The responses of nutrient stressed plants were compared with those grown under complete nutrient solution over the 18-day trial period. We also compared the sensitivity of FOSpectr detection against plant growth measurements vis-a-vis average leaf number and leaf width and show that the former method gave an indication of nutrient stress much earlier than the latter. In addition, this work indicated that while normal and nutrient-stressed plants could not be distinguished within the first 7 days by tracking plant growth indicators, stressed plants did show a clear decline in average leaf number and leaf width in later stages of growth even after the plants were returned to complete nutrient solution. The results further reinforce the need for early detection of nutrient stress, as late remedial action could not reverse the loss in plant growth in later stages of plant development.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2001
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 4416, Optical Engineering for Sensing and Nanotechnology (ICOSN 2001), (8 May 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.427069
Show Author Affiliations
Jun-Wei Chen, Nanyang Technological Univ. (Singapore)
Anand Krishna Asundi, Nanyang Technological Univ. (Singapore)
Oi Wah Liew, Singapore Polytechnic (Singapore)
William S. L. Boey, Singapore Polytechnic (Singapore)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4416:
Optical Engineering for Sensing and Nanotechnology (ICOSN 2001)
Koichi Iwata, Editor(s)

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