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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 63 No. 6, p. 845-847
    Received: Feb 16, 1971

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Estimating Leaf Water Content by Reflectance Measurements1

  1. J. R. Thomas,
  2. L. N. Namken,
  3. G. F. Oerther and
  4. R. G. Brown2



Regression equations expressing reflectance of incidentlight from the upper (adaxial) surface of single leaves as a function of their relative turgidity and water content were developed. Reflectance at the 1.45- and 1.93-µ water absorption bands was significantly related (p = 0.01) to the leaf relative turgidity or water content. However, because of variations in internal leaf structure associated with the availability of water during leaf development, the ability to predict the leaf water status from reflectance easurements was poor. With cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) the greatest change in reflectance occurs when the relative turgidity is below 70% and the leaves are visibly wilted. Within the relative turgidity range, 70 to 80%, reflectance changes are small and may not be definable for predictive purposes because of variation among leaves of field-grown cotton caused by age differences and osmotic stresses.

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