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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 87 No. 3, p. 458-464
    Received: Apr 29, 1994

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Estimation of Leaf Area Index for Cotton Canopies Using the LI-COR LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer

  1. Stanley K. Hicks  and
  2. Robert J. Lascano
  1. Texas A&M Univ. Res. & Ext. Ctr., Rt. 3, Box 219, Lubbock,TX 79401-9757



Measurement of leaf area index (LAI) is useful for understanding cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) growth, water use, and canopy light interception. Destructive measurement is time consuming and labor intensive. Our objective was to evaluate sampling procedures using the Li-Cor (Lincoln, NE) LAI 2000 plant canopy analyzer (PCA) for nondestructive estimation of cotton LAI on the southern High Plains of Texas. We evaluated shading as a way to allow PCA measurements in direct sunlight and the influence of solar direction when using this procedure. We also evaluated a test of canopy homogeneity (information required for setting PCA field of view), determined the number of belowcanopy measurements required, examined the influence of leaf wilting on PCA LAI determinations, and tested an alternative method (masking the sensor's two outer rings) for calculating LAI from PCA measurements. The best agreement between PCA and destructively measured LAI values was obtained when PCA observations were made either during uniformly overcast conditions or around solar noon using the shading method. Heterogeneous canopies with large gaps between rows required both a restricted (45°) azimuthal field of view and averaging the LAI values for two transects, made with the field of view parallel and then perpendicular to the row direction. This method agreed well (r2 = 0.84) with destructively measured LAI in the range of 0.5 to 3.5 and did not deviate from a 1:1 relationship. The PCA underestimated LAI by ≥ 20% when measurements were made on canopies wilted due to water stress. Masking the PCA sensor's outer rings did not improve the relationship between estimated and measured LAI in the range of LAI sampled.

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