Aerial Imagery Can Detect Nitrogen Fertilizer Effects on Biomass and Stand Health of Miscanthus × giganteus

Themes: Feedstock Production

Keywords: Biomass Analytics, Field Data


Namoi, N.Jang, C., Robins, Z., Lin, C.H., Lim, S.H., Voigt, T.Lee, D.K. March 14, 2022. “Aerial Imagery Can Detect Nitrogen Fertilizer Effects on Biomass and Stand Health of Miscanthus x giganteus.” Remote Sensing. DOI: 10.3390/rs14061435.


Aggregated NDRE maps during the early-summer growing season (6 July 2018 and 2 July 2019) with 1 m × 1 m resolution and quadrat locations in 2018 and 2019.

Miscanthus × giganteus (Miscanthus) is a warm-season perennial grass grown for bioenergy feedstock production. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer management is crucial for the sustainability of Miscanthus production. In our two-year study (2018 and 2019), we investigated the role of vegetation indices (VIs) in evaluating N fertilization (0 N, 56 N, 112 N, and 168 N kg ha−1) impacts on Miscanthus biomass yield and stand health. The flight campaigns were conducted early, middle, and late during the summer growing season. Among the VIs, mid-summer growing season NDRE provided the best prediction of fresh biomass (R2 = 0.87 and 0.97) and dry biomass (R2 = 0.89 and 0.97) in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The VIs generally showed that it was possible to distinguish between 0 N and 168 N treatments, but neither 0 N and 56 N kg ha−1 nor 112 N and 168 N kg ha−1 could be separated. The results from this study highlight the importance of moderate application of N (112 kg N ha−1) in improving and maintaining the stand health and biomass yield of Miscanthus over time and suggest that mid-summer growing season VIs, NDRE in particular, can be useful for assessment of Miscanthus stand health and biomass yield.


Download (160.5 KB) includes:

  • NDVI
  • NDRE
  • Weather data

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