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In Frontiers in plant science

Stereo vision is a 3D imaging method that allows quick measurement of plant architecture. Historically, the method has mainly been developed in controlled conditions. This study identified several challenges to adapt the method to natural field conditions and propose solutions. The plant traits studied were leaf area, mean leaf angle, leaf angle distribution, and canopy height. The experiment took place in a winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L., field dedicated to fertilization trials at Gembloux (Belgium). Images were acquired thanks to two nadir cameras. A machine learning algorithm using RGB and HSV color spaces is proposed to perform soil-plant segmentation robust to light conditions. The matching between images of the two cameras and the leaf area computation was improved if the number of pixels in the image of a scene was binned from 2560 × 2048 to 1280 × 1024 pixels, for a distance of 1 m between the cameras and the canopy. Height descriptors such as median or 95th percentile of plant heights were useful to precisely compare the development of different canopies. Mean spike top height was measured with an accuracy of 97.1 %. The measurement of leaf area was affected by overlaps between leaves so that a calibration curve was necessary. The leaf area estimation presented a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.37. The impact of wind on the variability of leaf area measurement was inferior to 3% except at the stem elongation stage. Mean leaf angles ranging from 53° to 62° were computed for the whole growing season. For each acquisition date during the vegetative stages, the variability of mean angle measurement was inferior to 1.5% which underpins that the method is precise.

Dandrifosse Sébastien, Bouvry Arnaud, Leemans Vincent, Dumont Benjamin, Mercatoris Benoît


canopy height, crop phenotyping, leaf angle distribution, leaf area index, mean tilt angle, stereo vision, wheat