Spectroscopic detection of nitrogen concentrations in sagebrush

Jessica J. Mitchell, Nancy F. Glenn, Temuulen T. Sankey, Dewayne R. Derryberry, Matthew O. Anderson, Ryan C. Hruska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The ability to estimate foliar nitrogen in semi-arid landscapes can yield information on nutritional status and improve our limited understanding of controls on canopy photosynthesis. We examined two spectroscopic methods for estimating sagebrush dried leaf and live shrub nitrogen content: first derivative reflectance (FDR) and continuum removal. Both methods used partial least squares (PLS) regression to select wavebands most significantly correlated with nitrogen concentrations in the samples. Sagebrush dried leaf spectra produced PLS models (R2 = 0.76-0.86) that could predict nitrogen concentrations within the data set more accurately than PLS models generated from live shrub spectra (R2 = 0.41-0.63). Inclusion of wavelengths associated with leaf water in the FDR transformations appeared to improve regression results. These findings are encouraging and warrant further exploration into sagebrush reflectance spectra to characterize nitrogen concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalRemote Sensing Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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