Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing

, Volume 46, Issue 12, pp 1925–1937 | Cite as

Assessing Metal-Induced Changes in the Visible and Near-Infrared Spectral Reflectance of Leaves: A Pot Study with Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

  • Paresh H. RathodEmail author
  • Carsten Brackhage
  • Ingo Müller
  • Freek D. Van der Meer
  • Marleen F. Noomen
Research Article


The aim of this study was to monitor changes in leaf spectral reflectance due to phytoaccumulation of trace elements (Cd, Pb, and As) in sunflower mutant (M5 mutant line 38/R4-R6/15-35-190-04-M5) grown in spiked and in situ metal-contaminated potted soils. Reflectance spectra (350–2500 nm) of leaves were collected using portable ASD spectroradiometer, and respective leaves sample were analyzed for total metal contents. The spectral changes were quite noticeable and showed increased visible and decreased NIR reflectance for sunflower grown in soil spiked with 900 mg As kg−1, and in in situ metal-contaminated soils. These changes also involved a blue-shift feature of red-edge position in the first derivatives spectra, studied vegetation indices and continuum removed absorption features at 495, 680, 970, 1165, 1435, 1780, and 1925 nm wavelength. Correlograms of leaf-metal concentration and reflectance values show highest degrees of overall correlation for visible, near-infrared, and water-sensitive wavelengths. Partial least square and multiple linear regression statistical models (cross-validated), respectively, based on Savitzky–Golay filter first-order derivative spectra and combination of spectral feature such as vegetation indices and band depths yielded good prediction of leaf-metal concentrations.


Metal-contaminated soils Sunflower Spectral reflectance Phytoremediation Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy 



The authors would like to acknowledge the European Commission Higher Education Program for Granting Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window Scholarship to support this research. Special thanks to faculties at Department of Earth System Analysis, ITC, University of Twente; at Institute of General Ecology and Conservation, Tharandt, TU Dresden; and at Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Freiberg, for their invaluable technical assistance. The authors are specially thankful to Dr. Rolf Herzig, Phytotech Foundation, Bern, Switzerland, for providing with the seeds of sunflower M5 mutant lines – M5/R4-R6/15-35-190-04-M5.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Remote Sensing 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paresh H. Rathod
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Carsten Brackhage
    • 2
  • Ingo Müller
    • 3
  • Freek D. Van der Meer
    • 1
  • Marleen F. Noomen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth Systems Analysis, Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth ObservationUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for General Ecology and Environmental Protection, Technical UniversityTharandtGermany
  3. 3.Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and GeologyFreibergGermany
  4. 4.Anand Agricultural UniversityAnandIndia

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