Crop reflectance monitoring as a tool for water stress detection in greenhouses: A review

Nikolaos Katsoulas, Angeliki Elvanidi, Konstantinos P. Ferentinos, Murat Kacira, Thomas Bartzanas, Constantinos Kittas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Multisensory platforms for remote sensing measurements offer the possibility to monitor in real-time the crop health status without affecting the crop and environmental conditions. The concept of the speaking plant approach, and plant response based sensing in general, could be valuable providing a better understanding of the interactions between the microclimate and the physical conditions of the plants. Early detection of plant stress is critical, especially in intensive production systems, in order to minimise both acute and chronic loss of productivity. Non-contact and non-destructive sensing techniques can continuously monitor plants and enable automated sensing and control capabilities. This paper reviews past research and recent advances regarding the sensors and approaches used for crop reflectance measurements and the indices used for crop water and nutrient status detection. The most practical and effective indices are those based on ground reflectance sensors data which are evaluated in terms of their efficiency in detecting plant water status under greenhouse conditions. Some possible applications of this approach are summarised. Although crop reflectance measurements have been widely used under open field conditions, there are several factors that limit the application of reflectance measurements under greenhouse conditions. The most promising type of sensors and indices for early stress detection in greenhouse crops are presented and discussed. Future research should focus on real time data analysis and detection of plant water stress using advanced data analysis techniques and to the development of indices that may not be affected by plant microclimate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-398
Number of pages25
JournalBiosystems Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Nutrient status
  • Reflectance index
  • Remote sensing
  • Vegetation indices
  • Water status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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