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Visible and near infrared spectroscopy for predicting texture in forest soil: an application in southern Italy

Massimo Conforti, Raffaele Froio, Giorgio Matteucci, Gabriele Buttafuoco   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 339-347 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1221-007
Published: Sep 09, 2014 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles


Texture is a primary variable affecting the total amount of carbon stock in the soil. The standard methods for determining soil texture, however, are still conducted manually and are largely time-consuming. Reflectance spectroscopy in the visible, near infrared (Vis-NIR, 350-2500 nm) spectral region could be an alternative to standard laboratory methods. The aim of this paper was to develop calibration models based on laboratory Vis-NIR spectroscopy and PLSR analysis to estimate the texture (sand: 2-0.05 mm; silt: 0.05-0.002 mm; clay: <0.002 mm) in a forest area of southern Italy. An additional objective was to produce continuous maps of sand, silt and clay through a geostatistical approach. Soil samples were collected at 235 locations in the study area, and then dried, sieved at 2 mm and analyzed in laboratory for soil texture and Vis-NIR spectroscopic measurements. Spectra showed that soil samples could be spectrally separable on the basis of classes of texture. To establish the relationships between spectral reflectance and soil texture (sand, silt and clay) partial least squared regression (PLSR) analysis was applied to 175 soil samples, while the remaining 60 samples were used to validate the models. The optimum number of factors to be retained in the calibration models was determined by leave-one-out cross-validation. Results of cross validation of calibration models indicated that the models fitted quite well and the values of R2 ranged between a minimum value of 0.74% for silt and a maximum value of 0.84 for sand content. Results for validation were satisfactory for sand content (R2=0.81) and clay content (R2=0.80) and less satisfactory for silt content (R2=0.70). Geostatistics coupled with Vis-NIR reflectance spectroscopy allowed us to produce continuous maps of sand, silt and clay, which are of critical importance for understanding and managing forest soils.

  Keywords


Forest Soils, Soil Texture, Vis-NIR Spectroscopy, Geostatistics, Southern Italy

Authors’ address

(1)
Massimo Conforti
Raffaele Froio
Giorgio Matteucci
Gabriele Buttafuoco
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean (ISAFOM), National Research Council of Italy, v. Cavour 4/6, I-87036 Rende (CS, Italy)

Corresponding author

 
Gabriele Buttafuoco
gabriele.buttafuoco@cnr.it

Citation

Conforti M, Froio R, Matteucci G, Buttafuoco G (2015). Visible and near infrared spectroscopy for predicting texture in forest soil: an application in southern Italy. iForest 8: 339-347. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1221-007

Academic Editor

Davide Ascoli

Paper history

Received: Dec 29, 2013
Accepted: May 29, 2014

First online: Sep 09, 2014
Publication Date: Jun 01, 2015
Publication Time: 3.43 months

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