iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Calibration of a multi-species model for chlorophyll estimation in seedlings of Neotropical tree species using hand-held leaf absorbance meters and spectral reflectance

Daniela Viera Silva (1), Letícia Dos Anjos (2), Ediófila Brito-Rocha (2), Andrea Carla Dalmolin (2), Marcelo S Mielke (2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 5, Pages 829-834 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1785-009
Published: May 17, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

The aim of the present study was to calibrate a multi-species model for assessing leaf chlorophyll content in seedlings of six Neotropical rainforest tree species. Two hand-held chlorophyll absorbance meters (SPAD-502 and ClorofiLog) and the chlorophyll normalized difference leaf reflectance index (ND705) were tested. Measurements of leaf absorbance and reflectance, contents of chlorophyll a (Chl a), chlorophyll b (Chl b), and total chlorophyll (Chl t), leaf area (LA), and leaf mass per area (LMA) were performed on fully expanded leaves. A total of 200 leaves were used for the calibration of the multiple-species model. The relative root mean square calibration errors (RMSεc, %) were calculated based on estimated chlorophyll values for multiple-species models and on measured values for each of the six species. The average values of LA varied between 14.2 and 29.5 cm-2, LMA between 34.8 and 98.9 g m-2, and Chl t between 3 and 815 mg m-2. For all indices, the highest values of the coefficients of determination (R2) were observed for Chl a (R2 ≥ 0.91), followed by Chl t (R2 ≥ 0.89) and Chl b (R2 ≥ 0.82). The highest values of R2 were obtained for ND705 (R2 ≥ 0.86) followed by SPAD-502 (R2 ≥ 0.83) and ClorofiLog (R2 ≥ 0.82). The present study showed that ClorofiLog and SPAD-502 indices could be safely interconverted by a simple linear regression model (R2 = 0.98). RMSεc values were lower than 20%, which confirmed the feasibility of the multi-species model for estimating the chlorophyll content using hand-held chlorophyll absorbance meters and leaf reflectance.


Chlorophyll Normalized Difference Index, Hand-held Chlorophyll Absorbance Meters, Leaf Reflectance, Neotropical Tree Species

Authors’ address

Daniela Viera Silva
Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Rodovia Jorge Amado km 16, Ilhéus, Bahia (Brazil)
Letícia Dos Anjos
Ediófila Brito-Rocha
Andrea Carla Dalmolin
Marcelo S Mielke
Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus, Bahia (Brazil)

Corresponding author

Marcelo S Mielke


Viera Silva D, Dos Anjos L, Brito-Rocha E, Dalmolin AC, Mielke MS (2016). Calibration of a multi-species model for chlorophyll estimation in seedlings of Neotropical tree species using hand-held leaf absorbance meters and spectral reflectance. iForest 9: 829-834. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1785-009

Academic Editor

Silvano Fares

Paper history

Received: Jul 30, 2015
Accepted: Jan 17, 2016

First online: May 17, 2016
Publication Date: Oct 13, 2016
Publication Time: 4.03 months

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