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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Spectral Assessment of Leaf Litter and Analysis of the Percent Carbon and Nitrogen in Tree Species in An Agricultural Riparian Zone

item McMurtrey Iii, James
item Middleton, E - NASA-GSFC
item Campbell, P - NASA-GSFC
item Corp, L - NASA-GSFC
item McCarty, Gregory

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2001
Publication Date: October 22, 2001

Technical Abstract: The research describes the spectral differences in leaf litter from trees of a riparian zone surrounding an agricultural field cropped area. The tree litter was characterized for both spectral fluorescence and reflectance attributes. A chemical analysis of the percent carbon and nitrogen present in the litter material as well as in the xylem and phloem was conducted. The results of the study indicated that several groups of trees species could be distinguished by the spectral properties of their leaf litter. Data of this type could be used to recommend the design of sensing systems for the detection of the distribution of different tree species by remote sensing during the dormant winter period. Discrimination of the distribution of different deciduous tree stands has been a problem during the green growth period. The study also found that different tree species accumulated carbon and especially nitrogen in there dead leaf litter at different rates. This leads us to believe that certain tree species maybe better at mitigating the nitrogen load coming off agricultural areas and in sequestering the carbon in the riparian zones around farm fields. The work is projected to lead to methods for determining the amounts and distribution of carbon and nitrogen sequestration in ecological zones surrounding agriculture.

Last Modified: 2/28/2015
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