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Using only the red-edge bands is sufficient to detect tree stress: A case study on the early detection of PWD using hyperspectral drone images

Li, Niwen; Huo, Langning; Zhang, Xiaoli


Pine wilt disease (PWD) is a destructive disease of pine trees caused by the pine wood nematode and early identification is crucial for disease control. Hyperspectral drone imagery has the potential to achieve early detection, although specific methods have not been sufficiently explored, including the spectral characteristics of early infections and the most efficient identification methods. This study aimed to examine the spectral responses to early infection, quantify the separability of healthy and early infections, and compare the accuracy and efficiency of different methods including single bands, vegetation indices (VIs) and 1st derivative reflectance and indices. We collected hyperspectral drone data in southeast China and used linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to determine the separability of healthy trees and trees at an early stage of infection. We also used bands with the same wavelengths as Sentienl-2 images (denoted S2 bands) to propose a standard for band selection. We found that it was possible to separate healthy trees and those at an early stage of infection around 0.71–0.78 using different methods. Among individual bands, the red-edge bands had the highest separability of 0.74. Using standard vegetation indices resulted in separability between 0.67 and 0.71; in addition, we proposed three new indices that achieved separability between 0.73 and 0.75. The 1st derivative reflectance at 714 nm had the highest separability of 0.78 in this study, while using the 1st derivative reflectance indices was slightly less accurate. The classification accuracy was also slightly lower when using Random Forest (RF) with all bands, sensitive bands, and S2 bands. We conclude that, of the methods tested, the red-edge bands are most sensitive to early infection, and using the 1st derivative reflectance at 714 nm or using the 1st derivative reflectance at the red-edge and blue-edge inflection point (REIP and BEIP) was sufficient for early identification. Acquiring and using additional wavelengths hardly improved the classification. Using wavelengths similar to those in the Sentienl-2 images achieved similar results, and thus can be used as a standard for dimensionality reduction of hyperspectral data pertaining to forest disease. The newly proposed VIs and 1st derivative reflectances at the yellow-edge inflection point (YEIP) and BEIP delivered better performance than the other tested indices, and could be alternatives for early identification. This study proposes simple and practical methods for early identification of wilt and provides insights for efficient data acquisition and data reduction.


Pine wilt disease; Early detection; Hyperspectral drone images; Red-edge bands; 1st derivative indices

Publicerad i

Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
2024, Volym: 217, artikelnummer: 108665