Estimating biophysical and geometrical parameters of grapevine canopies ('Sangiovese') by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and VIS-NIR cameras

  • G. Caruso University of Pisa
  • L. Tozzini University of Pisa
  • G. Rallo University of Pisa
  • J. Primicerio CNR-IBIMET
  • M. Moriondo CNR-IBIMET
  • G. Palai University of Pisa
  • R. Gucci University of Pisa
Keywords: canopy volume, greenness index, leaf area index, NDVI, remote sensing, structure from motion, Vitis vinifera L.


Three zones of different vine vigour were identified in a mature vineyard (Vitis vinifera 'Sangiovese') to test the potential of the Visible-Near Infrared (VIS-NIR) spectral information acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in estimating the leaf area index (LAI), leaf chlorophyll, pruning weight, canopy height and canopy volume of grapevines. A significant linear correlation between the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) and LAI or between NDVI and leaf chlorophyll was found at day of the year (DOY) 162 and 190, whereas in August the relationship between NDVI and leaf chlorophyll was less evident. The canopy volume of low-vigour (LV) vines was 35 and 45 % of the high-vigour (HV) and medium-vigour (MV) ones, respectively. The pruning weight was linearly correlated with NDVI values of each vigour cohort. A good correlation between the measured canopy volume and UAV-estimated one as well as between measured and estimated canopy height was found. Our results indicated that the combined use of VIS-NIR cameras and UAV is a rapid and reliable technique to determine canopy structure and LAI of grapevine.