Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based remote sensing to monitor grapevine leaf stripe disease within a vineyard affected by esca complex
- precision viticulture,
- disease detection,
- asymptomatic plant
How to Cite
Foliar symptoms of grapevine leaf stripe disease (GLSD, a disease within the esca complex) are linked to drastic alteration of photosynthetic function and activation of defense responses in affected grapevines several days before the appearance of the first visible symptoms on leaves. The present study suggests a methodology to investigate the relationships between high-resolution multispectral images (0.05 m/pixel) acquired using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), and GLSD foliar symptoms monitored by ground surveys. This approach showed high correlation between Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI) acquired by the UAV and GLSD symptoms, and discrimination between symptomatic from asymptomatic plants. High-resolution multispectral images were acquired during June and July of 2012 and 2013, in an experimental vineyard heavily affected by GLSD, located in Tuscany (Italy), where vines had been surveyed and mapped since 2003. Each vine was located with a global positioning system, and classified for appearance of foliar symptoms and disease severity at weekly intervals from the beginning of each season. Remote sensing and ground observation data were analyzed to promptly identify the early stages of disease, even before visual detection. This work suggests an innovative methodology for quantitative and qualitative analysis of spatial distribution of symptomatic plants. The system may also be used for exploring the physiological bases of GLSD, and predicting the onset of this disease.