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Environ Pollut. 2007 Jul;148(1):301-11. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Effects of mercury on visible/near-infrared reflectance spectra of mustard spinach plants (Brassica rapa P.).

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Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459, USA.


Mustard spinach plants were grown in mercury-spiked and contaminated soils collected in the field under controlled laboratory conditions over a full growth cycle to test if vegetation grown in these soils has discernible characteristics in visible/near-infrared (VNIR) spectra. Foliar Hg concentrations (0.174-3.993ppm) of the Mustard spinach plants were positively correlated with Hg concentration of soils and varied throughout the growing season. Equations relating foliar Hg concentration to spectral reflectance, its first derivative, and selected vegetation indices were generated using stepwise multiple linear regression. Significant correlations are found for limited wavelengths for specific treatments and dates. Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI) and Red Edge Position (REP) values of plants in Hg-spiked and field-contaminated soils are significantly lower relative to control plants during the early and middle portions of the growth cycle which may be related to lower chlorophyll abundance or functioning in Hg-contaminated plants.

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