Developing a new spectral index for detecting Cadmium-induced stress in rice on a regional scale

Chuanyu Wu, Meiling Liu*, Xiangnan Liu, Tiejun Wang, Lingyue Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


In natural farmland ecosystems, cadmium (Cd) pollution in rice has attracted increasing attention because of its high toxicity, relative mobility, and high water solubility. This study aims to develop a spectral index for detecting Cd stress in rice on a regional scale. Three experimental sites are selected in Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province. The hyperspectral data, chlorophyll (Chl) content, leaf area index, average leaf angle, Cd concentration in soil, and Sentinel-2A images from 2017 and 2018 are collected. A new spectral index sensitive to Cd stress in rice is established based on the global sensitivity analysis of the radiative transfer model PROSPECT + SAIL (commonly called PROSAIL) model with the auxiliary of the field-measured data. The heavy metal Cd stress-sensitive spectral index (HCSI) is devised as an indicator of the degree of Cd stress in rice. Results indicate that (1) the HCSI developed based on Chl is a good indicator of rice damage caused by Cd stress, that is, low values of HCSI occur in rice subject to relatively high pollution; (2) compared with common spectral indices, such as red-edge position and red-edge Chl index, HCSI is more sensitive to Chl content with higher Pearson correlation coefficients with respect to Chl content, ranging from 0.85 to 0.95; (3) HCSI is successfully applied in Sentinel-2A images from the two different years of monitoring rice Cd stress on a regional scale. Cd stress levels in rice stabilized, and the largest area percentage of each pollution levels of Cd decreased in the following order: No pollution (i.e., 40%), low pollution (i.e., 35%), and high pollution (i.e., 25%). This study indicates that a combination of simulation data from the PROSAIL model and measured data appears to be a promising method for establishing a sensitivity spectral index to heavy metal stress, which can accurately detect regional Cd stress in crops.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4811
Number of pages18
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2019




Dive into the research topics of 'Developing a new spectral index for detecting Cadmium-induced stress in rice on a regional scale'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this