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Systematic Measurement Methods for the Determination of the SPAD Values of Maize (Zea mays L.) Canopy and Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)

Víg, Róbert, Huzsvai, László, Dobos, Attila, Nagy, János
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2012 v.43 no.12 pp. 1684-1693
Solanum tuberosum, Zea mays, canopy, corn, fertilizers, field experimentation, leaf blade, nitrogen, potatoes, soil, Japan
Based on Soil Plant Analysis Development (SPAD) values, nitrogen (N) deficiency, nutrient need, and the effect of fertilizer treatments on crop conditions can be quickly estimated, but the method of SPAD measurement significantly affects the accuracy of estimation. In field experiments near Debrecen, Hungary, we measured the reliability and accuracy of SPAD measurements in maize and potato populations using a Minolta SPAD-502 meter (Minolta, Tokyo, Japan). The aim of our study was to determine which SPAD measurement methods are capable of detecting small differences in the SPAD values. During the examination of maize ear leaves, we determined the distribution of SPAD values along the leaf blade and then identified single- and multipoint measurement methods. By comparing the results of the measurement methods we established that the single-point-based measurements are less suitable for the determination of the average SPAD value of the leaf blade than the multipoint-based measurements. Also, we showed that the increase in the number of measurement points does not influence the accuracy of the measurement in the case of systematic measurement methods based on the distribution of SPAD values. Thus we recommend five-point measurements to obtain the average SPAD values of the ear leaves: the tip of the leaf blade and at one quarter and one half of the leaf blade from the base on both the right and left sides. From the measurements conducted in potato, we showed that the SPAD values change at every foliar level and that the measurements carried out on the middle foliar level provide the closest correlation with the average SPAD values of the leaf canopy. Based on these results, we recommend making measurements at different foliar levels or on the middle foliar level to determine the average SPAD value of the potato leaf canopy.