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Determination of vegetation cover index under different soil management systems of cover plants by using an unmanned aerial vehicle with an onboard digital photographic camera

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Semina-Ciencias Agrarias
Issue number1
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)49-66
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The permanent monitoring of vegetation cover is important to guarantee a sustainable management of agricultural activities, with a relevant role in the reduction of water erosion. This monitoring can be carried out through different indicators such as vegetation cover indices. In this study, the vegetation cover index was obtained using uncalibrated RGB images generated from a digital photographic camera on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In addition, a comparative study with 11 vegetation indices was carried out. The vegetation indices CIVE and EXG presented a better performance and the index WI presented the worst performance in the vegetation classification during the cycles of jack bean and millet, according to the overall accuracy and Kappa coefficient. Vegetation indices were effective tools in obtaining soil cover index when compared to the standard Stocking method, except for the index WI. Architecture and cycle of millet and jack bean influenced the behavior of the studied vegetation indices. Vegetation indices generated from RGB images obtained by UAV were more practical and efficient, allowing a more frequent monitoring and in a wider area during the crop cycle.