Explorative Frequency Analysis of Leaf Temperature Behavior of Maize (Zea mays subsp. mays) at Water Deficit

In this study, different standard frequency analysis (FA) methods are applied to measured leaf temperature data of maize plants (developmental stages EC13–15). These FA methods are used to identify specific behaviors, regularities, and sudden changes in frequencies/amplitudes of data, e.g., in control engineering. The thorough application of different FA methods in plant studies is novel. The aim of this paper is to analyze features of the measured data and to explore the explanatory power of different methods for the detection of plant dynamic behavioral changes. The basic assumption is an expected relation between plant water stress and resulting changes in leaf temperature oscillations caused by stress-induced changes in stomatal behavior. Therefore, an irrigation experiment (laboratory; controlled environmental conditions) was implemented to compare leaf temperature behavior of stressed and unstressed plants. Leaf temperature time series are processed and the results are compared as functions of time showing the behavioral changes in terms of the different methods applied. The analysis of results is explained; conclusions, which can be made based on different methods, are given. The study confirms the applicability of FA methods and provides new insights into leaf temperature behavioral patterns. Results are discussed regarding the hypothesized incipience of leaf temperature oscillations due to water stress.


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