The Spectral Signatures Laboratory located at the Remote Sensing Department in the Institute of Aviation collected and analyzed the spectral signatures (Quercus robur) of oaks infected with pathogens of the Phytophthora genus. In the wild, these pathogens are attacking plant roots preventing from uptaking  water and therefore are one of the causes of dieback of oak stands in Poland and in Europe.

Phytophthora infection leads to changes in the plant body on several levels: morphological, physiological and cellular. In the early stage of infection, by the field observation, it is not possible to notice symptoms of diseases caused by fungal infections (or Oomycetes). Plant tests carried out at the department with use of the remote sensing spectrometers and the measurement by the camera multispectral Quercus 6 aim at developing methods for the early detection of the illness visible as a change in the waveform pattern in the spectral ranges of visible light and infrared light. The detection of forest trees infection signals in the early stages of its development creates the opportunity to develop the tools of precision forestry, and also to alert foresters to take conservation measures and reduce losses in the timber industry.

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