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Combining laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (Libs) and visible near-infrared spectroscopy (visnirs) for soil phosphorus determination

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Conventional wet chemical methods for the determination of soil phosphorus (P) pools, relevant for environmental and agronomic purposes, are labor-intensive. Therefore, alternative techniques are needed, and a combination of the spectroscopic techniques—in this case, laserinduced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)—and visible near-infrared spectroscopy (vis-NIRS) could be relevant. We aimed at exploring LIBS, vis-NIRS and their combination for soil P estimation. We analyzed 147 Danish agricultural soils with LIBS and vis-NIRS. As reference measurements, we analyzed water-extractable P (Pwater), Olsen P (Polsen), oxalate-extractable P (Pox) and total P (TP) by conventional wet chemical protocols, as proxies for respectively leachable, plant-available, adsorbed inorganic P, and TP in soil. Partial least squares regression (PLSR) models combined with interval partial least squares (iPLS) and competitive adaptive reweighted sampling (CARS) variable selection methods were tested, and the relevant wavelengths for soil P determination were identified. LIBS exhibited better results compared to vis-NIRS for all P models, except for Pwater, for which results were comparable. Model performance for both the LIBS and vis-NIRS techniques as well as the combined LIBS-vis-NIR approach was significantly improved when variable selection was applied. CARS performed better than iPLS in almost all cases. Combined LIBS and vis-NIRS models with variable selection showed the best results for all four P pools, except for Pox where the results were comparable to using the LIBS model with CARS. Merging LIBS and vis-NIRS with variable selection showed potential for improving soil P determinations, but larger and independent validation datasets should be tested in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5419
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • CARS, IPLS, Olsen P, Oxalate-extractable P, PLSR, Total P, Water-extractable P

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