Three samples from each field of study were collected immediately following reflectance measurements from maize canopies to quantify different measured traits (LAI, BFW and Chlm). Following the collection of the spectral data, a square area of 1 m length from the same locations of spectra acquisition was sampled at the ground level, and its above-ground biomass fresh weight was immediately identified. This was repeated three times and the average values were used to keep variations at a minimum. LAI was calculated as the ratio between total leaf area of a certain number of harvested plants and the area occupied by these plants. After calculating the leaf area for each sample point, the LAI was calculated by dividing the total leaf area for each sample by the area occupied by these plants according to Elmetwalli [6] as follows:

where LAI is the leaf area index, LA is the leaf area per sample, and OA is the occupied land area.

Chlorophyll was measured during field work visits using a hand-held SPAD (Soil Plant Analysis Development)-502 m (Minolta, Osaka, Japan). Apical leaves were chosen to measure Chlm. To reduce variability, Chlm was measured at three different locations on each leaf from the leaf tip to the leaf base and the average of these three readings was calculated.

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