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This study reports on the use of an artificial quartz halogen lighting source to facilitate the acquisition of spectral light reflectance measurements and digital imaging of invasive aquatic weeds. Spectral leaf or leaf/stem reflectance measurements were made on five aquatic weeds: Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.), hydrilla [Hydrilla verticillata (L. F.) Royle], parrotfeather [Myriophyllum aquaticum (Vall.), waterhyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms], and waterlettuce (Pistia stratiotes L.). Reflectance measurements were studied at five wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum: 450 nm (visible blue), 550 nm (visible green), 650 nm (visible red), 680 nm (visible red edge), and 850 nm (near-infrared). Reflectance values differed significantly (P= 0.05) among the species at all five wavelengths. However, more distinct separations among species occurred at the 550 nm, 650 nm, 680 nm, and 850 nm wavelengths. Reflectance differences among species were attributed to variable foliage coloration and vegetative density. Close range conventional color and color-infrared digital images of leaves or leaves/stems of the five species showed they differed in image tonal response. Reflectance measurements were related to the image tonal response of the plant species on both types of imagery. Supervised image classifications performed on both conventional color and color-infrared images showed the computer generally did an adequate job in identifying the image tonal responses of the weed species.

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