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Plant Identification Based on Leaf Midrib Cross-Section Images Using Fractal Descriptors

Nubia Rosa da Silva and Joao Batista Florindo and Maria Cecilia Gomez and Davi Rodrigo Rossatto and Rosana Marta Kolb and Odemir Martinez Bruno

PLOS ONE, 10(6):, 2015

The correct identification of plants is a common necessity not only to researchers but also to the lay public. Recently, computational methods have been employed to facilitate this task, however, there are few studies front of the wide diversity of plants occurring in the world. This study proposes to analyse images obtained from cross-sections of leaf midrib using fractal descriptors. These descriptors are obtained from the fractal dimension of the object computed at a range of scales. In this way, they provide rich information regarding the spatial distribution of the analysed structure and, as a consequence, they measure the multiscale morphology of the object of interest. In Biology, such morphology is of great importance because it is related to evolutionary aspects and is successfully employed to characterize and discriminate among different biological structures. Here, the fractal descriptors are used to identify the species of plants based on the image of their leaves. A large number of samples are examined, being 606 leaf samples of 50 species from Brazilian flora. The results are compared to other imaging methods in the literature and demonstrate that fractal descriptors are precise and reliable in the taxonomic process of plant species identification.