Can We See Photosynthesis? Magnifying the Tiny Color Changes of Plant Green Leaves Using Eulerian Video Magnification

Islam A. T. F. Taj-Eddin, Mahmoud Afifi, Mostafa Korashy, Ali H. Ahmed, Ng Yoke Cheng, Evelyng Hernandez, Salma M. Abdel-latif

Plant aliveness is proven through laboratory experiments and special scientific instruments. In this paper, we aim to detect the degree of animation of plants based on the magnification of the small color changes in the plant's green leaves using the Eulerian video magnification. Capturing the video under a controlled environment, e.g., using a tripod and direct current (DC) light sources, reduces camera movements and minimizes light fluctuations; we aim to reduce the external factors as much as possible. The acquired video is then stabilized and a proposed algorithm used to reduce the illumination variations. Lastly, the Euler magnification is utilized to magnify the color changes on the light invariant video. The proposed system does not require any special purpose instruments as it uses a digital camera with a regular frame rate. The results of magnified color changes on both natural and plastic leaves show that the live green leaves have color changes in contrast to the plastic leaves. Hence, we can argue that the color changes of the leaves are due to biological operations, such as photosynthesis. To date, this is possibly the first work that focuses on interpreting visually, some biological operations of plants without any special purpose instruments.

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