Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Simulating daily field crop canopy photosynthesis: an integrated software package

Alex Wu , Alastair Doherty , Graham Farquhar , Graeme Hammer


Photosynthetic manipulation is seen as a promising avenue for advancing field crop productivity. However, progress is constrained by the lack of connection between leaf-level photosynthetic manipulation and crop performance. Here we develop a model of diurnal canopy photosynthesis for well-watered conditions by using biochemical models of C3 and C4 photosynthesis upscaled to the canopy level using the simple and robust sun-shade leaves representation of the canopy. The canopy model was integrated over the time course of the day for diurnal canopy photosynthesis simulation. Rationality analysis of the model showed that it simulated the expected responses in diurnal canopy photosynthesis and daily biomass accumulation to key environmental factors (i.e. radiation, temperature and CO2), canopy attributes (e.g. leaf area index and leaf angle) and canopy nitrogen status (i.e. specific leaf nitrogen and its profile through the canopy). This Diurnal Canopy Photosynthesis Simulator (DCaPS) was developed into a web-based application ( to enhance usability of the model. Applications of the DCaPS package for assessing likely canopy-level consequences of changes in photosynthetic properties and its implications for connecting photosynthesis with crop growth and development modelling are discussed.

FP17225  Accepted 29 September 2017

© CSIRO 2017