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Photosynthesis of wheat under field conditions. IV. The influence of density and leaf area index on the response to radiation

DW Puckridge and DA Ratkowsky

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 22(1) 11 - 20
Published: 1971


The photosynthesis of two cultivars of wheat at three densities of sowing was measured during the growing season of 1968. When the data were plotted as carbon dioxide uptake versus leaf area index (LAI) (leaf laminae and green stem) for a fixed value of solar radiation, it was found that all of the data could be fitted by a single curve, irrespective of variety, sowing density, or time of season when the measurements were made. Since the curve was of continuously decreasing slope, the carbon dioxide uptake per unit LAI was highest for the low values of LAI and was reduced with the increased light interception at high LAI. For a solar radiation of 0.6 cal/cm2/min the approximate maximum net photosynthesis was 4.5 g CO2/m2/hr for an LAI of 6. A mathematical model for photosynthesis was found to give good prediction of carbon dioxide uptake versus solar radiation for most of the period of measurement. For each plot, a rectangular hyperbola was fitted to the data. When the parameters of the model were subsequently plotted as a function of LAI, then within a given variety, it was found that lines of common slope but differing intercepts could be drawn through the points for different sowing densities. From these fitted lines together with the measured values of LAI and respiration, carbon dioxide uptake was then predicted as a function of solar radiation by employing the rectangular hyperbola model. Good agreement between predicted and measured values of photosynthesis was obtained.

© CSIRO 1971

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