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A comparison of barley cultivars with different leaf inclinations

JF Angus, R Jones and JH Wilson

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 23(6) 945 - 957
Published: 1972


Under conditions of adequate moisture an erect-leaf barley cultivar, Lenta, responded to an increase in density (resulting from doubling of the sowing rate) with increases in dry matter production and in grain yield, whereas the cultivar Research, which has long lax leaves, responded with decreases in dry matter production and yield.

In a study of canopy structure and its effects on light interception and utilization, it was found that in Research, with a leaf area index (LAI) of 6.1, the leaves were concentrated near the canopy surface and a relatively small proportion of the above-crop light penetrated through this layer. The net crop photosynthesis of this canopy (measured in a field assimilation chamber) was 3.8 g CO2/ when visible radiation was 313 W/m2. With Lenta (LAI 7.0) on the other hand, leaves were concentrated in the middle layers of the canopy and the light was more evenly distributed throughout the canopy. The net crop photosynthesis with the same radiation as for Research was 4.3 g CO2/

The relative rates of photosynthesis at various levels in the canopies were determined by introducing 14CO2 into the assimilation chambers enclosing the cultivars and observing where the 14C was fixed. With Research most of it was localized near the canopy surface while with Lenta most of it was near the centre of the canopy. Of the 14CO2 taken up, 7 % was fixed in the leaf sheaths of Research and 12% in those of Lenta.

© CSIRO 1972

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