Plant Competition for Light Analyzed with a Multispecies Canopy Model. I. Model Development and Influence of Enhanced UV-B Conditions on Photosynthesis in Mixed Wheat and Wild Oat Canopies

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Springer Verlag

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Competition for light among species in a mixed canopy can be assessed quantitatively by a simulation model which evaluates the importance of different morphological and photosynthetic characteristics of each species. A model was developed that simulates how the foliage of all species attenuate radiation in the canopy and how much radiation is received by foliage of each species. The model can account for different kinds of foliage (leaf blades, stems, etc.) for each species. The photosynthesis and transpiration for sunlit and shaded foliage of each species is also computed for different layers in the canopy. The model is an extension of previously described single-species canopy photosynthesis simulation models. Model predictions of the fraction of foliage sunlit and interception of light by sunlit and shaded foliage for monoculture and mixed canopies of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and wild oat (Avena fatua) in the field compared very well with measured values. The model was used to calculate light interception and canopy photosynthesis for both species of wheat/wild oat mixtures grown under normal solar and enhanced ultraviolet-B (290–320 nm) radiation (UV-B) in a glasshouse experiment with no root competition. In these experiments, measurements showed that the mixtures receiving enhanced UV-B radiation had a greater proportion of the total foliage area composed of wheat compared to mixtures in the control treatments. The difference in species foliage area and its position in the canopy resulted in a calculated increase in the portion of total canopy radiation interception and photosynthesis by wheat. This, in turn, is consistent with greater canopy biomass of wheat reported in canopies irradiated with supplemental UV-B.


Originally published by Springer Verlag. Publisher's PDF available through remote link.