GAS EXCHANGE RATES BY A STAND OF SOYBEANS GROWN IN A TIGHTLY SEALED CHAMBER

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  • 1 NASA Biomedical Operations and Research (JCS, WMK) Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
  • 2 The Bionetics Corp. (RMW, CLM) Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
  • 3 Dept. of Plant and Soil Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003.

Soybean plants [Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. McCall] were grown from seed to harvest (90 days) in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber. The chamber provides approximately 20 m2 of growing area with an atmospheric volume of 113 m3. Photosynthesis and respiration rates of the stand were tracked by monitoring CO2 increase during the 12-h dark period and the subsequent drawdown to controlled set point (1000 ppm) when the lamps were turned on each day. Stand photosynthesis [under 875 μmol m-2 s-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)] peaked at 35 μmol m-2 s-1 at 30 to 35 days after planting (DAP) and averaged 22 μmol m-2 s-1 throughout the life cycle. Dark period respiration peaked near 8 μmol m-2 s-1 at 30 to 35 DAP and averaged nearly 5 μmol m-2 s-1 throughout the life cycle. Prior to full canopy closure near 30 DAP, the light compensation point (LCP) for stand photosynthesis was lass than 100 μmol m-2 s-1 PPF; by 54 DAP the LCP had increasad to 175 μmol m-2 s-1. Stand transpiration rates peaked at 8.2 L m-2 day-1 at 40 to 45 DAP and averaged 4.3 L m-2 day-1 throughout growth.

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