An Inexpensive, Whole-plant, Open Gas-exchange System for the Measurement of Photosynthesis in Potted Woody Plants

in HortScience

The measurement of whole-plant CO2 uptake integrates leaf-to-leaf variability, which arises from such sources as angle of incident radiation, source/sink relationships, age, and biotic or abiotic factors. Respiration of above-ground vegetative and reproductive sinks is also integrated into the final determination of whole-plant CO2 assimilation. While estimates of whole-plant CO2 uptake based on single-leaf determinations have been used, they do not accurately reflect actual whole-plant assimilation. Chambers were constructed to measure gas exchange of entire potted grapevines. The design and construction are simple, inexpensive, and easy to use, allowing for the measurement of many plants in a relatively short time. This enables the researcher to make replicated comparisons of the whole-plant CO2 assimilation of various treatments throughout the growing season. While CO2 measurement was the focus of this project, it is also possible to measure whole-plant transpiration with this system.

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