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Rita Giuliani, Eugenio Magnanini, and Luca Corelli Grappadelli

This work proposes a methodology, by light-scanning below the canopy, to directly estimate the photon flux radiation (400–1200 nm) intercepted by single or row canopies. The system is based on the assumption that the light intercepted by the canopy, at a particular time, corresponds to the difference between the incoming potential radiation on a ground surface area (able to include the ground area shaded by the canopy), and the actual radiation influx to that area in presence of the canopy. To this purpose, light-scanning equipment has been designed, built, and tested, whose main components are two aligned multi-sensor bars (1.2 m long) and a CR10 data logger, equipped with an AM 416 Relay Multiplexer (Campbell Sci. Ltd., U.K.). The radiation sensors (BPW 14N TELEFUNKEN) were chosen because of their spectral sensitivity, along with low cost. The sensors have been placed along the bars, at 5-cm intervals, and fitted with a Teflon® diffuser to provide a cosine correction. Radiation measurements are taken moving parallelly the bars on the ground, step by step, to monitor a sample point grid (5 cm by step length). Preliminary radiation scans were taken during the summer in a 3-year-old peach orchard, trained as delayed vasette. Measurements were taken for a single canopy at various hours of the day. Moreover, radiation scans were taken at the same hour, over a 3-day timespan, while gradually defoliating the canopy. A custom-built software program has been developed for data handling. Mathcad software (Mathsoft Inc., U.S.) has been used to display the canopy shade image projected on the ground, the quantum map of the monitored area, and to calculate the light influx on the whole canopy. Moreover, the light spots on the ground determined by foliage gaps have been identified and the amount of radiation reaching the ground has been be estimated.

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Jens N. Wünsche, John W. Palmer, and Dennis H. Greer

Effect of crop load on tree growth, leaf characteristics, photosynthesis, and fruit quality of 5-year-old `Braeburn' apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] trees on Malling 26 (M.26) rootstock was examined during the 1994-95 growing season. Crop loads ranged from 0 to 57 kg/tree [0 to 1.6 kg fruit/cm2 trunk cross sectional area (TCA) or 0 to 8.7 fruit/cm2 TCA]. Fruit maturity as indicated by background color, starch/iodine score, and soluble solids was advanced significantly on low-cropping trees compared to high-cropping trees. Whole-canopy leaf area and percentage tree light interception increased linearly with a significant trend as crop load decreased. From midseason until fruit harvest, leaf photosynthesis decreased significantly on lighter cropping trees and similarly, a positive linear trend was found between whole-canopy gas exchange per unit area of leaf and crop load. Leaf starch concentration in midseason increased linearly as crop load decreased, providing some explanation for the increased down-regulation of photosynthesis on trees with lower crop loads. After fruit harvest, the previous crop loads had no effect on leaf photosynthesis and preharvest differences in whole-canopy gas exchange per unit area of leaf were less pronounced. At each measurement date, daily whole-canopy net carbon exchange and transpiration closely followed the diurnal pattern of incident photosynthetic photon flux. The photochemical yield and electron transport capacity depended on crop load. This was due mostly to reaction center closure before harvest and an increased nonphotochemical quenching after harvest.

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Marc W. van Iersel and Jong-Goo Kang

To determine the effect of fertilizer concentration on plant growth and physiology, whole-plant C exchange rates of pansies (Viola ×wittrockiana Gams.) subirrigated with one of four fertilizer concentrations were measured over 30 days. Plants were watered with fertilizer solutions with an electrical conductivity (EC) of 0.15, 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 dS·m-1 (N at 0, 135, 290, or 440 mg·L-1, respectively). Plants watered with a fertilizer solution with an EC of 2 dS·m-1 had the highest shoot dry weight (DW), shoot to root ratio, leaf area, leaf area ratio (LAR), and cumulative C gain at the end of the experiment compared to those watered with a solution with a higher or lower EC. Shoot tissue concentrations of N, P, K, S, Ca, Fe, Na, and Zn increased linearly with increasing fertilizer concentration. A close correlation between final DW of the plants and the measured cumulative C gain (CCG) (r2 = 0.98) indicated that the C exchange rates were good indicators of plant growth. There were quadratic relationships between fertilizer EC and gross photosynthesis, net photosynthesis, and dark respiration, starting at 13, 12, and 6 days after transplanting, respectively. Although plants fertilized with a fertilizer solution with an EC of 2 dS·m-1 had the highest C exchange rates, the final differences in shoot DW and CCG among ECs of 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 dS·m-1 were small and it appears that pansies can be grown successfully with a wide range of fertilizer concentrations. Plants with a high LAR also had higher DW, suggesting that increased growth was caused largely by increased light interception. A detrimental effect of high fertilizer concentrations was that it resulted in a decrease in root DW and a large increase in shoot to root ratio.

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R.M. Wheeler, C.L. Mackowiak, J.C. Sager, N.C. Yorio, W.M. Knott, and W.L. Berry

Two studies were conducted in which `Waldmann's Green' lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was grown hydroponically from seed to harvest in a large (20-m2), atmospherically closed growth chamber for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) program. The first study used metal-halide (MH) lamps [280 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)], whereas the second used high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps (293 μmol·m-2·s-1). Both studies used a 16-hour photoperiod, a constant air temperature (22 to 23C), and 1000 μmol·mol-1 CO2 during the light period. In each study, canopy photosynthesis and evapotranspiration (ET) rates were highly correlated to canopy cover, with absolute rates peaking at harvest (28 days after planting) at 17 μmol CO2/m2 per sec and 4 liters·m-2·day-1, respectively. When normalized for actual canopy cover, photosynthesis and ET rates per unit canopy area decreased with age (between 15 and 28 days after planting). Canopy cover increased earlier during the study with HPS lamps, and final shoot yields averaged 183 g fresh mass (FM)/plant and 8.8 g dry mass (DM)/plant. Shoot yields in the first study with MH lamps averaged 129 g FM/plant and 6.8 g DM/plant. Analysis of leaf tissue showed that ash levels from both studies averaged 22% and K levels ranged from 15% to 17% of tissue DM. Results suggest that lettuce should be easily adaptable to a CELSS with moderate lighting and that plant spacing or transplant schemes are needed to maximize canopy light interception and sustain efficient CO2 removal and water production.

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Carlos Campillo, M.I. García, C. Daza, and M.H. Prieto

of agronomy and crop production as a result of its relevance to light interception, crop growth ( Pearce et al., 1965 ), weed control, crop–weed competition, crop water use, and soil erosion. Many methods have been used to measure LAI directly

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Andrew B. Ogden and Marc W. van Iersel

growth. Light interception was used as an indicator of vegetative growth because of its strong dependence on leaf area index ( Wang et al., 2004 ). Six random sites were chosen in each plot. Areas near end walls were excluded to avoid interference

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David R. Bryla and Bernadine C. Strik

water meter (model W-120; Invensys Metering Systems, Uniontown, Pa.) installed at the inflow of the irrigation system. Canopy light interception was measured periodically in each plot using a line quantum sensor (model LI-191SA; LI-COR Inc., Lincoln

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Tiziano Caruso, Francesco Guarino, Riccardo Lo Bianco, and Francesco Paolo Marra

( Iannini et al., 2002 ), high levels of light interception (Grossman and DeJong, 1998), reduced incidence of fungal diseases ( Rufato et al., 2004 ), and improved fruit quality (increased peel color and soluble solid content and more uniform fruit size

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Craig A. Ledbetter

maintenance pruning during the fruiting season to enhance the light interception and thus its strong fruit overcolor. Furthermore, ‘Bolaroja’ trees appear more susceptible to powdery mildew ( Sphaerotheca pannosa ) than other apricot cultivars grown in the San

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Toshio Shibuya, Ryosuke Endo, Yoshiaki Kitaya, and Saki Hayashi

with the light interception area per plant and the net photosynthetic rate per unit leaf area, respectively. The high-R:FR light has been shown to alter these growth parameters. There have been many reports that leaf enlargement (correlated with LAR