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S. Kumudini

Cranberry [Vaccinium macrocarpon (Ait.)] yield has been associated with photosynthate supply. However, the impact of temperature and radiation on photosynthesis of the cranberry plant is not well understood. The objective of this experiment was to characterize the photosynthetic response to radiation and temperature in order to develop a model for estimation of cranberry photosynthetic rates. Two cranberry cultivars, `Stevens' and `Ben Lear', were tested for photosynthetic response at air temperatures ranging from 15 to 35 °C and radiation intensities from 200 to 1200 μmol·m-2·s-1. Depending on temperature, maximum photosynthesis (Pmax) was ≈10 or 12 μmol CO2/m2/s (net photosynthesis) and the saturating radiation level was estimated to be 600 to 800 μmol·m-2·s-1. Cranberry quantum yield was estimated as 0.03 mol CO2/mol photon. Both models; Blackman and the nonrectangular hyperbola with a Θ (angle of curvature) of 0.99 were a good fit for measured photosynthetic rates under controlled environment conditions. The disparity between modeled predicted values, and observed values in the field around midday, indicates a reduction in potential photosynthetic rates in a diurnal cycle that is consistent with the phenomenon of midday depression.