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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353994

Title: Photosynthesis in the Solar Corridor System

item Hatfield, Jerry
item DOLD, CHRISTIAN - Orise Fellow

Submitted to: Academic Press
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2018
Publication Date: 6/25/2019
Citation: Hatfield, J.L., Dold, C. 2019. Photosynthesis in the Solar Corridor System. In: Deichman, C.L. and Kremer, R.J., editors. The Solar Corridor Crop System: Implementation and Impacts. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Academic Press. p. 1-34.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Photosynthesis is the conversion of light into carbohydrates at the cellular level. Photosynthetic rates are determined by the availability of light, carbon dioxide, and water for a given temperature regime. There are differences between plant species as classified into C4 and C3 plants especially in their response to light and CO2. Photosynthesis occurs at the leaf level; however, the overall photosynthetic rate at the unit area level is dependent upon the rate of leaf area accumulation by plants and the arrangement of leaves into canopies. Leaf level photosynthesis is affected by the temperature of the leaf and the water and nutrient status that determines the efficiency of the photosynthetic process. At the canopy level, the leaf arrangement becomes the important factor that determines how light is distributed within the canopy, especially diffuse light distribution. Equally important is the effect of the canopy architecture on the movement of CO2 into the canopy to prevent CO2 from becoming a limiting factor. Canopy architecture is a function of row spacing, plant population, crop species and mixtures of plants, and radiation use efficiency becomes the critical metric of how canopy architecture integrates multiple factors into a quantitative assessment of cropping systems. Photosynthesis is critical to converting light into carbohydrates. Understanding the limitations of this process will provide guidance to how we can manipulate the leaf and canopy processes to achieve future productivity gains.