Plant growth responses to irradiance patterns under controlled environment conditions

C. L. Norling, D. H. Greer, H. N. Wiggins, E. A. Halligan, V. L. Johnson

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    Plants of maize (Zea mays L.), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. cv Ruanui), and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) were grown in three controlled environment (CE) treatments. In two treatments, the photon flux density (PFD) varied in an approximately half sine-wave pattern up to a maximum of either 700 or 900 μmol m-2 s-1, while in the third treatment the PFD was constant throughout the photoperiod at 700 μmol m-2 s-1. In all treatments, total daily photon receipt was 30 mol m-2 and the R/FR ratio was constant at 1.4. The objectives were to develop a control system for high pressure discharge (HID) and tungsten halogen lamps, and to compare plant growth and development responses under the different temporal light patterns. The control system could readily simulate natural diurnal variation in PFD. Plants of all species grown with a sine-wave light pattern had more total biomass, greater leaf area, and were taller than those plants grown with a square-wave light pattern. However, at least part of the difference in growth was attributable to differences in PFD between the treatments. Nevertheless, a sine-wave light pattern for a controlled lighting system provides benefits in being able to closely match physiological responses with those occurring in the field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-63
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Biotronics
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2003


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