Fields of a thousand shimmers: canopy architecture determines high-frequency light fluctuations

Durand, Maxime ORCID logo ORCID: and Robson, Matthew ORCID logo ORCID: (2023) Fields of a thousand shimmers: canopy architecture determines high-frequency light fluctuations. New Phytologist, 238 (5). pp. 2000-2015.

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Wind-induced movement in the canopy produces rapid fluctuations in irradiance, called "windflecks". They create a dynamic environment for photosynthesis that bears little resemblance to the stable controlled conditions under which plants are typically measured. We recorded time-series of irradiance to assess the diversity of windfleck properties (intensity, duration, frequency, clustering, spectral composition) in canopies of four crops and five tree species. We also measured traits associated with leaf morphology and canopy architecture, which could be associated with canopy-specific differences in windflecks. Distinct features of windfleck properties were identified both between and among crop and tree canopy. Windflecks in crops were generally more intense and longer, baseline irradiance was much higher than even the peak irradiance during a windfleck in a forest. The change of spectral composition during a windfleck was species-specific. Overall, irradiance fluctuations were less frequent and less intense in tall canopies and with increased depth from the canopy. Our systematic exploration of how canopy structure dictates light dynamics, provides new insight into windfleck creation. Coupled with progress in elucidation of the mechanisms of photosynthetic induction, this knowledge should improve our capacity to model canopy ecophysiology and understand light use efficiency in shade.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: New Phytologist
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1469-8137
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Forestry and Conservation
Additional Information: Dr T. Matthew Robson, Senior Lecturer in Forestry and Woodland Ecology, Institute of Science and Environment, University of Cumbria, UK.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2023 09:58
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 01:23


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