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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 59 No. 1, p. 7-9
    Received: Oct 16, 1965

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Light Distribution in Field Soybean Canopies1

  1. Clarence M. Sakamoto and
  2. Robert H. Shaw2



A study was conducted to determine the pattern of light interception and distribution in a field soybean community. Light interception occurred primarily at the periphery of the canopy. When the open space between rows closed or when it was nearly closed, interception was primarily at the top of the canopy.

The distribution of light through a soybean community could be approximated by an exponential distribution. The slope of the regression of the logarithm of percent light interception of leaf area index (LAI) above the point of light measurement was affected by the morphology of the community.

From the distribution of percent light and cumulative LAI, an estimate of the “effective” LAI was determined. The large amount of self-shading and predominant interception at the periphery of the canopy indicates that many lower leaves are not receiving adequate radiation. An increase in yield could possibly be achieved by selecting varieties whose natural inclination leads to deeper penetration of useful energy to a greater number of leaves.

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