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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 3, p. 405-409
    Received: Mar 30, 1978

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Analytical Description of a Soybean Canopy1

  1. D. L. Hommertzheim2



One of the crucial components of a plant simulation model is the light distribution within the crop canopy. But in order to calculate the light distribution, the model must have knowledge of the leaf area distribution. This article describes an analytical procedure for calculating the leaf area distribution within a community of soybean plants arranged in a row configuration.

The procedure has three main steps: 1) describe the plant analytically (i.e., size, shape, and spatial position of each leaf), 2) determine for a single plant the leaf area distributions as a function of height and distance from the center of the plant, and 3) combine the leaf area distributions of plants into a distribution for a community of plants in a row.

The calculated leaf area distributions are sensitive to the distance between plants in a row, the leaf length to width ratios, leaf angles, plant growth stage, petiole lengths, and insect damage. The procedure can also be extended to other plant types, interspersing of weeds in the crop rows, and non-wide row crop arrangements.

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