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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Windbreak Effect on Biomass and Grain Mass Accumulation of Corn: A Modeling Approach


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 88 No. 4, p. 607-613
    Received: June 2, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): hzhang@lbes.medsch.ucla.edu
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  1. Hehui Zhang  and
  2. James R. Brandle
  1. U CLA-DOE Lab., Univ. of California, 900 Veteran Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024-1786
    D ep. of Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0814



While numerous studies have indicated that field windbreaks both improve crop growing conditions and generally enhance crop growth and yield, especially under less favorable conditions, the relationship between the two is not clearly understood. A simple model is proposed to simulate biomass and grain mass accumulation of corn (Zea mays L.) with a windbreak shelter or without (exposed condition). The model is based on the positive relationship between intercepted solar radiation and biomass accumulation and requires plant population and hourly inputs of solar radiation and air temperature. Using published data, radiation use efficiency (RUE) was related to plant population, and a temperature function was established between the relative corn growth and temperature for pre-silking stages. Biomass and grain mass simulated by the model agreed well with those measured for both sheltered and unsheltered plants from 1990 to 1992. Windbreaks did not significantly increase biomass or grain mass of corn for this study, even though air temperature was greater with than without shelter, probably indicating that the microclimatic changes induced by windbreaks were not physiologically significant for the 3-yr period studied. The model has potential use in future studies to relate windbreak effects to crop yield and to evaluate windbreak designs for maximumb enefits.

Published as Journal Series no. 11287 of the Univ. of Nebraska Agric. Res. Div.

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