Effects of Intraspecific Interference on Maize Leaf Azimuth
- Ph. Girardin and
- M. Tollenaar
Interception of solar irradiation by leaf canopies is influenced by the canopy architecture of crops, which is a function of shape, distribution, and orientation of the leaves that constitute the canopy. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that leaf azimuthal distribution in a maize (Zea mays L.) canopy is not influenced by plant density and row width. Experiments were conducted at Elora, Ontario, with maize grown at 4, 7, and 10 plants m−2 at a 0.76-m row width in 1991 and 1992 and with maize grown at 7 and 10 plants m−2 at a 0.5-m row width in 1992. Leaf orientation was recorded in 16 azimuthal classes for leaves from the bottom to the topmost leaf position. Results showed that the orientation of leaves in the topmost layer (twelfth to sixteenth leaf) was more perpendicular to the row for high than for low plant densities. An azimuthal shift of leaves from the bottom to the top in maize plants was apparent in all canopies, but the shift was larger for plants grown at high plant densities than for those grown at low plant densities and a similar trend was apparent for the comparison of maize grown at 0.76-m vs. 0.5-m row widths. Results of this study suggest that the orientation of leaves in a maize canopy is altered by intraspecific interference, thereby more effectively intercepting incident solar irradiance.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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