Sunlight acts as an environmental signal on plants and is the most important of the many external conditions that affect plant growth and development. How the sunlight environment is correctly explained is essential for enhancing the productivity of the plant growing site.
Canopy structure, as the name implies, is the composition of the upper space of a plant community. Plant canopy structure directly affects the distribution of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), which in turn strongly impacts plant growth. Understanding canopy structure and, in some cases, regulating it is consequently exceptionally vital for a grower in terms of plant output.
What are the factors that can influence the canopy structure?
Indicators for evaluating canopy structure include extinction coefficient, leaf area index (LAI) or leaf area density (LAD) distribution and leaf angle distribution.
In ecology, the leaf area index is an important structural parameter of ecosystems, used to indicate the amount of plant foliage, changes in canopy structure, the vitality of plant communities and their environmental effects, to provide structured and quantitative information for the description of material and energy exchange on the plant canopy surface, and to play an important role in ecosystem carbon accumulation, vegetation productivity and the energy balance of interactions between soil, plants and the atmosphere, and remote sensing of vegetation.
The scientific selection of light sources, particularly the distribution of photosynthetic photon flux density, enables a better understanding of the speed and quality of plant growth.
When utilizing artificial light sources, we must select the natural light that most closely meets the conditions for photosynthesis in plants. Calculating the photosynthetic flux density produced by a light source on a plant, knowing the rate of photosynthesis and the efficiency of the light source, and calculating the PPFD on the leaf surface are crucial for an accurate assessment of the photosynthetic state of the plant.