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Energy Exchange in Plant Canopies

Alderfer, Ronald G., Gates, David M.
Ecology 1971 v.52 no.5 pp. 855-861
absorbance, canopy, energy transfer, equations, heat, leaves, models, plant exchange, solar radiation, temperature, thermal radiation
A theoretical model is presented for the exchange of radiant and sensible heat between leaves in a plant canopy and the environment. The distribution of short—wave (0.3—3.0(mu)) radiation in a canopy is described by a modified form of the Kubelka—Munk equations for light transmission through scattering media. Upward and downward radiation fluxes are computed for any level of a canopy as a function of canopy density and optical properties of the leaves. A series of simultaneous equations is used to determine both thermal radiation and leaf temperature at any point in the canopy. Each equation in the series is the energy budget for a leaf at the level in the canopy. This model uses information about the external physical environment together with optical properties of leaves to predict the distribution of solar radiation, leaf temperature, and thermal radiation throughout a plant canopy. Experiments are reported which test the reliability of the theoretical model.