June 5, 2012 by Dr. Colin Campbell
Production of total and harvestable biomass by crops depends on their ability to capture resources from their environment. Water and nutrients are obtained from the soil. CO2 and energy (light) are obtained from the above-ground environment. Some relatively simple measurements and models can be used to quantify the efficiency with which a given cultivar can capture these resources and convert them to biomass.
Dr. Campbell will address two of these models during the virtual seminar. In the first, the factors relating light capture to biomass yield will be addressed. In the second the relationship between water capture and dry matter production will be considered. Simple models will be presented, along with methods for making measurements and ranges of variability among species. These models can then be used for parental and cultivar selection to maximize light and water use efficiency.