The Effect of Diffuse Light on Crops

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    Abstract

    Light is not evenly distributed in Dutch glass greenhouses, but this can be improved with diffuse light. Modern greenhouse coverings are able to transform most of the light entering the greenhouse into diffuse light. Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture has studied the effect of diffuse light on crops for several years. Modelling and experimental studies showed that crops such as fruit vegetables with a high plant canopy as well as ornamentals with a small plant canopy can utilize diffuse light better than direct light. Diffuse light penetrates the middle layers of a high-grown crop and results in a better horizontal light distribution in the greenhouse. Diffuse light is absorbed to a better degree by the middle leaf layers of cucumber, resulting in a higher photosynthesis. The actual photosynthesis of four pot plant species was found to be increased and crop temperatures were lower during high irradiation. The yield of cucumbers was increased, and the growth rate of several potted plants was increased. These investigations have resulted in a quantitative foundation for the potentials of diffuse light in Dutch horticultural greenhouses and the selection and verification of technological methods to convert direct sunlight into diffuse light.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1293-1300
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Volume2008
    Issue number801
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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