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Keywords:

  • Alocasia macrorrhiza;
  • Glycine max;
  • Araceae;
  • Fabaceae;
  • soybean;
  • light regulation;
  • lightfleck use efficiency;
  • photosynthetic induction;
  • stomatal conductance;
  • sunflecks

ABSTRACT

A dynamic model of leaf photosynthesis for C3 plants has been developed for examination of the role of the dynamic properties of the photosynthetic apparatus in regulating CO2 assimilation in variable light regimes. The model is modified from the Farquhar-von Caemmerer-Berry model by explicitly including metabolite pools and the effects of light activation and deactivation of Calvin cycle enzymes. It is coupled to a dynamic stomatal conductance model, with the assimilation rate at any time being determined by the joint effects of the dynamic biochemical model and the stomatal conductance model on the intercellular CO2 pressure. When parametrized for each species, the model was shown to exhibit responses to step changes in photon flux density that agreed closely with the observed responses for both the understory plant Alocasia macrorrhiza and the crop plant Glycine max. Comparisons of measured and simulated photosynthesis under simulated light regimes having natural patterns of lightfleck frequencies and durations showed that the simulated total for Alocasia was within ±4% of the measured total assimilation, but that both were 12–50% less than the predictions from a steady–state solution of the model. Agreement was within ±10% for Glycine max, and only small differences were apparent between the dynamic and steady–state predictions. The model may therefore be parametrized for quite different species, and is shown to reflect more accurately the dynamics of photosynthesis than earlier dynamic models.