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Keywords:

  • Juglans regia L.;
  • 3D architecture;
  • ecophysiology;
  • intracanopy scale;
  • model description;
  • walnut tree

ABSTRACT

The model RATP (radiation absorption, transpiration and photosynthesis) is presented. The model was designed to simulate the spatial distribution of radiation and leaf-gas exchanges within vegetation canopies as a function of canopy structure, canopy microclimate within the canopy and physical and physiological leaf properties. The model uses a three-dimensional (3D) representation of the canopy (i.e. an array of 3D cells, each characterized by a leaf area density). Radiation transfer is computed by a turbid medium analogy, transpiration by the leaf energy budget approach, and photosynthesis by the Farquhar model, each applied for sunlit and shaded leaves at the individual 3D cell-scale. The model typically operates at a 20–30 min time step. The RATP model was applied to an isolated, 20-year-old walnut tree grown in the field. The spatial distribution of wind speed, stomatal response to environmental variables, and light acclimation of leaf photosynthetic properties were taken into account. Model outputs were compared with data acquired in the field. The model was shown to simulate satisfactorily the intracrown distribution of radiation regime, transpiration and photosynthetic rates, at shoot or branch scales.