Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
A method for the measurement of the three-dimensional (3D) architecture of trees was applied to describe two 20-year-old walnut trees, one of them is a timber tree while the other is a fruit tree. The method works at the shoot level and simultaneously describes the plant topology, the plant geometry and the shoot morphology. The method uses a 3D digitiser (3SPACE® FASTRAK®, Polhemus Inc.) associated with software DiplAmi designed for digitiser control and data acquisition management. Plant images may be reconstructed from the data set by using the ray tracing software POV-Ray. Visual comparison between photographs of the walnut trees and images synthesised from digitising was satisfactory. Distribution of basal shoot diameter, as well as leaf area and fruit distributions for both the timber and the fruit tree were non-uniformly distributed in the crown volume. Gradients were likely to be related to the light distribution within the tree. This is in agreement with previous experimental results on several tree species, and also with the predictions of tree architecture models based on light-vegetation interactions.
The problems caused by the temporal and spatial microvariation in irradiance during field measurements of photosynthesis are studied. It is concluded on the basis of variation analyses based on irradiance data measured in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand that the microvariation should be measured by integrating it over the measurement time and space.
However, the curvlinearity of the light response of photosynthesis results in biased estimates when linear integration (mean irradiance) is used. The significance of the bias is examined using a simulation technique on irradiance material. Whether the actual integral of photosynthesis can be approximated with mathematical method is next studied. The method gave satisfactory results only for a low curvature response, but the latter method was applicable also to the high curvature response. However, both methods presuppose that the mean and variance are known. Measurement of the variance is based on integration of the second power.
A new method, where the nonlinearity problem is avoided, is presented to measure fluctuation of the irradiance. The method enables the shoot geometry to be taken into account and it is also applicable to transpiration studies.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.