This course examines the physiological basis of crop yield determination, with emphasis on phenomena that express themselves at the whole canopy (rather than single plant) level of organization. It covers canopy scale measurements of crop growth, development, and solar radiation capture; photosynthesis, beginning at the level of biochemistry and working up to the whole canopy scale; how photoassimilates are used in the processes of respiration, growth and yield formation; and crop - environment interactions, including water stress, nutrient uptake and utilization, and light quality effects on photomorphogenesis.
In this course students will learn about canopy-scale processes that determine yield of field crops. For the Winter 2023 semester, classes and labs will be conducted face-to-face, with no remote option available. Most content will be delivered lecture-style with comprehensive notes on each topic also provided via CourseLink. The main topics are biomass accumulation and growth analysis, canopy interception of solar radiation, leaf and canopy-scale photosynthesis and respiration, radiation use efficiency, biomass partitioning and yield components, crop water use, drought stress and water use efficiency. The laboratory part of the course is structured around an ongoing growth room experiment, investigating the growth and development of an artificial crop canopy. Students will form hypotheses and make predictions about the outcome of this experiment, and use the data collected to test those predictions. Students will gain hands-on experience with the data collection methods used in the lab, and will be examined on these methods as well as the associated calculations and analyses.
Pre-Requisites: 1 of BIOL*1050, BIOL*1070, BIOL*1090