Send to

Choose Destination
J Plant Physiol. 2016 Aug 20;201:101-110. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2016.05.019. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Efficiency of chlorophyll in gross primary productivity: A proof of concept and application in crops.

Author information

Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel; Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA. Electronic address:
School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430079, China.
Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48823, USA; Department of Geography, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC 27599, USA.
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68583, USA.


One of the main factors affecting vegetation productivity is absorbed light, which is largely governed by chlorophyll. In this paper, we introduce the concept of chlorophyll efficiency, representing the amount of gross primary production per unit of canopy chlorophyll content (Chl) and incident PAR. We analyzed chlorophyll efficiency in two contrasting crops (soybean and maize). Given that they have different photosynthetic pathways (C3 vs. C4), leaf structures (dicot vs. monocot) and canopy architectures (a heliotrophic leaf angle distribution vs. a spherical leaf angle distribution), they cover a large spectrum of biophysical conditions. Our results show that chlorophyll efficiency in primary productivity is highly variable and responds to various physiological and phenological conditions, and water availability. Since Chl is accessible through non-destructive, remotely sensed techniques, the use of chlorophyll efficiency for modeling and monitoring plant optimization patterns is practical at different scales (e.g., leaf, canopy) and under widely-varying environmental conditions. Through this analysis, we directly related a functional characteristic, gross primary production with a structural characteristic, canopy chlorophyll content. Understanding the efficiency of the structural characteristic is of great interest as it allows explaining functional components of the plant system.


Crops; Maize; PAR; Phenology; Primary production; Soybean; Water status

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center