Light interception by isolated plants Academic Article uri icon


  • Foliage of single plants invariably appears to be nonuniformly distributed when viewed from the direction of the sun. The nonuniformity of foliage in space and its constraint within an envelope should both be considered when analyzing light interception. This study uses a generalized treatment of the distribution of foliage and its projection onto a plane within or below the canopy. Given this projected foliage distribution, the general light penetration law of Mann et al. (1977) can be applied to calculate either the light interception or penetration. The analysis is illustrated by calculation of the sunlight interception of model plants in the shape of ellipsoids. Different distributions of foliage density with height and radial distance give different light interceptions. Comparison of light interceptions by uniform and nonuniform foliage structures show differences as high as 43%. 1979.

published proceedings

  • Agricultural Meteorology

author list (cited authors)

  • Mann, J. E., Curry, G. L., & Sharpe, P.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Mann, JE||Curry, GL||Sharpe, PJH

publication date

  • June 1979