Continuous measurements of CO2‐exchange were separately carried out on tops and roots of small swards of Lolium multiflorum grown in nutrient solution in growth chamber during 3–4 weeks. From these measurements, a daily carbon balance and accumulated dry matter could be established. The data were used to distinguish between two components of respiration, one proportional to growth or photosynthesis (growth respiration), the other proportional to plant dry weight (maintenance respiration). The separation of respiration in the two components was made by multiple regression analyses with daily photosynthesis or growth rate and accumulated dry matter as the independent variables. To ensure independency between the independent variables during the growth period, photosynthesis was varied by application of alternate three‐day periods of high and low irradiance. From the two regression coefficients, the efficiency of converting assimilates into constructive growth (YG) and the maintenance coefficient (M) could be derived. Three experiments with varying length of photoperiod and dark period were carried out. The analyses were carried out for whole‐plant respiration, respiration of tops and respiration of roots separately. Growth respiration for whole plants as well as for tops and for roots was lower — and hence the efficiencies higher — the longer the photoperiods were. Growth respiration and maintenance respiration were higher for roots than for tops. The high rate of root respiration may originate from release of HCO3− in exchange for NO3−. The parameters found can be utilized quantitatively in computer models of crop photosynthesis and respiration.
Physiologia Plantarum – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1977
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