, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 311–320 | Cite as

Spectral composition of photosynthetically active radiation penetrating into a Norway spruce canopy: the opposite dynamics of the blue/red spectral ratio during clear and overcast days

  • Martin Navrátil
  • Vladimír ŠpundaEmail author
  • Irena Marková
  • Dalibor Janouš
Original Paper


The spectral composition of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) during clear and overcast days was studied above the canopy (U) and at two layers of a dense Norway spruce stand [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] characterized with an average LAI = 7.3 ± 0.8 (middle layer: M) and 12.3 ± 0.7 (lower layer: L). Whereas the spectral composition of PAR incoming on the canopy surface during cloudy days (characterized by diffuse index DI > 0.7) was almost independent of the solar elevation angle, the proportion of the blue-green spectral region of PAR was significantly reduced at low elevation angles during days with prevailing direct radiation (DI < 0.3). The PAR spectrum at both M and L levels was only slightly enriched in the green spectral region (more pronounced for DI < 0.3). The penetration of diffuse radiation into the canopy resulted in a slight (approx. 5%) reduction of the blue region proportion that remained stable during the day. On the contrary, under clear sky conditions the penetration of blue and red radiation was dependent on the solar elevation in an opposite manner in comparison with the spectral composition of PAR incident on canopy, giving almost twofold proportion of the blue part of the spectrum at a low elevation angle at M layer. We suggest that the blue enhancement of the spectrum within the Norway spruce canopy during clear days is due to a specific spatial arrangement of the assimilatory apparatus of a coniferous stand. Further, the possible consequences of the observed dynamics of the PAR spectrum inside the canopy during clear days on the efficiency of PAR absorption of the needles located within the canopy are discussed.


Photosynthetically active radiation Spectral composition Diffuse index Solar elevation Norway spruce canopy 



We thank P. Limberková for help with the measurements and Dr. Claus Buschmann for advice with paper preparation. Thanks to Mgr. Robert P. Mc Mullin, MA, MEd of Palacky University, for editorial assistance. Research was supported by GAČR (No. 526/03/1104), IGA PřF OU (No. 06/2005) and by the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic (CzechCarbo project VaV 640/18/03).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Navrátil
    • 1
  • Vladimír Špunda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Irena Marková
    • 2
  • Dalibor Janouš
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physics, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of OstravaOstravaCzech Republic
  2. 2.Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno, Institute of Landscape EcologyBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Laboratory of Ecological Physiology of Forest TreesInstitute of Systems Biology and Ecology CASBrnoCzech Republic

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