Plant Ecology

, Volume 154, Issue 1–2, pp 123–133 | Cite as

UV-B and PAR in single and mixed canopies grown under different UV-B exclusions in the field

  • Gaby Deckmyn
  • Erwin Cayenberghs
  • Reinhart Ceulemans


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether differences in canopy architecture due to the investigated species (planophile versus erectophile, single versus mixed canopies) or to UV-B effects on plant morphology, lead to differences in UV-B and UV-B/PAR doses within canopies.

The development of a very small (10 mm diameter) UV-B and PAR sensor on a long 5 mm wide stick allowed us to measure the penetration of UV-B and PAR in single and mixed canopies of the grass Dactylis glomerata and white clover, Trifolium repens. The plants were grown in greenhouses covered with different thicknesses (3 and 5 mm) of UV-transmittant plexi (12 and 18% UV-B exclusion).

For clover, a planophile vegetation, radiation penetration was very low for both UV-B and PAR. UV-B penetration was much less than for PAR, resulting in low UV-B/PAR ratio's within the canopy. This is explained by the low UV-B transmittance of the leaves (<0.1 %) in combination with the planophile leaves.

In the grass species, both UV-B and PAR penetrated much deeper into the canopy due to the erectophile structure. The difference between UV-B and PAR penetration was generally quite small except in very tall canopies.

The mixed species canopies showed results comparable to the clover canopies. Due to the strongly increased grass growth in these plots, light penetration was generally much lower than in the single species cultures. The increased growth of grass in these mixed plots could be linked to the lower UV-B/PAR dose they received.

In plots grown under the higher UV-B level there was a relative decrease in UV-B/PAR ratio within the canopy for both species, compared to canopies from the lower UV-B greenhouses. This could not be explained by changes in leaf angle or biomass, but might be linked to the increase in leaf transmittance of PAR.

Clover Grass Light penetration Mixed canopies UV-B PAR 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaby Deckmyn
    • 1
  • Erwin Cayenberghs
    • 1
  • Reinhart Ceulemans
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant EcologyUniversity of Antwerpen UIAWilrijkBelgium

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