The rate of CO2 uptake by photosynthesis is determined by the acclimation of leaves to the prevailing light environment. In dense forests, light intensity decreases exponentially as we go from the top of the canopy towards the ground, as light is absorbed and scattered by leaves. However, the acclimated photosynthetic capacity of understorey leaves is higher than what we would expect based on the exponential decay of light. This is because these leaves acclimate to sun-flecks - small flecks of sunlight appear in understory due to gaps in the canopy, and because of the movement of the sun through the sky. Therefore, predicting the acclimation of understorey leaves requires considering the variability in light availability.
The goals of this project are:
Implement the P-model (or some concept of optimality) in SPA (or any other model that simulates light gradient in canopy) at different levels of canopy depth and predict within-canopy gradients in photosynthetic capacity, leaf N, and LMA.