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How exposure to irregular light affects plant circadian rhythms
Date:12/14/2011

similar temperatures and carbon (CO2) concentration. "The plants were exposed to supplemental light provided as irregular light breaks during the night, which we achieved by controlling the light based on forecasted solar irradiance and electricity prices', explained the authors. "Growth, in terms of carbon gain, was linearly correlated to both day length and daily light integral."

The scientists observed that chrysanthemum plants grown in short days with irregular light breaks during the night showed more rapid leaf development and stem growth than plants grown in a climate with a consecutive long light period, proving that low average light intensity promotes expansion of the photosynthetic area of the plants. Though the experiments showed that irregular light periods disturb circadian rhythm and induce changes in leaf characteristics, the authors noted that the study also proved that plants can naturally adapt to irregular light periods.

Kjaer and Ottosen say their research should help greenhouse operators realize energy savings in the area of supplemental light usage.


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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