Valoya AP67 spectrum used in trial to simulate forest shade:

Exploring mechanisms of response to canopy shade

Docent Matthew Robson and his research group (Canopy Spectral Ecology and Ecophysiology, CanSEE) are continuing with their work presented in this blog last year (see post “At the crossroads”). Current experiments in a growth room, exploring the mechanisms of response to canopy shade during spring and summer, focus on plants’ perception and use of spectral signals during germination and establishment. Various plant species are grown under Valoya AP67 spectrum, or under the AP67 spectrum equipped with a filter removing blue wavelengths and additionally one side of each compartment is supplied with UV-B radiation.

In addition, experiments at the University of Helsinki greenhouse aim to elucidate further the signals that plants receive and process and the consequences of these responses for the environment. Plants are grown under different Valoya lights and one side of the compartment is supplied with UV-B radiation.

Matthew Robson and his student Paulina Mastalerz monitoring the experiment in the growth room.

Wild wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) from the forests around Helsinki and a garden cultivar rich in anthocyanins are grown under three types of Valoya spectra in Viikki greenhouse at Helsinki University under simulations of forest shade enriched and depleted in specific parts of the solar spectrum. The growth, development and physiological responses of the plants are monitored.

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