Environmental Processes

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 413–425 | Cite as

Sweet Sorghum Canopy Development in Relation to Radiation and Water Use

  • N. Dercas
  • A. Liakatas
Original Article


The present work deals with sweet sorghum canopy development in relation to the radiation capture and water demand. Two experimental sites and four cultivation periods with sweet sorghum (var. Keller and var. MN1500) were used in a plain of Central Greece. The water consumption by the crops, the aerial biomass production, the Leaf Area Index (LAI), as well as the radiation interception under various irrigation rates were monitored and analyzed. Key findings of the work include: (a) canopy penetration of Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) is 10 times less than the global solar radiation, indicating that practically all PAR is intercepted by the leafage; (b) LAI values higher than 6.0 lead to no extra PAR capture and non-significantly higher biomass production; (c) rapid canopy development by rational use of water and fertilizer would attain capture and use of radiation at its maximum availability; (d) for the well watered plots, the Radiation Use Efficiency ranged from 2.8 to 3.63 g dry matter/MJ intercepted and the Water Use Efficiency (WUE) from 43 to 56.5 kg ha−1 mm−1, whereas the corresponding actual cumulative evapotranspiration ranged from 601 to 662 mm. In addition, the crop coefficient Kc values for the various cultivation stages of sorghum were evaluated.


Sweet sorghum Water use efficiency Canopy characteristics Radiation capture Crop coefficient Radiation use efficiency 



Experiments were carried out by the authors in the context of AIR (CT92-0041. ‘Sweet sorghum’: A sustainable crop for energy production in Europe; Agriculture industrial improvement, optimization and implementation 1993-1995) and FAIR (CT96-1913 ‘Environmental studies on sweet and fibre sorghum, sustainable crops for biomass and energy’) programs, which were supported by the EU and the Greek Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology, in the Centre of Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Department of Biomass (Greece), Marathonos Ave. (19th km), 19009 Pikermi, Greece, Phone: +302106603300, The authors wish to express their acknowledgments to all the members of the Biomass Department for their contribution in carrying out the experiments. They are, also, thankful to John Tsiros, Professor at the AUA, for his constructive remarks on the manuscript of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources Management and Agricultural EngineeringAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece

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