How Glasshouses Could Be Used To Maximise Crop Production

1030 words - 5 pages

How glasshouses could be used to maximize crop production
Various controllable factors within glasshouses can affect the annual crop production, therefore conditions can be altered as to achieve maximum crop yield. Factors such as light intensity and temperature affect the plants ability to grow and cultivate to produce a yieldable crop, so the glasshouse environment can be adapted accordingly to enable efficient and optimum rate of photosynthesis and gaseous exchange.
Light is fundamentally the most important factor affecting crop production in a greenhouse. Light affects the photosynthetic production in crops as light-dependent reactions use energy from sunlight to create ATP and reduce ...view middle of the document...

Temperature control is another significant factor that affects greenhouse crop production. In many organisms temperature affects functions and processes due to affecting enzymes, and plants are no different. In light-independent reactions, also known as the Calvin cycle, enzymes found in the stroma of chloroplasts in the palisade cells affect transpiration rates of plants, therefore inevitably affecting crop production. Likewise to organisms, if the environment temperature becomes too high the enzymes within the plant will change shape and eventually become denatured, which naturally would affect the crop production. Most vegetative crops, such as peppers, experience the highest rates of photosynthesis between 21-23˚C, whilst root zone temperatures should be at around 18-21˚C. Transpiration rates can also be affected as the underside stomata and guard cells on a plants leaf may be kept open, causing water loss from the plant leading to reduced crop production. Likewise to light, temperature may also be controlled through ventilation or shading, or conversely heating and insulated glasshouses.
As CO2 is used as an input into the carbon dioxide cycle, it is only natural that it plays an important part in increasing crop productivity. CO2 is used during the light-independent (Calvin) reactions in the production of useful organic substances. Carbon dioxide combines with 5-carbon ribulose bihosphate (RuBP) and this reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme RuBP carboxylase (Rubisco). This reaction then produces a 6-carbon molecule which splits into two 3-carbon molecules of glycerate 3-phosphate(GP). Glycerate 3-phosphate is then reduced to Triose phosphate where it can produce organic substances that can be used by the plant, such as glucose. CO2 supplementation can be used to increase crop productivity, and can even counter the impacts of growth when there are low light intensities. If the greenhouse is well ventilated though, this may not be cost efficient so it is recommended in well ventilated areas. that CO2 levels are kept to a normal level, meaning there will be no net exchange of CO2 with the atmospheric air via leaks or ventilation.
Air pollutants such as increased car exhaust fumes during daylight (photosynthetic) hours can affect...

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