Each leaf has been given a different false colour. The amount of direct sunshine penetrating to each leaf can be estimated by summing the amount of its colour which is visible as the plant is rotated to simulate passage of the sun across the sky. This can be repeated for every stage of development of the whole plant. Only one false-colour plant is shown to give a simple illustration of the technique. In a practical study, a single false-colour plant would be surrounded by a stand of other plants. Plant spacings and plant characteristics such as leaf shape, petiole length and branching angles could be varied between simulations so that the best arrangement can be found for allowing light to reach the boll-filling leaves. This information would be useful to plant breeders and agronomists.
Last updated: Jim Hanan, 15 January 1997.