High wind speeds may result in substantial damage to crop canopies, resulting in a loss of productivity. Lower wind speeds affect crop canopies in different ways – while physical damage does not occur, the movement of plant tissues impacts photosynthetic capacity by altering the light environment, particularly at lower levels of the canopy. Assessing the role of low wind speeds in canopy photosynthesis is highly complex, as both the wind and the canopy response to wind are dynamic in time and space. In this Opinion paper, Burgess et al discuss the challenges associated with assessing the impact of wind on canopy photosynthesis. The authors consider the best way of measuring canopy movement in the field, and how wind-induced movement alters the light environment throughout the canopy. They then review the impact of this on rubisco activation and maintenance of photosynthetic capacity. There is a discussion of how best to integrate wind effects into dynamic computer models of photosynthesis, and the authors finish by assessing whether changing the canopy response to wind could help improve photosynthesis. (Summary by Mike Page) J Exp Bot 10.1093/jxb/ery424
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