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Spectral effects on the use of photon flux sensors for measurement of photon flux in controlled environments

, : Spectral effects on the use of photon flux sensors for measurement of photon flux in controlled environments. Biotronics 15: 31-36

Measurements of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) were made under various radiation sources in eleven different controlled environment facilities to compare two commercially available photon-flux sensors and companion meters. Calibration of the sensors was checked by the National Bureau of Standards with both tungsten-filament quartz-halogen lamps and with cool-white fluorescent lamps. Readings from the two lamps agreed for each sensor meter set within 1 to 2%. Measurements made with the two sensor/meter sets by investigators in each of the laboratories showed excellent agreement (SD .+-. 1%) in the relative output of the two sensors under a given lamp type, even in different types of plant growth chambers. The two sensor outputs differed systematically with lamp type, however, with the greatest deviation seen between high pressure sodium lamps and incandescent lamps. The #1 sensor reading was about 4% higher than sensor #2 under high pressure sodium lamps and 2% lower under incandescent lamps. This study emphasizes the need for calibration of photosynthetic photon flux sensors/meters under the particular types of lamps being utilized for plant irradiation. Limitations of the PPF concept should also be recognized.

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