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Reassessment Of Maximum Growth Rates For C 3 And C 4 Crops

J. Monteith
Published 1978 · Biology

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Figures for maximum crop growth rates, reviewed by Gifford (1974), suggest that the productivity of C 3 and C 4 species is almost indistinguishable. However, close inspection of these figures at source and correspondence with several authors revealed a number of errors. When all unreliable figures were discarded, the maximum growth rate for C 3 stands fell in the range 34–39 g m −2 d −1 compared with 50–54 g m −2 d −1 for C 4 stands. Maximum growth rates averaged over the whole growing season showed a similar difference: 13 g m −2 d −1 for C 3 and 22 g m −2 d −1 for C 4 . These figures correspond to photosynthetic efficiencies of approximately 1·4 and 2·0%.
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