LED illumination for high-quality high-yield crop growth in protected cropping environments
School of Science / Graduate Research
Edith Cowan University
Vegetables and herbs play a central role in the human diet due to their low fat and calory content and essential antioxidant, phytochemicals, and fiber. It is well known that the manipulation of light wavelengths illuminating the crops can enhance their growth rate and nutrient contents. To date, it has not been easy to generalize the effects of LED illumination because of the differences in the plant species investigated, the measured traits, the way wavelengths have been manipulated, and the plants’ growing environments. In order to address this gap, we undertook a quantitative review of LED manipulation in relation to plant traits, focusing on vegetables and herbs. Here, we use standardized measurements of biomass, antioxidant, and other quantitative characteristics together with the whole range of the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). Overall, our review revealed support for the claims that the red and blue LED illumination is more reliable and efficient than full spectrum illumination and increases the plant’s biomass and nutritional value by enhancing the photosynthetic activity, antioxidant properties, phenolic, and flavonoids contents. Although LED illumination provides an efficient way to improve yield and modify plant properties, this study also highlights the broad range of responses among species, varieties traits, and the age of plant material.
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