Direct mechanical effects of wind on crops
Authors: Cleugh, H.; Miller, J.; Böhm, M.
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 41, Number 1, April 1998 , pp. 85-112(28)
Abstract:This review describes those mechanisms by which wind directly affects crop growth rates and hence yields. Wind-induced plant movement is capable of altering growth rates and leaf morphology, although this is unlikely to be a major cause of growth differences between sheltered and unsheltered crops grown outdoors. The wind's force can tear leaves or strip them from the plant. Dense plant canopies may suffer abrasion through intermittent or constant rubbing. Soil particles lifted into suspension by the wind have the potential to abrade and damage plant tissue. The wind's force can physically knock plants over, making crops difficult to harvest. Each of these mechanisms operates at a particular time of the growing season. Recovery, and hence final yield, depends on the growth stage and soil/plant moisture status when the damage occurred, the particular species and variety as well as the preceding and subsequent weather. The fact that damage effects are so dependent on the crop and the past weather makes modelling and any simple synthesis of direct wind effects difficult. The most common forms of damage likely in Australia's agricultural regions are from sandblasting and lodging. These damage events will be intermittent – their frequency depending on the local climate. Leaf tearing is likely in broad-leafed horticultural crops, and growth effects are also likely in any windy location. It is not possible to predict what the impact of this damage, and other direct effects, will be on final yields, Based on the results in the literature, protection from damage offered by windbreaks may have as large an effect on yields as incremental microclimate benefits.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: April 1998