Towards functional-structural modelling of greenhouse cucumber


  • K. Kahlen


At present, much effort is put into increasing the efficiency of cultivation systems for greenhouse vegetables. There are many options to manage plant growth factors in a greenhouse. For example, supplemental light can be given, even directed at specific plant parts. Functional-structural modelling is expected to help exploring different cultivation and plant manipulation regimes in order to optimize production over a prolonged period of time or in a period of high market prices. To introduce structural modelling for greenhouse cucumber, an experiment is described that showed differences in yield due to different plant densities and plant distributions. As a first step towards virtual cucumber plants, a static structural model of cucumber was conceptualized to picture differences in the potential of the stands to intercept direct light with an orientation perpendicular to the ground, measured by the projected leaf area per unit ground area, the so-called light interception efficiency (m2 m-2). The formalism of parametric L-systems was used to describe a dynamic structural model of cucumber with focus on realistic plant geometry. At present sophisticated functional-structural models of greenhouse cucumber or other vegetables do not exist, but they are highly desirable and under construction.