Napoleão Esberard de Macêdo Beltrão, Alexandre Bosco de Oliveira, Leandro Silva do Vale, José Fideles Filho
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, National Center of Cotton Research, Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil
Department of Crop Science, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
Key words: Crop physiology, Plant growth, Quantitative analysis, Agroecosystems yield, Ecophysiology.
Quantitative analysis of growth represents the first step in the analysis of primary production, being the link between the mere registration of plant productivity and the study of this by physiological methods. In classical growth analysis, most papers on this subject and applications do not provide evidence for the estimation of cellular respiration. This last factor, in ecophysiology and crop physiology, means loss of dry matter or phytomass, and is very different from a definition of a purely physiological point of view, which means oxidation of complex organic plant compounds in mitochondria. In this way, the full knowledge of the analysis of destructive growth, with estimation of respiration of monoculture plants or plant communities is crucial. It may represent a “tool” of great importance for understanding the functionality of an agroecosystem and improving productivity, especially the economic one, with an increase in harvest index and even in the quality of the final product and coproducts.