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Why are plants green - relationships between pigment absorption and photosynthetic efficiency

  • Lars Olof Björn
Publishing year: 1976
Language: English
Pages: 121-129
Publication/Series: Photosynthetica
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Institute of Experimental Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.

Abstract english

The maximum efficiency of an optically thin photosynthetic system in converting solar radiation into chemical energy is theoretically considered as a function of the absorption spectrum of the photon-collecting pigment. The absorption band position giving maximum rate of power conversion is close to 700 nm in full sunlight and at somewhat shorter wavelength in weaker light. The chemical potential obtainable is decreased if the band is too wide. The effect of a 2nd absorption band (or accessory pigment) on potential is rather small.


  • Biological Sciences


  • ISSN: 0300-3604
Lars Olof Björn
E-mail: lars_olof [dot] bjorn [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Molecular Cell Biology

+46 46 222 72 53