Publication Details

This online article was originally published as Robinson, SA and Watling, JR (1999) Sunlight: An all pervasive source of energy, in Atwell, BJ, Kriedemann, PE and Turnbull, CE (eds), Plants in Action: Adaptation in Nature, Performance in Cultivation, Macmillan Education Australia, Melbourne, 380-397. Web Edition 2011 available here: Light Interception and Utilisation.


Initial steps of photosynthesis involve interception and absorption of photons by photosynthetic organs; subsequent steps are involved with utilisation or dissipation of quantum energy so derived. Interception of light varies according to size, angle, orientation and surface features of the photosynthetic organ(s) and is also influenced by changes in the arrangement of photosynthetic tissue within those organs.