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6.1 - Concepts and components of RGR

The most useful and widely used analysis is the concept of relative growth rate (RGR) and the simple RGR equation, which derives from the growth of cell populations with unrestricted resources – that is where light, space and nutrient supply are not limiting.

Growth models developed from populations of single cells can be extended mathematically to cover complex multicellular organisms where whole-plant growth is expressed in terms of leaf area and nutrient resources. Such growth indices are not intrinsic properties of plants, but rather mathematical constructs with functional significance. These concepts can be traced to the early 1900s and have proved increasingly useful for studies of growth and developmental responses in natural and managed environments.