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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: optimal

In regular usage, optimal means best, maximum possible, or most desirable. We use optimal here to mean the highest possible value for some quantity given physical laws and ignoring certain restrictions. Actually, the meaning of optimal differs for each process and depends on choices made and equations used (and assumptions made) by the simulation. Usually the optimal value is still constrained by something (such as the total amount of solar radiation that could possibly occur at any location), but most constraints are ignored (such as the effect of plant competition on plant water uptake).

For plant growth, we take optimal to mean that the plant grows as though it were in the perfect environment for any particular factor set to optimal. For example, if the Optimal temperature option is on (in the simulation options window or in the browser for that plant), plants grow as if they were in a greenhouse year- round. And if the Optimal water uptake option is on, plants grow as if they got as much water as they wanted every day. And so on.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.