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Predicting plant leaf area production: shoot assimilate accumulation and partitioning, and leaf area ratio, are stable for a wide range of sorghum population densities

Lafarge, T. A. and Hammer, G. L. (2002) Predicting plant leaf area production: shoot assimilate accumulation and partitioning, and leaf area ratio, are stable for a wide range of sorghum population densities. Field Crops Research, 77 (2-3). pp. 137-151.

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Abstract

Predicting plant leaf area production is required for modelling carbon balance and tiller dynamics in plant canopies. Plant leaf area production can be studied using a framework based on radiation intercepted, radiation use efficiency (RUE) and leaf area ratio (LAR) (ratio of leaf area to net above-ground biomass). The objective of this study was to test this framework for predicting leaf area production of sorghum during vegetative development by examining the stability of the contributing components over a large range of plant density. Four densities, varying from 2 to 16 plants m(-2), were implemented in a field experiment. Plants were either allowed to tiller or were maintained as uniculm by systematic tiller removal. In all cases, intercepted radiation was recorded daily and leaf area and shoot dry matter partitioning were quantified weekly at individual culm level. Up to anthesis, a unique relationship applied between fraction of intercepted radiation and leaf area index, and between shoot dry weight accumulation and amount of intercepted radiation, regardless of plant density. Partitioning of shoot assimilate between leaf, stem and head was also common across treatments up to anthesis, at both plant and culm levels. The relationship with thermal time (TT) from emergence of specific leaf area (SLA) and LAR of tillering plants did not change with plant density. In contrast, SLA of uniculm plants was appreciably lower under low-density conditions at any given TT from emergence. This was interpreted as a consequence of assimilate surplus arising from the inability of the plant to compensate by increasing the leaf area a culm could produce. It is argued that the stability of the extinction coefficient, RUE and plant LAR of tillering plants observed in these conditions provides a reliable way to predict leaf area production regardless of plant density. Crown Copyright (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Crown copyright
Keywords:sorghum plant density; tillering; intercepted radiation; extinction coefficient; radiation use efficiency; shoot assimilate partitioning; specific leaf area; leaf area ratio radiation-use efficiency; arid tropical environment; relative growth-rate; light interception; grain-sorghum; pearl-millet; biomass accumulation; simulation-model; water-use; yield
Subjects:Plant culture > Propagation
Plant culture > Field crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Deposited On:10 Dec 2018 06:30
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 06:30

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