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Mathias Neumann Andersen

Acclimation to higher VPD and temperature minimized negative effects on assimilation and grain yield of wheat

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  • Muhammad Adil Rashid, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Sino-Danish Center
  • ,
  • Mathias Neumann Andersen
  • Bernd Wollenweber
  • Xiying Zhang, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China
  • Jørgen Eivind Olesen
Adapting to climate change and minimizing its negative impact on crop production requires detailed understanding of the direct and indirect effects of different climate variables (i.e. temperature, VPD). We investigated the direct (via heat stress) and indirect effects (through increased VPD) of high temperature on growth, physiology and yield of two wheat cultivars (Taifun and Vinjett) at two watering levels; well-watered: WW (100% evapotranspiration (ET)) and drought stress: DS (50% of WW ET). Three climate treatments were applied for five days, starting at one week after anthesis. Treatments included hot humid (HH: 36° C; 1.96 kPa VPD), hot dry (HD: 36° C; 3.92 kPa VPD) and normal (NC: 24° C; 1.49 kPa VPD). Difference between HH and HD was considered as the indirect effect of temperature through increased VPD. HD increased transpiration by 2–22% and decreased photosynthetic water-use efficiency (WUEp) by 24–64% over HH during stress but whole-plant WUE at final harvest was not affected. HD reduced grainfilling duration (3 days), resulted in relatively lower green leaf area (GLA) after the stress and showed a tendency of lower net assimilation rate during the stress compared to HH. However, yield and yield components were not affected under WW conditions due to two reasons (i) acclimation of the photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and rubisco carboxylation efficiency to high temperature and VPD and (ii) translocation of assimilates from stem/leaf to grains after the stress episode. Five days of high temperature stress alone (HH) reduced GLA, grainfilling duration (5 days) and thousand-grain weight (17%), which ultimately reduced grain yield by 17%. DS mainly affected GLA, grainfilling duration and reduced grain yield by 7% vis-à-vis WW. Two cultivars differed only for GLA (lower for Vinjett under HH) and WUEp (higher for Vinjett under DS). This indicates that the temperature induced increase in VPD has little effect on growth and yield, if sufficient soil moisture is available, because acclimation and tolerance mechanisms tend to alleviate stress effects. These compensatory mechanisms should also be considered when modelling climate effects on crops. However, heat waves and drought events during sensitive crop developmental stages (i.e. anthesis, grainfilling) are important climate variables that need to be considered for adaption to climate change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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