Potential yield and water-use effficiency benefits in sorghum from limited maximum transpiration rate

Sinclair, Thomas R., Hammer, Graeme L. and Van Oosterom, Erik J. (2005) Potential yield and water-use effficiency benefits in sorghum from limited maximum transpiration rate. Functional Plant Biology, 32 10: 945-952. doi:10.1071/FP05047

Author Sinclair, Thomas R.
Hammer, Graeme L.
Van Oosterom, Erik J.
Title Potential yield and water-use effficiency benefits in sorghum from limited maximum transpiration rate
Journal name Functional Plant Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-4408
Publication date 2005-01-01
Year available 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/FP05047
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 32
Issue 10
Start page 945
End page 952
Total pages 8
Place of publication Collingwood, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Language eng
Subject C1
270402 Plant Physiology
620104 Other cereals
0607 Plant Biology
0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
0703 Crop and Pasture Production
Abstract Limitations on maximum transpiration rates, which are commonly observed as midday stomatal closure, have been observed even under well-watered conditions. Such limitations may be caused by restricted hydraulic conductance in the plant or by limited supply of water to the plant from uptake by the roots. This behaviour would have the consequences of limiting photosynthetic rate, increasing transpiration efficiency, and conserving soil water. A key question is whether the conservation of water will be rewarded by sustained growth during seed fill and increased grain yield. This simulation analysis was undertaken to examine consequences on sorghum yield over several years when maximum transpiration rate was imposed in a model. Yields were simulated at four locations in the sorghum-growing area of Australia for 115 seasons at each location. Mean yield was increased slightly ( 5 - 7%) by setting maximum transpiration rate at 0.4 mm h(-1). However, the yield increase was mainly in the dry, low-yielding years in which growers may be more economically vulnerable. In years with yield less than similar to 450 g m(-2), the maximum transpiration rate trait resulted in yield increases of 9 - 13%. At higher yield levels, decreased yields were simulated. The yield responses to restricted maximum transpiration rate were associated with an increase in efficiency of water use. This arose because transpiration was reduced at times of the day when atmospheric demand was greatest. Depending on the risk attitude of growers, incorporation of a maximum transpiration rate trait in sorghum cultivars could be desirable to increase yields in dry years and improve water use efficiency and crop yield stability.
Keyword Plant sciences
Radiation-use efficiency
Arid tropical environment
Vapor-pressure deficit
Comparative productivity
Drying soil
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 15:53:32 EST