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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01047

Characterization of the effect of increased plant density on canopy morphology and stalk lodging risk

 Alam Sher1*, Aaqil khan1 and  Umair Ashraf2
  • 1Anhui Agricultural University, China
  • 2agronmoy, Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan

Plants react to the environment and to management interventions by adjusting architectural and structural modifications. A field trial was conducted in China during 2016 to study the plant population effects on maize canopy morphological development. The main objectives of the current study were (i) characterize the effects of increased plant density on canopy morphology and stalk lodging (ii) exploring the relationships between organ morphology and stalk lodging. The field experiment was composed of five plant densities (4.5, 6, 7.5, 9 and 15 plants m-2 with three cultivars Zhengdan 958 (lodging-resistant cultivar), Longping 206 and Jinqiu119 (lodging-susceptible cultivars). Laminae and sheaths lengths increased in lower phytomers but decreased in upper phytomers in response to plant densities for all cultivars. Lamina width and internode diameter decreased for all phytomers in response to plant densities for all cultivars. Correlation between organ morphology, plant density and stalk lodging was linear. Data obtained from characterization used in this study (i.e., canopy morphology, correlation of organ morphology with stalk lodging traits in response to various plant densities for different cultivars etc.) will be useful in future modeling studies to predict canopy morphological characteristics as affected as interplant competition and stalk lodging.

Keywords: Zea mays, plant density, Cultivar, Canopy morphology, Stalk lodging.

Received: 18 Oct 2017; Accepted: 27 Jun 2018.

Edited by:

Hartmut Stützel, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany

Reviewed by:

Gerhard Buck-Sorlin, Agrocampus Ouest, France
Rosario Muleo, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Sher, khan and Ashraf. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Alam Sher, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, China, sherjunaid1855@yahoo.com