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Examining climate change effects on wheat
Date:2/24/2011

by more than a dozen other research groups around the world.

As expected, the heaters accelerated growth, increased soil temperatures, reduced soil moisture, induced mild water stress on the crops and had a nominal effect on photosynthesis.

But effects on yields depended on when the wheat was planted. When heat was applied to wheat planted in mid-winter, it grew faster, with a growth cycle that was ahead by a week, but there were no major differences in yield. But adding heat to wheat planted in September enabled the wheat to survive frosts between Christmas and New Year's both years with only moderate yield loss. Wheat planted at the same time in the unheated plots yielded nothing.

The results, published in Global Change Biology, will provide guidance to growers on how to adjust planting schedules as the climate warms. They also show the effectiveness of the T-FACE system for investigating climate change impacts.


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Contact: Dennis O'Brien
dennis.obrien@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1624
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

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