Latitude and Date of Sowing Influences Phenology of Photoperiod-Sensitive Sorghums

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2012
Authors:Abdulai, AL, Kouressy, M, Vaksmann, M, Asch, F, Giese, M, Holger, B
Journal:Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Volume:198
Issue:5
Date Published:2012
ISBN Number:1439-037X
Keywords:latitude, Phenology, photoperiodism, sorghum, sowing date
Abstract:

Matching phenology with prevalent abiotic and biotic conditions is a prerequisite for varietal adaptation to the environment. That is particularly important in the context of climate change because an increase in temperature is most likely to modify the precocity of the varieties. The forecast of flowering time in photoperiod-sensitive sorghum is complex as flowering depends on temperature, day length and soil fertility. The objectives of this work were to quantify effects of latitude on the development of selected sorghum varieties and to verify the precision of our models to predict sorghum maturity. A field experiment at three locations along the latitudinal gradient in Mali with staggered sowing dates (SDs) was conducted. Seven sorghum cultivars covering a wide range of the diversity of cultivated sorghums in Mali were sown on the 10 of June, July and August in 2009 and 2010. Duration of the vegetative phase strongly decreased with latitude. Although the maximum day length difference between locations was < 8 min, for some varieties, we observed a reduction in crop duration of up to 3 weeks. Some varieties were photoperiod insensitive at one location but became photoperiod sensitive at another. The effect of latitude on the phenology is underestimated by the existing models. To determine the optimal areas for the varieties in West Africa and to forecast the effects of climate change, a correction of the simulation coefficients taking account of latitude is proposed. But, in the end, it will be necessary to develop a new model that will be able to predict the effects of both SD and latitude. More research is needed to understand physiological response mechanisms of the pronounced latitude effects on sorghum phenology.

URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-037X.2012.00523.x
Short Title:Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science
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