Designing high yielding wheat crops under late sowing: a case study in southern China
Liu, K and Harrison, MT and Wang, B and Yan, H, Designing high yielding wheat crops under late sowing: a case study in southern China, Agronomy for Sustainable Development ISSN 1774-0746 (In Press) [Refereed Article]
Cropping of rice and wheat in rotation (Triticum aestivum L.) contiguously in the same field is a fundamental pillar of double-cropping systems in southern China. Yields of such cropping systems are increasingly challenged as climate change (CC) drives increases in autumnal rainfall, delaying rice harvesting and subsequent sowing of wheat. Here, our purpose was to identify prospective traits of wheat crops enabling adaptation to later sowing and successively truncated growing seasons caused by CC. To identify traits that maintained or improved yields, we constructed 4,096 hypothetical genotypes underpinned by step-wise variation in parameters regulating phenology, growth and yield components. We then assimilated biophysical response surfaces through genotype (G) by environment (E) by management (M) analyses (G×E×M) using six locations spread across the breadth of southern China. We showed that later sowing reduced cumulative radiation interception, cumulative thermal time and crop capture of growing-season rainfall. The culmination of these factors shortened crop duration, decreased biomass accumulation and retranslocation after anthesis, reducing grain number and penalising yields. Genotypes that had greater radiation-use efficiency, longer juvenile phases and greater grain filling rates were more effective in alleviating yield losses with delayed sowing. However, not even the highest yielding genotype × management combination could entirely alleviate yield losses with delayed sowing. Our results suggest that CC and increasingly frequent extreme climatic events may reduce wheat yields in such cropping systems in the absence of other adaptation.
wheat yield, hypothetical genotypes, late sowing, APSIM-wheat, Southern China