Effect of elevated temperature on green gram [Vigna radiata (I).Wilczek] performance under temperature gradient tunnel (TGT) environment in Punjab
Keywords:Green gram, temperature gradient tunnel, growth, yield attributes, elevated temperature
Physiology of green gram is highly sensitive to fluctuations in the thermal environment. Abnormally high temperatures during pod setting to pod development stage induces reduction in pod setting, nonhealthy development and early maturity of grain which results in yield decline. We evaluated the effect of elevated temperatures in a Temperature Gradient Tunnel (TGT) on phenology, physiology and crop performance of green gram cultivars at semi-arid climate of Indian Punjab (Ludhiana). Five green gram cultivars were grown in TGT chambers in a factorial randomized block design with varying level of elevated temperatures (+3.3° C to 5.2° C) for two consecutive kharif seasons (2015-2016). The results reveal that the phenological stages of green gram, were advanced under elevated temperature within the TGT compared to open / ambient condition by 12-13 days. Maximum influence was observed in pod formation
and pod maturity stages. With rise in temperatures by 3.3 to 5.2°C in TGT over ambient condition, the plant height increased but the number of branches per plant and the total above ground biomass as well as grain yield decreased consistently. It was found that with 1 oC increase in average seasonal temperature, the grain yield decreased by 75 kg ha-1. On the other hand, the harvest index was in general lower inside TGT chamber implying adverse influence of elevated temperature on biomass production although the partitioning of biomass was more efficient inside the TGT as evident from increase in harvest index. There was strong negative correlation of elevated temperature (inside TGT) with different yield attributes like 1000 seed weight, number of seeds per pod and number of pods per plant. Among the five green gram cultivars, ML-2037 was the most tolerant while cv. SML-1811 was the most susceptible to elevated temperature condition. In general, the grain yield decreased linearly with gradual increase in temperature.
Average seasonal temperature of 29-30 oC may be considered as the favourable thermal conditions for the green gram crop in semi-arid conditions of Punjab. However, the future thrust will be to create more temperature gradients in the lower side so that the critical temperature threshold limits for optimum yield of green gram can be ascertained more accurately.
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