Plant architecture, plasticity, and adaptation strategies of two oat genotypes under different competition intensities.

Li, P.-F., Ma, B.-L., Yan, W., Cheng, Z., Li, F.-M., and Xiong, Y-C. (2016). "Plant architecture, plasticity, and adaptation strategies of two oat genotypes under different competition intensities.", Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96(5), pp. 1431-1439. doi : 10.1002/jsfa.7237  Access to full text

Abstract

Background: The hypothesis that positive and negative interactions account for adaptive strategies was tested in a controlled study with two oat (Avena sativa) genotypes: ‘Manotick’ with erect leaves and ‘Oa1316-1’ with prostrate leaves. An increasing competition pattern was designed by varying the number of seeds planted in each container and the space between containers, thus creating different planting density regimes (i.e. alternative and solid treatments). Results: Total biomass of individual plants tended to decrease exponentially with increasing density in both genotypes. Under high density stress, Manotick allocated more biomass to the roots and produced 50% more tillers, leading to more non-productive tillers and lower harvest index in the alternative than in the solid treatment. In contrast, Oa1316-1 allocated more biomass to panicles and stems, and less to the roots, with fewer tillers. Conclusions: With increasing density and strengthening intraspecific competition, Manotick reduced aboveground biomass allocation, leading to lower yield, while Oa1316-1 decreased allocation to the roots, but increased allocation to the panicles under an increasingly competitive environment. These adjustments were mechanically derived from negative and positive interactions, ensuring greater yield in the prostrate type. Our findings provided a novel rationale for a planting strategy based on plant type selections.

Date modified: