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Abstract Detail


Ecological Section

Biernacki, Maciej [1].

Quantification of plant phenology.

Temperature and photoperiod data were used to quantify plant phenology. A new index of heat accumulation, daylight and night-time degree-hours were developed, to quantitatively model plant growth and development from seedling to maturity. Watermelon, cantaloup, and squash plants were seeded in pots and grown in a greenhouse. Heat accumulation index was significantly associated with plant mass and phenology. Plants produced male flowers after accumulation of c. 31 % and female flowers c. 37 % of total heat accumulated, fruited at c. 46 %, and matured at 100 %. Coefficient of determination for daylight and night-time degree-hours were 98 % vs 88 % for degree-days. Dry mass production was dominated by fruit and increased significantly with increased temperature. Root growth was optimal at temperatures significantly lower than these optimal for above-ground growth. Mean leaf surface area per plant increased as heat accumulation index increased up to 96% over plant life, while root surface area increased and maximized just after fruiting then decreased. Leaf surface area per plants and plant mass reflected reliably (with 98% confidence) heat accumulation by each plant. Root surface area was significantly affected by changes in the length of small roots (with diameter < 0.5 mm). Roots with diameter < 0.5 mm, and root tips were most responsive to temperature, compared to other root characteristics. Temperature and photoperiod data were reliably used to quantify plant growth and development. Mathematical model of plant phenology based on heat accumulation index may form the base for real-time prediction and evaluation of plant growth and development from seedling to maturity. Heat accumulation index may be used to quantitatively standardize plant growth and development and increase reliability of comparative studies. Also the index may allow for quantitative evaluation of environmental condition and suitability for successful completion of growth by selected plant species.


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1 - University of Memphis, Biology, Memphis, TN, 38152, USA

Keywords:
phenology
heat accumulation
plant development
mathematical model
leaf area
root area
timing of plant phenology
heat zones
standardized plant growth.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 44
Location: 214/SUB
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 44003
Abstract ID:719


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