Wheat 2012 outdoor



This dataset contains the underlying data for the MSc thesis:

Effects of population density on tillering in wheat and barley.

Tillering is the formation of lateral shoots from the base of the stem which is produced specially in grasses and cereals. It is an important property in crops (cereals and grasses) of the Poaceae family. It enables these crops to cope with intraspecific competition by optimizing the formation of ear-bearing shoots in relation to the resources available.

The present study investigates the effects of plant population density on the tillering of wheat and barley species. More specifically it studies the kinetics of tiller appearance, the probability of tiller occurrence and the cessation of tiller appearance in relation to the light conditions inside the canopy (in terms of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) intercepted and red : far-red ratio). Furthermore, tiller appearance is related to morphological characteristics of the plant.

The experiment was conducted in Wageningen (The Netherlands) in July and August 2012. Spring wheat plants (Triticum aestivum L., cv. ‘Aurum’) and barley plants (Hordeum vulgare L., cv. ‘Quench’) were grown in containers of 70 x 90 cm. For both plant species, seeds were grown at three population densities: 100, 262 and 508 plants m-2. Leaf length, light intercepted by the canopy and relative red : far-red was monitored during the two months of experiment. At the end of the experiment, morphological characteristics of the monitored plants was measured.

The conclusion of the present study was that competition for light had an effect on the production and senescence of tillers per plant. An increase in population density caused a reduction of light intensity and of light quality (lower red : far-red ratio) inside of the canopy that turned into a reduction of the number of tillers per plant. Different tiller dynamics were observed between wheat and barley (genetic variation): barley seemed to have a better sense of intraspecific competition. Furthermore, a correlation between final internode length of the plants and production of primary tillers was observed
Date made available28 Nov 2013
PublisherWageningen UR
Geographical coverageThe Netherlands


  • wheat
  • plant development
  • light relations
  • far red light
  • grasses cereals
  • Triticum aestivum L.
  • Hordeum vulgare L.
  • models

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