A two-step approach to quantify photothermal effects on pre-flowering rice phenology

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Decreasing water availability for rice based systems resulted in the introduction of water saving produc-tion systems such as aerobic rice and alternate wetting–drying technology. To further improve resourceuse efficiency in these systems, water management should be attuned to critical growth stages, requiringaccurate prediction of crop phenology. Photoperiod-sensitivity of aerobic rice genotypes complicates theestimation of the parameters characterising phenological development and hence impairs predictions. Toovercome this complication, we followed a two-step approach: (1) the photoperiod response was deter-mined in growth chambers, through a reciprocal transfer experiment with variable day length, conductedat a fixed temperature, and consecutively, (2) the temperature response was studied by combining theobtained photoperiod parameters with data from field experiments. All four aerobic rice genotypes testedexhibited strong photoperiod-sensitivity. Durations of basic vegetative phase (BVP) i.e. when plants arestill insensitive to photoperiod, photoperiod-sensitive phase (PSP), and post-PSP (PPP) varied amonggenotypes. The temperature response of the genotypes was explored by combining phenological observa-tions in the reciprocal transfer experiment with observations in two field experiments. The temperaturerange in the field experiments was too narrow to obtain convergence to a unique set of temperatureresponse parameters, regardless whether a bilinear or a beta model was used. Sensitivity analysis how-ever provided clear arguments in support of the recent doubts on the validity of a commonly used set ofcardinal temperatures for rice phenology. Using standard cardinal temperatures, the rate of developmentat temperatures below 31¿C was overestimated. This finding stresses the need for experiments on ricephenology under a wider range of temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-22
JournalField Crops Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • oryza-sativa l
  • climate-change
  • heading date
  • aerobic rice
  • water-use
  • model
  • temperature
  • performance
  • photoperiod
  • cultivars


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