Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Crop residues in adequate amounts are needed to protect soil surfaces from the erosive effects of wind and rain. The lentil crop does not produce residues in sufficient quantities to be effective in erosion control. In this study, we evaluated a series of lentil selections and varieties for biomass and residue production over a period of years and at several locations. As expected, there was a significant correlation between biomas production and seed yields. Of particular importance is the positive association between residue amounts and seed yield. This indicates that the problem of minimal residue amounts by lentil crops can be alleviated by selection for higher biomass producing germplasm which will also lead to improved productivity. The germplasm for these improvements is available in the U.S. collection of lentil.
Technical Abstract: Sufficient crop residues on soil surfaces are needed for protection from water and wind erosion in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) crop grown in this region lacks sufficient crop residues which leads to severe soil erosion in subsequent crops. The objectives of this study were (I) determine the relationship between physiological and morphological traits that affect biomass and residue production, and (ii) identify suitable selection criteria for increasing biomass and residue production by lentil crops. Thirty nine breeding lines were evaluated at three sites each year from 1993 to 1995. Straw yield in 1993 was correlated with days to flower (r = 0.72**), days to maturity (r = 0.82**), plant height (r = 0.76**), harvest index (r = -0.97**), and seed yield (r = -0.71**). In addition there were significant correlations between straw yield and harvest index (r = -0.48**) in 1995, and between straw yield and seed yield (r = 0.59**) in 1994. The regression coefficient (b) indicated that for each day that flowering and maturity were delayed, there were increases of 214 kg/ha and 734 kg/ha straw yield, respectively. A 1 cm increase in plant height resulted in a 277 kg/ha increase in straw yield. Results indicated that plant height could be used for indirect selection for increased biomass. Seed yield can also be improved by selecting for larger vegetative biomass while keeping harvest index constant.