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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320052

Research Project: Enhancing Plant Resistance to Water-Deficit and Thermal Stresses in Economically Important Crops

Location: Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research

Title: Cotton and its interaction with cotton morphology

item CONATY, WARREN - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item BRODRICK, ROSE - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item Mahan, James
item Mahan, James
item Payton, Paxton

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2015
Publication Date: 8/21/2015
Citation: Conaty, W., Brodrick, R., Mahan, J.R., Payton, P.R. 2015. Cotton and its interaction with cotton morphology. In: Fang, D., Percy, R., editors. 2nd edition. Madison, WI: ASA, CSSA, and SSSA. p. 401-418.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The morphological plasticity of the cotton plant enables it to be produced in a wide variety of agro-ecological regions (Oosterhuis and Jernstedt 1999). This plasticity essentially translates to the lengthening, shortening, or interruption of its effective flowering period in response to season length and water availability (Hake and Kerby, 1996). As a result, cotton plants generally produce 60% more squares than they can physiologically retain. This response is a survival strategy where the plant can compensate in the event of weather and pest related losses. As climate has a significant effect on season length and water availability, the growth and morphology of the cotton plant in the context of agro-ecological zones will be further discussed. The range in global cotton production climatic zones can be broadly classed into four separate groupings based on season length and humidity: 1) Long season-arid; 2) long season-humid; 3) short season-arid; and 4) short season humid. Season length ultimately controls the ability to accumulate degree days (heat units) and is affected primarily by latitude and elevation. Here, we define long season as greater than 150 days from planting to harvest and short-season production as those regions typically producing a crop in less than 150 days. The length of the growing season is a climatic factor that is often a function of interval between lethal low temperatures on each end. At a given location (climate) the environmental conditions within a given growing season can be quite variable a harvestable, economically viable yield can often be obtained on the Texas High Plains in as little as 100 days in rainfed crops while 160 days might be required for irrigated production. The aridity of the location not only affects water supply (via rainfall) and the atmospheric humidity, but also influences the amount and quality of solar radiation the crop can capture for gas exchange. The characteristics of these climatic zones are listed in Table 1. However, it should be noted that in reality, most global production areas would be best represented by an intermediate classification of medium season length and moderate humidity.