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Growth, development and yield of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) in response to soil moisture

  • S. T. Collinson (a1), S. N. Azam-Ali (a1), K. M. Chavula (a1) and D. A. Hodson (a1)

Summary

Stands of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verde.) were grown in five controlledenvironment glasshouses at the Tropical Crops Research Unit, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, in 1990. Five soil moisture regimes were imposed (one per house), from fully irrigated each week (treatment A), to no irrigation after crop establishment at 35 days after sowing (DAS) (treatment E). Decreasing the amount of water applied resulted in a decline in total dry matter production and harvest index, and a reduction in pod yield from 412 (treatment B) to 0·041 ha-1 (treatment E) at 125 DAS. A maximum leaf area index of 5–4 was achieved by treatments B and C at 90 DAS, resulting in a fractional interception of c. 0·8 of incoming radiation. Total accumulated radiation interception values were 749, 693, 688, 618 and 554 MJ m-2 for treatments A, B, C, D and E, respectively. The efficiency of conversion of the radiation intercepted into dry matter was reduced from 1·41 to 0·50 g MJ-1 by drought.

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