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Acta Agronomica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (6): 904-911.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2019.84131


Adjustment and compensation of cotton to physical damage at early squaring stage

He-Quan LU1,*,Jie QI2,*,Jian-Long DAI1,*,Yan-Jun ZHANG1,Xiang-Qiang KONG1,Zhen-Huai LI1,Wei-Jiang LI1,Shi-Zhen XU1,Wei TANG1,Dong-Mei ZHANG1,Zhen LUO1,Cheng-Song XIN1,Xue-Zhen SUN2,He-Zhong DONG1,2,*   

  1. 1 Cotton Research Center, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences / Shandong Key Lab for Cotton Culture and Physiology, Jinan 250100, Shandong, China;
    2 Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, Shandong, China
  • Received:2018-10-17 Accepted:2019-01-12 Online:2019-06-12 Published:2019-06-12
  • Contact: He-Quan LU,Jie QI,Jian-Long DAI,He-Zhong DONG
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the China Agricultural Research System(CARS-15-15);the Modern Agro-industry Technological System of Shandong Province(SDAIT-03-01);the Special Fund for Taishan Scholars(Tspd20150213);from Shandong Province, Technological Innovation Project of Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences(CXGC2016B05, CXGC2018E06);SAAS Training Fund for Young Talents.


Hail-caused physical damage on cotton often occurs at squaring in Yellow River basin. Cotton is characterized as indeterminate growth habit as well as great compensatory ability. It is very important to determine the recovery potential after physical damage. A two-year (2014-2015) field experiment was carried out at Linqing of Shandong province with six treatments at five days after squaring, including removal of main-stem terminal and total leaves, RTL; removal of main-stem terminal but one leaf maintained, RT+1LM; removal of main-stem terminal but total leaves maintained, RT+ALM; main-stem terminal maintained but removal of total leaves, TM+RL; main-stem terminal and one leaf maintained, TM+1LM; and non-damaged, CK. A randomized blocks design was used for the study. Results showed that dry weight of single plant in RTL, RT+1LM, RT+ALM and TM+RL was significantly reduced at 15-60 days after treatment (DAT) as compared with that of CK. Dry weight of single plant in TM+1LM was reduced by 59.0% and 12.1% at 15 and 30 DAT, respectively, and slightly reduced at 45 and 60 DAT. LAI dynamics of six treatments were similar to those of biomass from 15 to 60 DAT. The leaf net photosynthetic rate of RTL, RT+1LM, RT+ALM and TM+RL was lower than that of control from 15 to 45 DAT, and the peak occurrence of Pn was delayed, while the Pn of TM+1LM and its peak period were similar to that of CK. Total biomass TM+RL was reduced by 18.2% in, but not changed in RTL, RT+1LM, RT+ALM, and TM+1LM compared with that of CK. Ratio of seedcotton to stalk of RTL, RT+1LM, RT+ALM, and TM+RL was decreased by 52.6%, 47.3%, 36.8%, and 23.7% compared with that of CK, but not significantly changes in TM+1LM. The number of bolls per unit land area in RTL, RT+1LM, RT+ALM, and TM+RL decreased by 19%, 7.2%, 9.9%, and 15.6%, boll weight decreased by 23.2%, 8.9%, 8.9%, and 19.6%, and thus seedcotton yield decreased by 36.3%, 17.5%, 15.5%, and 31.9%, respectively. However, TM+1LM did not significantly reduce the number of bolls and boll weight, and produced comparable yield to CK. The results of this study indicate that cotton plants have strong compensation effects on biological yield and economic yield owing to the indeterminate growth habit after physical damage at squaring stage, but the compensatory effects are varied by the extent of physical damage. Accordingly, the physical injury at squaring was divided into light injury (TM+1LM), moderate injury (RT+1LM, RT+ALM), and severe injury (RTL, TM+RL), in which the yield reduction was less than 5%, 15%, and more than 30%, respectively. For lightly and moderately damaged cotton fields, water and fertilizer management is strongly recommended to promote cotton compensatory growth and reduce yield losses, while for seriously damaged cotton fields, replanting other short-season crops could be considered.

Key words: cotton, physical damage, growth, yield, compensation

Fig. 1

Six treatments including removal of main-stem terminal and total leaves (RTL), removal of main-stem terminal but 1 leaf maintained (RT+1LM), removal of main-stem terminal but total leaves maintained (RT+ALM), main-stem terminal maintained but removal of total leaves (TM+RL), main-stem terminal and 1 leaf maintained (TM+1LM), and non-damaged control (CK), respectively"

Fig. 2

Effects of physical damages on biomass accumulation of cotton in 2014 and 2015"

Fig. 3

Effects of physical damage treatments on leaf area index (LAI ) of cotton in 2014 and 2015"

Fig. 4

Effects of physical damage on leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn) of cotton in 2014 and 2015Abbreviations are the same as those given in Fig. 1."

Table 1

Effects of physical damages on biological yield and seedcotton/stalk ratio of cotton in 2014 and 2015"

Biological yield
(kg hm-2)
Biological yield
(kg hm-2)
Biological yield
(kg hm-2)
RTL9902 cd0.33 e10158 b0.39 d10030 b0.36 d
RT+1LM12384 a0.40 d11130 a0.42 d11757 a0.40 d
RT+ALM11229 b0.45 c11105 a0.51 c11167 a0.48 c
TM+RL8422 d0.52 b7737 d0.65 b8079 c0.58 b
TM+1LM10100 c0.71 a10249 b0.71 ab10114 b0.71 a
CK10053 c0.72 a9699 c0.80 a9876 b0.76 a

Table 2

Effects of physical damages on yield, yield components, and earliness of cotton in 2014 and 2015"

(kg hm-2)
Bolls m-2
Boll weight
(kg hm-2)
Bolls m-2
Boll weight
RTL2646 f60.5 e4.3 c52.5 e2907 e73.4 d4.0 e65.8 f
RT+1LM3438 d69.4 b5.1 b79.9 c3310 c78.5 b4.2 d80.9 d
RT+ALM3510 c67.3 c5.1 b84.4 b3705 b77.1 c4.3 d83.6 b
TM+RL2826 e63.1 d4.5 c57.8 d3066 d76.9 c4.5 c75.5 e
TM+1LM4017 ab72.6 a5.5 a80.0 c4219 a80.7 a5.1 b82.9 c
CK4152 a74.7 a5.6 a90.4 a4306 a81.8 a5.4 a91.1 a
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