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Analysis of spatial and yearly variation in winter survival of winter wheat

Hayhoe, H.N., Andrews, C.J.
International journal of biometeorology 1999 v.42 no.4 pp. 189-200
Crop Environment Resource Synthesis models, Triticum aestivum, autumn, bioclimatology, demonstration farms, environmental factors, hard red winter wheat, ice, loam soils, meteorological data, overwintering, plant establishment, planting, snow, soil temperature, soil water, spring, surface drainage, winter, winter wheat, Ontario
Four years of winter survival data for winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were collected on a loam soil located on the Central Experimental Farm at Ottawa, Ontario (45 degrees 23'N, 75 degrees 43'W). The site was low-lying and subject to frequent winter flooding and ice sheet formation. It appeared level although there was microtopographic variation with a range in elevation of approximately 0.15 m. The objective of the study was to gain insight into factors which might affect winter survival. Two varieties, a soft white and a hard red winter wheat, were planted in September. Crop establishment was measured in late fall and the percentage survival was measured in April of the following year. We assumed the large spatial differences in survival were not totally random, but rather were affected by spatial variation in environmental factors such as snow and ice depth, soil moisture and temperature. Hourly measurements of soil temperature at a depth of 0.05 m were recorded throughout the fall, winter and spring. Fall and spring soil moisture at the same depth were measured on the plot, as well as snow and ice depth at selected times throughout the winter. Measurements were taken on a grid covering the plot to help explain spatial variation in survival. In addition, detailed measurements of elevation were taken on a grid. Meteorological data were available from the nearby weather site. While soil temperatures were never low enough to kill plants according to the CERES model, the spatial variation in winter survival was associated with differences in elevation and the resulting surface drainage patterns.