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A hot-blast warming facility for simulating global warming in low-stature crop systems and its application case to assess elevated temperature effects on rice in Central China

Zhang, Zuolin, Yang, Zhiyuan, Fahad, Shah, Zhang, Tong, Xu, Wenhao, Cui, Kehui, Peng, Shaobing, Huang, Jianliang
Plant methods 2020 v.16 no.1 pp. 57
Oryza sativa, air, air temperature, blowers, canopy, convection, crops, cultivars, energy use and consumption, equipment, field experimentation, global warming, grain yield, heaters, operating costs, paddies, relative humidity, rice, seed set, China
BACKGROUND: To study the impact of climate warming on crops, it is crucial to have a warming equipment suitable for their field environment. A facility is needed that can provide suitable combinations of different temperatures at reasonable cost for large plots. RESULTS: Here, an additional field warming facility option named the hot-blast warming facility (HBWF), which comprised heaters, blowers, wind breaks, and a control board was developed. An application case based on HBWF was carried out to assess elevated temperature effects on rice in Central China during 2015 and 2016. We tested four elevated temperature treatments on four rice cultivars under paddy field conditions and measured yield and its components. Heating convection air directly, the facility could increase the temperature of the rice canopy up to 1–2 °C, which could properly simulate global warming. Considering the costs, the HBWF reduced the operating costs because of its relatively lower power consumption (0.164 kW/m²), which was 80% lower than that of Free Air Temperature Increase. Our results demonstrate that the HBWF could build a 25 m² homogeneous heating area and had little effect on the relative humidity under a paddy field environment. Warming treatments significantly reduced the grain yield by 4.4–22.7% in 2015, and 30.8–61.9% in 2016, compared to the control. The main contribution to the significant decrease of the grain yields was the decrease in seed setting rate. Moreover, a reduction of 1000-grain weight led to the decline in grain yield. The increasing ranges of the temperature simulated by HBWF were stable in different years, however, whether the elevated treatments demonstrated significant difference on rice growth mainly decided by the basic atmospheric temperature (as the control) during the growth period. CONCLUSIONS: The new warming facility is suitable for field trials to assess elevated temperature combinations and provides an extra equipment option for use in elevated temperature research in the future.