Within-field variability of plant and canopy traits of sugar beet and their relation to individual root mass during harvest
The present study reports on research results obtained in the years 2014–2015 on two sugar beet production plantations in Central Poland. The purpose of any production is to obtain homogeneous canopy with the plants of demanded morphological and qualitative traits. The aim of the research was the assessment of the range and scale of plant variability in sugar beet canopy and impact of investigated plant and canopy traits (number of days from sowing to emergence, development stage of plants in the juvenile period, the plant living area, the location centrality index) to the final root mass at harvest time. Variability of investigated plant and canopy traits was evaluated using the variation coefficient, while the impact of these traits on the final root mass was assessed using the analysis of multiple linear regression. The obtained results show that sugar beet canopy reveals large, within-field variability in the investigated traits. The established relationship between final root mass during harvest and the canopy traits indicates that to obtain a large final root mass of individual plants during harvest, the most important is fast and even plant emergence, as well as the rapid development of plants in the juvenile period. At both production plantations, the impact of the living area of individual plants on the final mass of their roots was significant. However, no significant effect of the location centrality index on plant living area and the final root mass was found.
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