Zhang, Y., Li, R. and Wang, Y. 2013. Night-time warming affects N and P dynamics and productivity of winter wheat plants. Can. J. Plant Sci. 93: 397-406. The daily night-time temperature has currently increased faster than the daily daytime temperature over much of the Earth's surface. To understand how night-time warming affects the dynamics of winter wheat performance, open-field experiments, in which temperatures were elevated by covering the plots at night with reflective curtains, were conducted in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 growing seasons. The results show that, on average, night-time temperatures increased by 0.9°C under night-time covered (NC) treatment compared with the uncovered (CK). Plant total N accumulation was 17-43% higher in NC treatment than CK during the jointing, anthesis and ripening stages, whereas plant total P was affected by NC treatment depending on growing stage. Night-time covered treatment substantially decreased N translocation efficiency, leading to more N retained in plant stems during grain filling. Although P translocated to grain was 29-41% higher in NC plots than CK plots, NC treatment decreased post-anthesis P uptake by 27-41%, depending on the growing season, resulting in evident reduction of P harvest index and P utilization efficiency. When night-time temperature increased, grain yield was reduced by 6-25% due to a combination of decreased productive spikes, a lower number of kernels per spike and reduced weight of grain per kernel.
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Vol. 93 • No. 3