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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 1, p. 133-135
    Received: Nov 24, 1980

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Physiological Responses to Wind and Sandblast Damage by Grain Sorghum Plants1

  1. D. V. Armbrust2



Yield depression due to physical damage by wind and windblown soil (sandblast damage) is well known. Less well known is the reason for the yield reductions by sandblast damage. The objective of the research was to determine if this yield depression was due to a simple loss of photosynthetically active leaf tissue or to physiological changes within the plant.

Physiological responses of growth chamber grown RS 626 grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) to injury by wind (13.4 m/sec), wind plus sand (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 kg), and partial defoliation (removal of the distal one-fourth and one-half of each leaf) were evaluated. Wind and wind plus sand treatments were conducted in a wind tunnel. Net photosynthesis, dark respiration, total chlorophyll, dry weight, and leaf area were determined 1, 3, and 7 days after treatment.

Dry weight production increased at low sand levels (< 30 kg) and decreased with higher sand exposure. Reduced growth of sandblasted grain sorghum is caused by loss of viable leaf tissue and physiological changes, which are mainly reduced photosynthesis and increased respiration. It is not clear from this study if these changes result from partial defoliation, short-term high-intensity moisture stress, or a combination of both.

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