Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (8): 827-833.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0439

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Differential effects of diurnal asymmetric and symmetric warming on yield and water utilization of soybean

Dan WANG1,2, Yun-Zhou QIAO2, Bao-Di DONG2, Jing GE1, Ping-Guo YANG1,*(), Meng-Yu LIU2   

  1. 1College of Life Science, Shanxi Normal University, Linfen, Shanxi 041000, China, and

    2Centre for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050021, China
  • Online:2016-08-23 Published:2016-08-10
  • Contact: Ping-Guo YANG


Aims Global warming does not mean similar warmer temperatures between daytime and nighttime. Soybean (Glycine max) is a widely planted legume crop around the world and an important food crop in China. The aim of this study was to understand the responses of soybean growth and water utilization to future asymmetric warming, which would provide scientific reference for evaluating the adaptation of soybean to the future climate scenarios.Methods This experiment was carried out in artificial climate chambers, using the method of potted plants, under three temperature conditions; contrast (CON, 26 °C during the day and 16 °C during night), symmetric warming (ETs, elevated temperature of 3 °C both during the day and night), asymmetric warming (ETa, elevated temperature of 2 °C during the day and elevated temperature of 4 °C during night). We investigated the differential effects of diurnal asymmetric and symmetric warming on the yield and water consumption of soybean. Important findings The results revealed that, under the background of 26 °C during the day and 16 °C during night: 1) the effect of ETs on soybean yields showed no significant function that mainly benefit from the increase in the amount of biomass to ease negative influence of decrease in the harvest index. ETa reduced yields of soybean by 38.9% (p < 0.05) due to both significant decrease in harvest index and yield components (pod number per plant, grain number per pod and 100-grain weight). 2) ETs showed no obvious effect on the whole growing stage evapotranspiration (ET) of soybean, while ETa reduced the whole growing stage ET by 14.8% (p < 0.05). 3) The effect of the two warming pattern on water consumption of soybean were not significant. The difference in water consumption was mainly derived from the difference in transpiration (T). ETs and ETa reduced total transpiration by 10.7% (p < 0.05) and 26.1% (p < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, our results suggest that ETs will underestimate the detrimental effects of real climate warming (ETa) on the growth and yield of soybean, and overestimate the effects on water consumption of soybean.

Key words: asymmetric warming, yield, water consumption, water use efficiency, transpiration efficiency, Glycine max

Table 1

The effects of asymmetric and symmetric warming on yield and its components of soybean (mean ± SE, n = 5)"

Pod number
Seed number
100-seed weight (g)
Grain yield (g·plant-1)
Biomass (g·plant-1)
Harvest index (%)
CON 6.8 ± 0.66a 1.76 ± 0.00a 10.92 ± 3.15a 1.31 ± 0.06a 4.27 ± 0.85ab 0.31 ± 0.07a
ETa 5.2 ± 0.12b 1.60 ± 0.02b 9.60 ± 1.72b 0.80 ± 0.10b 4.05 ± 0.79b 0.20 ± 0.02c
ETs 6.6 ± 0.35a 1.74 ± 0.05a 10.75 ± 0.47a 1.24 ± 0.06a 4.58 ± 0.41a 0.27 ± 0.01b

Fig. 1

Effects of asymmetric and symmetric warming on whole stage evapotranspiration (ET), evaporation (E), transpiration (T) of soybean (mean ± SE, n = 5). ET = E + T. Different small letters indicate significant differences among different treatments (p < 0.05). CON, control; ETa, asymmetric warming; ETs, symmetric warming."

Fig. 2

Effects of asymmetric and symmetric warming on leaf transpiration rate and leaf area per plant of soybean at different growth period (mean ± SE, n = 5). Notes see Fig. 1."

Fig. 3

Effects of asymmetric and symmetric warming on water use efficiency (WUE) and transpiration efficiency (TE) of soybean (mean ± SE, n = 5). Different small letters indicate significant differences among different treatments (p < 0.05). Notes see Fig. 1."

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