Effect of plant density on pod distribution in the branching system of lentils (Lens culinaris Medik.)

Enrique Peñaloza H.1

The trial was conducted at the Carillanca-INIA Exp. Sta. (Iat. 38º 41' S; long 72º 25' W), during the 1983/84 season. Pod numbers, seed numbers, seed weights, and seed yields, on primary and secondary branches, were eval uated in lentils cv. Araucana-INlA, sown at fourteen plant densities. At the lowest population (44 plants/m2), 66% of pods (63% of grain yield) were borne on secondary branches. Over 88 plants/m2 , pods became progressively concentrated on primary branches, raising up to 84% (90% of grain yield) at the highest population (420 plants/m2). In average, fewer seeds/pod, lower seed weights and increased numbers of empty pods, were found in pods borne on secondary branches, as compared with those on primary ones. At all plant densities, grain yield of a secondary branch was lower than those produced by a primary one. According to the results, the contribution of secondary branches to grain yield at lower densities was mainly due to their larger numbers in a plant. They represented 80% of all branches produced at the lowest level of competition.

1 Estación Experimental Carillanca (INlA). Casilla 58-D, Temuco, Chile.