Six winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties (Jimai 19, Jimai 20, Jimai 21, Yannong 19, Jining 12 and Jining 16) were grown in 8 crop seasons/site combinations to investigate the effect of raised bed planting as compared to the conventional flat planting on wheat plant morphology, grain yield and associated yield components in Northern China. Raised bed planting produced a more ideal plant structure composed of larger basal leaves with smaller top leaves. Crop canopy analysis indicated that raised bed planting produced more durable dry matter weight of green leaves from the top of the canopy to the bottom as compared to conventional flat planting. In addition, raised bed planting shortened the basal first and second internodes and reduced plant height, leading to less crop lodging when compared with conventional flat planting. Under bed planting, the spike number per unit area was decreased, but the number of grains per spike and the 1000-grain weight of wheat were significantly increased in comparison with flat planting. Ultimately, raised bed planting produced more grain yield than flat planting through the integrative effect of these yield components. It is concluded that raised bed planting can optimize wheat morphological traits, enhance plant lodging resistance, and thereby increase the wheat productivity and yield difference between two planting systems varied from 6.6 to 12% over 5 locations in favour of raised bed planting.
Key words: Winter wheat, conventional flat planting, raised bed planting, plant morphology, grain yield.
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