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  • 1 INSTITUTE OF PLANT SCIENCES, ETH ZURICH, Please ask the editor of the journal.
  • 2 INSTITUTE OF PLANT SCIENCES, ETH ZURICH, Please ask the editor of the journal.
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HALLE-WITTENBERG, HALLE(SAALE), GERMANY Received: 13 June, 2001; accepted: 6 August, 2001 Field experiments were conducted at a high latitude site for sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) production in central Germany (51 o 24' N, 11 o 53' E) in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The responses of sunflower development to various planting patterns differed in the duration from emergence to the middle of the linear growth period as calculated via a tangent hyperbolic model F(t)=(. +ß)×tanh[. ×(t–.)]. Final dry matter accumulation showed few differences among the planting patterns: 12 plants m –2 at 50 cm row spacing at 75 cm row spacing (RS2PD2) and 4 plants m –2 at 100 cm row spacing (RS3PD1). The actual and simulated values for final dry matter were close to 1200 g m –2 . The responses of soil moisture and temperature to planting patterns changed from the upper to the deep soil layers. In a normal year, e.g. 1997, the soil water to 150 cm depth was sufficient for sunflower growth. In a drought year, e.g. 1998, soil water deeper than 150 cm was used by sunflower crops. The soil temperature was mostly lower in RS1PD3 and RS2PD2 than in RS3PD1, particularly in the upper soil, at depths of 5 and 20 cm. The most important factor defining the responses of soil moisture and temperature to planting patterns seems to be the amount of radiation penetrating the ground, which may depend on latitude, wind and row orientation.

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