Effects of temperature extremes

Quite separate from the effects of temperature on wheat phenology are the effects of temperature extremes. Extreme cold may kill wheat, and late frost induces sterility (Russell and Wilson, 1994). Chilling temperatures (below 5°C) and hot temperatures (above 30°C) at anthesis can damage pollen formation, which in turn reduces grain set and can decrease yield (Dawson and Wardlaw, 1989; Tashiro and Wardlaw, 1990). There is a wide range of susceptibility to these effects among varieties. GEC will probably cause lower yields due to temperature extremes, simply by changing the frequency of temperature extremes over the short periods of particularly sensitive stages of plant development. Tolerance to such conditions will require breeding and selection of better adapted varieties (Acevedo, 1991).

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