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Adverse effects of waterlogging on growth of lupin and field pea cultivars

S. Phuphak and T.L. Setter

Tropical Crops Research Group, School of Agriculture University of Western Australia, Nedlands, W.A. 6009

Waterlogging damage to lupin plants often occurs not only on heavy soils, but also on light textured soils with a duplex structure which prevents adequate drainage after periods of high rainfall. In these cases the usual recommendation is to grow field peas. This research is on tolerance of lupins and field pea cultivars to waterlogging in soil with a focus on adverse effects due to reductions in gas diffusion in soil.


Six species of lupin (9 cultivars) and four cultivars of field peas were grown in a duplex soil collected from Beverley, W.A. The soil was layered in pots with a 10 cm A horizon and a 30 cm B horizon. Plants were grown for 14 days at field capacity and then waterlogged for 12.13 days by adding water from the bottom of the pots. Plants were grown at root: shoot temperatures of 15C:20-25C respectively and at 500 1..tmol m-2 s' I (PAR).

Results and discussion

Lupins had a greater range of tolerance to waterlogging than field peas. During 12 d waterlogging, nine lupin cultivars had 20.100% relative growth rates (RGR) of controls at field capacity (Fig.). In contrast, four waterlogged field pea cultivars had 32.51% of RGR of controls.

Figure Shoot RGR of lupin cultivars during 12 d waterlogging. LSD (P<0.05) was 0.031. Symbols: field capacity plants (open bars); waterlogged plants (closed bars). Cultivars:

L. angustifolius Yandee;
L. angusttfolius Gungurru;
L. albus Kiev Mutant;
L. albus Ultra;
L. cosentinii Erregulla;
L. atlanticus;
L. pilosus;
L. luteus Weiko 3;
L. luteus YB. 1

In lupins the RGR, chlorophyll concentration, fresh weight (FW), dry weight (DW) and FW/DW were highly significant between cultivars (LSD (P<0.01)). In peas there were no significant differences. Chlorophyll concentrations were inversely related to plant RGR; this was because chlorophyll content per plant did not appreciably increase during the waterlogging period. Water deficits in some lupin cultivars were indicated during waterlogging by wilting, and this was correlated with lower FW/DW of these cultivars.

Growth reductions during waterlogging were not likely to be due to low 02 alone in waterlogged soil because (i) soil solutions were always in equilibrium with 02 at 5 kPa or more and (ii) plants in deoxygenated nutrient solution culture gave only 40% of the growth reductions of plants in waterlogged soil (B. Atwell, pers. comm.; cv. Yandec). Other measurements indicated the importance of high ethylene and high CO2 concentrations which occur during waterlogging in the soil. During waterlogging for 7 d, soil solutions became in equilibrium with 6.18 ppm ethylene gas (see also(3)), i.e. about 5.20 times greater than that required to reduce growth of seminal roots and produce symptoms of chlorosis of cereals (1,2).

1. Jackson, M.B. and Drew, M.C. (1984). In: "Flooding and Plant Growth" Ed. T.T.Kozlowski. Academic Press. pp. 47.128.

2. Jackson, M.B., Waters, 1. Setter, T.L. and Greenway, H. (1987). J. Exp. Bot. 38: 1826.1838.

3. Setter, T.L. and Bywaters, T. (1989). Proc. 5th Aust. Agron. Conf. (Perth)

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