Effect of row spacing and plant density on grain yield and yield components of crambe abyssinica hochst
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Understanding the influence of row spacing and plant density on grain yield and yield components of crambe is critical in order to obtain higher grain yields. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of row spacing and plant density on grain yield and its components in crambe in two distinct regions of Brazil (Marechal Candido Rondon-PR, MCR-PR, and Botucatu-SP, BTU-SP). Narrow and wide row spacing (0.20 and 0.40 m) combined with four plant densities (15, 25, 35, and 45 plants m-1) were evaluated in a randomized block layout with four replications in a 2 × 4 factorial design. The experiment at BTU-SP was run under rainfed conditions with supplementary irrigation, whereas the experiment at MCR-PR was run under rainfed conditions without supplementary irrigation. Both experiments were run in soils classified as Oxisols. There was no interaction between row spacing and plant density. Highest grain yield with supplementary irrigation was observed at 0.20 m row spacing. Without irrigation, row spacing did not affect grain yield owing to the plasticity of crop. The highest grain yield was observed with approximately 30 plants m-1 at both experimental locations. A strong negative correlation was observed between final plant population and number of grains per plant. There was high plant mortality, particularly at high plant densities cultivated under irrigation. Higher mortality occurred because of high intraspecific competition and a larger disease incidence due to the higher humidity in the irrigated experiment. A mechanism of self-adjustment by plant density was observed in crambe, with its intensity dependent on plant density and environmental conditions, such as water and nutrient availability and light incidence.