The 'Maffei 15' Lima Bean Compensates for Reduced Plant Stand

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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717-1303

'Maffei 15' baby lima bean seeds were sown every 6 cm in rows 76 cm apart to yield a nominal stand of 215,000 plants/ha at two locations in Delaware over 2 years. Seedlings were thinned within 2 weeks of planting to provide 0%, 16.7%, 33.3%, and 50.0% stand reduction at two in-row spacing patterns to determine subsequent effects on vegetative and reproductive growth. Shoot fresh weight per square meter was decreased only in 2003 by 21% and bean fresh weight per square meter was decreased only in 2004 by 13.8% when plant stand decreased to 50%. This disproportional vegetative and reproductive growth response to stand reduction resulted from a compensatory linear increase in shoot fresh weight, usable pod number, and bean fresh weight of individual plants. Thus, 'Maffei 15' lima bean tolerates a considerable loss of plant stand with little or no effect on yield.

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