Soybean yield and yield component distribution across the main axis in response to light enrichment and shading under different densities Academic Article uri icon


  • A 2-year field experiment was conducted under light enrichment and shading conditions to examine the responses of seed yield and yield components distribution across main axis in soybean. The results showed that the maximum increase in seed yield per plant by light enrichment occurred at 27 plants/m<sup>2</sup>, while the most significant reduction in seed yield per plant by shading occurred at 54 plants/m<sup>2</sup>. Light enrichment beginning at early flowering stage decreased seed size on average by 7% while shading increased seed size on average by 9% over densities and cultivars, resulting in a fewer extent compensation in seed yield decrement. Responses to light enrichment and shading occurred proportionately across the main axis node positions despite the differences in the time (15&ndash;20 days) of development of yield components between the high and low node positions. Variation intensity of seed size of three soybeans was dissimilar as a result of changes in the environment during the reproductive period. The small-seed cultivar had the greatest stability in single seed size across the main axis, followed by moderate-seed cultivar, while large-seed cultivar was the least stable. Although maximum seed size may be determined by genetic potential in soybean plants, our results suggested that seed size can still be modified by environmental conditions, and the impact can be expressed through some internal control moderating the final size of most seeds in main stem and in all pods. It indicates that, through redistributing the available resources across main stem to components, soybean plants showed the mechanism, in an attempt to maintain or improve yield in a constantly changing environment.


  • Liu, B
  • Liu, XB
  • Wang, C
  • Li, YS
  • Jin, J
  • Herbert, SJ

publication date

  • August 19, 2010