Understanding the value of hydrothermal time on flowering in Miscanthus species

Elaine Jensen, Michael Squance, Astley Hastings, Sian Thomas-Jones, Kerrie Farrar, Lin Huang, Ross King, John Clifton-Brown, Iain Donnison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IBERS (Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) hosts a vast collection of Miscanthus germplasm comprising sterile triploid hybrids such as M. × giganteus and members of its progenitor species, M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Species within this collection show enormous diversity in biomass-related traits, including flowering time, which is considered important for both quantity and quality of biomass. We collected data for flowering time over 4 years from a trait trial in Aberystwyth. The trial contained 244 genotypes with diverse flowering times. The observed data were then compiled with collected meteorological data and analysed using machine learning. A regression model was built to allow for the prediction of flowering time based upon the meteorological conditions, including degree days and soil moisture deficit estimated using Penman-Monteith. We discuss the units of temperature and moisture availability, referred to as the hydrothermal time constant, required to reach flowering and investigate their potential variability for all areas of the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages20
JournalAspects of Applied Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • modelling flowering time
  • heading
  • biomass
  • yield
  • quality


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