Home > Publications > Accounting for variation
Publications

Accounting for variation in designing greenhouse experiments with special reference to greenhouses containing plants on conveyor systems

Bibliography:

Brien, C.J., Berger, B., Rabie, H. & Tester, M​. (2013) Accounting for variation in designing greenhouse experiments with special reference to greenhouses containing plants on conveyor systems. Plant Methods 9: DOI: 10.1186/1746-4811-9-5 

Authors:

Chris J Brien, Bettina Berger, Huwaida Rabie and Mark Tester

Keywords:

Automated phenotyping, conveyor system, greenhouse experiments, greenhouse experimental design, microclimate variation, plant relocation, statistical analysis, thigmomorphogensis.

Year:

2013

Abstract:

Backgroud:There are a number of unresolved issues in the design of experiments in greenhouses. They include whether statistical designs should be used and, if so, which designs should be used. Also, are there thigmomorphogenic or other effects arising from the movement of plants on conveyor belts within a greenhouse? A two-phase, single-line wheat experiment involving four tactics was conducted in a conventional greenhouse and a fully-automated phenotyping greenhouse (Smarthouse) to investigate these issues.
Results and discussion:Analyses of our experiment show that there was a small east–west trend in total area of the plants in the Smarthouse. Analyses of the data from three multiline experiments reveal a large north–south trend. In the single-line experiment, there was no evidence of differences between trios of lanes, nor of movement effects. Swapping plant positions during the trial was found to decrease the east–west trend, but at the cost of increased error variance. The movement of plants in a north–south direction, through a shaded area for an equal amount of time, nullified the north–south trend. An investigation of alternative experimental designs for equally-replicated experiments revealed that generally designs with smaller blocks performed best, but that (nearly) trend-free designs can be effective when blocks are larger.

ISSN:

1746-4811