Morpho-physiological and productive biometry in semi-erect cultivars of the cowpea under different plant populations

Antônio Aécio de Carvalho Bezerra, Adão Cabral das Neves, Maurisrael de Moura Rocha, Lucélia de Cássia Rodrigues de Brito


The aim of this study was to evaluate morpho-physiological and productive characteristics in four semi-erect cultivars of the cowpea under five plant populations. The experiment was conducted in the experimental area of Embrapa Meio-Norte in Teresina in the State of Piauí, Brazil (PI). The experimental design was of randomised complete blocks with four replications, in a 4 x 5 factorial scheme, for evaluating four cultivars (BRS Guariba, BRS Novaera, BRS Potengi and BRS Tumucumaque) and five plant populations (105, 2x105, 3x105, 4x105 and 5x105 plants ha-1). There were significant differences between cultivars for primary branch length (PBL), number of lateral branches (NLB), 100-grain weight (HGW), and dry-grain yield (GY). The maximum PBL of 58.5 cm was obtained with 300 thousand plants ha-1, corresponding to an increase of 11.5% when compared to 100 thousand plants ha-1. However, there was a reduction of 91.2% in NLB when compared to the populations of 100 and 500 thousand plants ha-1. The increases of 188% obtained in the leaf area index (LAI) in the range of 100 to 500 thousand plants ha-1 explain the linear increase in the crop growth rate (CGR) as being due to the greater production of leaf area; also, the decreases seen in the net assimilation rate (NAR), especially in the range of 100 to 300 thousand plants ha-1, are explained as due to the consequent self-shading, which was intensified in the larger populations. LAI, light interception, and CGR in the cultivars increase in response to higher densities. HGW and GY are not significantly affected by the different populations.


Vigna unguiculata; Growth; Production; Plant density

Texto completo:



BEZERRA, A. A. C. et al. Características de dossel e de rendimento em feijão-caupi ereto em diferentes densidades populacionais. Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira, v. 44, n. 10, p. 1239-1245, 2009.

BEZERRA, A. A. C. et al. Morfofisiologia e produção de feijão-caupi, cultivar BRS Novaera, em função da densidade de plantas. Revista Caatinga, v. 27, n. 4, p. 135-141, 2014.

BISIKWA, J. et al. Effects of plant density on the performance of local and elite cowpea [Vigna unguiculata L.(Walp)] varieties in Eastern Uganda. African Journal of Applied Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, v. 1, n. 1, p. 28-41, 2014.

CHOUDHARY, M.; BORDOVSKY, D. G. Plant stand density and row configuration effect on production of Texas pinkeye hull Cowpea. Texas Journal of Agricultural and Natural Resources, v. 14, p. 102-111, 2001.

EWANSIHA, S. U. et al. Performance of cowpea grown as an intercrop with maize of different populations. African Crop Science Journal, v. 23, n. 2, p. 113-122, 2015.

HELMY, A. A.; HASSAN, H. H.M.; IBRAHIMET, H. I. M. Influence of planting density and bio-nitrogen fertilization on productivity of cowpea. American-Eurasian Journal Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, v. 15, n. 10, p. 1953-1961, 2015.

KAMARA, A. Y. Agronomic response of soybean to plant density in the Guinea savannas of Nigeria. Agronomy Journal, v. 106, n. 3, p.1051–1059, 2014.

KAMARA, A. Y. et al. Effects of plant density on the performance of cowpea in nigerian savannas. Experimental Agriculture, p. 1-13, 2016.

KUAPATA, M. B; HALL, A. E.; MADORE, M. A. Response of contrasting vegetable-cowpea cultivars to plant density and harvesting of young green pods. II. Dry-matter production and photosynthesis. Field Crops Research, v. 24, n. 1/2, p. 11-21, 1990.

KUMAR, K. R. et al. Effect of plant densities and phosphorus levels on the growth and yield of vegetable cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp). Vegetable Science, v. 39, n. 1, p. 59-62, 2012.

MENDES, R. M. S. et al. Alterações na relação fonte-dreno em feijão-de-corda submetido a diferentes densidades de plantas. Revista Ciência Agronômica, v. 36, n. 1, p. 82-90, 2005.

NWOFIA, G. E.; NWANEBU, M.; AGBO, C. U. Variability and inter-relationships between yield and associated traits in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) as influenced by plant populations. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, v. 8, n. 4, p. 396-402, 2012.

OROKA, F. O.; OMOREGIE, A. U. Competition in a rice - cowpea intercrop as affected by nitrogen fertilizer and plant population. Scientia Agricola, v. 64, n. 6, p. 621-629, 2007.

REZAEEI, M. et al. The effect of planting density on yield and yield components of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.). Plant Ecophysiology, v. 4, n. 11, p. 61-74, 2013.

RICAURTE, J. J. et al. Sowing density effect on common bean leaf area development. Crop Science, v. 56, n. 5, p. 1-9, 2016.

SANTOS, H. G. et al. Sistema brasileiro de classificação de solos. 3. ed. Brasília,DF: Embrapa, 2013. 353 p.

SILVA, F. A. S.; AZEVEDO, C. A. V. Principal components analysis in the software Assistat-Statistical Attendance. In: WORLD CONGRESS ON COMPUTERS IN AGRICULTURE, 7., 2009, Reno, Nevada. Conference proceedings... Reno, Nevada: American Society of Agricultural and Biological engineers, 2009.

TAIZ, L.; ZEIGER, E. Fisiologia vegetal. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2009. 819 p.

THORNTHWAITE, C. W.; MATHER, J. R. The water balance. Centerton: Drexel Institute of Technology, 1955. 104 p.

Revista Ciência Agronômica ISSN 1806-6690 (online) 0045-6888 (impresso), Site:, e-mail: - Fone: (85) 3366.9702 - Expediente: 2ª a 6ª feira - de 7 às 17h.