Temperature affects a number of physiological factors in plants and is related to water use, yield and quality in many crop species. Seasonal canopy temperature, measured with infrared thermometers, is often used in conjunction with environmental factors (e.g., air temperature, humidity, solar radiation) to assess crop stress and management actions in cotton. Normal and okra leaf shapes in cotton have been associated with differences in water use and canopy temperature. The okra leaf shape in cotton is generally expected to result in lower water use and lower canopy temperatures, relative to normal leaf, under water deficits. In this study canopy temperatures were monitored in okra and normal leaf varieties for a growing season at four irrigation levels. Differences in canopy temperature (<2 °C) were measured between the two leaf shapes. As irrigation levels increased, canopy temperature differences between the leaf shapes declined. At the lowest irrigation level, when differences in sensible energy exchanges due to the okra leaf shape would be enhanced, the canopy temperature of the okra leaf was warmer than the normal leaf. This suggests that varietal differences that are not related to leaf shape may have more than compensated for leaf shape differences in the canopy temperature.
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