Physiological responses of creeping red fescue to stubble management and plant growth regulators Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3x816q166

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  • Legislation to reduce open field burning in grass seed fields within the Willamette valley of western Oregon changed established production practices. In the creeping grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) and creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L.) non-thermal management resulted in reduced yield. Studies were conducted to examine the effects of three stubble height treatments in comparison to open field burning in creeping red fescue seed production. The effects of light quality on characteristics of plant development were investigated in field and controlled environments. Exogenous applications of plant growth regulators (PGR's) were made to elucidate the causes of low seed yields observed without burning. Field plots were prepared in fall of 1994, and 1995 in creeping red fescue commercial production fields as well as at Hyslop research farm in 1995. Three cultivars were included in the trial; Shademaster and Hector, which produce many rhizomes, and Seabreeze which produces few rhizomes. The effects of stubble height, PGRs, and field burning were measured during fall regrowth and flowering. Non-structural carbohydrates available for early regrowth were reduced when stubble was removed below 5.0 cm, particularly in first-year stands. Fall tiller height was increased by stubble remaining and was negatively correlated with flowering. Rhizome development was reduced when stubble was removed mechanically or burned to the crown, whereas yield potential was increased. Fall ethylene application reduced fall tiller height, fall tiller number, and percent fertile tillers the following spring and was similar to control treatment compared with burn. Other PGRs did not produce consistent results in this study. Excess ethylene produced by decaying stubble may impact floral induction and reduce yield potential in creeping red fescue seed crops. Light quality as measured by red:far-red ratio (R:FR) was reduced by canopy closure during regrowth but not by the presence of stubble. In controlled environment studies, red light (R) promoted taller tillers, greater stage of development, and greater tiller number than far-red (FR) light. Sunlight enriched with FR completely inhibited rhizome formation. Results suggest that environments with excess reflected FR may negatively impact early development of creeping red fescue seed crops.
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