Temperature effects on growth and nutrient concentration in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea, Schreb.) selections differing in forage yield Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s1784p88n

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  • This study was undertaken to better understand plant characteristics related to high and low forage yield in tall fescue selections as affected by temperature. Dry matter distribution into yield components in three different temperature regimes was evaluated. Root growth, dark respiration and nutrient concentration were also examined. The four diverse tall fescue selections grown under controlled environmental conditions exhibited yields similar to those noted in the field. Selection TFM 26 produced more forage yield at the low temperature while TFK 12 produced more at the high temperature indicating a seasonal growth response. However, TFM 26 was the highest yielding selection when averaged over the three temperature regimes. High yielding TFM 26 had the greatest leaf area and low yielding TFK 4 the least. Higher yielding TFM 26 and TFK 12 had more leaf area per tiller than the other selections and TFM 26 had the greatest number of tillers. Root volume had a closer association with forage yield than root dry matter (RDM). Winter-growing TFMs had greater RDM than the summer-growing TFKs. Root density was higher for winter-growing TFM 16 which appeared to be partitioning more root dry matter into root 'bulk' than root volume. Winter-growing TFMs had higher root-to- shoot ratios than TFKs suggesting that winter-growing selections distribute their dry matter differently. Growth analysis showed that relative growth rates were higher for high yielding selections. High yielding selections also had a higher relative leaf area growth rate (RLAGR). A rapid leaf area development may be producing more available photosynthate at an earlier growth stage giving high yielding selections their yield advantage. The relative root growth rate (RRGR) was greater for winter-growing TFMs than for TFKs. The high RRGR of TRM 26 may be related to its high RLAGR. The harvest index was higher for summer-growing TFKs than winter-growing TFMs. Dark respiration rates in roots and leaves did not differ throughout the experiment. Mineral analysis showed that K accumulation per unit of root volume was greater for winter-growing TFM 16 than TFM 26, however, TFM 26 had greater K per gram of root material. The data suggest that winter-growing TFM 16 may absorb and translocate more K than TFM 26. Summer-growing TFK 12 had low Mg at the low temperatures suggesting that animal consumption may induce a Mg deficiency (grass tetany) when grazed during low temperatures.
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