Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Influence of post-harvest burning, thinning, shading and residue management on the subsequent growth and seed yield of Festuca rubra L. Public Deposited

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  • The effects of post-harvest burning of red fescue on production of shoots, roots and inflorescences as well as seed yield were determined at the clonal and community level by comparing fescue plants in a burned area with those in unburned plots within the same field. Studies were also conducted to determine what environmental factors are involved in the seed yield increase of red fescue subsequent to burning. Open post-harvest burning of straw and stubble of red fescue was beneficial in maintaining high seed yield. An increase in tiller population coupled with vigorous root growth during the fall and winter and a greater number of inflorescences produced the following spring were the most significant differences observed in the burned area. Seed yield increases in burned plots were a direct result of increased panicles per unit area. Complete removal of residue either by hand or mechanical means also resulted in seed yield comparable to that from burning. Complete removal of residue either by burning or mechanical methods also increased early season tiller development. Apparently more of these tillers were florally induced than tillers produced on non-residue removed plots. The increased early season tillering and the effective fertile tiller production on burned plots appeared to be due to a more favorable micro-environment created by residue removal. The major environmental factors involved in this positive response of red fescue seed production were light intensity and temperature. Although it was not studied, nutritional condition of the plant during floral induction could be an additional, beneficial response to burning resulting from more efficient fertilizer utilization.
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