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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Environmental Conditions on the Growth of Four Perennial Grasses. II. Response to Fertility, Water, and Temperature1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 60 No. 2, p. 158-162
    Received: July 26, 1967

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  1. Barton S. Baker and
  2. G. A. Jung2



Timothy (Phleum pratense L.), bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) were grown at four locations in West Virginia with and without supplemental water and at three levels of fertility during August of 1964 and 1965. The dry weight of top growth produced at each location depended upon species, moisture, fertility, temperature, and combinations of these factors. The aiddition of either water or fertilizer alone often did not significantly increase yields, but a combination of these two factors usually increased yields. When the moisture supply was low and temperatures high, the addition of fertilizer decreased yields.

The location where the most top growth was produced, when no supplemental water was added, was usually the location receiving the most precipitation. When supplemental water was added, the most favorable location depended upon the temperature. All species except bromegrass produced high yields at the location having the coolest temperatures, whereas bromegrass often produced its lowest yields under these conditions. A temperature of −0.6 C was detrimental to timothy as well as bromegrass.

The level of food reserves as indicated by etiolated growth was greatly affected by temperature and moisture. As the maximum temperature increased, the level of reserves decreased. The response due to supplemental water was highly dependent upon natural precipitation.

The top growth and etiolated growth produced under natural climates were compared with that produced under controlled climates. A discussion of trends and limitations of such comparisons is given.

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