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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 5, p. 872-876
    Received: Aug 27, 1980

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Desiccation, Temperature, and Degree of Dormancy of Sprigs Influence on Establishment of Coastal Bermudagrass1

  1. Douglas S. Chamblee and
  2. DeWitt T. Gooden2



‘Coastal’ bermudagass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pm.1 is one of the most important forages in the southern United States. Frequently, poor stands are obtained and this may be related to the many different procedures used in handling and planting bermudagrass vegetatively. The objectives of this study were to determine if its establishment from sprigs was influenced by: (1) temperature and time of desiccation exposure of rhizomes with and without roots attached; (2) planting placement, degree of dormancy, size of sprigs, and irrigation.

Seven experiments were conducted for 2 years at two locations. Doimant or nondormant sprigs were desiccated at approximately 20 and 34 C for 30 min to 10 hours. Sprigs were then planted in the field in either a vertical (45° to 90°) or a horizontal position. Measurements of percent surviving sprigs, tiller counts, and yield were made.

Generally, neither temperature treatment nor desiccation periods less than 6 hours markedly influenced the survivability of dormant sprigs. Six hours of desiccation decreased dormant sprig survivability and was more severe at 34 C; than at 20 C. Survival rate of nondormant sprigs was reduced after only 1 hour of desiccation. The highest survival percentage of nondormant sprigs exposed for 6 hours in any experiment was 11%. The pro. duction of tillers in both dormant and nondormant trials followed the same trends as stand survival. Removing roots did not affect the survival of dormant sprigs at short desiccation periods, but at 6 hours it enhanced sprig survival. Removing the roots of nondormant sprigs not exposed to desiccation resulted in reduced stands only in one experiment.

Placement of nondormant sprigs horizontally in the soil resulted in a 25% stand survival compared with 66% for the vertically placed sprigs in the check treatment.

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