Daylength and Temperature Effects on Emergence and Early Growth of Sericea Lespedeza
- J. A. Mosjidis
Poor emergence and seedling growth of sericea lespedeza [Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont de Courset) G. Don.) may be related to the climatic conditions under which it is established in the southern USA. A growth chamber study was undertaken to measure the effect of temperature on seedling emergence and the influence of temperature and daylength on early growth of several sericea lespedeza genotypes. Emergence was reduced by about 20% with each reduction of 3 °C in day /night temperature within the range of temperatures used. Height, shoot dry weight, leaf dry weight, and stem dry weight of all genotypes tested were very sensitive to both daylength and temperature. Increases in temperature and day length above the lowest temperature combination (18/14 °C) and the shortest daylength (11 h) brought about large increases in height, shoot dry weight, leaf dry weight, and stem dry weight of all genotypes. Screening sericea genotypes for seedling growth should be done at 26/22 °C or 30/26 °C (day/night) and 13 or 15 h of daylength. Further screening of sericea germplasm for emergence and growth underlow temperature and for day-neutral genotypes may lead to cultivars with more vigorous seedlings under short day conditions.
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