Laboratory Freeze Tolerance of Field-Grown Forage Bermudagrass Cultivars
- Jeffrey A. Anderson and
- Charles M. Taliaferro
Freeze tolerance is a limiting factor in production of many bermudagrasses (Cynodon spp.) in the transition zone between warm- and cool-season grasses. Our objective was to evaluate the seasonal patterns of freeze tolerance in five forage bermudagrass cultivars. Midland, Hardie, Tifton 44, World Feeder, and Gordon's Gift were grown in field plots and acclimated under natural conditions, then subjected to laboratory freeze tolerance evaluations. Lowest survival temperatures (LSTs) were determined at monthly intervals from November through May in 1992-1993 and 1993-1994. LSTs were between −5 and −7°C for all cultivars in early November. Gordon's Gift had the greatest freeze tolerance in midwinter, surviving exposure to ≈ −11°C in 1992-93 and ≈ −10°C in 1993-94. Gordon's Gift was significantly more freeze tolerant than the other cultivars on most dates. The differences in freeze tolerance among the cultivars tested indicates substantial variation in the species that may be used for breeding improvement.
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