Selection for Establishment Capacity in Reed Canarygrass
- M. D. Casler *a and
- D. J. Undersanderb
Establishment of reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) is seriously impaired by relatively low seeding vigor and growth rate. Poor soil–seed contact, intense competition from annual weeds, and infrequent clipping during the establishment year exacerbate this problem. The objectives of this study were (i) to select reed canarygrass populations for establishment capacity in the presence of annual weeds, (ii) to evaluate progeny for progress from selection, and (iii) to determine mechanisms for improved establishment potential in selected populations. Two cycles of selection for survival under clipping and weed competition were completed, the first involving selection among spaced plants and the second involving selection within seeded plots. Selection for increased establishment capacity increased ground cover in October of the seeding year by 29% and tiller density in May of the following year by 36%, averaged over five cultivars. Seed mass consistently decreased with selection for increased establishment capacity, but emergence rate increased in all cultivars by an average of 18.1%. Three of the five cultivars (Palaton, Vantage, and Venture) responded to selection with increased shoot and/or root fresh mass, with shoot-mass responses generally larger than root-mass responses. Selected populations of Vantage and Venture also had small decreases in the time required for tiller initiation. Bellevue and Rival showed no responses of seedling traits to selection. Seedling fresh mass was the most important factor regulating genetic variability for establishment capacity, but there was some variation in the mechanism of improved establishment capacity among populations.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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