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Crop Science Abstract -

Differences in Response to Mineral Nutrients of Populations of Ryegrass, Lolium perenne L., and Orchardgrass, Dactylis glomerata L.1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 8 No. 3, p. 383-387
    Received: Nov 13, 1967

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  1. G. K. Crossley and
  2. A. D. Bradshaw2



The growth response to mineral nutrients of natural populations of Dactylis glomerata and Lolium perenne determined (a) in sand culture with varying levels of calcium and phosphate and (b) in calcareous, acidic, and ordinary soils showed considerable differences in response of populations from contrasting soil types, suggesting specific physiological adaptation to soil nutrient level. Cultivated varieties which were included usually performed best under ordinary nutrient conditions. But under extreme conditions they rarely performed as well as the specifically adapted natural populations. Seed/ tiller comparisons suggested a high heritability of response.

Material of cultivated varieties collected after seed multiplication, or from established awards, showed that genetic changes in physiological adaptation of varieties can occur when they are grown on extreme soils. In seed multiplication such changes are likely to be agriculturally disadvantageous. Edaphic differentiation and evolution in herbage plants may therefore be more widespread and Important than previously considered.

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