Growth response of seven perennial grass species to three temperature regimes applied at two growth stages
The effect of temperature on the growth rate of shoots and roots for seven grass species was investigated in a growth chamber experiment. The following species were tested: Alopecurus pratensis L, Deschampsia caespitosa L (PB), Festuca pratensis Huds, Festuca rubra L, Lolium perenne L, Poa pratensis L and Phleum pratense L. Plants were grown in pots in a greenhouse, then placed in three growth chambers (9/5, 13/9 and 17/13 day/night °C) when the seedlings were two weeks old (5-8 cm high) or five weeks old (14-37 cm high). The young seedlings responded immediately to different temperatures and grew more slowly in the colder growth chambers. Shoot growth of the older plants was similar at all temperatures. Percentage of root was significantly affected by temperature at both growth stages. The results of this experiment indicate that growth of temperate grasses in early growth stages is more dependent on temperature than at later stages.
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