• Temperature and Water Stress Effects on Growth of Tropical Grasses

      Bade, D. H.; Conrad, B. E.; Holt, E. C. (Society for Range Management, 1985-07-01)
      Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) and Kleingrass "75" (Panicum coloratum L.) were grown under controlled environments to evaluate the effects of high growth temperatures and water stress on forage growth. Plants were grown under a controlled environment with 14/10 hour day/night temperatures of 30/20, 35/25, and 40/30 degrees C; 2 water regimes; and 3 stages or ages of regrowth at harvest. High growth temperatures significantly (P<0.05) increased dry matter yield and accelerated tiller number and the maturation rate of the plants. Significant (P<0.05) increases in leaf area, weight per tiller, and plant height were observed as growth temperatures were increased. Reduction of number of tillers per pot due to water stress reduced dry matter yields approximately 38%. The percent leaf was greater for the water-stressed plants than for the well-watered plants, but the leaf area per plant was less due to reduction of growth and delayed maturation. Dry matter yield of water-stressed plants grown under higher temperatures increased more than corresponding well-watered plants as a result of increased rate of stem elongation and leaf development. Though water-stressed plants were shorter and had less leaf area than well-watered plants, the relative increase in both height and leaf area at higher temperatures of stressed plants was greater than well-watered plants. Apparently supraoptimal temperature (40 degrees C) does not have a negative effect on yield in the presence or absence of moisture stress.