Leaf development of native bluestem grasses in relation to degree-day accumulation
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CitationGillen, R. L., & Ewing, A. L. (1992). Leaf development of native bluestem grasses in relation to degree-day accumulation. Journal of Range Management, 45(2), 200-204.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractDegree-day accumulation is commonly used to predict crop development and harvest dates. Relationships between degree-day accumulation and phenological development of range forage grasses have received less attention. This research tested the hypotheses that leaf development by big bluestem [Andropogon gerardii Vitman] and little bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash] is related to degree-day accumulation and that these relationships are stable over environments and years within environments. Study environments included native prairie, a space-planted garden, and a growth chamber. Individual tillers of big and little bluestem were permanently marked and fully developed leaves were counted once or twice weekly over 3 growing seasons and 1 growth chamber trial. Quadratic regression models accounted for 94 to 99% of the observed variation in leaf development for all species-environment-year combinations. Regression models were significantly different (p = 0.05) among environments and between years within environments. Lack of model stability over years was a result of high variation in total leaves produced per tiller relative to annual variation in degree-day accumulation. The simple independent variable, day of year, predicted leaf development equally as well as degree-day accumulation.