Root morphological development in relation to shoot growth in seedlings of four range grasses
dry matter accumulation
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CitationAguirre, L., & Johnson, D. A. (1991). Root morphological development in relation to shoot growth in seedlings of four range grasses. Journal of Range Management, 44(4), 341-346.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractSuccessful seedling establishment in arid and semiarid rangelands depends on seedling root characteristics and on the relationship between shoot and root development. This study was conducted to determine seedling shoot and root developmental characteristics of 'Hycrest', a hybrid cultivar of crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult. X Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaert.]; 'Whitmar', a cultivar of bluebunch wheatgrass [Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) Love subspecies inermis (Scrib. and Smith) Love]; 'Secar', a cultivar of Snake River wheatgrass [Elymus lanceolatus (Scribner & J.G. Smith) Gould]; and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) under favorable growth conditions. Seedlings were grown in 20-cm X 20-cm pots filled with sandy loam soil in a greenhouse and were destructively harvested 9, 17, 24, 31, 39, and 45 days after emergence. Cheatgrass had greater (P<0.05) plant height, leaf area, total shoot dry weight, primary root length, number and order of branching of the second group of seminal roots, order of branching of the first group of adventitious roots, and total root dry weight than Hycrest, Whitmar, and Secar. Hycrest had greater (P<0.05) seedling growth than Whitmar and Secar. The pattern of root and shoot development was similar in the 4 species; however, species differed in the cumulative growing degree days required to initiate elongation and branching of siminal and adventitious roots. The close association between the pattern of root development and shoot growth in the 4 species may be useful in deriving models of root morphological development based on shoot development.