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Studies on the responses of pasture grasses to nitrogen fertilization part 2 effects of nitrogen fertilization on relative growth rate net assimilation rate leaf area ratio and relative leaf growth rate of some subtropical grass seedlings



Studies on the responses of pasture grasses to nitrogen fertilization part 2 effects of nitrogen fertilization on relative growth rate net assimilation rate leaf area ratio and relative leaf growth rate of some subtropical grass seedlings



Grassland Science 23(2): 114-119



A previous experiment demonstrated species-dependent effects of N fertilization on early growth of some subtropical grasses. The relationship of net assimilation rate and leaf area expansion to these differences was studied. The grasses used were Rhodesgrass (Chloris gayana Kunth.), dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum Poir.) and bahiagrass (P. notatum Flugge). N fertilizer was applied at 6 levels when all species reached the 5th leaf stage and plants were harvested 2 wk after the N application for standard growth analysis. The average daily maximum and minimum temperature during the experimental period were 33.4.degree. and 18.9.degree. C, respectively. Rhodesgrass showed the highest relative growth rate (RGR) with increase of N level, followed by dallisgrass and bahiagrass in order. The N level at which RGR reached its maximum was the highest in Rhodesgrass and the lowest in bahiagrass. Such a similar specific difference as found in RGR was also shown in leaf area ratio (LAR), especially in relative leaf growth rate (RLGR); all species reached the maximum net assimilation rate (NAR) at a same low N level, although Rhodesgrass showed a somewhat higher NAR value. Correlation coefficients between RGR and NAR, RGR and LAR, RGR and RLGR were calculated for all species. The coefficient between RGR and RLGR showed the highest value, and those between RGR and NAR showed the lowest value for all species. The specific difference of the effect of N fertilization on seedling growth was more closely related to leaf area expansion than to net assimilation rate.

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