Tall fescue photomorphogenesis as influenced by changes in the spectral composition and light intensity Academic Article uri icon


  • The influence of deciduous foliage shade on turfgrass development has not been fully investigated. Previous research neglects changes in spectral distribution, e.g., red:far-red light (R:FR) ratios common of foliage shade. Tarfgrass plants may respond simultaneously but in different ways to changes in light intensity and spectral composition. A field study was conducted in 2001-2002 at the Ohio Turfgrass Research and Educational Facility, Columbus, OH. Two tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) cultivars of differing shade tolerance were established under low photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) in approximately 8% of full sunlight with high (>1) and low (<1) R:FR ratios to distinguish between developmental effects of R:FR ratio (spectral composition) and PPF (light intensity) on turfgrass photomorphogenesis. Few morphological differences in shade tolerance between the two cultivars were observed during the 2-yr study. However, under low PPF, high R:FR ratios led to increased tillering, leaf blade width and thickness, and chlorophyll contents. Root mass declined under reduced PPF regardless of R:FR ratio. Results suggest that while turfgrass photomorphogenesis in shade is influenced by changes in PPF, many characters are further influenced by changes in the R:FR ratio. Crop Science Society of America.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wherley, B. G., Gardner, D. S., & Metzger, J. D.

citation count

  • 63

complete list of authors

  • Wherley, BG||Gardner, DS||Metzger, JD

publication date

  • January 2005