Biomass yield and stand characteristics of switchgrass in south central US environments
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Optimizing feedstock production from switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) requires careful matching of genotype to environment, especially for southern U.S. regions. Nine genotypes from four combinations of ecotype and morphological type were harvested once yearly in autumn for 3 or 4 yr at five locations across Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana that varied in latitude and precipitation. Genotypes were evaluated for dry matter yield (DMY), plant density, tiller density, lodging, and rust (caused by Puccinia spp.) infection. Genotype x environment (G x E) interactions were identified for most traits. Biomass yield of all genotypes tended to increase with latitude, but lowland morphological types may have been more sensitive than upland morphological types to differences in moisture availability. Yield (5.82 vs. 14.97 Mg ha-1, respectively) and persistence (final stand density, 3.99 vs. 5.96 plants m -2) were lower for upland than for lowland genotypes, particularly at higher rainfall and more southern sites. Lowland genotypes were often able to compensate for stand thinning by increasing individual plant size, but upland genotypes were not. Lodging and rust scores were higher for upland than for lowland genotypes. Yield (13.65 vs. 9.75 Mg ha-1) and final plant density (5.58 vs. 4.95 plants m-2) were higher for southern than northern ecotypes. The southern-lowland combination exhibited the best yield and persistence over the study region, and genotypes within this group exhibited variability in yield among sites. Therefore, development of switchgrass cultivars for biomass production in the southern USA should focus on the southern-lowland genotypes. Crop Science Society of America.
author list (cited authors)
Cassida, K. A., Muir, J. P., Hussey, M. A., Read, J. C., Venuto, B. C., & Ocumpaugh, W. R.
complete list of authors
Cassida, KA||Muir, JP||Hussey, MA||Read, JC||Venuto, BC||Ocumpaugh, WR