Biomass yield and stand characteristics of switchgrass in south central US environments Academic Article uri icon


  • 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 environment (GE) 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 ha1, respectively) and persistence (final stand density, 3.99 vs. 5.96 plants m2) 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 ha1) and final plant density (5.58 vs. 4.95 plants m2) were higher for southern than northern ecotypes. The southernlowland 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 southernlowland genotypes.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Cassida, K. A., Muir, J. P., Hussey, M. A., Read, J. C., Venuto, B. C., & Ocumpaugh, W. R.

citation count

  • 78

complete list of authors

  • Cassida, KA||Muir, JP||Hussey, MA||Read, JC||Venuto, BC||Ocumpaugh, WR

publication date

  • March 2005