Comparison of growth and performance in upland and lowland switchgrass types to water and nitrogen stress Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of the study was to examine lowland (Alamo and Kanlow) and upland (Blackwell and Caddo) cultivars of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for differences in response to water deficit and nitrogen fertilizer. Cultivars were grown in pots with fritted clay at two water levels: well watered and deficit conditions (-0.1 and -1.0 MPa) and two nitrogen levels (10 and 100 kg ha(-1)). Nitrogen determined growth potential of the cultivars more than water availability. The lowland cultivars produced greater biomass yields than upland cultivars. However, upland cultivars showed a smaller response to drought stress. Under water stress conditions all cultivars exhibited a higher leaf percentage of total dry matter (DM), with the upland cultivars having the highest leaf percentage of total DM. Nitrogen proved to have more of an effect on single-leaf photosynthesis rates than water. Alamo demonstrated the greatest biomass production among all cultivars. The differences found between the two lowland cultivars suggest that Alamo would be better suited for forage and biomass production in central Texas, being a higher producer under drought and non-drought conditions than Kanlow as well as upland cultivars.

author list (cited authors)

  • Stroup, J. A., Sanderson, M. A., Muir, J. P., McFarland, M. J., & Reed, R. L.

citation count

  • 93

publication date

  • January 2003