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Flowering Behaviour of Four Annual Grass Species in Relation to Temperature and Photoperiod
Annals of Botany
, 1982. V. 49. No. 4. P. 469–475
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Populations of four co-habiting annual grass species Bromus mollis L. (Soft brome), Hordeum hystrix Roth (Mediterranean barley grass), Lolium rigidum Gaud. (Wimmera ryegrass) and Vulpia bromoides (L.) S. F. Gray (Squirrel-tail fescue) were examined for the presence and comparative levels of vernalization and photoperiod response. This was evaluated as the number of days from sowing to heading in both long (16 h) and short (normal, over-winter) photoperiods at two levels of temperature.Wide variation among the species in both vernalization and photoperiodic response was detected. L. rigidum possessed a high level of vernalization response and was comparatively sensitive to photoperiod while V. bromoides possessed little or no vernalization response and was comparatively insensitive to photoperiod. B. mollis and H. hystrix appeared to be intermediate between these two species for both responses. There were wide differences in time to heading under long photoperiod (16 h) and high temperature (20 °C) of plants derived from seed of three of the species ripened under non-vernalizing temperatures. This variation indicates the likely existence of genetic differences in vernalization response between plants of these populations.The implications of these findings to the adaptability of these species to the Australian environment have been outlined.