Thermal requirements for seed germination in Miscanthus compared with Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinaceae), Maize (Zea mays) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)

John Clifton-Brown, Paul Robson, Ruth Sanderson, Astley Hastings, John Valentine, Iain Donnison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The high establishment costs of Miscanthus by clonal propagation are a barrier to
widespread deployment. Direct sowing is the cheapest method, but limited field trials
have given generally poor results. Miscanthus, a perennial grass with C4 photosynthesis
has tropical origins, but is found growing both at high latitudes (4401) and altitudes
(41000 m) in Asia. In this paper, we investigate if significant variation in the thermal
requirements for germination exist in 10 Miscanthus sinensis half-sib families and
compare these with Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass – Trailblazer), Phalaris arundinaceae
(Reed canary grass – P10) and Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass cv AberDart) and maize
(Zea mays cv Aviso). The comparisons were made on a thermal gradient bar with a
controlled temperature oscillating 5 1C on a 12 h cycle and germination was monitored
daily for 35 days at mean temperatures ranging from 5.3 to 26.5 1C. Base temperatures
were calculated below which germination of at least 50% of viable seeds ceased. Base
temperatures were lowest for L. perenne and Zea mays at 3.4 and 4.5 1C respectively; for
different Miscanthus half-sib families base temperatures ranged between 9.7 and 11.6 1C
and these were higher than maize and switchgrass which share C4 photosynthesis with
Miscanthus. Parameters derived from germination and temperature were used to predict
germination patterns in Europe based on historical climate data. We predict that seed
establishment of Miscanthus in spring time is unlikely to be viable in Northern Europe
under present climatic conditions without crop management practices aimed at raising
soil temperature, and that useful variation in thermal requirement for germination in
Miscanthus is available which should facilitate seed germination in other regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-386
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Change Biology. Bioenergy
Volume3
Issue number5
Early online date9 Feb 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

Fingerprint

Phalaris
Phalaris arundinacea
Miscanthus
Panicum virgatum
Lolium perenne
Seed
germination
seed germination
Zea mays
maize
grass
seed
heat
corn
temperature
Temperature
Miscanthus sinensis
C4 photosynthesis
Photosynthesis
direct seeding

Keywords

  • bioenergy
  • germination
  • Miscanthus
  • modelling
  • seed propagation
  • temperature

Cite this

Thermal requirements for seed germination in Miscanthus compared with Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinaceae), Maize (Zea mays) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). / Clifton-Brown, John; Robson, Paul; Sanderson, Ruth ; Hastings, Astley; Valentine, John; Donnison, Iain.

In: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy, Vol. 3, No. 5, 10.2011, p. 375-386.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The high establishment costs of Miscanthus by clonal propagation are a barrier towidespread deployment. Direct sowing is the cheapest method, but limited field trialshave given generally poor results. Miscanthus, a perennial grass with C4 photosynthesishas tropical origins, but is found growing both at high latitudes (4401) and altitudes(41000 m) in Asia. In this paper, we investigate if significant variation in the thermalrequirements for germination exist in 10 Miscanthus sinensis half-sib families andcompare these with Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass – Trailblazer), Phalaris arundinaceae(Reed canary grass – P10) and Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass cv AberDart) and maize(Zea mays cv Aviso). The comparisons were made on a thermal gradient bar with acontrolled temperature oscillating 5 1C on a 12 h cycle and germination was monitoreddaily for 35 days at mean temperatures ranging from 5.3 to 26.5 1C. Base temperatureswere calculated below which germination of at least 50{\%} of viable seeds ceased. Basetemperatures were lowest for L. perenne and Zea mays at 3.4 and 4.5 1C respectively; fordifferent Miscanthus half-sib families base temperatures ranged between 9.7 and 11.6 1Cand these were higher than maize and switchgrass which share C4 photosynthesis withMiscanthus. Parameters derived from germination and temperature were used to predictgermination patterns in Europe based on historical climate data. We predict that seedestablishment of Miscanthus in spring time is unlikely to be viable in Northern Europeunder present climatic conditions without crop management practices aimed at raisingsoil temperature, and that useful variation in thermal requirement for germination inMiscanthus is available which should facilitate seed germination in other regions.",
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AU - Robson, Paul

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AU - Hastings, Astley

AU - Valentine, John

AU - Donnison, Iain

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AB - The high establishment costs of Miscanthus by clonal propagation are a barrier towidespread deployment. Direct sowing is the cheapest method, but limited field trialshave given generally poor results. Miscanthus, a perennial grass with C4 photosynthesishas tropical origins, but is found growing both at high latitudes (4401) and altitudes(41000 m) in Asia. In this paper, we investigate if significant variation in the thermalrequirements for germination exist in 10 Miscanthus sinensis half-sib families andcompare these with Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass – Trailblazer), Phalaris arundinaceae(Reed canary grass – P10) and Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass cv AberDart) and maize(Zea mays cv Aviso). The comparisons were made on a thermal gradient bar with acontrolled temperature oscillating 5 1C on a 12 h cycle and germination was monitoreddaily for 35 days at mean temperatures ranging from 5.3 to 26.5 1C. Base temperatureswere calculated below which germination of at least 50% of viable seeds ceased. Basetemperatures were lowest for L. perenne and Zea mays at 3.4 and 4.5 1C respectively; fordifferent Miscanthus half-sib families base temperatures ranged between 9.7 and 11.6 1Cand these were higher than maize and switchgrass which share C4 photosynthesis withMiscanthus. Parameters derived from germination and temperature were used to predictgermination patterns in Europe based on historical climate data. We predict that seedestablishment of Miscanthus in spring time is unlikely to be viable in Northern Europeunder present climatic conditions without crop management practices aimed at raisingsoil temperature, and that useful variation in thermal requirement for germination inMiscanthus is available which should facilitate seed germination in other regions.

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KW - modelling

KW - seed propagation

KW - temperature

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SP - 375

EP - 386

JO - Global Change Biology. Bioenergy

JF - Global Change Biology. Bioenergy

SN - 1757-1693

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