Survival analysis of germination data in response to temperature for Ornithopus species and other temperate pasture legumes

D R Kidd, M Valifard, Juan Qi, J M B Wisdom, R J Simpson, M H Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Cool temperatures can limit productivity of temperate grazing systems as poor pasture growth rates in winter create feed shortages for livestock. Ornithopus spp. (serradella) are broadly adapted annual pasture legumes that produce high-quality forage in soil types considered marginal for other temperate legume species. However, serradella establishment is perceived to be difficult in cool-season environments. We used survival analysis to compare germination rate and seedling emergence for two serradella species (yellow serradella and French serradella) against three reference species (Medicago sativa, M. polymorpha and Trifolium subterraneum) in four temperature treatments (10/5, 15/10, 20/15 and 25/20°C; max/min). We also compared shoot relative growth rate and photosynthetic rate at 15/10°C (cool) and 23/18°C (warm). Cool temperatures (10/5, 15/10°C) did not slow germination rates for serradella relative to the reference species, but warm temperatures (20/15, 25/20°C) delayed emergence and reduced post-emergent shoot growth rates. Once established, Ornithopus spp. had similar mean photosynthetic rates and stomatal conductance at cool temperatures to the reference species. We conclude that, contrary to common perception, cool temperatures did not adversely influence germination, emergence, or early growth of Ornithopus spp. relative to the reference species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-807
Number of pages16
JournalFunctional plant biology : FPB
Volume50
Issue number10
Early online date22 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2023

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