The changing tiller population of spaced Plants of S.170 tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea).

Published online
12 Jan 1969
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Robson, M. J.

Publication language


In outdoor pot trials in 1962-4, mean tiller number per tall fescue Plant rose exponentially at first, then more slowly, to reach about 300 by end 1962, fell to about 250 during the severe winter 1962-3, then fell steeply to about 100 in early June. Tiller number per Plant increased rapidly in July, less rapidly in Oct., and reached 500 by end-1963. Few tillers died in the mild winter 1963-4; subsequent changes resembled those in the previous year. 30% of tillers present in early May flowered within 6 weeks and a similar number, of all ages, died without producing an ear. Tillers did not flower at other times of year; there was a 2nd and smaller peak of tiller mortality in Sept. New tillers appeared throughout the year, but mainly during June and July and to a lesser extent in Oct. Some tillers were very short-lived, many died in Sept. of the year they were formed, some lived for almost 2 years, most lived for 1 year or slightly less. Very few tillers flowered in the year they appeared. Patterns of tiller production and death were dominated by flowering. __ R.B.

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