The effect of droughting on varieties and ecotypes of Lolium, Dactylis and Festuca.
Cultivars and populations of Lolium, Dactylis and Festuca species were grown under contrasting soil moisture regimes in the glasshouse. Dry matter production, leaf extension and tillering were measured during treatment and during subsequent recovery periods. L. perenne was least affected by drought and D. glomerata was most affected. Regrowth after drought was stimulated by previous water shortage in L. perenne and D. glomerata. Populations from dry habitats, and cultivars which tolerated drought, usually produced less herbage dry matter than cultivars and populations from moist habitats. Cultivars and populations did not differ significantly in response to drought, during the droughting period, though populations of L, perenne and L. multiflorum from dry habitats recovered from drought more rapidly than did those from moist habitats.<new para>ADDITIONAL ABSTRACT:<new para>Several varieties and populations of L. perenne, L. multiflorum, F. arundinacea and D. glomerata and a population of D. marina were grown under different conditions of soil moisture in the glasshouse. Populations from dry habitats and drought-tolerant varieties usually produced less herbage dry matter than varieties and populations from moist habitats. Of the varieties, only those of L. perenne differed significantly in response to drought during stress. Populations of both Lolium species from dry habitats recovered more rapidly than those from moist habitats.