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The grass plant—its form and function

  • M. J. Robson
  • G. J. A. Ryle
  • Jane Woledge
Part of the The Grass Crop book series (WOCS)

Abstract

The form of a plant reflects its function. The morphology of grasses is a product of their genetic make-up and the environment they experience, a key component of which is the grazing animal. Forage grasses have evolved to withstand periodic defoliation. Agriculturally important north-temperate grasses remain vegetative throughout most of the year, with the growing points, from which new leaves are produced, held at or near ground level on unelongated stems. Thus, when the leaves are harvested, whether by cutting or grazing, the majority of the growing points escape. Any leaves which are not harvested, entirely or in part, senesce and die. Turnover is rapid. At the height of the growing season, a typical grass shoot may bear three live leaves and produce a new one every 7–10 days (Alberda and Sibma, 1968). The entire leaf canopy can be replaced within as little as 3–4 weeks.

Keywords

Photosynthetic Capacity Shoot Apex Perennial Grass Tall Fescue Perennial Ryegrass 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Robson
  • G. J. A. Ryle
  • Jane Woledge

There are no affiliations available

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