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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355139

Title: Irrigation amount and ploidy affect the turfgrass potential of crested wheatgrass (Agopyron cristatum)

item Robins, Joseph
item Jensen, Kevin
item Waldron, Blair
item Bushman, Shaun

Submitted to: Grassland Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2019
Publication Date: 7/16/2019
Citation: Robins, J.G., Jensen, K.B., Waldron, B.L., Bushman, B.S. 2019. Irrigation amount and ploidy affect the turfgrass potential of crested wheatgrass (Agopyron cristatum). Grassland Science. 66(1):48-53.

Interpretive Summary: Most crested wheatgrass turfgrass comes in the tetraploid form despite diploid forms possessing lower growth habit and narrower leaves. We evaluated the turf quality of tetraploid and diploid sources of crested wheatgrass under several irrigation levels. The diploid crested wheatgrasses exhibited better turfgrass quality than the tetraploid crested wheatgrass for all quality measurements but plant spread.

Technical Abstract: Crested wheatgrass germplasm is available in tetraploid (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn.) and diploid (Agropyron desertorum [Fisch. ex Link] Schult.) form. In addition, to rangeland revegetation and forage production, the tetraploid crested wheatgrasses also commonly provide low-maintenance turfgrass production. It is unknown how well the smaller leaves and plants of the diploid form compare to the tetraploid form for turfgrass production. Herein, we describe the analysis and results from two line-source irrigation studies to quantify the difference in turfgrass performance for the two ploidy levels. The results were based on growth habit, color, density, and quality. We found that the diploid populations possessed higher turfgrass quality for all traits but plant spread. However, differences were generally limited with percent differences for traits ranging from 1 to 7% between the ploidy levels. The diploid germplasm possesses great low-maintenance turfgrass potential, particularly when greater aesthetics and quality are desired. However, the greater spread and rhizomatous growth habit present in some tetraploid populations suggest great potential for the tetraploid germplasm, particularly when soil stabilization is a primary concern.