Environmental Adaptation of Tropical Pasture Plants by L. R. Humphreys

By L. R. Humphreys

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I have used Koppen. Many will think this selection antediluvian, but we do have a wide experience of the use of this system and its utility for displaying the main characteristics of climates which are central to the broad adaptation which occurs at the species level. Comparative plant resistance to drought and cold are discussed in more depth in Chapter 5, while temperature control of growth and shading responses are developed in Chapters 8 and 9. 14) may cause culture shock to the scientist accustomed to the short, dense leafy swards of temperate climates.

Cl 0<;) Cl ,• c::f::J • ••• '. 16 (conl'd) .. 46 ENVIRONMENTAL ADAPTATION OF TROPICAL PASTURE PLANTS build-up, conserves genomes and provides sustained heterosis (Bashaw, 1975). The most common form of apomixis is apospory, in which the embryo develops from somatic cells in the nucellus; diplospory, in which the unreduced embryonic cell arises from the megaspore mother cell or from an unreduced megaspore, has been observed in Eragrostis curvula. The third form of agamospermy, adventitious embryony, in which the embryo arises from a nucellar or integumental cell, is rare in tropical grasses.

Annual plants, which die because they have flowered, may form less seed if earliness of flowering limits the leaf differentiation and branching necessary to generate a high density of inflorescence sites. Synchronisation of duration of moisture availability and completion of flowering and seed formation may derive from a varying combination of juvenility and photoperiodic requirements. In areas with a long growing season juvenility may promote higher growth rates through an extended vegetative period, leading to increased competitive capacity and eventually to greater seed yield potential.

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