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African Journal of Aquatic Science

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Effect of temperature on seed production in the invasive grass Glyceria maxima (Hartm.) Holmb. (Poaceae) in South Africa

L.F. Mugwedi, J.M. Goodall, E.T.F. Witkowski, M.J. Byrne

Abstract


Temperature is one of the main factors that determine sexual reproduction in terrestrial and emergent aquatic plant species. The effect of temperature on sexual reproduction and seed production of Glyceria maxima (Hartm.) Holmb. in the southern hemisphere is unknown. Glyceria maxima collections in February 2010 at three isolated infestations in KwaZulu-Natal failed to yield a single seed, only empty panicles. Laboratory experiments showed that vernalisation had no consistent effect on seed production. Field- and laboratory-grown plants produced seeds in the 2010/2011 season, because of having sufficient time at optimum temperatures required for seed production (1 491 and 1 585 hours, respectively), compared to a shorter period (1 352 hours) of suitable temperatures during the 2009/2010 growing season. An inadequate period of optimum temperatures (15–25 °C) during seed production resulted in the lack of seeds in the field in the 2009/2010 growing season. This study showed that temperature and duration of exposure thereto during the seed-production period play vital roles in G. maxima sexual reproduction.

Keywords: anthesis, panicle, perennial grass, seed development, seed set, vernalisation




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