Seed size as a factor in the growth of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) under spaced and sward conditions
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
8(4) 335 - 351
The significance of seed weight in the growth of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L) , of the Bacchus Marsh strain, has been assessed under both spaced plant and sward conditions at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. Under conditions of spacing, plants of three widely separated seed size grades were grown a t a density of 1 per 25 sq. links. The dry weights of the plants were proportional to seed weight from the time of sowing (in May) till the end of October – over almost the entire growing period of the crop. Three sets of swards were grown a t a density of 25 plants per sq. link, each sward being planted with seed of one of the three sizes. Dry weight was proportional to seed weight in the early part of the season but when the swards reached a leaf area index of about 4 (i.e. when there were 4 sq. links of leaf surface on 1 sq. link of ground), a reduction in growth rate occurred. This critical leaf area index was reached first in "large seed" swards, followed later by "medium seed" and finally by "small seed" swards. Thus there was a period in which the swards were growing at different rates, and in which the dry weights came to parity, so that on the final sampling occasion (in December) there was no significant difference between the dry weights of the swards from the three seed sizes. It is concluded that a t a leaf area index of about 4, interception of incident light energy is complete.
Full text doi:10.1071/AR9570335
© CSIRO 1957