J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (6): 641-647.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2008.00646.x

Special Issue: Ecology and Global Changes

• Bioenergy Plants •     Next Articles

Phenotypic Plasticity of Life History Characteristics: Quantitative Analysis of Delayed Reproduction of Green Foxtail (Setaria viridis) in the Songnen Plain of China

Hai-Yan Li and Yun-Fei Yang   

  • Received:2007-07-03 Accepted:2007-10-11

Abstract: Green foxtail (Setaria viridis L.) is a common weed species in temperate regions. Research on the effect of delayed reproduction on the phenotypic plasticity and regularity of the vegetative and reproductive growth is of vital significance for understanding population regulation and control of the weed in the growing season. Green foxtail seeds were sown every 10 days from 25 June to 24 August of 2004. The growth and production metrics were measured via harvesting tufts and statistical analysis was carried out. The results showed that the reproductive tillers, seed number, seed biomass and one thousand-seed weight of plants at the first sowing (25 June) approximately increased 28.8, 7 827.0, 1 104.0 and 12.3 times compared with that at the last sowing (24 August), respectively. Total tillers, reproductive tillers and height increased linearly as the reproductive period delayed, however, biomass increased exponentially. Quadratic equations best explained the relationships between the delayed reproductive period and seed number, inflorescence length, one thousand-seed weight, seed biomass. Based on the quantity and quality of seed production, weeding young seedlings emerging before July can be the most effective weed-control strategy in the Songnen Plain.

Key words: delayed reproduction, life history, phenotypic plasticity, quantitative characteristics, Setaria viridis, weed control.

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