Latitudinal and longitudinal adaptation of switchgrass populations

M. D. Casler, K. P. Vogel, C. M. Taliaferro, N. J. Ehlke, J. D. Berdahl, E. C. Brummer, R. L. Kallenbach, C. P. West, R. B. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-season native grass, used for livestock feed, bioenergy, soil and wildlife conservation, and prairie restoration in a large portion of the USA. The objective of this research was to quantify the relative importance of latitude and longitude for adaptation and agronomic performance of a diverse group of switchgrass populations. Six populations, chosen to represent remnant prairie populations on two north-south transects, were evaluated for agronomic traits at 12 locations ranging from 36 to 47°N latitude and 88 to 101°W longitude. Although the population x location interactions accounted for only 10 to 31% of the variance among population means, many significant changes in ranking and adaptive responses were observed. Ground cover was greater for northern-origin populations evaluated in hardiness zones 3 and 4 and for southern-origin populations evaluated in hardiness zones 5 and 6. There were no adaptive responses related to longitude (ecoregion). Switchgrass populations for use in biomass production, conservation, or restoration should not be moved more than one hardiness zone north or south from their origin, but some can be moved east or west of their original ecoregion, if results from field tests support broad longitudinal adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2249-2260
Number of pages12
JournalCrop Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


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