Leaf Blade Stomatal Characterizations and Evapotranspiration Rates of 12 Cool-season Perennial Grasses

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  • 1 Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

The objectives of this investigation were to determine the stomatal frequencies of 12 perennial cool-season turfgrasses, encompassing nine species, and their associated evapotranspiration (ET) rates under nonlimiting soil moisture and controlled environmental conditions. Significant differences in stomatal density were found among the 12 cool-season turfgrasses on both the abaxial (P > F = 0.0008) and adaxial (P > F = 0.0009) leaf surfaces. Significant differences (P > F = 0.0007) in ET rates also were found among the 12 cool-season turfgrasses. The Kentucky bluegrass (Pea pratensis L.) cultivars exhibited the highest ET rates, while the fine-leafed fescues (Festuca rubra and longifolia L.) exhibited the lowest rates, except for `Big Horn' sheep fescue (Festuca ovina L.), which exhibited an intermediate ET rate. No significant correlation was found between ET rate and either adaxial or abaxial stomatal density. It was concluded that, under nonlimiting soil moisture conditions, stomatal density was not reliably associated with ET rate.

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