Effects of foliar application of nitrogen on the photosynthetic performance and growth of two fescue cultivars under heat stress

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The effects of nitrogen fertilization on the growth, photosynthetic pigment contents, gas exchange, and chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence parameters in two tall fescue cultivars (Festuca arundinacea cv. Barlexas and Crossfire II) were investigated under heat stress at 38/30 °C (day/night) for two weeks. Shoot growth rate of two tall fescue cultivars declined significantly under heat stress, and N supply can improved the growth rates, especially for the Barlexas. Chl content, leaf net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency, and the maximal efficiency of photosystem 2 photochemistry (Fv/Fm) also decreased less under heat stress by N supply, especially in Crossfire II. Moreover, cultivar variations in photosynthetic performance were associated with their different response to heat stress and nitrogen fertilization, which were evidenced by shoot growth rate and photosynthetic pigment contents.

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