Human assisted plant invasions from Europe to North America have been more common than the reverse. We tested endophyte-mediated performance of tall fescue in parallel three year experiments in Europe and the USA using endophyte infected and uninfected wild and cultivated plants. Experimental plants were subjected to nutrient and water treatments. Whereas endophyte infection increased tall fescue performance in general, the effects of endophytes on plant growth and reproduction varied among plant origins under different environmental conditions. Naturally endophyte-free Finnish cultivar ‘Retu’ performed equally well as ‘Kentucky-31’ in both geographic locations. All Eurasian origin plants performed well in the US. In Finland, plants established well and both cultivars survived over the first winter. However, winter mortality of ‘Kentucky-31’ plants was higher, particularly in fertilized soils in the subsequent winters. Our results suggest that tall fescue ecotype ‘Kentucky-31’ that flourishes in North America is poorly adapted to Northern European conditions.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The data can be found as supplementary material (S1 Data.xls).
Saikkonen, Kari; Phillips, Timothy D.; Faeth, Stanley H.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Saloniemi, Irma; and Helander, Marjo, "Performance of Endophyte Infected Tall Fescue in Europe and North America" (2016). Plant and Soil Sciences Faculty Publications. 75.
S1 Data. Biomass and number of flowerheads of the experimental plants.
journal.pone.0157382.s002.PDF (90 kB)
S1 Fig. Growth and reproduction of tall fescue.
journal.pone.0157382.s003.PDF (109 kB)
S2 Fig. Seasonal changes in day length at the study sites.
journal.pone.0157382.s004.JPG (10348 kB)
S3 Fig. The experimental field at the University of Kentucky experimental farm in Eden Shale, Kentucky, USA.
journal.pone.0157382.s005.JPG (753 kB)
S4 Fig. The experimental field at Turku Botanical Garden, University of Turku, Finland.
journal.pone.0157382.s006.PDF (9 kB)
S1 Table. Monthly rainfall and mean temperature at the study sites in Kentucky and Finland.