Simple models of the growth and development of legume cover crops in different environments may aid the selection of species and genotypes most suitable for particular farming systems. The effects of temperature and photoperiod on the daily rate of seedling emergence and the rate of leaf appearance were quantified for 12 diverse legume cover crop species. Six tropical or subtropical species were grown in 12 combinations of mean temperature (16.8, 21.8 and 26.8 °C) and photoperiod (11.5, 12.5, 13.5 and 14.5 h). Another six genotypes of temperate species were grown in nine combinations of mean temperature (16.8, 21.8 and 26.8 °C) and photoperiod (12.5, 13.5 and 14.5 h). Durations from sowing to 50% seedling emergence were recorded and the number of leaves on the main stem counted during early vegetative growth.
Experimental Agriculture (1999) 35 (3) 327-344