Wade, R.N. et al

Growth rates of grass species with contrasting photosynthetic pathways and life histories

This dataset contains sequential biomass harvests from a plant growth experiment carried out under controlled environmental conditions in Sheffield. The experiment was carried out in three parts in 2016 and 2017, and was designed to investigate differences in growth among grasses with the C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, and with annual and perennial life histories. Plants were harvested approximately weekly over a period of five weeks.

The data include information on the dry biomass of roots and leaves, and the numbers of roots, leaves and shoot branches. Also included is an independent dataset of leaf anatomical characteristics derived from herbarium specimens, which was used to test how mechanical support scales with leaf size. Finally, the data include the phylogenetic relationships among species, which were used in analyses.

The work was funded by NERC standard grant NE/N003152/1.

Publication date: 2020-08-04

Get the data

This dataset is available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

This data is available as Comma-separated values (CSV) or Phylogenetic trees (.tre)

You must cite: Wade, R.N.; Seed, P.; McLaren, E.; Wood, E.; Christin, P.A.; Thompson, K.; Rees, M.; Osborne, C.P. (2020). Growth rates of grass species with contrasting photosynthetic pathways and life histories. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/cb0d7a37-45c5-4645-b5ef-ba097d92fc20


© University of Sheffield


Temporal extent
2016-06-18    to    2017-07-26

Provenance & quality

A phylogeny for the species involved in the growth analysis was reconstructed using a set of sequences from four regions of the chloroplast genome that have been widely used in grass phylogenetics: trnKmatK, rbcL, ndhF and trnLtrnF. These markers were retrieved from NCBI databases when available for the species used here, and were amplified and Sanger sequenced using published protocols for species that had never been analysed. Each marker was then aligned using MUSCLE v.3.8.31, and the alignment was manually verified. The four markers were then concatenated, and a time-calibrated phylogenetic tree was inferred using Beast v1.8.4. The GTR+G+I substitution model was used, and the speciation prior was set to a Yule process. A relaxed molecular clock with a log-normal distribution was used. The monophyly of each of the BOP and PACMAD clades was enforced to root the tree, and the split of the two clades was constrained by a normal distribution with a mean of 51.2 and a standard deviation of 0.0001. Two analyses were run for 10,000,000 generations, with sampling frequency of 1,000 generations. Convergence of the runs and effective sampling sizes were monitored with Tracer v1.6, and the burn-in period was set to 5,000,000. Posterior trees from the two analyses were combined, and median ages were mapped on the highest credibility tree, which was used for comparative analyses.

Correspondence/contact details

Prof. Colin Osborne
University of Sheffield


Wade, R.N.
University of Sheffield
Seed, P.
University of Sheffield
McLaren, E.
University of Sheffield
Wood, E.
University of Sheffield
Christin, P.A.
University of Sheffield
Thompson, K.
University of Sheffield
Rees, M.
University of Sheffield
Osborne, C.P.
University of Sheffield

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
University of Sheffield

Additional metadata

Topic categories
grass,  growth analysis,  leaf anatomical characteristics,  leaf area,  photosynthesis,  phylogenetic analysis,  plant biomass,  plant growth,  Poaceae
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/N003152/1
Last updated
25 June 2021 18:42