A glasshouse study was conducted under ideal conditions to determine leaf appearance, elongation, and senescence rates along with life span and leaf length characteristics of four grass species: wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), brown back wallaby grass (Rytidosperma duttonianum (Cashmore) Connor and Edgar), phalaris (Phalaris aquatica L.), and annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.). This study provided a comprehensive characterisation of leaf turnover rates for the entire life cycle of these grasses, some of which are poorly characterised. Importantly, leaf senescence rate has been captured in the same conditions as the other leaf rates of the life cycle. Leaf position proved to be a significant explanatory variable in each of the leaf turnover rates. The relationships between leaf position and the components of leaf turnover were most commonly represented by non-linear models.
Further studies may be necessary to validate these statistical models to field situations. However, this information will be useful to calibrate the senescence algorithms of plant growth models in agricultural decision support tools, which may then be applied to simulation studies including the assessment of grass curing for planning activities such as resource allocation, wildfire suppression, and execution of prescribed burning programs by fire management agencies.