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Growing season [ Botany - Ecology ]

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

Synonym: Vegetative season, Frost-free season.
  That part of the year when temperatures and moisture are favourable for vegetation growth.  
The growing season is the period during which plant growth takes place, and is usually measured in days. Growing seasons vary depending on local climate. Geographical location, (latitude and altitude), temperature, daylight hours (photoperiod), and rainfall, may all be critical environmental factors. It can also vary by crop, as different plants have different freezing thresholds.
In temperate climates the growing season for indigenous vegetation and cultivated crops (also called Frost-free Season) is limited by seasonal changes in temperature and is defined as the period from the average date of the last killing frost of spring and the first killing frost of autumn, at which time annual plants die and biennials and perennials cease active growth and become dormant for the cold winter months.
In equatorial and tropical regions, in which there is less seasonal temperature change, the growing season ordinarily lasts all year and the amount of available moisture often determines the periods of plant growth; in the rainy season growth is luxuriant and in the dry season many plants become dormant.
In desert areas, growth is almost wholly dependent on moisture.
In the Arctic the growing season is short but concentrated; the number of daylight hours is so large that the total amount of sunlight equals that of a temperate growing season with shorter days,
Combinations of factors affect the growing season; For examples in Mediterranean type of climate (with winter rainfall and dry summers) plant growth occurs during the winter and dormancy during the summer.





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