Growth, water relations, and nutritive value of pasture species mixtures under moisture stress.

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2004
Month Published: NA
Author: Skinner, R. H. ; Gustine, D. L. ; Sanderson, M. A.
Book Group Author: NA

Pasture productivity under harsh environments can be increased by planting more drought-resistant species or by increasing species diversity. This research was conducted under two large (10.2×26.8 m) rainout shelters combined with a drip irrigation system to provide deficit, normal, and excessive moisture conditions. A two-species mixture containing the relatively drought-tolerant species, orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) and two five-species mixtures were compared with a mixture containing the drought-sensitive species, white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), which are the predominant species in northeastern USA pastures. Plots were clipped from mid-May to early October in 2000 and 2001 on a schedule that mimicked management-intensive grazing practices. The five-species mixture containing chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), orchardgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and white clover had the greatest dry matter yield at all moisture levels. Yield in that mixture increased 89% in the dry, 61% in the normal, and 43% (by weight) in the wet treatments compared with the white clover/Kentucky bluegrass mixture. Increased yield was primarily due to the robust growth of chicory which dominated the mixture, accounting for 71% of harvested biomass by the fall of 2001. In addition, white clover growing in the mixture with chicory had improved leaf water relations and greater relative growth rates than white clover growing in the two-species mixture. Including the functional attribute of a deep-rooted forb appeared to be more important than species richness, per se, in improving forage yield.

Pages: 1361 - 1369
Volume: 44
Number: 4
Journal: Crop Science
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 0011-183X

chicory, crop yield, drought resistance, dry matter, growth,growth rate, nutritive value, plant water relations, trickle irrigation,water stress, Pennsylvania, USA, Cichorium intybus, Dactylis glomerata,Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, Trifolium pratense, Trifolium repens,Cichorium, Asteraceae, Asterales, dicotyledons, angiosperms,Spermatophyta, plants, eukaryotes, Dactylis, Poaceae, Cyperales,monocotyledons, Lolium, Poa, Trifolium, Papilionoideae, Fabaceae,Fabales, Middle Atlantic States of USA, Northeastern States of USA, USA,North America, America, Developed Countries, OECD Countries, droughttolerance, nutritional value, quality for nutrition, United States ofAmerica, Plant Water Relations (FF062), Plant Production (FF100), SoilWater Management (Irrigation and Drainage) (JJ800) (Revised June 2002)[formerly Soil Water Management], Grasslands and Rangelands (PP350),Feed Composition and Quality (RR300)

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