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Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070113

Trifolium mutabile as New Species of Annual Legume for Mediterranean Climate Zone: First Evidences on Forage Biomass, Nitrogen Fixation and Nutritional Characteristics of Different Accessions

1
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari, Aldo Moro, 70125 Bari, Italy
2
Department of DETO, Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, University of Bari ‘Aldo Moro’, Valenzano, 70010 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
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Abstract

The present study evaluated the forage production, nitrogen fixation and the qualitative characteristics of different accessions of Trifolium mutabile, a new species of annual clover, collected in southern Italy. Forage traits were assessed by harvesting plants at the vegetative stage (stem elongation) and the subsequent regrowth at the flowering stage (inflorescence emergence-main shoot). From results, significant differences were found among the accessions of T. mutabile in terms of forage biomass production (from 5.1 to 8.2 t ha−1 dry matter), capacity of nitrogen fixation (58.2–76.8% Ndfa) and forage nutritional characteristics. Besides the high forage yield, the investigated accessions showed favourable values of production and quality, representing also worthy germplasm for selection programs as well as the application for possible plant cultivar registration. Moreover, it is interesting to underline that T. mutabile may represent a valuable alternative to commonly cultivated annual clover species due to its prolonged vegetative cycle. However, further investigations are needed to assess the self-reseeding capacity of T. mutabile when utilized as pasture species. View Full-Text
Keywords: annual clover; N fixation; biomass production; forage annual clover; N fixation; biomass production; forage
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Fracchiolla, M.; Lasorella, C.; Laudadio, V.; Cazzato, E. Trifolium mutabile as New Species of Annual Legume for Mediterranean Climate Zone: First Evidences on Forage Biomass, Nitrogen Fixation and Nutritional Characteristics of Different Accessions. Agriculture 2018, 8, 113.

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