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Open AccessArticle

Performance of Modern Varieties of Festuca arundinacea and Phleum pratense as an Alternative to Lolium perenne in Intensively Managed Sown Grasslands

1
Department of Crop Sciences, Grassland Science, University of Göttingen, von-Siebold Straße 8, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
2
Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Use, University of Göttingen, Grisebachstraße 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3
Chamber of Agriculture Lower-Saxony, Mars-la-Tour-Straße 1-13, 26121 Oldenburg, Germany
4
Geo-Lab, University of Vechta, Driverstraße 22, 49377 Vechta, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040540
Received: 13 March 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 7 April 2020 / Published: 9 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Grassland and Pasture Science)
In future, grass swards need to be adapted to climate change and interactions of management and site are becoming more important. The persistence of Lolium perenne on peatland or during dry periods is limited and alternative forage species are required. We tested the performance of a modern variety of Festuca arundinacea and Phleum pratense as an alternative to Lolium perenne on clay, peat, and sandy soils. Each of these grasses was sown as main species in mixture with Poa pratensis and Trifolium repens and the mixtures were subjected to different frequencies of defoliation. Differences in yield proportions in the third year were significantly influenced by main species, site and their interaction. Remaining mass proportions of main species after three years were smallest on peat; on all sites Festuca arundinacea showed the highest persistence and largest yield, followed by Lolium perenne. Mass proportions of Phleum pratense were small on peat soils and Phleum had been replaced there by Holcus lanatus, and by Lolium perenne and Poa pratensis on the clay and sandy soils. We conclude that the choice of grass species in mixtures is a management tool to control stability and productivity of grass swards under specific site conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperate humid grasslands; forage grasses; persistence; herbage yield; climate change temperate humid grasslands; forage grasses; persistence; herbage yield; climate change
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Becker, T.; Isselstein, J.; Jürschik, R.; Benke, M.; Kayser, M. Performance of Modern Varieties of Festuca arundinacea and Phleum pratense as an Alternative to Lolium perenne in Intensively Managed Sown Grasslands. Agronomy 2020, 10, 540.

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