Next Issue
Volume 3, March
Previous Issue
Volume 2, September
 
 

Grasses, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2023) – 4 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
13 pages, 9513 KiB  
Article
Endophytic Fungal Infection of Meadow Fescue in the Driftless Area of the Upper Mississippi River Valley: Impacts on Agronomic Fitness
by Michael D. Casler and Blair L. Waldron
Grasses 2023, 2(4), 263-275; https://doi.org/10.3390/grasses2040019 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 753
Abstract
Meadow fescue, Schedonorus pratensis (Huds.) P. Beauv., has recently been discovered as a common but previously unknown pasture grass in the Driftless Area of the upper Mississippi River Valley, USA. Preliminary data also indicated that many meadow fescue pastures were infected with an [...] Read more.
Meadow fescue, Schedonorus pratensis (Huds.) P. Beauv., has recently been discovered as a common but previously unknown pasture grass in the Driftless Area of the upper Mississippi River Valley, USA. Preliminary data also indicated that many meadow fescue pastures were infected with an endophytic fungus, Epichloë uncinata (W. Gams, Petrini & D. Schmidt) Leuchtm. & Schardl. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine if the endophyte impacts agronomic fitness of the host meadow fescue. Meadow fescue plants from eight farm sites were intensively sampled, and endophyte infection levels were determined to range from 82 to 95%. Paired endophyte-infected (E+) and endophyte-free (E−) meadow fescue subpopulations from each collection site were then created, and were subsequently compared for greenhouse and field drought tolerance, forage mass, and persistence under frequent defoliation. There was no impact of the endophyte under a wide range of drought conditions for either greenhouse or field studies. Furthermore, there was a small forage-mass-enhancement effect in the E+ subpopulation for only one of the eight collection sites. The only consistent effect was an average of 9% increased ground cover (persistence) in endophyte-infected meadow fescue under frequent defoliation. As per other studies, enhanced root growth, fungal-disease resistance, and/or reduced insect feeding could be mechanisms for this increased survivorship. We conclude that the meadow fescue endophytes present in the Driftless Area do not help protect their host from drought or provide any consistent forage-growth enhancement; however, we found evidence that the endophyte provides some protection against frequent defoliation at low residual sward heights. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

33 pages, 37603 KiB  
Protocol
Goals of Restoration Ecology and the Role of Grasses in the Processes as Seen in Southeastern Africa Restoration Projects
by Roy Lubke
Grasses 2023, 2(4), 230-262; https://doi.org/10.3390/grasses2040018 - 14 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
The goals of a “restoration” programme are often not clearly defined, which may radically influence the course of the change effected by the “restoration”. In this paper, I examine many restoration studies worldwide, the goals and the practice that was followed. Grasses often [...] Read more.
The goals of a “restoration” programme are often not clearly defined, which may radically influence the course of the change effected by the “restoration”. In this paper, I examine many restoration studies worldwide, the goals and the practice that was followed. Grasses often play an important role in both the succession and restoration processes. In Johannesburg, South Africa, wind-blown dust caused by gold mining was a problem in the early 20th century, so the goal was to stabilise the tailings. This was achieved by establishing vegetation on the dumps or revegetation of the land on which the tailings were deposited. Stabilisation of the Cape Flats was the goal in the late 19th century to allow easy movement along sandy roads in the region and marram grass was introduced from Europe specifically for this purpose. Revegetation with a different vegetation type is often a logical option where land use is of paramount importance. Replacement with crop plants or grasses is where the previous vegetation is replaced by an alternative land use that will be of benefit to the local people. The terms “rehabilitation” and “restoration” are often used interchangeably. Early researchers on the subject pointed out that rehabilitation is on the trajectory to full restoration or the original former state of the degraded site. In this review, the rehabilitation processes are discussed following dune mining in South Africa and at sites in Mozambique. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 6051 KiB  
Article
Influence of Environmental Factors on Species Richness and Diversity in a Semi-Arid Environment, South Africa
by Nthabeliseni Munyai, Abel Ramoelo, Samuel Adelabu, Hugo Bezuidenhout and Hassan Sadiq
Grasses 2023, 2(4), 218-229; https://doi.org/10.3390/grasses2040017 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1568
Abstract
The Nama Karoo biome is one of the least well-studied biomes in the semi-arid region of South Africa, and essential baseline biodiversity data for this region are lacking. The aim of the present study was to examine the influence of environmental factors on [...] Read more.
The Nama Karoo biome is one of the least well-studied biomes in the semi-arid region of South Africa, and essential baseline biodiversity data for this region are lacking. The aim of the present study was to examine the influence of environmental factors on the species diversity and richness of Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa, which includes this vital biome. Vegetation data were obtained using the step-point method. Both species richness and diversity were unaffected by slope, aspect, coarse fragments, and soil texture. Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that a combination of four variables (nitrogen, clay, and sand contents, and longitude) should be included in the optimal model for species richness, and the optimal model for species diversity also revealed four influencing variables: soil organic carbon, clay and sand contents, and longitude. Overall, both species richness and diversity could be predicted by a combination of climatic, topographic, and soil properties. The findings of this study can be used as a reference for the effects of environmental factors on plant species richness and diversity in semi-arid environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers from Grasses Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Brachiaria Hybrid and Pennisetum purpureum Supplemented with Pueraria phaseoloides Increased the Concentration of Rumen-Undegradable Protein in Forages for Ruminants
by Elisha Leon, Martin Hughes and Oral Daley
Grasses 2023, 2(4), 207-217; https://doi.org/10.3390/grasses2040016 - 9 Oct 2023
Viewed by 966
Abstract
Supplementing tropical grasses with leguminous forages is known to improve the nutritive value of forage-based diets. However, it is not clear how basal grass forages supplemented with Kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides) affect the nitrogen (N) and crude protein (CP) fractions of grass/legume [...] Read more.
Supplementing tropical grasses with leguminous forages is known to improve the nutritive value of forage-based diets. However, it is not clear how basal grass forages supplemented with Kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides) affect the nitrogen (N) and crude protein (CP) fractions of grass/legume forages. The aim of this study was to determine the N and CP fractions and in vitro ruminal CP degradability of Brachiaria hybrid (B. ruziziensis × B. decumbens × B. brizantha) and elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) supplemented with Kudzu at a target CP content of 133 ± 0.6 g/kg of dry matter (DM). The grass/legume forages were evaluated for total N, buffer-soluble N (BSN), buffer-insoluble N (BISN), non-protein nitrogen (NPN), neutral detergent-insoluble N (NDIN), acid detergent-insoluble N (ADIN), CP fractions A, B1, B2, B3, C, rumen-degradable protein (RDP), rumen-undegraded protein (RUP), and in vitro ruminal CP degradability. The CP concentration of Kudzu was 217 g/kg DM, while grass forages ranged between 79.9 and 112 g/kg DM. The BISN, CP degradability parameters b, and potential degradability were approximately 56, 41, and 74%, respectively, higher in grass forages supplemented with Kudzu. The concentrations of RUP in the grass forages (23.9–32.5 g/kg DM) were significantly improved when they were supplemented with Kudzu (72.0–79.9 g/kg DM). Therefore, we concluded that basal grass forages supplemented with Kudzu to a target CP content can improve the amount of RUP supplied by the forage portion of the diet. This can have a positive effect on forage utilization and animal performance while reducing the cost to feed for ruminants. Full article
Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop