Special Issue "Grass Traits for Ecosystem Service and Sustainability"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.
Interests: festulolium; grass cytogenetics; grass breeding and evolution; abiotic stress resistance; ecosystem services; improved efficiency of ruminant nutrition; sustainable crop production
Grasslands cover around 70% of the global agricultural land, of which temperate grasslands, both natural and from anthropogenic origins, are a major part. Their management in ways that are economically, environmentally, and culturally sustainable faces various and frequently conflicting external pressures that threaten their perpetuity. Whilst temperate grasslands are major providers of healthy fodder for livestock, serving the meat and milk industries, they are multifunctional and also provide a vital ecosystem service to mitigate climate change, including carbon sequestration and the regulation of the rate of rainfall acquisition and its subsequent release. Perennial grasslands provide a habitat for vast and diverse biotic communities, shape much of our landscape, support fragile rural communities, and aid tourism, amenity, and leisure in many countries. Plant breeding, leading to the introduction of synthetic grass varieties, commenced one hundred years ago, but it has recently become more holistic than before so as to not only encompass traditional forage production for livestock agriculture but also to achieve further positive impacts in terms of the ecosystem service and economic and cultural sustainability. The principal grassland species used in agriculture are in the main outbreeding, perennial, and highly heterogeneous and harbor within their numbers a vast resource of genetic and trait diversity which can, if selected, be used in breeding programs in order to develop novel varieties for a range of important objectives. Where intraspecific variation is not sufficient to generate a required benefit, it may more easily be achieved through species hybridization or use of species mixtures. This Special Issue reviews some of the most important advances in grass trait selections for use in ecosystem service and the opportunities to acquire the range of benefits certain grass communities may provide to seek win-win scenarios and to note the various challenges that grasslands must resist in order to persist and achieve their full potential.
Prof. Em. Mike Humphreys
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- the roles of natural and seminatural grasslands;
- targets for grass and legume breeding;
- range of available grassland ecosystem services;
- challenges to grasslands in a changing climate;
- grassland resilience;
- alternative functions of grasslands;
- importance of grasslands in marginal locations