Effect of season and cutting frequency on root and shoot competition between Festuca pratensis and Dactylis glomerata

Carlen, C.; Kolliker, R.; Reidy, Beat; Luscher, A.; Nosberger, J. (2002). Effect of season and cutting frequency on root and shoot competition between Festuca pratensis and Dactylis glomerata Grass and Forage Science, 57(3), pp. 247-254. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1046/j.1365-2494.2002.00323.x

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Plant competition strongly affects the species composition of managed grassland. To identify relevant processes, Festuca pratensis (Huds.) and Dactylis glomerata (L.) were grown as monocultures or mixtures in boxes placed in the field for two seasons and subjected to two cutting frequencies. Root and shoot competition effects were separated using soil and aerial partitions. Shoot competition was analysed by measuring the vertical distribution of the leaf area and root competition by analysing the absorption of tracers. Values of relative yield indicated that the two grasses fully competed for the same limiting resources under the experimental conditions. The competitive ability of F. pratensis was lower during both years relative to D. glomerata. This was mainly related to its consistently lower shoot competitive ability, which was associated with less leaf area in the upper layers of the canopy and shorter leaves. Root competitive ability of F. pratensis changed with season. It was similar to that of D. glomerata during spring and autumn, but less during summer. The lower root competitive ability in summer might be due to the lower root activity of F. pratensis, measured as rubidium (Rb) and strontium (Sr) absorption in July, 0·1 and 0·2 m below the ground. Cutting frequency did not greatly influence the relative importance of root and shoot competition during the first growing season. However, under infrequent defoliation, the competitive ability of F. pratensis decreased markedly in full competition during the second growing season. These results suggest that distinct differences in the canopy structure and root activity of different plant species can affect the relative importance of root and shoot competition during the season.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences > Abteilung Agronomie

Name:

Carlen, C.; Kolliker, R.; Reidy, Beat; Luscher, A. and Nosberger, J.

Subjects:

Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture

ISSN:

0142-5242

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lukas Blaser

Date Deposited:

17 Dec 2019 12:24

Last Modified:

17 Dec 2019 12:24

Publisher DOI:

10.1046/j.1365-2494.2002.00323.x

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.9112

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/9112

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