Tag Archives: botanical composition

27-39 G. Argenti, S. Parrini, N. Staglianò and R. Bozzi
Evolution of productive and biodiversity features in lucerne fields of different ages
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Evolution of productive and biodiversity features in lucerne fields of different ages

G. Argenti*, S. Parrini, N. Staglianò and R. Bozzi

University of Florence, School of Agriculture, DAGRI, P.le delle Cascine 18, 50144 Firenze, Italy
*Correspondence: giovanni.argenti@unifi.it

Abstract:

Medicago sativa is a legume forage crop characterized by high production of forage, with a notable nutritive value, but in mountain areas duration of the crop could be remarkably affected by severe environmental conditions. To assess the vegetation evolution of lucerne crops in relation to crop age, data from fields of lucerne of different ages were collected. The aim is the evaluation of lucerne productive performances, evolution of forage quality and assessment of recovery by autochthonous species that naturally recolonize the studied areas in relation to age of the cropped species. With increasing years, lucerne population was significantly decreased and replaced by different functional types of plants, such as perennial graminoids and short-lived forbs. Biodiversity increased significantly along time, and evolution of similarity indices demonstrated an evolution of vegetation toward that represented by reference grassland of the area. Productive characteristics of forage, in terms of aboveground biomass and quality, were negatively affected by age. Results permitted to assess the evolution of different features of lucerne for a mountain environment and to hypothesize the appropriate management for this resource, that could contemplate also the evolution towards the reconstitution of the reference habitat for the studied area.

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344-356 G. Argenti, S. Parrini, N. Staglianò and R. Bozzi
Evolution of production and forage quality in sown meadows of a mountain area inside Parmesan cheese consortium
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Evolution of production and forage quality in sown meadows of a mountain area inside Parmesan cheese consortium

G. Argenti*, S. Parrini, N. Staglianò and R. Bozzi

University of Florence, School of Agriculture, DAGRI, P.le delle Cascine 18, IT50144 Firenze, Italy
*Correspondence: giovanni.argenti@unifi.it

Abstract:

Sown meadows, encompassing alfalfa and grass-legume mixtures, are the forage crops on which is based Parmesan cheese production system in the mountain area of the Apennines (central Italy). These grassland types experience, during their development, deep changes in terms of production potentiality, botanical composition and forage quality, thus these meadows have to be periodically renewed to guarantee adequate productive and qualitative performances. To have an accurate assessment of this evolution along time, a survey was performed in different mountain farms inside the Parmesan cheese consortium, analysing alfalfa meadows and grass-legumes mixtures of different ages. Grasslands were monitored during 2019, performing three samplings during growing season. Aboveground biomass production, botanical composition and crude protein content were collected during the survey. Results permitted to evaluate the level of production decrease along years, the evolution of analysed parameters among cutting dates and the dependence of productive and qualitative features on botanical composition and presence of sown species in the swards. Results were useful to hypothesize the composition of future mixtures, to improve management issues and to delineate the possible duration of sown meadows for the area with respect to different purposes in terms of desired productive or qualitative objectives.

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2291–2302 G. Argenti, F. Del Serra, N. Staglianò and I. Battaglini
Assessment of management effect on grasslands characteristics in an area of the Apennines (North Italy)
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Assessment of management effect on grasslands characteristics in an area of the Apennines (North Italy)

G. Argenti¹*, F. Del Serra¹, N. Staglianò¹ and I. Battaglini²

¹University of Florence, School of Agriculture, DAGRI, P.le delle Cascine 18, IT50144 Firenze, Italy
²Unione di Comuni Valdarno e Valdisieve, Via XXV Aprile, 10, IT50068 Rufina (FI), Italy
*Correspondence: giovanni.argenti@unifi.it

Abstract:

In many regions of Europe, semi-natural grasslands not properly utilized face different threats, concerning changes in botanical composition and structural evolution, which can lead to a reduction of the qualitative value of forage biomass or, in the mid-long term, forest recovery. The present paper assesses various semi-natural grasslands within a mountain public property located in Tuscany (North Apennines, Italy) subjected to different types of utilization. Some of them are managed through cattle grazing during summer, whereas some others are only periodically mowed and utilization is performed only by wildlife occurring in the area. The paper analyses the importance of resource management and its impact on botanical composition and on qualitative value of forage production. Data collection of studied areas was conducted by means of vegetation assessment performed with a fast procedure that simplifies the botanical composition sampling. Results show the relevance of some environmental factors on grasslands evolution and on their composition (such as altitude and slope) and the importance of management on grassland quality and on level of shrub encroachment.

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513-522 R. Aavola and J. Karelson
The dynamics of botanical composition of pure and mixed grass swards on peaty soil
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The dynamics of botanical composition of pure and mixed grass swards on peaty soil

R. Aavola and J. Karelson

Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute, 1 J. Aamisepa St., Jõgeva alevik, 48309, Estonia,e-mail: rene.aavola@jpbi.ee

Abstract:

Major part of forage grass varieties used for (re-)seeding Estonian grasslands is imported. Little is known about their performance is severe microclimatic conditions on peat soils as official testing takes place on mineral soils. A field trial comprising 7 pure-sown grass species (8 domestic, 11 foreign varieties) and 9 mixtures composed of local varieties was sown to drained peaty soil. The aim was to determine the sward components, which preserve there. Changes in grass sward composition were observed in 2005–2007. Among pure stands, Estonian Alopecurus pratensis variety ‘Haljas’, Phleum pratense ‘Tia’ and ‘Tika’, Bromus inermis ‘Lehis’ maintained the highest percentages (86.0–92.8) of cultivated species by the third harvest year. Only B. inermis survived a harsh winter with negligible winterkill. The frost devastated the stands of Festulolium, Festuca pratense and F. arundinacea. ‘Lehis’ turned out to be the most winter and drought resistant also in mixed grass swards. If added at a rate of 30 kg ha-1 to the mixtures with P. pratense, B. inermis effectively outcompeted the herbs (range 1.4–8.2%) by the third harvest year and became dominant (72.3–87.1%). P. pratense ‘Tia’ persisted for three years but gradually withdrew when was competing with B. inermis, and also with A. pratensis. Phalaris arundinacea was intolerant to three harvests per year at a cutting height of 7 cm and steadily declined from the swards. Dactylis glomerata and F. pratense were vulnerable to winterkill, but could partly recover at the end of a rainy season.

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11–16 Volli Geherman, Rein Viiralt and Olav Ellermäe
Comparison of leys on conventional and organic farms
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Comparison of leys on conventional and organic farms

Volli Geherman¹, Rein Viiralt¹ and Olav Ellermäe²

¹Department of Grassland Science and Botany, Estonian Agricultural University, Kreutzwaldi 56, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
²Department of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, Estonian Agricultural University, Viljandi Road, Tartu, Estonia

Abstract:

The objective of this research was to compare the potential production of conventional and organic leys depending on the nutritive status of the soil. Three pairs of dairy farms, located in different regions of Estonia, were selected: Lääne (west), Harju (north) and Võru (south-east) Counties. In this research work, the botanical composition of the sward,  the dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) yield and concentration in grass were measured. The soil pHKCl and the content of organic matter were determined, including the content of soluble plant nutrients P, K, Ca and Mg in the soil. The soil profiles were described and the soils were classified.
As the organic farms, with legume-rich swards, were quite similar to the conventional farms, the preliminary results did not show large differences between the two farming types studied. The average DM yield of the ley at the first cut and the total DM yield were higher on the conventional farms.

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