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Seasonal dynamics of biomass production and herbage quality of three grasslands with contrasting functional compositions

Abstract : Classifying grasses into plant functional types (PFT) according to their strategy of nutrient capture (PFT A, B and b) or nutrient conservation (PFT C) is claimed to predict variability in biomass production and herbage quality in grasslands. PFT A, B and b are characterized by higher production than PFT C, with higher nutritive value, which decreases rapidly. PFT C is characterized by lower nutritive value, which remains more stable in time. The aim of this study was to quantify the consequences of PFT composition at the community level on the seasonal dynamics of biomass and herbage quality for livestock feed. We studied three grasslands located in the same area with contrasting PFT composition and classified PFT A, PFT Bb and PFT C. The dynamics of vegetation stages, dry-matter yield and nutritive value were followed over three vegetation cycles in 20072008. In the first cycle, biomass accumulation was high for the PFT A and PFT Bb grasslands and the high quality of herbage declined rapidly with the reproductive development. By contrast, biomass accumulation was slow in the PFT C grassland, with a lower quality that declined slowly, consistent with the later reproductive development. For regrowth cycles, the same ranking of grasslands was observed for biomass accumulation, and differences in digestibility were similar to those observed at the beginning of the first vegetation cycle. Combining type of grassland with sum of temperature for the first cycle and regrowth days for the second and third vegetation cycles provided quantitative models of herbage biomass and quality.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 29, 2020 - 4:06:29 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 11:22:08 AM

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Audrey Michaud, Donato Andueza, Fabienne Picard, Sylvain Plantureux, René Baumont. Seasonal dynamics of biomass production and herbage quality of three grasslands with contrasting functional compositions. Grass and Forage Science, Wiley, 2012, 67 (1), pp.64-76. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-2494.2011.00821.x⟩. ⟨hal-02651312⟩

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