White clover (Trifolium repens) population dynamics are partly dependent on timing of seminal taproot death

Pedro W.L. Janssen, Nyncke Hoekstra, Jan Rinze van der Schoot, Nick J.M. van Eekeren. 2022. White clover (Trifolium repens) population dynamics are partly dependent on timing of seminal taproot death. Grass and Forage Science. 1-11.
Pagina's / pages: 11
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Taal/language: Engels
Abstract / summary in English:

The expanded usage of white clover has increased the importance of understanding white clover dynamics in pastures. It is assumed that clover plants have a higher tolerance for moisture and nutrient deficiencies when the taproot is still present. Therefore, the survival of the seminal taproot can influence the dynamics of clover. Past breeding efforts in countries like New Zealand have focussed on increasing the taproot longevity through hybridisation with a close relative of white clover. However, there is no direct evidence whether increased survival of the taproot results in increased performance of white clover. In this study, we aimed to (i) assess the relationship between taproot volume and taproot survival, and (ii) whether the timing of death of the seminal taproot influences the population dynamics of white clover varieties. In a two-year field experiment with 18 white clover varieties grown in monoculture and in mixture with Lolium perenne L, the taproot characteristics and population dynamics were studied. It was shown that taproot volume was positively correlated to both leaf size and taproot presence during autumn 2017, 1 year after sowing. The combination of the timing of death of the seminal tap root and the development of stolons seems to play a more important role in increasing the persistence of white clover than the absolute survival of the seminal taproot. Future research should focus on understanding the transition from a taprooted white clover to a stolonous white clover plant in relation to specific weather events such as winter frost conditions.

Keywords in English: breeding, morphology, nodal roots, organic agriculture, regenerative agriculture, stolons