Identifying causes of low persistence of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) dairy pasture using the Basic Grassland model (BASGRA)

Woodward, Simon J.R.; Van Oijen, Marcel ORCID:; Griffiths, Wendy M.; Beukes, Pierre C.; Chapman, David F.. 2020 Identifying causes of low persistence of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) dairy pasture using the Basic Grassland model (BASGRA). Grass and Forage Science, 75 (1). 45-63.

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Recent years have seen a decline in herbage production and tiller populations in New Zealand's perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) dairy pastures. One hypothesis is that modern genotypes are less suited to the warmer, drier weather experienced under changing climate patterns. In this study, a combination of long‐term trial data (2011–2017) and a process‐based pasture model (BASGRA) was used to explore the causes and possible mitigation of the observed production and population loss at three sites (dryland sites in Northland and Waikato and an irrigated site in Canterbury). Bayesian calibration was used to identify the model parameter sets that were consistent with the trial data and to identify differences in plant morphology and responses between sites. The model successfully simulated the observed differences in tiller numbers between the dryland sites, where populations and production declined rapidly after the second year and the irrigated site where populations and production were maintained. Analysis of the model calibrations along with preliminary scenario simulations suggests that increased tiller mortality associated with drought was the main cause of persistence failure at the dryland sites and that decreasing grazing pressure or breeding for tolerance to higher temperatures may not be successful in preventing this.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0142-5242
Additional Keywords: Bayesian calibration, grazing, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), tiller population, water stress
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 11 Feb 2020 17:20 +0 (UTC)

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