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Using morphological traits to identify persistent lucernes for dryland agriculture in NSW, Australia

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Boschma, S.P. and Williams, R.W. (2008) Using morphological traits to identify persistent lucernes for dryland agriculture in NSW, Australia. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 59 (1). pp. 69-79.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AR06206

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/


This paper reports on several studies conducted to better understand the variability between lucerne cultivars and lines, and use this to predict persistence in dryland grazing pastures in eastern Australia. Morphological traits of 20 cultivars/lines were measured in irrigated and dryland spaced plant experiments. Studies were also conducted to describe variation among lucernes in their utilisation of starch and responses to water deficit, pests and diseases. Multiple regression analyses were used to develop simple models where the measured traits could be used to predict persistence of lucerne lines in dryland evaluation experiments.

Although there was significant variation among cultivars/lines in most measured traits, no single trait reliably predicted persistence of cultivars/lines in dryland evaluation experiments. However, variation in persistence at both sites could be explained by models developed by multiple regression using differences in the mean lengths of the longest stems at 10% flower in summer and winter. Persistent lucernes were those that had relatively long stems in summer and short stems in winter. Water use efficiencies, starch utilisation patterns and resistances to pests and diseases of different lucernes provided some improvement to this simple model, but these improvements were not consistent.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), Agri-Science, Plant Science, Crop and Food Science
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:© CSIRO.
Keywords:Morphological traits; multivariate analysis; Near Infrared (NIR); persistence; starch; water use efficiency (WUE).
Subjects:Science > Biology
Plant culture > Field crops > Forage crops. Feed crops
Live Archive:29 Jan 2009 05:40
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:43

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