Publication Date: 2018.
Perennial warm-season grasses (WSG) represent a viable alternative for cultivation in marginal lands. Moreover, mixtures of WSG can be expected to exceed monocultures in terms of biomass production since biodiversity and ecosystem functions are predominantly positively related. Our objective was to evaluate (1) stockpiled forage accumulation and quality and (2) root biomass in monocultures and mixtures of Panicum virgatum, P. coloratum and Eragrostis superba, and to compare them with a standard monoculture of E. curvula. Additionally, the soil properties under WSG pastures and annual forage crops were compared at the end of the study. The research was conducted in the Dry Pampas of central Argentina, under shallow soil conditions. Stockpiled forage accumulation and root biomass were higher in the most diverse pasture and the mixture of P. virgatum – E. superba than in the monoculture of E. curvula. Stockpiled forage represented an important source of feed for livestock in fall and winter, although of low quality. Soil aggregate stability and initial water infiltration rate were higher in WSG pastures than in adjacent annual forage cropland. Our results suggest that mixtures of WSG can be highly productive in semiarid environments even in shallow soils. Moreover, they can positively influence soil properties.
Author affiliation: Paredes, Silvia Susana. INTA. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Anguil. Agencia de Extensión Rural Guatrache; Argentina
Author affiliation: Stritzler, Nestor Pedro. INTA. Centro Regional La Pampa-San Luis; Argentina
Author affiliation: Bono, Angel Alfredo. INTA. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Anguil; Argentina
Author affiliation: Distel, Roberto Alejandro. Universidad Nacional del Sur. Departamento de Agronomía; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Bahía Blanca. Centro de Recursos Naturales Renovables de la Zona Semiárida. Universidad Nacional del Sur. Centro de Recursos Naturales Renovables de la Zona Semiárida; Argentina
Keywords: Monocultivo; Plantas Perennes; Gramineas; Biomasa; Mejora de Suelos; Suelo Semiárido; Forrajes; Panicum Coloratum; Panicum Virgatum; Eragrostis Superba; Eragrostis Curvula; Estación Cálida; Monoculture; Perennials; Grasses; Biomass; Soil Improvement; Semiarid Soils; Forage; Warm Season; C4 Grasses; Pasture Diversity; Stockpiled Forage.
Repository: INTA Digital (INTA). Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria