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Title: Aspects of the ecology of Holcus lanatus L., alone and in mixture with Lolium perenne L.
Author: Watt, Trudy A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3564 5034
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1977
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This thesis contains a literature review of Holcus lanatus and records studies on both the growth and spread of the species and the response of it and of Lolium perenne to several management and edaphic factors. Holcus lanatus is an adaptable, competitive species with ecotypes growing in a wide range of environments. It is valuable on hill land, acid, low nutrient soils and to prevent erosion. Beef cattle grazing it have made greater liveweight gains than on L. perenne. Experiments used plants growing in pots and small field plots. A growth study of spaced H. lanatus plants showed they can produce up to 240,000 seeds, most of which germinated shortly after being shed onto moist soil. Seedlings established poorly in a closed sward. Spaced plants produced runners in autumn whose plantlets established better when plants were cut regularly in spring. Holcus lanatus plants needed vernalization in order to flower. This was enhanced by and to a small extent replaced by short days. When H. lanatus plants in bud were cut, useful summer vegetative regrowth resulted. The New Zealand cultivar Massey Basyn was more productive than Oxfordshire H. lanatus in a pot trial. Holcus lanatus dominated a mixture with L. perenne in a glasshouse experiment, especially under high or infrequent cutting, but it was not so dominant in a field experiment. Cattle treading damaged H. lanatus more than it did L. perenne. Holcus lanatus responded to a high water table by producing adventitious and surface roots. Propyzamide at 2.24 and linuron at 1.12 kg a.i./ha in early summer and asulam at 1.12 or 2.24 kg a.i./ha in early September gave good control of established H. lanatus in L. perenne in preliminary trials. The agricultural significance of these results is discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Lolium perenne ; Holcus ; Plant ecology