Influence of the Ryegrass Endophyte on Pasture Production and Composition in a Cool-Moist Environment
The ryegrass endophyte is a key component of perennial ryegrass based pastures in New Zealand. The endophyte provides protection against the Argentine stem weevil (ASW) (Prestidge and Ball, 1993) and endophyte enhances persistence of ryegrass pastures in drought situations (Cunningham et al., 1993). These advantages are offset by a number of animal disorders (Fletcher, 1993) and reduced clover content of pastures (Sutherland and Hoglund, 1990) to which the endophyte has been linked. In areas in New Zealand where ASW is not a pest and where environmental stresses (especially drought situations) occur seldom, old (>50 years) endophyte-free pastures have been observed (Widdup and Ryan, 1992). Yet in those areas endophyte-infected seedlines have been routinely used and little was known about the impact of endophyte on pasture production.
KeywordsWhite Clover Perennial Ryegrass Pasture Production Drought Situation Exclusion Cage
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