Comparison of drought resistance in strawberry clover and white clover

Authors

  • R.W. Hofmann
  • W. Lin
  • S.A. Stilwell
  • R.J. Lucas

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33584/jnzg.2007.69.2658

Abstract

This study set out to compare plant function and performance of strawberry clover to that of white clover. To test this, the two species were exposed to drought for 4 weeks under controlled environmental conditions. Water stress reduced the size and dry matter of white clover leaves by more than 50%, whereas strawberry clover leaves remained unaffected. White clover photosynthesis decreased by nearly 50% under drought, accompanied by a reduction in leaf water status (water potential) by more than one third. In contrast, strawberry clover maintained a higher water status, photosynthesis and transpiration rate under drought than white clover. In addition, we observed drought-induced reductions in white clover leaf quality, including lower nitrogen levels. We conclude that strawberry clover displays drought resistance in a number of key leaf parameters. The findings suggest value in testing strawberry clover as a complement or alternative to white clover in droughtprone pasture environments. Keywords: drought, strawberry clover, Trifolium fragiferum L., Trifolium repens L., white clover

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Published

2007-01-01

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Section

Articles

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