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Influence of harvest time and frequency on light interception and biomass yield of festulolium and tall fescue cultivated on a peatland

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tIn this study, we report efficiencies of light capture and biomass yield of festulolium and tall fescue cul-tivated on a riparian fen in Denmark under different harvesting managements. Green biomass targetedfor biogas production was harvested either as two cuts (2C) or three cuts (3C) in a year. Three differenttimings of the first cut in the 2C systems were included as early (2C-early), middle (2C-mid) and late (2C-late) cuts corresponding to pre-heading, inflorescence emergence and flowering stages, respectively. Thefraction of intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR) was derived from the canopy reflectancemeasured on 61 dates throughout a year, and cumulative interception of PAR (IPAR) and radiation useefficiency (RUE) was calculated. The dynamics of fPARand biomass accumulations was similar for bothcrops before the first cuts in all managements. Festulolium fPARin 2C-early and 2C-mid managementsdeclined faster than in 2C-late and 3C managements in the second growth period and thus growingperiod IPAR of 2C-early and 2C-mid declined by 8% as compared to 3C management where IPAR was925 MJ m−2. Annual festulolium dry matter (DM) yield in 2C-early and 2C-mid managements (average14.1 Mg DM ha−1) decreased by 22% compared to 3C management (18.2 Mg DM ha−1). The highest and thelowest RUE of festulolium were observed in 3C and 2C-mid managements as 1.97 and 1.59 g MJ−1, respec-tively. For tall fescue fPARdeclined rather slowly in the second growing period in all 2C managements,which contributed to similar IPAR (908–919 MJ m−2), total biomass yield (16.4–18.8 Mg DM ha−1yr−1)and RUE (1.80–2.07 g MJ−1) for all managements. Whereas both crops were highly productive under both3C management and 2C management with first harvest after flowering (i.e., 2C-late), the 2C-late strategyis recommended as the least intensive of the two management systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Agronomy
Pages (from-to)150-160
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2016

    Research areas

  • festulolium, harvesting system, perennial grasses, radiation interception, radiation use efficiency, tall fescue, klim

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