ADAPTATION OF ANNUAL AND PERENNIAL LEGUMES AND GRASSES UTILISED AS COVER CROPS IN AN OLIVE GROVE AND A VINEYARD IN SOUTHERN ITALY

A. Corleto, E. Cazzato
A 5-year trial (1999-2003), comparing legumes and perennial grasses as cover crops, was conducted in Southern Italy. The trial was performed at two sites: an olive grove (Gaudiano di Lavello field) and a vineyard (Minervino Murge field). Three self-sown legume species (Trifolium brachycalycinum, T. subterraneum, Medicago polymorpha), one perennial legume species (T. repens) and two perennial grasses [Buchloe dactyloides and Festuca arundinacea ‘Finelawn’ (in the vineyard), and F. arundinacea ‘Noria’ (in the olive grove)], were sown in January 1999. After the first year (November, 1999), because of low establishment, B. dactyloides was replaced with T. michelianum and T. repens with M. truncatula in the vineyard field; whereas in the olive grove, T. repens was substituted with Biserrula pelecinus on December 2001. Dry matter yield (DMY) of cover crops, weeds excluded, expressed as the mean of a 5-year period, ranged from 3.31 t•ha-1 (T. brachycalycinum) to 1.53 t•ha-1 (T. repens / B. pelecinus) in the olive grove, whereas in the vineyard DMY ranged from 3.09 t•ha-1 (M. polymorpha) to 0.89 t•ha-1 (T. michelianum). Rate of species persistence, expressed as a percentage of herbage cover of the soil, was highest for T. brachycalycinum (87.5%) and lowest for the combination of T. repens / B. pelecinus (41.4%) in the olive grove; in the vineyard it was highest for Medicago polymorpha (59.8%) and T. brachycalycinum (57.2%) and the lowest for T. subterraneum (33.0%) and B. dactyloides / T. michelianum (31.4%). Self-seeding of legume species, expressed as number of seedlings per m2 (average of a 4-year period at the two locations), ranged from 2572 for M. polymorpha to 2013 for T. brachycalycinum.
Corleto, A. and Cazzato, E. (2008). ADAPTATION OF ANNUAL AND PERENNIAL LEGUMES AND GRASSES UTILISED AS COVER CROPS IN AN OLIVE GROVE AND A VINEYARD IN SOUTHERN ITALY. Acta Hortic. 767, 89-96
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.767.8
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.767.8
species persistence, self-seeding, dry matter yield, seed-hardness, herbage cover
English

Acta Horticulturae