Resilience of Festulolium in terms of productivity and impact on soil characteristics under machinery compaction

Nuwan Muhandiram Walawwe, Michael Humphreys, Aled Fychan, Mark Scott, Vincent Theobald, Ruth Sanderson, Christina Marley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)


Festulolium are ryegrass (Lolium) and fescue (Festuca) species' hybrids developed to combine their attributes, the stress tolerance of fescues, together with the forage quality characteristics of ryegrass. To investigate the potential of Festulolium to combat soil compaction, three Festulolium populations growing in field plots were compared against relevant ryegrass (cultivar AberBite) and fescue (cultivar Kora) controls. Triplicate grass plots were established in 2012 and maintained under a cutting regime. In spring 2016, plant tiller densities were determined prior to half of each plot being compacted using machinery. Following compaction, soil bulk density and dry matter (DM) yield were measured from the compacted and non-compacted half of each plot. In the autumn, destructive soil and plant characteristics were measured, including root biomass. Baseline data showed Festulolium cultivars had higher tiller number than Kora. Kora had a higher DM yield, but no difference in yield was observed between all Festulolium populations and AberBite. Festulolium population Lp × Fg (Lolium perenne L. × Festuca glaucescens Roth.) had a higher root biomass than AberBite and Kora in both compacted and non-compacted soil, respectively. With an equivalent DM yield to ryegrass, the Festulolium demonstrated additional benefits underground through their larger root systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable meat and milk production from grasslands
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 27th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation
EditorsB. Horan, D. Hennessey, M. O'Donovan, E. Kennedy, B. McCarthy, J. A. Finn, B. O'Brien
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print) 9781841706436
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event27th EGF General Meeting: Sustainable meat and milk production from grasslands - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 17 Jun 201821 Jun 2018
Conference number: 27

Publication series

NameEuropean Grassland Federation


Conference27th EGF General Meeting
Period17 Jun 201821 Jun 2018


  • productivity
  • Festulolium
  • ryegrass
  • compaction


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