Influence of fungal endophyte (Neotyphodium uncinatum) on persistency and competitive ability of two cultivars of meadow fescue (MF; Festuca pratensis Huds.) was investigated in a 3-year field trial under simulated intensive grazing. The two MF cultivars were "Harusakae" and "Tomosakae." Each MF cultivar was grown as a monoculture or a mixture with white clover (two cultivars), orchardgrass or perennial ryegrass, with (E+) or without (E-) infection by the endophyte. In the monocultures and the mixtures with white clover or orchardgrass, endophyte infection (E+) resulted in higher proportions of MF than non-infection (E-) mainly in the second and third years of the experiment, though the effect was not always significant. On the other hand, endophyte infection always had no effect on the proportion of MF mixed with perennial ryegrass. Annual herbage yield of the "Harusakae" monoculture was significantly higher in E+ than in E- in one year out of 2, whereas that of the "Tomosakae" monoculture did not vary with endophyte infection for 2 years. The results show that endophyte infection can increase persistency and competitive ability of MF plants in both monocultures and mixtures, though the effect in mixtures depends on the companion species.
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- DOI : 10.1111/j.1744-697X.2010.00175.x
- ISSN : 1744-6961
- Web of Science ID : WOS:000278345100001