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Mild Drought Stress‐Induced Changes in Yield, Physiological Processes and Chemical Composition in Festuca, Lolium and Festulolium

Fariaszewska, A., Aper, J., Van Huylenbroeck, J., Baert, J., De Riek, J., Staniak, M., Pecio, Ł.
Journal of agronomy and crop science 2017 v.203 no.2 pp. 103-116
Festuca arundinacea, Festuca pratensis, Festulolium, Lolium multiflorum, Lolium perenne, carbohydrates, cell walls, digestibility, drought, dry matter accumulation, flavonoids, forage grasses, forage quality, organic matter, phenolic compounds, photosynthesis, proline, stomatal conductance, water stress, water use efficiency
The impact of mild drought stress (3 weeks at 40 % field water capacity) on yield, physiological processes, accumulation of proline and phenolic compounds and forage quality parameters in forage grasses was evaluated in pot experiments. During four different growing periods, the effects of water deficit were assessed in nine varieties from five species (Lolium perenne, Lolium multiflorum, Festuca pratensis, Festuca arundinacea and Festulolium braunii). All measured parameters were affected by drought stress in the different cuts. Photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance and dry matter yield were significantly lower in drought stress than under well‐watered conditions in all varieties. Higher water‐use efficiency was only observed during the first and fourth drought period, while this was not the case in the second and third. Mild drought stress significantly increased the content of proline, phenolic acid, flavonoids, water‐soluble carbohydrates and protein. All tested grasses showed also an increase of organic matter digestibility and cell wall digestibility under drought stress conditions.