Effect of plant density on stolon growth and development of contrasting white clover (Trifolium repens) varieties and its influence on the components of seed yield

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1988
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Plants of two contrasting white clover varieties (cv. Aberystwyth S184 and Olwen) were planted in the field in spring in each of 2 years at four densities (9, 25, 49 and 100 plants m−2) in 1-m2 plots. The effect of plant density on stolon growth and development and the components of seed yield was subsequently measured.

Stolon growth and development was influenced by plant density, variety and year. At low plant densities both white clover varieties produced longer primary stolons than at higher densities. Plant density, however, had no significant effect on the number of inflorescences at harvest. At the high stolon densities there were significantly fewer reproductive nodes per primary stolon than at the lower plant densities. Plant density did not significantly affect any other seed yield components, but the number of inflorescences at harvest, florets per inflorescence, seed set per floret and 1000-seed weight were all significantly influenced by both variety and year.

The relationship between the vegetative and reproductive growth of white clover is discussed in relation to plant density, variety and climate and the possible role of defoliation managements on inflorescence development.