Genetic improvement of forage crops for climate change mitigation

Authors Organisations
Type Paper
Original languageEnglish
Pages60-63
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventProceedings Livestock and Global Climate Change - Hammamet, Tunisia
Duration: 17 May 200820 May 2008

Conference

ConferenceProceedings Livestock and Global Climate Change
CountryTunisia
CityHammamet
Period17 May 200820 May 2008
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Abstract

A considerable amount of research has focused on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from grasslands: how they are measured and management strategies for mitigation. Similarly, there have been a number of studies on the role of grasslands in terms of carbon sequestration. However, less work has been carried out exploring ways in which genetic improvement of grassland crops can reduce emissions. In this paper we describe how grass and clover plant breeding programmes at IGER are being directed towards this aim. The main species we will consider are the major ones of temperate pastures: perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne),, white and red clover (Trifolium repens and T. pratense), and also birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). Mitigation of climate change impacts can result not only from reduced emissions but also enhanced carbon sequestration in grasslands, and we will also describe the potential for genetic improvement of forage in this respect.