• Shade Tolerance of Grass and Legume Germplasm for Use in the Southern Forest Range

      Watson, V. H.; Hagedorn, C.; Knight, W. E.; Pearson, H. A. (Society for Range Management, 1984-05-01)
      A series of experiments was conducted during 1978, 1979, and 1980 to screen selected cultivars of grasses and legumes for their adaptation and performance under a multiple harvest system in a shaded environment. Acceptable stands of all species except Uniola sessiliflora Michx. were obtained under each shade treatment. The most shade tolerant species were 'Nangeela' subclover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), ryegrass (Lolium multiflorium Lam.), Persian clover (Trifolium resupinatum L.) and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.). Shade reduced the height of species with an upright growth habit while decumbent type species (subclover) showed less reduction. Nitrogen content was not affected by shade while potassium and phosphorus levels increased for all species under 50% shade. In separate field experiments the yield, stand density, and persistence of sericea lespedeza {Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don} decreased with increasing shade although crude protein content was not affected. Cultivars of 4 species, ('Mt. Barker' subclover, 'Tibbee' crimson clover, 'Kentucky 31' tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), and 'Gulf' ryegrass), had acceptable stands and yields under 50% shade in a multiple harvest regime. These results demonstrate that several forage species are sufficiently shade tolerant to warrant consideration for use in forested environments.