Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2000
Publication Date: 11/5/2000
Citation: Morris, D.R., Baligar, V.C., Schuler, V.C., Harmon, P.J. 2000. Nitrogen fixation in running buffalo clover. American Society of Agronomy Abstracts. 2000. Page 114.
Technical Abstract: Running buffalo clover [(RBC) (Trifolium stoloniferum (Eat.)] is a perennial clover species native to North America. Three natural settings at 778-m elevation were selected in West Virginia, USA to determine N fixing capabilities and ecology of RBC. Soils in each plot were sprayed with 15N labelled (NH4) 2NO3 (1 kg/ha) so that N fixation could be detected in the clover tops without digging and destroying endangered RBC plants. Plant species in each plot were identified and dry matter contributions were calculated. Three harvests over a one year period were taken. Nitrogen fixation in the clovers was not statistically significant. Careful examination of a few clover roots did not reveal presence of rhizobial nodules. Total dry matter yields of plots were low (less than 560 kg/ha). Close cutting (3-cm height) of RBC did not seriously damage plants as RBC contributed 19, 44, and 11% of the total forage yield at the first, second and third harvests, respectively. Thirt seven different plant species were identified in the clover plots with nettle [(Urtica (L.) and deertongue (Panicum clandestinum (L.)] being most closely associated with RBC. It appears that RBC is a clover that does not fix N, even though optimum clipping management may be similar to other forage clovers.