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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360387

Research Project: Multifunctional Farms and Landscapes to Enhance Ecosystem Services (Bridge Project)

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Understanding agricultural species distributions in the greenhouse, field, and landscape

item Gonet, Jeffery
item Goslee, Sarah

Submitted to: US-International Association for Landscape Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2019
Publication Date: 4/8/2019
Citation: Gonet, J.M., Goslee, S.C. 2019. Understanding agricultural species distributions in the greenhouse, field, and landscape[abstract]. US-International Association for Landscape Ecology. p. 1.

Interpretive Summary: No Interpretive Summary is required for this Abstract. JLB.

Technical Abstract: Understanding how agricultural species will change in distribution and productivity over the next century is crucial to planning for agricultural adaptation and ensuring sustainability of food systems. This is a complex problem, bringing together plant physiology, climate, and landscape factors. We used the major forage species perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) in the northeastern United States as a case study, merging multiple lines of evidence from growth chamber studies, regional field surveys, and multi-state field experiments to investigate: climatic factors controlling the distribution of perennial ryegrass; whether breeding programs to increase freeze tolerance will be important regionally; and how the agricultural importance of perennial ryegrass may change over time. Freeze tolerance alone varied substantially among cultivars, although it did not always correspond to breeder hardiness ratings. However, lethal temperatures under controlled conditions did not match survival in field trials: snow cover was an important modifier of mortality. Random Forest species distribution models of abundance on grazed farms additionally highlighted the importance of topography as a modifier of climate conditions. Both species distribution models and freeze tolerance measurements predicted similar extent of expansion of suitable habitat for perennial ryegrass, a positive indicator for the future of grazing agriculture, but more detailed consideration of snow cover and cold acclimation is required.