, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 404–409

Neighbour specificity between Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens from a natural pasture


  • Andreas Lüscher
    • Eidgenössische Technische HochschuleInstitut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, ETH-Zentrum
  • John Connolly
    • Department of StatisticsUniversity College Dublin
  • Pierre Jacquard
    • Centre Louis Emberger (CNRS)
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00317630

Cite this article as:
Lüscher, A., Connolly, J. & Jacquard, P. Oecologia (1992) 91: 404. doi:10.1007/BF00317630


Five genotypes of Trifolium repens and Lolium perenne were collected as neighbouring pairs along a fertility gradient in a natural pasture. After vegetative multiplication, the 25 possible combinations of Lolium genotype x Trifolium genotype were planted in the greenhouse in order to investigate competition between the genotypes. The comparison of the five combinations whose individual components had been neighbours with the combinations of genotypes that had not coexisted before disclosed no difference in total biomass production over 7 months. However, the yield of Trifolium increased when grown with the Lolium genotype which had been its natural neighbour, while the latter showed a decrease in yield. This neighbour specificity existed even when carryover effects from the sampling site had been eliminated (preconditioning period of 18 months) and when native Rhizobium strains were not present (inoculation with a non-native strain). The complex pattern of neighbour specificity with time indicated the importance of environmental conditions for its outcome. These results are a further confirmation of positive effects on the growth of Trifolium repens when grown together with its natural neighbour. They are discussed in the context of coexistence and coevolution

Key words

Trifolium repensLolium perenneCompetitionCoadaptationEvolution

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992