Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Competitive interaction between two leaf morph populations of white clover in relation to soil nitrogen

  • 28 Accesses

  • 1 Citations


The pure and mixed stands of the two populations of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) differing in leaf character were raised in the experimental pots using de Wits' replacement series. Of the two populations, one is characterized by having white ‘V’-shaped markings on the leaflets (marked population) and the other does not have any such marking (unmarked population). The competitive interaction between the two populations has been studied at two soil nitrogen regimes. The nitrogen requirement of the marked population seems to be higher than that of the unmarked population. The marked population was found to be more competitive as compared to the other population at high N level as shown by their relative yield. The competitiveness of the former was, however, masked to some extent under low soil nitrogen. This confirmed the differential response of the two populations ofT. repens to soil fertility as observed in nature.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1

    Allen S E 1974 Chemical Analysis of Ecological Materials. Blackwell Scientific Publications.

  2. 2

    Cahn M G and Harper J L 1976 The biology of the leaf mark polymorphism inTrifolium repens L. 2. Evidence for the selection of leaf marks by rumen fistulated sheep. Heredity 37, 327–333.

  3. 3

    Charles A H 1968 Some selective effects operating upon white and red clover swards. J. Brit. Grassld. Soc. 23, 20–25.

  4. 4

    Corkill L 1971 Leaf markings in white clover. J. Hered. 62, 307–310.

  5. 5

    Cowling D W 1961 The effect of nitrogenous fertilizer on an established white clover sward. J. Brit. Grassld. Soc. 16, 65–68.

  6. 6

    Crawford-Sidebotham T J 1972 The role of slugs and snails in the maintenance of the cyanogenesis polymorphism ofLotus corniculatus L. andTrifolium repens L. Heredity 28, 405–411.

  7. 7

    de Wit C T 1960 On competition. Versl. Landbouwk. Onderz. Ned. 66, 1–82.

  8. 8

    Dilz K and Mulder E G 1962 The effect of soil pH, stable manure and fertilizer nitrogen on the growth of red clover and red clover associations with perennial ryegrass. Neth. J. Agric. Sci. 10, 1–22.

  9. 9

    Drysdale A D 1966 A comparison of two sources of nitrogen for grassland with special reference to the grass/clover ratio. Proc. 10th Intern Grassld. Congr. Helsinki 1966, 255–258.

  10. 10

    Harberd D J 1963 Observation on natural clones ofTrifolium repens L. New Phytol. 66, 401–408.

  11. 11

    Machler F, Nosberger J and Erismann K H 1977 Photosynthetic CO2 fixation products in altitudinal ecotypes ofTrifolium repens L. with different temperature requirements. Oecologia Berlin 31, 79–84.

  12. 12

    Misra R 1968 Ecology Workbook. Oxford and IBH, New Delhi.

  13. 13

    Snaydon R W 1962 The growth and competitive ability of contrasting natural populations ofTrifolium repens when grown on acid and calcareous soils. J. Ecol. 30, 439–447.

  14. 14

    Tripathi R S and Harper J L 1973 The comparative biology ofAgropyron repens (L.) Beauv. andA. caninum (L.) Beauv. I. The growth of mixed populations established from tillers and from seeds. J. Ecol. 61, 353–368.

  15. 15

    Turkington R A and Cavers P B 1978 Reproductive strategies and growth patterns in four legumes. Can. J. Bot. 56, 413–416.

  16. 16

    Vallis I, Henzell E F and Evans T R 1977 Uptake of soil nitrogen by legumes in mixed swards. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 28, 413–425.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pradhan, P., Tripathi, R.S. Competitive interaction between two leaf morph populations of white clover in relation to soil nitrogen. Plant Soil 77, 61–72 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02182812

Download citation

Key words

  • Clover
  • Competitive interaction
  • Soil nitrogen
  • Trifolium repens