Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 9, Issue 3&4,2011
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Screening of the accessions of tall perennial grass species as feasible energy crops for biomethane production


Nijolė Lemežienė, Bronislava Butkutė, Juozas Kanapeckas, Giedrė Dabkevičienė, Žydrė Kadžiulienė, Vilma Kemešytė, Vaclovas Stukonis, Egidijus Vilčinskas

Recieved Date: 2011-06-17, Accepted Date: 2011-10-09


This study aimed to evaluate wild ecotypes, breeding lines and varieties of Dactylis glomerata (DG), Festuca arundinacea (FA) and Phalaris arundinacea (PA) collections, clarifying their productivity and chemical value as a renewable energy source for methane production. The tests involved germplasm collections of 21 (DG), 13 (FA) and 10 (PA) commercial varieties from different countries and wild ecotypes, collected in natural or semi-natural habitats in Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and other neighbouring states. According to the average 2-year DM yield per plant, PA and DG were essentially (P<0.05) more productive species (163.3 g and 160.1 g) compared with FA (141.6 g). Superior accessions were selected from each species according to the average annual DM yield: variety Aukštuolė for DG, Navas DS for FA and Palaton for PA. Their average annual DM yield per plant (sum of 3 cuts) was 203.9 g, 198.0 g and 191.1 g, respectively, and it was significantly higher compared with the average yield of the corresponding plant species. A great variation of DM yield was observed during both years of plant growth and within each of the grass species investigated. Such high variation was noticed both for annual DM yield and DM yields of separate cuts. In reverse order the grass species were placed according to lignin (ADL) concentration values: the lowest lignin content was observed in DG (2.5% DM), average in FA (2.6% DM) the highest one in PA (3.3% DM) species. On average higher nitrogen content was noted for DG (22.96 g kg-1 DM) and PA (22.56 g kg-1 DM) populations than for FA (19.35 g kg-1 DM). The C/N ratio of the cocksfoot varied from 15.7 to 24.4, averaging at 19.93 and was lowest, whereas tall fescues had the highest C/N ratio of 24.31 on average, with a large range of variation. The highest average concentration of water-soluble carbohydrates (166.8 g kg-1) was recorded in DM of tall fescue biomass and lowest (84 g kg-1) in DM of red canary grass biomass. The highest-yielding varieties of the three species studied, i.e. Aukštuolė (DG), Navas DS (FA), and Palaton (PA), generally showed intermediate quality component values among respective species.


Energy crops, Dactylis glomerata, Festuca arundinacea, Phalaris arundinacea, germplasm collection, dry matter yield, chemical composition

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2011
Volume: 9
Issue: 3&4
Category: Environment
Pages: 941-946

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