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Evaluation of aboveground net primary productivity of grassland gramineae

, : Evaluation of aboveground net primary productivity of grassland gramineae. Acta Oecologica Oecologia Plantarum 1(1): 81-102

Methods of evaluation of above-ground net primary productivity either underestimate it greatly or are too time-consuming and complicated for routine use. The duration of phyllochron (interval between emergence of 2 successive leaves on a tiller), the number of living leaves per tiller and the measured biomass are used to calculate the aerial productivity of grasses. The duration of phyllochron is a function of mean air temperature, N concentration in the plant and perhaps water stress. The Dactyle 1 model was used to test, on a cocksfoot population, the validity of a formula to calculate the phyllochron duration on the basis of air temperature alone. Comparison between the results of simulations and available field data is encouraging. A theoretical study shows that the impact of herbivores on primary productivity depends on the intensity of consumption by animals. Light grazing by herbivores increases primary productivity and diminishes, to a lesser extent, productivity of litter, thus accelerating turnover of mineral nutrients. Further improvements of models of primary productivity would make it possible to extend the analysis and to tackle more precisely the study of reciprocal interactions between vegetation and herbivores in an ecosystem.

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