The runoff or leaching of nitrogen fertilizers from monoculture turfgrass lawns contributes to water pollution, and such lawns are susceptible to insect pests and provide few resources for pollinators. One approach to creating more sustainable lawns is to incorporate white clover (Trifolium repens L.), a nitrogen-fixing legume, into grass seed mixtures or existing turfgrass swards. “Dutch” white clover (DWC), a ubiquitous landrace, forms non-uniform clumps when intermixed with turfgrasses, thus it is often considered to be a lawn weed. Recently, several dwarf varieties of white clover have been selected for their small leaf size and low growth habit, allowing them to tolerate low mowing heights and blend better with grasses. To date, there have been no studies published on the entomological aspects of dwarf clover in pure stands or intermixed with turfgrass. We established field plots with combinations of DWC, two cultivars of dwarf clover, and tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort.) in monoculture or mixed swards, and compared the invertebrate communities therein. Predatory arthropods and earthworm numbers were similar in all plot types. The clover monocultures were resistant to white grubs, but the grub densities in the clover–tall fescue dicultures were similar to those found in the pure tall fescue swards. Dwarf clovers and DWC were similarly attractive to bees and supported similar bee assemblages. The tall fescue foliar N content was elevated 17–27% in the dicultures with clovers.
|State||Published - Nov 1 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by USDA-NIFA Hatch Project no. 2351587000, and USDA-NIFASCRI grant 2016–51181–235399 administered through IR4 grant 2015–34383–23710.We are grateful to K. Cropper and R. King for assistance with plot establishment and long-term maintenance; A. Baker, B. Mach, and W. Yates for assistance with plot establishment and sampling; L. Brilman (DLF Pickseed) for information about dwarf clovers; and B. Mach for guidance on bee identification.
Funding: This research was funded by USDA-NIFA Hatch Project no. 2351587000, and USDA-NIFA-SCRI grant 2016–51181–235399 administered through IR4 grant 2015–34383–23710.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Low-input lawns
- Popillia japonica
- Schedonorus arundinaceus
- Trifolium repens
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law