Hybrid grass ‘could reduce flooding impact’

Mark Kinver,  BBC News Environment reporter, writes:-

“A hybrid farmland grass, developed by a team of UK researchers, could help reduce flooding, a study has shown. A team of plant and soil scientists said tests showed the new cultivar reduced run-off by 51%, compared with a variety widely used to feed livestock. They added that rapid growth and well developed root systems meant that more moisture was retained within the soil rather than running into river systems.

Slowing the flow to reduce peak flows

High Friction Grass – photo courtesy Dr Kit McCleod, James Hutton Institute

The novel grass is a hybrid of perennial ryegrass (Lollium perenne) – which is widely planted by farmers for grazing livestock – and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis), which has environmental stress-resistant characteristics.

Co-author Kit Macleod, senior research scientist at the James Hutton Institute based in Aberdeen, said a long-term project had been developing novel forage grasses but their environmental benefits had not really been tested.”

More on greener grass (courtesy BBC online)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22307863

The findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports.

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