Evaluation of Alfalfa Swards in the Conditions of Middle Balkan Mountains

  • Natalia Anastasova GEORGIEVA Institute of Forage Crops, Department of Technology and Ecology of Forage Crops, Pleven (BG)
  • Valentin KOSEV Institute of Forage Crops, Department of Breeding of Forage Crops, Pleven (BG)
  • Dimitar MITEV Research Institute of Mountain Stockbreeding and Agriculture, Troyan (BG)
Keywords: alfalfa; adaptability; evaluation; populations; productivity; stability; varieties


One of the most effective measures used to enhance natural grasslands in mountain and semi-mountain conditions is the inclusion of species such as alfalfa which is characterized by increased productivity, stability and adaptability. Thus, a comparative study of 3 varieties (‘Pleven 6’, ‘Prista 2’, ‘Multifoliate’) and 2 local populations (LP1, LP2) of alfalfa was conducted in the semi-mountain conditions of the Middle Balkan Mountains. The complex evaluation, comprising productivity and parameters of stability and adaptability, determined the sward of local population LP1, followed by varieties ‘Prista 2’ and ‘Pleven 6’ as the most suitable for cultivation in the Middle Balkan Mountains. They can be used successfully to enhance the composition of natural grasslands. The swards of species, such as birdsfoot trefoil and red clover, which were traditionally grown and typical for the Middle Balkan Mountains, were characterized by lower productivity, stability and adaptability respectively.


Metrics Loading ...


Annicchiarico P (1992). Cultivar adaptation and recommendation from alfalfa trials in Northern Italy. Journal of Genetiks and Breeding 46:269-278.

Benabderrahim MA, Hamza H, Mansour H, Ferchichi A (2015). A comparison of performance among exotic and local alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) ecotypes under Tunisian conditions. Romanian Agricultural Research 32:43-51.

Bolaños ED, Huyghe C, Julier B, Ecalle C (2000). Genetic variation for seed yield and its components in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) populations. Agronomy 20:333-345.

Christian M, Peel S (2011). Sward enhancement: selection of suitable sites. University of Hertfordshire, 2011. Retrievd May 17 2018 from http://www.lincstrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/sward_enhancement_selection_of_suitable_sites.pdf.

Churkova B (2007). Biological and economic qualities of birdsfoot trefoil varieties and populations. Field Crops Studies 2:237-241.

Cruz CD (2009). Programa Genes: Biometria. version 7.0. University of Federal Viçosa. Viçosa. Brazil.

Dicks LV, Ashpole JE, Dänhardt J, James K, Jönsson A, Randall N, Showler DA, Smith RK, Turpie S, Williams DR, Sutherland WJ (2017). Farmland conservation. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Eberhart SA, Russel WA (1966). Stability parameters for comparing varieties. Crop Science 6:36-40.

Eriksson O, Cousins SAO, Bruun HH (2002). Land-use history and fragmentation of traditionally managed grasslands in Scandinavia. Journal of Vegetation Science 13:743-748.

Eurostat Statistics (2018). Retrievd Apr 22 2018 from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisticsexplained/index.php/Farm_structure_statistics/bg.

Julier B, Huyghe C (1997). Effect of growth and cultivar on alfalfa digestibility in a multi-site trial. Agronomie 17:481-489.

Julier B, Huyghe C, Ecalle C (2000). Within- and among-cultivar genetic variation in alfalfa: forage quality, morphology and yield. Crop Science 40:365-369.

Julier B, Yasmina S, Mariem L (2010). Genetic diversity in a collection of lucerne populations from the Mediterranean basin evaluated by SSR markers. In: Huyghe C (Ed). Sustainable use of genetic diversity in forage and turf breeding pp 107-112.

Liley M (2018). Species-rich grasslands, meadows & pastures in Worcestershire. Retrievd March 14 2018 from https://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/sites/default/filesgrasslands_a_landowners_guide_2_0.pdf.

Lin CS, Binns MR (1988). A superiority measure of cultivar performance for cultivar x location data. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 68:193-198.

Mihovski T, Yancheva N (1998). Comparative testing of red clover under the conditions of Central Northern Bulgaria. Journal of Mountain Agriculture on the Balkans 1(3-4):299-302.

Mitev D, Belperchinov K (2000). Ecological plasticity of some meadow associations with participation of red fescue available on the slopes of the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. Productivity and botanical composition of pure stand of red fescue. In: Proceedings of National Conference "Achievements in the Field of Agrarian and Social Sciences". Stara Zagora, Bulgaria pp 143-154.

Poschlod P, Bonn S (1998). Changing dispersal processes in the central European landscape since the last ice age: an explanation for the actual decrease of plant species richness in different habitats? Acta Botanica Neerlandica 47:27-44.

Shi S, Nan L, Smith KF (2017). The current status, problems, and prospects of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) breeding in China. Agronomy 7(1) doi:10.3390/agronomy7010001.

Stoyanov V (2013). Bulletin 46 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Improvement and maintenance of natural grasslands and meadows, pp 1-22, http: //www. Mzh .government. bg / odz-stzagora /Libraries /% D0%91%D1%8E%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B8/46_bul.sflb.ashx.

Terziev V (2007). Plant science. Grasslands and meadows. Academic Press of AU, 1st ed, Plovdiv.

Valchinkov S (1990). Method for ranking genotypes with relatively high and stable yield. Scientific Reports of AU-Plovdiv 4:161-165.

Veronesi F, Brummer EC, Huyghe C (2010). Alfalfa. In: Boller B, Posselt UK, Veronesi F (Eds). Fodder crops and amenity grasses. Series: Handbook of Plant Breeding. Springer, New York, USA pp 395-437.

Walker KJ, Stevens PA, Stevens DP, Mountford JO, Manchester SJ, Pywell RF (2004). The restoration and re-creation of species-rich lowland grassland on land formerly managed for intensive agriculture in the UK. Biological Conservation 119:1-18.

Yan W (2002). Singular-value partitioning in biplot analysis of multienvironment trial data. Agronomy Journal 94:990-996.

Yan W, Holland J (2010). A heritability-adjusted GGE biplot for test environment evaluation. Euphytica 171:355-369.

Zeinab MA, Azzam CR, Abd El-Rahman SS (2014). Evaluation of ten alfalfa populations for forage yield, protein content, susceptibility to seedling damping-off disease and associated biochemical markers with levels of resistance. Journal of American Science 10(7):73-85.

How to Cite
GEORGIEVA, N. A., KOSEV, V., & MITEV, D. (2018). Evaluation of Alfalfa Swards in the Conditions of Middle Balkan Mountains. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 10(2), 259-264. https://doi.org/10.15835/nsb10210324
Research articles
DOI: 10.15835/nsb10210324