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Extra resources for Agronomy of Grassland Systems
An alternative perspective taken by Zhu & Zu ("ñðñ) was to classify the grassland systems of eastern and central Asia according to a series of factors that included temperature, annual precipitation, grassland type and dominant grazing animals (Fig. å). The diversity of grasslands around the world and the recent intensi¢cation of our use of them have been reviewed by Barnard & Frankel ("ñåå). In the northern hemisphere most of the grasslands are in cool temperate climates; in the southern hemisphere the greatest area is occupied by the savanna grasslands in the wet-and-dry tropics of Africa, South America and Australia (Fig.
Trifolium subterraneum. g. capeweed, Arctotheca calendula, from South Africa). As these species spread, farmers found paradoxically that they became both a weed in the crops, but also a source of animal feed after the crop had been harvested or during the non-cropping years. This made it possible to plough out more of the perennial native pasture. ã). Farmers began to collect seed and sow this plant. Strains or varieties became recognized. This legume became the focus of research attention and many limitations to its widespread use were removed by what were, at the time, exciting and innovative research programmes (Chapter å).
The infant colony needed to become self-supporting. Wool production from Merino sheep proved to be the panacea, and even today it constitutes a large percentage of Australia's export income. The grassland vegetation was dominated by summer growing perennial grasses such as Kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra). These grasses of course had evolved under a regime of ¢re, both accidentally started by lightening and deliberately by the indigenous Australians, as well as grazing by softfooted marsupial herbivores such as the kangaroo.