In an article entitled, “A novel grass hybrid to reduce flood generation in temperate regions,” published in Scientific Reports on Friday, the 25th April, Christopher (Kit) J. A. Macleod and eleven of his associates affiliated to six well-known UK Biology institutes have reported the results of their intensive research of a hybrid which they obtained from the cross, Lolium perenne and a grass stress-resistant species, meadow fescue Festuca pratensis. They have designated the hybrid, Festulolium derived by combining ‘Festu’ from Festuca and the generic name Lolium
In a two-year experimental period they have demonstrated that the hybrid can reduce runoff during precipitation by 51% compared to 43% – the recommended F. pratensis cultivar. They have further observed that the initial root growth of the hybrid is significantly greater than that of either of the parents accounting for its superior performance better than the recommended leading UK variety of F. pratensis. Another compelling reason for its superior performance is its ability for rapid root senescence at a greater soil depth. Strong evidence is presented to show that the reduced runoff from the Festulolium cultivar was mainly due to two reasons: 1) intense initial root growth and thereafter 2) rapid senescence after the root establishes itself deep into the soil..