In annual pastures utilized for grazing, the amount and quality of the standing dry matter in the dry season is of importance for the performance of the animals. Often both characteristics decline at the end of the green season. It is shown, that dispersal of the reproductive structures of the vegetation may be the main reason for this phenomenon. Determination of the reproductive effort of the annuals indicates that the proportion of their total production invested in reproductive tissue may be as high as that of cultivated species. It is shown that the harvest index (or seed ratio) of annual species is closely related to nutrient (mainly nitrogen) transfer from vegetative organs to the reproductive organs in the period between flowering and maturity, when in most cases, additional uptake of nitrogen from the soil is negligible. The effect of environmental and genetic effects on these processes is discussed
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