Grassland provides the forage basis to feed ruminant animals for the production of meat and milk ever since their domestication. With the introduction of improved crop rotations at the end of the sixteenth century, grasses and legumes began to be also grown to an important extent as forage crops on arable land. In the last decades the importance of amenity grasses increased markedly, due to the demand of the society for new usages like landscape protection. Some milestones in forage crop breeding since its beginning around 1900 were the invention of the polycross leading to the replacement of open pollinated varieties by synthetic varieties, progeny testing, breeding of amenity grasses, induction of tetraploidy in the ryegrasses and red clover, and the introduction and application of molecular tools. The invention of the forage plot harvester, computers, NIRS and other new technologies have led to a tremendous increase in breeding intensity. The aim of "Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses", the fifth volume in the book series "Handbook of Plant Breeding", is to collect current knowledge in breeding research to serve breeders as well as researchers, students, but also their academic teachers. It may be regarded as a scientific knowledge platform which provides practical plant breeders with new scientific information, but also to make molecular biologists more familiar with the peculiarities of breeding the various species of fodder crops and amenity grasses. Because forage crops have many topics in common and to avoid redundancy, the volume starts with 9 general chapters devoted to: the role of forage crops in multifunctional agriculture, genetic resources, breeding methodology, molecular tools, breeding objectives in forages as well as amenity grasses, breeding for seed yield, variety testing and release, and an outlook into the future. The second part comprises the 9 most important groups of temperate species among the grasses, clovers and alfalfa. The chapters have been written by outstanding breeders and scientists with wide experience in their crops and topics.