The zinc (Zn) requirements of subterranean clover (Trifolium subteraneaum L.) are well known for the predominantly marginally acidic to neutral sandy soils of southwestern Australia, but the Zn requirements of French serradella (Ornithopus sativus Brot.) and biserrula (Biserrula pelecinus L.), now also grown on these soils, is not known and were investigated in a glasshouse pot experiment. Soil was collected from field plots never treated with Zn or treated once only with 0.5 and 1.0 kg Zn/ha as Zn oxide either in 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, or 2000. In the pot experiment, six levels of Zn were freshly-applied to samples of soil collected from each Zn treatment of the field experiment, and pots were sown either with subterranean clover cv. 'Dalkeith', French serradella cv. 'Margurita', or biserrula cv. 'Casbah'. The pasture species were defoliated by cutting pasture herbage 3 cm above the soil surface for up to 4 consecutive defoliations. The approximate linear relationship between the level of freshly-applied Zn in the pot experiment required to produce 90% of the maximum yield of dried defoliated herbage (y-axis) and the number of years since Zn was applied in the field (x-axis) was used to project the number of years it took for the 0.5 or 1.0 kg Zn/ha treatments applied in the field to require the same level of freshly-applied Zn to produce 90% of the maximum yield of the nil-Zn treatment in the field. This was 18-19 years for the 0.5 kg Zn/ha treatment and 32-35 years for the 1.0 kg Zn/ha treatment. The range in values was due to differences between legume species and the defoliation treatments, which were not significant. When yields were measured, samples of young growth (YG) were separated from the rest of the defoliated herbage (ROH) and the concentration of Zn in YG and ROH was measured. The concentration of Zn in YG that was related to 90% of the maximum yield of defoliated dried herbage (critical tissue test value) was (mg/kg) 13 for subterranean clover, 17 for French serradella, and 19 for biserrula; respective critical tissue test values for ROH were 19, 24, and 21 mg/kg. The approximate linear relationship between critical Zn concentration in YG (y-axis) and the number of years since Zn was applied in the field (x-axis) was used to project the number of years it took for the 0.5 and 1.0 kg Zn/ha levels applied in the field to reach the same critical tissue test value as the nil-Zn treatment of the field experiment. This was 17-20 years for the 0.5 kg Zn/ha treatment and 31-37 years for the 1.0 kg/ha treatment, which was similar to the 18-19 and 32-35 years projected using yield data.Before sowing the legumes in the pot study soil samples were collected to measure soil test Zn using the DTPA procedure. The critical DTPA soil test Zn, the soil test value that was related to 90% of the maximum yield of defoliated dried herbage, was about 0.20 mg Zn/kg for the 3 pasture legume species and all Zn treatments in the field and pot studies.