Tillering dynamics in massai grass fertilized with nitrogen and grazed by sheep
Keywords:Nitrogen fertilization, Panicum maximum x P. infestum, Tillering stability index, Tiller survival rate
To evaluate the tillering dynamics of massai grass under rotational sheep stocking and fertilized with nitrogen (control - 0; 400; 800 and 1200 kg ha-1 year-1), this study was carried out, in a completely randomized design with repeated measures over time. The mob-grazing technique was applied to perform the grazing by employing groups of animals for rapid defoliation. The tiller appearance, survival and mortality rates, tiller biomass, and green/dead tillers ratio, have presented increase responses to nitrogen levels, with the three rates and the tiller biomass varying between evaluation periods. There was a quadratic response for the tiller flowering rate, population density of vegetative and reproductive tillers, reaching maximum values (0.051 tiller 100 tiller-1 day-1; 4,818 and 35 tillers m-2, respectively) under the nitrogen levels of 613.5; 993.5 and 623.9 kg ha-1 year-1, respectively. For the tiller flowering rate and population density of reproductive tillers, it was verified a fluctuation between periods. The nitrogen fertilization promotes positive changes in tillering dynamics of massai grass, allowing the use of up to 800 kg ha-1 year-1 for maintaining the pasture stability. The tillering demography of the forage had varied little between assessment periods.
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Copyright (c) 2016 Marcos Neves Lopes, Magno José Duarte Cândido, Roberto Cláudio Fernandes Franco Pompeu, Rodrigo Gregório da Silva, Luiz Barreto Morais Neto, Maria Socorro de Souza Carneiro
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