Tillering dynamics in massai grass fertilized with nitrogen and grazed by sheep


  • Marcos Neves Lopes Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Magno José Duarte Cândido Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Roberto Cláudio Fernandes Franco Pompeu Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos
  • Rodrigo Gregório da Silva Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Ceará
  • Luiz Barreto Morais Neto Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Maria Socorro de Souza Carneiro Universidade Federal do Ceará




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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How to Cite

LOPES, M.N., CÂNDIDO, M.J.D., POMPEU, R.C.F.F., SILVA, R.G. da, MORAIS NETO, L.B. and CARNEIRO, M.S. de S., 2016. Tillering dynamics in massai grass fertilized with nitrogen and grazed by sheep . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 446–454. [Accessed20 April 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v32n2a2016-26106. Available from: https://seer.ufu.br/index.php/biosciencejournal/article/view/26106.



Agricultural Sciences