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SCHEFFER-BASSO, Simone Meredith; JACQUES, Aino Victor Ávila and DALL' AGNOL, Miguel. Biomass allocation and morphophysiological correlations in forage legumes with contrating growth habits. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2002, vol.59, n.4, pp. 629-634. ISSN 0103-9016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162002000400002.
The biomass allocation analysis and the correlation among morphophysiological variables allow greater understanding of the establishment, yield and persistence of perennial species in plant breeding projects, management and ecology of forage plants. To analyze the biomass allocation of forage legumes (Adesmia latifolia, A. punctata, A. tristis, Lotus corniculatus, L. uliginosus), an experiment was carried out under greenhouse conditions for 210 days (4000 degree-days); the plants were cultivated in 1 m2 wooden boxes. Plants were harvested to evaluate the morphological components and to describe their growth habit. The root, stem and leaf biomass allocations were expressed as dry mass percentages. The greatest allocation on leaves occurred for stoloniferous species, A. latifolia (63.5%) and A. punctata (61.4%), which presented the smallest allocation for roots, 10.9 and 14.7%, respectively. Largest stem biomass allocation (39.4%) and roots (24.4%) were found for L. uliginosus, a species with rhizomes. The leaf area index (LAI) was positively correlated with the number of leaves, secondary stems and aerial biomass. A. latifolia and Lotus spp. are extreme examples of the relative importance of morphological components in the formation of LAI and biomass. The accumulation pattern and forage allocation of stoloniferous legumes are mainly characterized by leaf production, pointing out the importance of stolon elongation and rooting, while for A. tristis and Lotus spp., the stem and root fractions had the same importance.
Keywords : Adesmia; Lotus; leaf area index.