Print version ISSN 0103-9016
SAVIAN, Taciana Villela and MUNIZ, Joel Augusto. A study of in situ degradability: heterogeneity of variances and correlated errors. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2007, vol.64, n.5, pp. 548-554. ISSN 0103-9016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162007000500013.
Degradation models exhibit a non-linear behavior and the selection of a model to describe the degradability depends on the coherence of the model with the involved biological events. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the behavior of the parameters of the degradation model proposed by Mertens & Loften, adjusted to the results of an in situ degradability trial. The experiment evaluated the potential degradable residue of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) of coastcross grass (Cynodon dactylon × Cynodon nlemfuensis) submitted to two cutting ages (30 and 90 days), with three replicates. For each cutting age, the potentially degradable residue of NDF was studied using fifteen incubation times (0; 0,5; 1; 3; 6; 9; 12; 18; 34; 35; 48; 56; 72; 96 e 120 hours). The experimental unit comprised one non-lactating cow with a permanent ruminal fistula. Mean and individual adjustments were obtained for the animals in three different configurations: inverse variance weight without autoregressive errors; unweighted with autoregressive errors, and unweighted without autoregressive errors. Variances of parameter estimators were also obtained by means of the mean parameter covariance matrix, providing expressions for the estimation of the confidence age for the parameters of the model. A weighting of the model by the inverse variance resulted in estimates statistically equal to zero for the colonization time. The use of a structure of second order autoregressive errors improved the fit of the model of Mertens & Loften, providing more precise estimates of the parameters.
Keywords : ruminal degradability; non-linear regression; parameters estimation; coast-cross grass.