Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
MONTAGNER, Denise Baptaglin et al. Morphogenetic and structural characteristics of tillers of guinea grass of different age and grazing severities. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.10, pp. 2105-2110. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982011001000006.
The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of tiller age on morphogenic and structural characteristics of guinea grass cv. Mombaca subjected to intermittent stocking and three stubble heights: 30 cm, 50 cm and 50-30 cm. Stubble heights were assigned to experimental units in a completely randomized block design with three replicates. Grazing was performed when canopy intercepted 95% of light incidence. Leaf appearance rate, leaf elongation rate and number of live leaves per tiller were higher in the summer when compared with the winter. Contrarily, stem elongation rate, phyllochron and leaf lifespan were lower in the summer when compared with the winter. During the summer, young tillers had higher leaf appearance and elongation rates when compared with the older ones. Young and mature tillers had the highest values of live leaves per tiller in the summer. There was no difference between summer and winter for the final length of leaf blade between tillers of the same age, except in mature tillers, which had higher final leaf length during the summer. Senescence rate of leaves was higher in young tillers, followed by mature and old tillers. Age of tiller affects morphogenic and structural characteristics of pasture, showing that young tillers have better growth compared with mature and old tillers
Keywords : ecophysiology; light interception; Panicum maximum; stubble height.