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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290

Abstract

BARRO, Raquel Santiago et al. Forage yield and nitrogen nutrition dynamics of warm-season native forage genotypes under two shading levels and in full sunlight. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.7, pp. 1589-1597. ISSN 1806-9290.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000700006.

The successful achievement of a highly productive understorey pasture in silvopastoral systems depends on the use of well-adapted forage genotypes, showing good agronomic performance and persistence under shading and grazing. In this study, the herbage dry matter yield (DMY) and nitrogen nutrition dynamics were determined in three native warm-season grasses (Paspalum regnellii, Paspalum dilatatum and Paspalum notatum) and a forage legume (Arachis pintoi) under two shading levels compared with full sun. The experiment was conducted in the Campanha region, Bagé, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, during two evaluation cycles (2008/2009 and 2009/2010). Three shade cloth levels (0%, 50% and 80% of light restriction) were applied to the forage genotypes in a split plot design, in which shading levels were the main plot and forage genotypes were the subplots, with three replications. P. regnellii showed the highest accumulated DMY (1500 and 1700 g m-2, respectively, for the first and second evaluation cycles) at all shading levels and showed no DMY decreased under the heavy shade (80%). Average DMY over the four genotypes under the 50% shade level was higher or equal compared with full sun. Influence of rainfall was observed on the DMY performance of all genotypes: the positive effect of moderate shading (50%) on P. dilatatum and P. notatum DMY was associated to a low soil water availability status. Increased shading level resulted in high nitrogen nutrition index values on grasses, in comparison with full sun. All genotypes performed well under the moderate shading level, but the DMY of both P. regnellii and P. dilatatum and the herbage N content in P. notatum and A. pintoi of all genotypes stood out, showing that those main genotypes are promising to grow in silvopastoral systems at the Campanha region in southern Brazil.

Keywords : Arachis pintoi; artificial shade; nitrogen status; Paspalum sp.; silvopastoral system; warm-season pasture.

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