The root system (pre and post grazing) characteristics of aruanagrass and tanzaniagrass under two nitrogen rates (150 and 300 kg ha-1 N year) grazed by sheep in variable rotational stocking (three to seven grazing days) and variable rest period were evaluated in this study. The treatments were assigned to a complete randomized block (two) design with two replicates (plots = grasses and split-plots = nitrogen rates)within repeated measures. In the pre-grazing tanzaniagrass, averages within nitrogen rates and grazing period showed higher amount of dry matter of organic matter (DMOM) (1.7 mg cm-3 of soil) than aruanagrass (1.2 mg cm-3 of soil) and greater root length (119.1 cm cm-3 of soil x 68.7 cm cm-3 of soil). The 300 kg ha-1 N rate contributed to a higher root system length (107.1 cm cm-3 of soil) than the 150 kg ha-1 N rate (80.7 cm cm-3 of soil). Post-grazing root growth showed similar behavior among the variables measured and was more evident after the second regrowth week. Considering averages within grasses, nitrogen rates and growth age, in the period equivalent to Autumn/Winter, the DMOM growth root was of 3.9 mg 100 cm-3, increased by 12.9 mg 100 cm-3 in Winter, decreased by 4.7 mg 100 cm-3 from Winter to Spring, and increased by 17 mg 100 cm-3 on Summer. Similar behavior for both root length and surface was observed, when the periods with higher growth coincided with the ones with higher rainfall. The 150 kg ha-1 N rate promoted higher length and surface than the 300 kg ha-1 N in the periods with higher rainfall.
nitrogen fertilization; Panicum maximum; root system