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Comparative ecophysiology of temperate and tropical forage grasses and legumes: methodological, functional and applied aspects

Abstract

This proposal aims at obtaining funds to bring Dr Gilles Lemaire, from Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Lusignan, France, to Brazil as a visiting researcher for a period of collaborative work and discussions. Dr Lemaire is a well known leading international scientist with expertise in forage plants morphogenesis and pasture agronomy. Since 1996 the pastoral group from ESALQ is working on the evaluation and study of the comparative ecophysiology of tropical and temperate forage grasses in cooperation with researchers from Massey University, New Zealand, particularly Professor John Hodgson and Dr Cory Matthew. They came to Brazil in 1999 (FAPESP 1999/04390-9 (John Hodgson) and 1999/04476-0 (Cory Matthew)) and 2001 (FAPESP 2001/04024-4 (John Hodgson)) sponsored by FAPESP. In 2005 the proponent of this bid went to Massey University, New Zealand, from July 2005 to January 2006, sponsored by CNPq (Protocol 200678/2005-1) to develop activities related to data analysis, preparation of scientific manuscripts for publication and planning of future research work in the same area. Data had been collected in experiments carried out in Brazil with Panicum maximum cv. Mombaça, and Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu (subjected to intensities of continuous stocking), both part of a series of projects of masterate and doctorate students of the Animal Science Graduate Programme of ESALQ. These projects were jointly planned, carried out and managed between the ESALQ and Massey University teams, and had two doctorate students, one from each series, spending some time in New Zealand under the supervision of Professor Hodgson and Dr. Cory Matthew as part of a sandwich programme. After that other projects have been carried out with Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu (under intermittent stocking and continuous stocking with nitrogen fertilization rates), Panicum maximum cv. Tanzânia (intermittent stocking), Mulato Palisade Grass (intermittent stocking), Pennisetum purpureum Schum. cv. Napier (intermittent stocking) and, more recently, Arachis pintoi cv. Belmonte (under intensities of continuous stocking), all sponsored by FAPESP, CNPq and CAPES (scholarships and money grants) (see Lattes CV of the proponent). In 2008 a doctorate student, sponsored by FAPESP (Protocol 2007/55213-8; Vitor Del'Alamo Guarda), worked under the supervision of Dr Gilles Lemaire in France using data from his doctorate programme (frequency and severity of defoliation and selectivity in B. brizantha cv. Marandu undr continuous stocking subjected to rates of nitrogen fertilization). This first contact helped to formalize the interaction between the ESALQ and INRA groups, and promote knowledge of the research work been carried out at ESALQ. In March 2011 Dr Lemaire visited ESALQ from March 14 to 18, and met and interacted with all the participants of the research group as well as other students, staff and researchers from other universities and research institutes. He was impressed with the outcome of the visit and agreed to interact with the ESALQ group for discussing and improving research plans being conceived and carried out, a condition that resulted in this bid for funding for bringing him to Brazil. (AU)

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