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Association of forage tropical grasses in pastures: root mass, growth and distribution, morphogenetic characteristics and herbage accumulation dynamics

Grant number: 19/26542-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Pastures and Forage Crops
Principal researcher:Sila Carneiro da Silva
Grantee:Alex Marciano dos Santos Silva
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


The association of forage grasses of contrasting and complementary functional groups may be an interesting alternative to decrease intra-annual variations in herbage production as well as contributing to the biodiversity and multifunctionality of pastoral ecosystems. However, the existing knowledge and information is mostly related to temperate forage grasses or grass x legume associations, with scarce information regarding the association of tropical perennial forage grasses. The objective of this project is to evaluate root mass, growth and distribution, morphogenetic characteristics and herbage accumulation dynamics of tropical perennial forage grasses, with complementary growth and development strategies, cultivated in association and in monocultures. The experiment will be carried out at ESALQ/USP, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil, from March 2020 to April 2022, and will be one of a series experiments to be performed concurrently by doctorate degree students involved in the study. Experimental treatments will correspond to three tropical forage grasses (Andropogon gayanus cv. Planaltina, Brachiaria brizantha cv. BRS Piatã and Panicum maximum cv. Massai) cultivated in monoculture and in association (the three species in equal proportions based on the number of viable seeds). Treatments will be allocated to experimental units (180 m2 paddocks) according to a randomized complete block design, with four replications. All pastures (monocultures and association) will be managed under rotational grazing using the pre-grazing target height target of 35 cm and the post-grazing target height target equivalent to 50% of the pre-grazing height. The data will be analyzed using the PROC MIXED of the SAS® 9.4 statistical package and, when appropriate, means comparison will be made using Student's "T" Test with P<0.05. (AU)

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