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African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Defoliation effects of perennial grasses – continuing confusion

Barnes DL

Abstract


Although an adequate knowledge of growth patterns and defoliation effects in perennial grasses is a prerequisite for the rational use of veld and pastures for animal production, our knowledge of this subject is far from adequate. The results of various physiological and clipping studies on tropical and sub-tropical grasses are appraised and their weaknesses in providing information applicable in practical management are indicated. It is suggested that there is a need for increased emphasis on studies of growth patterns and defoliation effects giving priority to (a) defining and evaluating the extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting differential responses to similar defoliation treatments in different circumstances, (b) varying defoliation treatments with practical bias, and (c) determining actual defoliation patterns under

Keywords: defoliations|perennial grasses|grasses|growth patterns|veld|pastures|animal production|physiological condition|clipping studies|management|growth|analyses|intrinsic mechanisms|responses|treatments




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