Botanical Composition, Light Interception, and Carbohydrate Reserve Status of Grazed ‘Florakirk’ Bermudagrass
- Carlos G.S. Pedreiraa,
- Lynn E. Sollenberger *b and
- Paul Mislevyc
- a Depto. de Producao Animal, Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz,” Univ. de São Paulo (ESALQ-USP), Caixa Postal 9, Piracicaba, SP 13418-900, São Paulo, Brazil
b Agronomy Dep., P.O. Box 110300, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0300 USA
c Range Cattle Res. & Educ. Ctr., Univ. of Florida, Ona, FL, 33865 USA
‘Florakirk’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is a new cultivar that has persisted well under grazing in the warmest parts of the southeastern USA. Data are lacking on persistence-related responses from areas of the South where frosts and freezes occur more frequently. In 1993 and 1994, the effect of grazing management on pasture botanical composition, light interception, and reserve status was studied on a sandy, siliceous, hyperthermic Ultic Haplaquod. Treatments were replicated twice in a randomized block design and consisted of all combinations of three lengths of rest period (7, 21, and 35 d) and three postgraze stubble heights (8, 16, and 24 cm). Percentage of Florakirk in herbage mass was 96 or greater and was not affected by grazing treatment. Postgraze light interception was affected only by stubble height; it was as low as 22% for stubble height of 8 cm and 78% or greater when stubble height was 24 cm. Close, frequent grazing had no apparent detrimental effect on Florakirk persistence after 2 yr. The total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) pool in rhizomes plus stem bases declined with increasing stubble height in both years (96 to 68 g m−2 in 1993, and 44 to 27 g m−2 in 1994). Lower rhizome TNC pools in 1994 than in 1993 were not associated with reduced herbage accumulation or vigor. Results from 2 yr of grazing suggest that Florakirk persists under a range of rotational stocking treatments, so grazing management decisions can be based primarily on productivity and nutritive value considerations.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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