Research Note

Growth and tiller production of Themeda triandra as affected by NPK fertilisation

Published in: African Journal of Range & Forage Science
Volume 31, issue 3, 2014, pages: 229–232
DOI: 10.2989/10220119.2014.899272
Author(s): Justin CO du ToitGrootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, South Africa

Abstract

Themeda triandra Forssk. is a common perennial grass in southern African grasslands that tolerates low nutrient soils. Establishment of the species into degraded or transformed areas is difficult, but there have been some advances with clonal propagation using tillers. To generate propagules (tillers), tiller production of plants must be maximised. This research focused on the growth response of T. triandra to fertilisation with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) each at three levels in a fully factorial pot experiment. Fertilisation increased growth. The number of tillers and aerial shoot mass were controlled by an N × P interaction, and total mass and root mass were controlled by N and by P, with N having a larger effect. Mass per tiller was not related to treatment. Shoot:root ratio and root mass per tiller were controlled by N. Potassium had no effect on any response. For maximum tiller production of T. triandra, plants should be fertilised with high levels of N and P.

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