Original Articles

Effect of intensity of defoliation by goats at different phenophases on leaf and shoot growth of acacia karroo hayne


Abstract

Defoliation by goats (leaves plus shoots) during the growing phenophases resulted in a considerable stimulation of leaf and shoot growth relative to non‐defoliated plants. The response differed considerably depending on the intensity and phenophase of defoliation. Plants were most susceptible to defoliation and young shoot removal during the spring flush when carbohydrate levels were at their lowest. During the rest of the growing season carbohydrate levels were high. At these times moderate to heavy (50 % to 75 % leaf removal) defoliations resulted in the greatest leaf and shoot growth.

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