Original Articles

Defoliation effects on perennial grasses — continuing confusion

DOI: 10.1080/00725560.1972.9648683
Author(s): D. L. BarnesDepartment of Research and Specialist Services, Rhodesia


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 subtropical 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 response to similar defoliation treatments in different circumstances, (b) applying defoliation treatments with a practical bias, and (c) determining actual defoliation patterns under grazing.

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