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Persistence of seven forage legumes under three grazing regimes

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Persistence of seven forage legumes under three grazing regimes
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Muir, James Pierre, 1958-
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English
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xiv, 150 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Autumn ( jstor )
Cattle ( jstor )
Grasses ( jstor )
Grazing ( jstor )
Legumes ( jstor )
Nitrogen ( jstor )
Pastures ( jstor )
Plant roots ( jstor )
Species ( jstor )
Stocking rate ( jstor )
City of Gainesville ( local )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1989.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 140-148).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
General Note:
Includes abstract.
Statement of Responsibility:
by James Pierre Muir.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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PERSISTENCE OF SEVEN FORAGE LEGUMES UNDER
THREE GRAZING REGIMES













By

JAMES PIERRE MUIR


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1989















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


There are, I am certain, many more constructive ways

for a university researcher to further his or her career

than to sacrifice the thousands of hours needed to guide a

disciple through the tortuous paths of graduate research.

Nevertheless, Dr. W. D. (Buddy) Pitman has been willing to

invest that time in this work. I am grateful for that

sacrifice and hope that his satisfaction will come as I, his

student, fulfill the scientific and professional

expectations which he has consciously and subconsciously set

for me.

I owe many thanks to Dr. Ken Quesenberry as well. His

efforts not just in reviewing the work presented herein but

in preparing me academically for this exercise have been

invaluable. His wry humor in times of stress and

admonishing prods when energies flagged made the goal

attainable.

I believe that no three people so fully incorporate

what I wish to accomplish in agriculture as do the remaining

three reviewers of this text. Drs. George Tanner, Joseph

Conrad and Loy Crowder provided me with not simply the

direction of committee members or the instruction of









classroom teachers but with symbols of what agricultural

researchers should strive for. My thanks go to them for

their contributions to this work as well as their

inspiration to my career.

I cannot forget the periodic revitalization I have

received over the past five years from my two co-

conspirators, Graham Knox and Steve Calhoun. By hook and by

net they managed to keep my spirit and my mind together as

we all became agronomists.

What is a person's career and professional

accomplishments without the reassuring stability of a

family? Although my wife Kaycie did not write a chapter and

my son Petie was not allowed to scribble a crayon marking on

this manuscript, their imprint is there. Put simply,

without them, the efforts invested in this dissertation

would have been without meaning. Although sacrifices were

made in terms of time spent together as a family, I can say

with full confidence that they have been, and always will

be, far more important to me than any professional endeavors

I should undertake on behalf of my career. I thank them for

being there from the onset to the final crystallization of

this dissertation.


iii

















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . .

LIST OF TABLES . .

LIST OF FIGURES . .

ABSTRACT .

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION .

CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW .

Plant Adaptations to Foraging .
Regrowth Capacity .
Internal Composition .
Availability .
Associated Species .
Growth Habit .

Effects of Direct Grazing on Legume Production


ii

vii

ix


xiii


Methods for Measuring Plant Acceptability

Previous Studies in Tropical Forage Legume
Persistence .
Common Grazing .
Frequency of Defoliation .
Defoliation Intensity .
Put-and-take Management .
Deferred Grazing .

CHAPTER THREE METHODS AND MATERIALS .


. 18


18
S. 19
21
25
S. 29
S. 32

S. 36


Field Study .
Experimental Layout .
Grazing Management .
Persistence Evaluation
Statistical Analysis .

Pot Study .


S 36
S 37
S 39
S 40
S 41











CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS .

Field Study .
Height of Perennials, 1987 .
Persistence Within Perennials, 1987-1989
Persistence Among Perennials, 1987-1989
Persistence Within Annuals, 1987-1989 .
Persistence Among Annuals, 1987-1989 .


Pot Study .
Winter Harvest .
Root mass .
Root total non-structural
carbohydrate percent .
Root total non-structural
carbohydrate mass .
Herbage mass .
Herbage nitrogen percent
Herbage nitrogen mass .
Leaf mass .
Leaf-stem ratio .
Flower and pod mass .
Spring Harvest .


Root mass: species X winter harvest
Root mass: autumn clipping X
winter harvest .
Herbage mass: species X
winter harvest .
Herbage mass: autumn clipping X
winter harvest .
Herbage nitrogen percent: species X
autumn clipping .
Herbage nitrogen mass: species X
winter harvest .
Correlations Between Winter and
Spring Factors .

CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION .


Species Persistence under Grazing Management
Aeschynomene americana .
Alysicarpus vaqinalis .
Desmanthus virgatus .
Desmodium heterocarpon .
Galactia elliottii .
Macroptilium lathyroides .
Vigna adenantha .

Factors Affecting Persistence .
Climatic Adaptation .
Moisture Stress .


Page
46


S 81
S 81
S 81

S 85

S 87
S 89
S 92
S 94
S 96
S 99
S 99
S 102


103

103

106

107

107

109

111

114


114
114
116
116
117
118
120
121

122
122
122










Page
Temperature Stress .. 125
Microenvironment .. 127
Management Factors .. 129
Direct influences .. 129
Indirect influences 132

Relationships between Defoliation and
Plant Composition .. 132

CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS .. 135

LITERATURE CITED .. 140

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .. 149















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 Number of subsamples per experimental
unit in the pot study ... 45

2 Plant height means of Alysicarpus vaqinalis
(AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), Galactia
elliottii (GE) and Desmanthus virgatus (DV)
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments during the 1987 growing season .47

3 Height of Alysicarpus vaqinalis (AV)
Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), Galactia
elliottii (GE) and Desmanthus virgatus (DV)
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
in December 1987 as a percent of ungrazed
plots .... 56

4 Mean percent survival comparison within
and among perennials Alysicarpus
vaqinalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Galactia elliottii (GE), Desmanthus virgatus
(DV), and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments using May 1987 as
a base date ... .58

5 Mean percent survival comparison within and
among Macroptilium lathyroides (ML) and
Aeschvnomene americana (AA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments using May 1987 as
a base date ...... .. 75

6 Mean root mass, root total non-
structural carbohydrate (TNC) percent and
root TNC mass of Galactia elliottii,
Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus
virgatus following autumn clipping
treatments ... 82


vii









Table Page

7 Mean herbage mass, herbage nitrogen percent
and herbage nitrogen mass of
Galactia elliottii, Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus virgatus following autumn
clipping treatments ... 90

8 Mean leaf mass, leaf-stem ratio and flower
and legume mass of Galactia elliottii,
Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus
virgatus following autumn clipping
treatments .... .. 98

9 Mean root mass and herbage mass
of Galactia elliottii, Desmodium
heterocarpon and Desmanthus virgatus
allowed 16 wk recovery following winter
harvest at 3-cm height and an unharvested
control ... 104

10 Mean root mass and herbage mass of
Galactia elliottii, Desmodium
heterocarpon and Desmanthus virqatus allowed
16 wk recovery after superimposing a winter
harvest at 3-cm height and an unharvested
control on autumn clipping treatments 105

11 Mean herbage nitrogen percent of
Galactia elliottii, Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus virgatus allowed 16 wk
recovery following autumn clipping
treatments ... 108

12 Mean herbage nitrogen mass of Galactia
elliottii, Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus virgatus allowed 16 wk
recovery after being submitted to a winter
harvest at 3-cm height and an unharvested
control . 110

13 Correlation between pre-winter root and
root total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC)
mass with post-winter herbage mass and
herbage nitrogen mass in three forage
legumes allowed 16 wk recovery after being
subjected to three autumn clipping
treatments and winter harvested at 3-cm
heights . 112


viii















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure Page

1 Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Alysicarpus vaginalis (A.V.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 ... .49

2 Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 ... .50

3 Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Desmanthus virgatus (D.V.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 ... .52

4 Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Galactia elliottii (G.E.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 .. 53

5 Mean percent height remaining in spring/
summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F)
grazed plots of Alysicarpus vaginalis (A.V.),
Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.), Desmanthus
virgatus (D.V.) and Galactia elliottii
(G.E.) compared to ungrazed plots on
December 1987 .. 55

6 Mean percent persistence of Alysicarpus
vaginalis starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments ... 59

7 Mean percent persistence of Desmodium
heterocarpon starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments .. 61











8 Mean percent persistence of Desmanthus
virgatus starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments ... 62

9 Mean percent persistence of Galactia
elliottii starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments ... 64

10 Mean percent persistence of Vigna
adenantha starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments ... 66

11 Mean persistence of perennials Alysicarpus
vaginalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1987
using May 1987 as a base date 68

12 Mean persistence of perennials Alysicarpus
vaginalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1988
using May 1987 as a base date 69

13 Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathyroides starting 22 May 1987, under
zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments .. 76

14 Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathyroides (ML) and Aeschynomene americana
(AA) on December 1987 and December 1988
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments using May 1987 as a base 78

15 Mean percent persistence of Aeschynomene
americana starting 22 May 1987, under
zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments . 79


Figure


Page











16 Mean root mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments ... .84

17 Mean root total non-structural carbohydrate
(TNC) percent of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments ... .86

18 Mean root total non-structural carbohydrate
(TNC) mass of Galactia elliottii
'(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments ... .88

19 Mean herbage mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments ... .91

20 Mean herbage nitrogen percent of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH)
and Desmanthus virqatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments ... .93

21 Mean herbage nitrogen mass of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH)
and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments .. 95

22 Mean leaf mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments ... .97

23 Mean leaf-stem of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virqatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments .. 100


Figure


Page











24 Mean seed and pod mass of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH)
and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments .. 101


xii


Figure


Page















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

PERSISTENCE OF SEVEN FORAGE LEGUMES
UNDER THREE GRAZING REGIMES

By

JAMES PIERRE MUIR

August 1989

Chairman: William D. Pitman
Cochairman: Kenneth H. Quesenberry
Major Department: Agronomy



A degraded flatwoods pasture at Ona, Florida, was

planted in 1986 with strips of Aeschvnomene americana L.,

Alysicarpus vaginalis D.C., Vigna adenantha (G. F. Meyer)

Marechal, Macherpa and Stainier, Desmodium heterocarpon (L.)

D.C. cv. Florida, Galactia elliottii Nuttal., Macroptilium

lathyroides (L.) Urb. and Desmanthus virgatus (L.), Willd.

Late spring through summer (S/S) grazing, late spring

through fall (S/S/F) grazing and ungrazed treatments were

imposed during 1987 and 1988. Grazing pressure was 2.2

yearling heifers per ha in the summer, 1.2 yearling heifers

per ha during the fall. Plant heights of the four upright-

growing perennials were measured during 1987 and plant


xiii









population survival using May 1987 numbers as a base were

taken during 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Height measurements indicated that D. virgatus,

Galactia elliottii, Desmodium heterocarpon and Alysicarpus

vaqinalis in the two grazed treatments had reduced plant

heights by June. Differentiation between all treatments was

apparent in the last two species by mid-December.

Despite high persistence of A. vaqinalis and Desmodium

heterocarpon in May 1988, populations declined by May 1989.

Desmanthus virgatus and Viqna adenantha had persistence

values near 25% for the S/S treatment May 1989. Galactia

elliottii, in May 1989, had the highest persistence of all

entries with no differences between the grazed treatments.

A fall clipping trial indicated that Desmodium

heterocarpon invested in seed production when not clipped.

Desmanthus virgatus partitioned photosynthate to both

herbage and roots while unclipped Galactia elliottii showed

a marked increase in root mass and root non-structural

carbohydrate but not effect on herbage production.

Aeschynomene americana, Macroptilium lathyroides and

Desmanthus virgatus persistence mechanisms included

unpalatable stem and seed production. Vigna adenantha

survived through rapid regrowth, Galactia elliottii by

storing nutrient reserves for early spring growth, while

Alysicarpus vaqinalis and Desmodium heterocarpon survived

via prostrate growth and seed production.


xiv















CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION



Grazing and browsing animals have had a large influence

on the evolution of many plants from which they derive

sustenance. Depending on grazing intensity and/or cycle as

well as other environmental factors which affect herbage

recovery, range and pasture plants have developed

morphological or chemical factors which assist them in

either deterring or surviving predation (Hodgkinson and

Williams, 1983). Some species outgrow these terrestrial

herbivores while others become inconspicuous via decumbent

growth. A few have developed chemicals in the herbage which

discourage ingestion via taste or anti-digestive factors. A

third survival mode makes use of simple regenerative

capacities in which plants acquire the ability to resprout

and regrow faster than neighboring species after being

damaged. In forage science it is this last group which

primarily interests the pasture manager because these plants

are acceptable to herbivores, nutritious and capable of

permanence in the system.

It is natural, then, that these same adaptations in

turn influence the acceptability of the plants as forage to











herbivores. Depending on the feed amount and species

available, harvesting animals will place differing pressures

upon specific species within the area open to ranging. The

rancher who plans to cultivate various legume and grass

species to enhance domesticated animal productivity should

therefore understand which species will be preferentially

selected in forage mixtures and which will not benefit

his/her program by being completely unacceptable to the

animals.

In peninsular Florida very little of this information

is available on tropical forage legumes. Pitman and

Kretschmer (1984) have conducted initial work with a number

of introduced legumes at the Ona Agricultural Research and

Education Center (Ona AREC) encompassing 19 accessions from

17 species as well as 50 entries in a further work (Pitman

et al., 1988). Grazing evaluation of single rows of these

legumes was conducted in Paspalum notatum Flugge swards.

Several species survived the grazing while others were

completely eliminated. Of the survivors, only those for

which seed was available could be studied further in this

experiment. All those which did not survive, however,

should not be excluded from further evaluation. The high

degree of variability and complete lack of persistence of

some legumes (for example Desmanthus virgatus (L.) Willd.,

which was utilized heavily by wildlife) cannot be attributed

solely to climatic or edaphic factors in these studies since











all plants were subjected to dense competition from grasses

and little range in grazing management levels. Under less

competition from grass or with more intense management,

results might well have been different. For example, Pitman

and Kretschmer (1984) reported very erratic establishment of

Viqna adenantha (G.F. Meyer) Marechal, Mascherpa and

Staineir and Vigna parkeri Bak. while under different

management Pitman and Singer (1985) obtained good pasture

coverage from the same species. The question yet to be

answered, therefore, is not only will cattle graze or avoid

species but what grazing management is needed to ensure

proper establishment and maximum persistence while still

maintaining high productivity.

Another aspect of tropical forage legumes which

concerns ranchers in Florida is pasture fertilization needs.

The purpose of the legume component in a grazing system is

to provide improved mineral content, especially nitrogen in

crude protein form. But must plant nutrients be added to

native flatwoods soils to ensure proper establishment and

persistence of these species? Producers, attempting to

economize as much as possible in a financially-strapped

cattle market, would prefer not to invest in fertilizer for

native pastures. Information on which forage legume species

might do well in unfertilized flatwoods pastures with native

grasses is therefore of interest.











Frequently, researchers look at legume persistence in

pastures by varying the stocking rate to which the species

are subjected. Florida, however, with its distinct seasonal

conditions where spring growth is often limited due to low

rainfall, demands additional approaches. Summer growth in

grasslands provides relatively abundant forage while fall

deferment may be needed to allow annual legumes to set seed

and perennial species to store energy for regrowth following

winter frost. The period in which tropical forage legumes

could be of greatest benefit to Florida ranchers is

therefore the so-called "summer slump" of August and

September. During these months herbage is abundant but low

in quality, causing reduced animal weight gains or even loss

despite excess forage (Pitman et al., 1984). One aspect of

this study was therefore centered on evaluating selected

legume species for potential to persist under grazing during

the late spring forage quantity deficit and the summer

forage quality slump.

This study sought to answer several questions pertinent

to forage legumes in South-central Florida:

Objective 1. Of the species which have done well in

initial introduction studies, determine which will persist

under the various grazing regimes selected.

Objective 2. Among those that survive, discern what

mechanisms are involved which allow species to tolerate the









5

various grazing treatments under conditions found in Central

Florida flatwoods.

Objective 3. Determine some of the relationships of

defoliation to plant composition as these relate to regrowth

in selected entries.















CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW



Plant Adaptations to Foraging



Plants may achieve persistence under grazing in various

ways. Although climate, soils, pathogens and insect

herbivory also affect plant survival mechanisms, animal

herbivory has had an extensive effect on plant growth

mechanisms such as reproductive cycles, regrowth

characteristics or internal biochemical composition. In

some more obvious strategies, plants may expand their

populations under herbivory via basal regrowth, prostrate

leaves and stems, well developed root nutrient storage,

rhizome and stolon growth, rapid regeneration from various

non-apical meristimatic tissue following trampling or

defoliation, rapid seeding, seed dormancy, morphological and

biochemical characteristics unfavorable to herbivore

ingestion and digestion, and many other means (Hodgkinson

and Williams, 1983).

Forage expansion via recruitment was reported by many

researchers either through vegetative propagation or

seeding. Vegetative propagation examples include Medicago











sativa L. (Campbell, 1974) and Macroptilium atropurpureum

(D.C.) Urb. (Hodgkinson and Williams, 1983). Jones and

Evans (1977) reported on soil seed reserves which were high

even in such perennials as Lotononis bainesii Baker,

Desmodium intortum (Mill.) Urb. Thell. and Trifolium repens

L. Taylor (1972) reported on several years' seed production

by annual legumes and noted that different cultivars of the

same species produced differing seed amounts under varying

climatic conditions, greatly affecting seedling numbers the

following years. Depending on previous seed crops and

hardseededness, many species survive non-consecutive, poor

seeding seasons according to Hagon (1974).



Regrowth Capacity



Individual plant regeneration after grazing also

contributes to persistence in many species. If associations

are grazed at a time when one component can regrow more

rapidly than another yet both are grazed equally, then that

species which recovers more quickly will likely exhibit

greater dominance. In Florida, Pitman (personal

communication) observed that many tropical legumes continued

to grow further into the fall than did Paspalum notatum.

The advantage which this C-4 grass possesses in superior

growth rates is reduced perhaps due to decreased daylength

or temperatures. In the spring, however, the roles are











reversed when the P. notatum tends to start responding to

warming trends faster than these legumes. Unlike the fall

situation, this difference may be a result of more extensive

fibrous root systems possessed by the grasses which give

them an advantage in this moisture-scarce period. The

normal legume advantage derived from deep taproots does not

exist for many legumes in these spodosol pastures due to

shallow hardpans in the soil.

Regrowth capacity is naturally more related to

hereditary factors, especially when considered across a

broad spectrum of environments. This is usually more

important in perennials, for example Leucaena leucocephala

(Lam.) de Wit (Hodgkinson and Williams, 1983) but can also

be important in annuals or short lived perennials such as

Stylosanthes humilis H.B.K. and Stylosanthes hamata (L.)

Taub. (Gardner, 1981). Differing environments and grazing

situations, of course, would greatly affect how well these

adaptations would serve population survival.



Internal Composition



Plant biochemical factors which deter grazing before it

even occurs are, at times, as important as recovery from

grazing. Forage digestibility has been shown in many cases

to influence passage rate and, therefore, acceptability to

herbivores. This can be easily observed in such









9

characteristics as coarse-stemmed morphologies implying high

fiber contents as Donnelly and Hawkins (1959) saw in

Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don or as Hodges and McCaleb

(1972) reported with Aeschynomene americana L. Often,

however, these characteristics may be only a contributing

factor or may even be masked by other anti-nutritional

factors.

Other less superficially-apparent factors may involve

tannin, which is thought to lower digestibility (Donnelly

and Anthony, 1969 with Lespedeza cuneata), or such compounds

as alkaloids which appeared to be toxic to cattle (Thomas et

al., 1985). The alkaloid content can at times be such a

factor that animals will not eat the legumes at all. Thomas

et al. (1985) observed that in a mixed pasture of Andropogon

gayanus Kunth and Zornia brasiliensis Vog. in Brazil, cattle

grazed so selectively that the pasture was 100% legume after

3 yr. Not even during the dry season when the legume was

the only green material available did cattle eat the high

alkaloid-containing Zornia. There is some suspicion that

the problem in this species may also be related to sulfur

content (Lascano et al., 1981). Thomas et al. (1985)

observed that Calopogonium mucunoides Desv. and Desmodium

ovalifolium Walp. were also thought to have similar

characteristics since, when planted in associations with

grasses, they soon became the dominant component. Middleton

and Mellor (1982) discovered that Calopogonium caeruleum











Hemsl., had similar characteristics. In a pasture with

Panicum maximum Jacq this legume soon became the dominant

species and average daily liveweight gain declined from 0.5

to 0.2 kg head-1 over 2 yr.

Other plant biochemicals may actually attract

herbivory. Crude protein may raise digestibility, for

example with Lespedeza cuneata (Donnelly and Anthony, 1969).

Sugars and soluble carbohydrates may also raise palatability

(Cowlishaw and Alder, 1960) and thereby enhance selection.

There are, however, many studies which indicate that these

correlations do not hold or are at most confusing, a view

Warmke et al. (1952) held after they found no significant

correlation between soluble sugars and palatability in some

tropical legumes.



Availability



Herbage availability of particular forages may be an

important factor in forage selection. Reid (1951) stated

that forage accessibility has considerable influence on

utilization. Both Reid et al. (1967b) and Raymond and

Spedding (1966) pointed out than increased intake of

N-fertilized grasses may occur simply because these are more

abundant that the unfertilized plants. The same may be true

for P- and K-fertilized legumes. Bite size, the amount of

herbage harvested with each bite, may be more important in











these cases then palatability as Clark and Harris (1985)

indicated in their study of white clover spatial

distribution and its relationship to content in sheep

grazing. Other studies, however, indicate no relationship

between yield and grazing preference (for example Warmke et

al., 1952).



Associated Species



If legume preference is the targeted information, the

other legumes and associated grasses in which all are grown

may influence cattle selectivity. Lascano et al. (1981),

when comparing grazing selectivity of Centrosema pubescens

Benth. in Andropogon gayanus, Panimcum maximum and

Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. swards, determined that the

legume was grazed more heavily as grass defoliation

decreased in vitro digestibility, leaf/stem ratios and crude

protein of the different grasses. Likewise, Carvalho et al.

(1984) determined that Neonotonia wightii (R. Grah. ex

Wightii and Arn.) was selectively grazed in Panicum maximum,

Paspalum notatum and Brachiaria mutica Forsk. pastures only

when grass components decreased considerably from grazing.

Not only cattle selectivity but associated grass growth

habit may affect legume persistence. When compared to pure

grass or pure legume swards, legume components of grass-

legume mixtures are more likely to be inferior (Crowder and











Chheda, 1982). Tall bunch grasses may shade out some

legumes while allowing others to thrive in the open ground

between tufts. Dense mat-forming grasses, in contrast, may

choke out some low-growing legume species yet allow other

viney types greater productivity due to structural support

which allows more access to sunlight. In either of these

cases, cattle access may also be affected by associated

grass morphology (Strange, 1960). Although Strange (1960)

in Kenya found that there was simply no substitute for

general adaptability to the local environmental conditions,

twining legumes did better with taller, erect grasses while

more prostrate legumes were inferred to do best with lower

growing grasses.



Growth Habit



Perhaps the most important factor in forage persistence

under grazing is growth habit. Canopy structure, whether

composed of one species or an association, heavily

influences what and how much a grazing animal can collect as

Moore et al. (1985) showed with Aeschynomene americana and

Hemarthria altissima (Poir.) Stapf and C.E. Hubb in Florida.

These authors concluded that as herbage concentration

increased in the upper canopy, intake per bite of those

species present also increased.


1











Twining legumes, in particular, have difficulties

tolerating direct grazing and trampling. Thomas et al.

(1985) pointed out that some Galactia and Centrosema species

have stems and buds which are very vulnerable to this

pressure and therefore do not persist well in directly

grazed pastures. Those climbing species which can root at

the nodes, however, may overcome this limitation as do

Centrosema macrocarpum Benth., Centrosema pubescens (Thomas

et al., 1985) and Viqna parkeri (Cook and Jones, 1987).

Another morphological type which has difficulties under

direct and heavy grazing is the group containing upright

growing species with a limited capacity for regrowth from

non-apical meristimatic tissue (Thomas, 1986). Annuals

especially figure heavily in this group. Once grazed close

to the ground, these often are unable to recover

sufficiently to set seed, especially if harvested late in

the growing season. Thomas et al. (1985) and Thomas (1986)

also included in this group species of the genera

Stylosanthes and Centrosema.

In a study of 50 legume accessions, Pitman et al.

(1988) concluded that prostrate species such as a perennial

Alysicarpus vaqinalis (L.) D.C., Vigna parkeri and Desmodium

barbatum Benth. had better persistence under heavy grazing

than under lighter grazing pressure. They also pointed out

that light grazing produced the opposite effect in some of

these low-growing types.











There is often a trade-off of yield for persistence

when decumbent varieties are compared to erect ones. Leach

et al. (1982) found that in terms of numbers, spreading

Medicago sativa types were more persistent. In actual dry

matter production, however, the erect lines were higher

despite lower numbers of individuals.

An aspect which few research trials address is the

length of time different legumes take to establish and the

indication this might give of subsequent persistence. It

appears that those legumes, especially perennials, which

take longer to establish, are often more persistent due to

deeper, more developed root systems. Wong and Eng (1983)

grazed recently established pastures at 3.8 cattle ha'1 over

3 yr and found that quickly establishing perennials such as

Stylosanthes quianensis (Aubl) Sw. cv. Cook did not maintain

vigor and ground cover as did more slow to establish

Desmodium ovalifolium (L.) Benth. A prime example of the

slow to establish legumes, one adapted to well drained

soils, is Arachis glabrata Benth. According to Prine et al.

(1986) and Prine et al. (1981), germplasm of this legume is

well suited to drought sands but should not be grazed at

all the season of establishment after being planted from

rhizomes. Even faster establishing annuals such as

Aeschynomene americana L. (Kalmbacher et al., 1988) or

short-lived perennials like Macroptilium lathvroides (L.)

Urb. (Pitman et al., 1986) should not be grazed after


1









15

seedlings enter the upper canopy. Heavy grazing just prior

to this stage to avoid closed canopies and grass competition

does benefit the stands, however. Once well established,

grazing may commence.

Kretschmer (1988) mentioned two other factors which

assisted some legumes in overcoming temporary, if not

necessarily continuous, over-grazing. The first is simply

woodiness. Unpalatable stem will naturally discourage total

destruction of some species such as Leucaena spp. The other

is the capacity to store energy and resprout via crowns or

rhizomes. The main factor involved may be that these

anatomical structures are unavailable to the animal for

consumption as in the case of some Arachis spp.



Effects of Direct Grazing on Legume Production



Many studies have gathered information on the

above-ground effects of grazing on legumes. The most

obvious and most often documented, of course, is the

abundance of leaf and stem. Davidson and Brown (1985)

working with Neonotonia wightii and Desmodium intortum

described but one example in which excessive grazing

pressure decreased green matter while moderate stocking

rates maintained or increased the proportion of legume in

the pasture.











Fewer studies, however, have documented the actual

numbers of plants that survive differing grazing regimes.

Gardner (1981) working with Stylosanthes hamata indicated

that this species survived normal defoliation pressures via

weak perennation but resorted to soil seed reserves when

mature plants were destroyed by overgrazing. That author

found that only 0.03% of all seedlings survived to a third

growing season. Jones et al. (1980) discovered in a study

of grazed Macroptilium atropurpureum lines that plant

numbers declined differently for various lines as the

pasture matured. Increasing the stocking rate from 2 to 3

steers ha'1 resulted in plant densities of 5.3 and 1.9

plants m-2, respectively, in 5 yr. Jones (1979), working

with the same species and a range of grazing treatments,

however, found that grazing frequency at differing stocking

rates had no effect on plant density and seedling

regeneration.

Roberts (1980) reviewed several publications reporting

the effect of botanical composition on animal gain due to

differing stocking rates. His general conclusions were that

botanical composition in some pastures is not affected by

increased stocking rates which do, however, result in

decreased liveweight gain per head after a certain level.

Higher stocking rates on other pastures did result in

distinctive botanical composition changes but, surprisingly,

did not affect animal gain. This later finding would











indicate that the pastures resulting from poor management

were as good or better than the original mixture.

Very few studies, however, have concentrated on

determining what happens beneath the soil surface to grazed

and over-grazed plants. Even fewer studies have focused on

the effect of differing grazing regimes on root

carbohydrates. For information on this area the literature

is limited to studies on clipped plants. Trejos and Borel

(1985), for example, studied the effect of different cutting

heights and intervals on total non-structural carbohydrates

of Stylosanthes capitata Vog. No differences were found,

even in root and base content although percent and not total

carbohydrate was reported. They did note, however, that the

longer the plant rested after cutting, the greater the

percent carbohydrate recovery in the roots and bases. They

felt that they should shorten the recovery periods (27 d was

the shortest) to discern differences between treatments and

species.

Whiteman and Lulham (1970) studied the effect of

defoliation, both mechanical and animal, on nodule number

and weight. They found that in Macroptilium atropurpureum

mean weight per nodule was reduced whereas in Desmodium

uncinatum (Jacq.) D.C. grazing and cutting reduced nodule

number rather than size.











Methods for Measuring Plant Acceptability



The amount of forage which is removed during grazing is

termed herbage utilization (Heady, 1964). Preference, then,

can be measured in the relative utilization of the various

forages compared if availability is equal among species. As

Cook and Stoddart (1953) pointed out in the case of

rangelands, plant utilization (and by deduction preference)

is most commonly measured by using length or weight of the

grazed versus the ungrazed pasture portions. Reid et al.

(1967a) in their work with temperate grasses used a

palatability index calculated as the proportional dry matter

consumption from each treatment compared to that consumed in

all treatments combined.

Marten (1970) warned against not taking growth during

grazing into account when calculating utilization. Heady

(1964) used grazing exclosures to ensure this difference did

not affect the accuracy of the results obtained in his work.



Previous Studies in Tropical Forage Legume Persistence



Most studies in forage legume persistence have involved

plant survival under various grazing pressures and/or

frequencies rather than grazing periods as was studied in

this dissertation. These studies, however, hold some

pertinent information which can be utilized here.













Common Grazing



Although simply planting various legumes side by side

in a pasture and allowing cattle continuous, unlimited

access to them is a rather simple study method, it

encompasses several possible draw-backs. Foremost among

these is the danger of assuming that any plots with superior

persistence have the best species, cultivars or accessions.

The survival may simply be due to lower acceptance by the

animals. More palatable legumes may provide higher animal

weight gains in more appropriately managed situations when

compared to persistent but unpalatable lines.

It may be useful, therefore, to plant an ungrazed

control next to the grazed plots to determine whether

disappearance, if it occurs, is due to animal preference or

genetic limitations on the part of the plant. Even then,

however, too much competition from ungrazed grass or no

pressure from direct grazing and trampling can give

misleading or at least incomplete information.

Pitman and Kretschmer (1984) studied seventeen tropical

legumes under common grazing at one grazing pressure and

frequency in Florida with measurable results. After the

third year growth and second year grazing from May to

November, only four species showed any significant survival.

In terms of original planted area, Macroptilium lathyroides











covered 9% and Viqna luteola (Jacq) Benth. 6% of the

pasture, a non-significant difference from the other 13

species. Aeschynomene americana covered 28% and Vigna

parkeri topped the list at 42% cover, both significantly

higher than the others but also different from each other.

Most species were lost due to low vigor and failure to

regenerate. According to the authors, at least one,

(Macroptilium atropurpureum), succumbed to its incapacity to

tolerate direct grazing, while others disappeared at least

in part due to selective grazing (e.g. Desmathus virqatus).

The main reason for failures in persistence according to the

authors, however, was the heavy competition from the

associated Papalum notatum as well as the pressures of

direct grazing.

Pitman et al. (1986) also used common grazing pastures

to compare nine Stylosanthes quianensis var. quianensis

accessions, three Stylosanthes hamata and Stylosanthes

humilis accessions along with Aeschynomene americana in

peninsular Florida. Grazing pressure varied from 2 animals

ha1 during June and July the first year on two replications

to 3 animals ha- on all four replications the second year

to no animals the third year. Proportion of original cover

surviving at the end of the trial was highest for

Aeschynomene americana at 80% with the next closest being

two different accessions of Stylosanthes quianensis at 10%.









21

The last two were not significantly different from the rest

of the legumes which had no measurable survival.

Difficulties in this type of evaluation, especially its

repeatability in dissimilar edaphic and climatic zones, is

exemplified in the 1985 Pitman et al. publication which

covered four different sites in Florida and Costa Rica.

Thirty-six legumes were studied (although not all at every

place) under grazing. The authors did not claim to have

identical grazing pressures at all four sites since this

would be virtually impossible. Perhaps because of this and

the variation in edaphic and climatic conditions, the

results varied considerably from site to site.

The above-mentioned report exemplifies the great

variability which exists in the tropical and sub-tropical

areas when dealing with forage adaptability. A cautious

approach to this research area would entail initial

observations such as Pitman et al. (1985) did for each new

climatic or ecotypic zone followed by more specific work to

be done on the three or four species which show the most

promise in distinct environments.



Frequency of Defoliation



General forage management wisdom indicates that legumes

are far less able to survive repeated defoliation than are

grasses (Kretschmer, 1988). Smith (1970), working with









22

sheep and Medicago sativa in Australia, for example, showed

that persistence was much higher at both high and low

stocking rates when rotational grazing was utilized, thereby

limiting defoliation frequency. He also found that the more

paddocks were subdivided in the rotations, the higher the

productivity. Unfortunately, the economics of such highly-

divided pastures may be rather prohibitive in some

conditions. Leach et al. (1982) used a flexible grazing

frequency approach to study different M. sativa lines in

Australia. Their study compared lines of different

morphologies under a system in which plots were grazed to

the ground and then allowed to recover for 6 wk. Over a

period of 3 yr, persistence was better for spreading lines

than for erect ones although actual winter production was

higher for the locally developed erect cultivar 'Hunter

River.'

Lazier (1981) used an unusual grazing regime in which a

6-wk interval between grazing was the only set factor. At

grazing time cow-calf pairs were allowed to graze plots of

native Belizean Calopogonium caeruleum, Desmodium canum

(Gmel) Schinz and Thell and Desmodium gyroides (D.C.) Hask.

to an unspecified but even degree. Desmodium gyroides,

although it had a 34% mortality over the 3-yr period, proved

to have the highest grazing index (derived by multiplying

amount grazed by degree grazed) and the greatest dry matter

availability after the trial.











Whiteman (1969) in Australia also used an unusual

variation on the frequency theme in Chloris gavana Kunth

pastures planted to Macroptilium atropurpureum, Lotononis

bainesii, Glycine javanica L. and Desmodium uncinatum. For

2 yr, plots were grazed to a 6- to 10-cm stubble height by

sheep. What was unusual was that the intervals between

grazing were determined by seasonal, genetic and animal

directed capacities of the plots to recover. This turned

out to be approximately 6 wk during the warm season and 9 wk

in the cooler periods. The author did not state what

criterion was used to determine full recovery and regrowth.

Under this regime, Glycine appeared to have persisted best

while Lotononis exhibited the lowest survival and

productivity.

Jones and Clements (1987) studied various introductions

and lines of Centrosema virginianum (L.) Benth. as well as

Macroptilium atropurpureum cv. Siratro, Desmodium intortum

cv. Greenleaf, Centrosema pubescens cv. Belalto and Vigna

parkeri cv. Shaw under 3-wk rest, 4-d graze regimes. For 4

yr only 1.5 animals ha'1 were used but the last 4 yr the 4-d

grazing was extended on half the experiment to produce a 2.3

animals ha-1 stocking rate. Results varied for different

species under different conditions but after 8 yr at the low

pressure, only the Centrosema virginianum lines still

comprised significant portions of the pasture with the

highest line totaling 18% cover. All the other plots, with









24

the exception of Macroptilium atropurpureum, were persistent

during the first 5 yr at this level although differences did

exist. At the high stocking rate nothing persisted after 4

yr.

Jones (1979), examined not only different grazing

pressures but different grazing frequencies as well. In his

study, M. atropurpureum pastures were rested for 3, 6 and 9

wk between 4-d grazing regimes at stocking rates ranging

from 0.8 to 2.8 head ha' He found that the 3-wk rest was

inadequate and legume yield declined dramatically. He

further noted that although decline at the higher stocking

rates was greater than at the lower rates, the longer rest

period allowed much more effective recovery at all stocking

rates.

Less-frequent grazing, however, did not always result

in higher legume percentage in pasture studies. This was

especially true when low frequencies were combined with low

grazing pressure, as Santillan (1983) found in Ecuadorian

pasture mixes including Neonotonia wightii, Centrosema

pubescens, Panicum maximum and Pennisetum purpureum

Schumach. In these low-use situations the erect growing

grasses outcompeted the viney legumes and shaded them out.

Maraschin (1975) found the same general rule to be

applicable in a Florida study utilizing both viney and erect

legumes (Macroptilium atropurpureum and Desmodium intortum)

in a more decumbent type grass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.











cv. Coastcross-l). A balance avoiding over-use and

under-use, therefore, seems to work best when grazing

frequency can be varied in a management situation.



Defoliation Intensity



Most legumes have shown a decline in persistence with

an increase in stocking rate (Cowan et al., 1975).

Humphreys (1980) and Jones (1979) both indicated that viney

legumes were especially susceptible to an increase in

grazing pressure. Bryan and Evan (1973) agreed with this

general observation but added that trailing legumes

encountered difficulties not only under heavy but under

moderate stocking rates as well.

Of course, there is a limit to which even the hardier

species can withstand excessive grazing. Smith (1970),

working with Medicaqo sativa in a subtropical setting with

sheep, found that 2.0 wethers ha"' was the ideal stocking

rate in a continuous system but plants still survived even

at 4 animals ha1'. When he used 4.9 wethers ha"1 in a six

paddock rotational system, however, there were plant losses

from "digging."

There are some species which appear to thrive under

heavier grazing. Normally these are varieties with a

prostrate morphology which benefit from the removal of

upright growing competition (Bryan and Evan, 1973). Native











or naturalized legumes that have adapted to local heavy

grazing especially seem to fit into this category.

Partridge (1980) studied a locally prevalent Desmodium

heterophyllum (Willd.) D.C. in Fiji and discovered that it

persisted better and contributed more to cattle feed at

stocking rates over 3 head ha 1 where introduced species

like Macroptilium atropurpureum disappeared.

Sometimes, however, simply fostering better seedling

establishment, especially in the case of annuals, early in

the establishment of the pasture greatly increases

establishment and persistence rates. Stobbs (1969), for

example, found that Stvlosanthes qracilis H.B.K. did better

as stocking rates increased from 1.65 to 5.0 head ha".

Shaw (1978), working with the same genus but another

species, Stylosanthes humilis, found the same general rule

to be true and related the phenomenon directly to reduced

competition from native grasses early in establishment.

In another angle on the grass competition problem,

Hutchinson (1970), working with sheep and Trifolium repens

in a subtropical setting, found that the legumes did poorly

not only under heavy stocking rates but under light pressure

as well due to heavy competition from grasses. A medium

rate seemed most effective in maintaining persistence.

Davidson and Brown (1985) conducted a grazing study in

which a pasture of Panicum maximum, Neonotonia wightii and

Desmodium intortum was deliberately overgrazed until the











legume component was only 3%. Pasture rest, reduced

stocking rate (1 head ha'1) and reduced stocking rate plus

phosphate fertilization all resulted in legume recovery to

over 50% of the dry matter component after 2 yr. A third

treatment in which the original heavy stocking rate was

maintained (2 head ha 1) showed no recovery over a 2-yr

period. Milk yield and weight change of the grazing animals

were positively correlated with the status of the legumes in

the respective plots.

Other researchers have found that stocking rates do not

seem to influence persistence in some species. Rika et al.

(1981) varied stocking rates between 2.7 and 6.3 animals

ha'1 with various legume-grass mixtures and concluded that

pasture botanical composition was not related to grazing

pressure.

Santillan (1983) found that grazing durations varying

from 1 to 28 d on a pasture of Centrosema pubescens,

Neonotonia wightii, Panicum maximum and Pennisetum purpureum

likewise had little effect on legume persistence. Unlike

the above study, however, this researcher found that grazing

pressures of 1.6, 3.3, 5.0, 6.6, and 8.3 kg dry matter on

offer/100 kg body weight and rest periods between grazing of

0, 14, 28, 42, and 56 d did have a significant effect.

Especially at combinations of high grazing pressures and

short rest periods the legume percentages tended to decrease

in this relatively high rainfall Central American region.











Alcantara and Abramides (1984) tested five legumes in

grass mixtures and also found that the legumes that did well

at low intensity grazing thrived at high levels as well. In

their case Macroptilium atropurpureum and Neonotonia wiqhtii

seemed most adapted to the particular Brazilian situation

studied. Not surprisingly, Cunha et al. (1984), in the same

region found that the same species with the addition of

Centrosema pubescens did equally well at low, medium and

high grazing intensities utilizing a seasonally adjusted

grazing system. Wilson et al. (1982) did a wide survey of

Aeschynomene falcata (Poir) D.C. in the Australian

subtropics and discovered that it also fit into this

omni-surviving group. Whether under light periodic grazing

or continuous heavy pressure (kept to 5 cm year round) this

species survived and actually spread in all cases except one

waterlogged site. This would indicate that there are some

species so well adapted to the local conditions and direct

grazing that overgrazing to the point of destroying stands

may be difficult. The studies did not state, however,

whether animal gain on these persistent legumes was higher

than on other less tolerant species.

Where grazing sensitive species are used, the resultant

decline in animal output per area should not be surprising.

Watson and Whiteman (1981) subjected Centrosema pubescens,

Macroptilium atropurpureum and Sylosanthes guianensis cv.

Endeavor mixtures in various grasses to 1.8, 2.7, 3.6 and









29

4.5 animals ha-1 over 4 yr. In the pasture with the most

productive grass species, live-weight gain per ha per yr

showed a definite quadratic relation ranging from just under

400 kg at the low pressure to 600 kg at 3.6 animals haI1 and

then back down to 500 kg at the highest stocking rate. Less

productive grasses did not show this relationship as

distinctly. The relationship between animal gain and

percent legume component was also quadratic for all

mixtures.



Put-and-take Management



Some researchers have bypassed the stocking rate

dilemma by using a variation of continuous grazing in which

numbers of cattle theoretically are maintained at the

optimum stocking rate such that the legume component had a

good chance to persist. Under these conditions species'

survival or lack thereof should result from genetic traits

rather than management.

Buller et al. (1970) implemented this system in Brazil

to study Sylosanthes gracilis, and Glycine javanica in

association with Digitaria decumbens (Stent). Year round

grazing resulted in Sylosanthes gracilis disappearance and

Glycine javanica persistence despite good animal acceptance

of both legumes. This might indicate that even at carefully

set stocking rates, those species which continue to grow











year round (even in the dry season as does Sstylosanthes

gracilis) will likely suffer more losses than those which

are dormant part of the year as was Glycine javanica in this

study. Production of rhizomes, stolons or rooting nodes in

trailing legumes, although not documented in this case,

might also give viney species advantages over those which

are completely dependent on seed production for

reproduction. This should be especially true in

continuously grazed systems.

Hodges et al. (1976) studied two annual legumes in

Florida, Aeschynomene americana and Indegofera hirsuta L.,

under a put-and-take system with several different grass

associations. These authors found that productivity of the

two legumes varied widely year to year but that Aeschynomene

americana had a higher potential pasture yield. Both

species were found to be equally productive in animal weight

gain per area when compared to nitrogen fertilized

grass-only pastures when at least 25% legume cover was

obtained (Hodges et al., 1977).

In a variation of the put-and-take management system,

Thomas (1976) subjected paddocks of Desmodium uncinatum,

Macroptilium atropurpureum, Desmodium intortum, Macroptyloma

axillare (E. Mey.) Verdc., Neonotonia wightii, and

Stvlosanthes quianensis cvs. Schofield and Endeavor to

grazing by Malawian fat-tailed sheep to a constant 10-cm

height. The results showed a markedly higher persistence











and productivity by Desmodium uncinatum and Macroptyloma

axillare. The two Stylosanthes cultivars were the most

productive the first year but were out-produced by the

others in subsequent years.

Thomas and Andrade (1984) repeated this general

evaluation scheme using cattle on Brazilian savannah. In

this study only the genus Stylosanthes was studied, using

eight accessions of Stylosanthes quianensis, Stylosanthes

macrocephala Ferr. and Costa and Stylosanthes capitata.

What is noteworthy in this study is that different species

of the same genus and different varieties of the same

species responded to grazing in markedly different ways. In

their particular situation Stylosanthes macrocephala CIAT

1582 and both Stvlosanthes capitata CIAT 1019 and 1097

outproduced the other species and entries after 4 yr grazing

to a constant 10-cm height. In a later trial, Thomas and

Andrade (1986) again found differences within species

(Stylosanthes spp. and Zornia spp.) under both equal and

different grazing pressures.

Pitman et al. (1988) also utilized a put-and-take

system to study 50 legume accessions planted in common

pastures. The authors studied persistence under a heavy

stocking rate defined as 4 to 6 head ha"1 and a light rate

ranging from 1 to 3 head ha1. Perhaps due to a combination

of various other factors including heavy grass competition

at establishment, intermittent winter frosts and summer











flooding, the results showed there were no outstanding

legumes among those studied. Of those that did survive

after 3 yr, Macroptilium atropurpurem had higher persistence

(3.5 %) under the low stocking rate when compared to the

high rate. Desmodium barbatum was the opposite, exhibiting

minimal but higher persistence (1.5 %) under the high as

compared to the low stocking rate.



Deferred Grazing



Davidson and Brown (1985), in a previously mentioned

experiment with dairy cattle on Panicum maximum, Neonotonia

wightii and Desmodium intortum pastures, showed that

deferred grazing at critical times sometimes could result in

overall legume yield increases reflected in higher milk

production over the year and decreased weed problems. By

allowing no grazing during the spring season, critical

winter yields were higher than in those treatments under

continuous use. Jones (1979) likewise found that in

pastures of Macroptilium atropurpureum where productivity,

but not plant density, had declined from overgrazing

(excessive frequency and stocking rate), prolonged rests

were very effective in pasture regeneration. In this study

an entire growing season was allowed for recovery prior to

use again in the autumn. It was noted, however, that









33

pastures in already reasonable condition recovered far more

effectively than those in overgrazed treatments.

Gutteridge (1985b) allowed Stylosanthes spp. and

Macroptilium atropurpureum pastures under a 2.5 to 6.5

animal units ha-1 stocking range to rest during the dry

season not so much for management purposes but to imitate

indigenous grazing systems in Thailand. Four-day grazing

periods and 16-d rests were also used. Although this

experiment unfortunately did not have a year-round grazed

control, the author found that the effects of different

stocking rates were far less distinct after than before each

rest period. Gutteridge (1985a) found that Macroptilium

atropurpureum was the only entry which showed strong

perennation although it, like all the Stylosanthes entries,

tended to spread or survive (mostly at lower stocking rates)

more via seeds than vegetatively. The author surmised that

the seed dependent entries had greater difficulty surviving

under the deferred grazing of the dry season because they

did not have the water extracting root capacity of the

Macroptilium atropurpureum pastures. It would appear, then,

that for shallow-rooted annuals or perennials which act as

annuals in some conditions to benefit from deferment that

rest should occur during late growing seasons when moisture

is still available to those roots.

Annuals particularly seem to benefit from intensive

grazing during some periods and no grazing in others.











Stockwell (1984a) found this to be true in Australia with

Centrosema pascuorum Martimus ex. Benth. cv. Bundey. His

recommendations included heavy grazing during the early

rainy season to limit grass growth and limited grazing from

late wet to early dry season to allow seed set. The same

author (Stockwell, 1984b) from work with another annual

legume, C. pascuorum cv. Cavalcade, recommended slightly

different management for a species to be used primarily

during the dry season. Heavy early grazing to keep grasses

under control during establishment was still recommended but

thereafter use of the pasture was to be deferred until the

dry season when it was most critically needed.

Sollenberger et al. (1987a) studied the effect of early

season deferment on the annual legume Aeschynomene americana

in Hemarthria altissima cv. Floralta pastures. These

researchers found that grazing the grass early in the spring

until the legume seedlings had reached at least the two-leaf

stage and then withholding grazing until they were at least

60 cm tall gave the highest dry matter production. The

authors pointed out, however, that when grazing was

initiated in the 20- to 40-cm height cattle seemed to be

able to utilize the more uniform and less lignified plants

more efficiently. This was illustrated by decreased stem

quality indicators digestibilityy and nitrogen content) and

leaf/stem ratio as grazing initiation was delayed

(Sollenberger et al., 1987b).









35

In contrast to annuals, most perennials establish more

effectively with deferred grazing during the early stages.

Andrews and Comudom (1979) found that subjecting legumes

such as Desmodium intortum and Trifolium repens to light

pressure gave far better establishment. They found that the

perennial, Stylosanthes guianensis, in particular suffered

if grazed heavily during early establishment. The

recommendation to graze annuals heavily is more likely to

assist establishment where faster-growing sod grasses are

stronger and less so where pure legume stands or bunch

grasses are present.















CHAPTER THREE

METHODS AND MATERIALS



Field Study



The site for the experiment was a deteriorated 2-ha

pasture at the Ona Agricultural Research and Education

Center (Ona AREC). Vegetative cover within the pasture was

highly variable. Portions contained primarily native range

vegetation including such grass species as low panicums

(Panicum spp.), creeping bluestem (Schizachyrium

stoloniferum Nash.), and broomsedge bluestem (Andropogon

virginicus L.), while others were dominated by vasey grass

(Paspalum urvillei Steud.) and common bermudagrass (Cynodon

dactylon (L.) Pers.).

The soil was Immokalee fine sand (sandy, siliceous,

hyperthermic Arenic Haplaquod) with a composite pH of 5.6,

and nutrient elements at the following levels (mg kg'1):

phosphorus 4.1, calcium 655, potassium 8, copper 0.54, iron

10.3, magnesium 203, manganese 1.0 and zinc 1.1.

The pasture was chopped in the fall of 1986 with a

Marden rolling chopper and sprayed in April 1987 with 2-4-D

(2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, butoxyethyl ester)


I











selective herbicide to control broadleaf weeds in the

pasture. Individual blocks were rotovated to a 30-cm depth

in May 1986 and planting took place throughout the June,

July and August period.



Experimental Layout



The overall experimental design was a randomized

complete block design with six blocks. Treatments were

arranged in a strip-plot as described by Gomez and Gomez

(1984). Legume entries were assigned as north-south strips.

East-west strips were made up of the three grazing

treatments of ungrazed, grazed from May through December and

grazed only during late spring and summer (fall deferment).

Common grazing was used for the entire experiment with

cattle excluded from the grazing treatments at the

appropriate seasons.

Legume main plots (north-south strips) measured 7.0 by

15.0 m consisting of five plant rows each with 84 individual

plants spaced 30 cm apart. Each row was separated by 1.0 m

and an additional 2.0 m was inserted between plots. Grazing

treatments (east-west) measured 5.0 by 49.0 m. Each grazing

treatment was separated from the others when appropriate by

a five-strand barbed-wire fence.

The legumes evaluated were: Aeschvnomene americana L.,

Alysicarpus vaqinalis D.C., Desmanthus virgatus (L.),


L











Willd., Desmodium heterocarpon (L.) D.C. cv. Florida,

Galactia elliottii Nuttal., Macroptilium lathyroides (L.)

Urb. and Vigna adenantha (G. F. Meyer) Marechal, Mascherpa,

and Stainier.

Annuals and short-lived perennials, for which unlimited

seed was available, Aeschynomene americana and Macroptilium

lathyroides, were broadcast throughout the individual plots

on 13 April 1987. Seeding rate was 10 kg ha 1, 5 kg haI1 of

which was unhulled seed for the Aeschynomene americana. For

all other species except Desmodium heterocarpon, seed was

limited. These were therefore initially planted during the

summer months of 1986 in peat cups or directly transplanted

from native stands to 30-cm spacings. All peat cups were

inoculated with cowpeaa" type Rhizobium at seeding to avoid

a disadvantage in nodule formation compared to transplanted

native species.

Heavy rains in May followed by a dry period in June

forced replanting of many individual plants in 1986. Those

seeded directly were especially affected by waterlogging in

early summer. Aeschynonome americana and Macroptilium

lathyroides suffered complete establishment failure. These

were therefore reseeded in April, 1987 at the original rates

after light discing of the specific plots.

Any plants which died from among the other species were

replaced during 1986 up through August. Due to

unavailability of seed, Galactia elliottii plots were not











completely filled in with plants in peat cups. The G.

elliottii plots were subsequently completed in the fall by

transplanting plants from a nearby range site.

Deer (Odocoileus virginianus seminolus Goldman and

Kellogg) and rabbit (Sylvilaqus spp.) consumption of the

legumes, especially Aeschynomene americana, Macroptilium

lathyroides and Desmanthus virqatus, was a problem. Rabbit

fencing was placed around the latter plots but no effort was

made to exclude deer. Instead, a large area of Macroptilium

lathyroides and Aeschvnomene americana was planted in a

neighboring pasture to divert the deer in the summer of

1987.



Grazing Management



On 22 May 1987 eight crossbred yearling heifers were

placed in the pasture. On 28 May, 4 head (2.2 head ha"1

remaining) of these were removed after the initial excessive

herbage growth had been reduced. On 15 September animal

numbers were reduced to 2 head (1.2 head ha 1) on the s/s/f

treatment strips due to forage reduction. These last 2 head

were taken off the pasture on 1 December when cold and frost

effectively stopped forage regrowth.

Cattle were excluded from the zero graze treatments by

a permanent five-strand barbed-wire fence. Cattle were left

on the pasture in a continuous grazing system, but were











excluded from the spring/summer-only grazing strips on 15

September 1987 by barbed-wire fences.

In 1988, the wire around the fall-deferment strip was

removed and two yearling steers were added to the pasture in

May. The wire was put up once again on 15 September 1988

and cattle removed on 1 December.



Persistence Evaluation



Established plant populations were determined on 21 May

1987 by counting surviving plants before cattle were added

to the study on 22 May 1987. The numbers gathered in each

subplot at this date were then used in computing persistence

percent at subsequent dates.

Plant numbers were taken on December 1987, May 1988,

December 1988, and May 1989. Persistence was calculated as

plant counts on specific date / plant count of May 1987 *

100. This allowed for determination of a population change

after May 1987. An increase in population would register as

over 100% persistence.

In subsequent months of 1987, heights of individual

plants of the center rows in each subplot were determined.

This was discontinued during the winter months when little

or no growth occurred.











During the 1988 growing season, species numbers were

determined only in May and December. In May 1989 the final

count was taken on the inside three rows.



Statistical Analysis



The statistical analysis included an analysis of

variance (AOV) of percent persistence as well as average

plant heights recorded within species at different grazing

pressures.

Since annuals and perennials had distinctive growth,

seeding and regrowth habits, these were analyzed in separate

groups. Only the perennials, with the exception of the

viney Viqna adenantha, were measured for effect of grazing

on individual plant heights during 1987. The annuals were

not sufficiently established for data collection at this

time.



Pot Study



A pot study to observe species physiological responses

to varying defoliation stresses was conducted. In order to

parallel the field trial, this experiment was conducted

during late fall, winter and early spring of 1987-1988. The

entries were subjected to clipping stress just prior to the

normal dormant period. By observing the regrowth potential











and biochemical composition of the plants during and after

clipping, it was hoped that factors might be found to

explain field trial results. Regeneration after the short

cold days of January, February and March was also observed

to determine the effect pre-winter clipping stress had on

post-winter regrowth.

Species were selected based on their initial field

establishment success and seed availability. Of those that

showed promise, three were selected for their upright or

climbing growth habits, conducive to height-related clipping

regimes. The species employed were Desmanthus virgatus,

Galactia elliottii, and Desmodium heterocarpon.

Germinated seeds of these species were placed in peat

cups and seedlings were allowed to establish. Plants of

uniform size were then inoculated with cowpea inoculum and

transplanted into a pot containing 1 kg of unfertilized

Immokalee fine sand (sandy, silicious, hyperthermic Arenic

Haplaquod). Soil used was taken from the field trial

pasture and consisted of the top 20 cm sifted through a 1-cm

screen. No amendments were added and the plants were

watered from above whenever necessary to keep the soil moist

throughout. All pots were allowed an adaptation period of 6

wk during which any dead or weak seedlings were replaced.

The experiment was conducted on tables with opaque

fiberglass roofing for protection from direct precipitation.









43

The experimental design was a randomized complete block

with four replications. Three clipping treatments were

imposed during the autumn period. These will be referred to

as 'autumn clipping treatments.' The autumn clipping

treatments were imposed every 2 wk for periods of 0, 6, and

12 wk beginning on 15 October 1987. Thus, treatments

consisted of an unclipped control, three clippings during

the initial 6 wk (early clipping), and six clippings over a

12 wk period (extended clipping). Initial clipping heights

in the early and extended clipping treatments were set at

50% of the blocks' average height for each species using the

tallest or longest point as reference. Subsequent clippings

were made at that same height. At each clipping, material

was separated by leaf, stem and reproductive organs, dried

at 720C for 48 h, weighed and composite with other

clippings from that same pot. Each experimental unit

consisted of 16 pots.

During 8 to 13 January 1988, plants in half of the pots

in each experimental unit were sacrificed. Herbage in these

pots was clipped at a 3-cm height above the soil surface,

separated into leaf, stem and flowers/pods, dried, weighed

and composite with previous clippings where appropriate.

The remaining plant portions, consisting of roots and stem

bases, were washed free of soil, dried at 720C for 48 h and

prepared for total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC)

analysis.











Of the remaining eight pots per experimental unit, a

strip plot arrangement of treatments was imposed with four

pots in each experimental unit harvested to a 3-cm height

during 8 to 13 January 1988. This was done to represent the

normal above-ground herbage destruction which occurred in

the field due to frosts and freezes. The four remaining

pots in each experimental unit were not subjected to a

winter harvest. After 16 wk (May 1988) all plants were

harvested to a 3-cm stubble height. Both fractions, above-

ground herbage and roots, were recovered, dried, and

weighed.

Herbage from the autumn clipping treatments and the

winter harvest from four pots within each experimental unit

was composite and ground through a Wiley mill equipped with

a 1-mm screen to provide sufficient material to analyze

crude protein. Roots were likewise weighed, ground and

composite except that only roots of two pots were used per

sample for TNC analysis. Above-ground herbage from the

spring harvest was treated in the same manner except that

material from only two pots was composite to form a

laboratory wet chemistry sample. See Table 1 for a

breakdown on experimental unit subsamples.

Nitrogen content was determined by an auto-analyzer

method employing a modified aluminum block digestion

procedure described by Gallaher et al. (1975). Sample














Table 1. Number of subsamples per experimental unit in
the pot study.

Treatment Variable Subsample number


Autumn clipping

Winter harvest
Winter harvest
Winter harvest
Winter harvest


Spring harvest
Spring harvest
Spring harvest


Herbage mass

Herbage mass
Herbage nitrogen
Root mass
Root total non-
structural carbohydrate

Herbage mass
Root mass
Herbage nitrogen


weight was 0.25 g, catalyst used was 3.2 g of 9:1

K2SO4:CuSO4 and 2 ml H202. Ammonia in the digestate was

determined by semiautomated colorimetry (Hambleton, 1977).

Roots from the winter harvest were analyzed for TNC

following a modified enzymatic extraction procedure adapted

from Smith (1981). Reducing sugars were analyzed with

Nelson's (1944) colorimetric approach to the copper

reduction method first described by Somogyi (1945).















CHAPTER FOUR

RESULTS


Field Study



Height of Perennials, 1987



Inter-species height differences were not compared

since species morphologies differed and responses of

individual species to grazing were the primary interest. Of

the perennials in this study, Desmanthus virgatus was the

only upright species, Alysicarpus vaqinalis and Desmodium

heterocarpon were normally prostrate while Galactia

elliottii displayed upright growth in early stages and a

viney habit latter in maturity. Vigna adenantha displayed

essentially only viney growth.

Analysis of intra-species height differences are shown

by date for the 1987 grazing season in Table 2. No

differences (P=0.36) existed between grazing treatments for

any species before cattle were added on 22 May.

After 38 grazing days (30 June) there was a distinct

difference (P=0.01) between the zero grazing and the two












Table 2. Plant height means of Alysicarpus vaqinalis (AV),
Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F)
grazing treatments during the 1987 growing season.


Date Grazing AV DH DV GE
treatment


----------------cm----------------
21 May Z 10.2at 15.6a 23.3a 16.3a
S/S 10.9a 16.7a 22.6a 19.1a
S/S/F 11.7a 16.2a 21.5a 20.4a

30 June Z 13.2a 18.7a 24.3a 20.9a
S/S 10.3b 12.3b 18.8b 12.3b
S/S/F 9.6b 11.0b 16.9b 12.6b

29 July Z 20.la 24.5a 29.1a 25.3a
S/S 9.6b 11.0b 18.4b 13.4b
S/S/F 10.7b 12.2b 17.2b 10.8b

1 Sept Z 24.3a 27.9a 31.5a 25.8a
S/S 1l.lb 10.5c 16.4b 12.9b
S/S/F 11.0b 13.4b 14.6b 10.9b

1 Oct Z 26.3a 31.2a 31.5a 23.8a
S/S 13.6b 10.6c 18.6b 11.9b
S/S/F 10.1c 13.5b 15.1b 1l.lb

3 Nov Z 29.0a 28.4a 30.7a 19.4a
S/S 17.2b 11.4b 19.3b 11.5b
S/S/F 10.1c 10.5b 14.6c 14.8ab

15 Dec Z 27.2a 27.5a 28.3a 19.9a
S/S 16.6b 12.1b 18.5b 15.3ab
S/S/F 9.0c 9.1c 14.5b 9.3b


tMeans at each date within columns differ (P<0.05) if
not followed by a common letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.











grazed treatments for all four species measured. This

difference persisted throughout the grazing season except in

the case of Galactia elliottii on 15 December (P=0.14).

During September (P=0.0002) and October (P=0.0006) an

unexplained difference between the spring/summer (s/s) and

spring/summer/fall (s/s/f) grazing treatments in Desmodium

heterocarpon appeared. By November, due perhaps to

differing grazing treatment, this unexplained difference

disappeared.

The removal of grazing animals on 15 September from the

fall-deferred treatment produced differences (P=0.005)

within 15 d between the s/s and s/s/f treatments in

Alysicarpus vaginalis. This difference became more and more

pronounced as fall progressed (Fig. 1).

Fall deferment from grazing of Desmodium heterocarpon

took a little longer to affect plant heights but became

apparent by December (P=0.0001). This delayed effect of

deferment may have been in part due to the unexplained

differences between the s/s and s/s/f treatments which

existed prior to animal removal (Fig. 2). Within two months

after grazing deferment the relative order in height between

the s/s grazing treatment and the s/s/f grazing treatment

had been reversed.

Desmanthus virgatus height reacted in much the same

manner as Desmodium heterocarpon except that at the December










49





40

K Z o S/S A S/S/F


E
30
I30
CD
LU
I

z 20 -
S -----------o



10. L -- A ... .. .. ..- -





0I
0 50 100 150 200 250
DAYS INTO GRAZING SEASON



Fig. 1. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height
of Alysicarpus vaqinalis (A.V.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added day 0 and taken off S/S
day 115.
















40

Z o S/S AS/S/F


E
S -30










0-1- --- --------
I
LU

z 20
-J



10 -A




0 --I I
0 50 100 150 200 250
OAYS INTO GRAZING SEASON



Fig. 2. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height of
Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added on day 0 and excluded
from S/S on day 115.









51

reading the differences (P=0.0007) apparent between s/s and

s/s/f which appeared in November (Fig. 3) became

statistically non-significant. This was perhaps due to

heavy deer predation since the cattle-excluding fences were

not a deterrent for these browsing animals. It was not due

to senescence since plants in these plots continued to

generate new growth until killed back by frost.

Galactia elliottii, despite an unexplained increase in

s/s/f plant height in November, showed perhaps the most

interesting trend by December. Although there was no

difference (P=0.14) between the s/s and the s/s/f

treatments, there also was no difference between the s/s and

zero grazed plots. This indicated that G. elliottii either

benefited sufficiently from the fall rest to catch up with

the zero treatment or the zero treatment senesced sooner due

to fewer recently produced leaves. It was noted to shed

well over 50% of its leaves in the range during the cold

months. This became apparent when the 33% height increase

for s/s was compared with only 3% increase for the zero

graze treatment during the 40-d period in which neither was

grazed (see also Fig. 4 and the near-steady height decrease

throughout the fall period illustrated by the decline in the

zero graze line from day 100 on).

Height measurements indicated, at least in the second

growing year and first grazing season, that these four
















40

SZ o S/S A S/S/F



,- 30 *
H-
CDLU
H-i

z 20- 0-
S---- ..o------------

10
A-a


10




0 --- I
0 50 100 150 200 250
DRYS INTO GPAZING EEASCirJ



Fig. 3. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height
of Desmanthus virgatus (D.V.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added day 0 and excluded from
S/S day 115.

















40

Z o S/S A S/S/F


E
30


LI


20




10 -
H-






2 :II

LU .

0-
0 -- A-0






0 50 100 150 200 250
ORYS INTO GRAZING SEASON



Fig. 4. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height
of Galactia elliottii (G.E.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added day 0 and excluded from
S/S day 115.









54

forage legumes were grazed by the yearling heifers. Figures

1 through 4 illustrate graphically, however, that plant

herbage growth did respond to fall deferment from grazing

except in the case of Desmanthus virgatus. In this entry,

heights followed this general trend but the s/s and s/s/f

means were not different (P=0.14) from each other. All

others, particularly the more decumbent Alysicarpus

vaqinalis, showed a positive response to the pre-winter rest

by addition of new foliage.

In Fig. 5, plant heights of both s/s and s/s/f

treatments as a percent of the ungrazed treatment are shown

for all perennials measured in December (Table 3).

Alysicarpus vaginalis suffered the least in the s/s

treatment (P=0.11), recovering to 70% of the zero treatment

height. Desmanthus virgatus at 66% was not different from

either Alysicarpus vaginalis or Desmodium heterocarpon.

This last species, which registered 53%, was not

statistically different from the most shortened entry,

Galactia elliottii at 49%.

Figure 5 also illustrates the uniform grazing

defoliation which occurred among most perennial species in

the s/s/f grazing (P=0.47). Only Desmanthus virgatus, at

50%, differed from the others which ranged between 34 and

36% of the ungrazed treatment. Woody stem development early

in establishment of D. virgatus may have limited the degree

of defoliation of this upright growing legume.


~
















100



75
N
Z

50



25

0



AV

GE


S/S S/S/F
GRAZING TREATMENT




Fig. 5. Mean percent height remaining in spring/summer
(S/S) and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazed
plots of Alysicarpus vaqinalis (A.V.),
Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.), Desmanthus
virgatus (D.V.) and Galactia elliottii (G.E.)
compared to ungrazed plots on December 1987.











Table 3.


Height of Alysicarpus vaginalis (AV),
Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), Galactia
elliottii (GE) and Desmanthus virgatus (DV)
under spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
in December 1987 as a percent of ungrazed
plots.


Grazing AV DH DV GE
regime


-----------------%-----------------

Z 100at A 100a A 100a A 100a A
S/S 70a B 53bc B 66ab B 49c B
S/S/F 35b C 36b C 50a C 34b B

tMeans within lines differ (P<0.05) if not followed by
a common lower case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.

Means within columns differ (P<0.05) if not followed
by a common upper case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.











Persistence Within Perennials. 1987-1989



Since the interactions between species and grazing

treatment existed for all dates (P<0.001), the discussion of

persistence of both within and among perennials, as well as

within and among the annually reseeding group will be

limited to the simple effects.

After one grazing season, Alysicarpus vaginalis

appeared to have suffered few losses under grazing and

increased substantially where protected completely or in the

fall (Table 4). There was an apparent difference (P=0.09)

between s/s/f and zero grazing, however. The increase to

214% in the zero grazing treatment, (Fig. 6), was thought to

be at least in part due to artificially low plant counts at

the base date in 1987. This species was noted to regrow

slowly from frosted plants early in the growing season.

Winter stress affected population dynamics considerably

in this species. By May 1988, the zero graze treatment was

lower (P=0.09) than the s/s treatment as seen in Fig. 6.

This may have been due to A. vaqinalis's failure to either

store sufficient nutrients in roots when forced to compete

with ungrazed grasses or due to an enhanced susceptibility

to frost and freeze when forced to grow upright in heavy

competition.

By the end of the second grazing season, December 1988,

the same basic trends held except that the s/s plots had











Table 4.


Mean percent survival comparison within and among
perennials Alysicarpus vaqinalis (AV), Desmodium
heterocarpon (DH), Galactia elliottii (GE),
Desmanthus virqatus (DV), and Vigna adenantha (VA)
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
using May 1987 as a base date.


Date Grazing AV DH DV GE VA
treatment


-------------------%------------------------
Dec 1987 Z 214at A 86a B 68a BC 38a C 101a B
S/S 153ab A 85a B 71a B 47a B 53b B
S/S/F 93b A 95a A 54a B 12b C 13c C

May 1988 Z 47b B 88a A 55a B 86a A 110a A
S/S 109a A 91a AB 36b D 51b CD 71b BC
S/S/F 89ab A 98a A 25b C 51b B 20c C

Dec 1988 Z 57b B 66a B 62a B 32a C 109a A
S/S 155a A 61a B 25b B 20b B 42b B
S/S/F 75b A 55a B 10b C 4c C 5c C

May 1989 Z 2a C 10a C 47a B 136a A 63a B
S/S 12a B 12a B 26ab B 52b A 24b B
S/S/F 8a B 18a B 9b B 55b A Ic B

tMeans within columns at each date differ (P<0.05) if not
followed by a common lower case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.

Means within lines at each date differ (P<0.05) if not
followed by a common upper case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.


























SLUU
z \12/88
LU

0n -. -





\
00 ----------- -----------------








0 10 20
MONTHS GRRZEO



Fig. 6. Mean percent persistence of Alysicarpus
vaginalis starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.











higher persistence than the s/s/f treatment. During the

winter of 1988-1989 there was a late frost on 26 February

followed by an unseasonably dry spring with only 38% of the

normal rainfall at Ona AREC. This latter climatic stress

more than any may have caused the dramatic decline in A.

vaqinalis plant population throughout the experiment. Both

regenerating plants and new seedlings were destroyed. As a

result, this species was essentially eliminated so that the

differences between treatments seen earlier no longer held

(P=0.46).

Desmodium heterocarpon, on the other hand, showed less

effect (P>0.65 for all dates) of grazing regime on

individual plant survival (Table 4). This held true

throughout the experiment as can be seen in the lack of

differentiation between treatments in Fig. 7. It, along

with Alysicarpus vaqinalis, seems to have suffered the most

from the late winter frost and early spring drought of 1989.

Desmanthus virgatus showed a similar lack of response

(P=0.33) to grazing at the end of 1987 (Table 4). Following

both the winter die-back and another grazing season,

however, the differences between the two grazed treatments

and the ungrazed treatment became more apparent (P=0.004) as

illustrated in Fig. 8. During the two readings in 1988 the

s/s and s/s/f treatments were not different (P>0.05)

although there was a trend for greater survival in the s/s

treatment.

























LU 10-
C-)-
S100---.. 12/88
z ----- k--.

U)


0 .
A\
50 -,,




N '



0 10 20
MONTHS GRRZEO



Fig. 7. Mean percent persistence of Desmodium
heterocarpon starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.























LU 100
S12/88





50 -
-n -- I











MONTHS Rt-ED



Fig. 8. Mean percent persistence of Desmanthus virgatus
starting 22 May 1987 under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.











After the stressful winter and early spring of 1989,

Desmanthus virgatus continued to show a treatment effect

(P=0.01). The notable exception was a lack of difference

(P>0.05) between the s/s and the ungrazed treatments.

Perhaps due to condition improvement from fall rest, plants

in the s/s grazing regime were able to maintain their vigor

as well as the plants in the ungrazed treatments.

There was a noticeable response (P=0.01) to fall

grazing by Galactia elliottii at the end of 1987 (Table 4

and Fig. 9). Although plant survival was not high for the

zero and s/s treatments at this time, the 12% survival for

the s/s/f plots was especially low. No differences (P>0.05)

existed between the zero and s/s treatments at this time

indicating a response on the part of this native legume to

fall deferment from grazing in the first year.

Winter stress showed some interesting results for this

species. In May 1988, many individual plants which were not

visible in December resprouted. This resulted in a 126%

increase at the zero graze level, a 9% increase with the

fall deferred treatment and a 325% increase for the s/s/f

treatment. No seedlings were observed. These results

indicate that the early spring growth of this species

(earlier than most grasses) might substitute for fall

deferment. Differences (P=0.03) between grazing treatments

still existed.



























LU

n)
LU


10 20
MONTHS GRAZED


Fig. 9. Mean percent persistence of Galactia elliottii
starting 22 May 1987 under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.











By the end of a second grazing season, 1988, both

grazed plots were inferior to the ungrazed treatment. The

s/s, however, was more persistent (P=0.004) than the s/s/f,

indicating, again, a benefit from fall deferment. This

benefit did not allow the numbers to maintain the 50%

recovery measured at the end of 1987.

Despite the harsh winter and early spring of 1989, G.

elliottii showed the same recovery after the cold months as

it did in 1988. As happened a year before, the difference

that existed between the two grazing treatment populations

before winter disappeared in the spring although differences

between these and the control were still apparent (P=0.001).

In fact, all three groups showed an increase in numbers over

a year previous with the ungrazed population propagating

itself to 36% over the original plant number in May 1987.

Vigna adenantha showed the most consistent response to

fall deferment, showing higher persistence than the s/s/f

treatment and lower than the ungrazed control for all dates

(P=0.001 for all dates). At every date measured except May

1989 (Table 4), the zero treatment also showed over 100%

persistence, completely covering each plot and invading

adjacent borders. This species also showed that during the

cold months it could regenerate from completely denuded

tops. During the 1987-88 winter, the s/s treatment

especially showed improvement with an increase of 34%

(illustrated in Fig. 10). As in the case of Galactia









66





150

O Z o S/S A S/S/F

12/87


1 00
12/88
z


0 LU 0
cn -


\





_--A-._



0 10 20
MONTHS GRAZED



Fig. 10. Mean percent persistence of Vigna adenantha
starting 22 May 1987 under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.











elliottii, this recovery may have been due to stored non-

structural carbohydrate reserves which were used to put out

new growth before heavy grass competition and grazing

occurred in early spring.

By May 1989, the late frost and early spring drought

which severely affected several of the other species also

combined to reduce Vigna adenantha populations in all

grazing treatments. The s/s/f population, already small in

December 1988, essentially disappeared. The s/s treatment

had only 24% of its original population remaining, lower

than the ungrazed treatment. With the onset of summer

rains, however, both the s/s and the ungrazed treatments

were expected to regain a considerable amount of their

original vigor.



Persistence Among Perennials, 1987-1989



Although of limited interest to grazed pastures, it is

interesting to note that by the end of the 1987 grazing

season Alysicarpus vaginalis and Viqna adenantha populations

increased while the others decreased in the ungrazed

treatments (refer to Table 4 for actual figures as well as

to Fig. 11 for December 1987 and Fig. 12 for December 1988

during the discussion in this section). Desmanthus virgatus

and Galactia elliottii especially showed considerable

















300







100








/ / -




Z S/S S/S/f
GRAZING TRERTTENT





Fig. 11. Mean persistence of perennials Alysicarpus
vaginalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Viqna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1987
using May 1987 as a base date.













































Fig. 12.


100
LU


ix 150 N



0

iIr






S/S S/S/f
GRAZING TREATMENT




Mean persistence of perennials Alysicarpus
vaqinalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virqatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Vina adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1988
using May 1987 as a base date.









70

decline the first grazing season under nothing more than the

local climatic and edaphic conditions, native herbivores as

well as grass competition. Desmanthus virgatus, however,

was not different (P=0.01) from the other perennials with

the exception of Alysicarpus vaqinalis.

In the s/s treatment at this first date, the decumbent

A. vaginalis showed a greater ability to persist and

increase than any of the others (P=0.0007). Again, this

might be an artificial increase due to its late sprouting

and therefore low numbers at the base 1987 spring date.

Desmodium heterocarpon, equally capable of exhibiting

prostrate growth habits, had the next highest persistence

although it and the remaining three perennials were not

different (P>0.05) from each other. Not surprisingly, the

two decumbent species were the most persistent in 1987 under

the s/s/f grazing, with both showing values in the nineties.

Desmanthus virgatus was lower (P>0.05) at 54% but also

higher (P<0.05) than the two remaining perennials, Galactia

elliottii and Vigna adenantha. It is important to note that

these last two, the species which suffered most under

continuous growing-season grazing, were both viney climbers.

The five-month rest from grazing during the winter

months, a period when little grass grows in Florida

pastures, changed the picture considerably in the zero

grazing treatment (P=0.04 for that date). By May 1988,

Desmodium heterocarpon as well as the early spring growing











Galactia elliottii and Vigna adenantha showed high

persistence values of over 85% while the remaining

Alysicarpus vaginalis and Desmanthus virgatus both exhibited

an inferior presence.

After the winter period and before cattle were added to

the trial in the second grazing year, the s/s plots remained

essentially the same in terms of relative persistence. The

two major exceptions were a considerable decrease in D.

virgatus, making it inferior to all other species, and an

equal degree of increase in Vigna adenantha.

Alysicarpus vaginalis, Desmodium heterocarpon and Vigna

adenantha populations remained constant relative to each

other in the post-winter, May 1988 s/s/f treatment

(P=0.001). Desmanthus virgatus, 25%, and Galactia

elliottii, 51%, switched positions on the relative

persistence scale with the first species decreasing

considerably to make it numerically indistinguishable

(P>0.05) from Vigna adenantha's 20% and the latter's 51%

making it less (P<0.05) persistent than the decumbent

Alysicarpus vaqinalis and Desmodium heterocarpon.

At the December 1988 reading, following three year's

growth and two seasons of grazing, Alysicarpus vaqinalis

lost the most number of plants relative to the readings one

year earlier in the ungrazed treatment. Only 27% of the

plants survived. This put Vigna adenantha's 110%

persistence higher than all the rest at the ungrazed









72

treatment level and Galactia elliottii's 32% lower (P=0.005)

than any of the other perennials.

Although there was a general decrease in numbers for

all species except Alysicarpus vaqinalis at this date, the

general picture remained the same after the second year of

s/s grazing (P=0.02). Overall, the average persistence

showed a steady decline from an average 82% persistence at

the end of 1987 down to an average 61% survival after 1988.

In the s/s/f treatment, Galactia elliottii and Vigna

adenantha continued to decline and were joined by Desmanthus

virgatus at the bottom of the scale on December 1988.

Desmodium heterocarpon also declined but at 55% was higher

than the above three species. The other species with a

tendency for decumbent growth, Alysicarpus vaqinalis, had

the highest (P=0.001) survival at 75% although that too was

inferior to its December 1987 showing.

The late frost and early spring drought prior to the

May 1989 reading changed the picture considerably in the

ungrazed control. Alysicarpus vaqinalis and Desmodium

heterocarpon suffered further population reductions and the

first species essentially disappeared. Unless these two

were able in the subsequent months to recover dramatically

from hidden crowns or seed reserves, this would indicate

that these species were unable to survive without

defoliation of competing grasses.











At the May 1989 date Desmanthus virqatus and Vigna

adenantha under no grazing showed a higher (P=0.0001)

persistence than the two species discussed in the preceding

paragraph. In the case of the V. adenantha especially,

effects of the frosts and drought were apparent. Only

Galactia elliottii managed to exceed its original May 1987

numbers to show that, as a native, it is adapted to local

conditions and periodic stresses once well established.

While other broadleaf species and grasses displayed visible

signs of drought stress, this viney species actually

produced new shoots and covered its wilted neighbors.

In the s/s treatment G. elliottii again topped the list

at 52% survival, over twice the persistence of any other

species (P=0.01). Among the remaining perennials, no

differences (P>0.05) in population persistence existed under

the fall deferment.

Under the s/s/f treatment, the native G. elliottii

again showed a strong regeneration from roots that were

essentially denuded of all top-growth by grazing the

previous fall. This became readily apparent when the 4%

survival of December 1988 was compared to the greatly

improved 55% following five months of cold, frosts and low

precipitation. Individual plants in this treatment were

considerably less vigorous than those of the two other

treatments, however. None of the other perennial species'

population matched this recovery rate in either numbers or









74

vigor. Desmodium heterocarpon, at 18%, was the closest but

was not different (P>0.05) from the other three perennials.



Persistence Within Annuals, 1987-1989



Although Macroptilium lathyroides is a weak perennial,

stands in Florida survive from year to year primarily on the

basis of abundant seed production and subsequent

germination. For the purposes of this discussion, then, it

will be included in the same group as Aeschynomene

americana. Since interaction between grazing and species

existed at all dates (P<0.01), simple effects are discussed

below.

Persistence of Macroptilium lathyroides after one

growing season and one grazing season showed distinct

treatment effects (P=0.0002; Table 5). Zero grazing showed

the best cover at 60%. The s/s grazing treatment, at 36%,

was lower than the ungrazed but also higher than the s/s/f

regime which showed only a 14% persistence. Plant counts

made after the winter months were comprised mainly of

perennating plants which persisted despite frost kill of the

upper growth and very young seedlings. Other than a near

50% population loss in the ungrazed treatment, little change

occurred (Fig. 13) over the winter. Again, etiolated and

exposed growth in the grass-choked, ungrazed treatment or











Table 5. Mean percent survival comparison within
and among Macroptilium lathyroides (ML) and
Aeschynomene americana (AA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments using May 1987 as a
base date.

Date Grazing ML AA
regime


Dec. 1987 Z 60at A 24ab B
S/S 36b A 26a A
S/S/F 14c A 14b A

May 1988 Z 31a A 4b B
S/S 26a A 16a B
S/S/F 13b A 16a A

Dec 1988 Z 32a A Oa B
S/S 27a A 4a B
S/S/F 3b A Oa B

May 1989 Z lla A Oa B
S/S 3b A Oa B
S/S/F Ob A Oa A

tMeans within columns at each date differ (P<0.05) if
not followed by a common lower case letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.

Means within lines at each date differ (P<0.05) if
not followed by a common upper case letter according
to Duncan's Multiple Range Test.


















0 S/S/F


12/87


12/88


--------------- -
---0-------- 0,^
-- -- ----------------.


o C~^ a -


0-
'0


MONTHS GRAZED


Fig. 13.


Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathyroides starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments.


50


o S/S


I









77

actual colder conditions in the dense herbage may have made

this species more vulnerable to cold temperatures.

Other than a steady decrease in s/s/f plant

persistence, the December 1988 survival values of M.

lathyroides were little changed from the May 1988 readings.

The early and late frosts, as well as the unusually drought

early spring, may have contributed to a continued population

decline by the May 1989 plant count. At that date no plants

survived in the s/s/f treatment and only 3% of the original

population either survived or had been replaced through

reseeding. The ungrazed control, however, maintained an 11%

persistence which was higher (P=0.004) than the two grazed

treatments.

Aeschynomene americana had the highest mean persistence

under the s/s grazing regime at the December 1987 reading

(Table 5 and Fig. 14), although this was not different

(P>0.05) from the zero grazed plots. The s/s/f plots showed

the lowest persistence although they were not different

(P>0.05) from the zero grazed plants. In May 1988, after

the winter stress period, seedlings in the s/s and s/s/f

treatments were not different (P>0.05) from each other and

were both superior (P<0.05) to the zero treatment.

After two grazing seasons, by December 1988, there was

essentially no persistence of A. americana (Fig. 15 shows

this steady decline). Only the s/s treatment had any

survivors at 4%. But this was not different (P=0.29) from


1



















50
40 L


30 0



10

10





ML-12/87 AA-12/87 ML-12/88 AR-12/88
SPECIES-ORTES



Fig. 14. Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathyroides (ML) and Aeschynomene americana
(AA) on December 1987 and December 1988
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
using May 1987 as a base.























1002






50


o1 -----------
0 10 20
MONTHS GRAZED


Fig. 15.


Mean percent persistence of Aeschynomene
americana starting 22 May 1987 under
zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments.









80

the other two treatments which both showed no plants at all.

This situation was not changed by the winter of 1988-1989.

All treatments showed no persistence at this date. It

should be noted, however, that seeds of this species do not

normally germinate and persist in numbers until well into

the wet, hot summer months.



Persistence Among Annuals, 1987-1989



In the ungrazed treatment, Macroptilium lathyroides

exhibited superior persistence (P=0.01) to Aeschvnomene

americana at the December, 1987 reading (Table 5). There

were no differences (P>0.33) in either of the two grazed

treatments for both these species.

Following winter cold stress, the relative survival of

the two species remained the same at the ungrazed level

despite a decrease in the numbers of both entries. In the

s/s strip plots, however, Macroptilium lathyroides showed a

higher (P<0.05) survival and perennation although this trend

did not appear in the s/s/f treatment (E=0.64).

By the end of the second year, December 1988, both

annuals showed a steady decline in population compared to a

year earlier. This decline was not as severe for M.

lathyroides as with Aeschynomene americana (Fig. 14) since

the first exhibited superior (P<0.05) persistence through

reseeding in both grazed treatments.


~











After the hard frosts and low precipitation of the

intervening months, May 1989 plant populations in all

treatments for both species declined except where they were

already zero. Macroptilium lathyroides in the ungrazed

treatment was the only appreciable plant population

remaining with 11% persistence. Caution should be used in

drawing conclusions from the May data since germination and

establishment of these species is typically limited prior to

summer months.



Pot Study



Winter Harvest



Since there was an interaction between species and

treatment in all dependent variables (P<0.02), except

herbage nitrogen mass (P=0.54), the discussions and tables

in this section will be concerned solely with the simple

effects of this experiment.



Root mass



Galactia elliottii and Desmanthus virgatus showed

similar treatment effects on root mass with no difference

(P>0.05) between the early and extended clipping treatments

in either of these two species (Table 6). There was,











Table 6. Mean root mass, root total non-structural
carbohydrate (TNC) percent and root TNC mass
of Galactia elliottii, Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus virqatus following autumn
clipping treatments.


Species Clipping Root TNC% TNC
treatment mass mass


g % g
G. elliottii Extendedt 2.76b 25.5b 0.73b
Early 2.86b 25.7b 0.72b
Control 5.67a 33.7a 1.92a

D. virgatus Extended 2.36b 23.0ab 0.55b
Early 2.55b 22.1b 0.57b
Control 4.77a 25.3a 1.20a

D. heterocarpon Extended 3.12a 12.la 0.37ab
Early 3.80a 12.0a 0.46a
Control 3.40a 9.8b 0.32b

G. elliottii Extended 2.76a 25.5a 0.73a
D. virgatus 2.36a 23.0b 0.55ab
D. heterocarpon 3.12a 12.1c 0.37b

G. elliottii Early 2.86b 25.7a 0.72a
D. virgatus 2.55b 22.1b 0.57ab
D. heterocarpon 3.80a 12.0c 0.46b

G. elliottii Control 5.67a 33.7a 1.92a
D. virgatus 4.77b 25.3b 1.20b
D. heterocarpon 3.39c 9.8c 0.32c

tExtended clipping was six clippings at 2-wk intervals,


early clipping included only the first three
and the control was never clipped.


clippings


Means within columns for each division differ (E<0.05)
if not followed by a common letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.











however, a large difference (P<0.05) between these two

treatments and the unclipped control. Desmodium

heterocarpon showed no differences (P=0.14) between

treatments (Fig. 16). This may in part be because this

species was observed to flower, seed and senesce much more

than either of the other two. Desmanthus virgatus was not

observed to senesce at all throughout the experiment but

continued to put out new green growth continuously.

All three species reacted in much the same way to the

extended clipping treatment (P=0.15). In the early clipping

treatment, however, Desmodium heterocarpon had a higher

(P=0.002) root mass than either of the other two species,

perhaps paralleling the earlier senescing which favored

reserves in the roots (Table 6). Galactia elliottii had the

largest root mass in the unclipped treatment, developing a

xylopod (enlarged taproot, Schultze-Kraft and Giacometti,

1979) even in weakly developed plants. Desmanthus virqatus

had the next largest mass, smaller than Galactia elliottii

but also heavier than Desmodium heterocarpon which had the

smallest root system. This last species, in marked contrast

to the other two, exhibited a much more extensive secondary,

fibrous root system.










84










4





2O






U

ER

EX
DV DH GE
SPECIES



Fig. 16. Mean root mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments.











Root total non-structural carbohydrate percent



Galactia elliottii had a higher (P=0.0001) TNC percent

in the unclipped treatment with no differences (P>0.05)

between the two clipped treatments (Table 6). This last

phenomenon may in part be due to the tendency of this

species tended to drop its leaves and stop growth in all

treatments about the time that the clippings in the early

clipping treatment were terminated. If the treatments had

begun a little earlier in the season, differences between

the early and the extended clipping treatments may have

developed.

This was also the case with Desmodium heterocarpon

except that in this species the unclipped treatment was

lower (P=0.002) than the two clipped treatments (Fig. 17).

This difference between the two species may be explained by

the fact that the clipped plants were less dormant at the

winter harvest since they were unable to complete seed

production as well as did the unclipped control. There was,

perhaps, a much larger percentage of dead root component in

the unclipped plants which may have brought the TNC percent

down.

Desmanthus virgatus, being more metabolically active

during these late fall months than the other species, showed

less distinct differences (P=0.09) between the clipped and

the unclipped treatments. The unclipped control had higher














































Fig. 17.


35

30

25

20
z
15
0
0
10

5


U

ER

EX
DH GE
SPECIES



Mean root total non-structural
carbohydrate (TNC) percent of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon
(DH), and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under
extended clipping (EX), early clipping
(ER) and unclipped (U) treatments.




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PERSISTENCE OF SEVEN FORAGE LEGUMES UNDER
THREE GRAZING REGIMES
By
JAMES PIERRE MUIR
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1989

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
There are, I am certain, many more constructive ways
for a university researcher to further his or her career
than to sacrifice the thousands of hours needed to guide a
disciple through the tortuous paths of graduate research.
Nevertheless, Dr. W. D. (Buddy) Pitman has been willing to
invest that time in this work. I am grateful for that
sacrifice and hope that his satisfaction will come as I, his
student, fulfill the scientific and professional
expectations which he has consciously and subconsciously set
for me.
I owe many thanks to Dr. Ken Quesenberry as well. His
efforts not just in reviewing the work presented herein but
in preparing me academically for this exercise have been
invaluable. His wry humor in times of stress and
admonishing prods when energies flagged made the goal
attainable.
I believe that no three people so fully incorporate
what I wish to accomplish in agriculture as do the remaining
three reviewers of this text. Drs. George Tanner, Joseph
Conrad and Loy Crowder provided me with not simply the
direction of committee members or the instruction of
11

classroom teachers but with symbols of what agricultural
researchers should strive for. My thanks go to them for
their contributions to this work as well as their
inspiration to my career.
I cannot forget the periodic revitalization I have
received over the past five years from my two co¬
conspirators, Graham Knox and Steve Calhoun. By hook and by
net they managed to keep my spirit and my mind together as
we all became agronomists.
What is a person's career and professional
accomplishments without the reassuring stability of a
family? Although my wife Kaycie did not write a chapter and
my son Petie was not allowed to scribble a crayon marking on
this manuscript, their imprint is there. Put simply,
without them, the efforts invested in this dissertation
would have been without meaning. Although sacrifices were
made in terms of time spent together as a family, I can say
with full confidence that they have been, and always will
be, far more important to me than any professional endeavors
I should undertake on behalf of my career. I thank them for
being there from the onset to the final crystallization of
this dissertation.
in

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii
LIST OF TABLES vii
LIST OF FIGURES ix
ABSTRACT xiii
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 6
Plant Adaptations to Foraging 6
Regrowth Capacity 7
Internal Composition 8
Availability 10
Associated Species 11
Growth Habit 12
Effects of Direct Grazing on Legume Production 15
Methods for Measuring Plant Acceptability . . 18
Previous Studies in Tropical Forage Legume
Persistence 18
Common Grazing 19
Frequency of Defoliation 21
Defoliation Intensity 25
Put-and-take Management 29
Deferred Grazing 32
CHAPTER THREE METHODS AND MATERIALS 36
Field Study 36
Experimental Layout 37
Grazing Management 39
Persistence Evaluation 40
Statistical Analysis 41
Pot Study 41
IV

Page
CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS 4 6
Field Study 4 6
Height of Perennials, 1987 46
Persistence Within Perennials, 1987-1989 57
Persistence Among Perennials, 1987-1989 . 67
Persistence Within Annuals, 1987-1989 . . 74
Persistence Among Annuals, 1987-1989 . . 80
Pot Study 81
Winter Harvest 81
Root mass 81
Root total non-structural
carbohydrate percent 85
Root total non-structural
carbohydrate mass 87
Herbage mass 89
Herbage nitrogen percent 92
Herbage nitrogen mass 94
Leaf mass 96
Leaf-stem ratio 99
Flower and pod mass 99
Spring Harvest 102
Root mass: species X winter harvest 103
Root mass: autumn clipping X
winter harvest 103
Herbage mass: species X
winter harvest 106
Herbage mass: autumn clipping X
winter harvest 107
Herbage nitrogen percent: species X
autumn clipping 107
Herbage nitrogen mass: species X
winter harvest 109
Correlations Between Winter and
Spring Factors Ill
CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION 114
Species Persistence under Grazing Management . 114
Aeschvnomene americana 114
Alvsicarpus vaginalis 116
Desmanthus virgatus 116
Desmodium heterocarpon 117
Galactia elliottii 118
Macroptilium lathvroides 120
Vigna adenantha 121
Factors Affecting Persistence 122
Climatic Adaptation 122
Moisture Stress 122
v

Page
Temperature Stress 125
Microenvironment 127
Management Factors 129
Direct influences 129
Indirect influences 132
Relationships between Defoliation and
Plant Composition 13 2
CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS 135
LITERATURE CITED 140
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 149
vi

LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
1 Number of subsamples per experimental
unit in the pot study 4 5
2 Plant height means of Alvsicarpus vaginalis
(AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), Galactia
elliottii (GE) and Desmanthus virgatus (DV)
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments during the 1987 growing season . . 47
3 Height of Alvsicarpus vaginalis (AV)
Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), Galactia
elliottii (GE) and Desmanthus virgatus (DV)
under zero (Z) , spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
in December 1987 as a percent of ungrazed
plots 56
4 Mean percent survival comparison within
and among perennials Alvsicarpus
vaginalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Galactia elliottii (GE), Desmanthus virgatus
(DV), and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments using May 1987 as
a base date 58
5 Mean percent survival comparison within and
among Macroptilium lathvroides (ML) and
Aeschvnomene americana (AA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments using May 1987 as
a base date 7 5
6 Mean root mass, root total non-
structural carbohydrate (TNC) percent and
root TNC mass of Galactia elliottii.
Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus
virgatus following autumn clipping
treatments 8 2
Vll

Table
Page
7 Mean herbage mass, herbage nitrogen percent
and herbage nitrogen mass of
Galactia elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus virgatus following autumn
clipping treatments 90
8 Mean leaf mass, leaf-stem ratio and flower
and legume mass of Galactia elliottii.
Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus
virgatus following autumn clipping
treatments 98
9 Mean root mass and herbage mass
of Galactia elliottii. Desmodium
heterocarpon and Desmanthus virgatus
allowed 16 wk recovery following winter
harvest at 3-cm height and an unharvested
control 104
10 Mean root mass and herbage mass of
Galactia elliottii. Desmodium
heterocarpon and Desmanthus virgatus allowed
16 wk recovery after superimposing a winter
harvest at 3-cm height and an unharvested
control on autumn clipping treatments . . . 105
11 Mean herbage nitrogen percent of
Galactia elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus virgatus allowed 16 wk
recovery following autumn clipping
treatments 108
12 Mean herbage nitrogen mass of Galactia
elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus virgatus allowed 16 wk
recovery after being submitted to a winter
harvest at 3-cm height and an unharvested
control 110
13 Correlation between pre-winter root and
root total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC)
mass with post-winter herbage mass and
herbage nitrogen mass in three forage
legumes allowed 16 wk recovery after being
subjected to three autumn clipping
treatments and winter harvested at 3-cm
heights 112
viii

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
1
2
3
4
5
Page
Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Alvsicarpus vaginalis (A.V.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 49
Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 50
Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Desmanthus virgatus (D.V.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 52
Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S)
and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on
height of Galactia elliottii (G.E.)
beginning 20 May 1987 with cattle added day
0 and taken off S/S day 115 53
Mean percent height remaining in spring/
summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F)
grazed plots of Alvsicarpus vaginalis (A.V.)/
Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.), Desmanthus
virgatus (D.V.) and Galactia elliottii
(G.E.) compared to ungrazed plots on
December 1987 55
ó Mean percent persistence of Alvsicarpus
vaginalis starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments 59
7 Mean percent persistence of Desmodium
heterocarpon starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments 61
ix

Page
Figure
8 Mean percent persistence of Desmanthus
virgatus starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z) , spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments 62
9 Mean percent persistence of Galactia
elliottii starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments 64
10 Mean percent persistence of Vigna
adenantha starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/
fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments 66
11 Mean persistence of perennials Alvsicarpus
vaginalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1987
using May 1987 as a base date 68
12 Mean persistence of perennials Alvsicarpus
vaginalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1988
using May 1987 as a base date 69
13 Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathvroides starting 22 May 1987, under
zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments 7 6
14 Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathvroides (ML) and Aeschvnomene americana
(AA) on December 1987 and December 1988
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments using May 1987 as a base 78
15 Mean percent persistence of Aeschvnomene
americana starting 22 May 1987, under
zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing
treatments 79
x

Page
Figure
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Mean root mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 84
Mean root total non-structural carbohydrate
(TNC) percent of Galactia elliottii
(GE) , Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 86
Mean root total non-structural carbohydrate
(TNC) mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 88
Mean herbage mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 91
Mean herbage nitrogen percent of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH)
and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 93
Mean herbage nitrogen mass of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH)
and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 95
Mean leaf mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 97
Mean leaf-stem of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH) and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments 100
xi

Figure
Page
24
Mean seed and pod mass of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH)
and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments
101
Xll

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
PERSISTENCE OF SEVEN FORAGE LEGUMES
UNDER THREE GRAZING REGIMES
By
JAMES PIERRE MUIR
August 1989
Chairman: William D. Pitman
Cochairman: Kenneth H. Quesenberry
Major Department: Agronomy
A degraded flatwoods pasture at Ona, Florida, was
planted in 1986 with strips of Aeschvnomene americana L.,
Alvsicarpus vaginalis D.C., Vigna adenantha (G. F. Meyer)
Marechal, Macherpa and Stainier, Desmodium heterocarpon (L.)
D.C. cv. Florida, Galactia elliottii Nuttal., Macroptilium
lathvroides (L.) Urb. and Desmanthus virgatus (L.), Willd.
Late spring through summer (S/S) grazing, late spring
through fall (S/S/F) grazing and ungrazed treatments were
imposed during 1987 and 1988. Grazing pressure was 2.2
yearling heifers per ha in the summer, 1.2 yearling heifers
per ha during the fall. Plant heights of the four upright¬
growing perennials were measured during 1987 and plant
Xlll

population survival using May 1987 numbers as a base were
taken during 1987, 1988 and 1989.
Height measurements indicated that D. virgatus.
Galactia elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon and Alvsicarpus
vaginalis in the two grazed treatments had reduced plant
heights by June. Differentiation between all treatments was
apparent in the last two species by mid-December.
Despite high persistence of A. vaginalis and Desmodium
heterocarpon in May 1988, populations declined by May 1989.
Desmanthus virgatus and Vigna adenantha had persistence
values near 25% for the S/S treatment May 1989. Galactia
elliottii. in May 1989, had the highest persistence of all
entries with no differences between the grazed treatments.
A fall clipping trial indicated that Desmodium
heterocarpon invested in seed production when not clipped.
Desmanthus virgatus partitioned photosynthate to both
herbage and roots while unclipped Galactia elliottii showed
a marked increase in root mass and root non-structural
carbohydrate but not effect on herbage production.
Aeschynomene americana. Macroptilium lathvroides and
Desmanthus virgatus persistence mechanisms included
unpalatable stem and seed production. Vigna adenantha
survived through rapid regrowth, Galactia elliottii by
storing nutrient reserves for early spring growth, while
Alvsicarpus vaginalis and Desmodium heterocarpon survived
via prostrate growth and seed production.
xiv

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Grazing and browsing animals have had a large influence
on the evolution of many plants from which they derive
sustenance. Depending on grazing intensity and/or cycle as
well as other environmental factors which affect herbage
recovery, range and pasture plants have developed
morphological or chemical factors which assist them in
either deterring or surviving predation (Hodgkinson and
Williams, 1983). Some species outgrow these terrestrial
herbivores while others become inconspicuous via decumbent
growth. A few have developed chemicals in the herbage which
discourage ingestion via taste or anti-digestive factors. A
third survival mode makes use of simple regenerative
capacities in which plants acquire the ability to resprout
and regrow faster than neighboring species after being
damaged. In forage science it is this last group which
primarily interests the pasture manager because these plants
are acceptable to herbivores, nutritious and capable of
permanence in the system.
It is natural, then, that these same adaptations in
turn influence the acceptability of the plants as forage to
1

2
herbivores. Depending on the feed amount and species
available, harvesting animals will place differing pressures
upon specific species within the area open to ranging. The
rancher who plans to cultivate various legume and grass
species to enhance domesticated animal productivity should
therefore understand which species will be preferentially
selected in forage mixtures and which will not benefit
his/her program by being completely unacceptable to the
animals.
In peninsular Florida very little of this information
is available on tropical forage legumes. Pitman and
Kretschmer (1984) have conducted initial work with a number
of introduced legumes at the Ona Agricultural Research and
Education Center (Ona AREC) encompassing 19 accessions from
17 species as well as 50 entries in a further work (Pitman
et al., 1988). Grazing evaluation of single rows of these
legumes was conducted in Paspalum notatum Flugge swards.
Several species survived the grazing while others were
completely eliminated. Of the survivors, only those for
which seed was available could be studied further in this
experiment. All those which did not survive, however,
should not be excluded from further evaluation. The high
degree of variability and complete lack of persistence of
some legumes (for example Desmanthus virgatus (L.) Willd.,
which was utilized heavily by wildlife) cannot be attributed
solely to climatic or edaphic factors in these studies since

3
all plants were subjected to dense competition from grasses
and little range in grazing management levels. Under less
competition from grass or with more intense management,
results might well have been different. For example, Pitman
and Kretschmer (1984) reported very erratic establishment of
Viqna adenantha (G.F. Meyer) Marechal, Mascherpa and
Staineir and Viqna parkeri Bak. while under different
management Pitman and Singer (1985) obtained good pasture
coverage from the same species. The question yet to be
answered, therefore, is not only will cattle graze or avoid
species but what grazing management is needed to ensure
proper establishment and maximum persistence while still
maintaining high productivity.
Another aspect of tropical forage legumes which
concerns ranchers in Florida is pasture fertilization needs.
The purpose of the legume component in a grazing system is
to provide improved mineral content, especially nitrogen in
crude protein form. But must plant nutrients be added to
native flatwoods soils to ensure proper establishment and
persistence of these species? Producers, attempting to
economize as much as possible in a financially-strapped
cattle market, would prefer not to invest in fertilizer for
native pastures. Information on which forage legume species
might do well in unfertilized flatwoods pastures with native
grasses is therefore of interest.

4
Frequently, researchers look at legume persistence in
pastures by varying the stocking rate to which the species
are subjected. Florida, however, with its distinct seasonal
conditions where spring growth is often limited due to low
rainfall, demands additional approaches. Summer growth in
grasslands provides relatively abundant forage while fall
deferment may be needed to allow annual legumes to set seed
and perennial species to store energy for regrowth following
winter frost. The period in which tropical forage legumes
could be of greatest benefit to Florida ranchers is
therefore the so-called "summer slump" of August and
September. During these months herbage is abundant but low
in quality, causing reduced animal weight gains or even loss
despite excess forage (Pitman et al., 1984). One aspect of
this study was therefore centered on evaluating selected
legume species for potential to persist under grazing during
the late spring forage quantity deficit and the summer
forage quality slump.
This study sought to answer several questions pertinent
to forage legumes in South-central Florida:
Objective 1. Of the species which have done well in
initial introduction studies, determine which will persist
under the various grazing regimes selected.
Objective 2. Among those that survive, discern what
mechanisms are involved which allow species to tolerate the

5
various grazing treatments under conditions found in Central
Florida flatwoods.
Objective 3. Determine some of the relationships of
defoliation to plant composition as these relate to regrowth
in selected entries.

CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
Plant Adaptations to Foraging
Plants may achieve persistence under grazing in various
ways. Although climate, soils, pathogens and insect
herbivory also affect plant survival mechanisms, animal
herbivory has had an extensive effect on plant growth
mechanisms such as reproductive cycles, regrowth
characteristics or internal biochemical composition. In
some more obvious strategies, plants may expand their
populations under herbivory via basal regrowth, prostrate
leaves and stems, well developed root nutrient storage,
rhizome and stolon growth, rapid regeneration from various
non-apical meristimatic tissue following trampling or
defoliation, rapid seeding, seed dormancy, morphological and
biochemical characteristics unfavorable to herbivore
ingestion and digestion, and many other means (Hodgkinson
and Williams, 1983).
Forage expansion via recruitment was reported by many
researchers either through vegetative propagation or
seeding. Vegetative propagation examples include Medicaqo
6

7
sativa L. (Campbell, 1974) and Macroptilium atropurpureum
(D.C.) Urb. (Hodgkinson and Williams, 1983). Jones and
Evans (1977) reported on soil seed reserves which were high
even in such perennials as Lotononis bainesii Baker,
Desmodium intortum (Mill.) Urb. Thell. and Trifolium repens
L. Taylor (1972) reported on several years' seed production
by annual legumes and noted that different cultivars of the
same species produced differing seed amounts under varying
climatic conditions, greatly affecting seedling numbers the
following years. Depending on previous seed crops and
hardseededness, many species survive non-consecutive, poor
seeding seasons according to Hagon (1974).
Regrowth Capacity
Individual plant regeneration after grazing also
contributes to persistence in many species. If associations
are grazed at a time when one component can regrow more
rapidly than another yet both are grazed equally, then that
species which recovers more quickly will likely exhibit
greater dominance. In Florida, Pitman (personal
communication) observed that many tropical legumes continued
to grow further into the fall than did Paspalum notatum.
The advantage which this C-4 grass possesses in superior
growth rates is reduced perhaps due to decreased daylength
or temperatures. In the spring, however, the roles are

8
reversed when the P. notatum tends to start responding to
wanning trends faster than these legumes. Unlike the fall
situation, this difference may be a result of more extensive
fibrous root systems possessed by the grasses which give
them an advantage in this moisture-scarce period. The
normal legume advantage derived from deep taproots does not
exist for many legumes in these spodosol pastures due to
shallow hardpans in the soil.
Regrowth capacity is naturally more related to
hereditary factors, especially when considered across a
broad spectrum of environments. This is usually more
important in perennials, for example Leucaena leucocephala
(Lam.) de Wit (Hodgkinson and Williams, 1983) but can also
be important in annuals or short lived perennials such as
Stvlosanthes humilis H.B.K. and Stvlosanthes hamata (L.)
Taub. (Gardner, 1981). Differing environments and grazing
situations, of course, would greatly affect how well these
adaptations would serve population survival.
Internal Composition
Plant biochemical factors which deter grazing before it
even occurs are, at times, as important as recovery from
grazing. Forage digestibility has been shown in many cases
to influence passage rate and, therefore, acceptability to
herbivores. This can be easily observed in such

9
characteristics as coarse-stemmed morphologies implying high
fiber contents as Donnelly and Hawkins (1959) saw in
Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don or as Hodges and McCaleb
(1972) reported with Aeschvnomene americana L. Often,
however, these characteristics may be only a contributing
factor or may even be masked by other anti-nutritional
factors.
Other less superficially-apparent factors may involve
tannin, which is thought to lower digestibility (Donnelly
and Anthony, 1969 with Lespedeza cuneata), or such compounds
as alkaloids which appeared to be toxic to cattle (Thomas et
al., 1985). The alkaloid content can at times be such a
factor that animals will not eat the legumes at all. Thomas
et al. (1985) observed that in a mixed pasture of Andropoqon
gavanus Kunth and Zornia brasiliensis Vog. in Brazil, cattle
grazed so selectively that the pasture was 100% legume after
3 yr. Not even during the dry season when the legume was
the only green material available did cattle eat the high
alkaloid-containing Zornia. There is some suspicion that
the problem in this species may also be related to sulfur
content (Lascano et al., 1981). Thomas et al. (1985)
observed that Calopoqonium mucunoides Desv. and Desmodium
ovalifolium Walp. were also thought to have similar
characteristics since, when planted in associations with
grasses, they soon became the dominant component. Middleton
and Mellor (1982) discovered that Calopoqonium caeruleum

10
Hemsl., had similar characteristics. In a pasture with
Panicum maximum Jacq this legume soon became the dominant
species and average daily liveweight gain declined from 0.5
to 0.2 kg head"1 over 2 yr.
Other plant biochemicals may actually attract
herbivory. Crude protein may raise digestibility, for
example with Lesoedeza cuneata (Donnelly and Anthony, 1969).
Sugars and soluble carbohydrates may also raise palatability
(Cowlishaw and Alder, 1960) and thereby enhance selection.
There are, however, many studies which indicate that these
correlations do not hold or are at most confusing, a view
Warmke et al. (1952) held after they found no significant
correlation between soluble sugars and palatability in some
tropical legumes.
Availability
Herbage availability of particular forages may be an
important factor in forage selection. Reid (1951) stated
that forage accessibility has considerable influence on
utilization. Both Reid et al. (1967b) and Raymond and
Spedding (1966) pointed out than increased intake of
N-fertilized grasses may occur simply because these are more
abundant that the unfertilized plants. The same may be true
for P- and K-fertilized legumes. Bite size, the amount of
herbage harvested with each bite, may be more important in

11
these cases then palatability as Clark and Harris (1985)
indicated in their study of white clover spatial
distribution and its relationship to content in sheep
grazing. Other studies, however, indicate no relationship
between yield and grazing preference (for example Warmke et
al., 1952).
Associated Species
If legume preference is the targeted information, the
other legumes and associated grasses in which all are grown
may influence cattle selectivity. Lascano et al. (1981),
when comparing grazing selectivity of Centrosema pubescens
Benth. in Andropogon gavanus. Panimcum maximum and
Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. swards, determined that the
legume was grazed more heavily as grass defoliation
decreased in vitro digestibility, leaf/stem ratios and crude
protein of the different grasses. Likewise, Carvalho et al.
(1984) determined that Neonotonia wiqhtii (R. Grah. ex
Wightii and Arn.) was selectively grazed in Panicum maximum.
Paspalum notatum and Brachiaria mutica Forsk. pastures only
when grass components decreased considerably from grazing.
Not only cattle selectivity but associated grass growth
habit may affect legume persistence. When compared to pure
grass or pure legume swards, legume components of grass-
legume mixtures are more likely to be inferior (Crowder and

12
Chheda, 1982). Tall bunch grasses may shade out some
legumes while allowing others to thrive in the open ground
between tufts. Dense mat-forming grasses, in contrast, may
choke out some low-growing legume species yet allow other
viney types greater productivity due to structural support
which allows more access to sunlight. In either of these
cases, cattle access may also be affected by associated
grass morphology (Strange, 1960). Although Strange (1960)
in Kenya found that there was simply no substitute for
general adaptability to the local environmental conditions,
twining legumes did better with taller, erect grasses while
more prostrate legumes were inferred to do best with lower
growing grasses.
Growth Habit
Perhaps the most important factor in forage persistence
under grazing is growth habit. Canopy structure, whether
composed of one species or an association, heavily
influences what and how much a grazing animal can collect as
Moore et al. (1985) showed with Aeschynomene americana and
Hemarthria altissima (Poir.) Stapf and C.E. Hubb in Florida.
These authors concluded that as herbage concentration
increased in the upper canopy, intake per bite of those
species present also increased.

13
Twining legumes, in particular, have difficulties
tolerating direct grazing and trampling. Thomas et al.
(1985) pointed out that some Galactia and Centrosema species
have stems and buds which are very vulnerable to this
pressure and therefore do not persist well in directly
grazed pastures. Those climbing species which can root at
the nodes, however, may overcome this limitation as do
Centrosema macrocarpum Benth., Centrosema pubescens (Thomas
et al., 1985) and Viana parkeri (Cook and Jones, 1987).
Another morphological type which has difficulties under
direct and heavy grazing is the group containing upright
growing species with a limited capacity for regrowth from
non-apical meristimatic tissue (Thomas, 1986). Annuals
especially figure heavily in this group. Once grazed close
to the ground, these often are unable to recover
sufficiently to set seed, especially if harvested late in
the growing season. Thomas et al. (1985) and Thomas (1986)
also included in this group species of the genera
Stvlosanthes and Centrosema.
In a study of 50 legume accessions, Pitman et al.
(1988) concluded that prostrate species such as a perennial
Alvsicarpus vaginalis (L.) D.C., Viana parkeri and Desmodium
barbatum Benth. had better persistence under heavy grazing
than under lighter grazing pressure. They also pointed out
that light grazing produced the opposite effect in some of
these low-growing types.

14
There is often a trade-off of yield for persistence
when decumbent varieties are compared to erect ones. Leach
et al. (1982) found that in terms of numbers, spreading
Medicaqo sativa types were more persistent. In actual dry
matter production, however, the erect lines were higher
despite lower numbers of individuals.
An aspect which few research trials address is the
length of time different legumes take to establish and the
indication this might give of subsequent persistence. It
appears that those legumes, especially perennials, which
take longer to establish, are often more persistent due to
deeper, more developed root systems. Wong and Eng (1983)
grazed recently established pastures at 3.8 cattle ha'1 over
3 yr and found that quickly establishing perennials such as
Stvlosanthes quianensis (Aubl) Sw. cv. Cook did not maintain
vigor and ground cover as did more slow to establish
Desmodium ovalifolium (L.) Benth. A prime example of the
slow to establish legumes, one adapted to well drained
soils, is Arachis glabrata Benth. According to Prine et al.
(1986) and Prine et al. (1981), germplasm of this legume is
well suited to droughty sands but should not be grazed at
all the season of establishment after being planted from
rhizomes. Even faster establishing annuals such as
Aeschvnomene americana L. (Kalmbacher et al., 1988) or
short-lived perennials like Macroptilium lathvroides (L.)
Urb. (Pitman et al., 1986) should not be grazed after

15
seedlings enter the upper canopy. Heavy grazing just prior
to this stage to avoid closed canopies and grass competition
does benefit the stands, however. Once well established,
grazing may commence.
Kretschmer (1988) mentioned two other factors which
assisted some legumes in overcoming temporary, if not
necessarily continuous, over-grazing. The first is simply
woodiness. Unpalatable stem will naturally discourage total
destruction of some species such as Leucaena spp. The other
is the capacity to store energy and resprout via crowns or
rhizomes. The main factor involved may be that these
anatomical structures are unavailable to the animal for
consumption as in the case of some Arachis spp.
Effects of Direct Grazing on Legume Production
Many studies have gathered information on the
above-ground effects of grazing on legumes. The most
obvious and most often documented, of course, is the
abundance of leaf and stem. Davidson and Brown (1985)
working with Neonotonia wightii and Desmodium intortum
described but one example in which excessive grazing
pressure decreased green matter while moderate stocking
rates maintained or increased the proportion of legume in
the pasture.

16
Fewer studies, however, have documented the actual
numbers of plants that survive differing grazing regimes.
Gardner (1981) working with Stvlosanthes hamata indicated
that this species survived normal defoliation pressures via
weak perennation but resorted to soil seed reserves when
mature plants were destroyed by overgrazing. That author
found that only 0.03% of all seedlings survived to a third
growing season. Jones et al. (1980) discovered in a study
of grazed Macroptilium atropurpureum lines that plant
numbers declined differently for various lines as the
pasture matured. Increasing the stocking rate from 2 to 3
steers ha'1 resulted in plant densities of 5.3 and 1.9
plants m’2, respectively, in 5 yr. Jones (1979), working
with the same species and a range of grazing treatments,
however, found that grazing frequency at differing stocking
rates had no effect on plant density and seedling
regeneration.
Roberts (1980) reviewed several publications reporting
the effect of botanical composition on animal gain due to
differing stocking rates. His general conclusions were that
botanical composition in some pastures is not affected by
increased stocking rates which do, however, result in
decreased liveweight gain per head after a certain level.
Higher stocking rates on other pastures did result in
distinctive botanical composition changes but, surprisingly,
did not affect animal gain. This later finding would

17
indicate that the pastures resulting from poor management
were as good or better than the original mixture.
Very few studies, however, have concentrated on
determining what happens beneath the soil surface to grazed
and over-grazed plants. Even fewer studies have focused on
the effect of differing grazing regimes on root
carbohydrates. For information on this area the literature
is limited to studies on clipped plants. Trejos and Borel
(1985), for example, studied the effect of different cutting
heights and intervals on total non-structural carbohydrates
of Stvlosanthes caoitata Vog. No differences were found,
even in root and base content although percent and not total
carbohydrate was reported. They did note, however, that the
longer the plant rested after cutting, the greater the
percent carbohydrate recovery in the roots and bases. They
felt that they should shorten the recovery periods (27 d was
the shortest) to discern differences between treatments and
species.
Whiteman and Lulham (1970) studied the effect of
defoliation, both mechanical and animal, on nodule number
and weight. They found that in Macroptilium atropurpureum
mean weight per nodule was reduced whereas in Desmodium
uncinatum (Jacq.) D.C. grazing and cutting reduced nodule
number rather than size.

18
Methods for Measuring Plant Acceptability
The amount of forage which is removed during grazing is
termed herbage utilization (Heady, 1964). Preference, then,
can be measured in the relative utilization of the various
forages compared if availability is equal among species. As
Cook and Stoddart (1953) pointed out in the case of
rangelands, plant utilization (and by deduction preference)
is most commonly measured by using length or weight of the
grazed versus the ungrazed pasture portions. Reid et al.
(1967a) in their work with temperate grasses used a
palatability index calculated as the proportional dry matter
consumption from each treatment compared to that consumed in
all treatments combined.
Marten (1970) warned against not taking growth during
grazing into account when calculating utilization. Heady
(1964) used grazing exclosures to ensure this difference did
not affect the accuracy of the results obtained in his work.
Previous Studies in Tropical Forage Legume Persistence
Most studies in forage legume persistence have involved
plant survival under various grazing pressures and/or
frequencies rather than grazing periods as was studied in
this dissertation. These studies, however, hold some
pertinent information which can be utilized here.

19
Common Grazing
Although simply planting various legumes side by side
in a pasture and allowing cattle continuous, unlimited
access to them is a rather simple study method, it
encompasses several possible draw-backs. Foremost among
these is the danger of assuming that any plots with superior
persistence have the best species, cultivars or accessions.
The survival may simply be due to lower acceptance by the
animals. More palatable legumes may provide higher animal
weight gains in more appropriately managed situations when
compared to persistent but unpalatable lines.
It may be useful, therefore, to plant an ungrazed
control next to the grazed plots to determine whether
disappearance, if it occurs, is due to animal preference or
genetic limitations on the part of the plant. Even then,
however, too much competition from ungrazed grass or no
pressure from direct grazing and trampling can give
misleading or at least incomplete information.
Pitman and Kretschmer (1984) studied seventeen tropical
legumes under common grazing at one grazing pressure and
frequency in Florida with measurable results. After the
third year growth and second year grazing from May to
November, only four species showed any significant survival.
In terms of original planted area, Macroptilium lathvroides

20
covered 9% and Vigna luteola (Jacq) Benth. 6% of the
pasture, a non-significant difference from the other 13
species. Aeschvnomene americana covered 28% and Vigna
parkeri topped the list at 42% cover, both significantly
higher than the others but also different from each other.
Most species were lost due to low vigor and failure to
regenerate. According to the authors, at least one,
(Macroptilium atropurpureum), succumbed to its incapacity to
tolerate direct grazing, while others disappeared at least
in part due to selective grazing (e.g. Desmathus virg^atus) .
The main reason for failures in persistence according to the
authors, however, was the heavy competition from the
associated Papalum notatum as well as the pressures of
direct grazing.
Pitman et al. (1986) also used common grazing pastures
to compare nine Stvlosanthes guianensis var. guianensis
accessions, three Stvlosanthes hamata and Stvlosanthes
humilis accessions along with Aeschynomene americana in
peninsular Florida. Grazing pressure varied from 2 animals
ha'1 during June and July the first year on two replications
to 3 animals ha’1 on all four replications the second year
to no animals the third year. Proportion of original cover
surviving at the end of the trial was highest for
Aeschvnomene americana at 80% with the next closest being
two different accessions of Stvlosanthes guianensis at 10%.

21
The last two were not significantly different from the rest
of the legumes which had no measurable survival.
Difficulties in this type of evaluation, especially its
repeatability in dissimilar edaphic and climatic zones, is
exemplified in the 1985 Pitman et al. publication which
covered four different sites in Florida and Costa Rica.
Thirty-six legumes were studied (although not all at every
place) under grazing. The authors did not claim to have
identical grazing pressures at all four sites since this
would be virtually impossible. Perhaps because of this and
the variation in edaphic and climatic conditions, the
results varied considerably from site to site.
The above-mentioned report exemplifies the great
variability which exists in the tropical and sub-tropical
areas when dealing with forage adaptability. A cautious
approach to this research area would entail initial
observations such as Pitman et al. (1985) did for each new
climatic or ecotypic zone followed by more specific work to
be done on the three or four species which show the most
promise in distinct environments.
Frequency of Defoliation
General forage management wisdom indicates that legumes
are far less able to survive repeated defoliation than are
grasses (Kretschmer, 1988). Smith (1970), working with

22
sheep and Medicago sativa in Australia, for example, showed
that persistence was much higher at both high and low
stocking rates when rotational grazing was utilized, thereby
limiting defoliation frequency. He also found that the more
paddocks were subdivided in the rotations, the higher the
productivity. Unfortunately, the economics of such highly-
divided pastures may be rather prohibitive in some
conditions. Leach et al. (1982) used a flexible grazing
frequency approach to study different M. sativa lines in
Australia. Their study compared lines of different
morphologies under a system in which plots were grazed to
the ground and then allowed to recover for 6 wk. Over a
period of 3 yr, persistence was better for spreading lines
than for erect ones although actual winter production was
higher for the locally developed erect cultivar 'Hunter
River.'
Lazier (1981) used an unusual grazing regime in which a
6-wk interval between grazing was the only set factor. At
grazing time cow-calf pairs were allowed to graze plots of
native Belizean Calopogonium caeruleum. Desmodium canum
(Gmel) Schinz and Thell and Desmodium qyroides (D.C.) Hask.
to an unspecified but even degree. Desmodium qyroides.
although it had a 34% mortality over the 3-yr period, proved
to have the highest grazing index (derived by multiplying
amount grazed by degree grazed) and the greatest dry matter
availability after the trial.

23
Whiteman (1969) in Australia also used an unusual
variation on the frequency theme in Chloris gavana Kunth
pastures planted to Macroptilium atropurpureum. Lotononis
bainesii. Glycine iavanica L. and Desmodium uncinatum. For
2 yr, plots were grazed to a 6- to 10-cm stubble height by
sheep. What was unusual was that the intervals between
grazing were determined by seasonal, genetic and animal
directed capacities of the plots to recover. This turned
out to be approximately 6 wk during the warm season and 9 wk
in the cooler periods. The author did not state what
criterion was used to determine full recovery and regrowth.
Under this regime, Glycine appeared to have persisted best
while Lotononis exhibited the lowest survival and
productivity.
Jones and Clements (1987) studied various introductions
and lines of Centrosema virainianum (L.) Benth. as well as
Macroptilium atropurpureum cv. Siratro, Desmodium intortum
cv. Greenleaf, Centrosema pubescens cv. Belalto and Viana
parkeri cv. Shaw under 3-wk rest, 4-d graze regimes. For 4
yr only 1.5 animals ha"1 were used but the last 4 yr the 4-d
grazing was extended on half the experiment to produce a 2.3
animals ha"1 stocking rate. Results varied for different
species under different conditions but after 8 yr at the low
pressure, only the Centrosema virginianum lines still
comprised significant portions of the pasture with the
highest line totaling 18% cover. All the other plots, with

24
the exception of Macroptilium atropurpureum, were persistent
during the first 5 yr at this level although differences did
exist. At the high stocking rate nothing persisted after 4
yr.
Jones (1979), examined not only different grazing
pressures but different grazing freguencies as well. In his
study, M. atropurpureum pastures were rested for 3, 6 and 9
wk between 4-d grazing regimes at stocking rates ranging
from 0.8 to 2.8 head ha'1. He found that the 3-wk rest was
inadequate and legume yield declined dramatically. He
further noted that although decline at the higher stocking
rates was greater than at the lower rates, the longer rest
period allowed much more effective recovery at all stocking
rates.
Less-frequent grazing, however, did not always result
in higher legume percentage in pasture studies. This was
especially true when low frequencies were combined with low
grazing pressure, as Santillan (1983) found in Ecuadorian
pasture mixes including Neonotonia wiahtii. Centrosema
pubescens. Panicum maximum and Pennisetum purpureum
Schumach. In these low-use situations the erect growing
grasses outcompeted the viney legumes and shaded them out.
Maraschin (1975) found the same general rule to be
applicable in a Florida study utilizing both viney and erect
legumes (Macroptilium atropurpureum and Desmodium intorturn)
in a more decumbent type grass (Cvnodon dactvlon (L.) Pers.

25
cv. Coastcross-l). A balance avoiding over-use and
under-use, therefore, seems to work best when grazing
frequency can be varied in a management situation.
Defoliation Intensity
Most legumes have shown a decline in persistence with
an increase in stocking rate (Cowan et al., 1975).
Humphreys (1980) and Jones (1979) both indicated that viney
legumes were especially susceptible to an increase in
grazing pressure. Bryan and Evan (1973) agreed with this
general observation but added that trailing legumes
encountered difficulties not only under heavy but under
moderate stocking rates as well.
Of course, there is a limit to which even the hardier
species can withstand excessive grazing. Smith (1970),
working with Medicago sativa in a subtropical setting with
sheep, found that 2.0 wethers ha’1 was the ideal stocking
rate in a continuous system but plants still survived even
at 4 animals ha’1. When he used 4.9 wethers ha’1 in a six
paddock rotational system, however, there were plant losses
from "digging."
There are some species which appear to thrive under
heavier grazing. Normally these are varieties with a
prostrate morphology which benefit from the removal of
upright growing competition (Bryan and Evan, 1973). Native

26
or naturalized legumes that have adapted to local heavy
grazing especially seem to fit into this category.
Partridge (1980) studied a locally prevalent Desmodium
heterophvllum (Willd.) D.C. in Fiji and discovered that it
persisted better and contributed more to cattle feed at
stocking rates over 3 head ha'1 where introduced species
like Macroptilium atropurpureum disappeared.
Sometimes, however, simply fostering better seedling
establishment, especially in the case of annuals, early in
the establishment of the pasture greatly increases
establishment and persistence rates. Stobbs (1969), for
example, found that Stvlosanthes gracilis H.B.K. did better
as stocking rates increased from 1.65 to 5.0 head ha'1.
Shaw (1978), working with the same genus but another
species, Stvlosanthes humilis, found the same general rule
to be true and related the phenomenon directly to reduced
competition from native grasses early in establishment.
In another angle on the grass competition problem,
Hutchinson (1970), working with sheep and Trifolium repens
in a subtropical setting, found that the legumes did poorly
not only under heavy stocking rates but under light pressure
as well due to heavy competition from grasses. A medium
rate seemed most effective in maintaining persistence.
Davidson and Brown (1985) conducted a grazing study in
which a pasture of Panicum maximum. Neonotonia wiqhtii and
Desmodium intortum was deliberately overgrazed until the

27
legume component was only 3%. Pasture rest, reduced
stocking rate (1 head ha’1) and reduced stocking rate plus
phosphate fertilization all resulted in legume recovery to
over 50% of the dry matter component after 2 yr. A third
treatment in which the original heavy stocking rate was
maintained (2 head ha'1) showed no recovery over a 2-yr
period. Milk yield and weight change of the grazing animals
were positively correlated with the status of the legumes in
the respective plots.
Other researchers have found that stocking rates do not
seem to influence persistence in some species. Rika et al.
(1981) varied stocking rates between 2.7 and 6.3 animals
ha’1 with various legume-grass mixtures and concluded that
pasture botanical composition was not related to grazing
pressure.
Santillan (1983) found that grazing durations varying
from 1 to 28 d on a pasture of Centrosema pubescens.
Neonotonia wightii. Panicum maximum and Pennisetum purpureum
likewise had little effect on legume persistence. Unlike
the above study, however, this researcher found that grazing
pressures of 1.6, 3.3, 5.0, 6.6, and 8.3 kg dry matter on
offer/100 kg body weight and rest periods between grazing of
0, 14, 28, 42, and 56 d did have a significant effect.
Especially at combinations of high grazing pressures and
short rest periods the legume percentages tended to decrease
in this relatively high rainfall Central American region.

28
Alcantara and Abramides (1984) tested five legumes in
grass mixtures and also found that the legumes that did well
at low intensity grazing thrived at high levels as well. In
their case Macroptilium atropurpureum and Neonotonia wightii
seemed most adapted to the particular Brazilian situation
studied. Not surprisingly, Cunha et al. (1984), in the same
region found that the same species with the addition of
Centrosema pubescens did egually well at low, medium and
high grazing intensities utilizing a seasonally adjusted
grazing system. Wilson et al. (1982) did a wide survey of
Aeschvnomene falcata (Poir) D.C. in the Australian
subtropics and discovered that it also fit into this
omni-surviving group. Whether under light periodic grazing
or continuous heavy pressure (kept to 5 cm year round) this
species survived and actually spread in all cases except one
waterlogged site. This would indicate that there are some
species so well adapted to the local conditions and direct
grazing that overgrazing to the point of destroying stands
may be difficult. The studies did not state, however,
whether animal gain on these persistent legumes was higher
than on other less tolerant species.
Where grazing sensitive species are used, the resultant
decline in animal output per area should not be surprising.
Watson and Whiteman (1981) subjected Centrosema pubescens.
Macroptilium atropurpureum and Sylosanthes guianensis cv.
Endeavor mixtures in various grasses to 1.8, 2.7, 3.6 and

29
4.5 animals ha’1 over 4 yr. In the pasture with the most
productive grass species, live-weight gain per ha per yr
showed a definite quadratic relation ranging from just under
400 kg at the low pressure to 600 kg at 3.6 animals ha'1 and
then back down to 500 kg at the highest stocking rate. Less
productive grasses did not show this relationship as
distinctly. The relationship between animal gain and
percent legume component was also quadratic for all
mixtures.
Put-and-take Management
Some researchers have bypassed the stocking rate
dilemma by using a variation of continuous grazing in which
numbers of cattle theoretically are maintained at the
optimum stocking rate such that the legume component had a
good chance to persist. Under these conditions species'
survival or lack thereof should result from genetic traits
rather than management.
Buller et al. (1970) implemented this system in Brazil
to study Svlosanthes gracilis, and Glycine iavanica in
association with Diqitaria decumbens (Stent). Year round
grazing resulted in Svlosanthes gracilis disappearance and
Glycine iavanica persistence despite good animal acceptance
of both legumes. This might indicate that even at carefully
set stocking rates, those species which continue to grow

30
year round (even in the dry season as does Sstylosanthes
gracilis) will likely suffer more losses than those which
are dormant part of the year as was Glycine iavanica in this
study. Production of rhizomes, stolons or rooting nodes in
trailing legumes, although not documented in this case,
might also give viney species advantages over those which
are completely dependent on seed production for
reproduction. This should be especially true in
continuously grazed systems.
Hodges et al. (1976) studied two annual legumes in
Florida, Aeschvnomene americana and Indegofera hirsuta L.,
under a put-and-take system with several different grass
associations. These authors found that productivity of the
two legumes varied widely year to year but that Aeschvnomene
americana had a higher potential pasture yield. Both
species were found to be equally productive in animal weight
gain per area when compared to nitrogen fertilized
grass-only pastures when at least 25% legume cover was
obtained (Hodges et al., 1977).
In a variation of the put-and-take management system,
Thomas (1976) subjected paddocks of Desmodium uncinatum,
Macroptilium atropurpureum. Desmodium intortum. Macroptyloma
axillare (E. Mey.) Verde., Neonotonia wightii, and
Stvlosanthes guianensis cvs. Schofield and Endeavor to
grazing by Malawian fat-tailed sheep to a constant 10-cm
height. The results showed a markedly higher persistence

31
and productivity by Desmodium uncinatum and Macroptyloma
axillare. The two Stvlosanthes cultivars were the most
productive the first year but were out-produced by the
others in subsequent years.
Thomas and Andrade (1984) repeated this general
evaluation scheme using cattle on Brazilian savannah. In
this study only the genus Stvlosanthes was studied, using
eight accessions of Stvlosanthes guianensis. Stvlosanthes
macrocephala Ferr. and Costa and Stvlosanthes capitata.
What is noteworthy in this study is that different species
of the same genus and different varieties of the same
species responded to grazing in markedly different ways. In
their particular situation Stvlosanthes macrocephala CIAT
1582 and both Stvlosanthes capitata CIAT 1019 and 1097
outproduced the other species and entries after 4 yr grazing
to a constant 10-cm height. In a later trial, Thomas and
Andrade (1986) again found differences within species
(Stvlosanthes spp. and Zornia spp.) under both equal and
different grazing pressures.
Pitman et al. (1988) also utilized a put-and-take
system to study 50 legume accessions planted in common
pastures. The authors studied persistence under a heavy
stocking rate defined as 4 to 6 head ha 1 and a light rate
ranging from 1 to 3 head ha'1. Perhaps due to a combination
of various other factors including heavy grass competition
at establishment, intermittent winter frosts and summer

32
flooding, the results showed there were no outstanding
legumes among those studied. Of those that did survive
after 3 yr, Macroptilium atropurpurem had higher persistence
(3.5 %) under the low stocking rate when compared to the
high rate. Desmodium barbatum was the opposite, exhibiting
minimal but higher persistence (1.5 %) under the high as
compared to the low stocking rate.
Deferred Grazing
Davidson and Brown (1985), in a previously mentioned
experiment with dairy cattle on Panicum maximum, Neonotonia
wightii and Desmodium intortum pastures, showed that
deferred grazing at critical times sometimes could result in
overall legume yield increases reflected in higher milk
production over the year and decreased weed problems. By
allowing no grazing during the spring season, critical
winter yields were higher than in those treatments under
continuous use. Jones (1979) likewise found that in
pastures of Macroptilium atropurpureum where productivity,
but not plant density, had declined from overgrazing
(excessive frequency and stocking rate), prolonged rests
were very effective in pasture regeneration. In this study
an entire growing season was allowed for recovery prior to
use again in the autumn. It was noted, however, that

33
pastures in already reasonable condition recovered far more
effectively than those in overgrazed treatments.
Gutteridge (1985b) allowed Stvlosanthes spp. and
Macroptilium atropurpureum pastures under a 2.5 to 6.5
animal units ha'1 stocking range to rest during the dry
season not so much for management purposes but to imitate
indigenous grazing systems in Thailand. Four-day grazing
periods and 16-d rests were also used. Although this
experiment unfortunately did not have a year-round grazed
control, the author found that the effects of different
stocking rates were far less distinct after than before each
rest period. Gutteridge (1985a) found that Macroptilium
atropurpureum was the only entry which showed strong
perennation although it, like all the Stvlosanthes entries,
tended to spread or survive (mostly at lower stocking rates)
more via seeds than vegetatively. The author surmised that
the seed dependent entries had greater difficulty surviving
under the deferred grazing of the dry season because they
did not have the water extracting root capacity of the
Macroptilium atropurpureum pastures. It would appear, then,
that for shallow-rooted annuals or perennials which act as
annuals in some conditions to benefit from deferment that
rest should occur during late growing seasons when moisture
is still available to those roots.
Annuals particularly seem to benefit from intensive
grazing during some periods and no grazing in others.

34
Stockwell (1984a) found this to be true in Australia with
Centrosema pascuorum Martimus ex. Benth. cv. Bundey. His
recommendations included heavy grazing during the early
rainy season to limit grass growth and limited grazing from
late wet to early dry season to allow seed set. The same
author (Stockwell, 1984b) from work with another annual
legume, C. pascuorum cv. Cavalcade, recommended slightly
different management for a species to be used primarily
during the dry season. Heavy early grazing to keep grasses
under control during establishment was still recommended but
thereafter use of the pasture was to be deferred until the
dry season when it was most critically needed.
Sollenberger et al. (1987a) studied the effect of early
season deferment on the annual legume Aeschynomene americana
in Hemarthria altissima cv. Floralta pastures. These
researchers found that grazing the grass early in the spring
until the legume seedlings had reached at least the two-leaf
stage and then withholding grazing until they were at least
60 cm tall gave the highest dry matter production. The
authors pointed out, however, that when grazing was
initiated in the 20- to 40-cm height cattle seemed to be
able to utilize the more uniform and less lignified plants
more efficiently. This was illustrated by decreased stem
quality indicators (digestibility and nitrogen content) and
leaf/stem ratio as grazing initiation was delayed
(Sollenberger et al., 1987b).

35
In contrast to annuals, most perennials establish more
effectively with deferred grazing during the early stages.
Andrews and Comudom (1979) found that subjecting legumes
such as Desmodium intortum and Trifolium repens to light
pressure gave far better establishment. They found that the
perennial, Stvlosanthes quianensis. in particular suffered
if grazed heavily during early establishment. The
recommendation to graze annuals heavily is more likely to
assist establishment where faster-growing sod grasses are
stronger and less so where pure legume stands or bunch
grasses are present.

CHAPTER THREE
METHODS AND MATERIALS
Field Study
The site for the experiment was a deteriorated 2-ha
pasture at the Ona Agricultural Research and Education
Center (Ona AREC). Vegetative cover within the pasture was
highly variable. Portions contained primarily native range
vegetation including such grass species as low panicums
(Panicum spp.). creeping bluestem (Schizachvrium
stoloniferum Nash.), and broomsedge bluestem (Andropogon
virginicus L.), while others were dominated by vasey grass
(Paspalum urvillei Steud.) and common bermudagrass (Cvnodon
dactvlon (L.) Pers.).
The soil was Immokalee fine sand (sandy, siliceous,
hyperthermic Arenic Haplaguod) with a composite pH of 5.6,
and nutrient elements at the following levels (mg kg"1):
phosphorus 4.1, calcium 655, potassium 8, copper 0.54, iron
10.3, magnesium 203, manganese 1.0 and zinc 1.1.
The pasture was chopped in the fall of 1986 with a
Marden rolling chopper and sprayed in April 1987 with 2-4-D
(2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, butoxyethyl ester)
36

37
selective herbicide to control broadleaf weeds in the
pasture. Individual blocks were rotovated to a 30-cin depth
in May 1986 and planting took place throughout the June,
July and August period.
Experimental Layout
The overall experimental design was a randomized
complete block design with six blocks. Treatments were
arranged in a strip-plot as described by Gomez and Gomez
(1984). Legume entries were assigned as north-south strips.
East-west strips were made up of the three grazing
treatments of ungrazed, grazed from May through December and
grazed only during late spring and summer (fall deferment).
Common grazing was used for the entire experiment with
cattle excluded from the grazing treatments at the
appropriate seasons.
Legume main plots (north-south strips) measured 7.0 by
15.0 m consisting of five plant rows each with 84 individual
plants spaced 30 cm apart. Each row was separated by 1.0 m
and an additional 2.0 m was inserted between plots. Grazing
treatments (east-west) measured 5.0 by 49.0 m. Each grazing
treatment was separated from the others when appropriate by
a five-strand barbed-wire fence.
The legumes evaluated were: Aeschvnomene americana L.,
Alysicarpus vaginalis D.C., Desmanthus virgatus (L.),

38
Willd., Desmodium heterocarpon (L.) D.C. cv. Florida,
Galactia elliottii Nuttal., Macroptilium lathvroides (L.)
Urb. and Vigna adenantha (G. F. Meyer) Marechal, Mascherpa,
and Stainier.
Annuals and short-lived perennials, for which unlimited
seed was available, Aeschynomene americana and Macroptilium
lathvroides, were broadcast throughout the individual plots
on 13 April 1987. Seeding rate was 10 kg ha'1, 5 kg ha'1 of
which was unhulled seed for the Aeschynomene americana. For
all other species except Desmodium heterocarpon, seed was
limited. These were therefore initially planted during the
summer months of 1986 in peat cups or directly transplanted
from native stands to 30-cm spacings. All peat cups were
inoculated with "cowpea" type Rhizobium at seeding to avoid
a disadvantage in nodule formation compared to transplanted
native species.
Heavy rains in May followed by a dry period in June
forced replanting of many individual plants in 1986. Those
seeded directly were especially affected by waterlogging in
early summer. Aeschvnonome americana and Macroptilium
lathvroides suffered complete establishment failure. These
were therefore reseeded in April, 1987 at the original rates
after light discing of the specific plots.
Any plants which died from among the other species were
replaced during 1986 up through August. Due to
unavailability of seed, Galactia elliottii plots were not

39
completely filled in with plants in peat cups. The G.
elliottii plots were subsequently completed in the fall by
transplanting plants from a nearby range site.
Deer fOdocoileus virginianus seminolus Goldman and
Kellogg) and rabbit (Svlvilaqus spp.) consumption of the
legumes, especially Aeschynomene americana, Macroptilium
lathyroides and Desmanthus virgatus, was a problem. Rabbit
fencing was placed around the latter plots but no effort was
made to exclude deer. Instead, a large area of Macroptilium
lathyroides and Aeschynomene americana was planted in a
neighboring pasture to divert the deer in the summer of
1987 .
Grazing Management
On 22 May 1987 eight crossbred yearling heifers were
placed in the pasture. On 28 May, 4 head (2.2 head ha 1
remaining) of these were removed after the initial excessive
herbage growth had been reduced. On 15 September animal
numbers were reduced to 2 head (1.2 head ha 1) on the s/s/f
treatment strips due to forage reduction. These last 2 head
were taken off the pasture on 1 December when cold and frost
effectively stopped forage regrowth.
Cattle were excluded from the zero graze treatments by
a permanent five-strand barbed-wire fence. Cattle were left
on the pasture in a continuous grazing system, but were

40
excluded from the spring/summer-only grazing strips on 15
September 1987 by barbed-wire fences.
In 1988, the wire around the fall-deferment strip was
removed and two yearling steers were added to the pasture in
May. The wire was put up once again on 15 September 1988
and cattle removed on 1 December.
Persistence Evaluation
Established plant populations were determined on 21 May
1987 by counting surviving plants before cattle were added
to the study on 22 May 1987. The numbers gathered in each
subplot at this date were then used in computing persistence
percent at subsequent dates.
Plant numbers were taken on December 1987, May 1988,
December 1988, and May 1989. Persistence was calculated as
plant counts on specific date / plant count of May 1987 *
100. This allowed for determination of a population change
after May 1987. An increase in population would register as
over 100% persistence.
In subsequent months of 1987, heights of individual
plants of the center rows in each subplot were determined.
This was discontinued during the winter months when little
or no growth occurred.

41
During the 1988 growing season, species numbers were
determined only in May and December. In May 1989 the final
count was taken on the inside three rows.
Statistical Analysis
The statistical analysis included an analysis of
variance (AOV) of percent persistence as well as average
plant heights recorded within species at different grazing
pressures.
Since annuals and perennials had distinctive growth,
seeding and regrowth habits, these were analyzed in separate
groups. Only the perennials, with the exception of the
viney Vigna adenantha, were measured for effect of grazing
on individual plant heights during 1987. The annuals were
not sufficiently established for data collection at this
time.
Pot Study
A pot study to observe species physiological responses
to varying defoliation stresses was conducted. In order to
parallel the field trial, this experiment was conducted
during late fall, winter and early spring of 1987-1988. The
entries were subjected to clipping stress just prior to the
normal dormant period. By observing the regrowth potential

42
and biochemical composition of the plants during and after
clipping, it was hoped that factors might be found to
explain field trial results. Regeneration after the short
cold days of January, February and March was also observed
to determine the effect pre-winter clipping stress had on
post-winter regrowth.
Species were selected based on their initial field
establishment success and seed availability. Of those that
showed promise, three were selected for their upright or
climbing growth habits, conducive to height-related clipping
regimes. The species employed were Desmanthus virgatus.
Galactia elliottii. and Desmodium heterocarpon.
Germinated seeds of these species were placed in peat
cups and seedlings were allowed to establish. Plants of
uniform size were then inoculated with cowpea inoculum and
transplanted into a pot containing 1 kg of unfertilized
Immokalee fine sand (sandy, silicious, hyperthermic Arenic
Haplaquod). Soil used was taken from the field trial
pasture and consisted of the top 20 cm sifted through a 1-cm
screen. No amendments were added and the plants were
watered from above whenever necessary to keep the soil moist
throughout. All pots were allowed an adaptation period of 6
wk during which any dead or weak seedlings were replaced.
The experiment was conducted on tables with opaque
fiberglass roofing for protection from direct precipitation.

43
The experimental design was a randomized complete block
with four replications. Three clipping treatments were
imposed during the autumn period. These will be referred to
as 'autumn clipping treatments.' The autumn clipping
treatments were imposed every 2 wk for periods of 0, 6, and
12 wk beginning on 15 October 1987. Thus, treatments
consisted of an unclipped control, three clippings during
the initial 6 wk (early clipping), and six clippings over a
12 wk period (extended clipping). Initial clipping heights
in the early and extended clipping treatments were set at
50% of the blocks' average height for each species using the
tallest or longest point as reference. Subsequent clippings
were made at that same height. At each clipping, material
was separated by leaf, stem and reproductive organs, dried
at 72°C for 48 h, weighed and composited with other
clippings from that same pot. Each experimental unit
consisted of 16 pots.
During 8 to 13 January 1988, plants in half of the pots
in each experimental unit were sacrificed. Herbage in these
pots was clipped at a 3-cm height above the soil surface,
separated into leaf, stem and flowers/pods, dried, weighed
and composited with previous clippings where appropriate.
The remaining plant portions, consisting of roots and stem
bases, were washed free of soil, dried at 72°C for 48 h and
prepared for total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC)
analysis.

44
Of the remaining eight pots per experimental unit, a
strip plot arrangement of treatments was imposed with four
pots in each experimental unit harvested to a 3-cm height
during 8 to 13 January 1988. This was done to represent the
normal above-ground herbage destruction which occurred in
the field due to frosts and freezes. The four remaining
pots in each experimental unit were not subjected to a
winter harvest. After 16 wk (May 1988) all plants were
harvested to a 3-cm stubble height. Both fractions, above¬
ground herbage and roots, were recovered, dried, and
weighed.
Herbage from the autumn clipping treatments and the
winter harvest from four pots within each experimental unit
was composited and ground through a Wiley mill eguipped with
a 1-mm screen to provide sufficient material to analyze
crude protein. Roots were likewise weighed, ground and
composited except that only roots of two pots were used per
sample for TNC analysis. Above-ground herbage from the
spring harvest was treated in the same manner except that
material from only two pots was composited to form a
laboratory wet chemistry sample. See Table 1 for a
breakdown on experimental unit subsamples.
Nitrogen content was determined by an auto-analyzer
method employing a modified aluminum block digestion
procedure described by Gallaher et al. (1975). Sample

45
Table 1. Number of subsamples per experimental unit in
the pot study.
Treatment Variable Subsample number
Autumn
clipping
Herbage mass
16
Winter
harvest
Herbage mass
12
Winter
harvest
Herbage nitrogen
3
Winter
harvest
Root mass
8
Winter
harvest
Root total non-
structural carbohydrate
4
Spring
harvest
Herbage mass
4
Spring
harvest
Root mass
4
Spring
harvest
Herbage nitrogen
2
weight
was 0.25 g,
catalyst used was 3.2 g
of 9:1
K2S04:CuS04 and 2 ml H202. Ammonia in the digestate was
determined by semiautomated colorimetry (Hambleton, 1977).
Roots from the winter harvest were analyzed for TNC
following a modified enzymatic extraction procedure adapted
from Smith (1981). Reducing sugars were analyzed with
Nelson's (1944) colorimetric approach to the copper
reduction method first described by Somogyi (1945).

CHAPTER FOUR
RESULTS
Field Study
Height of Perennials. 1987
Inter-species height differences were not compared
since species morphologies differed and responses of
individual species to grazing were the primary interest. Of
the perennials in this study, Desmanthus virgatus was the
only upright species, Alvsicarpus vaginalis and Desmodium
heterocarpon were normally prostrate while Galactia
elliottii displayed upright growth in early stages and a
viney habit latter in maturity. Vigna adenantha displayed
essentially only viney growth.
Analysis of intra-species height differences are shown
by date for the 1987 grazing season in Table 2. No
differences (P=0.36) existed between grazing treatments for
any species before cattle were added on 22 May.
After 38 grazing days (30 June) there was a distinct
difference (P=0.01) between the zero grazing and the two
46

47
Table 2. Plant height means of Alvsicarpus vaginalis (AV),
Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F)
grazing treatments during the 1987 growing season.
Date Grazing AV DH DV GE
treatment
21 May
Z
S/S
S/S/F
10.2a +
10.9a
11.7a
30 June
Z
S/S
S/S/F
13.2a
10.3b
9.6b
29 July
Z
S/S
S/S/F
20.1a
9.6b
10.7b
1 Sept
Z
S/S
S/S/F
24.3a
11.1b
11.0b
1 Oct
Z
S/S
S/S/F
26.3a
13.6b
10.1c
3 Nov
Z
S/S
S/S/F
29.0a
17.2b
10. lc
15 Dec
Z
S/S
S/S/F
27.2a
16.6b
9.0c
cm
15.6a
16.7a
16.2a
23.3a
22.6a
21.5a
16.3a
19.1a
20.4a
18.7a
12.3b
11.0b
24.3a
18.8b
16.9b
20.9a
12.3b
12.6b
24.5a
11.0b
12.2b
29.1a
18.4b
17.2b
25.3a
13.4b
10.8b
27.9a
10.5c
13.4b
31.5a
16.4b
14.6b
25.8a
12.9b
10.9b
31.2a
10.6c
13.5b
31.5a
18.6b
15.1b
23.8a
11.9b
11.1b
28.4a
11.4b
10.5b
30.7a
19.3b
14.6c
19.4a
11.5b
14.8ab
27.5a
12 . lb
9.1c
28.3a
18.5b
14.5b
19.9a
15.3ab
9.3b
tMeans at each date within columns differ (P<0.05) if
not followed by a common letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.

48
grazed treatments for all four species measured. This
difference persisted throughout the grazing season except in
the case of Galactia elliottii on 15 December (P=0.14).
During September (P=0.0002) and October (P=0.0006) an
unexplained difference between the spring/summer (s/s) and
spring/summer/fall (s/s/f) grazing treatments in Desmodium
heterocarpon appeared. By November, due perhaps to
differing grazing treatment, this unexplained difference
disappeared.
The removal of grazing animals on 15 September from the
fall-deferred treatment produced differences (P=0.005)
within 15 d between the s/s and s/s/f treatments in
Alvsicarpus vaginalis. This difference became more and more
pronounced as fall progressed (Fig. 1).
Fall deferment from grazing of Desmodium heterocarpon
took a little longer to affect plant heights but became
apparent by December (P=0.0001). This delayed effect of
deferment may have been in part due to the unexplained
differences between the s/s and s/s/f treatments which
existed prior to animal removal (Fig. 2). Within two months
after grazing deferment the relative order in height between
the s/s grazing treatment and the s/s/f grazing treatment
had been reversed.
Desmanthus virgatus height reacted in much the same
manner as Desmodium heterocarpon except that at the December

49
â–¡AYS INTO GRAZING SEASON
Fig. 1. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height
of Alvsicarpus vaginalis (A.V.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added day 0 and taken off S/S
day 115.

D.H. PLñNT HEIGHT Com)
50
Fig. 2. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height of
Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added on day 0 and excluded
from S/S on day 115.

51
reading the differences (P=0.0007) apparent between s/s and
s/s/f which appeared in November (Fig. 3) became
statistically non-significant. This was perhaps due to
heavy deer predation since the cattle-excluding fences were
not a deterrent for these browsing animals. It was not due
to senescence since plants in these plots continued to
generate new growth until killed back by frost.
Galactia elliottii. despite an unexplained increase in
s/s/f plant height in November, showed perhaps the most
interesting trend by December. Although there was no
difference (P=0.14) between the s/s and the s/s/f
treatments, there also was no difference between the s/s and
zero grazed plots. This indicated that G. elliottii either
benefited sufficiently from the fall rest to catch up with
the zero treatment or the zero treatment senesced sooner due
to fewer recently produced leaves. It was noted to shed
well over 50% of its leaves in the range during the cold
months. This became apparent when the 33% height increase
for s/s was compared with only 3% increase for the zero
graze treatment during the 40-d period in which neither was
grazed (see also Fig. 4 and the near-steady height decrease
throughout the fall period illustrated by the decline in the
zero graze line from day 100 on).
Height measurements indicated, at least in the second
growing year and first grazing season, that these four

D.V. PLfiNT HEIGHT (cm)
52
â–¡RYS INTO GRRZING SERSÃœN
Fig. 3. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height
of Desmanthus virqatus (D.V.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added day 0 and excluded from
S/S day 115.

G.E. PLRNT HEIGHT (cm)
53
â–¡AYS INTO GRRZING SEASON
Fig. 4. Effect of zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing on height
of Galactia elliottii (G.E.) beginning 20 May
1987 with cattle added day 0 and excluded from
S/S day 115.

54
forage legumes were grazed by the yearling heifers. Figures
1 through 4 illustrate graphically, however, that plant
herbage growth did respond to fall deferment from grazing
except in the case of Desmanthus virgatus. In this entry,
heights followed this general trend but the s/s and s/s/f
means were not different (P=0.14) from each other. All
others, particularly the more decumbent Alvsicarpus
vaginalis. showed a positive response to the pre-winter rest
by addition of new foliage.
In Fig. 5, plant heights of both s/s and s/s/f
treatments as a percent of the ungrazed treatment are shown
for all perennials measured in December (Table 3).
Alvsicarpus vaginalis suffered the least in the s/s
treatment (P=0.11), recovering to 70% of the zero treatment
height. Desmanthus virgatus at 66% was not different from
either Alysicarpus vaginalis or Desmodium heterocarpon.
This last species, which registered 53%, was not
statistically different from the most shortened entry,
Galactia elliottii at 49%.
Figure 5 also illustrates the uniform grazing
defoliation which occurred among most perennial species in
the s/s/f grazing (P=0.47). Only Desmanthus virgatus. at
50%, differed from the others which ranged between 34 and
36% of the ungrazed treatment. Woody stem development early
in establishment of D. virgatus may have limited the degree
of defoliation of this upright growing legume.

55
S/S S/S/F
GRAZING TREATMENT
Fig. 5. Mean percent height remaining in spring/summer
(S/S) and spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazed
plots of Alvsicarpus vaginalis (A.V.),
Desmodium heterocarpon (D.H.), Desmanthus
virgatus (D.V.) and Galactia elliottii (G.E.)
compared to ungrazed plots on December 1987.
HEIGHT UNGRflZEO

56
Table 3. Height of Alvsicarpus vaginalis (AV),
Desmodium heterocarpon (DH). Galactia
elliottii (GE) and Desmanthus virqatus (DV)
under spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
in December
plots.
1987 as
a percent
of
ungrazed
Grazing
AV
DH
DV
GE
regime
Z
100a+ A
§ 100a
A
100a
A
100a A
S/S
70a B
53bc
B
66ab
B
49c B
S/S/F
35b C
3 6b
C
50a
C
34b B
iMeans within lines differ (P<0.05) if not followed by
a common lower case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.
§Means within columns differ (P<0.05) if not followed
by a common upper case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.

57
Persistence Within Perennials. 1987-1989
Since the interactions between species and grazing
treatment existed for all dates (P<0.001), the discussion of
persistence of both within and among perennials, as well as
within and among the annually reseeding group will be
limited to the simple effects.
After one grazing season, Alvsicarpus vaginalis
appeared to have suffered few losses under grazing and
increased substantially where protected completely or in the
fall (Table 4). There was an apparent difference (P=0.09)
between s/s/f and zero grazing, however. The increase to
214% in the zero grazing treatment, (Fig. 6), was thought to
be at least in part due to artificially low plant counts at
the base date in 1987. This species was noted to regrow
slowly from frosted plants early in the growing season.
Winter stress affected population dynamics considerably
in this species. By May 1988, the zero graze treatment was
lower (P=0.09) than the s/s treatment as seen in Fig. 6.
This may have been due to A. vaginalis1s failure to either
store sufficient nutrients in roots when forced to compete
with ungrazed grasses or due to an enhanced susceptibility
to frost and freeze when forced to grow upright in heavy
competition.
By the end of the second grazing season, December 1988,
the same basic trends held except that the s/s plots had

58
Table 4. Mean percent survival comparison within and among
perennials Alvsicarpus vaginalis (AV), Desmodium
heterocarpon (DH), Galactia elliottii (GE) ,
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), and Vigna adenantha (VA)
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
using
May 1987
as a
base
date.
Date
Grazing AV
treatment
DH
DV
GE
VA
Dec
1987 Z
214a +
A §
86a
B
68a
BC
: 38a
C
101a
B
S/S
153ab
A
85a
B
71a
B
47a
B
53b
B
S/S/F
93b
A
95a
A
54a
B
12b
C
13c
C
May
1988 Z
47b
B
88a
A
55a
B
86a
A
110a
A
S/S
109a
A
91a
AB
36b
D
51b
CD
71b
BC
S/S/F
89ab
A
98a
A
25b
C
51b
B
20c
C
Dec
1988 Z
57b
B
66a
B
62a
B
32a
C
109a
A
S/S
155a
A
61a
B
25b
B
20b
B
42b
B
S/S/F
75b
A
55a
B
10b
C
4c
C
5c
C
May
1989 Z
2a
C
10a
C
47a
B
136a
A
63a
B
S/S
12a
B
12a
B
26ab
B
52b
A
24b
B
S/S/F
8a
B
18a
B
9b
B
55b
A
lc
B
tMeans within columns
at
each
date
differ
(P<0.05)
if
not
followed by a common lower case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.
§Means within lines at each date differ (P<0.05) if not
followed by a common upper case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.

X PERSISTENCE
Fig. 6. Mean percent persistence of Alvsicarpus
vaginalis starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.

60
higher persistence than the s/s/f treatment. During the
winter of 1988-1989 there was a late frost on 26 February
followed by an unseasonably dry spring with only 38% of the
normal rainfall at Ona AREC. This latter climatic stress
more than any may have caused the dramatic decline in A.
vaginalis plant population throughout the experiment. Both
regenerating plants and new seedlings were destroyed. As a
result, this species was essentially eliminated so that the
differences between treatments seen earlier no longer held
(P=0.46).
Desmodium heterocarpon. on the other hand, showed less
effect (P>0.65 for all dates) of grazing regime on
individual plant survival (Table 4). This held true
throughout the experiment as can be seen in the lack of
differentiation between treatments in Fig. 7. It, along
with Alvsicarpus vaginalis. seems to have suffered the most
from the late winter frost and early spring drought of 1989.
Desmanthus virgatus showed a similar lack of response
(P=0.33) to grazing at the end of 1987 (Table 4). Following
both the winter die-back and another grazing season,
however, the differences between the two grazed treatments
and the ungrazed treatment became more apparent (P=0.004) as
illustrated in Fig. 8. During the two readings in 1988 the
s/s and s/s/f treatments were not different (P>0.05)
although there was a trend for greater survival in the s/s
treatment.

PERSISTENCE
61
Fig. 7. Mean percent persistence of Desmodium
heterocarpon starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.

X PERSISTENCE
62
Fig. 8. Mean percent persistence of Desmanthus virgatus
starting 22 May 1987 under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.

63
After the stressful winter and early spring of 1989,
Desmanthus virgatus continued to show a treatment effect
(P=0.01). The notable exception was a lack of difference
(P>0.05) between the s/s and the ungrazed treatments.
Perhaps due to condition improvement from fall rest, plants
in the s/s grazing regime were able to maintain their vigor
as well as the plants in the ungrazed treatments.
There was a noticeable response (P=0.01) to fall
grazing by Galactia elliottii at the end of 1987 (Table 4
and Fig. 9). Although plant survival was not high for the
zero and s/s treatments at this time, the 12% survival for
the s/s/f plots was especially low. No differences (P>0.05)
existed between the zero and s/s treatments at this time
indicating a response on the part of this native legume to
fall deferment from grazing in the first year.
Winter stress showed some interesting results for this
species. In May 1988, many individual plants which were not
visible in December resprouted. This resulted in a 126%
increase at the zero graze level, a 9% increase with the
fall deferred treatment and a 325% increase for the s/s/f
treatment. No seedlings were observed. These results
indicate that the early spring growth of this species
(earlier than most grasses) might substitute for fall
deferment. Differences (P=0.03) between grazing treatments
still existed.

% PERSISTENCE
64
Fig. 9. Mean percent persistence of Galactia elliottii
starting 22 May 1987 under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.
â– ct>-

65
By the end of a second grazing season, 1988, both
grazed plots were inferior to the ungrazed treatment. The
s/s, however, was more persistent (P=0.004) than the s/s/f,
indicating, again, a benefit from fall deferment. This
benefit did not allow the numbers to maintain the 50%
recovery measured at the end of 1987.
Despite the harsh winter and early spring of 1989, G.
elliottii showed the same recovery after the cold months as
it did in 1988. As happened a year before, the difference
that existed between the two grazing treatment populations
before winter disappeared in the spring although differences
between these and the control were still apparent (P=0.001).
In fact, all three groups showed an increase in numbers over
a year previous with the ungrazed population propagating
itself to 36% over the original plant number in May 1987.
Vigna adenantha showed the most consistent response to
fall deferment, showing higher persistence than the s/s/f
treatment and lower than the ungrazed control for all dates
(P=0.001 for all dates). At every date measured except May
1989 (Table 4), the zero treatment also showed over 100%
persistence, completely covering each plot and invading
adjacent borders. This species also showed that during the
cold months it could regenerate from completely denuded
tops. During the 1987-88 winter, the s/s treatment
especially showed improvement with an increase of 34%
(illustrated in Fig. 10). As in the case of Galactia

X PERSISTENCE
Fig. 10. Mean percent persistence of Vigna adenantha
starting 22 May 1987 under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments.

67
elliottii. this recovery may have been due to stored non-
structural carbohydrate reserves which were used to put out
new growth before heavy grass competition and grazing
occurred in early spring.
By May 1989, the late frost and early spring drought
which severely affected several of the other species also
combined to reduce Viqna adenantha populations in all
grazing treatments. The s/s/f population, already small in
December 1988, essentially disappeared. The s/s treatment
had only 24% of its original population remaining, lower
than the ungrazed treatment. With the onset of summer
rains, however, both the s/s and the ungrazed treatments
were expected to regain a considerable amount of their
original vigor.
Persistence Among Perennials. 1987-1989
Although of limited interest to grazed pastures, it is
interesting to note that by the end of the 1987 grazing
season Alvsicarpus vaginalis and Viqna adenantha populations
increased while the others decreased in the ungrazed
treatments (refer to Table 4 for actual figures as well as
to Fig. 11 for December 1987 and Fig. 12 for December 1988
during the discussion in this section). Desmanthus virgatus
and Galactia elliottii especially showed considerable

68
Fig. 11. Mean persistence of perennials Alysicarpus
vaginalis (AV), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1987
using May 1987 as a base date.

69
150
Z S/S S/S/f
GRAZING TREATMENT
Fig. 12. Mean persistence of perennials Alysicarpus
vaginalis (AV) , Desmodium heterocarpon (DH),
Desmanthus virgatus (DV), Galactia elliottii
(GE) and Vigna adenantha (VA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments on December 1988
using May 1987 as a base date.
PERSISTENCE

70
decline the first grazing season under nothing more than the
local climatic and edaphic conditions, native herbivores as
well as grass competition. Desmanthus virgatus, however,
was not different (P=0.01) from the other perennials with
the exception of Alvsicarpus vaginalis.
In the s/s treatment at this first date, the decumbent
A. vaginalis showed a greater ability to persist and
increase than any of the others (P=0.0007). Again, this
might be an artificial increase due to its late sprouting
and therefore low numbers at the base 1987 spring date.
Desmodium heterocarpon. equally capable of exhibiting
prostrate growth habits, had the next highest persistence
although it and the remaining three perennials were not
different (P>0.05) from each other. Not surprisingly, the
two decumbent species were the most persistent in 1987 under
the s/s/f grazing, with both showing values in the nineties.
Desmanthus virgatus was lower (P>0.05) at 54% but also
higher (P<0.05) than the two remaining perennials, Galactia
elliottii and Vigna adenantha. It is important to note that
these last two, the species which suffered most under
continuous growing-season grazing, were both viney climbers.
The five-month rest from grazing during the winter
months, a period when little grass grows in Florida
pastures, changed the picture considerably in the zero
grazing treatment (P=0.04 for that date). By May 1988,
Desmodium heterocarpon as well as the early spring growing

71
Galactia elliottii and Vigna adenantha showed high
persistence values of over 85% while the remaining
Alvsicarpus vaginalis and Desmanthus virgatus both exhibited
an inferior presence.
After the winter period and before cattle were added to
the trial in the second grazing year, the s/s plots remained
essentially the same in terms of relative persistence. The
two major exceptions were a considerable decrease in D.
virgatus. making it inferior to all other species, and an
equal degree of increase in Vigna adenantha.
Alvsicarpus vaginalis. Desmodium heterocarpon and Vigna
adenantha populations remained constant relative to each
other in the post-winter, May 1988 s/s/f treatment
(P=0.001). Desmanthus virgatus. 25%, and Galactia
elliottii. 51%, switched positions on the relative
persistence scale with the first species decreasing
considerably to make it numerically indistinguishable
(P>0.05) from Vigna adenantha1s 20% and the latter's 51%
making it less (P<0.05) persistent than the decumbent
Alvsicarpus vaginalis and Desmodium heterocarpon.
At the December 1988 reading, following three year's
growth and two seasons of grazing, Alvsicarpus vaginalis
lost the most number of plants relative to the readings one
year earlier in the ungrazed treatment. Only 27% of the
plants survived. This put Vigna adenantha's 110%
persistence higher than all the rest at the ungrazed

72
treatment level and Galactia elliottii1s 32% lower (P=0.005)
than any of the other perennials.
Although there was a general decrease in numbers for
all species except Alysicarpus vaginalis at this date, the
general picture remained the same after the second year of
s/s grazing (P=0.02). Overall, the average persistence
showed a steady decline from an average 82% persistence at
the end of 1987 down to an average 61% survival after 1988.
In the s/s/f treatment, Galactia elliottii and Vigna
adenantha continued to decline and were joined by Desmanthus
virgatus at the bottom of the scale on December 1988.
Desmodium heterocarpon also declined but at 55% was higher
than the above three species. The other species with a
tendency for decumbent growth, Alysicarpus vaginalis. had
the highest (P=0.001) survival at 75% although that too was
inferior to its December 1987 showing.
The late frost and early spring drought prior to the
May 1989 reading changed the picture considerably in the
ungrazed control. Alysicarpus vaginalis and Desmodium
heterocarpon suffered further population reductions and the
first species essentially disappeared. Unless these two
were able in the subsequent months to recover dramatically
from hidden crowns or seed reserves, this would indicate
that these species were unable to survive without
defoliation of competing grasses.

73
At the May 1989 date Desmanthus viraatus and Vigna
adenantha under no grazing showed a higher (P=0.0001)
persistence than the two species discussed in the preceding
paragraph. In the case of the V. adenantha especially,
effects of the frosts and drought were apparent. Only
Galactia elliottii managed to exceed its original May 1987
numbers to show that, as a native, it is adapted to local
conditions and periodic stresses once well established.
While other broadleaf species and grasses displayed visible
signs of drought stress, this viney species actually
produced new shoots and covered its wilted neighbors.
In the s/s treatment G. elliottii again topped the list
at 52% survival, over twice the persistence of any other
species (P=0.01). Among the remaining perennials, no
differences (P>0.05) in population persistence existed under
the fall deferment.
Under the s/s/f treatment, the native G. elliottii
again showed a strong regeneration from roots that were
essentially denuded of all top-growth by grazing the
previous fall. This became readily apparent when the 4%
survival of December 1988 was compared to the greatly
improved 55% following five months of cold, frosts and low
precipitation. Individual plants in this treatment were
considerably less vigorous than those of the two other
treatments, however. None of the other perennial species'
population matched this recovery rate in either numbers or

vigor. Desmodium heterocarpon. at 18%, was the closest but
was not different (P>0.05) from the other three perennials.
Persistence Within Annuals. 1987-1989
Although Macroptilium lathvroides is a weak perennial,
stands in Florida survive from year to year primarily on the
basis of abundant seed production and subsequent
germination. For the purposes of this discussion, then, it
will be included in the same group as Aeschvnomene
americana. Since interaction between grazing and species
existed at all dates (P<0.01), simple effects are discussed
below.
Persistence of Macroptilium lathvroides after one
growing season and one grazing season showed distinct
treatment effects (P=0.0002; Table 5). Zero grazing showed
the best cover at 60%. The s/s grazing treatment, at 36%,
was lower than the ungrazed but also higher than the s/s/f
regime which showed only a 14% persistence. Plant counts
made after the winter months were comprised mainly of
perennating plants which persisted despite frost kill of the
upper growth and very young seedlings. Other than a near
50% population loss in the ungrazed treatment, little change
occurred (Fig. 13) over the winter. Again, etiolated and
exposed growth in the grass-choked, ungrazed treatment or

75
Table 5. Mean percent survival comparison within
and among Macroptilium lathvroides (ML) and
Aeschvnomene americana (AA) under zero (Z),
spring/summer (S/S) and spring/summer/fall
(S/S/F) grazing treatments using May 1987 as a
base date.
Date
Grazing
regime
ML
AA
Dec. 1987
Z
60at
A §
24ab
B
S/S
36b
A
26a
A
S/S/F
14c
A
14b
A
May 1988
Z
31a
A
4b
B
S/S
26a
A
16a
B
S/S/F
13b
A
16a
A
Dec 1988
Z
32a
A
Oa
B
S/S
27a
A
4a
B
S/S/F
3b
A
Oa
B
May 1989
Z
11a
A
Oa
B
S/S
3b
A
Oa
B
S/S/F
Ob
A
Oa
A
fMeans within columns at each date differ (P<0.05) if
not followed by a common lower case letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.
§ Means within lines at each date differ (P<0.05) if
not followed by a common upper case letter according
to Duncan's Multiple Range Test.

X PERSISTENCE
76
Fig. 13. Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathvroides starting 22 May 1987 under zero
(Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments.

77
actual colder conditions in the dense herbage may have made
this species more vulnerable to cold temperatures.
Other than a steady decrease in s/s/f plant
persistence, the December 1988 survival values of M.
lathvroides were little changed from the May 1988 readings.
The early and late frosts, as well as the unusually droughty
early spring, may have contributed to a continued population
decline by the May 1989 plant count. At that date no plants
survived in the s/s/f treatment and only 3% of the original
population either survived or had been replaced through
reseeding. The ungrazed control, however, maintained an 11%
persistence which was higher (P=0.004) than the two grazed
treatments.
Aeschvnomene americana had the highest mean persistence
under the s/s grazing regime at the December 1987 reading
(Table 5 and Fig. 14), although this was not different
(P>0.05) from the zero grazed plots. The s/s/f plots showed
the lowest persistence although they were not different
(P>0.05) from the zero grazed plants. In May 1988, after
the winter stress period, seedlings in the s/s and s/s/f
treatments were not different (P>0.05) from each other and
were both superior (P<0.05) to the zero treatment.
After two grazing seasons, by December 1988, there was
essentially no persistence of A. americana (Fig. 15 shows
this steady decline). Only the s/s treatment had any
survivors at 4%. But this was not different (P=0.29) from

78
70
ML-1 2/87 flfl-12/87 ML-12/88 ññ-12/88
SPEC IES-DRIES
Fig. 14. Mean percent persistence of Macroptilium
lathvroides (ML) and Aeschvnomene americana
(AA) on December 1987 and December 1988
under zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments
using May 1987 as a base.
2 PERSISTENCE

PERSISTENCE
79
Fig. 15. Mean percent persistence of Aeschynomene
americana starting 22 May 1987 under
zero (Z), spring/summer (S/S) and
spring/summer/fall (S/S/F) grazing treatments.

80
the other two treatments which both showed no plants at all.
This situation was not changed by the winter of 1988-1989.
All treatments showed no persistence at this date. It
should be noted, however, that seeds of this species do not
normally germinate and persist in numbers until well into
the wet, hot summer months.
Persistence Among Annuals. 1987-1989
In the ungrazed treatment, Macroptilium lathvroides
exhibited superior persistence (P=0.01) to Aeschvnomene
americana at the December, 1987 reading (Table 5). There
were no differences (P>0.33) in either of the two grazed
treatments for both these species.
Following winter cold stress, the relative survival of
the two species remained the same at the ungrazed level
despite a decrease in the numbers of both entries. In the
s/s strip plots, however, Macroptilium lathvroides showed a
higher (P<0.05) survival and perennation although this trend
did not appear in the s/s/f treatment (P=0.64).
By the end of the second year, December 1988, both
annuals showed a steady decline in population compared to a
year earlier. This decline was not as severe for M.
lathyroides as with Aeschvnomene americana (Fig. 14) since
the first exhibited superior (P<0.05) persistence through
reseeding in both grazed treatments.

81
After the hard frosts and low precipitation of the
intervening months, May 1989 plant populations in all
treatments for both species declined except where they were
already zero. Macroptilium lathvroides in the ungrazed
treatment was the only appreciable plant population
remaining with 11% persistence. Caution should be used in
drawing conclusions from the May data since germination and
establishment of these species is typically limited prior to
summer months.
Pot Study
Winter Harvest
Since there was an interaction between species and
treatment in all dependent variables (P<0.02), except
herbage nitrogen mass (P=0.54), the discussions and tables
in this section will be concerned solely with the simple
effects of this experiment.
Root mass
Galactia elliottii and Desmanthus virgatus showed
similar treatment effects on root mass with no difference
(P>0.05) between the early and extended clipping treatments
in either of these two species (Table 6). There was,

82
Table 6. Mean root mass, root total non-structural
carbohydrate (TNC) percent and root TNC mass
of Galactia elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon
and Desmanthus viroatus following autumn
clipping treatments.
Species Clipping
treatment
Root
mass
TNC%
TNC
mass
g
%
g
G.
elliottii
Extended4"
2.7 6b§
2 5.5b
0.73b
Early
2.86b
25.7b
0.72b
Control
5.67a
33.7a
1.92a
D.
virqatus
Extended
2.36b
23.Oab
0.55b
Early
2.55b
22 . lb
0.57b
Control
4.77a
2 5.3a
1.20a
D.
heterocarpon
Extended
3.12a
12 . la
0.37ab
Early
3.80a
12.0a
0.46a
Control
3.40a
9.8b
0.32b
G.
elliottii
Extended
2.76a
25.5a
0.73a
D.
virqatus
2.36a
23 . Ob
0.55ab
D.
heterocarpon
3.12a
12 . lc
0.37b
G.
elliottii
Early
2.86b
25.7a
0.72a
D.
virqatus
2.55b
22 . lb
0.57ab
D.
heterocarpon
3.80a
12.0c
0.46b
G.
elliottii
Control
5.67a
33.7a
1.92a
D.
viroatus
4.77b
25.3b
1.20b
D.
heterocarpon
3.39C
9.8c
0.32c
tExtended clipping was six clippings at 2-wk intervals,
early clipping included only the first three clippings
and the control was never clipped.
§Means within columns for each division differ (P<0.05)
if not followed by a common letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.

83
however, a large difference (P<0.05) between these two
treatments and the unclipped control. Desmodium
heterocarpon showed no differences (P=0.14) between
treatments (Fig. 16). This may in part be because this
species was observed to flower, seed and senesce much more
than either of the other two. Desmanthus viraatus was not
observed to senesce at all throughout the experiment but
continued to put out new green growth continuously.
All three species reacted in much the same way to the
extended clipping treatment (P=0.15). In the early clipping
treatment, however, Desmodium heterocarpon had a higher
(P=0.002) root mass than either of the other two species,
perhaps paralleling the earlier senescing which favored
reserves in the roots (Table 6). Galactia elliottii had the
largest root mass in the unclipped treatment, developing a
xylopod (enlarged taproot, Schultze-Kraft and Giacometti,
1979) even in weakly developed plants. Desmanthus virgatus
had the next largest mass, smaller than Galactia elliottii
but also heavier than Desmodium heterocarpon which had the
smallest root system. This last species, in marked contrast
to the other two, exhibited a much more extensive secondary,
fibrous root system.

84
SPECIES
Fig. 16. Mean root mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), and
Desmanthus viraatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments.
ROOT MñSS (g)

85
Root total non-structural carbohydrate percent
Galactia elliottii had a higher (P=0.0001) TNC percent
in the unclipped treatment with no differences (P>0.05)
between the two clipped treatments (Table 6). This last
phenomenon may in part be due to the tendency of this
species tended to drop its leaves and stop growth in all
treatments about the time that the clippings in the early
clipping treatment were terminated. If the treatments had
begun a little earlier in the season, differences between
the early and the extended clipping treatments may have
developed.
This was also the case with Desmodium heterocarpon
except that in this species the unclipped treatment was
lower (P=0.002) than the two clipped treatments (Fig. 17).
This difference between the two species may be explained by
the fact that the clipped plants were less dormant at the
winter harvest since they were unable to complete seed
production as well as did the unclipped control. There was,
perhaps, a much larger percentage of dead root component in
the unclipped plants which may have brought the TNC percent
down.
Desmanthus virqatus. being more metabolically active
during these late fall months than the other species, showed
less distinct differences (P=0.09) between the clipped and
the unclipped treatments. The unclipped control had higher

86
DV DH GE
SPECIES
Fig. 17. Mean root total non-structural
carbohydrate (TNC) percent of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon
(DH), and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under
extended clipping (EX), early clipping
(ER) and unclipped (U) treatments.
RGDT TNC

87
TNC than did the early clipping treatment but it was not
different from the extended clipping treatment.
Galactia elliottii had the highest TNC percentages in
all treatments followed by Desmanthus virgatus which in turn
exhibited higher percentages than Desmodium heterocarpon in
all three treatments. This indicates that the species
genetic differences (P=0.0001 under all treatments) in terms
of non-structural carbohydrate percentages under any
conditions were likely very distinct.
Root total non-structural carbohydrate mass
This response was attained by multiplying the two
already mentioned dependent variables. It is natural, then,
that the results are similar to the other two (see Table 6
and Fig 18). Galactia elliottii TNC follows the same trend
as the other two parameters, with the unclipped treatments
showing over 100% higher (P=0.0001) TNC mass than the other
two treatments. Desmanthus virgatus showed the same
differences (P=0.0001) as in the case of its root mass.
Desmodium heterocarpon. as in the case of the two
originating responses, showed no differences (P>0.05)
between the two clipping treatments but also showed no
differences (P>0.05) between the extended clipping treatment
and the unclipped treatment. No readily apparent
explanation exists for this last relationship.

88
Fig. 18. Mean root total non-structural
carbohydrate (TNC) mass of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon
(DH), and Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under
extended clipping (EX), early clipping
(ER) and unclipped (U) treatments.
ROOT TNC MASS Cg)

89
As might be expected after examination of the
individual species, the extended and early clipping
treatments were similar (P=0.007 and P=0.01 respectively)
when responses were analyzed by clipping treatment.
Galactia elliottii had the highest mass but was not
different from Desmanthus virgatus (Table 6). In the case
of the unclipped control as well, the same species
differences (P=0.0001) reasserted themselves with Galactia
elliottii showing the highest root TNC mass followed by
Desmanthus virgatus and then Desmodium heterocarpon.
Herbage mass
There were no differences P>0.05 between the two
clipped treatments in all three species (Table 7). This
occurred, perhaps, because the rest period following the
early clipping treatment was not long enough for differences
in recovery from the extended clipping treatment to surface
in the cool fall weather. Galactia elliottii also showed no
differences (P=0.47 for all clipping treatments) between the
two clipped treatments and the unclipped control, again,
perhaps because of normal fall senescence. The other two
species, however, did exhibit higher P<0.002 herbage masses
in the unclipped control (Fig 19).

90
Table 7. Mean herbage mass, herbage nitrogen percent
and herbage nitrogen mass of Galactia
elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon and
Desmanthus virqatus following autumn clipping
treatments.
Species Clipping Herbage Herbage Herbage
treatment mass N% N
—g —
—% —
—g—
D.
heterocarpon
Extendedf
2.29b§
2.13a
0.047a
Early
2.27b
2.13a
0.047a
Control
2.90a
1.78b
0.051a
D.
virqatus
Extended
2.41b
2.13a
0.048a
Early
2.49b
1.92b
0.045a
Control
3.95a
1.20c
0.047a
G.
elliottii
Extended
0.59a
1.89a
O.Ollab
Early
0.69a
1.86a
0.013a
Control
0.61a
1.33b
0.008b
D.
heterocarpon
Extended
2.29a
2.14a
0.047a
D.
virqatus
2.41a
2.13a
0.048a
G.
elliottii
0.59b
1.87b
0.011b
D.
heterocarpon
Early
2.27a
2.13a
0.047a
P.
virqatus
2.49a
1.92b
0.045a
G.
elliottii
0.69b
1.86b
0.013b
D.
heterocarpon
Control
2.90b
1.78a
0.051a
D.
virqatus
3.95a
1.20b
0.047a
G.
elliottii
0.61c
1.33b
0.008b
tExtended clipping was six harvests at 2-wk intervals,
early clipping included only the first three clippings
and the control was never clipped.
§Means within columns for each division differ (P<0.05)
if not followed by a common letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.

91
SPECIES
5.0
4.0
3.0
2.0
1.0
0.0
Fig. 19. Mean herbage mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), and
Desmanthus virqatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped (U) treatments.
HERBAGE MASS (g>

92
In the extended clipping treatment (P=0.0001), as in
the early clipping treatment (P=0.0001), Desmanthus virqatus
and Desmodium heterocarpon were undifferentiated (P>0.05)
and both had greater herbage weights than the Galactia
elliottii plants (Table 6). In the control, Desmanthus
virqatus1 continued growth through the cool months resulted
in 26% greater herbage than Desmodium heterocarpon which in
turn was 475% greater than Galactia elliottii.
Herbage nitrogen percent
In the case of both Galactia elliottii (P=0.0001 for
all clipping treatments) and Desmodium heterocarpon
(P=0.0001 for all clipping treatments), herbage nitrogen
percentages of the two clipped treatments were not different
(P>0.05) from each other and were greater than nitrogen
percentages of the unclipped plants of both species (Table
7). Desmanthus virqatus. in one of the few instances in
this experiment in which a response variable showed a
difference (P=0.0001) between the two clipping treatments,
had differences between all three treatments. The extended
clipping treatment, with its continually regrowing plants,
topped the list with 2.13% nitrogen followed by the early
clipping treatment with 1.92% nitrogen and the unclipped
control with the woodiest stems at 1.20% nitrogen (Fig. 20).

93
DV DH GE
SPECIES
Fig. 20. Mean herbage nitrogen percent of
Galactia elliottii (GE), Desmodiúm
heterocarpon (DH), and Desmanthus
viroatus (DV) under extended clipping
(EX), early clipping (ER) and unclipped
(U) treatments.
HERBAGE NITROGEN

94
When species were compared in the extended clipping
treatment (P=0.006), there were no differences P>0.05
between Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus virqatus
(Table 7). Due most likely to the continued defoliation in
this treatment, Desmodium heterocarpon was unable to produce
flowers as much as it did with the unclipped control and
therefore was forced, perhaps, to maintain its leafiness and
consequently higher nitrogen percent.
When the species were compared in the early clipping
treatment (P=0.004), D. heterocarpon again had the highest
nitrogen percent. In this case, however, it had higher
values than either of the other two species which were not
different (P>0.05) from each other. This same trend appears
in the unclipped control although levels for all species are
lower than in the early clipping treatment.
Herbage nitrogen mass
This measurement was a product of the two previously
discussed responses with results that appear in Table 7
(also Fig. 21). Interestingly, the differences in mass and
nitrogen percent compensate in Desmodium heterocarpon and
Desmanthus virqatus so that there are no differences (P=0.56
and P=0.71 respectively) among any of the three clipping
treatments in these two species. Herbage nitrogen mass of
Galactia elliottii (P=0.03 for clipping treatment effects)

95
0.C6
Fig. 21. Mean herbage nitrogen mass of
Galactia elliottii (GE), Desmodium
heterocarpon (DH), and Desmanthus
virgatus (DV) under extended clipping
(EX), early clipping (ER) and unclipped
control (U) treatments.
HERBSGE NITROGEN MRBSCg)

96
was highest in the early clipping treatment although the
extended clipping treatment was not different from this
treatment. The unclipped control resulted in the lowest
nitrogen mass although this was not lower (P>0.05) than the
extended clipping treatment.
Leaf mass
Clipping treatment had no effect P=0.58 on leaf mass of
Desmanthus virgatus (Table 8). In Desmodium heterocarpon
treatments were different (P=0.0001) although no differences
P>0.05 appeared between the two clipped treatments (Table
8). Only in Galactia elliottii was the leaf mass of the
early clipping treatment higher (P=0.02) than the unclipped
control (Fig. 22). G. elliottii. with its tendency to drop
leaves prior to the cold winter months, would more likely
have had more usable leaf material if it had been harvested
before leaf-dropping.
In all regimes, Desmanthus virgatus was consistently
the most (P=0.0001) productive followed by Desmodium
heterocarpon and then Galactia elliottii. The only
exception was in the early clipping treatment in which there
were no differences (P>0.05) between the two most productive
species.

97
Fig. 22. Mean leaf mass of Galactia elliottii
(GE), Desmodium heterocarpon (DH), and
Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under extended
clipping (EX), early clipping (ER) and
unclipped control (U) treatments.
LEAF HASS Cg)

98
Table 8. Mean leaf mass, leaf-stem ratio and flower
and legume mass of Galactia elliottii.
Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus
virgatus following autumn clipping
treatments.
Species '
Clipping
treatment
Leaf
mass
Leaf-
stem
Flower &
pod mass
G.
elliottii
Extended!
—g—
0.3 5ab§
1.50a
—g—
0.0a
Early
0.41a
1.88a
0.0a
Control
0.21b
0.58b
0.0a
D.
heterocarpon
Extended
0.88a
1.11a
0.47b
Early
0.94a
1.19a
0.39b
Control
0.42b
0.30b
1.03a
D.
viraatus
Extended
1.15a
0.93a
0.00b
Early
1.06a
0.86a
0.01b
Control
1.18a
0.49b
0.22a
D.
heterocarpon
Extended
0.88b
1.11b
0.47a
D.
viraatus
1.15a
0.93b
0.00b
G.
elliottii
0.35c
1.50a
0.00b
D.
heterocarpon
Early
0.94a
1.19b
0.39a
D.
viraatus
1.06a
0.86b
0.01b
G.
elliottii
0.41b
1.88a
0.00b
D.
heterocarpon
Control
0.42b
0.3 0b
1.03a
D.
viraatus
1.18a
0.49ab
0.22b
G.
elliottii
0.21c
0.59a
0.00c
+Extended clipping was six harvests at 2-wk intervals,
early clipping included only the first three clippings
and the control was never clipped.
§Means within columns for each division differ (P<0.05)
if not followed by a common letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.

99
Leaf-stem ratio
Clipped plants exhibited much higher (P<0.0008) leaf-
stem ratios than the unclipped control for all species
(Table 8). No differences (P>0.05), however, were measured
for leaf-stem ratios between the two clipped treatments for
any of the species (Fig. 23).
When a comparison was made among species, Desmodium
heterocarpon and Desmanthus viraatus were not different
(P>0.05) from each other in all treatments but produced
lower (P<0.05) leaf-stem ratios than did Galactia elliottii.
This last species is the only viney entry and would normally
have to invest less in structural support than the two more
upright species. The only exception was in the unclipped
control in which Desmanthus viraatus and Galactia elliottii
were not different (P>0.05).
Flower and pod mass
Galactia elliottii was not observed to produce flowers
in this study (Table 8). Desmanthus viraatus. normally a
heavy seed producer in the field, likewise did not produce
many flowers or pods (Fig. 24). Only the unclipped control
was able to store up sufficient energy to invest in seed
production (Table 8). Clipping treatment was therefore
observable (P=0.0001).

100
1.5
DV DH GE
SPECIES
Fig. 23. Mean leaf-stem ratio of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon
(DH), Desmanthus virgatus (DV) under
extended clipping (EX), early clipping
(ER) and unclipped control (U)
treatments.
LEAF-STEM

101
Fig. 24. Mean seed and pod mass of Galactia
elliottii (GE), Desmodium heterocarpon
(DH), and Desmanthus viraatus (DV) under
extended clipping (EX), early clipping
(ER) and unclipped control treatments.
SEEO FIND POD MfiSS Cg>

102
Desmodium heterocarpon. on the other hand, flowered and
set seed on almost every plant in the study and showed a
clipping treatment effect (P=0.0001). There was, again, no
difference (P>0.05) between the flower and pod production in
the two clipped treatments. Only the unclipped control was
different (P<0.05), producing over twice as much material as
the plants in either clipped treatment.
Spring Harvest
There were no three-way interactions among species,
initial autumn clipping treatments and winter harvest in the
variables measured at the spring harvest date (P>0.58).
Root and herbage mass showed interactions between species
and winter harvest (P=0.0001 for both) as well as between
winter harvest and autumn clipping treatments (P=0.008 for
root and P=0.01 for herbage). Herbage nitrogen weight
showed an interaction between species and winter harvest
(P=0.02), while herbage nitrogen percent showed that an
interaction between species and autumn clipping treatments
still existed (P=0.005) after the winter period. Each of
these interactions is examined separately.

103
Root mass: species X winter harvest
In Galactia elliottii and Desmanthus virgatus. winter
harvest did not produce effects on root mass (Table 9) when
compared to the unharvested control (P=0.10 and P=0.07
respectively). Desmodium heterocarpon. however, did show a
measurable effect, with the unharvested plant root weights
showing over twice the mass of the winter-harvested plant
roots (P=0.0001).
When species were compared within the winter-harvest
treatments, differences (P=0.0001) also appeared. In the
winter harvested plants, D. heterocarpon showed considerably
less (P<0.05) root mass than the other two species. In the
unharvested plants, Desmanthus virgatus was higher than the
other two entries (P<0.05). The change in species relative
differences within the winter harvested treatment and the
unharvested control indicated that more than just species-
specific differences contributed to root mass
differentiation.
Root mass: autumn clipping X winter harvest
Winter harvest had no effect on root mass from either
the extended clipping treatment (P=0.16) or the early
clipping treatment (P=0.58; Table 10). Only in the autumn

104
Table 9. Mean Root mass and herbage mass of Galactia
elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon and
Desmanthus virgatus allowed 16 wk recovery
following winter harvest at 3-cm height and
an unharvested control.
Species
Root
mass
Herbage mass
Control
Harvest
Control
Harvest
D.
virgatus
2.2atA §
1.8a
A
g ,
2 . la
A
1.3b
B
G.
elliottii
1.6a B
1.9a
A
1.3a
B
1.7a
A
D.
heterocarpon
1.5a B
0.7b
B
1.2a
B
0.3b
C
â– Means within lines for each response differ (P<0.05)
if not followed by a common lower case letter according
to Duncan's Multiple Range Test.
§ Means within columns differ (P<0.05) if not followed
by a common upper case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.

105
Table 10. Mean root mass and herbage mass of Galactia
elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon and
Desmanthus viraatus allowed 16 wk recovery
after superimposing a winter harvest at 3-cm
height and an unharvested control on autumn
clipping treatments.
Autumn clipping Root Mass Herbage Mass
treatment Control Harvest Control Harvest
g
Control^ 2.lat A§ 1.3b A 1.8a A 0.9b B
Extended 1.7a AB 1.5a A 1.5a AB 1.3a A
Early 1.5a B 1.6a A 1.3a B 1.1a AB
HExtended clipping was six clippings at 2 wk intervals,
early clipping included only the first three clippings
and the control was never clipped.
+Means within lines for each response differ (P<0.05)
if not followed by a common lower case letter according
to Duncan's Multiple Range Test.
§ Means within columns differ (P<0.05) if not followed
by a common upper case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.

106
unclipped control did the winter harvest produce measurable
differences (P=0.0009). Here the unharvested control root
masses of all species remained larger after winter relative
to the winter harvested treatment.
When autumn clipping treatments were compared by winter
harvest treatments, no differences (P=0.33) registered in
the winter-harvested treatment. Only in the unharvested
control were there differences (P=0.006). Here the autumn
unclipped control showed a higher root mass mean than the
autumn early clipping treatment.
Herbage mass: species X winter harvest
Galactia elliottii herbage mass showed no response
(P=0.07) to winter harvest (Table 9). In both the other
species, however, the winter harvest decreased herbage
growth (both P=0.0001). Desmodium heterocarpon showed a
large response with a 400% difference between herbage mass
in the two treatments.
A comparison among species within each winter harvest
treatment indicated differences (P=0.0001 for both harvested
and unharvested). In the winter-harvested treatment,
Galactia elliottii had the largest herbage mass with
Desmanthus virgatus the next highest which was then followed
by Desmodium heterocarpon (P<0.05 for all differences). In
the unharvested control Desmanthus virgatus had the highest

107
(P<0.05) herbage mass followed by the other two species
which were not different (P>0.05) from each other.
Herbage mass: autumn clipping X winter harvest
Winter harvest treatments did not affect herbage mass
in either of the two clipped treatments from the autumn
clipping (P>0.14 for both; Table 10). Only in the unclipped
autumn control was there a difference (P=0.0001). Here the
winter unharvested control herbage weights averaging twice
as much as the winter harvested treatment.
The only difference (P=0.0001) among autumn clipping
treatments in the unharvested winter treatment was that of
the early clipping treatment and the unclipped control where
the later was larger (P<0.05). In the case of the harvested
plants, by contrast, the only difference (P=0.07) was
between the extended clipping treatment and the unclipped
control.
Herbage nitrogen percent; species X autumn clipping
In Galactia elliottii (P=0.57) and Desmanthus virgatus
(P=.96), autumn clipping treatments did not affect (P>0.05)
nitrogen percent in the herbage following the winter months
(Table 11). Desmodium heterocarpon. however, did show a
lower (P=0.0001) nitrogen percent in the unclipped control

108
Table 11. Mean herbage nitrogen percent of Galactia
elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus
virgatus allowed 16 wk recovery following autumn
clipping treatments.
Species
Herbage nitrogen
ExtendedU Early Control
%
G.
elliottii
2.07a+
A §
2.04a
A 1.91a
A
D.
heterocarpon
1.86a
A
1.87a
A 1.15b
B
D.
viraatus
1.44a
B
1.42a
B 1.40a
B
^Extended clipping
was six
clippings
at 2 wk intervals,
early clipping included only the first three clippings
and the control was never clipped.
tMeans within lines differ (P<0.05) if not followed by
a common lower case letter according to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.
§Means within each column differ (P<0.05) if not
followed by a common upper case letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.

109
either of the two autumn clipping treatments with no
differences (P>0.05) between the last two.
Differences between species in the autumn clipping
treatments (P=0.0007 for extended; P= 0.001 for early)
indicated that in both clipped treatments, Desmanthus
virgatus had lower (P<0.05) nitrogen percentages than the
other species. In the autumn unclipped control, Galactia
elliottii had a higher (P=0.002) nitrogen percent than
either of the other two species.
Herbage nitrogen mass; species X winter harvest
Galactia elliottii and Desmanthus virgatus were
unaffected (P=0.18 and P=0.09 repectively) by winter harvest
(Table 12). Only Desmodium heterocarpon showed a effect
(P=0.0004) with over twice as much nitrogen measured in the
unharvested control plants than was present in the winter
harvested treatment.
When species are compared within the winter harvested
treatment, differences (P=0.0001) between species existed.
Galactia elliottii had the highest (P<0.05) nitrogen content
followed by Desmanthus virgatus and then Desmodium
heterocarpon. In the unharvested control the differences
were less distinct (P=0.05) with only Desmanthus virgatus.
with greater nitrogen weights per plant, different from
Desmodium heterocarpon.

110
Table 12. Mean herbage nitrogen mass of Galactia
elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon and
Desmanthus virgatus allowed 16 wk recovery
after being submitted to a winter harvest at
3-cm height and an unharvested control.
Species
Herbage nitrogen mass
Control Harvest
g
G. elliottii
O.lOat AB §
0.13a
A
D. virgatus
0.11a
A
0.08s
B
D. heterocarpon
0.07a
B
0.03b
C
tMeans within lines
a common lower case
differ
letter
(P<0.05)
according
if not followed by
to Duncan's
Multiple Range Test.
§ Means within each column differ (P<0.05) if not
followed by a common upper case letter according to
Duncan's Multiple Range Test.

Ill
Correlations Between Winter and Spring Factors
Correlations were computed using winter root TNC mass
and root mass as the independent variables and spring
herbage mass and herbage nitrogen mass as the dependent
variables. Only the values of the winter harvested
treatment plants were used since these were thought to most
closely parallel the conditions in the pasture and because
these, having lost all herbage over a 3-cm height, would be
more dependent on root reserves for regrowth. The results
are given in Table 13.
Correlation P-values on average were lowest for
Galactia elliottii. Both TNC and root mass showed a
positive correlation with spring herbage nitrogen mass. The
correlation between winter root mass and spring herbage mass
(P=0.10), was closer than that of the winter TNC and the
same dependent variable.
Desmodium heterocarpon showed very weak correlation
coefficients (P>0.16 for all measurements) Winter root
mass, however, was more highly correlated with the two
spring responses than was winter TNC.
Spring herbage mass of Desmanthus virgatus was
negatively correlated with winter root TNC (P=0.07) and
winter root mass (P=0.09). Why this correlation was
negative, however, may be difficult to explain.

112
Table 13. Correlation between pre-winter root and root total
non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) weights with
post-winter herbage mass and herbage nitrogen mass
in three forage legumes allowed 16 wk recovery
after being subjected to three autumn clipping
treatments and winter harvested at 3-cm heights.
Species
Winter
factor
Spring
factor
Correlation
coefficients
P-value
Galactia
elliottii
Root
TNC mass
Herbage
Herbage
mass
N mass
0.35
0.60
0.27
0.04
Root
mass
Herbage
Herbage
mass
N mass
0.50
0.60
0.10
0.04
Desmodium
heterocarpon
i Root
TNC mass
Herbage
Herbage
mass
N mass
-0.11
-0.12
0.74
0.72
Root
mass
Herbage
Herbage
mass
N mass
0.42
0.41
0.17
0.18
Desmanthus
Viraatus
Root
TNC mass
Herbage
Herbage
mass
N mass
-0.54
-0.41
0.07
0.19
Root
mass
Herbage
Herbage
mass
N mass
-0.52
-0.38
0.09
0.23

113
Continued maintenance of minimal green leaves with very
little growth during the winter period for both Desmodium
heterocarpon and Desmanthus virgatus may have been a factor
in masking any correlations. Although not evaluated, plants
with higher underground root structures may have had energy
for somewhat greater initial regrowth resulting in greater
energy demands and greater depletion during the winter
period.

CHAPTER FIVE
DISCUSSION
The three objectives of this study are addressed below
in order of original presentation.
Species Persistence under Grazing Management
Previous studies in legume persistence under periodic
grazing deferment indicated almost universally beneficial
results from rest. In this experiment, the results were not
so clear. Some species survived as well under fall grazing
as under deferment. Others declined under both treatments.
A third group did show treatment effects. Since there were
a variety of plant population responses to
spring/summer/fall grazing, fall deferred grazing and the
ungrazed control, these are discussed below by species.
Aeschvnomene americana
This species had difficulties with establishment and
very low persistence despite two seedings. Data collection
and interpretation also were problematic. Observations from
114

115
the summer months in which this species was most apparent
were of dubious worth since population numbers at this time
did not yet reflect the effect of fall deferment for that
year. There also was the additional risk of counting
seedlings which germinated from original seedings as having
originated from the previous year's plant population.
Although it is difficult to extract any conclusions
from such low fall plant populations, first year results
indicated that fall grazed plots had the lowest plant
population survival. This would indicate that seed
production would conseguently also be the lowest. By the
fall of 1988, however, even the benefit derived from the
lessened grass competition during summer grazing followed by
deferment for seed production in the fall did not allow any
mature plant survival or seed setting.
Failure to establish and regenerate may have been
related to moisture stress at critical times. Especially at
seeding, this species has been documented to succumb to
flooding as well as short droughts. Kalmbacher et al.
(1988) stated that 7 of 17 plantings studied at Ona AREC
failed). Tanner and Terry (1984), however, successfully
established this species in unfertilized rangelands in two
years with below-average rainfall. Their success may have
been due to above-average rainfall in April.
Once established, then, Aeschvnomene americana has
potential for a wide range of management needs. Quesenberry

116
and Ocaumpaugh (1981) indicated that flowering varied within
this and other Aeschvnomene species, a trait that might be
useful for selecting germplasm tolerant of defoliation
further into the fall.
Alvsicarpus vaginalis
Despite initially, and perhaps artificially inflated,
plant survival numbers in 1987, May 1989 population figures
indicated that this entry had difficulty surviving the early
spring of 1989. Perhaps, as it did in previous years,
seedlings or crown resprouting in response to warmer
temperatures and increased moisture may have eventually
brought the population numbers back, up later in 1989.
Indications were strong, however, that this species was
not capable of surviving well under heavy grass competition
and, in fact, did better where some grazing occurred. Fall
deferment did produce the greatest persistence for this
entry up to the end of 1988. Continuously grazed plots,
however, did maintain a healthy 75% survival up to this time
as well.
Desmanthus virgatus
Although this species had low survival the first
grazing season, population decline slowed in subseguent

117
years. By 1989, over 50% of the plants in the ungrazed
plots had succumbed to local conditions. Twenty-six percent
survived when given the fall period to recover. This was
considerably better than the 9% in the May through December
grazed plots. This indicated that this upright legume was
fairly well adapted to the region once established but
reguired some deferment for good stand persistence. This
last point was especially pertinent since seedling survival
from its heavy seed production was not observed in the field
so that once established plants are lost, they were unlikely
to be replaced.
The pot study shed some light on why this species
responded to fall deferment. Root mass and non-structural
carbohydrate mass were adversely affected by autumn clipping
although the 6-wk rest allowed in the early clipping
treatment of the pot experiment did not produce a measurable
recovery in these two factors.
Desmodium heterocarpon
This entry exhibited very high persistence in all three
grazing treatments in the field the first year of grazing.
New seedlings were observed even outside the plots. The
second year showed a gradual decline in population numbers
of all plots which after the late frost and long drought in
1989 decreased even further.

118
The utility of this species for Central Florida should
not be dismissed, however. It should be noted that it was
capable of surviving in both continuously grazed and
ungrazed plots, making it appear to be a rather versatile
legume. Established stands may have the ability to survive
periodic spring droughts through heavy seed production.
Kretschmer et al. (1976) have observed good persistence of
Desmodium heterocarpon under varying conditions but did not
determine whether pasture plant survival was due more to
perennation or seed production in years with sub-average
rainfall.
The pot study indicated that if seed production is
important to this species for plant population persistence
through periodic climatic stresses, then deferment may be
advised. This would not be to increase root storage,
largely unaffected by rest, but to allow greater seed set
which was greatly curtailed by clipping.
Galactia elliottii
This native legume showed the greatest promise for
future use in reseeding range and low-input pastures.
Despite what appeared to be rather low population survival
every fall, G. elliottii showed a resilience which produced
the earliest spring growth, and greatest propagation in
certain cases, of any of the legumes studied. Plant

119
populations in the fall-grazed plots were as persistent as
in the fall-deferred treatment after two grazing seasons, a
characteristic unique in this study. Spring deferment
rather than late fall deferment might be what this species
requires for good pasture cover and greater likelihood of
overcoming the nutritional limitations of the summer slump.
The pot study indicated that this lack of response to
fall grazing might be due to a natural dormancy which
triggers in early fall. The autumn clipping treatments had
a large effect on root weights and non-structural
carbohydrate content but no effect on subsequent herbage
growth. Lack of a clear relationship between levels of
winter root TNC and spring regrowth was probably due to a
long recovery period and all treatments providing at least
enough energy to meet regrowth needs. This species was
observed to develop extensive root systems even in the
autumn clipped treatments although these were smaller than
the unclipped control. Perhaps originally developed as a
response to Florida's cool winters, this characteristic may
allow G. elliottii to extract nutrients from herbage for
storage in its extensive taproot and rhizome system before
destruction due to cold temperatures occurs.

120
Macroptilium lathvroides
This short-lived perennial, as with the annual included
in this study, was dependent on good seed production to
maintain and expand its plant population. Its positive
response to late season rest was evident in the fact that
during the second grazing season of the experiment there
were no measurable differences between the ungrazed and the
late spring/summer grazed plots. Despite fall deferment,
however, it failed to increase or even maintain its original
numbers.
Two cautionary notes should be included here, however.
First is that poor establishment may have biased results
from the start. The second is that the final plant count in
May 1989, taken during a prolonged spring drought, was not
the best time to measure persistence of a species largely
dependent on seed germination for regeneration. As in the
case of Aeschvnomene americana, spring and late fall dates,
when data were collected for all field entries, may not have
been the appropriate time to measure population numbers.
This short-lived perennial, however, does not exhibit the
complete senescence of the true annual.

121
Viana adenantha
As Galactia elliottii appeared to be the legume of
choice for minimally managed pastures, Vigna adenantha may
have its only potential where grazing management is more
intensive. Although a 24% population survival in May 1989
under fall deferment does not seem impressive, the fact that
any growth at all occurred combined with its stability in
the previous 2 yr gave this entry promise the others did not
show.
This species roots at the nodes, thereby ensuring
propagation capabilities independent of seed production.
This characteristic gave it the added advantage some of the
other egually persistent entries did not posses. Whereas
some species might take an entire season to set seed and
produce good cover, V. adenantha appears capable of
accomplishing this through vegetative reproduction in a
fraction of the time.
Total lack of persistence in the fall grazed plots
indicated that deferment may have been essential to
survival. This deferment benefit may not be limited solely
to the fall period, however, since this species maintained
steady growth through the cold season up to frost kills.
Periodic rests throughout the season to maintain adeguate
root systems may be a possible alternative.

122
Factors Affecting Persistence
The second objective of this work was to address the
question of why individual species survived or failed to
persist under the rigors of the field trial. There were
many factors which were observed or documented in this study
to affect persistence of established plants. These
generally fall under the categories of climate,
microenvironment and management.
Climatic Adaptation
Despite previous studies which showed these legumes to
be adapted to local climatic conditions, some proved less
capable of tolerating local stresses than others. Climate
could be considered the prime factor in some of these cases
by the fact that species reacted differently in different
years. Alysicarpus vaginalis. with its good stands in May
of 1988 and its near disappearance by May 1989 after a dry
spring (137 mm from January to May compared to a 30-yr
average of 356 mm), was a prime example.
Moisture Stress
All entries, once established, appeared to be tolerant
of periodic summer flooding. Florida flatwoods, due to

123
spodic horizons near the soil surface, are particularly
prone to this problem. Greenhouse studies are needed,
however, to determine exactly what levels and durations each
species is capable of enduring since this stress may have
contributed to the steady decline most species suffered,
especially in combination with other factors. The work done
by Quesenberry et al. (1982), for example, showed that
differences in water-logging tolerance of Aeschvnomene
americana was much higher than that of Desmodium
heterocarpon.
Periodic droughts, especially prominent in Florida
springs, may have been another factor in the decline of
certain entries. Species dependent on seed for propagation
appeared to be especially affected. Alvsicarpus vaginalis
and Desmodium heterocarpon. although capable of perennation
and plant enlargement, were unable to increase individual
plant numbers after 1987 despite heavy seed production in
some plots. Seedlings of the latter as well as Macroptilium
lathvroides. were observed in low, moist areas outside
plots, however, in May 1989. These may have been carried on
animal hair or in faeces.
Macroptilium lathvroides and Aeschvnomene americana
also were affected by lack of moisture at critical periods.
These entries are especially vulnerable to spring droughts
in which new seedlings were often observed in wilted or dead
condition. When this occurs, an entire season's crop may be

124
lost and, more importantly in the long run, a year's seed
production may fail. Aeschvnomene americana may be less
susceptible to this phenomena once soil seed reserves are
established from several good growing years. Since
Macrootilium lathvroides does not exhibit strong
hardseededness, stands are especially susceptible to
permanent disappearance after only one dry year. Certainly
at establishment, but perhaps also in subsequent springs,
moisture was a factor in the lack of permanence in these two
species.
The deeper rooted perennials appeared to be less
affected by spring drought stress. This was visible in the
survival, if somewhat reduced, of deep taprooted Desmanthus
virgatus after the spring of 1989. Galactia elliottii was
the prime example of this characteristic with its deep and
extensive root system. This depth may have contributed
significantly to the apparent immunity to low rainfall this
species exhibited in the field study and throughout its
native range at Ona AREC.
Not all perennials appear to be immune to periodic
drought, however. The pot study indicated that perennials
such as Desmodium heterocarpon invested in seed production
rather than roots when not clipped in the fall. This gives
support to the hypothesis that both the heavy seed producing
perennials (D. heterocarpon and Alvsicarpus vaginalis) in
the field essentially disappeared after spring 1989 due to

125
limited root systems. These populations may, however, be
able to regenerate if sufficient seed numbers remained
ungerminated after the early spring rains of that year.
Temperature Stress
None of the entries appeared to react negatively to
high summer temperatures when moisture was not limiting.
All entries, however, had herbage damage from frost and
above-ground destruction from freezes. Desmanthus viraatus
was the only entry observed to lose individual plants
completely due to low temperatures. This most often
occurred in the ungrazed control plots with very tall
plants. Shading of the spring regrowth by heavy neighboring
vegetation, both dead and growing, may have been a factor as
well.
Galactia elliottii suffered the least frost damage in
winter. This was accomplished in two ways. The first was a
late fall senescence, documented in November and December
during the pot study. During this period G. elliottii
appeared to translocate nutrients from its leaves as they
slowly became chlorotic and finally senescent without
apparent disease or nutrient stress. The second method was
the retention of some basal leaves and stems in the pasture
which did not succumb to cold temperatures, even freezing.

126
This may have assisted in the early spring regeneration and
growth spurt observed every spring in the pasture.
The most important differentiating effect of frosts was
time of this stress. Although these did not occur in the 3
yr studied, early fall frosts especially affect seed
production. This may have a more drastic affect on the
annual Aeschvnomene americana then on seeding perennials
since individual plants of this last group may seed in
subsequent years.
Late frosts were a problem, however. In some
perennials which did not respond to cold or daylength by
becoming dormant during the winter, growth at moderate
levels continued if frosts were not present. Prominent in
this group were Desmanthus viraatus and Vigna adenantha.
The latter especially resprouted quickly after frosts or
freezes. During the early months of 1989 this
characteristic may have depleted root energy reserves for
these entries. A frost in late December 1988 was followed
by seven unseasonably warm, frost-free weeks in which plants
of these two species regenerated almost completely. On 26
February freezing temperatures again destroyed above-ground
herbage. This, in combination with low rainfall, may have
contributed to the decreased survival of plants in all
treatments for these two species.

127
Microenvironment
One of the least understood factors in individual plant
survival in the pasture is the microenvironment in which it
exists. This can influence the effect of other stresses as
well as cause its own. The most important factor under this
category is not the microenvironment itself but the
individual species's adaptation to that environment.
For example, normally decumbent entries such as
Desmodium heterocarpon and Alvsicarpus vaginalis had an
advantage in the treatments where grasses and weeds were
grazed low. In these plots Panicum spp. and Paspalum
notatum became the dominant grasses. This allowed
individual plants to grow and set seed on prostrate branches
which cattle could not easily damage. In situations where
associated plants were allowed to grow taller, such as the
fall deferred plots, these species were forced to grow more
upright in order to reach upper canopy sunlight and thereby
lost their relative advantage over other entries. In the
ungrazed plots where accompanying grasses and weeds were
especially dense as well as tall, these entries lost all
competitive advantage as born out by the superior relative
survival of more upright species. Inability of seedlings to
penetrate the dense canopies precluded regeneration from
this source despite good seed production.

128
The reverse was the case for the upright Aeschvnomene
americana. Macroptilium lathyroides and Desmanthus virgatus.
Where accompanying grass and weed species were grazed down
to expose new growth or setting seed, these entries soon
disappeared. There appeared to be a limit, in terms of
height, to the protection offered by accompanying grasses.
Desmanthus virgatus had a measurable advantage in the
ungrazed control since plants there, once established, could
regenerate guickly from stored nutrients in the fall before
neighboring grasses dominated the mid-canopy. Annuals could
not respond in the same way. The other two entries,
dependent more on seed regeneration, soon disappeared from
the ungrazed control plots at least in part because they
could not maintain viable plant populations year to year
through seedling regeneration. The mat of dead and
regenerating plant material was simply too dense for light
penetration and seedling emergence.
The twining species, Vigna adenantha and Galactia
elliottii. once mature, were not hampered by dense grass and
weed competition. As long as the individual plants were
well established they had no difficulty climbing up their
neighbors to reach the upper canopies. Their tendency to
intertwine with unpalatable upright weeds and barbed wire
served as additional protection in the fall deferred plots.
When allowed a respite from grazing, these surviving

129
pockets, especially in the case of Vigna adenantha.
regenerated to cover larger areas.
These two entries also appeared to regenerate quickly
in the spring which also guaranteed that they would not lose
their canopy advantage. Vigna adenantha in some plots
overwhelmed its accompanying grasses and weeds completely.
There may also have been differences in the species'
competitiveness with associated grasses and broadleaf plants
for moisture and nutrients. This competition, occurring
below-ground, was more difficult to observe and compare to
the above-ground performance.
Management Factors
Animal effects on the species affected persistence in
the field trial. This influence resulted from direct legume
harvest and trampling as well as grazing of surrounding non¬
legume competition.
Direct influences
All entries, according to the height study conducted
over the entire grazing season of 1987, were grazed by the
animals in the pasture. Wildlife also specifically sought
out legumes within grass canopies, preferring Aeschynomene
americana. Macroptilium lathyroides and Desmanthus virgatus.

130
Some of the entries, where sparse and mixed with grasses,
may have been grazed by the cattle simply as part of the
canopy. Strong rejection, at least, may be ruled out even
if preference cannot be safely assumed. Those individual
plants which survived grazing must, therefore, of necessity
have possessed some mode of defoliation tolerance.
Vigna adenantha throughout the growing season, and
perhaps Galactia elliottii in the early spring before cattle
were added, overcame defoliation to a degree by vigorous
regrowth. Vigna adenantha. especially, was capable of rapid
regeneration when allowed a fall deferment.
Aeschvnomene americana. Macroptilium lathvroides and
Desmanthus virqatus withstood grazing, where already
established and developed, through unpalatable stemy growth
for at least that season. This grazing deterrent also
served these palatable entries as protection from browsing
wildlife. The high stem to leaf ratio in the pot study
confirmed this trait for Desmathus virqatus. lowering plant
nitrogen and presumably acceptability as well.
Desmodium heterocarpon and Alvsicarpus vaginalis both
persisted in the spring/summer/fall as well as the fall
deferred plots by adopting a decumbent growth habit.
Decreased plant height during 1987, combined with high
persistence in that and subsequent years, confirmed that
these two entries derived persistence advantages from
prostrate growth habits when canopies were opened due to

131
heavy grazing. Cattle were unable to select leaves and new
growth on the old stems. Should these species be utilized
for smaller ruminants, however, the usefulness of this
avoidance mechanism may be more limited.
Root mass and root TNC mass were also affected by
management. The clipping trial indicated that herbage loss
of all three species studied affected the plants below
ground. Galactia elliottii herbage production and below¬
ground mass seemed the least affected by late fall clipping.
This was perhaps due to its natural senescence during this
period. Desmodium heterocarpon was not affected as much as
the others, however. Root mass and TNC content were less
drastically reduced than was seed production.
There were certainly more factors than those discussed
above, both natural and imposed, which contributed to
persistence or lack thereof in the plant populations
studied. But these, as with those discussed above, only
contributed or interacted to contribute to the population
dynamics of the field trial. No single factor could be
isolated that would determine the demise or survival of
individual plants. The basic premise of this study was,
however, that grazing management appeared to have tipped the
scales in one direction or another for the species studied.

132
Indirect influences
Legume cropping may not be the only mode by which
grazing animals affected legume persistence. Indirect
influences may have resulted due to defoliation effects on
surrounding grass and weed canopies.
Casual ingestion of legumes as part of a grass sward
has already been mentioned as a possible factor. This
phenomenon appears unlikely, however, in light of the
largely consistent results measured across plots and years.
Also already discussed was the effect of open canopies
on increased persistence of the prostrate perennials.
Entries which were dependent on seed for regeneration may
also have been affected by canopy characteristics. This may
have taken the route of greater seed production for plants
protected by denser canopies as well as increased seedling
survival in more closely cropped plots where moisture and
light competition was less severe.
Relationships Between Defoliation and Plant Composition
The data collected in the pot study from Galactia
elliottii. Desmodium heterocarpon and Desmanthus viraatus
provided most of the answers which are not directly
persistence data or field observations.

133
Weight and TNC content of roots in the unclipped
treatments of the pot study indicated that at least two of
the species included in the field trial may have benefited
from fall deferment in terms of persistence following
winter. Galactia elliottii early in the fall and Desmanthus
virgatus throughout the fall likely enlarged roots and
stored nutrients in the roots. The native subtropical
Galactia elliottii may have developed this capacity over
years of adaptation to the low winter temperatures of its
native range. Although fall-grazed G. elliottii populations
were as persistent as deferred plots, decreased seedling
vigor of the undeferred areas was apparent. After several
years, differences might become more evident in terms of
plant survival and propagation. In the case of the more
tropical species such as the introduced Desmanthus virgatus,
this increased root and root TNC mass may simply be a result
of healthier plants with greater photosynthetic area in
place up to frost.
The pot study data on Desmodium heterocarpon indicated,
however, that not all perennial species in the trial
enlarged root systems and root nutrient storage when not
defoliated in the autumn. Those plant populations which
invest in seed production during this period, especially the
annuals, may benefit from deferment more in terms of greater
viability and numbers of seed. The May 1988 persistence
data on the only true annual in this study, Aeschvnomene

134
americana, indicated that seedling regeneration was the same
in the two grazed treatments which were both superior to the
ungrazed treatment. This should not refute the basic
theory, however, since this phenomena was due perhaps more
to conditions favoring seedling survival than to larger seed
crops the previous year.

CHAPTER SIX
CONCLUSIONS
This work targeted one factor in the management of
seven forage legumes with potential for Florida spodosols:
persistence. Over the period of three growing seasons and
two yearly grazing cycles, these species showed varying
degrees of adaptation to local climatic, microenvironmental
and animal use conditions which allowed plant population
survival in some cases, total disappearance in others.
Possible reasons for differences in survival among entries
include degree of adaptation to climate and soil, grass and
weed association and competition, plant morphology,
capacities to store nutrients in root structures and growth
cycles. Some conclusions regarding responses of species can
be drawn from the information generated.
Aeschvnomene americana and Macroptilium lathvroides.
the two species studied which are dependent solely on seed
for long-term propagation and survival, could not be fully
evaluated due to establishment problems. In general,
however, these species should benefit from fall deferment
since seed set occurs primarily at this time. They also
135

136
require some grazing of associated plants during the spring
to open the canopy for the new seedling crop.
Alvsicarpus vaginalis and Desmodium heterocarpon. the
two heavy seed producers with prostrate growth capabilities,
displayed good establishment and early survival under the
grazing pressure used. Neither was tolerant of spring
drought, however. Their potential to develop extensive soil
seed reserves may give them the means, especially in view of
the hardseededness they possess, to survive droughty
periods. Their characteristic upright growth habit under
heavy grass competition, while avoiding complete destruction
under heavy grazing via decumbent growth, gives them a
versatility some of the more persistent entries did not
possess.
Desmanthus viraatus and Vigna adenantha both showed
promise under fall deferred systems but not under fall
grazed regimes. Of these two, the viney, node-rooting V.
adenantha seems the preferred choice since not a single
seedling was added to the Desmanthus virgatus population by
natural regeneration. Vigna adenantha. with its quick
regenerative capacities has potential where some opportunity
for avoidance of total grazing defoliation is provided by
associated plants and grazing management. Vigna adenantha
may be more useful under short-duration grazing where its
innate vigor can be utilized effectively.

137
Galactia elliottii did not appear to benefit from fall
deferment in terms of added persistence although spring
regrowth vigor was apparently enhanced by deferment. It was
the only entry to show a natural population increase
(through rhizomes) under control plot conditions after 3 yr.
It also maintained the highest plant population survival,
over 50%, in both the deferred and the fall grazed plots.
Its strong growth in low-fertility situations makes it
promising for range reseeding and recovery.
Mechanisms of tolerance to grazing defoliation differed
among the legumes evaluated. The two upright species,
dependent solely on seed production for persistence, were
especially vulnerable to elimination by grazing. The
combination of decumbent growth and heavy seed production
were mechanisms of persistence under grazing for Alvsicarpus
vaginalis and Desmodium heterocaroon. Woody stems
associated with heavy basal plant development gave
Desmanthus virqatus some resistance to grazing while root
TNC storage provided energy for regrowth. Rapid regrowth
and vegetative propagation, both of which enhanced stand
recovery following defoliation, were key aspects to grazing
tolerance in Vigna adenantha. These were dependent for
effectiveness, however, upon escape from defoliation of some
rooted herbage. Extensive root development of Galactia
elliottii was the primary mechanism of grazing tolerance of

138
this species, undoubtedly at some cost to herbage
production.
Total non-structural carbohydrate reserves were an
important aspect of winter survival of the perennial
legumes. Differing strategies, however, were involved in
the three species examined. The only native entry, G.
elliottii. developed such extensive underground growth under
all treatments that only vigor of regrowth and not
persistence was affected by fall grazing. Desmanthus
virgatus appeared to build up root TNC in the fall and was
dependent upon this energy supply for early regrowth
although loss of herbage during the winter made the
relationship less well defined for this tropical legume.
Desmodium heterocarpon, whose root system was also examined
under defoliation treatments, did not appear to build up
appreciable levels of root mass or TNC under deferment.
This entry, as perhaps occurred with the remaining two
perennials in the field trial, was vulnerable to energy
depletion for plant maintenance during short, intermittent
periods of weather favorable for plant growth during
extended winter cold or spring dry periods. Soil seed
reserve build-up rather than root TNC increase in both D.
heterocarpon and Alvsicarpus vaginalis appeared to be the
primary mechanism for overcoming this deterrent to stand
persistence. In Vigna adenantha the primary response
observed was rapid growth and replenishment of limited

139
carbohydrate supply rather than investment in root energy
storage.
Management constraints and production capabilities
differ considerably among legumes adapted to tropical
climates. Effective grazing strategies for sustained
production of subtropical legumes in Florida pastures will
depend, therefore, upon an understanding of the morphology
and physiological responses to stress of the individual
legumes to be utilized.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Jim (James Pierre Muir) was born in the small Catota
Mission Hospital, Angola, two days before Christmas, 1958.
As part of a missionary family, he lived in such diverse
locales as Grand Rapids, Michigan, Linda-a-Velha, Portugal,
and Huambo, Angola. In 1977, he graduated from Rift Valley
Academy, a missionary boarding school on the misty slopes of
the Rift Valley escarpment, Kenya.
After four nondescript years as a biology major at
Wheaton College, Jim fled the boring American midwest in
1981. Perhaps as much for the refreshing, mountainous
topography as for the proximity of a certain fellow
Wheatonite, Kaycie (Katherine Cecilia Jones), he settled in
Montana. A lonely winter snow-bound in the Little Belt
Mountains as a cow-poke was followed, predictably, by the
summer 1982 wedding to Kaycie.
Jim and Kaycie moved to Gainesville, Florida in 1983
where Jim commenced work on first a M.S. and then a Ph.D. in
forage agronomy. Stolen hours on the oyster bars, tidal
creeks and expansive grass flats around Deer Island, Gulf of
Mexico, kept sanity intact as classes, library searches,
field work and computer hacking made a tropical forage
management "expert" out of Jim.
149

150
Those who have children of their own know the joy and
long, sleepless nights which followed the addition of Peter
Neilson Muir to the clan in 1987.
As a precursor to future career goals, graduate work
was interrupted in 1988 for a year's Fulbright visit to
Mozambigue. Jim's driving force in his educational
endeavors has been, and still is, a desire to return to his
native Planalto do Bié to work with cattle production in
Africa.

I certify that I nave read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Jr
William D. Pitman, Chairman
Associate Professor of Agronomy
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Kenneth H. Quesenberr}
Professor of Agronomy
Cochairman
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Loy VÍS Crowder
Research Scientist, Agronomy

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
George t/.Tanner
Associate Professor of Forest
Resources and Conservation
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty
of the College of Agriculture and to the Graduate School and
was accepted as a partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
August 1989
Dean,
Dean, Graduate School

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08553 6596

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08553 6596



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