Tensile fracture properties of seven tropical grasses at different phenological stages

Jacobs, A.A.A., Scheper, J.A., Benvenutti, M.A., Gordon, I.J., Poppi, D.P., and Elgersma, A. (2011) Tensile fracture properties of seven tropical grasses at different phenological stages. Grass and Forage Science, 66 (4). pp. 551-559.

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Abstract

The intake of forage grasses by grazing ruminants is closely related to the mechanical fracture properties of grasses. The relationship between the tensile fracture properties of grasses and foraging behaviour is of particular importance in tropical reproductive swards composed of both stems and leaves. This study (i) quantified and compared the tensile fracture properties of stems and leaves of seven tropical grass species and (ii) provided insight into the underlying plant traits that explain differences in fracture properties between species. Fracture force, tensile strength, fracture energy and toughness of stems (in various phenological stages) and leaves were measured and compared among five introduced tropical grasses (Cenchrus ciliaris, Chloris gayana, Digitaria milanjiana, Megathyrsus maximus (syn. Panicum maximum), Setaria sphacelata) and two native tropical grasses (Setaria surgens and Dichanthium sericeum). Species differed significantly in fracture force and fracture energy, with stems and leaves of C ciliaris and S. surgens requiring less force and energy to fracture and stems and leaves of M. maximus and S. sphacelata requiring more force and energy to fracture in comparison with the other species. Differences in tensile strength and toughness were less pronounced. The differences among species in fracture force and energy mainly resulted from differences in cross-sectional area of plant parts rather than from differences in tensile strength and toughness.

Item ID: 42423
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2494
Keywords: tropical grass, tensile fracture, tiller development, stem, leaf, toughness, phenological stage
Funders: Grassland Science Foundation (SGW)
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 15:12
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070303 Crop and Pasture Biochemistry and Physiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8304 Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops > 830499 Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960804 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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