Evolution of the botanic composition in a kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) meadow recovered through mechanic harrowing and compost fertilization treatments.
This study reports the growth dynamics of Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) grown in Tibaitatá Research Station (CORPOICA, Colombia) as affected by pasture recovery methods. The evaluation was carried out in 2002 at two seasons, under the effect of six treatments of mechanical soil loosening and three treatments of compost addition in a split-plot design. Results showed a higher biomass production in the second season. For the botanical composition analysis, a measurement repeated in time design with means compared by the Waller Duncan method was used. Comparisons included different growth stages for all the samples. Due to the mechanical loosening treatment, and until the first 45 days of growth, the most abundant component in the different samples was dead material. After day 45, the growth of Kikuyu grass was very fast presenting the highest biomass production among all components. After treatment application, the grass reached 80% of the total dry matter production. The mechanical loosening and the compost treatment application did not affect the legumes' population. The pasture restoration treatments increased Kikuyu cover from 36% in the control pasture to 59% in the treated plots at the end of the second season, and as a result, the population of Senecio inaequidens (invasive weed) decreased from 38% to only 1%, demonstrating the potential use of pasture recovery measurements as a weed control method.