Tropical Grasslands (1991) Volume 25, 325–332

Drying rates of tropical grasses


UEPAE-EMBRAPA — São Carlos S.P. and Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa — MG, Brazil


The drying rates of andropogon (Andropogon gayanus), signal (Brachiaria decumbens), guinea (Panicum maximum), molasses (Melinis minutiflora) and jaragua (Hyparrhenia rufa) grasses were estimated under chamber and field conditions. The grasses were clipped at the ages of 8 and 12 weeks and allowed to dry. Moisture determinations were made on samples taken at the start and the end of drying, and the weight loss of the drying grasses were recorded at hourly intervals on the first day and at longer intervals during the second day. Water loss coefficients were calculated for each grass from regression equations. Morphological characteristics of the grasses such as: leaf weight ratio, leaf: stem ratio, specific leaf area, stem length and diameter were recorded and correlated with water loss coefficients. Higher drying rates were found for jaragua and guinea which had the highest leaf weight ratio and the shortest stems.

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