a1 Njala University College, University of Sierra Leone, P. M. B. Freetown
Artificial defoliation was used to simulate grazing by cutting-grass or cane-rat (Thryonomys swinderianus), on three rices with durations of 110–115, 130–135 and 140–145 days respectively, defoliated before, during and soon after tillering by removing leaves to half, two-thirds and the total height of the plants. All varieties showed marked compensatory growth, resulting in increased tillering and yield, especially when defoliated during tillering, but yield fell when foliage was removed after tillering, especially with shorter duration rice. Defoliation to half the height of the plant during tillering had the most beneficial effect, whereas removal of all leaves to soil level after the tillering stage had the most adverse effect.
(Accepted May 19 1971)