Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF RANGE AND DESERT RESEARCH   2016 , Volume 23 , Number 1 #a00465; Page(s) 177 To 187.

Investigation and Determination of forage quality Aellenia subaphylla during three vegetative winter pastures in semnan province

* Semnan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center, AREEO, Semnan, Iran
Aellenia subaphylla is a perennial plant species and resistant to drought and salinity, distributed in the winter rangelands and at the margins of the interior deserts such as Damghan desert. In early autumn that available forage is reduced in rangelands, this species produces a considerable forage in addition to a good annual growth. To study the forage quality of Aellenia subaphylla at three growth stages of vegetative, flowering and seeding stages, the branches of 10 species were randomly sampled with three replications. Then the samples were dried and milled. Six forage quality traits including DMD, WSC, CP, CF, ME and ADF were measured. The average of DMD, CP, CF, WSC, Ash, ME, and ADF were estimated to be 35. 14%, 17. 35%, 40. 93%, 13. 9%, 6. 58%, 3. 97 MJ kg-1 dry matter, and 60. 45%, respectively. The results of ANOVA and mean comparisons of the traits studied indicated that the forage quality of Aellenia subaphylla was affected by phenological stages. The highest and the lowest CP content were observed at flowering and seeding stages, respectively. The minimum amount of CP for most domestic or wild herbivores for maintenance is reported to be 7. 5%. Therefore, this species could supply the CP requirements of livestock. In the flowering stage, ADF and CP increased significantly while a significant reduction was observed in CF, indicating that flowering stage could be recommended for forage utilization. In addition, the average values of DMD, WSC and ME at seeding stage were significantly higher than those of vegetative and flowering stages. Therefore, seeding stage could also be recommended for livestock nutrition. Our results clearly showed that the best time for forage utilization of Aellenia subaphylla, distributed widely in the winter rangelands, was consistent with flowering and seeding stages. On the other hand, this species produces a large amount of seeds, increasing the forage quality at seeding stage. Given that the forage quality of the species studied here was acceptable during flowering and seeding stages, a proper use of this species could be taken into consideration for livestock feed through a sound range management.
Keyword(s): Aellenia subaphylla,forage quality,metabolizable energy,digestibility,phenological stages,Semnan Province
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