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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF RANGE AND DESERT RESEARCH   FALL 2017 , Volume 24 , Number 3 (68) ; Page(s) 537 To 546.

Forage quality of important halophytes in saline and alkaline rangelands of Golestan province at two phenological stages

* Golestan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Gorgan, Iran
This research was conducted to determine the chemical composition and digestibility of five palatable range species in saline and alkaline rangelands of Golestan province. The study species were: Frankenia hirsuta, Halocnemum strobilaceum, Halostachys caspica, Plantago coronopus and Salsola turcomanic. Plant sampling was performed randomly at vegetative and seed ripening stages. Dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), lignin (ADL) and ash were measured by standard methods. Dry matter digestibility (DMD) and organic matter digestibility (OMD) were determined using rumen fluid from buffalo. The study was conducted in a factorial experiment based on completely randomized design with 10 treatments and five replicates. The results showed that phenological stages and species significantly affected most of the forage quality parameters measured. As the plant age increased, the amount of CP, DMD, OMD, DE and ME decreased, while DM, ADF and ADL increased. At both phenological stages, S. turcomanica had the lowest ADF, while the highest was recorded for P. coronopus. The highest and lowest ADL was observed in F. hirsute and S. turcomanica, respectively. Reduction of the crude protein content due to the phenological stage was the highest in F. hirsute and H. caspica and the lowest in S. turcomanica. The highest DMD and OMD at both phonological stages were recorded for S. turcomanica, showing a significant difference with other species. The overall results showed that S. turcomanica had higher forage quality as compared with other species and the forage quality of the study species at vegetative stage was more than that of seeding stage.
Keyword(s): Chemical composition,digestibility,growth stage,halophytes,Golestan province
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