Forage value of vegetative leaf and stem biomass fractions of selected grasses indigenous to African rangelands

Show simple item record Mganga, Kevin Z. Ndathi, Aphaxard J. N. Wambua, Stephen Bosma, Luwieke Kaindi, Eric M. Kioko, Theophilus Kadenyi, Nancy Musyoki, Gilbert K. teenbergen, Frank van S Musimba, Nashon K. R. 2021-06-16T07:30:51Z 2021-06-16T07:30:51Z 2021-05-25
dc.identifier.citation Animal Production Science, en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1836-5787
dc.description en_US
dc.description.abstract Context: Rangeland grasses native to Africa constitute the main diet for free-ranging livestock and wild herbivores. Leaf:stem ratio is a key characteristic used for assessing quality of forages. However, studies to determine the allocation of biomass to leaves and stems as well as chemical components and nutritive value, especially of grasses in African rangelands, are rare. Aim: This study was conducted to establish biomass allocation and chemical and mineral components in leaf and stem fractions of three grasses, Eragrostis superba, Enteropogon macrostachyus and Cenchrus ciliaris, all indigenous to African rangelands. Methods: Plant height, plant densities, plant tiller densities and biomass yields were estimated at the elongation stage, before inflorescence. Chemical and mineral components were determined from biomass harvested at the vegetative phase for all three grass species. Dry matter, ash content, organic matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre, acid detergent lignin, and calcium, phosphorus and potassium contents were determined. Key results: Enteropogon macrostachyus displayed significantly greater plant and tiller densities and plant height than the other two species. Leaf and stem biomass fractions varied significantly (P < 0.05) among grasses. Leaf:stem ratio of E. superba was double that of E. macrostachyus and C. ciliaris. Crude protein and organic matter yields and net energy for lactation were highest (P < 0.05) in E. superba leaf biomass, as was Ca content. Conclusions: Eragrostis superba demonstrated greater potential as a forage species for ruminant animal production than E. macrostachyus and C. ciliaris. Implications: Eragrostis superba is a key forage species that warrants promotion in pasture establishment programs in its native environments. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher CSIRO Publishing en_US
dc.subject semiarid en_US
dc.subject dryland en_US
dc.subject reseeding en_US
dc.subject ruminants en_US
dc.subject nutrition en_US
dc.subject pastoralists en_US
dc.subject African foxtail grass en_US
dc.subject buffel grass en_US
dc.subject Maasai love grass en_US
dc.subject bush rye grass en_US
dc.title Forage value of vegetative leaf and stem biomass fractions of selected grasses indigenous to African rangelands en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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