American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Production and Nutritional Quality of low elevation zone Grasslands and Kermes Oak Shrublands (Quercus coccifera L.) in the South-East Mediterranean Basin

C. Roukos, K. Papanikolaou, S. Kandrelis, A. Mygdalia, Ch. Koutsoukis and E. Glavas

DOI : 10.3844/ajavsp.2010.52.59

American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 1

Pages 52-59

Abstract

Problem statement: The objective of this study was to evaluate the production and nutrition quality of grasslands and kermes oak shrublands in Preveza Prefecture, northwest Greece. Approach: The study involved the collection of herbage and browse samples along a grazing period, from March to October for two consecutive years. In consequence, browse samples were manually separated to leaves and twigs. The three forage components (herbage, kermes oak leaves and twigs) were analyzed for crude protein, Neutral-Detergent Fiber (NDF), Acid-Detergent Fiber (ADF), lignin and In Vitro Dry Matter Digestibility (IVDMD). After the 2 years of observation, we concluded that kermes oak browse, especially the leaves, had CP content adequate to fulfill the nutrient requirements of grazing goats throughout the grazing period. Results: However, this browse is characterized by a very low IVDMD during summer, which may be the result of high lignin content and the presence of anti-nutritional factors such as phenols and tannins. The month of harvest strongly affected the production and nutritive value of forage components, firstly by giving a significant positive correlation among average monthly temperature, production, cell wall contents and secondly, a negative correlation among average monthly rainfall, IVDMD and lignin content. Conclusion: In closure, kermes oak shrublands of the lower zone constitute an important alimentary source providing adequate amounts of browse in order to maintain the nutrient requirements for grazing goats during the summer, when the herbage is not desirable for consumption from sheep and cattle.

Copyright

© 2010 C. Roukos, K. Papanikolaou, S. Kandrelis, A. Mygdalia, Ch. Koutsoukis and E. Glavas. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.