Nutritional Quality of Herbaceous Vegetation in a Phryganic Mediterranean Ecosystem During the Grazing Period

  • Christos N. ROUKOS Ministry of Rural Development and Food, Directorate of Decentralised Agencies of Epirus & Western Macedonia, 454 45 Ioannina
  • Apostolos P. KYRIAZOPOULOS Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, 193 Pantazidou str., 68200 Orestiada
  • Eleni M. ABRAHAM Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Forestry and Natural Environment, Laboratory of Range Science (236), 54124 Thessaloniki
  • Zoi M. PARISSI Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Forestry and Natural Environment, Laboratory of Range Science (236), 54124 Thessaloniki
  • Maria KARATASSIOU Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Forestry and Natural Environment, Laboratory of Rangeland Ecology (286), 54124 Thessaloniki

Abstract

Grazing is an economically and environmentally valuable activity in phryganic Mediterranean ecosystems. The herbaceous vegetation of these ecosystems provides an essential feed source for grazing ruminants. Despite the extension and economic importance of phryganic ecosystems in Mediterranean Basin there has been relatively little scientific focus on nutritional quality of their herbaceous vegetation. The nutritional quality of herbaceous vegetation in a phryganic ecosystem was assessed for two consecutive years during the grazing period (March to July). Herbage samples were analysed for chemical composition, metabolizable energy, in vitro dry matter digestibility, in vitro neutral detergent fiber digestibility and mineral content (Ca, P, K, Mg) at monthly basis. According to the results time of harvest significantly affected crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, lignin and the content of minerals (i.e. Ca, P, Mg, K). Mean monthly temperature found to have a great negative impact on nutritional quality. During the grazing period, the nutritional quality of herbage vegetation was strongly correlated with growing degree days. Over a threshold of about 700 growing degree days the nutritional quality of herbage dramatically decreased. Overall the current study provides crucial information for the nutritional dynamics of the herbage vegetation of the phryganic Mediterranean ecosystems that can be towards developing an efficient grazing strategy.

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Published
2017-06-10
How to Cite
ROUKOS, C. N., KYRIAZOPOULOS, A. P., ABRAHAM, E. M., PARISSI, Z. M., & KARATASSIOU, M. (2017). Nutritional Quality of Herbaceous Vegetation in a Phryganic Mediterranean Ecosystem During the Grazing Period. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 45(1), 149-156. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha45110655
Section
Research Articles

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