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Original Article

Forage Quality of Salsola turcomanica (Litv) in Semi-arid Region of Gomishan, Golestan Province, Iran

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Abstract

The information about the forage quality of rangeland species is essential to supply a reasonable diet to livestock and determine thestocking rate and grazing time on rangelands. Salsola turcomanica is one of the important species of semi-arid rangelands in the Western part of Golestan province, Iran. The present study was conducted to provide information about the nutritive value of S.turcomanica at different growth stages in 2019. Plant samples (with three replications) were randomly collected in four growth stages (vegetative stage, early flowering, late flowering and seed maturity) from Gomishan rangelands during the summer and autumn 2019. Seven quality indices, including Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF), Crude Protein (CP), Dry Matter Digestibility (DMD), Metabolizable Energy (ME), Digestible Energy (DE), Total Digestible Nutrient (TDN) and Ash content (Ash) were analyzed. Data analysis was performed using One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) method and mean comparisons were done by Duncan test. The results demonstrated that there are significant differences among phenological stages for all the traits (p <0.05). The results demonstrated that the content of CP (from 25.66% to 8.33%), DMD (from 84.45% to 56.31%), ME (from 12.35 to 7.57 MJ/Kg), Ash (from 40.03% to 35.60 %), DE (from 36.17 to 24.12 Mcal/Kg) and TDN (from 82.55% to 53.41%) were decreased by the progress of growth stages. Regarding its growth seasons and high values of CP, ME and DMD in all phenological stages, it is suggested that this species can have aprominent place in the grazing livestock diet in semi-arid rangelands.

Graphical Abstract

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