Feeding value of different plant functional types of oak mediterranean ecossystems Conference Paper uri icon


  • The aim of the study was to assess the seasonal variation of Crude protein (CP) and In vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) of key plant functional types (PFT‟s) present in oak Mediterranean ecosystems of the North of Portugal. The PFT‟s were legume, spiny and aromatic for shrubs and sclerophyllous, deciduous and coniferous for trees. PFT‟s varied in crude protein (CP: 4.16- 15.87% DM) and in digestibility (IVOMD: 34.48-63.36%, p<0.001). Legume showed the highest CP and the IVOMD, coniferous showed the lowest CP content and aromatic showed the lowest value of IVOMD. In terms of the capacity of these PFT‟s to suppress the protein needs of livestock animals considering goats of 45 Kg body weight in dry periods (summer and autumn), the coniferous group alone can‟t cover the needs for maintenance. In the case of late pregnancy, only legume and deciduous and spiny can cover it.
  • This work was supported by SOE2/P5/E0804 Modelo de gestão sustentada para a preservação de espaços abertos de montanha.
  • Trees and shrubs are useful sources of cheap feed for ruminant animals, especially during dry or cool seasons when conventional forages are scarce and of low quality. Further, conventional livestock farmers experience risks in feed provision due to climate change, while tree fodders and shrubs can increase the system´s resilience to weather variability and extreme events. However, amongst ligneous species there is a great variability on, their feeding value since the proportion between contents (protein, sugars, starch) and cell walls (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin), the production of secondary metabolites (phenols, tannins) and other defence mechanisms (thorns) against herbivory depends on the ecological strategy of the plant which influences their chemical composition.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018