Technical Note: Predicting ruminal methane inhibition by condensed tannins using nonlinear exponential decay regression analysis.
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Methane (CH) is a potent greenhouse gas that is normally produced by microbial fermentation in the rumen and released to the environment mainly during eructation. Prediction of ruminal CH production is important for ruminant nutrition, especially for the determination of ME intake to assess the amount of total GE available for metabolism by an animal. Equations have been developed to predict ruminal CH production based on dietary constituents, but none have considered condensed tannins (CT), which are known to impact CH production by ruminants. The objective was to develop an equation to predict ruminal CH, accounting for CT effects. Methane production data were acquired from 48-h in vitro fermentation of a diverse group of warm-season perennial forage legumes containing different concentrations of CT over the course of 3 yr ( = 113). The following nonlinear exponential decay regression equation was developed: CH = 113.6 exp (-0.1751 x CT) - 2.18), [corrected] in which CH is expressed in grams per kilogram of fermentable organic matter and CT is in percentage of the DM. This equation predicted that CH production could be reduced by approximately 50% when CT is 3.9% DM. This equation is likely more accurate when screening CT-containing forages for their potential ability to mitigate in vitro CH production by ruminants when the CT concentration is greater than 3% DM. Therefore, despite the degree of variability in ruminal CH production, this equation could be used as a tool for screening CT-containing forages for their potential to inhibit ruminal CH. Future research should focus on the development of predictive equations when other potential reducers of ruminal CH are used in conjunction with CT.