Seasonality affects leaf nutrient and condensed tannin concentration in southern African savannah browse
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© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Trees that maintain some leaves throughout dry seasons become important ruminant browse depending on nutritive and antinutritive values. Leaves from seven tree species that maintained some leaves during the dry season were collected during dry and wet seasons and analysed for nutritive and antinutritive values. Neutral detergent fibre of leaves was either not different or less (P ≤ 0.05) during the dry season as compared to the wet season depending on species. Acid detergent fibre was either not different or greater (P ≤ 0.05) during the dry season as compared to the wet season. Crude protein and condensed tannins (CT) were either not different or less (P ≤ 0.05) during the dry season than during the wet season for the seven species. The biological activity (protein-binding ability; PB) of the CT was highly species specific and was either not different between seasons, more bioactive during the wet season, or more bioactive during the dry season depending on the species. Based on combinations of low fibre, high protein and potentially beneficial levels of bioactive CT, Senegalia caffra, Vachellia karoo and Searsia lancea may be the most promising dry-season browse of the species studied.
author list (cited authors)
Naumann, H. D., Cooper, C. E., & Muir, J. P.