The multi-faceted role of condensed tannins in the goat ecosystem
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This manuscript seeks to summarize much, but by no means all, we already know about condensed tannins (CT) in goat ecosystems. Herbage CT influences much more than simply nutrition. From before the goat ingests the herbage, to what it selects, how it interacts with the rumen environment and the rest of the ruminant gastro-intestinal tract (GIT), to even the fecal environment and the soil to which it eventually returns, the picture is fascinatingly complex. A decade ago most goat scientists thought we knew all there was to know about CT and the goat; yet today we realize that we learn something new each time we examine both the broad picture as well as the details that comprise that picture. What we have yet to uncover may be vastly more important and involved than what we already know. The world that herbage CT and goats share is only gradually revealing itself, waiting for scientists of all disciplines to turn the next page in our quest for a complete understanding of the multiple roles CT play in the goat ecosystem. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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