Tannin-rich forage as a methane mitigation strategy for cattle and the implications for rumen microbiota Academic Article uri icon


  • Context Methane from ruminant livestock systems contributes to the greenhouse effect on the environment, which justifies the adoption of novel feed strategies that mitigate enteric emissions. Aims We investigated the effects of the condensed tannin (CT)-rich legumes Flemingia macrophylla, Leucaena leucocephala, Stylosanthes guianensis, Gliricidia sepium, Cratylia argentea, Cajanus cajan, Desmodium ovalifolium, Macrotyloma axillare, Desmodium paniculatum and Lespedeza procumbens on in vitro methane emissions and rumen microbiota for beef cattle. Methods Four rumen-cannulated Nellore cattle grazing a tropical grass pasture were used as inoculum donors. Key results Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the abundance of Ruminococcus flavefaciens, methanogenic archaea and protozoa populations were reduced (P 0.05), whereas total ruminal bacteria were enhanced in the presence of CT. Our study also revealed a positive (P 0.05) relationship between CT and Fibrobacter succinogenes abundance. Reactive CT from L. leucocephala, D. paniculatum and L. procumbens resulted in decreased (P 0.05) isoacid content and methane production. Conclusions L. leucocephala, D. paniculatum and L. procumbens have the potential to suppress rumen methanogenesis. However, in vitro fermentation of L. leucocephala resulted in greater (P 0.05) degradability percentages than the other two species. Implications CT in legume species will have potential as part of an overall nutritional strategy to manipulate rumen microbiota and mitigate enteric methanogenesis in livestock production systems.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fagundes, G. M., Benetel, G., Carriero, M. M., Sousa, R., Muir, J. P., Macedo, R. O., & Bueno, I.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Fagundes, Gisele M||Benetel, Gabriela||Carriero, Mateus M||Sousa, Ricardo LM||Muir, James P||Macedo, Robert O||Bueno, Ives CS

publication date

  • 2021