Shrub yield and fodder quality variations in a non-tropical dryland environment in West Asia
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Asamoah Larbi, A. Salkini, P. Bolus Jamal, Luis Iñiguez. (5/6/2008). Shrub yield and fodder quality variations in a non-tropical dryland environment in West Asia. Agroforestry Systems, 75, pp. 147-155.
Integration of shrubs into the smallholder crop-rangeland-livestock farming systems in non-tropical dry areas could reduce feed gaps, rangeland degradation and desertification, but data on yield and fodder quality of most native and exotic shrubs are scanty. The study aimed at identifying shrubs for dryland agroforestry based on agronomic and fodder quality attributes. Fodder and wood yield, percent fodder (FBR) and fodder quality of 26 non-legume shrubs were determined from 6 to 8 months regrowth in north-west Syria. Seed yield was estimated from plants that were not cut. Fodder (31–87 Mg DM ha−1), wood (16-2064 Mg DM ha−1) and seed (0-132 Mg DM ha−1) yield, FBR (24–87%), fodder concentrations of crude protein (69–195 g kg−1.), acid detergent lignin (ADL) (24–109 g kg−1), acid detergent fiber (ADF) (102–267 g kg−1), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) (214–526 g kg−1), in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) (391–526 g kg−1), and in vitro gas production after 24 h of incubation (25–39 ml 200 mg−1 DM) varied (P < 0.05) among the shrubs. Atriplex halimus-halimus and A. herba-alba from Spain, A. canescens, A. ploycarpa and A. lentiformis from USA, A. halimus and A. herba-alba from Syria and A. nummularia from Australia and South Africa had greater potential for development of dryland agroforestry technologies. The promising shrubs could be integrated into the rangeland-crop-livestock systems in non-tropical dryland environs to provide fodder, fuel-wood, shade, medicine, stabilize sand-dunes, and sequester carbon; thereby contributing to mitigation of rangeland degradation and global warming; if major constraints to adoption of fodder trees such as agronomic problems, low multipurpose value, land shortage and quality seed supply could be overcome.
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