Variations in Forage Quality of Two Halophyte Species, Camphorosma monspeliaca and Limonium iranicum at Three Phenological Stages

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Department of Desert Management, Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch, Arak,

2 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch, Arak,

3 Desert Management, Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch, Arak,

Abstract

This study was conducted to compare forage quality of two native halophyte
species Camphorosma monspeliaca and Limonium iranicum collected from Meighan
saline rangelands near Arak city in center of Iran. Edible biomass of both species was
sampled on three phonological stages (vegetative growth, full flowering and seed
ripening). Forage quality indices such as Crude Protein (CP), Dry Matter Digestibility
(DMD), Dry Matter Intake (DMI), Metabolizable Energy (ME), Acid Detergent Fiber
(ADF), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) and Phosphorus (P) were evaluated. The results
indicated there were significant differences (p<0.01) between species and phenological
stages. L. iranicum had the highest CP (14.62%) in vegetative stage while C. monspeliaca
had the lowest CP (5.39%) in flowering stage. C. monspeliaca also exhibited the highest
Relative Feeding Values (RFV=135.9), which was significantly different from those of L.
iranicum. In both species, the CP, DMD and ME were decreased with progressing
phonological stages while ADF and NDF, increased. Our findings showed that these
halophyte species contain reasonable CP level which could provide N requirements of
grazing animals whereas Phosphorus was deficient for sheep, suggesting supplementary
feeding. The results support the good potential of halophytes and salt tolerant plants as
source of livestock fodders and arid and semi-arid rangelands improvement.

Keywords