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Meale et al., 2012. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci., 25 (1): 86-91

Document reference 
Meale, S. J. ; Chaves, A. V. ; Baah, J. ; McAllister, T. A., 2012. Methane production of different forages in in vitro ruminal fermentation. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci., 25 (1): 86-91
Abstract 

An in vitro rumen batch culture study was completed to compare effects of common grasses, leguminous shrubs and non-leguminous shrubs used for livestock grazing in Australia and Ghana on CH4 production and fermentation characteristics. Grass species included Andropodon gayanus, Brachiaria ruziziensis and Pennisetum purpureum. Leguminous shrub species included Cajanus cajan, Cratylia argentea, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala and Stylosanthes guianensis and non-leguminous shrub species included Annona senegalensis, Moringa oleifera, Securinega virosa and Vitellaria paradoxa. Leaves were harvested, dried at 55°C and ground through a 1 mm screen. Serum bottles containing 500 mg of forage, modified McDougall’s buffer and rumen fluid were incubated under anaerobic conditions at 39°C for 24 h. Samples of each forage type were removed after 0, 2, 6, 12 and 24 h of incubation for determination of cumulative gas production. Methane production, ammonia concentration and proportions of VFA were measured at 24 h. Concentration of aNDF (g/kg DM) ranged from 671 to 713 (grasses), 377 to 590 (leguminous shrubs) and 288 to 517 (non-leguminous shrubs). After 24 h of in vitro incubation, cumulative gas, CH4 production, ammonia concentration, proportion of propionate in VFA and IVDMD differed (p<0.05) within each forage type. B. ruziziensis and G. sepium produced the highest cumulative gas, IVDMD, total VFA, proportion of propionate in VFA and the lowest A:P ratios within their forage types. Consequently, these two species produced moderate CH4 emissions without compromising digestion. Grazing of these two species may be a strategy to reduce CH4 emissions however further assessment in in vivo trials and at different stages of maturity is recommended

Citation key 
Meale et al., 2012