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Umbrella thorn (Acacia tortilis)

Datasheet

Description
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Common names 

Umbrella thorn, umbrella thorn acacia, Israeli babool, sejal, talha [English]; acacia de copa plana, espino de parasol [Spanish]; acacia faux gommier [French]; haak-en-steek [Afrikaans]; acacia ad ombrello [Italian]; qurac [Somali]; Mgunga Mwavuli [Swahili]; شجرة السنط الملتوي [Arabic]; שיטת הסוכך [Hebrew]; سمر [Persian]

Synonyms 

Acacia heteracantha Burch., Acacia litakunensis Burch., Acacia raddiana Savi, Acacia spirocarpa Hochst. ex A. Rich., Mimosa tortilis Forssk (USDA, 2009)

Related feed(s) 
Description 

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne is a thorny legume tree, usually about 4-8 m high, but it can reach 20 m. The crown is dense, umbrella-like and flat-topped. Leaves are compound and the leaflets (6-22 pairs) are very small (1-4 mm long x 0.6-1 mm broad), glabrous to pubescent. Flowers are white, cream or yellow, and highly aromatic. Fruit is a characteristic twisted browny pod, hence the epithet “tortilis” (Ecoport, 2009; Ecocrop, 2009). Pods and leaves are used as a fodder. Fruits are more nutritious if ground. Trees can survive heavy browsing. Acacia tortilis pods are also used as a famine food in eastern Africa.

Distribution 

The umbrella thorn is native to arid and semi-arid areas of Africa and the Middle-East (Arabian Peninsula and Israel). It is found between 15 and 30°N and between sea level and an altitude of 1000 m (Ecocrop, 2009). It grows well on alkaline sandy or rocky soils. It is tolerant to severe drought due to its deep taproot system. It is a phreatophyte, relying on aquifers as deep as 40-50 m (FAO, 2009). It tolerates strong salinity and seasonal waterlogging. It withstands wide temperature variations (0°C to 50°C) (Orwa et al., 2009).

Environmental impact 

Acacia tortilis is an N fixing species and thus a soil improver. It is used in erosion control since it is able to grow quickly and stabilize shifting sand dunes or hillslopes. It is used to make shelterbelts in India. It is also an afforestation species (FAO, 1985). However, introducing the tree to more humid areas, where grazing and firewood are in adequate supply, is not recommended, as it can grow out of control and become a nuisance (Ecocrop, 2009).

Nutritional aspects
Potential constraints 

Acacias contain high levels of phenolics and tannins that cause nutritional limitations (Rubanza et al., 2005; Dube et al., 2001). Supplementation of acacia-based diets with readily available nitrogen sources can counter the anti-nutritive effects of tannins (Rubanza et al., 2003b).

Ruminants 

Acacia species, in spite of their high tannin content, are considered to be good sources of crude protein and minerals for ruminants (Rubanza et al., 2007). Acacia tortilis was shown to be the acacia species with the highest microbial degradation potential (Ngwa et al., 2002).

In Kenya, leaves and pods of Acacia tortilis used to supplement Chloris gayana-based diets for goats, and had a positive effect on dry matter intake, digestibility and live-weight gain, particularly when mixtures represented a 1:1 ratio of leaves and pods (Abdulrazak et al., 2005). In south-western Eritrea, feeding goats with Acacia tortilis pods at up to 75% of the diet resulted in higher dry matter digestibility, organic matter digestibility and body weight gain (Araya et al., 2003a).

In Central Sudan, Acacia tortilis leaves were reported to be a valuable source of energy and protein if harvested in the early dry season or in the wet season and stored until needed. The Ca:P ratio should be improved by P supplementation (Fadel Elseed et al., 2002).

Dairy cows fed Acacia tortilis pods were reported to produce milk with an unpleasant odour (Bwire et al., 2004).

Rabbits 

For rabbits, 4% Acacia tortilis leaf meal in the diet did not alter intake or digestibility, but the rabbits drank more water (Mashamaite et al., 2009).

Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 39.9 32.5 47.2 2
Crude protein % DM 14.0 2.0 11.9 19.4 53
Crude fibre % DM 18.2 7.2 11.6 30.5 5
NDF % DM 40.3 6.9 29.6 51.2 21
ADF % DM 29.2 8.2 16.5 43.7 20
Lignin % DM 11.1 5.5 5.8 25.7 17
Ether extract % DM 4.3 1.6 2.4 6.1 5
Ash % DM 6.0 1.1 4.7 9.9 50
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.7 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 15.2 8.7 5.4 32.4 11
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.6 0.7 0.1 3.0 11
Potassium g/kg DM 14.2 7.5 9.1 32.1 8
Sodium g/kg DM 0.5 0.1 0.3 0.5 4
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.7 1.0 1.4 4.7 9
Manganese mg/kg DM 82 86 27 210 4
Zinc mg/kg DM 61 78 13 200 5
Copper mg/kg DM 41 48 6 108 4
Iron mg/kg DM 308 234 150 576 3
 
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 99.3 83.7 11.0 226.0 5
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 38.3 23.2 17.0 77.8 6
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 77.1 *
OM digestibility, ruminants (gas production) % 54 50 58 2
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 73.7 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 13.8 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.3 *
ME ruminants (gas production) MJ/kg DM 8.4 7.7 9.1 2
a (N) % 37.9 1
b (N) % 16.4 1
c (N) h-1 0.029 1
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 45 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 43 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 62.0 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 11.6 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Abdulrazak et al., 2000; Abdulrazak et al., 2001; CGIAR, 2009; CIRAD, 1991; Fadel Elseed et al., 2002; Fall Touré, 1991; Henrici, 1947; Mtengeti et al., 2006; Rubanza et al., 2003; Rubanza et al., 2005; Shayo et al., 1999; Tefera et al., 2008

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:09

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 92.0 2.1 89.4 93.8 4
Crude protein % DM 16.1 2.2 12.5 20.5 18
Crude fibre % DM 20.6 3.2 17.4 24.8 5
NDF % DM 34.2 3.8 29.2 42.5 16
ADF % DM 26.6 3.9 21.5 31.0 5
Lignin % DM 5.1 4.8 5.5 2
Ether extract % DM 2.2 0.8 1.0 3.1 6
Ash % DM 6.0 1.4 3.8 8.4 9
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.5 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 9.8 2.1 7.9 13.4 6
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.2 0.6 2.4 4.0 6
Potassium g/kg DM 10.4 8.7 0.4 16.0 3
Sodium g/kg DM 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 3
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.6 0.8 1.9 3.5 3
Manganese mg/kg DM 61 46 18 110 3
Zinc mg/kg DM 27 6 20 31 3
Copper mg/kg DM 3 2 1 5 3
Iron mg/kg DM 176 155 196 2
 
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 3.4 1
Arginine % protein 5.1 1
Aspartic acid % protein 12.2 1
Glutamic acid % protein 11.1 1
Glycine % protein 4.6 1
Histidine % protein 2.4 1
Isoleucine % protein 3.0 1
Leucine % protein 5.5 1
Lysine % protein 4.7 1
Methionine % protein 0.3 1
Phenylalanine % protein 3.0 1
Proline % protein 8.9 1
Serine % protein 2.0 1
Threonine % protein 2.1 1
Tyrosine % protein 1.3 1
Valine % protein 4.6 1
 
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 7.9 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 87.5 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 84.9 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.7 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.7 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 46.2 1
a (N) % 47.5 47.0 48.0 2
b (N) % 43.9 41.0 46.9 2
c (N) h-1 0.059 0.043 0.074 2
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 74 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 69 67 87 2 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 57.8 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 10.7 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

CGIAR, 2009; CIRAD, 1991; Dougall et al., 1958; Fall Touré, 1991; French, 1932; Henrici, 1947; Ndlovu et al., 1995; Ngwa et al., 2002; Sawe et al., 1998; Shayo et al., 1999; Tanner et al., 1990

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:10

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 33.8 8.5 26.0 48.0 6
Crude protein % DM 18.8 2.4 14.3 21.3 10
Crude fibre % DM 22.7 2.5 19.7 25.9 4
NDF % DM 41.4 5.3 35.9 46.4 3
ADF % DM 28.9 4.0 24.7 32.6 3
Lignin % DM 8.5 2.6 6.1 11.2 3
Ether extract % DM 2.4 0.2 2.3 2.7 4
Ash % DM 6.7 2.0 5.1 9.7 4
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.6 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 7.7 1.0 7.0 8.8 3
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.8 0.3 2.5 3.0 3
Potassium g/kg DM 15.3 1.8 13.4 17.0 3
Sodium g/kg DM 0.1 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.6 0.2 2.5 2.8 3
Manganese mg/kg DM 39 17 61 2
Zinc mg/kg DM 22 22 22 2
Copper mg/kg DM 4 3 4 2
 
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 7.7 0.2 15.2 2
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 86.9 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 83.1 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.5 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.4 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 54.5 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 10.2 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

CIRAD, 1991

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:27

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 91.0 2.0 89.0 93.0 3
Crude protein % DM 14.4 3.4 11.7 18.2 3
Crude fibre % DM 9.4 1
NDF % DM 55.1 44.3 65.8 2
ADF % DM 32.1 30.6 33.5 2
Lignin % DM 13.7 1
Ether extract % DM 8.3 1
Ash % DM 11.7 5.4 7.6 17.8 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.3 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 34.1 28.1 40.0 2
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.5 1.5 1.5 2
Sodium g/kg DM 0.6 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 3.9 1
Manganese mg/kg DM 30 1
Zinc mg/kg DM 12 1
Copper mg/kg DM 39 1
Iron mg/kg DM 229 1
 
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 60.2 1
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 2.3 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 73.4 *
OM digestibility, ruminants (gas production) % 48 1
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 70.5 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.9 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.6 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 48.8 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 8.9 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Mokoboki et al., 2011; Ondiek et al., 2010; Russell, 1947

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:27

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 29.6 9.6 19.1 37.8 3
Crude fibre % DM 10.9 1
NDF % DM 30.1 26.5 33.7 2
ADF % DM 19.9 15.9 23.9 2
Lignin % DM 1.9 1
Ether extract % DM 5.1 4.2 6.0 2
Ash % DM 5.3 0.7 4.6 5.9 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.7 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 5.6 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 7.3 1
 
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 3.4 1
Arginine % protein 6.1 1
Aspartic acid % protein 8.8 1
Glutamic acid % protein 12.0 1
Glycine % protein 5.1 1
Histidine % protein 2.4 1
Isoleucine % protein 3.1 1
Leucine % protein 6.1 1
Lysine % protein 4.6 1
Methionine % protein 0.3 1
Phenylalanine % protein 3.2 1
Proline % protein 4.9 1
Serine % protein 2.1 1
Threonine % protein 1.9 1
Tyrosine % protein 0.9 1
Valine % protein 4.0 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 90.6 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 89.8 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 17.7 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.0 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 73.0 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.4 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Henrici, 1947; Ngwa et al., 2002; Tanner et al., 1990

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:10

References
References 
Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., 2015. Umbrella thorn (Acacia tortilis). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. http://www.feedipedia.org/node/339 Last updated on June 8, 2015, 14:39

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)