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Forage quality of cultivated and natural species in semi-natural grassland

By A.L. Nielsen and K. Søegaard


The conserve or improve floristically diverse grassland areas, there is a need for some agricultural management to avois scrub vegetation. Description of the forage quality of the most common species in these swards will make it easier to make appropriate use of the forage produced. The objective was to determine forage quality by analysing for in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) and neutral detergent fibres (NDF) of individual species commonly occurring in low lying semi-natural grasslands in Denmark. Eight species of grasses, eight herb species and one species of rush were collected in June and July under grazing and cutting. However, a large variation between species was found. The IVOMD varied from 416 to 780 g kg-1 organic matter (OM) and NDF from 287 to 714 g kg-1 dry matter (DM). The herbs maintained a relatively high IVOMD in mid-summer cuts, contrary to the grasses, where a later cut resulted in a lower IVOMD. Two species often occurring in substantial amounts in such swards, Deschampsia caespitose and Juncus effuses, had low IVOMD and high NDF, and it was concluded that management strategies that reduce the occurrence of these species will increase the forage quality

Topics: Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Year: 2000
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Organic Eprints

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