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Title: Leaf anatomy and proximate composition of some grass species grazed by small ruminants in Midwestern Nigeria: A consideration for selectivity of fodder grass.
Authors: Ikhajiagbe, B
Mensah, J.K
Okonokhua, B.O
Kekere, O
Egwu, E
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Science Research Annals,
Series/Report no.: 3;1
Abstract: Ten grass species namely Axonopus compressus, Cynodon dactylon, C. nlemfuensis, Eleusine indica, Panicum maximum, Paspalum scrobiculatum, Pennisetum purpureum, Rottboellia cochichinesis, Saccharum officinarum, and Sporobolus pyramidalis grazed by goats and sheep in Midwestern Nigeria were selected for investigation. This investigation included the leaf anatomy and the proximate composition of the selected grasses. Some of the grasses species were found to be genetically better accumulator of nutrients in their leaves and others and therefore had higher levels of specific nutrients when found growing in the same environment. Rottboellia cochinchinensis accumulated the highest level of protein whereas Puspalum scrobiculatum accumulated the least. However, possession of certain leaf features as macro hairs, opaline bodies, prickles and papillae had significant effect in selectivity of grass species. R. cochinchinensis was seldom grazed on in spite of its high protein content, fairly succulent nature with reasonable amounts of energy substances and mineral salts. Based on their nutritive value vis-avis epidermal features, P. maximum, E. indica, and G. nlemfuensis have been recommended for rangeland development for sheep and goats in Midwestern Nigeria.
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