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Botanical composition of the seasonal diet of cattle in the rangelands of the Monte Desert of Mendoza, Argentina

Authors
Journal
Journal of Arid Environments
0140-1963
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
32
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/jare.1996.0032
Keywords
  • Angus Cows
  • Seasonal Diet
  • Microhistological Technique
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Typical Rangeland
  • Central Monte
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Botanical composition of cattle seasonal diets (faecal sampling with microhistological analysis) was determined in a four-pasture, one-herd grazing system during a 3-year period. Diets were classified using cluster analysis. Three diet groups were identified: beginning of rainy season (spring), peak of rainy season (summer) and dry season (fall and winter). Contribution of grasses and woody species to these diet groups was significantly different ( p< 0·001). Grasses were the most important component of cattle diets throughout the rainy season, while shrubs and trees were important in the dry season. The major shifts in diets occurred in response to changes in grass phenology.

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