Document Type : Research paper
Department of Rangeland, College of Natural Resource, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Department of Phytochemistry, College of Medicinal plants and drug research institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California Davis, Davis, California
Understanding changes in forage quality of Salvia limbata in phenological stage could help environment managers to find out the best grazing time with maximum nutritional quality of forage. Salvia is a genus native to the Mediterranean regions and belongs to Lamiaceae family. This family are known as that has flowering plants which are called mint or sage family. They widely used around the world and the famous genus are basil, menthe, rosemary, sage, savoury, oregano, hyssop, thyme, lavender, and perilla. Some species are shrubs, trees or rarely vines. Forage quality of Salvia limbata at three growth stages (vegetative, flowering, and seed production) at different altitudes (1500, 2000, and 2500 m above sea level) has been studied in Taleghan rangeland which is a prohibited hunting area that livestock and wildlife are dependent on its forage. Aerial parts of the plant were sampled with five replications. Then samples were dried and milled. Five forage quality traits, including DMD (Dry matter digestibility), ADF (Acid detergent fibre), ME (Metabolizable energy), CP (Crude protein), and N were measured. Data were analysed in completely randomized design analysis of variance and means were compared by Duncan's test at 1% level. The results indicated that the forage quality of Salvia limbata was affected by phenological stages and altitudes. N (2.5%), CP (15.7%), ME (9.69%), and DMD (68.8%) have been obtained in higher amount in vegetative stage and ADF (55.60%) was achieved in the seed ripening. Due to the high percentage of CP, N, ME, and DMD, the vegetative stage at 2500 m was determined for animals to graze this plant.
- Forage quality of Salvia limbata was affected by phenological stages and altitudes.
- The highest percentage of N, CP, ME, and DMD were achieved in the vegetative stage.
- The highest ADF was obtained in in the seed ripening one.
- Vegetative stage in 2500 m was determined as the best time for forage utilization of Salvia limbata.