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CES Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1900-9607


MOLINA BOTERO, Isabel Cristina et al. In vitro methane production from two tropical grasses alone or in combination with Leucaena leucocephala or Gliricidia sepium. Ces. Med. Vet. Zootec. [online]. 2013, vol.8, n.2, pp.15-31. ISSN 1900-9607.

Climate change perception in recent decades has been growing as one of the major environmental issues of the XXI century. Methane emissions by rumen fermentation represent a loss of potentially usable energy. The objective of this study was to estimate methane emissions from various forages used in beef cattle diets. The diets evaluated corresponded to an intensive silvopastoral system (SSPi) with Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala, Leu) and Guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus; Gui) and a confinement system with Matarratón (Gliricidia sepium; Mat) and Angleton grass (Dichanthium aristatum; Ang). Representative forage samples were analyzed for nutrient contents. Methane emissions of individual forages and forage mixtures (90:10, 80:20, and 70:30, for grass:forage, respectively) were measured in vitro using the gas production technique. Dry matter degradation was measured at 24, 48, 72, and 96 h. Legumes had higher protein and crude fat content than grasses, while grasses had higher neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and ash. The mixture composed by Gui70 - Leu30 had the highest gas production at 96 h (156 ml), while the lowest corresponded to Leu100 (P≤0.05; 121 ml). Regarding the confinement system results, gas accumulation after 48 hours by Ang70 - Mat30, and Ang80 - Mat20 were higher than the other treatments (P<0.05). Legumes had higher degradation rates than grasses (P≤0.05). No significant differences were found for methane losses between both production systems.

Keywords : confinement; greenhouse gases; livestock; silvopasture.

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