Annual changes in biomass amount and feeding potential of shrubby rangelands in maquis formation

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PeerJ, vol.11, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.7717/peerj.15204
  • Journal Name: PeerJ
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: ADF, Crude protein, Hay production, Plant components, Shrub yield, Shrubby rangeland
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Background. This study evaluated the extent to which the endemic herbaceous and woody species of shrubby rangelands met the roughage needs of grazing animals throughout the year. Methods. The biomass, botanical composition, and quality of hay were investigated in the shrubby rangelands in Paşaköy of the Ayvacık districts in Çanakkale over the course of a year. Plant samples were taken from the herbaceous species monthly and from the grazing parts of the shrubs in May and November. Results. The total amount of biomass (hay + shrub) in the rangeland was found to be 30.448 kg/ha. Shrubs made up 18.78% of the rangeland, while the annual species comprised 54.96%, and perennial herbs covered 26.26% of the total biomass. Crude protein (CP) ratios of herbaceous species decreased continuously from March (13.58%) to September (6.73%), and then increased. A similar change was also seen in pure ash (PA) ratios. The CP ratios in the shrub species were high in spring and decreased in autumn and there was an irregular variation in PA rates. Oak had the highest PA ratio during the spring, while thuja had the highest ratio in autumn, and Juniperus oxycedrus during the winter months. In herbaceous species, cell wall components (NDF, ADF, and ADL) reached their highest levels in summer and decreased in spring and winter. However, in shrubs, these components varied according to the species and were generally lowest in spring and then increased in autumn and winter. Here, it was determined that year-round grazing is a suitable grazing system in the shrubby rangelands of the Mediterranean zone, and animals are able to find fresh forage in the rangelands due to the presence of shrubs. However, since the contribution of shrubs to the total forage production is low, additional roughage should be provided, except in the spring when the production and quality of hay increase. These practices may contribute to better livestock management.