Nutrients composition changes in leaves of Quercus semecarpifolia at different seasons and altitudes
Keywords:Quercus semecarpifolia, altitude, seasonal variation, composition changes
AbstractQuercus semecarpifolia J.E. Smith leaves were collected for evaluation of chemical composition between four seasons i.e before growing season, after growing season, on growing season, on late maturity, respectively, in 2008-2009 from five geological isolated sites ranging from 2450 to 2725 m a.s.l. Seasonal variability (p < 0.01) was found in the chemical composition of the Q. semecarpifoliafoliage. Dry matter and Ash Content significantly decreased in July (after growing season) as compared to the other months. Crude protein (CP) and phosphorus (P) contents significantly increased before growing season (January) and after growing season (July), finally declined in late maturation in October. Calcium contents and soluble protein (SP) significantly decreased before growing season (January) to late maturity (October), Ether extract (EE) decreased before growing season (January), after growing season (July) but increased in late maturity (October). Ash contents, CP, EE, P and SP exhibited significant variation among populations. CP was significantly higher in middle to higher altitudinal populations. P significantly decreased with increasing altitude. The rest of the studied mineral contents did not show any trend in the present study. The nutritive value of the leaves of Q. semecarpifolia was continually changing, especially CP and soluble protein. Q. semecarpifolia harvested at the proper stage of maturity (winter months) offers considerable potential as high quality forage for livestock to fulfill the deficiency of protein.
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