Food selection in the blesbok on pasture with low plant diversity

Author: W. Killian & N. Fairall
Year: 1983
Issue: 1
Volume: 13
Page: 38 - 40

Factors influencing food plant selection by the blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas) were studied in an area with simple plant composition. Dicanthium pyllosum leaves were specifically selected by the blesbok. Cuticle analysis gave a ratio of 1 Dicanthium to 1,85 of all other species. A strong negative correlation was found between ADL and digestibility which explains the low digestibility of Aristida and Dicanthium stalks. Although Cynodon had a higher CP content than Dicanthium its apparent rejection was probably related to a high lignin content and hence low digestibility. The animals appear to select indirectly for the most highly digestible species.





Keywords: blesbok, digestibility, fibre, Food selection, protein
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