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Forage legumes from the Mediterranean Fynbos biome of South Africa with potential for domestication: slope aspect affects tissue fibre and mineral composition

Chimphango, S.B.M., Gallant, L.H., Samuels, M.I., Curtis-Scott, O.E., Muasya, A.M., Cupido, C., Boatwright, J.S. and Howieson, J. (2021) Forage legumes from the Mediterranean Fynbos biome of South Africa with potential for domestication: slope aspect affects tissue fibre and mineral composition. African Journal of Range & Forage Science . pp. 1-8.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.2989/10220119.2021.1909138
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Abstract

Fabaceae plants contribute greatly to a high quality of pasture in rangelands, because of high levels of protein in their tissues. Despite this established importance, only a few southern African legumes have been evaluated for nutritional value and domestication. The Overberg renosterveld vegetation of the Fynbos biome occupies undulating landscapes that have multiple slope aspects, creating variable microclimatic conditions affecting nutrient dynamics, species richness and plant chemical compositions. We assessed the effect of slope aspect on fiber and mineral composition of forage species present to provide information on the importance of slope for species characterization and nutritional value for domestication. Tissue samples from six replicates of the same species occurring on opposing aspects were collected for nutritional assessment. Results on the data showed that fibre and mineral composition differed in species occurring on different slopes, albeit with few exceptions. The concentrations of P, K and Mg in some species were significantly higher on the cooler and wetter south facing slopes relative to north facing slopes. Nutrient elements in soil samples collected from each site varied with slope aspects and elements. It is recommended that topography should be considered when studying forage nutritional assessments as part of future domestication programs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Rhizobium Studies
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60983
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