African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Identification of grazed grasses using epidermal characters

Liversidge R.


The use of anatomical features of the abaxial epidermis of grasses is discussed for the identification of fragments of epidermis present in samples of rumen. The reliability of this technique, and the variation of the epidermal characters in two widely distributed species of grass, is given. A "Key" to identity certain genera of grasses occurring in Southern Africa, based on epidermal characters, is presented. The application of the technique to analyse rumen contents of springbok and Merino sheep is shown.

Keywords: grasses|Southern Africa|springbok|merino sheep|sheep|analyses|epidermal characters (ill)|identification keys|species lists|grazed grasslands|grass species|grazing|abaxial epidermis|anatomical structures|identification|rumen contents|techniques

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