Composition changes of Atriplex nummularia L. under a Mediterranean arid environment
AbstractOld man saltbush (A. nummularia L.) is an adapted introduced shrub used for rangeland reclamation in Mediterranean desert shrublands. It provides valuable fodder during the long dry season and during drought. The objective of this study was to determine the dry matter accumulation and chemical composition of leaves and twigs of A. nummularia in north-eastern Jordan. Leaves and twigs showed similar patterns in P, Ca, Ca:P ratio, Na, K, Mg, crude protein and dry matter content on all occasions. Leaves and twigs produced more dry matter during the period from June to October with a peak during August. The P content would not meet the nutritional requirements of ewes, whereas Na, K, and Mg content was high and exceeded the maximum amount required by sheep. Crude protein of leaves (17.7%) and twigs (21.3%) reached maximum levels in February. The crude protein composition of leaves and twigs dropped significantly during the period from June to December. Fibre content of leaves and twigs did not exceed 27.0%.
African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2003, 20(3): 253–257