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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 1516-3598On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


SANTOS, Sandra Aparecida et al. Botanical Composition of Cattle Diet on Rangelands in the Pantanal Wetland, Brazil. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2002, vol.31, n.4, pp.1648-1662. ISSN 1516-3598.

This study aimed to identify the botanical composition of the diet of cattle extensively raised on native grasslands in the Pantanal wetland through the fecal microhystological technique, on a characteristic area of the subregion of Nhecolândia, from October/97 to September/99, and to verify the variation as affected by month, season, year and physiological condition of cows. A set of 726 microhystological slides was prepared, each slide being an observational unit. Based on distribution of maximum occurrence values of each species/slide and in the quantis, the species were classified into four main groups: 1- principal (max >20.0%); 2- medium superior (12.3% <max<=20.0%); 3- medium (6.7<max<=12.3%); 4-occasional (max<+6.7%). These groups represented 11%, 14%, 25% and 50% of the identified species, respectively. A split-plot in distinct time was adjusted envolving each effect (month, season) and its interactions with physiological condition and hydrological year. For all studied groups there were no significant effects of physiological condition of cows and no interaction of physiological condition with period and year on the mean composition of the diet. There were significant effects of season and year for all groups, however, the interaction season x year was significant only for the occasional group.

Keywords : fecal microhystology; native grassland; beef cattle.

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