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J Anim Sci. 2008 Jun;86(6):1478-84. doi: 10.2527/jas.2007-0699. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

Effects of cis-beta-ocimene, cis-sabinene hydrate, and monoterpene and sesquiterpene mixtures on alfalfa pellet intake by lambs.

Author information

1
USDA/ARS Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, USA. restell@nmsu.edu

Abstract

The transition of grasslands to shrub-dominated scrubland reduces livestock productivity and contributes to impoverished conditions for humans in arid and semiarid regions worldwide. Many shrubs that are increasing in dominance contain secondary compounds that deter browsing by herbivores. Knowledge concerning the effects of specific compounds in herbivore diets is limited but may provide useful insights into desertification. Flourensia cernua is a dominant shrub in the northern Chihuahuan Desert that contains an abundance of terpenes. Four experiments were conducted to determine the effects of terpenes on intake of alfalfa pellets by lambs. Two individual monoterpenes (cis-beta-ocimene and cis-sabinene hydrate) were examined in Exp. 1 and 2, and mixtures of monoterpenes (borneol, camphene, camphor, 1,8-cineole, limonene, myrcene, and alpha-pinene) and sesquiterpenes (beta-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, alpha-copaene, and alpha-humulene) were examined in Exp. 3 and 4, respectively. Forty-five lambs (9 lambs/treatment) were individually fed treated alfalfa pellets for 20 min each morning for 5 d. Five treatments (0x, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 10x; multiples of the concentrations of the same terpenes in F. cernua) were applied to alfalfa pellets (637 g, DM basis) in an ethanol carrier. The experiments were preceded by a 10-d adaptation period of the lambs to untreated pellets. Except during the 20-min test, the lambs were maintained outdoors and fed untreated alfalfa pellets (total mean intake = 4.7% of BW, DM basis). Day x treatment interactions were detected (P < 0.04) in Exp. 1 and 4 because of a greater intake for 0x than for the other treatments on d 1 (Exp. 1) and a lower intake for the 10x treatment on d 1 and 2 (Exp. 4). A trend for decreased intake (g/kg of BW) as the concentration of the sesquiterpene mixture increased was observed in Exp. 3 (P = 0.093 for the linear contrast). Although there was a tendency for the sesquiterpene mixture to decrease intake, cis-beta-ocimene, cis-sabinene hydrate, and the monoterpene mixture did not appear to affect intake by lambs. Thus, sesquiterpenes may exert antiherbivory properties under certain conditions that may contribute to shrub dominance with extended periods of livestock foraging.

PMID:
18272857
DOI:
10.2527/jas.2007-0699
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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