Selection of tree germplasm with forage potential for Cuban cattle production


Odalys Caridad Toral Pérez
Estación Experimental de Pastos y Forrajes Indio Hatuey Central España Republicana 44280, Matanzas, Cuba


The research works of this thesis aimed at selecting promising woody plants for feeding cattle, from a sequential selective process of an introduced germplasm. The experimental essays were conducted at the Pastures and Forages Research Station “Indio Hatuey”. Sixty tree accessions were evaluated. The germination, survival, attack by pests and diseases, height, period of establishment, production of edible, woody and total biomass, number of branches and growth dynamics of the regrowths, were used as variables. As indicators of the bromatological composition of the leaves and fresh stems the percentages of dry matter, crude fiber, crude protein, calcium and phosphorus were studied. To obtain the variability reached and the relation among the indicators, a Principal Component Analysis was carried out; while in order to group the treatments with similar characteristics, depending on the measured and/or estimated variables, the cluster analysis was used. For processing the experimental results, the statistical pack SPSS, version 10.0, was used. The experimental results in the nursery stage showed high variability among the accessions, where germination, survival, initial height, height 90 days after planted and stem diameter were the variables that made the highest contribution. Four accessions of Bauhinia and one of the genera Albizia, Enterolobium, Gliricidia, Guazuma, Lonchocarpus, Schizolobium, Morus and Trichantera stood out. There were differences among and within the evaluated accessions regarding the performance in the establishment stage; 13 accessions of Leucaena, seven of Albizia, six of Bauhinia, two of Enterolobium, two of Cassia and one of the genera Morus, Gmelina, Gliricidia and Moringa obtained higher values than the population mean, for which they were the most outstanding. In the acceptability stage, the most browsed accessions were: 13 accessions of Leucaena, two of Bauhinia, one of the genera Albizia, Enterolobium, Erythrina, Gliricidia and Morus. The indicators of the bromatological composition had very little variation in their values due to the season and the highest variations corresponded to the species. It is concluded that the characters studied in nursery were closely related to plant development in this growth stage and it is necessary to take them into consideration in order to decide the optimum transplant moment; to define the establishment it is important to consider not only height, but also the time they take to reach it, as well as survival; the evaluated species can represent an important alternative source for feeding ruminants, especially for their high protein content. The species that stood out for their general performance, as potentially useful for cattle production were: Albizia lebbeck, Bauhinia sp., Enterolobium cyclocarpum, Gliricidia sepium, Morus nigra, Leucaena leucocephala CIAT-8069, L. leucocephala CIAT-9415, L. leucocephala CIAT-9421, L. leucocephala CIAT-9437, L. leucocephala CIAT-17223, L. leucocephala CIAT-17480, L. leucocephala CIAT-18481, L. leucocephala CIAT-18483, L. leucocephala CIAT-7872, L. leucocephala CNIA-250, L. leucocephala CIAT-17498, L. leucocephala cv. Cunningham and L. macrophylla CIAT-17240. To continue the evaluation of the selected species in studies of grazing-browsing production systems is recommended, as well as to complete the studies concerning their nutritional value, antinutritional compounds, conservation forms and seed production.