This study aimed at identifying plant species with potential for rangeland conservation and to provide livestock feed in Oman. A survey was carried out in Al-Khod region near Muscat (Oman) to identify potential grass species. Samples were collected from various sites during the rainy season (November-April) to study the morphology and chemical composition of selected grasses. Cenchrus and Pennisetum species were the most promising grasses in terms of livestock feeding. The yield of pasture dominated by Cenchrus was higher than that reported for the species in other countries with a similar arid environment and comparable to grasses grown in Oman under irrigation. Relevant meteorological records indicated that the grasses had good potential to withstand shortage of water. The germination test on burs and seeds showed high dormancy reflecting ability to survive under uncertain rainfall and potential for survival under rangeland conditions. Storage of seeds for a period of 1 year improved their germination up to 66%. Variation in morphological traits indicated the suitability of grasses to develop varieties for commercial use under farm or rangeland conditions.
- Arid zones
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics