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Establishment and early growth characteristics of six Paulownia genotypes for goat browse in Raleigh, NC, USA
Meat goat production in the eastern USA is increasing as a result of growing demand from various ethnic groups. Because goats naturally prefer a high proportion of browse in their diets, research was initiated to investigate various silvopastoral production systems. The genus Paulownia contains several species which exhibit rapid juvenile growth and other characteristics that justify research into their potential use in meat goat feeding systems. In May 1997, six Paulownia genotypes were planted in a randomized complete block experiment with six replications. Trees were between 6 and 12 cm in height at planting. Genotypes included: P. fortunei seedlings, P. tomentosa seedlings, P. elongata seedlings and three P. elongata clones. Each 4-m wide plot contained a single row of 12 trees with an intra-row spacing of 1 m. Plant measurements included height, root collar diameter (RCD) at 3 cm above soil surface, and the number of main branches. Leaf samples were collected from all six replications for estimates of herbage quality. During 1998, trees were browsed with goats on two occasions to assess palatability of the herbage and to determine any preference for specific genotypes by the animals. Compared with seedling trees of all three species, the three P. elongata clones were taller (clones: 79.7 cm, seedlings: 55.9 cm; P < 0.01), had larger RCDs (clones: 18.4 mm, seedlings: 13.9 mm; P < 0.01) and had a higher branching frequency (clones: 4.9, seedlings: 1.5; P < 0.01) by the end
ISSN : 0167-4366 CODEN : AGSYE6
Agroforestry systems A. 2001, vol. 52, n° 1, pp. 63-72 [bibl. : 18 ref.]
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