Plant condensed tannins (CT) have varied effects on ruminants that consume them. Some, such as reduced palatability or fiber digestibility, are negative; many are beneficial, including rumen bypass (escape) protein and reduced infestation of gastro-intestinal nematodes. Condensed tannins are found almost exclusively in dicotyledonous plants but our efforts have focused on quantifying CT concentrations in legumes because these have the additional benefit of providing high levels of protein to ruminants. As part of the Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control ( we have compiled a list of leguminous and non-leguminous forage and browse species found in the Caribbean Basin that contain condensed tannins. To date, our list contains herbaceous legumes that have up to 5% N, and total CT (TCT) that vary from 0 to 16.7% when self-standards were used. Non-legume herbaceous forbs were equally high in Ν but contained very low TCT concentrations. Browse legumes tended to have lower CT values than herbaceous legumes when a legume was used as a standard. Some non-legume browse species ranged up to 9.3% TCT when a self-standard was used. These results indicate that a wide variability in CT concentrations exists among herbaceous and browse species throughout the Caribbean Basin, and these may be useful in improving ruminant nutrition and health. Many more species need to be analyzed, however, especially using self-standards to determine not only TCT but those fractions bound to protein.


Downloads Statistics

Download Full History