Articles | Volume 60, issue 2
Arch. Anim. Breed., 60, 71–78, 2017
Arch. Anim. Breed., 60, 71–78, 2017

Original study 18 Apr 2017

Original study | 18 Apr 2017

Nutritional quality of kermes oak (Quercus coccifera L.) acorns as affected by altitude in a typical Mediterranean area

Christos N. Roukos1, Zoi M. Parissi2, Apostolos P. Kyriazopoulos3, and Eleni M. Abraham2 Christos N. Roukos et al.
  • 1Ministry of Rural Development and Food, Regional Department of Epirus & Western Macedonia, 451 10 Ioannina, Greece
  • 2Department of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Laboratory of Range Science (236), 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 3Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, 193 Pantazidou str., 68200 Orestiada, Greece

Abstract. The impact of altitudinal zone on the nutritional quality of kermes oak (Quercus coccifera L.) acorns was assessed in Xirovouni Mountain shrublands in northwestern Greece. Whole acorns were collected during autumn 2011 from 15 sites located at three altitudinal zones (i.e. lower, middle, upper). Kermes oak acorn samples were manually separated into kernel and hull and analysed for chemical composition (crude protein, CP; neutral detergent fibre, NDF; acid detergent fibre, ADF; lignin), in vitro dry matter (DM) digestibility (IVDMD), in vitro NDF digestibility (IVNDFD), digestible energy (DE), and minerals (i.e. Ca, P, K, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu). Altitude had a negative correlation with CP, IVDMD, and IVNDFD and positively correlated to cell wall contents in both kernel and hull. Acorns growing under higher temperatures (at lower altitude) have more digestible cell wall compared to acorns growing under lower temperatures (at higher altitude) due to increased CP content and decreased cell wall content. It seems that environmental factors affect the nutritional value of acorns. Thus, goat farmers should take this into account when collecting acorns to feed their animals.