Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof., Faculty of Natural Resources & Earth Science, Shahrekord University, I.R. IRAN.

2 Msc. Student of Rangeland Management, Shahrekord University, I.R. IRAN

3 Professor, Faculty of Natural Resource, University of Tehran, I.R. IRAN.

4 Assistant Prof., Faculty of Natural Resource & Earth Science, Shahrekord University, I.R. IRAN.


Determination of rangeland species palatability has some functions such as defining the rangeland grazing capacity and plant composition estimation. Despite the importance of palatability in rangeland management, no appropriate palatability indicator has been defined yet. Therefore, developing an accurate, applicable, general, and simple indicator for plant palatability estimation seems crucial. This research is an effort in this regard. To investigate the relationship between plant secondary compounds and palatability, plant species composition in the study area and in the sheep and goat diet as well as selection index were measured using chronometric and filming method. In the next stage, main plants’ secondary compounds in livestock diet were determined using GC/MSS. Then plants’ secondary compounds were ordinated using principle component analysis (PCA) method. Quantitative value of each plant species Eigen values on each of the main axis of PCA was regarded as a criterion for differentiation of plant species based on its secondary compounds. Finally, correlation between selection index of each plant species by sheep and goat (as dependent variable) with each plant species Eigen values on PCA axis (as independent variable) was determined. The results showed that there is a significant negative relationship between the selection index of the species by sheep and goat with its secondary compounds (P≤0.05). So, it is concluded that secondary compounds are effective factors in animal’s diet selection for grazing. Therefore, secondary compounds are recommended as an important factor for plant palatability determination.