Soil, pasture and animal product quality

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Marcella Avondo *
Pierlorenzo Secchiari
Luca Maria Battaglini
Adriana Bonanno
Giuseppe Pulina
(*) Corresponding Author:
Marcella Avondo | mavondo@unict.it

Abstract

The management of pasture, through the use of appropriate stocking rates and grazing systems, influences the feeding behaviour of the animals. The impact of animal behaviour on vegetation can be of great importance for the sustainability of pastures and mantaining their biodiversity. Indeed, a different response in terms of quality of animal products is mediated by the ability of animals to concentrate or transform grass components, according to the characteristics of the soil. The herbage ingested by animals provides them with compounds with aromatic characteristics, such as terpenes, and with functional properties beneficial for human health, such as carotenoids, vitamins, polyphenols and polyunsatured fatty acids. The combination of different ecological conditions on different soils through specific management practices determines the differentiation of several pasture vegetation types, a unique patrimony of great value in terms of biodiversity and capability to sustain local production, also important because of their own high added value. This review deals with pasture management aimed at conserving the soil and reducing gas emissions, and takes into consideration the quality of animal products as a result of such management.

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