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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Mineral composition and nutritive value of Festuca ecotypes originated from the highland region of Bolivia and cultivars from Argentina

Ustariz Olivera, Karina Rossio; Geleta, Mulatu Dida; Persson Hovmalm, Helena; Gutierrez, Franz; Rojas Beltrán, Jorge A.; Ortiz Rios, Rodomiro Octavio


Native grasses constitute the most important source of feed for camelids, sheep and cattle in the highlands of Bolivia, where the genus Festuca is one of the major feed components. This study was carried out to investigate the nutritional value of 11 Festuca ecotypes from the highlands of Bolivia and two cultivars from Argentina (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. cv. ‘Taita’ and Festulolium). All ecotypes were grown in the same experimental field and their protein, ash, cellulose, moisture and micronutrients (Al, B, Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, S, Si and Zn) content was determined. Principal component analysis and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) cluster analysis, based on all nutrients, clearly defined the two Argentinian cultivars as outliers. This differentiation was mainly explained by their cellulose, ash, Mn and Al contents. Analysis of variance based on the origin of the accessions revealed highly significant (P < 0.001) differences for their cellulose, ash, Mn and Mg contents, while they differ significantly (P < 0.05) in Ni, Fe, Na and Al contents. There was a highly significant positive correlation between several pairs of minerals including Mg–Ca (r = 0.94) and Mg–Zn (r = 0.92). Negatively correlated pairs of minerals include B–Fe (r = - 0.65) and B–Ni (r = - 0.58). This study provides useful information about the nutritive quality of Bolivian Festuca ecotypes for their use in breeding programs of this forage grass in the Andean highlands of South America.


fescue, forage, micronutrient, principal component analysis

Published in

Australian Journal Of Crop Science
2019, Volume: 13, number: 10, pages: 1650-1658