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Notes: In Vitro Digestibility of Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) Little from 17 Utah Sites

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Fall in vitro digestibility was determined on forage collected from Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) trees from 17 sites throughout the pinyon-juniper zone of Utah. On an individual tree basis, the in vitro digestibility ranged from 33.4 to 53.1 percent of dry matter. Forage from mature and juvenile trees was significantly more digested than forage from seedlings. Forage collected from some sites was sigificantly more digested than from other sites. Digestibility across sites ranged from 39.2 to 47.9 percent of dry matter digested. Utah juniper was more digestible than some winter range plants such as antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), and less than others such as big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and black sagebrush (Artemisia nova). It is an average to slightly above average winter food for deer. Genetic improvement or selection for superior nutritive cultivars may be possible. Forest Sci. 32:834-840.

Keywords: Odocoileus hemionus; mule deer; winter forage values

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Professor of Botany, Brigham Young University

Publication date: September 1, 1986

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