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Nutritional Value of Colophospermum Mopane as Source of Browse and Its Chemical Defences Against Browsers: A Review

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Abstract: This is a review of the nutritional value of Colophospermum mopane leaves, twigs, pods and seeds and its chemical defence against browsers. This paper showed that c. mopane is nutritious and contain crude protein (CP), phosphorus(p), calcium (Ca), crude fibre (CF), energy, fatty acids and essential oil, which are necessary in the diet of herbivores. Despite the nutritional value of c. mopane, browsing is mainly during the dry season, when secondary metabolites such as total phenols (TP), condensed tannins (CT) and protein-precitating tannins (PPT) are relatively low. This paper further showed that the nutritional value and secondary metabolites are high during leaf flush, but declined during the dry season as the leaves matured and aged. The ability of c. mopane to produce secondary metabolites is a critical adaptation mechanism in order to defend itself against browsers, especially during the growing season.

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