Adaptación de una tabla de códigos de bocados para pequeños rumiantes ramoneando en una selva tropical caducifolia.
PECH, P. G. G., ACOSTA, J. F. D. J. T., & CASTRO, C. A. S.
The aim of this study was to build a bite coding grid that considers the diversity of plant parts consumed by sheep and goats in the heterogeneous vegetation of a deciduous tropical forest. The architecture of plant species and the form and size of the plant parts consumed by sheep and goats grazing in Yucatán, México (20°52'N, 89°37'W) were recorded. This information was used to create a bite coding grid with 33 bite categories (BC). This new grid was validated using the direct observation method with 3 sheep and 3 goats during the dry and rainy seasons. The coding grid enabled the classification of all the plant architectures consumed (grasses, herbs, leafs of woody mono- and dicotyledoneans, bipinnate leafs and creeper plants) as well as other parts of plants consumed by the animals (round/oblong leafs, elongated leafs, steams, vines, flower, fruits, pods). It also considered the mixture of dry leafs and pods consumed directly from the ground. The size (length) oftheBCvariedfrom<1cmtoupto20cm.The new grid incorporated BC specific for the deciduous tropical forest of Yucatán, such as plants with bipinnate leafs, creepers’ leafs and vines, as well as fallen pods collected from the ground. Of the 33 BC possible in the new coding grid, 28 and 32 BC were used during dry and rainy seasons respectively. Thus, the adapted bite coding grid can be used together with the direct observation method to investigate feeding behavior of sheep and goats browsing in the tropical forests.