Climate Change and Goat Production: Enteric Methane Emission and Its Mitigation
AuthorPragna, P; Chauhan, SS; Sejian, V; Leury, BJ; Dunshea, FR
University of Melbourne Author/sChauhan, Surinder Singh; Dunshea, Frank; Leury, Brian; Prathap, Pragna; Prathap, Pragna
AffiliationAgriculture and Food Systems
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsPragna, P., Chauhan, S. S., Sejian, V., Leury, B. J. & Dunshea, F. R. (2018). Climate Change and Goat Production: Enteric Methane Emission and Its Mitigation. ANIMALS, 8 (12), https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8120235.
Access StatusOpen Access
The ability of an animal to cope and adapt itself to the changing climate virtually depends on the function of rumen and rumen inhabitants such as bacteria, protozoa, fungi, virus and archaea. Elevated ambient temperature during the summer months can have a significant influence on the basic physiology of the rumen, thereby affecting the nutritional status of the animals. Rumen volatile fatty acid (VFA) production decreases under conditions of extreme heat. Growing recent evidence suggests there are genetic variations among breeds of goats in the impact of heat stress on rumen fermentation pattern and VFA production. Most of the effects of heat stress on rumen fermentation and enteric methane (CH₄) emission are attributed to differences in the rumen microbial population. Heat stress-induced rumen function impairment is mainly associated with an increase in Streptococcus genus bacteria and with a decrease in the bacteria of Fibrobactor genus. Apart from its major role in global warming and greenhouse effect, enteric CH4 is also considered as a dietary energy loss in goats. These effects warrant mitigating against CH₄ production to ensure optimum economic return from goat farming as well as to reduce the impact on global warming as CH₄ is one of the more potent greenhouse gases (GHG). The various strategies that can be implemented to mitigate enteric CH4 emission include nutritional interventions, different management strategies and applying advanced biotechnological tools to find solution to reduce CH₄ production. Through these advanced technologies, it is possible to identify genetically superior animals with less CH₄ production per unit feed intake. These efforts can help the farming community to sustain goat production in the changing climate scenario.
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