• • • Plants of the genus Heracleum L. on hayfields and pastures of the forest zone of the European part of Russia

• • • Plants of the genus Heracleum L. on hayfields and pastures of the forest zone of the European part of Russia

During ontogenesis, all plants synthesize various organic substances, which are the products of primary and secondary metabolism. They are conventionally included active, or biologically active (BAC), related and ballast compounds due to their effect on animals and humans. Qualitative, quantitative composition and ratio of BAC influence on plant’s palatability, nutritive value, and feed safety. Under different conditions, presence of BAC may give an occasion to classify plants as feed, medical or toxic. The search for new feed plants with sufficient cold resistance and high productivity is very important in the forest zone of Russia, especially in the northern regions of the European part of the country. However, in recent decades, almost ubiquitous expansion of the genus Heracleum L., aggressively invading and cardinally changing local phytocenosis is observed. This raises a question for stockbreeders of the permissibility of these plants presence on hayfields and pastures. A decision depends largely on knowledge of botanical and biochemical features of cow-parsnips. Since today there is no unified systematization of poisonous plants, the so-called clinical classification by the symptoms of feed poisoning is most suitable for clarifying a particular issue. According to the research results by the author of this classification I. A. Gusynin (1962), plants of the genus Heracleum L. were classified as toxic. In modern scientific researches there are no self-identified cases of cow-parsnip toxicity when using it as green feed, hay, and silage. For confirming the I. A. Gusynin’s conclusions, the literature sources were involved from different fields of science. Despite a conclusion made by the authors of the published review of scientific literature, the question of the danger of eating Heracleum L. remains controversial and requires further practical research.

Source: http://kormoproizvodstvo.ru/en/5-2018-2/, p. 15

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