Abteilung Grünland und Futterbau/Ökologischer Landbau


Evaluate the potential of different tannin rich forage legumes in reducing methane emissions in ruminants.

Research background

The contribution of livestock systems to climate change is currently under focus due to their intensification and higher resource use. The demand of milk and meat is expected to increase by 73 and 58 %, respectively, in 2050 when compared to their levels in 2010. This brings the attention to the need of sustainable livestock systems, which are able to mitigate the greenhouse gases emissions while maintaining profitable levels of production. Tannin-rich forages have emerged as an alternative feed option which have been associated with their anthelmintic properties, increasing the nutrient use efficiency and simultaneously reducing methane emissions in the ruminants.

Project Aims

  • Characterization of structural variation of tannins within different forages and their cultivars: Tannin concentration and composition in the forages will be determined by employing via different analytical procedures such as HCl-butanol assay, thiolysis and UPLC-MS-MS analysis.
  • Analyze the variation in the effect of selected forages on methane emissions in ruminants: Hohenheim Gas Test will be employed to access the potential of different forages in reducing methane emissions.
  • Determine the effect of structure of tannins in the selected forages and their effect on methane emissions: The concentration and composition of the tannins in the forages will be correlated to their effect on methane emissions  


  • Verma, S., Salminen, J.-P., Taube, F., Malisch, C.S., 2021a. Large Inter- and Intraspecies Variability of Polyphenols and Proanthocyanidins in Eight Temperate Forage Species Indicates Potential for Their Exploitation as Nutraceuticals. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 11. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c03898
  • Verma, S., Taube, F., Malisch, C.S., 2021b. Examining the Variables Leading to Apparent Incongruity between Antimethanogenic Potential of Tannins and Their Observed Effects in Ruminants—A Review. Sustainability 13, 2743. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052743


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