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- Author or Editor: J. Lukovic x
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One of the most important characteristics that determines the quality of forages is their digestibility. Certain structural characteristics of the vegetative organs, such as a high percentage of cells with lignified walls, might limit digestibility. Leaf and stem histological characteristics related to digestibility were examined for nine wild Lathyrus species closely related to cultivated species. The recommended characteristics for plants that could be used as forage on their own are: a small number of stem vascular bundles, a relatively small proportion of stem sclerenchyma and sclerenchymatous parenchyma tissue, thin leaflet cuticle, a small number of leaf vascular bundles, and large mesophyll and epidermal cells. According to the results of the analyses, species with favourable histological characteristics were L. palustris, L. sphaericus and L. aphaca, while the species with the highest proportion of thick-walled cells, unsuitable for use as forage, were L. pratensis, L. niger and L. tuberosus.