Hydrogen and methane emissions from beef cattle and their rumen microbial community vary with diet, time after feeding and genotype

John A. Rooke*, R. John Wallace, Carol-Anne Duthie, Nest McKain, Shirley Motta de Souza, Jimmy J. Hyslop, David W. Ross, Tony Waterhouse, Rainer Roehe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of the present study were to quantify hydrogen (H-2) and methane (CH4) emissions from beef cattle under different dietary conditions and to assess how cattle genotype and rumen microbial community affected these emissions. A total of thirty-six Aberdeen Angus-sired (AAx) and thirty-six Limousin-sired (LIMx) steers were fed two diets with forage: concentrate ratios (DM basis) of either 8:92 (concentrate) or 52:48 (mixed). Each diet was fed to eighteen animals of each genotype. Methane (CH4) and H-2 emissions were measured individually in indirect respiration chambers. H-2 emissions (mmol/min) varied greatly throughout the day, being highest after feed consumption, and averaged about 0.10 mol H-2/mol CH4. Higher H-2 emissions (mol/kg DM intake) were recorded in steers fed the mixed diet. Higher CH4 emissions (mol/d and mol/kg DM intake) were recorded in steers fed the mixed diet (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-407
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Early online date29 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2014


  • hydrogen
  • methane
  • rumen microbial community
  • beef cattle
  • dairy-cows
  • bacterial diversity
  • sequence-analysis
  • enteric methane
  • fermentation
  • supplementation
  • populations
  • performance
  • mitigation
  • ruminants

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