Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Repeatability of methane emission measurements in Australian beef cattle

K. A. Donoghue A E , T. Bird-Gardiner A , P. F. Arthur B , R. M. Herd C and R. S. Hegarty D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A NSW Department of Primary Industries, Agricultural Research Centre, Trangie, NSW 2823, Australia.

B NSW Department of Primary Industries, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Menangle, NSW 2568, Australia.

C NSW Department of Primary Industries, Beef Industry Centre, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.

D Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: kath.donoghue@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Animal Production Science 56(3) 213-217 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15573
Submitted: 14 September 2015  Accepted: 14 November 2015   Published: 9 February 2016

Abstract

Records on 175 young Angus heifer and bull progeny from 46 sires, measured for methane production in respiration chambers, were used to evaluate the repeatability of methane measurement over short- and long-term periods. The traits assessed were dry matter intake (DMI), methane production rate (MPR), methane yield (MPR per unit DMI), and four residual methane (RMP) traits. The RMP traits were computed as actual MPR minus expected MPR, where the expected MPR for the first three RMP traits were calculated from three different published and widely used equations. The expected MPR for the fourth was computed by regressing MPR on DMI, using the data from the study. Animals underwent an initial (first) methane measurement test for 48 h, and one repeat methane measurement test up to 450 days after the first test. Repeat tests were classified into four different time periods: tested across consecutive days; re-tested within 60 days of first test; re-tested 61–120 days after first test; and re-tested 121–450 days after first test. Repeatabilities were calculated for all traits across all time periods, and phenotypic correlations for the same trait measured over time were obtained from bivariate analyses. Methane traits from tests conducted over consecutive days were highly repeatable (0.75–0.94) and highly phenotypically correlated (0.85–0.95). Repeatabilities from tests conducted within 60 days of the first test were moderate to high (0.59–0.91), whereas phenotypic correlations were, in general, moderate (0.30–0.44), with the exception of MPR (0.78). Results for both longer-term time periods (61–120 days and 121–450 days after the first test) were very similar, with low estimates of repeatabilities (0.16–0.27) and phenotypic correlations (0.12–0.27). Correlations between sire progeny means from the first and repeat methane test were moderate (0.46–0.77) for all traits except RMPR (0.19). Results from this study indicate that methane traits from tests conducted either on consecutive days or within a short-term time frame afterward (~60 days) are highly repeatable and highly phenotypically correlated. However, methane tests conducted over longer-term time frames are substantially, but consistently, less repeatable and are lowly phenotypically correlated, which indicates that multiple measures may be required to accurately record methane traits over the life time of an animal.

Additional keywords: greenhouse gas, residual methane, ruminants.


References

Bickell SL, Robinson DL, Toovey AF, Goopy JP, Hegarty RS, Revel DK, Vercoe PE (2011) Four week repeatability of daily and one hour methane production of mature Merino wethers fed ad libitum. In ‘Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 19–21 July 2011, Perth, WA, Australia’. 19, pp. 415–418.

Blaxter KL, Clapperton JL (1965) Prediction of the amount of methane produced by ruminants. British Journal of Nutrition 19, 511–522.
Prediction of the amount of methane produced by ruminants.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaF28XitFKktg%3D%3D&md5=6cde6902b771bbb1af70db2dca0760aaCAS | 5852118PubMed |

Donoghue KA, Bird-Gardiner TL, Arthur PF, Herd RM, Hegarty RS (2015) Genetic parameters for methane production and relationships with production traits in Australian beef cattle. In ‘Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 28–30 September 2015, Lorne, Vic., Australia’, in press.

Gerber PJ, Steinfeld H, Henderson B, Mottet A, Opio C, Dijkman J, Falcucci A, Tempio G (2013) ‘Tackling climate change through livestock – A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities.’ (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Rome)

Gilmour AR, Gogel BJ, Cullis BR, Welham SJ, Thompson R (2014) ‘ASReml User Guide Release 4.0.’ (VSN International Ltd: Hemel Hempstead, UK) Available at www.vsni.co.uk [Verified 1 November 2015]

Goopy JP, Robinson DL, Woodgate RT, Donaldson AJ, Oddy VH, Vercoe PE, Hegarty RS (2016) Estimates of repeatability and heritability of methane production in sheep using portable accumulation chambers. Animal Production Science 56, 116–122.
Estimates of repeatability and heritability of methane production in sheep using portable accumulation chambers.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXitVejtb7N&md5=6e681f434b4f5dd9ab5c0dddcfc4c009CAS |

Herd RM, Arthur PF, Donoghue KA, Bird SH, Bird-Gardiner T, Hegarty RS (2014) Measures of methane production and their phenotypic relationships with dry matter intake, growth and body composition traits in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 92, 5267–5274.
Measures of methane production and their phenotypic relationships with dry matter intake, growth and body composition traits in beef cattle.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXitlartw%3D%3D&md5=c17a1cb11bffd89430e7403c5b06ec85CAS | 25349368PubMed |

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2006) Emissions from livestock and manure management. In ‘IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories, volume 4: agriculture, forestry and other land use’. (Eds S Eggleston, L Buendia, K Miwa, T Ngara, K Tanabe) pp. 10.1–10.89. (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies: Hayama, Japan)

Johnson DE, Hill TM, Ward GM, Johnson KA, Branine ME, Carmean BR, Lowman DW (1995) Ruminants and other animals. In ‘Atmospheric methane: sources, sinks and role in global change’. (Ed. MAK Khalil) pp. 199–229. (Springer-Verlag: New York, NY)

Pinares-Patiño CS, Hickey SM, Young EA, Dodds KG, MacLean S, Molano G, Sandoval E, Kjestrup H, Harland R, Hunt C, Pickering NK, McEwan JC (2013) Heritability estimates of methane emissions from Sheep. Animal 7, 316–321.
Heritability estimates of methane emissions from Sheep.CrossRef | 23739473PubMed |

Robinson DL, Goopy JP, Hegarty RS, Vercoe PE (2010) Repeatability, animal and sire variation in 1-hr methane emissions and relationships with rumen volatile fatty acid concentrations. In ‘Proceedings of the 9th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, 1–6 August 2010, Leizig, Germany’. p. 712.



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation