Rumen microbiome plays a critical role in the development and nutrition of the host, and any alteration in the rumen microbiome has an important effect on the animal. Rumen microbial ecology is always dynamic in response to the diets and physiological conditions of the host. Ruminal microorganisms are mainly anaerobic and provide around 75% of the energy needed by the animal. The importance of microbial diversity in rumen has gained attention not only due to its significance on the productivity of the host, but also due to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and their environmental impact. Livestock is one of the most important sources of GHGs from agriculture, contributing more than 25% of global GHGs emissions. However, the variations in livestock emission in different regions of the world could be attributed to the changes in diversity and abundance of rumen microbial communities, which vary according to the type and age of animal, type of feeds, feeding strategies, climate, etc. This chapter deals on rumen microbial ecology, the role of microorganisms in enteric fermentation and the different mitigation strategies based on manipulation of rumen microbial diversity to reduce the methane emissions from livestock.
Part of the book: Livestock Science