Robinson, S. J.

Chemical composition of Central Asian forage plants

The database of chemical composition of Central Asian forage plants contains just under 1000 desert and steppe species with information such as Latin and Russian names and family and related records of chemical composition from various sources including percentages by weight of protein, ash, cellulose and fat. Where available, it also includes data on digestible protein content, metabolisable energy and Soviet Feed Units (SFU). Records also include information on the country, location, season or month and phenological phase at time of collection of each sample. As one of the original uses of the database was for modelling food and energy intake by the saiga antelope, it also includes information identifying saiga food plant species along with sources of this information. Data on the edibility of many species for livestock in different seasons are also available. See the detailed documentation available here for more information on the data types, definitions and sources.

NB The database is in text format and must be imported e.g. into relational database software, as Unicode (UTF-8) in order to convert the Cyrillic characters in Russian names.

Publication date: 2017-09-20

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Robinson, S. J. (2017). Chemical composition of Central Asian forage plants. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.



Study area

Provenance & quality

The data come from a number of Soviet era sources listing thousands of records of plant chemical composition, and from an additional number of secondary or field sources compiled since 1991. All sources are listed in the database, which holds only a fraction of the total information available.
See documentation for more details.


This dataset is included in the following collections

Saiga antelope mortality in Kazakhstan 2015

Correspondence/contact details

Sarah Robinson
Oxford University, visiting researcher
La Cousteille
F-09400 Saurat,


Robinson, S. J.
University of Oxford

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Central Asia,  forage,  Kazakhstan
Habitats and Biotopes
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated
20 May 2022 10:42