|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of life science|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publisher||Nature Publishing Group|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
The rumen is a large pregastric fermentation compartment (foregut) which maintains a diverse but concentrated population of anaerobic bacteria, protozoa and fungi that are responsible for a variety of degradative and fermentative reactions. During this process biodegradable organic matter, mainly plant cell wall polymers, are converted into volatile fatty acids and microbial biomass which supply energy and protein to the host (ruminant) animal.