Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20645

Schwarm, A; Schweigert, M; Ortmann, S; Hummel, J; Janssens, G P J; Streich, W J; Clauss, M (2009). No easy solution for the fractionation of faecal nitrogen in captive wild herbivores: results of a pilot study. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 93(5):596-605.

[img] PDF (Verlags-PDF) - Registered users only
1MB

View at publisher
[img]
Preview
Accepted Version
PDF
1MB

Abstract

Faecal nitrogen (FN) concentration is used as a marker for habitat quality and digestive efficiency in free-ranging herbivores. In herbivores, FN can be separated into undigested plant N (analysed as the N concentration of the neutral detergent residue) and metabolic faecal N (MFN). It has been suggested that by differential analysis of the faecal fibre-bound N, the MFN fraction can be further split into a bacterial N and an endogenous N fraction [Hesta et al., Br. J. Nutr. 90 (2003) 1007]. We applied these methods to 96 faecal samples of 48 mammalian herbivore species from zoos. Species were grouped into coprophageous and noncoprophageous hindgut fermenters and ruminating and non-ruminating foregut fermenters. Diet was not controlled. The FN decreased with body mass, possibly reflecting higher proportions of concentrates in diets of smaller animals. The proportion of MFN increased with FN, indicating that higher quality food might enhance the gastrointestinal bacterial flora. The only outlier to this pattern was the lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens), confirming the low relevance of fermentative digestion in this herbivorous ‘carnivore’. No relevant differences between the four digestion types were noted. The proportion of endogenous faecal N (32–80% of FN) was always higher than that of bacterial faecal N (7–30%), which contradicts basal understanding of herbivore digestive physiology. Thus, the method of Hesta et al. (2003) does not appear applicable to herbivores. While the results do not exclude the possibility that detailed differences might occur between digestion types, they indicate a high degree of similarity between herbivores that rely on bacterial fermentation, regardless of their digestion type, with respect to metabolic faecal losses.

Citations

8 citations in Web of Science®
8 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

308 downloads since deposited on 18 Sep 2009
58 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals > Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife
DDC:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Date:October 2009
Deposited On:18 Sep 2009 11:44
Last Modified:27 Nov 2013 18:57
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0931-2439
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0396.2008.00842.x

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page