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Diets of impala from Kruger National Park: evidence from stable carbon isotopes


Sponheimer, M; Grant, C C; de Ruiter, D J; Lee-Thorp, J A; Codron, D; Codron, J (2003). Diets of impala from Kruger National Park: evidence from stable carbon isotopes. Koedoe, 46(1):101-106.

Abstract

Impala are known to exhibit dietary flexibility, relying primarily on browse in some areas and graze in others. In this study we use stable isotope analysis of faeces and hair
to examine the diets of impala in Kruger National Park. As expected, the data show that impala are mixed-feeders and highly distinct from grazing buffalo and browsing kudu. Moreover, impala, buffalo, and kudu faeces contain 2.1 %, 1.4 %, and 2.9 % nitrogen respectively, suggesting that impala diets are of intermediate quality. There are also marked differences between impala populations in the northern and southern regions of the park. The northern impala graze less than their southern counterparts. This difference probably reflects decreased availability of herbaceous forage in the mopane-dominated north. Males and females also have different diets, with males grazing more than females.

Impala are known to exhibit dietary flexibility, relying primarily on browse in some areas and graze in others. In this study we use stable isotope analysis of faeces and hair
to examine the diets of impala in Kruger National Park. As expected, the data show that impala are mixed-feeders and highly distinct from grazing buffalo and browsing kudu. Moreover, impala, buffalo, and kudu faeces contain 2.1 %, 1.4 %, and 2.9 % nitrogen respectively, suggesting that impala diets are of intermediate quality. There are also marked differences between impala populations in the northern and southern regions of the park. The northern impala graze less than their southern counterparts. This difference probably reflects decreased availability of herbaceous forage in the mopane-dominated north. Males and females also have different diets, with males grazing more than females.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Date:2003
Deposited On:15 Feb 2010 16:36
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:37
Publisher:AOSIS
ISSN:0075-6458
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.koedoe.co.za/index.php/koedoe/article/view/43/50
Related URLs:http://www.koedoe.co.za/index.php/koedoe
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-25351

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