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Animal diets in the Waterberg based on stable isotopic composition of faeces


Codron, D; Codron, J; Lee-Thorp, J A; Sponheimer, M; de Ruiter, D J (2005). Animal diets in the Waterberg based on stable isotopic composition of faeces. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 35:43-52.

Abstract

Faecal analysis of diet in free-ranging mammals can provide insight into local habitat conditions by reflecting the resources actually utilized. Here we used stable light isotope analysis of faeces to qualify, as well as quantify, certain aspects of mammal food selection in a recovering,nutrient-poor, savanna habitat in theWaterberg. Stable carbon isotope ratios in faeces reflect proportions of C3-foods (browse) to C4-foods (grass) consumed, whereas stable nitrogen isotope ratios reflect a combination of trophic behaviour,protein intake,and water and nutritional stress. Percentage nitrogen indicates the nutritional quality of the diet, at least in terms of crude protein intake. We used these data to reconstruct and compare the diets of various mammal species from two reserves in the Waterberg: the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve and Zoetfontein Private Game Farm.

Faecal analysis of diet in free-ranging mammals can provide insight into local habitat conditions by reflecting the resources actually utilized. Here we used stable light isotope analysis of faeces to qualify, as well as quantify, certain aspects of mammal food selection in a recovering,nutrient-poor, savanna habitat in theWaterberg. Stable carbon isotope ratios in faeces reflect proportions of C3-foods (browse) to C4-foods (grass) consumed, whereas stable nitrogen isotope ratios reflect a combination of trophic behaviour,protein intake,and water and nutritional stress. Percentage nitrogen indicates the nutritional quality of the diet, at least in terms of crude protein intake. We used these data to reconstruct and compare the diets of various mammal species from two reserves in the Waterberg: the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve and Zoetfontein Private Game Farm.

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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:2005
Deposited On:12 Feb 2010 15:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:37
Publisher:South African Bureau for Scientific Publications
ISSN:0379-4369
Related URLs:http://journals.sabinet.co.za/ej/ejour_wild.html
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-25362

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