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Differences in selective reticulo-ruminal particle retention as a key factor in ruminant diversification


Clauss, Marcus; Lechner-Doll, M (2001). Differences in selective reticulo-ruminal particle retention as a key factor in ruminant diversification. Oecologia, 129(3):321-327.

Abstract

The measurement of passage rate is important for the concept of ruminant diversification. While supporters of Hofmann's 1989 feeding type classification claim that browsing ruminants have faster passage rates than grazing ruminants, other researchers consider the passage rate to depend on body size alone. To date, no convincing comparison of ruminant passage rates has been put forward. For comparative purposes, we suggest the use of the "selectivity factor", which is an expression of how much longer particles of a defined size (<2 mm) are retained in the ruminant digestive tract than fluids. From the limited data available, it seems that grazing ruminants display selectivity factors between 1.56 and 3.80, whereas browsers have a much narrower range of 1.14-1.80. This suggests that browsers are not able to selectively retain particles as long as grazers. Intake of browsers, on the other hand, may not be limited by physical fill of the forestomach to the same degree as in grazers. This result can explain several observations on the digestive physiology of browsers, some of which have been linked to a rumen bypass mechanism. We propose that the ability for selective particle retention is a key factor for understanding the physiological consequences of ruminant diversification.

The measurement of passage rate is important for the concept of ruminant diversification. While supporters of Hofmann's 1989 feeding type classification claim that browsing ruminants have faster passage rates than grazing ruminants, other researchers consider the passage rate to depend on body size alone. To date, no convincing comparison of ruminant passage rates has been put forward. For comparative purposes, we suggest the use of the "selectivity factor", which is an expression of how much longer particles of a defined size (<2 mm) are retained in the ruminant digestive tract than fluids. From the limited data available, it seems that grazing ruminants display selectivity factors between 1.56 and 3.80, whereas browsers have a much narrower range of 1.14-1.80. This suggests that browsers are not able to selectively retain particles as long as grazers. Intake of browsers, on the other hand, may not be limited by physical fill of the forestomach to the same degree as in grazers. This result can explain several observations on the digestive physiology of browsers, some of which have been linked to a rumen bypass mechanism. We propose that the ability for selective particle retention is a key factor for understanding the physiological consequences of ruminant diversification.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2001
Deposited On:10 Nov 2008 13:16
Last Modified:07 Sep 2016 08:42
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0029-8549
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s004420100735
Related URLs:https://biblio.uzh.ch/F/?local_base=UZH01&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=000015536
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3491

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