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The possible use of n-alkanes, long-chain fatty alcohols and long-chain fatty acids as markers in studies of the botanical composition of the diet of free-ranging herbivores

  • H. A. M. Ali (a1), R. W. Mayes (a1), B. L. Hector (a1) and E. R. Ørskov (a1)

Extract

Few methods exist for quantitatively estimating the diet composition of free-ranging herbivores. Because their patterns differ between species, plant n-alkanes have been successfully used as faecal markers to estimate the botanical composition of simple diets, however, the reliability of this methods may decline as the number of dietary plant species increases (Dove and Mayes, 1996). The objective of this study was to examine whether additional plant-wax compounds, such as long-chain fatty alcohols (Alc) or long–chain fatty acids (Ac) could be used along with n-alkanes (Alk) to allow reliable diet composition estimates to be made in herbivores consuming complex diets.

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Dove, H. and Mayes, R. W. (1996). J. of Nutr., 126:1326
Hameleers, A. & Mayes, R. W. (1998). J. of Agric. Sci., Cambridge, 131: 205209.
Mayes, R. W., Lamb, C. S., and Colgrove, P. M. (1986). J. of Agric. Sci., Cambridge, 107: 161170.

The possible use of n-alkanes, long-chain fatty alcohols and long-chain fatty acids as markers in studies of the botanical composition of the diet of free-ranging herbivores

  • H. A. M. Ali (a1), R. W. Mayes (a1), B. L. Hector (a1) and E. R. Ørskov (a1)

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