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Seasonal differences in the relative importance of specific phenolics and twig morphology result in contrasting patterns of foraging by a generalist herbivore
Responsible organisation
2013 (English)In: Canadian Journal of Zoology, ISSN 0008-4301, E-ISSN 1480-3283, Vol. 91, no 5, p. 338-347Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The co-evolved relationship between the chemical composition of plants and herbivory is fundamental in understanding diet selection of herbivores and their impacts on plants and ecosystems. However, the impact of plant secondary chemistry on mammalian herbivory is not fully understood. We investigated seasonal influences of phenolics with low molecular weight (e.g., flavonoids, salicylates) and plant morphology of the tea-leaved willow (Salix phylicifolia L.) on moose (Alces alces (L., 1758)) foraging. We analysed the relationship of different phenolic compounds in twigs and browsing in winter, and in leaves and the degree of leaf stripping in summer, and the role of plant morphology. In winter, higher concentrations of phenolics, e.g., myricetin-related compounds (belonging to the flavonoids), had a negative impact on herbivory by moose. This impact was not associated with a single compound but instead seemed to be more a result of synergistic or additive effects of different compounds. In contrast, the models for summer browsing showed a pronounced effect of plant morphology. Our analyses reveal differences in the relative importance of phenolics of low molecular weight and plant morphology on diet selection between seasons. These findings are relevant for understanding feeding decisions and mechanisms deterring mammalian herbivores known for shaping the vegetation on the ecosystem level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NRC Research Press , 2013. Vol. 91, no 5, p. 338-347
Keywords [en]
moose, Alces alces, tea-leaved willow, Salix phylicifolia, herbivory, plant morphology, plant secondary metabolites
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8064DOI: 10.1139/cjz-2012-0270OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8064DiVA, id: diva2:1287119
Available from: 2019-02-08 Created: 2019-02-08 Last updated: 2019-02-08

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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