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Faecal particle size: Digestive physiology meets herbivore diversity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25446938     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
In herbivore ecophysiology, comparative chewing efficiency has only recently received increased attention. This measure is best assessed on un-processed forage-only diets; corresponding comparative datasets are missing. We measured a faecal mean particle size (MPS [mm]) in 14 large herbivore species (body mass (M) range 60-4000kg; 8 ruminants and 6 hindgut fermenters) fed a consistent grass hay diet, in which intake, digesta mean retention times (MRT [h]) and digestive efficiency (as digestibility of faecal fibre measured by 96h cumulative in vitro gas production GP96h [ml per 200mg faecal fibre], and metabolic faecal nitrogen MFN [% organic faecal matter]) had been quantified simultaneously. MPS was generally lower in ruminants than in hindgut fermenters and increased with M in the total dataset, but was nearly constant among closely related taxa (e.g. within ruminants, within equids) irrespective of M. MPS (but not MRT) was significantly correlated to GP96h, whereas MRT (but not MPS) was significantly correlated to MFN, suggesting different effects of these factors on different aspects of digestibility. Combinations of measures including MPS mostly explained digestibility better than other combinations. The phylogenetic signal λ, which was mostly 1 when linking any single measure to digestibility, was estimated 0 in models that linked digestive efficiency to combinations of measures. These results support the intuitive concept that species diversification in large herbivores is tightly related to digestive physiology, and that chewing efficiency as measured by faecal particle size is an integral aspect of this scenario.
Authors:
Marcus Clauss; Patrick Steuer; Kerstin Erlinghagen-Lückerath; Jacques Kaandorp; Julia Fritz; Karl-Heinz Südekum; Jürgen Hummel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-10-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology     Volume:  179C     ISSN:  1531-4332     ISO Abbreviation:  Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part A Mol. Integr. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2014 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-12-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  2014-12-3    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9806096     Medline TA:  Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  182-191     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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