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Using stable isotopes to assess dietary changes of American black bears from 1980 to 2001.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24998986     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
We measured stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in 117 hair samples from American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, during 1980-2001 from live-trapped bears. We also collected hair from bears with known diets to compare with the wild bears. We hypothesized that biological factors (age, mass, and sex), food availability (hard mast and wild hogs (Sus scrofa)), and nuisance status would influence food selection by black bears and changes in their feeding history would be measureable using stable isotopes. We developed a set of a priori models using nine variables to examine changes in black bear stable isotope values. We found no support for changes in δ(13)C values associated with any of the nine variables we analyzed. Bears had enriched (15)N in years with low white oak mast production and depleted (15)N when white oak mast was abundant. Subadults had enriched (15)N compared with adults and older adults. Variation in δ(15)N increased from 1980-1991 to 1992-2000 when hard mast production had greater fluctuations. Bears in a better physical condition appeared more likely to access foods with higher protein content. In years of low white oak acorn production, larger bears and subadults likely turned to alternative food sources. The long-term variation detected in this study was important in identifying which bears were potentially more susceptible to changes in availability of hard mast.
Authors:
Jennapher L Teunissen van Manen; Lisa I Muller; Zheng-Hua Li; Arnold M Saxton; Michael R Pelton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-7-7
Journal Detail:
Title:  Isotopes in environmental and health studies     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1477-2639     ISO Abbreviation:  Isotopes Environ Health Stud     Publication Date:  2014 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-7-7     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9602611     Medline TA:  Isotopes Environ Health Stud     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1-17     Citation Subset:  -    
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