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Proceedings Paper

Effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on secondary metabolites in forage plants and potential consequences for multiple trophic responses involving mammalian herbivores
Author(s): Nicole J. Thines; John H. Bassman; Lisa A. Shipley; James R. Slusser
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Paper Abstract

Herbivores represent the interface between primary production and higher trophic levels. The effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on microbes, invertebrate herbivores, and detritivores has received limited study in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, although direct effects (e.g. melanoma, cataracts) on mammals have been documented, indirect effects (e.g., resulting from changes in plant chemistry) of enhanced UV-B on mammalian herbivores have not been evaluated. Although the diet of mammalian herbivores has little effect on nutritional quality for their associated predators, to the extent changes in plant chemistry affect aspects of population dynamics (e.g., growth, fecundity, densities), higher trophic levels can be affected. In this study, different forage species of varying inherent levels of key secondary metabolites are being grown in the field under either ambient or ambient plus supplemental UV-B radiation simulating a 15% stratospheric ozone depletion for Pullman, Washington. At various time intervals, foliage is being sampled and analyzed for changes in secondary metabolites and other attributes. Using controlled feeding trials, changes in plant secondary metabolites are being related to preference and digestibility in specialist and generalist mammalian hindgut herbivores, digestion in ruminants and non-ruminants, and to selected aspects of population dynamics in mammalian herbivores. Results suggest how UV-B-induced changes in plant secondary chemistry affect animal nutrition, and thus animal productivity in a range of mammalian herbivores. Reductions in palatability and digestibility of plant material along with reductions in fecundity and other aspects of population dynamics could have significant economic ramifications for farmers, ranchers and wildlife biologists.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 2004
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5545, Ultraviolet Ground- and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects IV, (14 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.563273
Show Author Affiliations
Nicole J. Thines, Washington State Univ. (United States)
John H. Bassman, Washington State Univ. (United States)
Lisa A. Shipley, Washington State Univ. (United States)
James R. Slusser, Colorado State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5545:
Ultraviolet Ground- and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects IV
James R. Slusser; Jay R. Herman; Wei Gao; Germar Bernhard, Editor(s)

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