Volume 34 Issue 3
May  2013
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Ying-Jun ZHANG, Shuang-Jin WANG, Ai-Wei GUO, Fen-Fen CHEN, Liang-Wei CUI, Wen XIAO. Spring food selection by Rhinopithecus bieti at Mt. Lasha in relation to phytochemical components. Zoological Research, 2013, 34(3): 152-159. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.3.0152
Citation: Ying-Jun ZHANG, Shuang-Jin WANG, Ai-Wei GUO, Fen-Fen CHEN, Liang-Wei CUI, Wen XIAO. Spring food selection by Rhinopithecus bieti at Mt. Lasha in relation to phytochemical components. Zoological Research, 2013, 34(3): 152-159. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.3.0152

Spring food selection by Rhinopithecus bieti at Mt. Lasha in relation to phytochemical components

doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.3.0152
  • Received Date: 2013-02-07
  • Rev Recd Date: 2013-03-20
  • Publish Date: 2013-06-08
  • Food selection by folivorous primates is thought to relate to macronutrients, micronutrients and plant secondary metabolites. However, few studies explain their effects on food choices. This study was designed to clarify the effect of phytochemical components on Rhinopithecus bieti food choice by analyzing the chemical composition of food samples collected from March to May in 2010 and 2011 at Mt. Lasha in northwest Yunnan, China. Compared with non-foods, there was more phosphorous and crude protein, less total sugar and a lower ratio of calcium to phosphorus in selected foods. However, no differences were found in crude fat, crude ash, calcium and tannin content between foods and non-foods. Phytochemical constituents may influence food choices; the monkeys preferred foods with high phosphorus and low Ca/P, low calcium, low sugar and low tannins. Rhinopithecus bieti foraged high quality foods such as buds and young leaves to meet their nutritional needs after a long winter. Therefore, if tannin content in food did not exceed the enduring threshold of R. bieti, the nutrient intake was prioritized by phosphorus and calcium regulation when the need for macronutrients dominated by protein was satisfied.
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