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Secondary metabolites in Eucalyptus melliodora : field distribution and laboratory feeding choices by a generalist herbivore, the common brushtail possum

Wallis, Ian; Watson, M; Foley, William

Description

We studied the influence of a group of plant secondary compounds, the sideroxylonals, on feeding by the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), a generalist herbivore. Possums were offered synthetic diets either with or without sideroxylonals or, in separate experiments, foliage from 28 individual Eucalyptus melliodora trees. Possums ate less of the synthetic diet at sideroxylonal concentrations of 4 and 7 mg g-1 when offered a choice or no choice, respectively. Possums fed foliage in...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorWallis, Ian
dc.contributor.authorWatson, M
dc.contributor.authorFoley, William
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T23:40:59Z
dc.date.available2015-12-13T23:40:59Z
dc.identifier.issn0004-959X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/94682
dc.description.abstractWe studied the influence of a group of plant secondary compounds, the sideroxylonals, on feeding by the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), a generalist herbivore. Possums were offered synthetic diets either with or without sideroxylonals or, in separate experiments, foliage from 28 individual Eucalyptus melliodora trees. Possums ate less of the synthetic diet at sideroxylonal concentrations of 4 and 7 mg g-1 when offered a choice or no choice, respectively. Possums fed foliage in no-choice protocols ate 12-61 g of dry matter per day. Sideroxylonal concentration was an essential determinant of feeding on foliage but the wide variation, particularly at intermediate sideroxylonal concentrations, suggests that other secondary plant chemicals, e.g. tannins, are important also. The normal distribution of sideroxylonal concentrations (mean = 27.7, s.d. = 7.85 mg sideroxylonals per g dry leaf) in a natural population of 150 E. melliodora trees shows that brushtail possums will rarely encounter highly palatable trees (<10 mg sideroxylonals per g dry leaf) nor highly unpalatable foliage (>40 mg sideroxylonals per g dry leaf). When foraging on E. melliodora, brushtail possums must contend with intermediate sideroxylonal concentrations (20-30 mg per g dry leaf), where variability in food intake is most noticeable.
dc.publisherCSIRO Publishing
dc.sourceAustralian Journal of Zoology
dc.subjectKeywords: food selection; generalist; herbivore; phytochemistry; secondary metabolite; Alopias; Animalia; Eucalyptus; Eucalyptus melliodora; Phalangeridae; Trichosurus; Trichosurus vulpecula
dc.titleSecondary metabolites in Eucalyptus melliodora : field distribution and laboratory feeding choices by a generalist herbivore, the common brushtail possum
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume50
dc.date.issued2002
local.identifier.absfor060310 - Plant Systematics and Taxonomy
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub24332
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationWallis, Ian, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationWatson, M, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationFoley, William, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage507
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage519
local.identifier.doi10.1071/ZO02029
dc.date.updated2015-12-12T09:31:00Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-0036913678
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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