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Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation has been increasing in temperate latitudes in recent decades and is expected to continue rising for some time. Enhanced UV-B radiation can change plant chemistry, yet the effects of these changes on mammalian herbivores are unknown. To examine the influence of enhanced UV-B radiation on nutrition of a specialist and generalist hindgut fermenter, we measured nutritional and chemical constituents of three common North American range plants, big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoregneria spicata), and how these changes influenced in vitro dry matter digestibility and in vivo digestibility by pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis)...
The leaves, litter, and soil from within a community of Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana were analyzed for secondary metabolic products. Methacrolein, five monterpenes, three sesquiterpene lactones, six coumarins, and one flavonoid were identified in the leaves; the contents of the litter were nearly identical. Soils collected directly beneath the shrubs contained the three sesquiterpene lactones, two coumarins and an unknown flavonoid. The litter and water extracts of the litter inhibited the germination of sagebrush seeds. Soils charged with monoterpenes from sagebrush leaves also inhibited seed germination. In addition, the monoterpene contents from eight sagebrush taxa collected from Western Montana are reported....
Ozone depletion has caused ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation to rise in temperate latitudes of both hemispheres. Enhanced UV-B radiation can affect plant nutritional chemistry, but the effects of these changes on mammalian herbivores are unknown. Therefore, we measured nutritional and chemical constituents of 18 forages and related changes to in vitro dry matter digestibility, and intake and in vivo digestibility of five of these plants by a ruminant herbivore (blue duiker, Cephalophus monticola) and a specialist (pygmy rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis ) and generalist (eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus ) hindgut-fermenter. Forages were irradiated for three months with ambient (1X) or supplemental (1.6X) UV-B...