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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 34, No. 3, 2013, pp. 152-159
Bioline Code: zr13038
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2013, pp. 152-159

 en Spring food selection by Rhinopithecus bieti check for this species in other resources at Mt. Lasha in relation to phytochemical components
ZHANG, Ying-Jun; WANG, Shuang-Jin; GUO, Ai-Wei; CHEN, Fen-Fen; CUI, Liang-Wei & XIAO, Wen


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 check for this species in other resources 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.

Rhinopithecus bieti; Phytochemical content; Phosphorous; Ca/P; Food choice

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