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An in vitro evaluation of browser and grazer fermentation efficiency and microbiota using European moose spring and summer foods
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4265-1835
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 8, p. 4183-4196Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Evolutionary morphological and physiological differences between browsers and grazers contribute to species- specific digestion efficiency of food resources. Rumen microbial community structure of browsers is supposedly adapted to characteristic nutrient composition of the diet source. If this assumption is correct, domesticated ruminants, or grazers, are poor model animals for assessing the nutritional value of food consumed by browsing game species. In this study, typical spring and summer foods of the European moose (Alces alces) were combined with rumen fluid collected from both dairy cows (Bos taurus) and from moose, with the aim of comparing fer- mentation efficiency and microbial community composition. The nutritional value of the food resources was characterized by chemical analysis and advanced in vitro measurements. The study also addressed whether or not feed evaluation based on in vitro techniques with cattle rumen fluid as inoculum could be a practical alternative when evaluating the nutritional value of plants consumed by wild browsers. Our re- sults suggest that the fermentation characteristics of moose spring and summer food are partly host- specific and related to the contribution of the bacterial phyla Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes to the rumen microbial community. Host- specific adaptations of the ruminal microbial community structure could be explained from the evolutionary adaptations related to feeding habitats and morphophysiological differences be- tween browsers and grazers. However, the observed overall differences in microbial community structure could not be related to ruminal digestion parameters measured in vitro. The in vitro evaluation of digestion efficiency reveals that equal amounts of methane were produced across all feed samples regardless of whether the ruminal fluid was from moose or dairy cow. The results of this study suggested that the nutri- tional value of browsers’ spring and summer food can be predicted using rumen fluid from domesticated grazers as inoculum in in vitro assessments of extent of digestion when excluding samples of the white water lily root, but not of fermentation characteristics as indicated by the proportions of individual fermentation fatty acids to the total of volatile fatty acids.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, p. 4183-4196
Keywords [en]
bacterial community composition, browser, digestion efficiency, feed evaluation, grazer, in vitro system, methane, microbiota
National Category
Microbiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-351133DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3920ISI: 000430807200033PubMedID: 29721290OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-351133DiVA, id: diva2:1208758
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The Kempe FoundationsAvailable from: 2018-05-19 Created: 2018-05-19 Last updated: 2018-07-04Bibliographically approved

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