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Physiol Biochem Zool. 2004 Mar-Apr;77(2):305-12.

Effects of consumption of juniper (Juniperus monosperma) on cost of thermoregulation in the woodrats Neotoma albigula and Neotoma stephensi at different acclimation temperatures.

Author information

  • 1Biology Department, 257 South 1400 East, Room 201, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103, USA. jmcliste@iusb.edu

Abstract

A study was done to test whether toxic plants that occur naturally in the diet affect thermoregulation in mammalian herbivores. The woodrats Neotoma albigula and Neotoma stephensi both consume juniper (Juniperus monosperma), a plant with high levels of toxic compounds. Body temperature (Tb), basal metabolic rate (BMR), and the minimum cost of thermogenesis (Cmin) were measured for both species on control and juniper diets following warm (25 degrees C) and cold (18 degrees C) acclimation. In N. albigula, diet had no uniform effect on Tb, BMR, or Cmin, but dietxacclimation-temperature interaction effects on Tb and Cmin were highly significant (P<0.005). For thermoregulation at 15 degrees C, juniper consumption increased the metabolic cost for warm-acclimated N. albigula by 50% but decreased the metabolic cost in cold-acclimated N. albigula by 24%. In N. stephensi, diet significantly affected Tb and Cmin (P<0.05), but there were no significant dietxacclimation-temperature interaction effects. For thermoregulation at 15 degrees C, juniper consumption increased the metabolic cost for warm-acclimated N. stephensi by 33% but had no significant effect on metabolic cost in cold-acclimated N. stephensi.

PMID:
15095250
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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