Condensed tannin as anti-defoliate agent against browsing by giraffe (Girafla camelopardalis) in the Kruger National Park

The feeding behaviour of giraffes in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, was observed over 12 months and the diet analysed for condensed tannin content. Supportive evidence was found for plant defence against excessive browsing by means of tannin biosynthesis. Condensed tannin negatively influenced acceptability and nutritional value of dietary browse to giraffes. The giraffes avoided high condensed tannin levels. Tannin content of dietary foliage increased due to browse disturbance. Tannin levels fluctuated daily within the canopy of individual plants in relation to change in temperature, light intensity and phenological status of the foliage.

Keywords: Giraffe, Tannin, Chemical defence, Browse, Feeding ecology, Herbivore plant interaction

Authors: D. Furstenburg and W. van Hoven

Journal: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology

 

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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1.28 MB