Strategies in herbivory by mammals revisited: The role of liver metabolism in a juniper specialist ( Neotoma stephensi ) and a generalist ( Neotoma albigula )

Teri Orr, Smiljka Kitanovic, Katharina Schramm, Michele Skopec, Ross Wilderman, James Halpert, Denise Dearing, Teri J. Orr, Katharina M. Schramm, Michele M. Skopec, P. Ross Wilderman, James R. Halpert, M. Denise Dearing & M. Denise Dearing
Although herbivory is widespread among mammals, few species have adopted a strategy of dietary specialization. Feeding on a single plant species often exposes herbivores to high doses of similar plant secondary metabolites (PSMs), which may exceed the animal’s detoxification capacities. Therefore, theory predicts that specialists will have unique detoxification mechanisms to process high levels of dietary toxins. To evaluate this hypothesis, we compared liver metabolism of a juniper specialist, Neotoma stephensi (diet >85% juniper), to...
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