We sought to determine whether changes in chemical composition could be a factor in increased utilization of red alder (Alnus rubra) by the two cervids, the Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) and Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti), during the fall in parts of the Douglas fir region of the Pacific Northwest. We found that concentrations and astringency of phenolic compounds decreased from spring through fall, while crude protein content remained high. We conclude that red alder leaves provide a significant source of digestible protein for cervids during fall, when availability of nutrients in most forage species is generally declining.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Seasonal variation in concentrations of fiber, crude protein, and phenolic compounds in leaves of red alder (Alnus rubra): Nutritional implications for cervids|
|Series title||Journal of Chemical Ecology|
|Contributing office(s)||Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center|