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Diet analysis of David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus) based on stable isotope technology

Citation

Zha, Jingjing; Wu, Yongbo; An, Yuting (2022), Diet analysis of David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus) based on stable isotope technology, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bvq83bkcd

Abstract

Faecal stable isotopic analysis is now commonly used to investigate diets of mammal herbivores as samples are easy to obtain and reveal short-term dietary trends. In the Jiangsu Dafeng David’s Deer National Nature Reserve, supplemental feed has been provided year round for free-ranging deer (Elaphurus davidianus) to survive from food shortages. Plant species are isotopically distinct in the free-ranging area. We assessed the plant species utilization by deer under supplemental feed condition. Diet-faeces trophic shift of deer was obtained in the semi-captive area. Faeces in both areas were collected and faecal δ13C values revealed more variable diets of free-ranging deer than semi-captive deer in different months. Mixing model showed that C4 plants were important food source for free-ranging deer when supplemental feed was provided. We suggest that efficiency and impacts of long-term supplemental feed should be considered for degraded habitat restoration.

Funding

National Key Research and Development Program of China, Award: 2016YFC0502704

Jiangsu Biological Priority Academic Construction Project

iangsu Forestry Technological Innovation and Project Promotion, Award: LYKJ[2019]24