Effect of diet and assimilation efficiency on water balance for two desert rodents.

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Abstract

Differences in preformed water content and digestive assimilation efficiency of 3 diets has profound effects on energy balance and water balance in Peromyscus maniculatus and Perognathus parvus. Digestive assimilation efficiency was over 90% for millet, 85% for soy bean and 65% for bran. The assimilation efficiency was correlated with the fiber content of the diet. The daily energy assimilated by animals with ad lib. water was similar for all diets. Both species survived chronic water deprivation when consuming seed, but not when consuming soy bean or bran. Tolerance to water deprivation was inversely related to assimilation efficiency, attributed to the high fecal water loss of mice consuming soy bean or bran. Low digestive assimilation efficiency automatically precludes the concommitant maintenance of positive water and energy balance for animals without available drinking water.-from Authors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-384
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1982

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