Original Research

Diets of impala from Kruger National Park: evidence from stable carbon isotopes

M. Sponheimer, C.C. Grant, D.J. de Ruiter, J.A. Lee-Thorp, D.M. Codron, J. Codron
Koedoe | Vol 46, No 1 | a43 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v46i1.43 | © 2003 M. Sponheimer, C.C. Grant, D.J. de Ruiter, J.A. Lee-Thorp, D.M. Codron, J. Codron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2003 | Published: 17 December 2003

About the author(s)

M. Sponheimer, University of Cape Town, South Africa
C.C. Grant, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
D.J. de Ruiter, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
J.A. Lee-Thorp, University of Cape Town, South Africa
D.M. Codron, University of Cape Town, South Africa
J. Codron, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text:

PDF (191KB)

Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Impala are known to exhibit dietary flexibility, relying primarily on browse in some areas and graze in others. In this study we use stable isotope analysis of faeces and hair to examine the diets of Impala in Kruger National Park. As expected, the data show that Impala are mixed-feeders and highly distinct from grazing buffalo and browsing kudu. Moreover, Impala, Buffalo, and Kudu faeces contain 2.1 %, 1.4 %, and 2.9 % nitrogen respectively, suggesting that Impala diets are of intermediate quality. There are also marked differences between Impala populations in the northern and southern regions of the park. The northern Impala graze less than their southern counterparts. This difference probably reflects decreased availability of herbaceous forage in the mopane-dominated north. Males and females also have different diets, with males grazing more than females.

Keywords

Impala; Carbon isotopes; Faeces; Hair; Diet

Metrics

Total abstract views: 3502
Total article views: 4379

 

Crossref Citations

1. Applications of stable isotopes to study plant-animal relationships in terrestrial ecosystems
Jianzhu Wang, Guanghui Lin, Jianhui Huang, Xingguo Han
Chinese Science Bulletin  vol: 49  issue: 22  first page: 2339  year: 2004  
doi: 10.1007/BF03183419