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A mechanistic understanding of repellent function against mammalian herbivores

Stutz, Rebecca S. and Verschuur, Louisan and Verschuur, Louisanne and Leimar, Olof and Alm Bergvall, Ulrika (2019). A mechanistic understanding of repellent function against mammalian herbivores. Ecological processes. 8 , 25
[Research article]

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Abstract

BackgroundBrowsing repellents are widely used to deter large herbivores from consuming plants of ecological, economic and aesthetic importance. Understanding how these repellents function on a behavioural mechanistic level is critical to predicting effectiveness. Here, we illustrate how these mechanisms can be tested, by exposing a model mammalian herbivore, the fallow deer, to different concentrations of a commercial chemical repellent (HaTe2) in two-choice feeding trials.ResultsThe repellent acted as a defensive chemical for the food by both reducing visitation and the amount consumed. Deer favoured the less defended feeders before ingesting any food, suggesting that the repellent altered olfactory and/or visual cues. Deer also consumed less of the more defended food when choosing between low and high repellent feeders than no and low repellent feeders, indicating that the repellent modified flavour and/or sensation. Repellent effectiveness declined with increased exposure, suggesting that consumption had no negative post-ingestive effects, and thus, deterrence was not caused by a conditioned aversion or irritation. Instead, this pattern suggests that deer learned, through repeated sampling of repellent-treated food, that there was no adverse physiological effect of ingesting it.ConclusionsThese results imply that HaTe2 repellent will not be effective over prolonged periods or in the absence of alternative untreated food. Understanding the mechanisms driving repellent function using two-choice trials could help practitioners decide whether a particular repellent is likely to be effective against mammalian herbivory in their management scenario.

Authors/Creators:Stutz, Rebecca S. and Verschuur, Louisan and Verschuur, Louisanne and Leimar, Olof and Alm Bergvall, Ulrika
Title:A mechanistic understanding of repellent function against mammalian herbivores
Series Name/Journal:Ecological processes
Year of publishing :2019
Volume:8
Article number:25
Number of Pages:8
Publisher:SPRINGER
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:Browse, Foraging decisions, Forestry, Ungulate, Wildlife damage
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112398
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112398
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1186/s13717-019-0179-3
Web of Science (WoS)000473605600001
ID Code:24557
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:17 Jun 2021 11:23
Metadata Last Modified:17 Jun 2021 11:31

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