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NITROGEN CONCENTRATION OF STOMACH CONTENTS AS AN INDEX OF DIETARY NITROGEN FOR HISPID COTTON RATS (SIGMODON HISPIDUS)
Clark, J. E., J. L. Parsons, E. C. Hellgren, AND E E. Jorgensen*. NITROGEN CONCENTRATION OF STOMACH CONTENTS AS AN INDEX OF DIETARY NITROGEN FOR HISPID COTTON RATS (SIGMODON HISPIDUS). Presented at Annual Mtg. of the American Society of Mammalogists, Lubbock, TX, June 22 - 25, 2003.
To inform the public.
We examined the reliability of using nitrogen concentration of stomach contents from hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) as an index of diet nitrogen. Stomach contents of cotton rats fed diets varying in nitrogen concentration were analyzed for stomach nitrogen. Regression analysis revealed a positive linear relationship between stomach and dietary nitrogen, but the relationship was not 1:1. Thus, inverse estimation of the regression equation can be used to adjust for a lack of a 1:1 ratio and obtain more reliable and accurate estimates of diet quality. We conclude that nitrogen content of the stomach is a reliable index to diet quality for cotton rats and may have implications in nutritional studies of other small mammals.