Quality Food (quality + food)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Development, growth, and egg production of Ageneotettix deorum (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in response to spider predation risk and elevated resource quality

Abstract., 1.,Predation risk to insects is often size- or stage-selective and usually decreases as prey grow. Any factor, such as food quality, that accelerates developmental and growth rates is likely to reduce the period over which prey are susceptible to size-dependent predation. 2.,Using field experiments, several hypotheses that assess growth, development, and egg production rates of the rangeland grasshopper Ageneotettix deorum (Scudder) were tested in response to combinations of food quality and predation risk from wolf spiders to investigate performance variation manifested through a behaviourally mediated path affecting food ingestion rates. 3.,Grasshoppers with nutritionally superior food completed development , 8,18% faster and grew 15,45% larger in the absence of spiders, in comparison with those subjected to low quality food exposed to spider predators. Growth and development did not differ for grasshoppers feeding on high quality food when predators were present in comparison with lower quality food unimpeded by predators. Responses indicated a compensatory relationship between resource quality and predation risk. 4.,Surviving grasshoppers produced fewer eggs compared with individuals not exposed to spiders. Because no differences were found in daily egg production rate regardless of predation treatment, lower egg production was attributed to delayed age of first reproduction. Results compare favourably with responses observed in natural populations. 5.,Risk of predation from spiders greatly reduced growth, development, and ultimately egg production. Increased food quality counteracts the impact of predation risk on grasshoppers through compensatory responses, suggesting that bottom-up factors mediate effects of spiders. [source]

Climatic effects on the breeding phenology and reproductive success of an arctic-nesting goose species

Abstract Climate warming is pronounced in the Arctic and migratory birds are expected to be among the most affected species. We examined the effects of local and regional climatic variations on the breeding phenology and reproductive success of greater snow geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica), a migratory species nesting in the Canadian Arctic. We used a long-term dataset based on the monitoring of 5447 nests and the measurements of 19 234 goslings over 16 years (1989,2004) on Bylot Island. About 50% of variation in the reproductive phenology of individuals was explained by spring climatic factors. High mean temperatures and, to a lesser extent, low snow cover in spring were associated with an increase in nest density and early egg-laying and hatching dates. High temperature in spring and high early summer rainfall were positively related to nesting success. These effects may result from a reduction in egg predation rate when the density of nesting geese is high and when increased water availability allows females to stay close to their nest during incubation recesses. Summer brood loss and production of young at the end of the summer increased when values of the summer Arctic Oscillation (AO) index were either very positive (low temperatures) or very negative (high temperatures), indicating that these components of the breeding success were most influenced by the regional summer climate. Gosling mass and size near fledging were reduced in years with high spring temperatures. This effect is likely due to a reduced availability of high quality food in years with early spring, either due to food depletion resulting from high brood density or a mismatch between hatching date of goslings and the timing of the peak of plant quality. Our analysis suggests that climate warming should advance the reproductive phenology of geese, but that high spring temperatures and extreme values of the summer AO index may decrease their reproductive success up to fledging. [source]

Three-dimensional MRI mapping of minimum temperatures achieved in microwave and conventional food processing

John R. Bows
Microbiological assurance protocols for food preservation are based on the ,worst-case' slowest heating point within the food product. For conduction-limited processing, this leads to well-known overheating near surface regions of products, with resultant quality loss. For volumetric heating processes such as microwave heating, it is practically impossible to guarantee where the slowest heating point will be. Consequently, microwave heating regimes are generally excessive and product quality is often similar to conventional conduction-limited heating processes. It is well known that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide three-dimensional (3D) images which quantify the spatial distribution of water in foods, and also that the MRI parameters of water are temperature dependent. The present study demonstrates that a combination of these two concepts has led to a new approach for the validation of thermal processing in food manufacture. The potential for on-line assurance of minimum and maximum temperatures for manufacture of microbiologically assured, minimally processed, high quality food is discussed. [source]

Longer guts and higher food quality increase energy intake in migratory swans

Jan A. Van Gils
Summary 1Within the broad field of optimal foraging, it is increasingly acknowledged that animals often face digestive constraints rather than constraints on rates of food collection. This therefore calls for a formalization of how animals could optimize food absorption rates. 2Here we generate predictions from a simple graphical optimal digestion model for foragers that aim to maximize their (true) metabolizable food intake over total time (i.e. including nonforaging bouts) under a digestive constraint. 3,The model predicts that such foragers should maintain a constant food retention time, even if gut length or food quality changes. For phenotypically flexible foragers, which are able to change the size of their digestive machinery, this means that an increase in gut length should go hand in hand with an increase in gross intake rate. It also means that better quality food should be digested more efficiently. 4These latter two predictions are tested in a large avian long-distance migrant, the Bewick's swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii), feeding on grasslands in its Dutch wintering quarters. 5Throughout winter, free-ranging Bewick's swans, growing a longer gut and experiencing improved food quality, increased their gross intake rate (i.e. bite rate) and showed a higher digestive efficiency. These responses were in accordance with the model and suggest maintenance of a constant food retention time. 6These changes doubled the birds' absorption rate. Had only food quality changed (and not gut length), then absorption rate would have increased by only 67%; absorption rate would have increased by only 17% had only gut length changed (and not food quality). 7The prediction that gross intake rate should go up with gut length parallels the mechanism included in some proximate models of foraging that feeding motivation scales inversely to gut fullness. We plea for a tighter integration between ultimate and proximate foraging models. [source]

The digestive tract and life history of small mammals

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 2 2002
ABSTRACT The type of food, differentiation of the large intestine and stomach, and methane production, as well as life history data, are considered in Insectivora, Rodentia and Lagomorpha. When food containing plant cell wall material is eaten, there is either a differentiation of the stomach or the large intestine. In animals with low body mass and little differentiation of the gastrointestinal tract, methane production is low, but structures essential for microbial digestion of plant cell wall material, such as haustration of the colon or formation of a caecum, can be found in many methane-producers. Animals with a body mass < 500 g and a weaning time < 20 days are non-producers of methane. Establishment of a balanced microbial population in the gastrointestinal tract requires some time. Many non-producers of methane wean their young in < 10 days, but many producers need > 50 days for the weaning process. Caviomorpha, Thryonomyidae and Hystricidae seem to have ,opened the door' to the use of low quality food by microbial fermentation, but some of them have to ,pay' for this extension of the food range by an extended weaning period, which also means an extended dependency on the mother. [source]

Combined Effects of Host Plant Quality and Predation on a Tropical Lepidopteran: A Comparison between Treefall Gaps and the Understory in Panama

BIOTROPICA, Issue 6 2008
Lora A. Richards
ABSTRACT In tropical forests, light-gaps created from treefalls are a frequent source of habitat heterogeneity. The increase in productivity, through gap formation, can alter food quality, predation and their impact on insect herbivores. We hypothesized that in gaps, herbivores would be less resource-limited and more predator limited, whereas in the understory, we predicted the reverse. In this study, we investigate the combined effects of food quality and predation on the lepidopteran larva Zunacetha annulata feeding on its host plant Hybanthus prunifolius in two habitats; sunny treefall gaps and the shaded understory in Panama. In bioassays, Z. annulata feeding on sun leaves ate 22 percent less leaf area, grew 25 percent faster, and had higher pupal weights than larvae feeding on shade leaves. However, shade leaves had higher nitrogen content and specific leaf area. In gaps, predation was 26.4 percent compared to 13.8 percent in the understory. Larvae on understory plants traveled greater distances and spent more time searching and traveling than larvae on gap plants. These differences in behavior are consistent with lower predation risk and lower quality food in the understory. Using data from bioassays and field experiments we calculated 0.22 percent and 1.02 percent survival to adulthood for larvae in gaps and the understory, respectively. In conclusion, although these habitats were in close proximity, we found that larvae in the understory are more resource-limited and larvae in gaps are more predator limited. [source]