Washington State University

Dr. John Bassman and his colleagues conducted studies focused on the effects of enhanced UV-B on secondary chemistry in forage species, and the consequences for nutrition of specialist and generalist mammalian herbivores. The objectives of the studies were to: (1) determine the effects of enhanced solar UV-B radiation on the concentration of key classes of secondary compounds from both the shikimate acid and mevalonic acid pathways in forage species with inherently different levels of these compounds; (2) identify selected key compounds of potential importance to herbivore nutrition where changes were significant; (3) quantify effects of enhanced UV-B on nutritional quality of these same forage species for a specialist and generalist mammalian herbivore through preference, intake and digestibility; and (4) relate changes in secondary plant chemistry to nutritional responses.

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