TITLE

Alpha-tocopherol and fatty acids of major browse plant species of black rhinoceros in the Great Fish River Reserve

AUTHOR(S)
Ndondo, I. B.; Wilhelmi, B. S.; Mabinya, L. V.; Brand, J. M.
PUB. DATE
April 2004
SOURCE
South African Journal of Wildlife Research;2004, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p87
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is an endangered species, and a number of these animals have been re-introduced into the Great Fish River Reserve where the vegetation is mostly succulent thorny shrub characterized by high species richness. Health problems have been observed in captive wild animals that may be linked to nutritional factors. In particular, vitamin E deficiency may result in diseases in the rhinoceros such as haemolytic anaemia and neurodegenerative disorders. Plant samples collected from the reserve were analysed for vitamin E and fatty acid profiles, as certain fatty acids may play a role in the absorption of vitamin E. Vitamin E content of the plant species studied was variable, with the highest amount of 729 μg/g dry weight found in Euclea undulata. The other plant species investigated had vitamin E levels between 100 and 700 μg/g dry weight. The fatty acid composition varied with plant species and season with the predominant fatty acids being C14, C16 and C18:3. Spring growth had higher levels of C14 fatty acid compared to the winter growth, and in winter, the levels of unsaturated fatty acids were higher than in spring. Generally, plants low in vitamin E had low levels of unsaturated fatty acids but no systematic relationship was found between vitamin E and total fatty acids.
ACCESSION #
14203203

 

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