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Dental microwear foraging ecology of a large browsing ruminant in Northern Hemisphere: The European moose (Alces alces)

Abstract : Years of studies have already highlighted the complex combination, in moose feeding ecology, of a marked selectivity coupled with a significant dietary adaptability toward changes in the local resource availability. Dental textures resulting from masticatory movements and the properties of ingested food items constitute a link between the animal, its ecology and the environment it occupies. This approach is efficient to decipher subtle variations in diet, at the interspecific but also intra-populational scales. In this study, we explore inter and intra population dietary variations among six Northern European moose populations using DMTA. We show that moose feeding ecology spans a continuum between a diet dominated by tender leaves and a diet consisting of lignified tissues. The structure of habitats is the main driver of these dietary differences between populations. The absence of significant variation between males and females or between seasons is interpreted as a reflection of the food selectivity of this deer on a finer scale. The moose has a long common history with humans, constituting at certain times and in certain places the main food resource of these populations, adapting in other contexts and at other times to the repercussions of increasing anthropization and global climate change. We aim here at characterizing the dental microwear texture diversity hidden within the “browsing” dietary category. This work is also intended to be used as a reference for future paleontological or archeological investigations. We believe that it will contribute to a better understanding of the(paleo)ecology of the species and of the variations in its feeding ecology through time.
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Contributor : Olivier Bignon-Lau Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 1:29:49 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 3:40:34 AM


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Emilie Berlioz, Charlotte Leduc, Emilia Hofman-Kamińska, Olivier Bignon-Lau, Rafał Kowalczyk, et al.. Dental microwear foraging ecology of a large browsing ruminant in Northern Hemisphere: The European moose (Alces alces). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Elsevier, In press, ⟨10.1016/j.palaeo.2021.110754⟩. ⟨hal-03435143⟩



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