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Determination of dietary preferences of herbivores

Fundamental molecular data on the plant species of the Valley Bushveld of the Great Fish River Reserve (GFRR) will be collected, and the dietary preferences of the endangered Black Rhinoceros determined. The information will be used to assess the level of competition between the different large herbivores for plant resources when establishing land carrying capacity. Target plant DNA will be cloned and sequenced, and a database of target DNA sequences of indigenous plant species from the GFRR compiled. The sequence information will be used to identify plants preferentially browsed by large herbivores. Variable regions will be used to design a restriction fragment length analysis technique for the rapid identification of specific plant species from herbivore dung.

Last Modified :Thu, 02 May 2013 12:39:34 SAST