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Seasonal variation in water flux, field metabolic rate and food consumption of free-ranging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Citation

Ellis, WAH and Meltzer, A and Green, B and Newgrain, K and Hindell, MA and Carrick, FN, Seasonal variation in water flux, field metabolic rate and food consumption of free-ranging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), Australian Journal of Zoology, 43, (1) pp. 59-68. ISSN 0004-959X (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/ZO9950059

Abstract

Mass-corrected field metabolic rates of free-ranging male koalas in central Queensland, Australia, varied between 0.329 MJ kg0.75day-1in summer and 0.382 MJ kg0.75day-1in winter. Field water influx measured 50.8 mL kg0.8day-1in winter, increasing to 59.9 mL kg0.8day-1in summer for the same koalas, and was positively correlated with values for leaf moisture of food. Winter rates of water influx for koalas from Springsure were lower than those recorded for koalas from Victoria for the same period of the year. Mass-corrected feeding rates were lower in summer than winter; wet food intake was significantly lower than reported for similar sized female koalas from Victoria. The preferred browse was Eucalyptus crebra in winter and E. tereticornis in summer. Our study indicates that in central Queensland seasonal changes in diet selection by male koalas reflect increased energy requirements in winter and increased water requirements in summer. © 1995 CSIRO.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial Ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:4166
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-22
Downloads:0

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