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Description

The technique of alkanes to estimate dry matter intake (DMI) by wild and domestic herbivores has advanced considerably in the last 20 years (Dove and Mayes, 2006). Alkanes are long chain, saturated hydrocarbons present in the plant cuticle. They are relatively indigestible in the gastrointestinal tract and can be recuperated in the faeces. Compared to other markers normally used (e.g. chromium oxide, ytterbium), it is possible to determine simultaneously the external and internal marker in a unique analysis and to estimate digestibility, faecal excretion, DMI and diet composition (Dove and Mayes 1991). This is a great advantage of this technique to support studies of plant-animal interactions in rangeland environments.

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Use of N-Alkanes to Estimate the Intake of Beef Heifers on Natural Grassland in Southern Brazil

The technique of alkanes to estimate dry matter intake (DMI) by wild and domestic herbivores has advanced considerably in the last 20 years (Dove and Mayes, 2006). Alkanes are long chain, saturated hydrocarbons present in the plant cuticle. They are relatively indigestible in the gastrointestinal tract and can be recuperated in the faeces. Compared to other markers normally used (e.g. chromium oxide, ytterbium), it is possible to determine simultaneously the external and internal marker in a unique analysis and to estimate digestibility, faecal excretion, DMI and diet composition (Dove and Mayes 1991). This is a great advantage of this technique to support studies of plant-animal interactions in rangeland environments.