Food Selection of a Tropical Mammalian Folivore in Relation to Leaf-Nutrient Content Academic Article uri icon


  • Kerodon rupestris, a folivorous rodent endemic to the Caatinga of Brazil, exhibits complex modifications of diet in response to changes in the absolute abundance of ten food species when their relative abundances remain equal. Regardless of the taxonomic composition of the diet, the proportional representation of 11 nutrients (but not Na) was constant during phases of low and high abundance of foods. Uptake of Na increased by a factor of 2.84, even though total consumption increased only by a factor of 2.04. Nitrogen, Ca and K contributed significantly to food selection. Sodium may constrain the maximization of other essential dietary elements; it may play a role in the water balance of this arid-land rodent. -from Authors

author list (cited authors)

  • Willig, M. R., & Lacher, T. E.

citation count

  • 22

publication date

  • May 1991