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Assessment of the Food Habits of the Moroccan Dorcas Gazelle in M'Sabih Talaa, West Central Morocco, Using the trnL Approach

Abstract : Food habits of the Moroccan dorcas gazelle, Gazella dorcas massaesyla, previously investigated in the 1980s using microhistological fecal analysis, in the M'Sabih Talaa Reserve, west central Morocco, were re-evaluated over three seasons (spring, summer and autumn 2009) using the trnL approach to determine the diet composition and its seasonal variation from fecal samples. Taxonomic identification was carried out using the identification originating from the database built from EMBL and the list of plant species within the reserve. The total taxonomic richness in the reserve was 130 instead of 171 species in the 1980s. The diet composition revealed to be much more diversified (71 plant taxa belonging to 57 genus and 29 families) than it was 22 years ago (29 identified taxa). Thirty-four taxa were newly identified in the diet while 13 reported in 1986-87 were not found. Moroccan dorcas gazelle showed a high preference to Acacia gummifera, Anagallis arvensis, Glebionis coronaria, Cladanthus arabicus, Diplotaxis tenuisiliqua, Erodium salzmannii, Limonium thouini, Lotus arenarius and Zizyphus lotus. Seasonal variations occurred in both number (40-41 taxa in spring-summer and 49 taxa in autumn vs. respectively 23-22 and 26 in 1986-1987) and taxonomic type of eaten plant taxa. This dietary diversification could be attributed either to the difference in methods of analysis, trnL approach having a higher taxonomic resolution, or a potential change in nutritional quality of plants over time.
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Moulay Abdeljalil Ait Baamrane, Wasim Shehzad, Ahmed Ouhammou, Abdelaziz Abbad, Mohamed Naimi, et al.. Assessment of the Food Habits of the Moroccan Dorcas Gazelle in M'Sabih Talaa, West Central Morocco, Using the trnL Approach. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2012, 7 (4), pp.e35643. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0035643⟩. ⟨insu-00845142⟩



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