Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1333–1345

Essential Amino Acid Composition of Fleshy Fruits Versus Maintenance Requirements of Passerine Birds

  • Ido Izhaki
Article

Abstract

Nutritional analyses were performed on 27 fruit species that are eaten by frugivorous birds in east Mediterranean habitats in Israel. The essential amino acid (EAA) profile [compared by principal component analysis (PCA)] of these fruits indicated two distinct groups of fruits. The main group consisted of 23 species that were similar in their relatively low total EAA quantities and unbalanced EAA profiles. On average, the EAAs phenylalanine and tyrosine were most concentrated and histidine least (tryptophan was not measured). Comparing the relative amounts of EAAs in fruits with required amounts for maintenance of granivorous passerine birds revealed that these fruits are deficient in all or most EAAs. The sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine and cystine) were most limiting relative to the required amount (41–61% below requirement), while four others (arginine, lysine, isoleucine, and leucine) were severely deficient (30–37% below requirement). These results complement reports suggesting that frugivorous birds have lower total protein demands than granivores. The second group of four fruit species had relatively high total EAA contents. Each of these fruits appeared to contain especially large quantities of some EAAs, but it was uncertain whether some high concentrations could have resulted from interactions in the pulp during preparation and chemical analysis.

Frugivory essential amino acids protein fleshy fruits nutrition secondary compounds plant–animal interactions passerines 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Bairlein, F. 1987. Nutritional requirements for maintenance of body weight and fat deposition in the long–distance migratory garden warbler, Sylvia borin (Boddaert). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 86A:337–347.Google Scholar
  2. Barlein, F. 1991. Nutritional adaptations to fat deposition in the long–distance migratory garden warbler Sylvia borin. Acta XXth Cong. Int. Ornithol. 2149–2158.Google Scholar
  3. Bairlein, F. 1996. Fruit–eating birds and its nutritional consequences. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 113A:215–224.Google Scholar
  4. Barlein, F., and Gwinner, E. 1994. Nutritional mechanisms and temporal control of migratory energy accumulation in birds. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 14:187–215.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, D. H. 1977. Amino acid nutrition of the chick, pp. 299–335, in H. H. Draper (ed.). Advances in Nutritional Research, Vol. 1. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Barnea, A., Yomtov, Y., and Friedman, J. 1991. Does ingestion by birds affect seed germination? Funct. Ecol. 5:394–402.Google Scholar
  7. Berthold, P. B. 1976. The control and significance of animal and vegetable nutrition in omnivorous songbirds. Ardea 64:140–154.Google Scholar
  8. Earle, K. E., and Clarke, N. R. 1991. The nutrition of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). J. Nutr. 121:S186–S192.Google Scholar
  9. Elkin, R. G., and Griffith, J. E. 1985. Hydrolysate preparation for analysis of amino acids in sorghum grains: Effect of oxidative pretreatment. J. Assoc. Anal. Chem. 68:1117–1121.Google Scholar
  10. Evans, W. C. 1996. Treas and Evans' pharmacognosy. W. B. Saunders Company Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  11. Gehrke, C. W., Wall, L. L., Absheer, J. S., Kaiser, F. E., and Zumwalt, R. W. 1985. Sample preparation for chromatography of amino acids: Acid hydrolysis of proteins. J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem. 68:811–821.Google Scholar
  12. Grue–SØrensen, G., and Spenser, I. D. 1993. Biosynthesis of the Ephedra alkaloids evolution of the C–6–C–3 skeleton. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 115:2052–2054.Google Scholar
  13. Harper, A. E. 1964. Amino acid toxicities and imbalance, pp. 87–134 in H. N. Munro and J. B. Allison (eds.). Mammalian Protein Metabolism. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Herbst, L. H. 1986. The role of nitrogen from fruit pulp in the nutrition of the frugivorous bat Carollia perspicillata. Biotropica 18:39–44.Google Scholar
  15. Herrera, C. M., Jordano, P., Lopezsoria, L., and Amat, J. A. 1994. Recruitment of mastfruiting, bird–dispersed tree–bridging frugivore activity and seedling establishment. Ecol. Monogr. 64:315–344.Google Scholar
  16. Holt, N. W., and Sosulski, F. W. 1981. Nonprotein nitrogen contents of some grain legumes. Can. J. Plant. Sci. 61:515–523.Google Scholar
  17. Izhaki, I. 1986. Seed dispersal by birds in an east Mediterranean scrubland. PhD dissertation. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  18. Izhaki, I. 1992. A comparative analysis of nutritional quality of mixed and exclusive fruit diets for yellow–vented bulbuls. Condor 94:912–923.Google Scholar
  19. Izhaki, I. 1993. Influence of nonprotein nitrogen on estimation of protein from total nitrogen in fleshy fruits. J. Chem. Ecol. 19:2605–2615.Google Scholar
  20. Izhaki, I., and Safriel, U. N. 1985. Why do fleshy–fruit plants of the Mediterranean scrub intercept fall—but not spring—passage of seed–dispersing migratory birds? Oecologia 67:40–43.Google Scholar
  21. Izhaki, I., and Safriel, U. N. 1989. Why are there so few exclusive frugivorous birds? Experiments on fruit digestibility. Oikos 54:23–32.Google Scholar
  22. Izhaki, I., Walton, P., and Safriel, U. N. 1991. Seed shadows generated by frugivorous birds in an eastern Mediterranean scrub. J. Ecol. 79:579–590.Google Scholar
  23. Janzen, D. H. 1983. Insects, pp. 619–645, in D. H. Janzen (ed.). Costa Rican Natural History. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  24. Jordano, P. 1992. Fruits and frugivory, pp. 105–156, in M. Fenner (ed.). Seeds: The Ecology of Regeneration in Plant Communities. C.A.B. International, Willingford.Google Scholar
  25. Levey, D. 1987. Seed size and fruit–handling techniques of avian frugivores. Am. Nat. 129:471–485.Google Scholar
  26. Levey, D. 1988. Spatial and temporal variation in Costa Rican fruit and fruit–eating bird abundance. Ecol. Monogr. 58:251–269.Google Scholar
  27. Levey, D. J., and Karasov, W. H. 1989. Digestive responses of temperate birds switched to fruit or insect diets. Auk 106:675–686.Google Scholar
  28. Loiselle, B. A., and Blake, J. G. 1991. Resource abundance and temporal variation in fruit–eating birds along a wet forest elevational gradient in Costa Rica. Ecology 72:180–193.Google Scholar
  29. Mack, A. L. 1990. Is frugivory limited by secondary compounds in fruits? Oikos 57:135–138.Google Scholar
  30. Merritt, J. J. 1986. The dietary requirement for methionine and its distribution as influenced by diet in the dark–eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis). PhD dissertation. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.Google Scholar
  31. Milton, K., and Dintzis, F. R. 1981. Nitrogen–to–protein conversion factors for Tropical plant samples. Biotropica 13:177–181.Google Scholar
  32. Moss, R., and Parkinson, J. A. 1975. The digestion of bulbils (Polygonum viviparum) and berries (Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Empetrum sp.) by captive ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus). Br. J. Nutr. 33:197–206.Google Scholar
  33. Muramatsu, T. 1990. Nutrition and whole–body protein turnover in the chicken in relation to mammalian species. Nutr. Res. Rev. 3:211–228.Google Scholar
  34. Murphy, M. E. 1993. The essential amino acid requirements for maintenance in the white–crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii. Can. J. Zool. 71:2121–2130.Google Scholar
  35. Murphy, M. E. 1994. Dietary complementation by wild birds: Considerations for field studies. J. Bisoci. 19:355–368.Google Scholar
  36. Murphy, M. E. 1996. Nutrition and metabolism, pp. 31–60, in C. Carey (ed.). Avian Energetics and Nutritional Ecology. Chapman & Hall. New York.Google Scholar
  37. Murphy, M. E., and Pearcy, S. D. 1993. Dietary amino acid complementation as a foraging strategy for wild birds. Physiol. Behav. 53:689–698.Google Scholar
  38. National Research Council. 1984. Nutrient Requirements of Poultry, 8th ed. National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  39. Pannell, C. M., and Koziol, M. J. 1987. Ecological and phytochemical diversity of arillate seeds in Aglaia (Meliaceae): A study of vertebrate dispersal in tropical trees. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London B316:303–333.Google Scholar
  40. Parrish, J. W., and Martin, E. W. 1977. The effect of dietary lysine on the energy and nitrogen balance of the dark–eyed Junco. Condor 79:24–30.Google Scholar
  41. Robbins, C. T. 1993. Wildlife Feeding and Nutrition, 2nd ed. Academic Press, San Diego.Google Scholar
  42. Rogers, Q. R., and Leung, P. M. B. 1973. The influence of amino acids on the neuroregulation of food intake. Fed. Proc. 32:1709–1719.Google Scholar
  43. SAS. 1988. SAS User's Guide. SAS Institute, Inc. Cary, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  44. Sedinger, J. S. 1984. Protein and amino acid composition of tundra vegetation in relation to nutritional requirements of geese. J. Wildl. Manage. 48:1128–1136.Google Scholar
  45. Sedinger, J. S. 1990. Are plant secondary compounds responsible for negative apparent metabolizability of fruits by passerine birds? A comment on Izhaki and Safriel. Oikos 57:138–140.Google Scholar
  46. Simons, D., and Bairlein, F. 1990. Neue aspekte zur zugzeitlichen frugivorie der Gartengrasmucke (Sylvia borin). J. Ornithol. 131:381–402.Google Scholar
  47. Westerhaus, M. D. 1983. Evidence for the arginine requirement in the dark–eyed junco. PhD dissertation. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ido Izhaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Haifa at Oranim, TivonIsrael

Personalised recommendations