Jennifer Sorensen Forbey

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Understanding dietary specialization in herbivores has theoretical and practical implications in ecology, yet defining niche breadth consistently has been problematic. To increase clarity and communication among ecologists and among disciplines (i.e., chemists, pharmacologists), we propose a specialization key for mammalian herbivores that assigns(More)
Animal habitat selection is a process that functions at multiple, hierarchically. structured spatial scales. Thus multi-scale analyses should be the basis for inferences about factors driving the habitat selection process. Vertebrate herbivores forage selectively on the basis of phytochemistry, but few studies have investigated the influence of selective(More)
Within our lakes, streams, estuaries, and oceans, there is an astounding chemodiversity of secondary metabolites produced by microbes, algae, and invertebrates. Nearly 30 years of study have yielded hundreds of examples in which secondary metabolites alter the foraging behavior or fitness of aquatic consumers, or both. However, our understanding of the(More)
The whitethroat woodrat (Neotoma albigula) eats juniper (Juniperus monosperma), but the amount of juniper in its diet varies seasonally. We tested whether changes in juniper consumption are due to changes in ambient temperature and what the physiological consequences of consuming plant secondary compounds (PSCs) at different ambient temperatures might be.(More)
For foraging herbivores, both food quality and predation risk vary across the landscape. Animals should avoid low-quality food patches in favour of high-quality ones, and seek safe patches while avoiding risky ones. Herbivores often face the foraging dilemma, however, of choosing between high-quality food in risky places or low-quality food in safe places.(More)
Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are one of only three vertebrates that subsist virtually exclusively on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), which contains high levels of monoterpenes that can be toxic. We examined the mechanisms used by specialist pygmy rabbits to eliminate 1,8-cineole, a monoterpene of sagebrush, and compared them with those of cottontail(More)
When selecting habitats, herbivores must weigh multiple risks, such as predation, starvation, toxicity, and thermal stress, forcing them to make fitness trade-offs. Here, we applied the method of paired comparisons (PC) to investigate how herbivores make trade-offs between habitat features that influence selection of food patches. The method of PC measures(More)
Small herbivores face risks of predation while foraging and are often forced to trade off food quality for safety. Life history, behaviour, and habitat of predator and prey can influence these trade-offs. We compared how two sympatric rabbits (pygmy rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis; mountain cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii) that differ in size, use of(More)
A central goal in understanding the ecology and evolution of animals is to identify factors that constrain or expand breadth of diet. Selection of diet in many animals is often constrained by chemical deterrents (i.e., secondary metabolites) in available food items. The integration of chemistry and ecology has led to a significant understanding of the(More)
When consuming plants, herbivores must deal with both low nutritional quality from cell wall constituents and potentially toxic plant secondary metabolites, which are often inversely related. Herbivores that consume a highly nutritious, but chemically defended plant, may consume high levels of toxins that require energy for detoxification. Alternatively,(More)