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)
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)
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)
Synopsis We propose that the exploitation of the bioactive properties of secondary metabolites (SMs) by animals can provide a ''treatment'' against various challenges that perturb homeostasis in animals. The unified theoretical framework for the exploitation of SMs by animals is based on a synthesis of research from a wide range of fields and although it is(More)
The plant secondary metabolite papyriferic acid (PA) deters browsing by snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) on the juvenile developmental stage of the Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana). However, the physiological mechanism that reduces browsing remains unknown. We used pharmacological assays and molecular modeling to test the hypothesis that inhibition(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)
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)
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)
We describe some recent themes in the nutritional and chemical ecology of herbivores and the importance of a broad pharmacological view of plant nutrients and chemical defenses that we integrate as “Pharm-ecology”. The central role that dose, concentration, and response to plant components (nutrients and secondary metabolites) play in herbivore foraging(More)
For herbivores, nutrient intake is limited by the relatively low nutritional quality of plants and high concentrations of potentially toxic defensive compounds (plant secondary metabolites, PSMs) produced by many plants. In response to phytochemical challenges, some herbivores selectively forage on plants with higher nutrient and lower PSM concentrations(More)