Ammonotely in a neotropical frugivorous bat as energy intake decreases

L. Gerardo Herrera M., Jazmin Osorio Mendoza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We tested the role of increased ammonia in urine as an energy- and/or nitrogen (N)-saving mechanism in the great fruit-eating bat Artibeus lituratus (Phyllostomidae). We compared N excretion in two groups of bats fed energy-rich (2.75 kJ g–1 wet mass) or energy-poor diets (0.7 kJ g–1 wet mass). Within each diet, bats were assigned to different N contents. In order to function as an energy-saving mechanism, ammonia production should increase with decreasing energy intake. To function as an N-saving mechanism, ammonia production should increase with decreasing N intake. Because we varied both diet energy density and N content, our study design allowed us to test these two possibilities simultaneously. Bats had higher food intake rate and, consequently, higher N intake rate on the energy-poor diet, but energy intake rate was lower. Most bats on the energy-rich diet were ureotelic whereas on the energy-poor diet bats were ureotelic, ammonotelic or ureo-ammonotelic. Bats fed the energy-poor diet had a higher excretion rate of ammonia and a higher percent of N excreted as ammonia. Percent N ammonia and ammonia excretion rate were inversely related to energy intake, but they were not related to N intake. By favoring ammonia production over urea, bats on the energy-poor diet may save up to 1% of their basal metabolic rate. Consumption of energy-dilute fruits by fruit bats might affect the way in which N wastes are excreted, favoring the excretion of ammonia N when food intake is accompanied by the ingestion of large volumes of water.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3775-3781
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume214
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Energy Intake
bat
Ammonia
Chiroptera
energy intake
ammonia
Diet
energy
diet
excretion
Eating
Fruit
fruits
food intake
fruit
ingestion
Phyllostomidae
Basal Metabolism
basal metabolic rate
energy density

Keywords

  • ammonia
  • Artibeus lituratus
  • bat physiology
  • nitrogen requirements
  • nitrogen excretion
  • urea

Cite this

Ammonotely in a neotropical frugivorous bat as energy intake decreases. / Herrera M., L. Gerardo ; Osorio Mendoza, Jazmin.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 214, No. 22, 2011, p. 3775-3781.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herrera M., L. Gerardo ; Osorio Mendoza, Jazmin. / Ammonotely in a neotropical frugivorous bat as energy intake decreases. In: Journal of Experimental Biology. 2011 ; Vol. 214, No. 22. pp. 3775-3781.
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