The application of near infrared spectroscopy to predict faecal nitrogen and phosphorus in multiple ruminant herbivore species

D. R. Tolleson, J. P. Angerer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was applied to determine faecal nitrogen and phosphorus using a temporo-spatially diverse dataset derived from multiple ruminant herbivore species (i.e. cattle, bison, deer, elk, goats, and sheep). Single-species NIRS calibrations have previously been developed to predict faecal constituents. Multi-species NIRS calibrations have previously been developed for herbivore faecal nitrogen but not for faecal phosphorus. Faecal samples representing a herd or flock composite were analysed via NIRS (400-2498 nm). Calibration sets for faecal nitrogen and phosphorus were developed from: (1) all samples from all six species, (2) all cattle samples only, (3) all samples except those from bison, (4) all samples except those from deer, (5) all samples except those from elk, (6) all samples except those from goats, and (7) all samples except those from sheep. Validation sample sets included: (1) each of the individual species (predicted with a cattle only-derived calibration), and (2) each of the individual species (other than cattle) predicted with a multi-species calibration constructed from all cattle samples plus those samples from the remaining four species (i.e. 'leave-one-out'). All multiple coefficient of determination (R2) values for faecal nitrogen calibrations were ≥0.97. Corresponding standard error of cross validation (SECV) values were ≤0.13. Validation simple coefficient of determination (r2) and standard error of prediction (SEP) of each alternate species using the cattle-derived calibration ranged from 0.76 to 0.84, and 0.28 to 0.5 respectively. Similar values for the sequential species leave-one-out validation for faecal nitrogen were 0.67 to 0.89, and 0.17 to 0.47 respectively. All R2 values for faecal phosphorus calibrations were ≥0.79 corresponding SECV were ≤0.14. Validation r2 and SEP of each alternate species using the cattle-derived phosphorus calibration were ≤0.63 and ≥0.13 respectively. Similar values for the sequential species leave-one-out validation were ≤0.66 and ≥0.22 respectively for faecal phosphorus. Multi-species faecal NIRS calibrations can be developed for monitoring applications in which determination of faecal nitrogen is appropriate, e.g. free-ranging herbivore nutrition, nitrogen deposition from animal faeces on rangelands with declining forage quality, or runoff from confined animal feeding operations. Similar calibrations for faecal phosphorus require additional research to ascertain their applicability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-423
Number of pages9
JournalRangeland Journal
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Environmental pollution
  • Faecal nutrients
  • Faeces
  • Herbivores
  • Monitoring
  • Near infrared spectroscopy
  • NIRS
  • Nitrogen
  • Nutritional status
  • Phosphorus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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