Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2007
Publication Date: 7/1/2008
Citation: Anderson, D.M., Rayson, G.D. 2008. Fluorometry - an evolving methodology for range animal ecologists. In: Proceedings Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World. XXI International Grassland Congress, VIII International Rangeland Congress. June 30-July 5, 2008, Hohhot, China. p. 572.
Technical Abstract: Fluorometry is an optically based technique that has only recently (1996) been shown to be useful in identifying pre-as well as post-digested plant material found in free-ranging animal diets. This article traces the evolution of this methodology as a tool to determine the botanical composition, a key to understanding and subsequently managing range animal ecology. Several instruments have successfully been used as sources of illumination including a neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet laser, Xenon-arc lamps and most recently light emitting diodes (LED's). Furthermore, several organic and inorganic solvents have been used to extract fluorophores principally in the blue, green and red regions of the visible spectrum. The resulting data from the emission spectrums produced have been analyzed in a variety of ways to establish statistical differences among plant species and mixtures with multi-way principal component analysis (MPCA) appearing to hold the greatest promise in teasing apart differences among species and specie mixtures that have visually similar spectral signatures.