Publications by authors named "Maurizio Ramanzin"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Climate change and anthropogenic food manipulation interact in shifting the distribution of a large herbivore at its altitudinal range limit.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 7;11(1):7600. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Ungulates in alpine ecosystems are constrained by winter harshness through resource limitation and direct mortality from weather extremes. However, little empirical evidence has definitively established how current climate change and other anthropogenic modifications of resource availability affect ungulate winter distribution, especially at their range limits. Here, we used a combination of historical (1997-2002) and contemporary (2012-2015) Eurasian roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) relocation datasets that span changes in snowpack characteristics and two levels of supplemental feeding to compare and forecast probability of space use at the species' altitudinal range limit. Scarcer snow cover in the contemporary period interacted with the augmented feeding site distribution to increase the elevation of winter range limits, and we predict this trend will continue under climate change. Moreover, roe deer have shifted from historically using feeding sites primarily under deep snow conditions to contemporarily using them under a wider range of snow conditions as their availability has increased. Combined with scarcer snow cover during December, January, and April, this trend has reduced inter-annual variability in space use patterns in these months. These spatial responses to climate- and artificial resource-provisioning shifts evidence the importance of these changing factors in shaping large herbivore spatial distribution and, consequently, ecosystem dynamics.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86720-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8027592PMC
April 2021

A multi-kingdom metabarcoding study on cattle grazing Alpine pastures discloses intra-seasonal shifts in plant selection and faecal microbiota.

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 13;11(1):889. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Agronomy Food Natural Resources Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Campus of Agripolis, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020, Legnaro, Padova, Italy.

Diet selection by grazing livestock may affect animal performance as well as the biodiversity of grazed areas. Recent DNA barcoding techniques allow to assess dietary plant composition in faecal samples, which may be additionally integrated by the description of gut microbiota. In this high throughput metabarcoding study, we investigated the diversity of plant, fungal and bacterial taxa in faecal samples of lactating cows of two breeds grazing an Alpine semi-natural grassland during summer. The estimated plant composition of the diet comprised 67 genera and 39 species, which varied remarkably during summer, suggesting a decline of the diet forage value with the advancing of the vegetative season. The fungal community included Neocallimastigomycota gut symbionts, but also Ascomycota and Basidiomycota plant parasite and coprophilous taxa, likely ingested during grazing. The proportion of ingested fungi was remarkably higher than in other studies, and varied during summer, although less than that observed for plants. Some variation related to breed was also detected. The gut bacterial taxa remained stable through the summer but displayed a breed-specific composition. The study provided insights in the reciprocal organisms' interactions affecting, and being affected by, the foraging behaviour: plants showed a high temporal variation, fungi a smaller one, while bacteria had practically none; conversely, the same kingdoms showed the opposite gradient of variation as respect to the animal host breed, as bacteria revealed to be the group mostly characterized by host-specificity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79474-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806629PMC
January 2021

Effect of Feeding Adaptation of Italian Simmental Cows before Summer Grazing on Animal Behavior and Milk Characteristics.

Animals (Basel) 2020 May 11;10(5). Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy.

According to the alpine transhumance system, dairy cows are moved from indoor feeding with conserved forage to fresh herbage feeding on pasture. The aim of this study was to assess, as a feeding adaptation technique, the effect of a gradual inclusion of fresh herbage in the diet of Italian Simmental dairy cows before their transfer to alpine pasture on performance, behavior, and milk characteristics. Eighteen cows were assigned to three groups: animals transferred to alpine pasture with a 10-d feeding adaptation period consisting in gradual access to a pasture close to the valley farm (GT), animals transferred to alpine pasture without a feeding adaptation period (AT), and animals kept in the valley farm (IND). During the first two weeks of summer grazing, GT and AT showed higher rumination time and different concentrations of ketones, hydrocarbons, organic acids, toluene, alcohols, phenols, and dimethyl sulfone in milk as compared to IND, whereas no differences were found in milk yield, composition, or coagulation properties. No differences between GT and AT were evident for the studied variables. The feeding adaptation technique used in this study did not influence the performance and milk characteristics of Italian Simmental dairy cows grazing on alpine pasture.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10050829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278462PMC
May 2020

Predicting herbivore faecal nitrogen using a multispecies near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy calibration.

PLoS One 2017 28;12(4):e0176635. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Ruminant Research Group, Departament de Ciència Animal i dels Aliments, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

Optimal management of free-ranging herbivores requires the accurate assessment of an animal's nutritional status. For this purpose 'near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy' (NIRS) is very useful, especially when nutritional assessment is done through faecal indicators such as faecal nitrogen (FN). In order to perform an NIRS calibration, the default protocol recommends starting by generating an initial equation based on at least 50-75 samples from the given species. Although this protocol optimises prediction accuracy, it limits the use of NIRS with rare or endangered species where sample sizes are often small. To overcome this limitation we tested a single NIRS equation (i.e., multispecies calibration) to predict FN in herbivores. Firstly, we used five herbivore species with highly contrasting digestive physiologies to build monospecies and multispecies calibrations, namely horse, sheep, Pyrenean chamois, red deer and European rabbit. Secondly, the equation accuracy was evaluated by two procedures using: (1) an external validation with samples from the same species, which were not used in the calibration process; and (2) samples from different ungulate species, specifically Alpine ibex, domestic goat, European mouflon, roe deer and cattle. The multispecies equation was highly accurate in terms of the coefficient of determination for calibration R2 = 0.98, standard error of validation SECV = 0.10, standard error of external validation SEP = 0.12, ratio of performance to deviation RPD = 5.3, and range error of prediction RER = 28.4. The accuracy of the multispecies equation to predict other herbivore species was also satisfactory (R2 > 0.86, SEP < 0.27, RPD > 2.6, and RER > 8.1). Lastly, the agreement between multi- and monospecies calibrations was also confirmed by the Bland-Altman method. In conclusion, our single multispecies equation can be used as a reliable, cost-effective, easy and powerful analytical method to assess FN in a wide range of herbivore species.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176635PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409079PMC
September 2017

Variation of milk coagulation properties, cheese yield, and nutrients recovery in curd of cows of different breeds before, during and after transhumance to highland summer pastures.

J Dairy Res 2017 Feb 3;84(1):39-48. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE),University of Padova,Viale dell' Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, PD,Italy.

This paper aimed at evaluating the effect of summer transhumance to mountain pastures of dairy cows of different breeds on cheese-making ability of milk. Data were from 649 dairy cows of specialized (Holstein Friesian and Brown Swiss) dual purpose (Simmental) and local (mostly Rendena and Alpine Grey) breeds. The Fourier-Transform Infra-Red Spectra (FTIRS) of their milk samples were collected before and after transhumance in 109 permanent dairy farms, and during transhumance in 14 summer farms (with multi-breeds herds) of the Trento Province, north-eastern Italy. A variety of 18 traits describing milk coagulation, curd firming, cheese yield and nutrients recovery in curd/loss in whey were predicted on the basis of FTIRS collected at the individual cow level. Moving the cows to summer farms improved curd firming traits but reduced cheese yields because of an increase of water and fat lost in the whey. During summer grazing, most of cheese-making traits improved, often non-linearly. The milk from summer farms supplementing cows with more concentrates showed better curd firming and cheese yield, because of lower fat lost in the whey. The breed of cows affected almost all the traits with a worst cheese-making ability for milk samples of Holsteins through all the trial, and interacted with concentrate supplementation because increasing compound feed tended to improve cheese-making traits for all breed, with the exception of local breeds for coagulation time and of Brown Swiss for curd firming time. In general, summer transhumance caused a favourable effect on cheese-making aptitude of milk, even though with some difference according to parity, initial days in milk, breed and concentrate supplementation of cows.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029916000583DOI Listing
February 2017

Lungworms in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) in the eastern Alps, Italy: An ecological approach.

Vet Parasitol 2015 Nov 30;214(1-2):132-8. Epub 2015 Sep 30.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Viale dell'Università, 16, 35020 Legnaro, PD, Italy.

Host-parasite relationships have been frequently investigated in mountain dwelling ungulates, though mostly focusing on gastrointestinal nematodes. On the contrary, very few studies were conducted on broncopulmonary nematodes, which may result in severe parenchymal lesions and act as predisposing factor for multifactorial pneumonia. The epidemiological and ecological features of lungworms infecting an Alpine ibex population in the Eastern Alps, Italy, were non-invasively investigated by means of a modified Baermann technique with an original quantitative methodology. Out of a total of 269 samples collected monthly from July to November 2013 and from July to October 2014, 212 (78.8%) were positive for Muellerius and 26 (9.7%) for Protostrongylus, whereas Neostrongylus and Cystocaulus were less prevalent (4.1% and 0.7%, respectively). None of the investigated samples tested positive for dictyocaulids. The genus Muellerius showed the highest larval output intensity (134.2 L1/g), followed by Protostrongylus with 33.8 L1/g. A contrasting age-related pattern of Muellerius and Protostrongylus was revealed, with the former significantly more prevalent and abundant in adult animals, while the latter in kids. Due to the limited accessibility of the study area during winter and spring, it was difficult to describe clear seasonal trends in larval output, although Muellerius showed a minimum in the late summer and a rise in the autumn. The newly developed diagnostic method showed a fair repeatability, thus representing an interesting tool to investigate the ecology of lungworms in protected species, such as the A. ibex. Based on results, ibex in the Marmolada massif seem to have an ecologically stable relationship with their lungworm community.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.09.026DOI Listing
November 2015