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Forage silica and water content control dental surface texture in guinea pigs and provide implications for dietary reconstruction

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Abstract
Recent studies have shown that phytoliths are softer than dental enamel but still act as abrasive agents. Thus, phytolith content should be reflected in dental wear. Because native phytoliths show lower indentation hardness than phytoliths extracted by dry ashing, we propose that the hydration state of plant tissue will also affect dental abrasion. To assess this, we performed a controlled feeding experiment with 36 adult guinea pigs, fed exclusively with three different natural forages: lucerne, timothy grass, and bamboo with distinct phytolith/silica contents (lucerne < grass < bamboo). Each forage was fed in fresh or dried state for 3 weeks. We then performed 3D surface texture analysis (3DST) on the upper fourth premolar. Generally, enamel surface roughness increased with higher forage phytolith/silica content. Additionally, fresh and dry grass feeders displayed differences in wear patterns, with those of fresh grass feeders being similar to fresh and dry lucerne (phytolith-poor) feeders, supporting previous reports that "fresh grass grazers" show less abrasion than unspecialized grazers. Our results demonstrate that not only phytolith content but also properties such as water content can significantly affect plant abrasiveness, even to such an extent that wear patterns characteristic for dietary traits (browser-grazer differences) become indistinguishable.
Keywords
surface texture, tooth wear, microtexture, grazing, phytoliths, FEEDING ECOLOGY, WEAR, MICROWEAR, MAMMALS, GRASS, TEETH, VARIABILITY, PHYTOLITHS, MECHANICS, TRIBOLOGY

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Chicago
Winkler, Daniela E, Ellen Schulz-Kornas, Thomas M Kaiser, Annelies De Cuyper, Marcus Clauss, and Thomas Tütken. 2019. “Forage Silica and Water Content Control Dental Surface Texture in Guinea Pigs and Provide Implications for Dietary Reconstruction.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116 (4): 1325–1330.
APA
Winkler, D. E., Schulz-Kornas, E., Kaiser, T. M., De Cuyper, A., Clauss, M., & Tütken, T. (2019). Forage silica and water content control dental surface texture in guinea pigs and provide implications for dietary reconstruction. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 116(4), 1325–1330.
Vancouver
1.
Winkler DE, Schulz-Kornas E, Kaiser TM, De Cuyper A, Clauss M, Tütken T. Forage silica and water content control dental surface texture in guinea pigs and provide implications for dietary reconstruction. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2019;116(4):1325–30.
MLA
Winkler, Daniela E et al. “Forage Silica and Water Content Control Dental Surface Texture in Guinea Pigs and Provide Implications for Dietary Reconstruction.” PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 116.4 (2019): 1325–1330. Print.
@article{8591067,
  abstract     = {Recent studies have shown that phytoliths are softer than dental enamel but still act as abrasive agents. Thus, phytolith content should be reflected in dental wear. Because native phytoliths show lower indentation hardness than phytoliths extracted by dry ashing, we propose that the hydration state of plant tissue will also affect dental abrasion. To assess this, we performed a controlled feeding experiment with 36 adult guinea pigs, fed exclusively with three different natural forages: lucerne, timothy grass, and bamboo with distinct phytolith/silica contents (lucerne {\textlangle} grass {\textlangle} bamboo). Each forage was fed in fresh or dried state for 3 weeks. We then performed 3D surface texture analysis (3DST) on the upper fourth premolar. Generally, enamel surface roughness increased with higher forage phytolith/silica content. Additionally, fresh and dry grass feeders displayed differences in wear patterns, with those of fresh grass feeders being similar to fresh and dry lucerne (phytolith-poor) feeders, supporting previous reports that {\textacutedbl}fresh grass grazers{\textacutedbl} show less abrasion than unspecialized grazers. Our results demonstrate that not only phytolith content but also properties such as water content can significantly affect plant abrasiveness, even to such an extent that wear patterns characteristic for dietary traits (browser-grazer differences) become indistinguishable.},
  author       = {Winkler, Daniela E and Schulz-Kornas, Ellen and Kaiser, Thomas M and De Cuyper, Annelies and Clauss, Marcus and T{\"u}tken, Thomas},
  issn         = {0027-8424},
  journal      = {PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {1325--1330},
  title        = {Forage silica and water content control dental surface texture in guinea pigs and provide implications for dietary reconstruction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1814081116},
  volume       = {116},
  year         = {2019},
}

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