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Analysis of trophic structure of two carnivore assemblages by means of guild identification

AutorZapata, Sonia C.; Travaini, Alejandro ; Ferreras, Pablo ; Delibes, M.
Palabras claveDiet overlap
Community structure
Resource use
Doñana National Park
Fecha de publicación2007
CitaciónEur J Wildl Res (2007) 53:276–286
ResumenWe evaluated the existence of trophic guild struc- ture, considering seasonal and annual variation, in two terrestrial carnivore assemblages: one from Santa Cruz province (Argentinean Patagonia, composed by six carni- vore species), and the other from Doñana National Park (SW Spain, composed by five carnivore species). To identify trophic guilds, we first studied seasonal and annual diets of predators, calculated trophic overlap among species pairs, and then constructed overlap matrices (similarity matrices). We determined guild membership objectively by entering the similarity matrices into the clustering technique un- weighted pair-group method with arithmetic averaging. Carnivores from both assemblages were grouped, respec- tively, into four feeding guilds. Lagomorphs and rodents promoted the formation of two feeding guilds in both study sites, although the taxonomic composition of predator species that composed them was different. The ungulates- edentates feeding guild was only present at Santa Cruz, whereas the birds and reptiles feeding guild was only present at Doñana. Invertebrates and fruits were the base for the formation of a guild composed by species of the same taxonomic origin both in Santa Cruz and Doñana. Guild structure of Santa Cruz and Doñana assemblages did not exhibit seasonal or annual variation, although the specific guild composition changed over the two studied periods for both assemblages. This structure probably responded to discontinuities in resource spectra in Santa Cruz and fluctuations in rabbit abundance in Doñana. Our results support the hypothesis that establishes that guilds are originated by opportunistic convergence of species on abundant and energetically rewarding resources
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10344-007-0095-1
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