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Morphoguilds identification as an approach to the study of resource partitioning in assemblages of terrestrial carnivores | Identificación de morfogremios como aproximación al estudio de reparto de recursos en ensambles de carnívoros terrestres

AuthorsZapata, Sonia C.; Travaini, Alejandro ; Delibes, M. ; Martínez-Peck, Rolando
Issue Date2008
PublisherSociedad Argentina para el Estudio de los Mamíferos
CitationMastozoologia Neotropical 15: 85- 101 (2008)
AbstractWe used an ecomorphological approach to examine trophic diversity in two terrestrial carnivore assemblages: one from NE Santa Cruz province (Argentinean Patagonia), and the other from Doñana National Park (SO Spain). We selected 16 measures related with the shape and size of carnivore mandibles and teeth. Measures were used deriving morphometric (dental and mandible) ratios which allowed us to quantify the proportion of dental structures related with grinding function as opposed to slicing function, and different aspects of mandibular shape related with the moment arm of muscles responsible to the biting and chewing strength. Ratios were used as axes of three dimensional graphs (morphospaces) where the potential diet diversity of the different predators could be inferred (morphoguilds). Carnivore species from Santa Cruz and Doñana were grouped in the morphospace in 4 and 3 morphoguilds respectively, following a carnivory-omnivory-insectivory/herbivory gradient. In general, the morphological pattern was similar in both assemblages. Felids and mustelids with a specialized dental pattern for consumption of meat, cluster in one of the extremes of the morphospace; mustelids with specialized dental patterns for grinding invertebrates and vegetal materials, score in the opposite side; and the rest of species, with generalized dental patterns, scatter in the center. The last group of species belongs to different families of the Order such as canids, viverrids and herpestids. The relative position of each species in the morphospace and previous information of their diets were used to infer resource partitioning among them. ©SAREM, 2008.
Identifiersissn: 0327-9383
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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