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A comparative analysis of food-niche relationships and trophic guild structure in two assemblages of vertebrate predators differing in species richness: causes, correlations, and consequences

AuthorsJaksic, Fabian M.; Delibes, M.
Issue Date1987
CitationOecologia 71: 461- 472 (1987)
AbstractWe conducted a comparative analysis of foodniche relationships and trophic guild structure in two assemblages of vertebrate predators (including hawks, owls, snakes, and carnivores) living in similar habitats of Chile and Spain, which differed in species richness (11 and 25 predator species, respectively), to explore how the structure of predator assemblages reflects an increase (or decrease) in the number of coexisting species. Our results indicate that the Spanish assemblage appears enriched by the symmetrical >addition> of species with disparately large and small values of body weight, diet breadth, and mean prey size, around the same median value found in Chile. Or, alternatively, the Chilean assemblage appears impoverished by the symmetrical >loss> of peripheral species - those at both tails of the frequency distribution of the above trophic estimators. Spanish predators overlap less extensively among themselves, and with smaller variance, than Chilean predators. Consequently, the higher predator richness in Spain is not ascribable to their narrower diet breadths or more extensive diet overlaps as predicted by some theoretical models. Instead, it is associated with a more spread-out use of the available resources. Trophic guilds can be recognized in the two countries, but in Spain guilds are less tightly packed. Some taxomically unrelated species are close diet analogues between Spain and Chile, whereas some closely related species cannot be matched well between countries. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the presence of some trophic guilds and of some specialist predators in either country is based on the high abundance attained by some particular prey types. © 1987 Springer-Verlag.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/BF00378722
issn: 0029-8549
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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