Let's go beyond taxonomy in diet description: testing a trait-based approach to prey-predator relationships

Type Article
Date 2014-09
Language English
Author(s) Spitz Jerome1, 2, Ridoux Vincent3, 4, Brind'Amour Anik5
Affiliation(s) 1 : UMR 7266 Univ La Rochelle CNRS, Littoral Environm & Soc, F-17042 La Rochelle, France.
2 : Univ British Columbia, Fisheries Ctr, Marine Mammal Res Unit, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
3 : CNRS Univ La Rochelle, UMS 3462, Observ PELAGIS Syst Observat Conservat Mammiferes, F-17071 La Rochelle, France.
4 : Univ La Rochelle CNRS, UMR 7372, Ctr Etud Biol Chize La Rochelle, F-79360 Villiers En Bois, France.
5 : IFREMER, Dept Ecol & Modeles Halieut, F-44311 Nantes, France.
Source Journal Of Animal Ecology (0021-8790) (Wiley-blackwell), 2014-09 , Vol. 83 , N. 5 , P. 1137-1148
DOI 10.1111/1365-2656.12218
WOS© Times Cited 37
Note Appendix S2. Predator diet composition in percentage by mass (matrix L). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/1365-2656.12218/asset/supinfo/jane12218-sup-0002-Diet-data.xlsx?v=1&s=d162a4190abccf2360b35895e452fc5d324bca21 Appendix S3. Predator trait values (matrix R). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/1365-2656.12218/asset/supinfo/jane12218-sup-0003-Predator-traits.xlsx?v=1&s=c0f552cb31291825b3e17ef9569cf181156635b0 Appendix S4. Prey trait values (matrix Q). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/1365-2656.12218/asset/supinfo/jane12218-sup-0004-Prey-traits.xlsx?v=1&s=8a3df3d2ba4b9894408ed4ccd026c0c7cdd7d06a Appendix S6. Correlation values of 4th corner analysis (matrix D). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/1365-2656.12218/asset/supinfo/jane12218-sup-0006-corner-correlations.xlsx?v=1&s=a5d84751e4d06e7390c3ba4aaae621bbc2cee5d3
Keyword(s) foraging strategy, fourth-corner method, functional ecology, marine mammals, prey selection, RLQ analysis
Abstract 1. Understanding ‘Why a prey is a prey for a given predator?’ can be facilitated through trait-based approaches that identify linkages between prey and predator morphological and ecological characteristics and highlight key functions involved in prey selection.
2. Enhanced understanding of the functional relationships between predators and their prey is now essential to go beyond the traditional taxonomic framework of dietary studies and to improve our knowledge of ecosystem functioning for wildlife conservation and management.
3. We test the relevance of a three-matrix approach in foraging ecology among a marine mammal community in the northeast Atlantic to identify the key functional traits shaping prey selection processes regardless of the taxonomy of both the predators and prey.
4. Our study reveals that prey found in the diet of marine mammals possess functional traits which are directly and significantly linked to predator characteristics, allowing the establishment of a functional typology of marine mammal–prey relationships. We found prey selection of marine mammals was primarily shaped by physiological and morphological traits of both predators and prey, confirming that energetic costs of foraging strategies and muscular performance are major drivers of prey selection in marine mammals.
5. We demonstrate that trait-based approaches can provide a new definition of the resource needs of predators. This framework can be used to anticipate bottom-up effects on marine predator population dynamics and to identify predators which are sensitive to the loss of key prey functional traits when prey availability is reduced.
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