Document Detail

Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17089649     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It has been suggested that differences in body size between consumer and resource species may have important implications for interaction strengths, population dynamics, and eventually food web structure, function, and evolution. Still, the general distribution of consumer-'resource body-size ratios in real ecosystems, and whether they vary systematically among habitats or broad taxonomic groups, is poorly understood. Using a unique global database on consumer and resource body sizes, we show that the mean body-size ratios of aquatic herbivorous and detritivorous consumers are several orders of magnitude larger than those of carnivorous predators. Carnivorous predator-prey body-size ratios vary across different habitats and predator and prey types (invertebrates, ectotherm, and endotherm vertebrates). Predator-prey body-size ratios are on average significantly higher (1) in freshwater habitats than in marine or terrestrial habitats, (2) for vertebrate than for invertebrate predators, and (3) for invertebrate than for ectotherm vertebrate prey. If recent studies that relate body-size ratios to interaction strengths are general, our results suggest that mean consumer-resource interaction strengths may vary systematically across different habitat categories and consumer types.
Ulrich Brose; Tomas Jonsson; Eric L Berlow; Philip Warren; Carolin Banasek-Richter; Louis-Félix Bersier; Julia L Blanchard; Thomas Brey; Stephen R Carpenter; Marie-France Cattin Blandenier; Lara Cushing; Hassan Ali Dawah; Tony Dell; Francois Edwards; Sarah Harper-Smith; Ute Jacob; Mark E Ledger; Neo D Martinez; Jane Memmott; Katja Mintenbeck; John K Pinnegar; Björn C Rall; Thomas S Rayner; Daniel C Reuman; Liliane Ruess; Werner Ulrich; Richard J Williams; Guy Woodward; Joel E Cohen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ecology     Volume:  87     ISSN:  0012-9658     ISO Abbreviation:  Ecology     Publication Date:  2006 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-11-08     Completed Date:  2007-01-11     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0043541     Medline TA:  Ecology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2411-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Body Size / physiology*
Food Chain*
Fresh Water
Oceans and Seas
Predatory Behavior / physiology

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