Document Detail

Isotopic niche mirrors trophic niche in a vertebrate island invader.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22886039     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Caution for the indiscriminate conversion of the isotopic niche into ecologic niche was recently advised. We tested the utility of the isotopic niche to answer ecological questions on oceanic islands. We compared the isotopic niches of black rats (Rattus rattus) on two islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico: Farrallón de San Ignacio (FSI) and San Pedro Mártir (SPM). Both islands maintained several species of marine birds, but FSI is devoid of terrestrial vegetation and SPM has several species of terrestrial plants. We tested the hypothesis that rats on FSI have a narrower trophic niche due to its lower diversity of food items. We predicted a smaller variance in δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of rat muscle on FSI, and a lower use of marine birds as food on SPM. We also examined stomach contents of rats on both islands to validate the isotopic information. Variances in δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of black rats were lower on FSI, and the contribution of marine birds to the diet of rats was smaller on SPM. Stomachs in most rats collected on FSI contained only one or two types of food items, mostly marine birds and terrestrial invertebrates. In contrast, stomachs with only one type of food item were rare on SPM, and in most cases they contained three or more food types. Our findings showed that isotopic variance is a good approximation for trophic niche when comparing populations with access to an assemblage of preys with contrasting biological and isotopic diversity.
Marlenne A Rodríguez M; L Gerardo Herrera M
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1939     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Carretera Antigua a Coatepec 351, El Haya, Xalapa, VER, 91070, Mexico.
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