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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Trophic Niche Differentiation in Rodents and Marsupials Revealed by Stable Isotopes

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Galetti, Mauro [1] ; Rodarte, Raisa Reis [1, 2] ; Neves, Carolina Lima [1] ; Moreira, Marcelo [3] ; Costa-Pereira, Raul [4]
Total Authors: 5
[1] Univ Estadual Paulista UNESP, Dept Ecol, CP 199, BR-13506900 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Casa Floresta Assessoria Ambiental Ltda, BR-13415030 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[3] Univ Sao Paulo, CENA, BR-13416903 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[4] Univ Estadual Paulista UNESP, Programa Posgrad Ecol & Biodiversidade, CP 199, BR-13506900 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: PLoS One; v. 11, n. 4 APR 6 2016.
Web of Science Citations: 20

Tropical rainforests support the greatest diversity of small mammals in the world, yet we have little understanding about the mechanisms that promote the coexistence of species. Diet partitioning can favor coexistence by lessening competition, and interspecific differences in body size and habitat use are usually proposed to be associated with trophic divergence. However, the use of classic dietary methods (e.g. stomach contents) is challenging in small mammals, particularly in community-level studies, thus we used stable isotopes (delta C-13 and delta N-15) to infer about trophic niche. We investigated i) how trophic niche is partitioned among rodent and marsupial species in three Atlantic forest sites and ii) if interspecific body size and locomotor habit inequalities can constitute mechanisms underlying the isotopic niche partitioning. We found that rodents occupied a broad isotopic niche space with species distributed in different trophic levels and relying on diverse basal carbon sources (C3 and C4 plants). Surprisingly, on the other hand, marsupials showed a narrow isotopic niche, both in delta C-13 and delta N-15 dimensions, which is partially overlapped with rodents, contradicting their description as omnivores and generalists proposed classic dietary studies. Although body mass differences did not explained the divergence in isotopic values among species, groups of species with different locomotor habit presented clear differences in the position of the isotopic niche space, indicating that the use of different forest strata can favor trophic niche partitioning in small mammals communities. We suggest that anthropogenic impacts, such as habitat modification (logging, harvesting), can simplify the vertical structure of ecosystems and collapse the diversity of basal resources, which might affect negatively small mammals communities in Atlantic forests. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 07/03392-6 - Effects of the defaunation gradient on plant herbivory, seed predation and dispersal: the Atlantic Rainforest perspective
Grantee:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants
FAPESP's process: 14/01986-0 - Ecological consequences of defaunation in the Atlantic Rainforest
Grantee:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants