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Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs
Department of Biology, Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany / Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab., Berkeley, CA 94703, United States.
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
Department of Biology, Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany / Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab., Berkeley, CA 94703, United States / University of California, Merced, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389, United States.
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
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2006 (English)In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, E-ISSN 1939-9170, Vol. 87, no 10, 2411-2417 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ecological Society of America esa , 2006. Vol. 87, no 10, 2411-2417 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Natural sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-1942DOI: 10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[2411:CBRINF]2.0.CO;2ISI: 000241557900001PubMedID: 17089649Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33749990079OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-1942DiVA: diva2:32218
Available from: 2008-04-09 Created: 2008-04-09 Last updated: 2013-04-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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