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Functional traits driving species role in the structure of terrestrial vertebrate scavenger networks

Sebastian-Gonzalez, Esther and Morales-Reyes, Zebensui and Botella, Francisco and Naves-Alegre, Lara and Perez-Garcia, Juan M. and Mateo-Tomas, Patricia and Olea, Pedro P. and Moleon, Marcos and Magalhaes Barbosa, Jomar and Hiraldo, Fernando and Arrondo, Eneko and Donazar, Jose A. and Cortes-Avizanda, Ainara and Selva, Nuria and Lambertucci, Sergio A. and Bhattacharjee, Aishwarya and Brewer, Alexis L. and Abernethy, Erin F. and Turner, Kelsey L. and Beasley, James C. and deVault, Travis L. and Gerke, Hannah C. and Rhodes, Olin E. and Ordiz, Andres and Wikenros, Camilla and Zimmermann, Barbara and Wabakken, Petter and Wilmers, Christopher C. and Smith, Justine A. and Kendall, Corinne J. and Ogada, Darcy and Frehner, Ethan and Allen, Maximilian L. and Wittmer, Heiko U. and Butler, James R. A. and du Toit, Johan T. and Margalida, Antoni and Oliva-Vidal, Pilar and Wilson, David and Jerina, Klemen and Krofel, Miha and Kostecke, Rich and Inger, Richard and Per, Esra and Ayhan, Yunus and Sanci, Mehmet and Yilmazer, Unsal and Inagaki, Akino and Koike, Shinsuke and Samson, Arockianathan and Perrig, Paula L. and Spencer, Emma E. and Newsome, Thomas M. and Heurich, Marco and Anadon, Jose D. and Buechley, Evan R. and Gutierrez-Canovas, Cayetano and Elbroch, L. Mark and Sanchez-Zapata, Jose A. (2021). Functional traits driving species role in the structure of terrestrial vertebrate scavenger networks. Ecology. 102 , e03519
[Research article]

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Abstract

Species assemblages often have a non-random nested organization, which in vertebrate scavenger (carrion-consuming) assemblages is thought to be driven by facilitation in competitive environments. However, not all scavenger species play the same role in maintaining assemblage structure, as some species are obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures) and others are facultative, scavenging opportunistically. We used a database with 177 vertebrate scavenger species from 53 assemblages in 22 countries across five continents to identify which functional traits of scavenger species are key to maintaining the scavenging network structure. We used network analyses to relate ten traits hypothesized to affect assemblage structure with the "role" of each species in the scavenging assemblage in which it appeared. We characterized the role of a species in terms of both the proportion of monitored carcasses on which that species scavenged, or scavenging breadth (i.e., the species "normalized degree"), and the role of that species in the nested structure of the assemblage (i.e., the species "paired nested degree"), therefore identifying possible facilitative interactions among species. We found that species with high olfactory acuity, social foragers, and obligate scavengers had the widest scavenging breadth. We also found that social foragers had a large paired nested degree in scavenger assemblages, probably because their presence is easier to detect by other species to signal carcass occurrence. Our study highlights differences in the functional roles of scavenger species and can be used to identify key species for targeted conservation to maintain the ecological function of scavenger assemblages.

Authors/Creators:Sebastian-Gonzalez, Esther and Morales-Reyes, Zebensui and Botella, Francisco and Naves-Alegre, Lara and Perez-Garcia, Juan M. and Mateo-Tomas, Patricia and Olea, Pedro P. and Moleon, Marcos and Magalhaes Barbosa, Jomar and Hiraldo, Fernando and Arrondo, Eneko and Donazar, Jose A. and Cortes-Avizanda, Ainara and Selva, Nuria and Lambertucci, Sergio A. and Bhattacharjee, Aishwarya and Brewer, Alexis L. and Abernethy, Erin F. and Turner, Kelsey L. and Beasley, James C. and deVault, Travis L. and Gerke, Hannah C. and Rhodes, Olin E. and Ordiz, Andres and Wikenros, Camilla and Zimmermann, Barbara and Wabakken, Petter and Wilmers, Christopher C. and Smith, Justine A. and Kendall, Corinne J. and Ogada, Darcy and Frehner, Ethan and Allen, Maximilian L. and Wittmer, Heiko U. and Butler, James R. A. and du Toit, Johan T. and Margalida, Antoni and Oliva-Vidal, Pilar and Wilson, David and Jerina, Klemen and Krofel, Miha and Kostecke, Rich and Inger, Richard and Per, Esra and Ayhan, Yunus and Sanci, Mehmet and Yilmazer, Unsal and Inagaki, Akino and Koike, Shinsuke and Samson, Arockianathan and Perrig, Paula L. and Spencer, Emma E. and Newsome, Thomas M. and Heurich, Marco and Anadon, Jose D. and Buechley, Evan R. and Gutierrez-Canovas, Cayetano and Elbroch, L. Mark and Sanchez-Zapata, Jose A.
Title:Functional traits driving species role in the structure of terrestrial vertebrate scavenger networks
Series Name/Journal:Ecology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:102
Article number:e03519
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0012-9658
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:assemblage nestedness, carrion, facilitative interaction, normalized degree, obligate scavenger, olfactory acuity, social foraging, vulture
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113869
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113869
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/ecy.3519
Web of Science (WoS)000700621400001
ID Code:26279
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:06 Dec 2021 15:25
Metadata Last Modified:06 Dec 2021 15:31

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