Foraging constraints reverse the scaling of activity time in carnivores

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Title: Foraging constraints reverse the scaling of activity time in carnivores
Author(s): Rizzuto, M
Carbone, C
Pawar, S
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The proportion of time an animal spends actively foraging in a day determines its long-term fitness. Here, we derive a general mathematical model for the scaling of this activity time with body size in consumers. We show that this scaling can change from positive (increasing with size) to negative (decreasing with size) if the detectability and availability of preferred prey sizes is a limiting factor. These predictions are supported by a global dataset on 73 terrestrial carnivore species from 8 families spanning >3 orders of magnitude in size. Carnivores weighing ∼5 kg experience high foraging costs because their diets include significant proportions of relatively small (invertebrate) prey. As a result, they show an increase in activity time with size. This shifts to a negative scaling in larger carnivores as they shift to foraging on less costly vertebrate prey. Our model can be generalized to other classes of terrestrial and aquatic consumers and offers a general framework for mechanistically linking body size to population fitness and vulnerability in consumers.
Publication Date: 4-Dec-2017
Date of Acceptance: 18-Oct-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/52407
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0386-1
ISSN: 2397-334X
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Nature Ecology and Evolution
Volume: 2
Copyright Statement: Copyright © 2017, Springer Nature
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



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