Does size matter? An investigation of habitat use across a carnivore assemblage in the Serengeti, Tanzania

Durant, S.M., Craft, M.E., Foley, C., Hampson, K. , Lobora, A.L., Msuha, M., Eblate, E., Bukombe, J., Mchetto, J. and Pettorelli, N. (2010) Does size matter? An investigation of habitat use across a carnivore assemblage in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79(5), pp. 1012-1022. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01717.x)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

Summary 1. This study utilizes a unique data set covering over 19 000 georeferenced records of species presence collected between 1993 and 2008, to explore the distribution and habitat selectivity of an assemblage of 26 carnivore species in the Serengeti–Ngorongoro landscape in northern Tanzania. 2. Two species, the large-spotted genet and the bushy-tailed mongoose, were documented for the first time within this landscape. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) was used to examine habitat selectivity for 18 of the 26 carnivore species for which there is sufficient data. Eleven ecogeographical variables (EGVs), such as altitude and habitat type, were used for these analyses. 3. The ENFA demonstrated that species differed in their habitat selectivity, and supported the limited ecological information already available for these species, such as the golden jackals’ preference for grassland and the leopards’ preference for river valleys. 4. Two aggregate scores, marginality and tolerance, are generated by the ENFA, and describe each species’ habitat selectivity in relation to the suite of EGVs. These scores were used to test the hypothesis that smaller species are expected to be more selective than larger species [Science, 1989, 243, 1145]. Two predictions were tested: Marginality should decrease with body mass; and tolerance should increase with body mass. Our study provided no evidence for either prediction. 5. Our results not only support previous analyses of carnivore diet breadth, but also represent a novel approach to the investigation of habitat selection across species assemblages. Our method provides a powerful tool to explore similar questions in other systems and for other taxa.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hampson, Dr Katie and Craft, Dr Meggan
Authors: Durant, S.M., Craft, M.E., Foley, C., Hampson, K., Lobora, A.L., Msuha, M., Eblate, E., Bukombe, J., Mchetto, J., and Pettorelli, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Animal Ecology
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:0021-8790
ISSN (Online):1365-2656

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record