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Mast pulses shape trophic interactions between fluctuating rodent populations in a primeval forest.
PLoS One 2012; 7(12):e51267Plos

Abstract

How different functional responses of consumers exploiting pulsed resources affect community dynamics is an ongoing question in ecology. Tree masting is a common resource pulse in terrestrial ecosystems that can drive rodent population cycles. Using stable isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) analyses, we investigated the dietary response of two fluctuating rodent species, the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis and the bank vole Myodes glareolus, to mast events in Białowieża Forest (NE Poland). Rodent hair samples were obtained non-invasively from faeces of their predators for an 11-year period that encompassed two mast events. Spectacular seed crops of deciduous trees, namely oak Quercus robur and hornbeam Carpinus betulus, occur after several intermediate years of moderate seed production, with a post-mast year characterised by a nil crop. While a Bayesian isotopic (SIAR) mixing model showed a variety of potential vegetation inputs to rodent diets, the isotopic niche of the yellow-necked mouse was strongly associated with mast of deciduous trees (>80% of diet), showing no variation among years of different seed crop. However, bank voles showed a strong functional response; in mast years the vole shifted its diet from herbs in deciduous forest (~66% of diet) to mast (~74%). Only in mast years did the isotopic niche of both rodent species overlap. Previous research showed that bank voles, subordinate and more generalist than mice, showed higher fluctuations in numbers in response to masting. This study provides unique data on the functional response of key pulse consumers in forest food webs, and contributes to our understanding of rodent population fluctuations and the mechanisms governing pulse-consumer interactions.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland. nuriselva@gmail.comNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23251475

Citation

Selva, Nuria, et al. "Mast Pulses Shape Trophic Interactions Between Fluctuating Rodent Populations in a Primeval Forest." PloS One, vol. 7, no. 12, 2012, pp. e51267.
Selva N, Hobson KA, Cortés-Avizanda A, et al. Mast pulses shape trophic interactions between fluctuating rodent populations in a primeval forest. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(12):e51267.
Selva, N., Hobson, K. A., Cortés-Avizanda, A., Zalewski, A., & Donázar, J. A. (2012). Mast pulses shape trophic interactions between fluctuating rodent populations in a primeval forest. PloS One, 7(12), pp. e51267. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051267.
Selva N, et al. Mast Pulses Shape Trophic Interactions Between Fluctuating Rodent Populations in a Primeval Forest. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(12):e51267. PubMed PMID: 23251475.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Mast pulses shape trophic interactions between fluctuating rodent populations in a primeval forest. AU - Selva,Nuria, AU - Hobson,Keith A, AU - Cortés-Avizanda,Ainara, AU - Zalewski,Andrzej, AU - Donázar,José Antonio, Y1 - 2012/12/10/ PY - 2012/08/21/received PY - 2012/10/30/accepted PY - 2012/12/20/entrez PY - 2012/12/20/pubmed PY - 2013/6/12/medline SP - e51267 EP - e51267 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS ONE VL - 7 IS - 12 N2 - How different functional responses of consumers exploiting pulsed resources affect community dynamics is an ongoing question in ecology. Tree masting is a common resource pulse in terrestrial ecosystems that can drive rodent population cycles. Using stable isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) analyses, we investigated the dietary response of two fluctuating rodent species, the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis and the bank vole Myodes glareolus, to mast events in Białowieża Forest (NE Poland). Rodent hair samples were obtained non-invasively from faeces of their predators for an 11-year period that encompassed two mast events. Spectacular seed crops of deciduous trees, namely oak Quercus robur and hornbeam Carpinus betulus, occur after several intermediate years of moderate seed production, with a post-mast year characterised by a nil crop. While a Bayesian isotopic (SIAR) mixing model showed a variety of potential vegetation inputs to rodent diets, the isotopic niche of the yellow-necked mouse was strongly associated with mast of deciduous trees (>80% of diet), showing no variation among years of different seed crop. However, bank voles showed a strong functional response; in mast years the vole shifted its diet from herbs in deciduous forest (~66% of diet) to mast (~74%). Only in mast years did the isotopic niche of both rodent species overlap. Previous research showed that bank voles, subordinate and more generalist than mice, showed higher fluctuations in numbers in response to masting. This study provides unique data on the functional response of key pulse consumers in forest food webs, and contributes to our understanding of rodent population fluctuations and the mechanisms governing pulse-consumer interactions. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23251475/Mast_pulses_shape_trophic_interactions_between_fluctuating_rodent_populations_in_a_primeval_forest_ L2 - http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051267 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -