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Predator-prey mass ratio revisited: does preference of relative prey body size depend on individual predator size?

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dc.contributor Natl Cheng Kung Univ
dc.contributor Coll Marine & Environm Sci
dc.contributor Dept Life Sci
dc.contributor James Cook University
dc.contributor Inst Oceanog
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor National Taiwan University
dc.contributor Aims Jcu
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor National Cheng Kung University
dc.contributor James Cook Univ
dc.contributor Natl Taiwan Univ
dc.contributor Inst Ecol & Evolutionary Biol TSAI, CHENG-HAN HSIEH, CHIH-HAO NAKAZAWA, TAKEFUMI 2017-04-06T05:15:13Z 2017-04-06T05:15:13Z 2017-04-20T03:30:44Z 2017-04-06T05:15:13Z 2017-04-06T05:15:13Z 2017-04-20T03:30:44Z 2016-12-01
dc.identifier.citation Tsai CH, Hsieh CH, Nakazawa T (2016) Predator-prey mass ratio revisited: does preference of relative prey body size depend on individual predator size? Functional Ecology 30(12): 1979-1987
dc.identifier.issn 0269-8463
dc.description.abstract 1. Quantifying predator-prey body size relationships is key to understanding food webs. Food web models often assume that all individuals of predator species prefer the same relative body size of prey, using a single constant called preferred predator-prey mass ratio (preferred PPMR). In contrast, empirical studies have shown that relative prey body size in diet varies with individual predator size, challenging the food web models based on size-invariant preferred PPMR and their predictions. 2. We point out that this apparent inconsistency arises because empirical PPMR in those previous studies has been measured only through dietary data (i.e. realized PPMR rather than preferred PPMR) without considering the effects of environmental prey availability, suggesting the possibility that preferred PPMR may be in fact independent of individual predator size. 3. Here, we present a new approach to revisit the assumption of size-invariant preferred PPMR in food web models. The approach compares two measures of PPMR calculated from prey compositions in predator diet and environmental prey composition, respectively (i.e. realized PPMR vs. environmental PPMR). The deviations between realized and environmental PPMRs are considered as a proxy of individual variations in relative prey size preference (i.e. preferred PPMR). We apply this idea to long-term dietary data of an omnivorous predatory fish species collected from a lake ecosystem over four decades. 4. Our results showed that the preferred PPMR is independent of individual predator size when the foraging mode (i.e. the major prey type) of the predator is considered while the realized PPMR is size-dependent regardless of the foraging mode, especially when analysed analogously to previous empirical studies. 5. We suggest that the apparent inconsistency between theoretical assumption and empirical observation of PPMR is due to the conceptual and methodological confusion and could be resolved by distinguishing between preferred and realized PPMRs. Further, in contrast to the previous arguments based on realized PPMR, we provide the first empirical support for size-invariant preferred PPMR. Future studies are encouraged to apply our ideas to other species/systems to test the robustness of size-invariant preferred PPMR and to better describe food web models.
dc.description.sponsorship We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. C.H.T. is supported by the scholarship of AIMS@JCU, Australia. C.H.H. is supported by the Foundations for the Advancement of Outstanding Scholarship, National Center for Theoretical Sciences and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of Taiwan. T.N. is supported by MOST. We declare no competing interest.
dc.language English
dc.subject Predator-prey Body Mass Ratio
dc.subject Individual Interaction
dc.subject Size-dependent Predation
dc.subject Feeding Behaviour
dc.subject Amphipods
dc.subject Ecosystems
dc.subject Allometry
dc.subject Community Size Spectrum
dc.subject Species Abundance
dc.subject Ontogenetic Niche Shift
dc.subject Zooplankton
dc.subject Pelagic-benthic Coupling
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Fish Predation
dc.subject Food-web Structure
dc.subject Constraints
dc.subject Stability
dc.subject Long-term Data
dc.subject Marine Fish
dc.subject Dynamics
dc.subject Chemical-composition
dc.subject Ecology
dc.title Predator-prey mass ratio revisited: does preference of relative prey body size depend on individual predator size?
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/1365-2435.12680
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000390195000011

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