Fortin2006

Reference

Fortin, D. (2006) The allometry of plant spacing that regulates food intake rate in mammalian herbivores. Ecology, 87(7):1861-1866.

Abstract

The distance that mammalian herbivores can. travel without interrupting food processing corresponds to a distance threshold (d*) in plant spacing where change occurs in the mechanisms regulating the functional response. The instantaneous rate of food consumption is controlled by food encounter rate when plant spacing exceeds d*. Below this threshold, food processing in the mouth controls instantaneous intake rate. The distance threshold provides a mechanistic definition of the scale of heterogeneity of the food resource. Recent work indicates that d* should scale positively with the body mass of mammalian herbivores. Here I evaluated the empirical evidence for this positive scaling by investigating (1) herbivores consuming only alfalfa (Medicago sativa), (2) grazers, and (3) herbivores consuming any kind of vegetation. Overall; I found greater evidence for a negative than for a positive scaling of d*. Out of the three groups, only herbivores consuming alfalfa could yield a positive covariation between d* and body mass: However, even this positive scaling became negative when herbivores consumed bites of alfalfa that were only a fraction of their maximum size. Finally, d* also scaled negatively among herbivores foraging in similar food patches. Overall, differences in foraging decisions among mammalian herbivores seem more likely to have been shaped by a negative than a positive scaling of d*.

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@ARTICLE { Fortin2006,
    AUTHOR = { Fortin, D. },
    TITLE = { The allometry of plant spacing that regulates food intake rate in mammalian herbivores },
    JOURNAL = { Ecology },
    YEAR = { 2006 },
    VOLUME = { 87 },
    PAGES = { 1861-1866 },
    NUMBER = { 7 },
    NOTE = { ECOLOGY },
    ABSTRACT = { The distance that mammalian herbivores can. travel without interrupting food processing corresponds to a distance threshold (d*) in plant spacing where change occurs in the mechanisms regulating the functional response. The instantaneous rate of food consumption is controlled by food encounter rate when plant spacing exceeds d*. Below this threshold, food processing in the mouth controls instantaneous intake rate. The distance threshold provides a mechanistic definition of the scale of heterogeneity of the food resource. Recent work indicates that d* should scale positively with the body mass of mammalian herbivores. Here I evaluated the empirical evidence for this positive scaling by investigating (1) herbivores consuming only alfalfa (Medicago sativa), (2) grazers, and (3) herbivores consuming any kind of vegetation. Overall; I found greater evidence for a negative than for a positive scaling of d*. Out of the three groups, only herbivores consuming alfalfa could yield a positive covariation between d* and body mass: However, even this positive scaling became negative when herbivores consumed bites of alfalfa that were only a fraction of their maximum size. Finally, d* also scaled negatively among herbivores foraging in similar food patches. Overall, differences in foraging decisions among mammalian herbivores seem more likely to have been shaped by a negative than a positive scaling of d*. },
    KEYWORDS = { allometry; foraging mechanisms; functional response; intake rate; mammalian herbivores; plant spacing; spatial scale functional-response; grazing ruminants; canopy structure; body-size; selection; mechanisms; vigilance; models; costs; time },
    OWNER = { brugerolles },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.12.05 },
}

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