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Predator size and prey size-gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals

(2019) OIKOS. 128(1). p.13-22
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Abstract
Carnivore kill frequency is a fundamental part of predator-prey interactions, which are important shapers of ecosystems. Current field kill frequency data are rare and existing models are insufficiently adapted to carnivore functional groups. We developed a kill frequency model accounting for carnivore mass, prey mass, pack size, partial consumption of prey and carnivore gut capacity. Two main carnivore functional groups, small prey-feeders versus large prey-feeders, were established based on the relationship between stomach capacity (C) and pack corrected prey mass (iMprey). Although the majority of small prey-feeders is below, and of large prey-feeders above a body mass of 10-20 kg, both occur across the whole body size spectrum, indicating that the dichotomy is rather linked to body size-related ecology than physiology. The model predicts a negative relationship between predator size and kill frequency for large prey-feeders. However, for small prey-feeders, this negative relationship was absent. When comparing carnivore prey requirements to estimated stomach capacity, small carnivores may have to eat to their full capacity repeatedly per day, requiring fast digestion and gut clearance. Large carnivores do not necessarily have to eat to full gastric capacity per day, or do not need to eat every day, which in turn reduces kill frequencies or drives other ecological processes such as scavenging, kleptoparasitism, and partial carcass consumption. Where ecological conditions allow, large prey-feeding appears attractive for carnivores, which can thus reduce activities related to hunting. This is particularly so for large carnivores, who can achieve distinct reductions in hunting activity due to their relatively large gut capacity.
Keywords
predator-prey size ratio, gut capacity, kill frequency, FEEDING-BEHAVIOR, LYCAON-PICTUS, NATIONAL-PARK, FERAL CATS, PREFERENCES, DIET, DOGS, WOLVES, CONSUMPTION, KLEPTOPARASITISM

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Citation

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MLA
De Cuyper, Annelies et al. “Predator Size and Prey Size-gut Capacity Ratios Determine Kill Frequency and Carcass Production in Terrestrial Carnivorous Mammals.” OIKOS 128.1 (2019): 13–22. Print.
APA
De Cuyper, A., Clauss, M., Carbone, C., Codron, D., Cools, A., Hesta, M., & Janssens, G. (2019). Predator size and prey size-gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals. OIKOS, 128(1), 13–22.
Chicago author-date
De Cuyper, Annelies, Marcus Clauss, Chris Carbone, Daryl Codron, An Cools, Myriam Hesta, and Geert Janssens. 2019. “Predator Size and Prey Size-gut Capacity Ratios Determine Kill Frequency and Carcass Production in Terrestrial Carnivorous Mammals.” Oikos 128 (1): 13–22.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Cuyper, Annelies, Marcus Clauss, Chris Carbone, Daryl Codron, An Cools, Myriam Hesta, and Geert Janssens. 2019. “Predator Size and Prey Size-gut Capacity Ratios Determine Kill Frequency and Carcass Production in Terrestrial Carnivorous Mammals.” Oikos 128 (1): 13–22.
Vancouver
1.
De Cuyper A, Clauss M, Carbone C, Codron D, Cools A, Hesta M, et al. Predator size and prey size-gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals. OIKOS. 2019;128(1):13–22.
IEEE
[1]
A. De Cuyper et al., “Predator size and prey size-gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals,” OIKOS, vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 13–22, 2019.
@article{8569983,
  abstract     = {Carnivore kill frequency is a fundamental part of predator-prey interactions, which are important shapers of ecosystems. Current field kill frequency data are rare and existing models are insufficiently adapted to carnivore functional groups. We developed a kill frequency model accounting for carnivore mass, prey mass, pack size, partial consumption of prey and carnivore gut capacity. Two main carnivore functional groups, small prey-feeders versus large prey-feeders, were established based on the relationship between stomach capacity (C) and pack corrected prey mass (iMprey). Although the majority of small prey-feeders is below, and of large prey-feeders above a body mass of 10-20 kg, both occur across the whole body size spectrum, indicating that the dichotomy is rather linked to body size-related ecology than physiology. The model predicts a negative relationship between predator size and kill frequency for large prey-feeders. However, for small prey-feeders, this negative relationship was absent. When comparing carnivore prey requirements to estimated stomach capacity, small carnivores may have to eat to their full capacity repeatedly per day, requiring fast digestion and gut clearance. Large carnivores do not necessarily have to eat to full gastric capacity per day, or do not need to eat every day, which in turn reduces kill frequencies or drives other ecological processes such as scavenging, kleptoparasitism, and partial carcass consumption. Where ecological conditions allow, large prey-feeding appears attractive for carnivores, which can thus reduce activities related to hunting. This is particularly so for large carnivores, who can achieve distinct reductions in hunting activity due to their relatively large gut capacity.},
  author       = {De Cuyper, Annelies and Clauss, Marcus and Carbone, Chris and Codron, Daryl and Cools, An and Hesta, Myriam and Janssens, Geert},
  issn         = {0030-1299},
  journal      = {OIKOS},
  keywords     = {predator-prey size ratio,gut capacity,kill frequency,FEEDING-BEHAVIOR,LYCAON-PICTUS,NATIONAL-PARK,FERAL CATS,PREFERENCES,DIET,DOGS,WOLVES,CONSUMPTION,KLEPTOPARASITISM},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {13--22},
  title        = {Predator size and prey size-gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/oik.05488},
  volume       = {128},
  year         = {2019},
}

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