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Effects of phylogenetic associations on environmental and temporal niche partitioning among sympatric mammals

Dalerum, F, Cipollone, M, Cordischi, F, Di Croce, A, Ferri, D, Giovannini, S, La Civita, F, Monaco, A, Paglione, G, Paniccia, C, Petriccione, B, Romano, M, Shivij, I, Trei, JN and Meloro, C (2023) Effects of phylogenetic associations on environmental and temporal niche partitioning among sympatric mammals. Basic and Applied Ecology, 74. pp. 98-107. ISSN 1439-1791

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Mammals have evolved to occupy spatial and temporal niches in order to optimize resource utilization and minimize predation risk or competition. Subsequently, niche partitioning may be influenced by phylogenetic associations, which could have substantial consequences for ecosystem structure and function. We use the output from occupancy models based on camera trapping data to construct a tri-partite network describing the environmental and temporal partitioning of activity among twelve sympatric mammals in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy. We further evaluate if there were any effects of phylogenetic associations on the contributions of species to the properties of this spatio-temporal network. The Apennines form a pristine region in central Italy with a relatively intact Mediterranean mammal fauna. The mammal community in our study consisted of species ranging in size from 300 gs to over 200 kg, and included herbivores, omnivores and predators. There was limited structuring of the network describing environmental and temporal niche use. Furthermore, we did not find any phylogenetic signal in species contributions to network structures, and phylogenetic relatedness among species was not associated with their similarities in environmental or spatial niche use. However, animals appeared to have partitioned environmental niches more than temporal ones, suggesting that spatial variation in resource availability may have been more important than temporal avoidance of predation risk or competition in shaping activity within this mammal community. Our study highlights the need to evaluate under which conditions evolutionary history is influencing contemporary ecological processes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 05 Environmental Sciences; 06 Biological Sciences; Ecology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier BV
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2024 16:24
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 16:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.baae.2023.12.002
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22597
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