Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Network structure of vertebrate scavenger assemblages at the global scale: drivers and ecosystem functioning implications
Authors: Sebastián‐González, Esther
Morales‐Reyes, Zebensui
Botella, Francisco
Naves‐Alegre, Lara
Pérez‐García, Juan M.
Mateo-Tomás, Patricia 
Olea, Pedro P.
Moleón, Marcos
Barbosa, Jomar M
Hiraldo, Fernando
Arrondo, Eneko
Donázar, José A.
Cortés‐Avizanda, Ainara
Selva, Nuria
Lambertucci, Sergio A.
Bhattacharjee, Aishwarya
Brewer, Alexis L.
Abernethy, Erin F.
Turner, Kelsey L.
Beasley, James C.
DeVault, Travis L.
Gerke, Hannah C.
Rhodes, Olin E.
Ordiz, Andrés
Wikenros, Camilla
Zimmermann, Barbara
Wabakken, Petter
Wilmers, Christopher C.
Smith, Justine A.
Kendall, Corinne J.
Ogada, Darcy
Frehner, Ethan
Allen, Maximilian L.
Wittmer, Heiko U.
Butler, James R. A.
du Toit, Johan T.
Margalida, Antoni
Oliva‐Vidal, Pilar
Wilson, David
Jerina, Klemen
Krofel, Miha
Kostecke, Rich
Inger, Richard
Per, Esra
Ayhan, Yunus
Ulusoy, Hasan
Vural, Doğanay
Inagaki, Akino
Koike, Shinsuke
Samson, Arockianathan
Perrig, Paula L.
Spencer, Emma
Newsome, Thomas M.
Heurich, Marco
Anadón, José D.
Buechley, Evan R.
Sánchez‐Zapata, José A.
Keywords: carrion; consumption rate; ecological networks; global change; macroecology; NDVI
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Serial title, monograph or event: Ecography
Volume: 43
Issue: 8
Abstract: The organization of ecological assemblages has important implications for ecosystem functioning, but little is known about how scavenger communities organize at the global scale. Here, we test four hypotheses on the factors affecting the network structure of terrestrial vertebrate scavenger assemblages and its implications on ecosystem functioning. We expect scavenger assemblages to be more nested (i.e. structured): 1) in species-rich and productive regions, as nestedness has been linked to high competition for carrion resources, and 2) regions with low human impact, because the most efficient carrion consumers that promote nestedness are large vertebrate scavengers, which are especially sensitive to human persecution. 3) We also expect climatic conditions to affect assemblage structure, because some scavenger assemblages have been shown to be more nested in colder months. Finally, 4) we expect more organized assemblages to be more efficient in the consumption of the resource. We first analyzed the relationship between the nestedness of the scavenger assemblages and climatic variables (i.e. temperature, precipitation, temperature variability and precipitation variability), ecosystem productivity and biomass (i.e. NDVI) and degree of human impact (i.e. human footprint) using 53 study sites in 22 countries across five continents. Then, we related structure (i.e. nestedness) with its function (i.e. carrion consumption rate). We found a more nested structure for scavenger assemblages in regions with higher NDVI values and lower human footprint. Moreover, more organized assemblages were more efficient in the consumption of carrion. However, our results did not support the prediction that the structure of the scavenger assemblages is directly related to climate. Our findings suggest that the nested structure of vertebrate scavenger assemblages affects its functionality and is driven by anthropogenic disturbance and ecosystem productivity worldwide. Disarray of scavenger assemblage structure by anthropogenic disturbance may lead to decreases in functionality of the terrestrial ecosystems via loss of key species and trophic facilitation processes.
ISSN: 0906-7590
DOI: 10.1111/ecog.05083
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

Show full item record


checked on Feb 19, 2024


checked on Mar 2, 2024

Page view(s)

checked on Feb 27, 2024


checked on Feb 27, 2024

Google ScholarTM




This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons