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Body sizes of consumers and their resources


Brose, U and Cushing, L and Berlow, EL and Jonsson, T and Banasek-Richter, C and Bersier, L-F and Blanchard, JL and Brey, T and Carpenter, SR and Cattin Blandenier, M-F and Cohen, JE and Dawah, HA and Dell, T and Edwards, F and Harper-Smith, S and Jacob, U and Knapp, RA and Ledger, ME and Memmott, J and Mintenbeck, M and Pinnegar, JK and Rall, BC and Rayner, T and Ruess, L and Ulrich, W and Warren, P and Williams, RJ and Woodward, G and Yodzis, P and Martinez, ND, Body sizes of consumers and their resources, Ecology, 86, (9) pp. 2545. ISSN 0012-9658 (2005) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2005 by the Ecological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1890/05-0379


Trophic information—who eats whom—and species’ body sizes are two of the most basic descriptions necessary to understand community structure as well as ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Consumer–resource body size ratios between predators and their prey, and parasitoids and their hosts, have recently gained increasing attention due to their important implications for species’ interaction strengths and dynamical population stability. This data set documents body sizes of consumers and their resources. We gathered body size data for the food webs of Skipwith Pond, a parasitoid community of grass-feeding chalcid wasps in British grasslands; the pelagic community of the Benguela system, a source web based on broom in the United Kingdom; Broadstone Stream, UK; the Grand Caricaie marsh at Lake Neuchatel, Switzerland; Tuesday Lake, USA; alpine lakes in the Sierra Nevada of California; Mill Stream, UK; and the eastern Weddell Sea Shelf, Antarctica. Further consumer–resource body size data are included for planktonic predators, predatory nematodes, parasitoids, marine fish predators, freshwater invertebrates, Australian terrestrial consumers, and aphid parasitoids. Containing 16 807 records, this is the largest data set ever compiled for body sizes of consumers and their resources. In addition to body sizes, the data set includes information on consumer and resource taxonomy, the geographic location of the study, the habitat studied, the type of the feeding interaction (e.g., predacious, parasitic) and the metabolic categories of the species (e.g., invertebrate, ectotherm vertebrate). The present data set was gathered with the intent to stimulate research on effects of consumer–resource body size patterns on food-web structure, interaction-strength distributions, population dynamics, and community stability. The use of a common data set may facilitate cross-study comparisons and understanding of the relationships between different scientific approaches and models.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:predator-prey body size ratios
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Blanchard, JL (Professor Julia Blanchard)
ID Code:100510
Year Published:2005
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2015-05-18
Last Modified:2015-09-07
Downloads:304 View Download Statistics

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