Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs

Ulrich Brose, Tomas Jonsson, Eric L. Berlow, Philip Warren, Carolin Banasek-Richter, Louis Félix Bersier, Julia L. Blanchard, Thomas Brey, Stephen R. Carpenter, Marie France Cattin Blandenier, Lara Cushing, Hassan A. Dawah, Tony Dell, Francois Edwards, Sarah Harper-Smith, Ute Jacob, Mark E. Ledger, Neo D Martinez, Jane Memmott, Katja MintenbeckJohn K. Pinnegar, Björn C. Rall, Thomas S. Rayner, Daniel C. Reuman, Liliane Ruess, Werner Ulrich, Richard J. Williams, Guy Woodward, Joel E. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

369 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been suggested that differences in body size between consumer and resource species may have important implications for interaction strengths, population dynamics, and eventually food web structure, function, and evolution. Still, the general distribution of consumer-resource body-size ratios in real ecosystems, and whether they vary systematically among habitats or broad taxonomic groups, is poorly understood. Using a unique global database on consumer and resource body sizes, we show that the mean bodysize ratios of aquatic herbivorous and detritivorous consumers are several orders of magnitude larger than those of carnivorous predators. Carnivorous predator-prey body-size ratios vary across different habitats and predator and prey types (invertebrates, ectotherm, and endotherm vertebrates). Predator-prey body-size ratios are on average significantly higher (1) in freshwater habitats than in marine or terrestrial habitats, (2) for vertebrate than for invertebrate predators, and (3) for invertebrate than for ectotherm vertebrate prey. If recent studies that relate body-size ratios to interaction strengths are general, our results suggest that mean consumer-resource interaction strengths may vary systematically across different habitat categories and consumer types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2411-2417
Number of pages7
JournalEcology
Volume87
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

natural foods
food webs
food web
body size
predator
predators
resource
habitat
habitats
vertebrate
invertebrate
invertebrates
vertebrates
consumer-resource interaction
population dynamics
ecosystems
ecosystem

Keywords

  • Allometry
  • Body length
  • Body mass
  • Body-size ratio
  • Food webs
  • Parasitoid-host
  • Predation
  • Predator-prey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Brose, U., Jonsson, T., Berlow, E. L., Warren, P., Banasek-Richter, C., Bersier, L. F., ... Cohen, J. E. (2006). Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs. Ecology, 87(10), 2411-2417. https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[2411:CBRINF]2.0.CO;2

Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs. / Brose, Ulrich; Jonsson, Tomas; Berlow, Eric L.; Warren, Philip; Banasek-Richter, Carolin; Bersier, Louis Félix; Blanchard, Julia L.; Brey, Thomas; Carpenter, Stephen R.; Blandenier, Marie France Cattin; Cushing, Lara; Dawah, Hassan A.; Dell, Tony; Edwards, Francois; Harper-Smith, Sarah; Jacob, Ute; Ledger, Mark E.; Martinez, Neo D; Memmott, Jane; Mintenbeck, Katja; Pinnegar, John K.; Rall, Björn C.; Rayner, Thomas S.; Reuman, Daniel C.; Ruess, Liliane; Ulrich, Werner; Williams, Richard J.; Woodward, Guy; Cohen, Joel E.

In: Ecology, Vol. 87, No. 10, 10.2006, p. 2411-2417.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brose, U, Jonsson, T, Berlow, EL, Warren, P, Banasek-Richter, C, Bersier, LF, Blanchard, JL, Brey, T, Carpenter, SR, Blandenier, MFC, Cushing, L, Dawah, HA, Dell, T, Edwards, F, Harper-Smith, S, Jacob, U, Ledger, ME, Martinez, ND, Memmott, J, Mintenbeck, K, Pinnegar, JK, Rall, BC, Rayner, TS, Reuman, DC, Ruess, L, Ulrich, W, Williams, RJ, Woodward, G & Cohen, JE 2006, 'Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs', Ecology, vol. 87, no. 10, pp. 2411-2417. https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[2411:CBRINF]2.0.CO;2
Brose U, Jonsson T, Berlow EL, Warren P, Banasek-Richter C, Bersier LF et al. Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs. Ecology. 2006 Oct;87(10):2411-2417. https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[2411:CBRINF]2.0.CO;2
Brose, Ulrich ; Jonsson, Tomas ; Berlow, Eric L. ; Warren, Philip ; Banasek-Richter, Carolin ; Bersier, Louis Félix ; Blanchard, Julia L. ; Brey, Thomas ; Carpenter, Stephen R. ; Blandenier, Marie France Cattin ; Cushing, Lara ; Dawah, Hassan A. ; Dell, Tony ; Edwards, Francois ; Harper-Smith, Sarah ; Jacob, Ute ; Ledger, Mark E. ; Martinez, Neo D ; Memmott, Jane ; Mintenbeck, Katja ; Pinnegar, John K. ; Rall, Björn C. ; Rayner, Thomas S. ; Reuman, Daniel C. ; Ruess, Liliane ; Ulrich, Werner ; Williams, Richard J. ; Woodward, Guy ; Cohen, Joel E. / Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs. In: Ecology. 2006 ; Vol. 87, No. 10. pp. 2411-2417.
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