Title

The allometry of cannibalism in piscivorous fishes

Authors

F Juanes

Publication Date

2003

Journal or Book Title

CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES

Abstract

Cannibalism is a widespread phenomenon that can have strong population and community effects. In this study, I compare the prey size – predator size relationships of diets with and without cannibalized prey for four piscivorous species and five populations that are commonly cannibalistic and where large databases exist. I then examine the resultant trophic niche breadths (range of relative prey size consumed) to quantify whether inclusion of cannibalized prey in the diet slows down the decline in trophic niche breadth that many large predators exhibit as they grow. When comparing diets including cannibalized prey with those without, consistent differences were found among all predator species. In all cases, the slope of the upper bound of the predator size – prey size scatters was larger for cannibal predators compared with noncannibals, suggesting selectivity for larger cannibal prey, which may be driven by higher rates of size-dependent capture success with familiar prey. The slopes of the upper bounds of the cannibal relative prey size vs. predator size scatter also tended to be larger than the upper-bound slopes for diets without conspecific prey. Finally, for all species, mean trophic breadth of diets including cannibalized prey were larger than those not including cannibal prey, suggesting that relatively large prey sizes may always be available for cannibals.

DOI

10.1139/f03-051

Volume

60

Issue

5

Pages

594-602

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