Behavioral interactions are modulated by facilitation along a heterotrophic succession

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Title: Behavioral interactions are modulated by facilitation along a heterotrophic succession
Authors: Naves-Alegre, Lara | Sebastián-González, Esther | Sánchez-Zapata, José A.
Research Group/s: Ecología y Conservación de Poblaciones y Comunidades Animales (ECPCA)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología
Keywords: Animal behavior | Carrion consumption | Community dynamics | Community ecology | Competition | Ephemeral resource | Facilitation | Heterotrophic succession | Scavenger | Species interactions
Issue Date: 7-Jan-2024
Publisher: Wiley Periodicals LLC
Citation: Ecology. 2024, 105(2): e4236. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.4236
Abstract: Competition and facilitation drive ecological succession but are often hard to quantify. In this sense, behavioral data may be a key tool to analyze interaction networks, providing insights into temporal trends in facilitation and competition processes within animal heterotrophic succession. Here, we perform the first in-depth analysis of the factors driving temporal dynamics of carcass consumption by analyzing behavioral patterns (i.e., interactions) and community dynamics metrics (i.e., species richness, abundance, turnover, and diversity) in a Neotropical scavenger guild. For this purpose, we monitored goat carcasses using automatic cameras. From 573 reviewed videos, we registered 1784 intraspecific and 624 interspecific interactions, using intraspecific and interspecific aggressions (n = 2048) as a behavioral proxy of competition intensity. Our results show that resource availability shapes behavioral interactions between vultures, with a specific effect of the different species on behavioral and competition dynamics, showing the existence of a hierarchy between species. Furthermore, behavioral processes linked to carcass opening tended to be facilitative, related to moments of higher tolerance (i.e., lower aggressiveness), thus reducing competition intensity and also affecting community structure and dynamics. This novel framework demonstrates complex ephemeral successional processes characterized by a fluctuation in facilitation and competition intensity during the consumption of an unpredictable resource linked to key ecosystem processes.
Sponsor: Lara Naves-Alegre, and Esther Sebastián-González were supported by the Generalitat Valenciana and the European Social Fund (ACIF/2019/056, SEJI/2018/024, respectively). Esther Sebastián-González also received the grant RYC2019-027216-I funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 and by ESF Investing in Your Future.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/139603
ISSN: 0012-9658 (Print) | 1939-9170 (Online)
DOI: 10.1002/ecy.4236
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2024 The Authors. Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Ecological Society of America. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.4236
Appears in Collections:INV - ECPCA - Artículos de Revistas

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