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Comparative isotope ecology of western Amazonian rainforest mammals

Tejada, Julia V. and Flynn, John J. and Antoine, Pierre-Olivier and Pacheco, Victor and Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo and Cerling, Thure E. (2020) Comparative isotope ecology of western Amazonian rainforest mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117 (42). pp. 26263-26272. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC7584874. doi:10.1073/pnas.2007440117.

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Closed-canopy rainforests are important for climate (influencing atmospheric circulation, albedo, carbon storage, etc.) and ecology (harboring the highest biodiversity of continental regions). Of all rainforests, Amazonia is the world’s most diverse, including the highest mammalian species richness. However, little is known about niche structure, ecological roles, and food resource partitioning of Amazonian mammalian communities over time. Through analyses of δ13Cbioapatite, δ³Cₕₐᵢᵣ, and δ¹⁵Nₕₐᵢᵣ, we isotopically characterized aspects of feeding ecology in a modern western Amazonian mammalian community in Peru, serving as a baseline for understanding the evolution of Neotropical rainforest ecosystems. By comparing these results with data from equatorial Africa, we evaluated the potential influences of distinct phylogenetic and biogeographic histories on the isotopic niches occupied by mammals in analogous tropical ecosystems. Our results indicate that, despite their geographical and taxonomic differences, median δ¹³C_(diet) values from closed-canopy rainforests in Amazonia (−27.4‰) and equatorial Africa (−26.9‰) are not significantly different, and that the median δ¹³C_(diet) expected for mammalian herbivores in any closed-canopy rainforest is −27.2‰. Amazonian mammals seem to exploit a narrower spectrum of dietary resources than equatorial African mammals, however, as depicted by the absence of highly negative δ¹³C_(diet) values previously proposed as indicative of rainforests (<−31‰). Finally, results of keratin and bioapatite δ¹³C indicate that the predictive power of trophic relationships, and traditional dietary ecological classifications in bioapatite-protein isotopic offset expectations, must be reconsidered.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Tejada, Julia V.0000-0003-2307-6764
Flynn, John J.0000-0003-4705-3591
Antoine, Pierre-Olivier0000-0001-9122-1818
Pacheco, Victor0000-0002-1005-135X
Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo0000-0001-9990-8841
Cerling, Thure E.0000-0002-3590-294X
Additional Information:© 2020 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND). This work was funded by the NSF-Inter University Training in Continental Scale Ecology (EF-1137336) through a research in residence program, Columbia University and Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH) fellowships granted to J.V.T., and the Frick Fund (Division of Paleontology, AMNH). We are indebted to five anonymous reviewers and the editor for thoughtful suggestions that significantly improved the quality of this contribution. We thank J. Ehleringer, IsoCamp instructors, F. Smith, and faculty at the CSI-UNM for fruitful discussions during manuscript preparation; R. MacPhee and N. Duncan at the American Museum of Natural History; students at the Museo de Historia Natural-UNMSM; and S. Chakraborty at SIRFER for help during sampling collection and analyses. We also thank K. Uno for lending his laboratory for sample preparation, N. Levin for providing African data, and J. Denton for assistance and advice with computer programming and data analyses.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
American Museum of Natural HistoryUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:42
PubMed Central ID:PMC7584874
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20230313-433528000.16
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:119967
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Mar 2023 16:33
Last Modified:14 Mar 2023 16:33

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