Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Foraging Theory, Patch Use, and the Structure of a Negev Desert Granivore Community

Joel S. Brown, Burt P. Kotler and William A. Mitchell
Ecology
Vol. 75, No. 8 (Dec., 1994), pp. 2286-2300
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1940884
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1940884
Page Count: 15
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Foraging Theory, Patch Use, and the Structure of a Negev Desert Granivore Community
Preview not available

Abstract

We tested five mechanisms of coexistence in a community of three common rodent species (two gerbils, Gerbillus allenbyi and G. pyramidum, and one jerboa, Jaculus jaculus) inhabiting sand dunes in the Negev Desert, Israel. The five mechanisms, based on foraging theory, considered various forms of habitat selection in time and space. From November 1986 until January 1988, we live-trapped to census rodent populations, counted rodent spoor in tracking plots to quantify activity, and measured the rodents' giving-up densities (GUDs: the amount of food remaining within a resource patch following exploitation by a forager) in seed trays to determine relative foraging efficiencies. The population sizes of the two gerbil species tended to fluctuate synchronously (unfortunately, we could not live-trap any jerboas). G. allenbyi biased its activity towards the stabilized sand habitat and towards the bush microhabitat. In contrast, G. pyramidum and J. jaculus biased their activity towards semistabilized sand habitats, and J. jaculus also biased its activity towards the open microhabitat. Despite divergent patterns of habitat use among species, G. allenbyi tended to be the most efficient forager and J. jaculus the least efficient forager regardless of microhabitat, sand habitat, or month. G. allenbyi's presence in the community may be assured by its higher foraging efficiency. J. jaculus's presence in the community may either result from its ability to travel greater distances and utilize rare, rich resource patches, or result from an herbivorous diet. G. pyramidum's presence with G. allenbyi in the community appears to require the less stabilized sand habitats and the ability of G. pyramidum to dominate rich patches by interference or nightly temporal partitioning.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
2286
    2286
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2287
    2287
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2288
    2288
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2289
    2289
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2290
    2290
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2291
    2291
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2292
    2292
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2293
    2293
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2294
    2294
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2295
    2295
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2296
    2296
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2297
    2297
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2298
    2298
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2299
    2299
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2300
    2300