Foraging under predation: a comparison of energetic and predation costs in rodent communities of the Negev and Sonoran deserts

J. S. Brown, B. P. Kotler, T. J. Valone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Patch-use theory, giving-up densities in experimental food patches, and harvest-rate measurements within these patches were used to determine the relative contributions of predation risk and energy to foraging costs in four species of rodents from communities in the Sonoran (Arizona) and Negev (Israel) deserts. The results showed that predation costs predominate. Energetic costs represented only 24%, 19%, 16% and 13% of the foraging costs for Merriam's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami; Sonoran), the round-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus tereticaudus; Sonoran), the greater Egyptian sand gerbil (Gerbillus pyramidum; Negev), and Allenby's gerbil (G. allenbyi; Negev), respectively. Equally important were predation-risk differences between bush and open microhabitats; the microhabitat differences in predation cost were often 2-4 times larger than the animals' energetic costs. Predation costs appear to be greater in the Negev Desert. As a result, predation risk may contribute more towards species coexistence in the community of the Sonoran Desert than that of the Negev Desert. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-448
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Foraging under predation: a comparison of energetic and predation costs in rodent communities of the Negev and Sonoran deserts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this