Data for: Carnivore niche partitioning in a human landscape
Rodriguez Curras, Mauriel; Donadío, Emiliano; Middleton, Arthur; Pauli, Jonathan (2021), Data for: Carnivore niche partitioning in a human landscape, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.00000004p
To minimize competitive overlap, carnivores modify one of their critical niche axes: space, time, or resources. However, we currently lack rules for how carnivore communities operate in human-dominated landscapes. We simultaneously quantified overlap in the critical niche axes of a simple carnivore community – an apex carnivore (Puma concolor), a dominant meso-carnivore (Lycalopex culpaeus), and a subordinate meso-carnivore (L. griseus) – in a human-landscape featuring pastoralists and semi-domestic carnivores (i.e., dogs Canis familiaris). We found that dominant species had strong negative effects on the space-use of subordinate ones, which ultimately created space for subordinate small-carnivores. Humans and dogs were strictly diurnal, whereas the native carnivore community was nocturnal and exhibited high temporal overlap. Dietary overlap was high among the native carnivores, but dogs were trophically decoupled, largely because of human food subsidies. Our results show that in landscapes with evident human presence, temporal and dietary partitioning among native carnivores can be limited, leaving space as the most important axis to be partitioned among carnivores. We believe that these findings – the first to simultaneously assess all three critical niche axes among competing carnivores and humans and their associated species (i.e., domesticated carnivores) – are transferable to other carnivore communities in human modified landscapes.