Data from: Niche partitioning and the role of intraspecific niche variation in structuring a guild of generalist anurans
Cloyed, Carl S.; Eason, Perri K. (2017), Data from: Niche partitioning and the role of intraspecific niche variation in structuring a guild of generalist anurans, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jh843
Intra-population niche differences in generalist foragers have captured the interest of ecologists, because such individuality can have important ecological and evolutionary implications. Few researchers have investigated how these differences affect the relationships among ecologically similar, sympatric species. Using stable isotopes, stomach contents, morphology and habitat preference, we examined niche partitioning within a group of five anurans and determined whether variation within species could facilitate resource partitioning. Species partitioned their niches by trophic level and by foraging habitat. However, there was considerable intraspecific variation in trophic level, with larger individuals generally feeding at higher trophic levels. For species at intermediate trophic levels, smaller individuals overlapped in trophic level with individuals of smaller species and larger individuals overlapped with the smallest individuals from larger species. Species varied in carbon isotopes; species with enriched carbon isotope ratios foraged farther from ponds, whereas species with depleted carbon isotope values foraged closer to ponds. Our study shows that these species partition their niches by feeding at different trophic levels and foraging at different distances from ponds. The intraspecific variation in trophic level decreased the number of individuals from each species that overlapped in trophic level with individuals from other species, which can facilitate species coexistence.