Plasticity and specialisation in the isotopic niche of African clawless otters foraging in marine and freshwater habitats

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dc.contributor.author Jordaan, Rowan Keith
dc.contributor.author Somers, Michael J.
dc.contributor.author Hall, Grant
dc.contributor.author McIntyre, Trevor
dc.date.accessioned 2019-09-11T11:30:26Z
dc.date.issued 2019-09
dc.description.abstract Individual-level behavioural plasticity resulting from differences in environmental conditions is prevalent in many organisms and may result in phenomena such as dietary- or habitat specialisation. The isotopic niche of African clawless otters, Aonyx capensis, occupying different habitats was investigated with the use of stable isotope techniques. Stable isotope analyses revealed that African clawless otter isotopic niche varied between, as well as within, individuals and varied when compared to conspecifics occupying different habitats. Some otters varied their isotopic niche and foraging areas temporally, whilst others did not. The isotopic niche of African clawless otters in a coastal habitat overlapped substantially with previous reports on otter diet, but illustrated that otters eat more shark and molluscs than previously estimated. In freshwater habitats, not all otters had trout in their isotopic niche, although this prey item was abundantly available in the study area. Our results suggest that the African clawless otters can exhibit substantial behavioural plasticity. Such evident adaptability is likely to benefit otters and allow for extended use of non-pristine environments affected by human disturbance when sufficient quantities of prey remain available. en_ZA
dc.description.department Mammal Research Institute en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2020-09-01
dc.description.librarian hj2019 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The Department of Science and Technology, through the National Research Foundation (South Africa). en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.elsevier.com/locate/mambio en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Jordaan, R.K., Somers, M.J., Hall, G. et al. 2019, 'Plasticity and specialisation in the isotopic niche of African clawless otters foraging in marine and freshwater habitats', Mammalian Biology, vol. 98, pp. 61-72. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1616-5047 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1618-1476 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1016/j.mambio.2019.07.006
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/71335
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Elsevier en_ZA
dc.rights © 2019 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved. Notice : this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Mammalian Biology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. A definitive version was subsequently published in Mammalian Biology, vol. 98, pp. 61-72, 2019. doi : 10.1016/j.mambio.2019.07.006. en_ZA
dc.subject African clawless otters (Aonyx capensis) en_ZA
dc.subject Africa en_ZA
dc.subject Conflict en_ZA
dc.subject Trout en_ZA
dc.subject Isotope analysis en_ZA
dc.subject Diet en_ZA
dc.subject Behavioural plasticity en_ZA
dc.title Plasticity and specialisation in the isotopic niche of African clawless otters foraging in marine and freshwater habitats en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA


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