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What you need is what you eat? Prey selection by the bat Myotis daubentonii.

Vesterinen, Eero J; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Wahlberg, Niklas LU ; Peña, Carlos; Roslin, Tomas; Laine, Veronika N; Vasko, Ville; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E; Norrdahl, Kai and Lilley, Thomas M (2016) In Molecular Ecology 25. p.1581-1594
Abstract
Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators are selective when faced with abundant prey, but become less picky when prey gets sparse. Insectivorous bats in temperate regions are faced with the challenge of building up fat reserves vital for hibernation during a period of decreasing arthropod abundances. According to optimal foraging theory, pre-hibernating bats should adopt a less selective feeding behavior - yet empirical studies have revealed many apparently generalized species to be composed of specialist individuals. Targeting the diet of the bat Myotis daubentonii, we used a combination of molecular techniques to test for seasonal changes in prey selectivity and individual-level variation in prey preferences. DNA metabarcoding was... (More)
Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators are selective when faced with abundant prey, but become less picky when prey gets sparse. Insectivorous bats in temperate regions are faced with the challenge of building up fat reserves vital for hibernation during a period of decreasing arthropod abundances. According to optimal foraging theory, pre-hibernating bats should adopt a less selective feeding behavior - yet empirical studies have revealed many apparently generalized species to be composed of specialist individuals. Targeting the diet of the bat Myotis daubentonii, we used a combination of molecular techniques to test for seasonal changes in prey selectivity and individual-level variation in prey preferences. DNA metabarcoding was used to characterise both the prey contents of bat droppings and the insect community available as prey. To test for dietary differences among M. daubentonii individuals, we used ten microsatellite loci to assign droppings to individual bats. The comparison between consumed and available prey revealed a preference for certain prey items regardless of availability. Non-biting midges (Chironomidae) remained the most highly consumed prey at all times, despite a significant increase in the availability of black-flies (Simuliidae) towards the end of the season. The bats sampled showed no evidence of individual specialization in dietary preferences. Overall, our approach offers little support for optimal foraging theory. Thus, it shows how novel combinations of genetic markers can be used to test general theory, targeting patterns at both the level of prey communities and individual predators. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Molecular Ecology
volume
25
pages
1581 - 1594
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • pmid:26841188
  • scopus:84960888359
  • wos:000373104500013
ISSN
0962-1083
DOI
10.1111/mec.13564
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2e7e21f3-4889-4078-a81b-69080632ab04 (old id 8829398)
date added to LUP
2016-03-03 12:02:30
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:08:14
@article{2e7e21f3-4889-4078-a81b-69080632ab04,
  abstract     = {Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators are selective when faced with abundant prey, but become less picky when prey gets sparse. Insectivorous bats in temperate regions are faced with the challenge of building up fat reserves vital for hibernation during a period of decreasing arthropod abundances. According to optimal foraging theory, pre-hibernating bats should adopt a less selective feeding behavior - yet empirical studies have revealed many apparently generalized species to be composed of specialist individuals. Targeting the diet of the bat Myotis daubentonii, we used a combination of molecular techniques to test for seasonal changes in prey selectivity and individual-level variation in prey preferences. DNA metabarcoding was used to characterise both the prey contents of bat droppings and the insect community available as prey. To test for dietary differences among M. daubentonii individuals, we used ten microsatellite loci to assign droppings to individual bats. The comparison between consumed and available prey revealed a preference for certain prey items regardless of availability. Non-biting midges (Chironomidae) remained the most highly consumed prey at all times, despite a significant increase in the availability of black-flies (Simuliidae) towards the end of the season. The bats sampled showed no evidence of individual specialization in dietary preferences. Overall, our approach offers little support for optimal foraging theory. Thus, it shows how novel combinations of genetic markers can be used to test general theory, targeting patterns at both the level of prey communities and individual predators. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Vesterinen, Eero J and Ruokolainen, Lasse and Wahlberg, Niklas and Peña, Carlos and Roslin, Tomas and Laine, Veronika N and Vasko, Ville and Sääksjärvi, Ilari E and Norrdahl, Kai and Lilley, Thomas M},
  issn         = {0962-1083},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  pages        = {1581--1594},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Molecular Ecology},
  title        = {What you need is what you eat? Prey selection by the bat Myotis daubentonii.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13564},
  volume       = {25},
  year         = {2016},
}