Forty years of dietary studies on barn owl (Tyto alba) reveal long term trends in diversity metrics of small mammal prey

in Animal Biology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Abstract

The diet of predators is influenced by local conditions (e.g., characteristics of habitat and microhabitat, seasonality, prey availability) and therefore tends to change across time. In this paper, the diet composition of the barn owl (Tyto alba) in Italy was studied using a meta-analysis of 47 articles (covering 212 independent sites, with multiple surveys for some sites, thus giving a total of 290 datasets) between 1972 and 2012. General Linear Models were used to assess the effects of year and study site on four distinct diversity indices (species richness, dominance, Shannon-Weaver diversity and equitability). The year of data collection was a factor used in all analyses. Year had a greater effect than study site on all diversity indices, but the effect was not significant for the evenness and the species richness. However, dietary dominance increased significantly over the years, the Shannon-Weaver index of diversity decreased significantly over time, and equitability also decreased significantly over time. The relative abundance of various species of rodents did not increase/decrease progressively over the years, although there were inter-annual fluctuations. On the other hand, the relative abundance of insectivores tended to decrease with time, and there was a significantly negative correlation between year and the frequency of consumption of Sorex spp. and a marginally significant negative correlation for Crocidura leucodon.

Forty years of dietary studies on barn owl (Tyto alba) reveal long term trends in diversity metrics of small mammal prey

in Animal Biology

Sections

References

AmoriG.CipolloniA. & Di RussoC. (1991) Small mammals in the pellets of the barn owl in the central Apennines. Suppl. Ric. Biol. Selvaggina16533-537.

BattistiC. (2014) Peninsular patterns in biological diversity: historical arrangement, methodological approaches and causal processes. J. Nat. Hist.482701-2732.

BennettS.H.GibbonsJ.W. & GlanvilleJ. (1980) Terrestrial activity, abundance and diversity of amphibians in differently managed forest types. Am. Midl. Nat.103412-416.

BerardiG.M. (1983) Pesticide use in Italian food production. Bioscience33502-506.

BrichettiP. & FracassoG. (2006) Ornitologia Italiana. Stercorariidae-Caprimulgidae Vol. 3 pp. 316-324. Alberto Perdisa EditoreBologna, Italy.

CampbellR.W.ManuwalD.A. & HarestadA.S. (1987) Food habits of the common barn-owl in British Columbia. Can. J. Zool.65578-586.

Clark Jr.D.R. & BunckC.M. (1991) Trends in North American small mammals found in common barn-owl (Tyto alba) dietary studies. Can. J. Zool.693093-3102.

ContoliL.AloiseG. & FilippucciM.G. (1988a) Sulla diversificazione trofica di barbagianni Tyto alba e civetta Athene noctua in rapporto al livello diagnostico delle prede. Avocetta1221-30.

ContoliL.AloiseG. & FilippucciM.G. (1988b) Sulla nicchia trofica di Tyto alba ed Athene noctua nell’Isola d’Elba (Toscana) in rapporto all’Italia tirrenica. Bull. Ecol.19367-373.

CoronaP.MacrìA. & MarchettiM. (2004) Boschi e foreste in Italia secondo le più recenti fonti informative. Italia Forest. Mont.2119-136.

DythamC. (2011) Choosing and Using Statistics. A Biologist’s Guide. Wiley BlackwellOxford, UK.

EstesJ.A.TerborghJ.BrasharesJ.S.PowerM.E.BergerJ.BondW.J.CarpenterS.R.EssingtonT.E.HoltR.D.JacksonJ.B.C.MarquisR.J.OksanenL.OksanenT.PaineR.T.PikitchE.K.RippleW.J.SandinS.A.SchefferM.SchoenerT.W.ShurinJ.B.SinclairA.R.E.SouléM.E.VirtanenR. & WardleD.A. (2011) Trophic downgrading of planet Earth. Science333301-306.

FalcucciA.MaioranoL. & BoitaniL. (2007) Changes in land-use/land-cover patterns in Italy and their implications for biodiversity conservation. Landsc. Ecol.22617-631.

GlueD.E. (2009) Prey taken by the barn owl in England and Wales. Bird Study14169-183.

LoveR.A.WebonC.GlueD.E. & HarrisS. (2000) Changes in the food of British barn owls (Tyto alba) between 1974 and 1997. Mamm. Rev.30107-129.

MagurranA.E. (1988) Ecological Diversity and Its Measurement. Princeton University PressPrinceton, NJ, USA.

MagurranA.E. & McGillB.J. (2011) Biological Diversity: Frontiers in Measurement and Assessment. Oxford University PressOxford, UK.

MazzottiS. & DaviL. (2003) Dinamiche stagionali della nicchia trofica del barbagianni, Tyto alba, in Pianura Padana. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Ferrara667-77.

MilanaG.LayM.MaioranoL.LuiselliL. & AmoriG. (2016) Geographic patterns of predator niche breadth and prey species richness. Ecol. Res.31111-115.

MortellitiA.AmoriG.SammuriG. & BoitaniL. (2007) Factors affecting the distribution of Sorex samniticus, an endemic Italian shrew, in an heterogeneous landscape. Acta Theriol.5275-84.

Pietoi-TonelliP. (1969) The regulation of pesticides in Italy. In: F.A. Gunther (Ed.) Residue Reviews/Rückstands-Berichte. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Continuation of Residue Reviews) Vol. 27 pp. 1-18. SpringerNew York, NY, USA.

RicklefsR.E. (1980) Ecology. Chiron PressNew York, NY, USA.

RingerR.K. (2001) Summation. In: R.F. Shore & B.A. Rattner (Eds) Ecotoxicology of Wild Mammals pp. 691-706. WileyNew York, NY, USA.

Robertson Jr.W.B. (1955) An analysis of breeding bird populations of tropical Florida in relation to the vegetation. Ph.D. dissertation University of Illinois Urbana IL USA.

RoulinA. (2016) Shrews and moles are less often captured by European barn owls Tyto alba nowadays than 150 years ago. Bird Study63559-563.

RugieroL.MilanaG.CapulaM.AmoriG. & LuiselliL. (2014) Long term variations in small mammal composition of a snake diet do not mirror climate change trends. Acta Oecol.43158-164.

SalvatiL.RanazziL. & ManganaroA. (2002) Habitat preferences, breeding success, and diet of the barn owl (Tyto alba) in Rome: urban versus rural territories. J. Raptor Res.36224-228.

SelonenV.SulkavaP.SulkavaR.SulkavaS. & KorpimäkiE. (2010) Decline of flying and red squirrels in boreal forests revealed by long-term diet analyses of avian predators. Anim. Conserv.13579-585.

ShoreR.F. & RattnerB.A. (2001) Ecotoxicology of Wild Mammals. WileyNew York, NY, USA.

TaylorI. (2004) Barn Owls: Predator-Prey Relationships and Conservation. Cambridge University PressLondon, UK.

TornbergR.MönkkönenM. & PahkalaM. (1999) Changes in diet and morphology of Finnish goshawks from 1960s to 1990s. Oecologia121369-376.

TylianakisJ.M.TscharntkeT. & LewisO.T. (2007) Habitat modification alters the structure of tropical host-parasitoid food webs. Nature445(7124) 202-205.

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Geographical position of the various study sites from which owl pellet literature datasets were used.

  • View in gallery

    Correlations between year of Tyto alba pellet collection and dominance (graph A), Shannon index of diversity (B), and equitability (C). For statistical details, see the text.

  • View in gallery

    Patterns of the average yearly values of the various indices of taxonomic diversity of Tyto alba diets.

  • View in gallery

    Correlation between year and the frequency of occurrence of Sorex sp. remains in Tyto alba pellets. For statistical details, see the text.

  • View in gallery

    Correlation between year and the frequency of occurrence of Soricomorphs remains (all species pooled) in Tyto alba pellets. For the statistical details, see the text.

  • View in gallery

    Values of the various indices of taxonomic diversity of prey taxa inside Tyto alba pellets in relation to the year of collection.

  • View in gallery

    (Continued.)

  • View in gallery

    (Continued.)

  • View in gallery

    (Continued.)

  • View in gallery

    (Continued.)

  • View in gallery

    (Continued.)

  • View in gallery

    (Continued.)

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 91 91 12
Full Text Views 102 102 33
PDF Downloads 13 13 5
EPUB Downloads 10 10 0