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Animal Body SizeLinking Pattern and Process across Space, Time, and Taxonomic Group$
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Felisa A. Smith and S. Kathleen Lyons

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226012148

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226012285.001.0001

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Using Size Distributions to Understand the Role of Body Size in Mammalian Community Assembly

Using Size Distributions to Understand the Role of Body Size in Mammalian Community Assembly

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter Six Using Size Distributions to Understand the Role of Body Size in Mammalian Community Assembly
Source:
Animal Body Size
Author(s):

S. K. Morgan Ernest

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226012285.003.0007

This chapter examines the evidence demonstrating the role body size plays in mammal communities; discusses the important insights that can be obtained by broadening the mammalian research agenda to include the use of individual-level body size distributions; and examines the potential benefits of simultaneously exploring and comparing the relationships between individual and species-level body size distributions using data from nine small mammal communities. The highly conserved nature of species size distributions suggests that this distribution may be a fundamental aspect of how mammals assemble, regardless of habitat type or species composition. In contrast, the sensitivity of the body size energy distribution to shifting species composition suggests that the shape of individual-based distributions may be more context specific.

Keywords:   body size distribution, mammals, mammal communities, habitat type

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