The isotopic ecology of East African mammals

Stanley H. Ambrose, Michael J. DeNiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of bone collagen have been used to trace diet and habitat selection of the larger mammals of East Africa. 238 individuals of 43 species from montane forests and grasslands in Kenya and Tanzania have been analyzed. The results show that carbon isotopes discriminate between (1) grazers and browsers in savanna grasslands, (2) forest floor and savanna grassland herbivores and (3) forest floor and forest canopy species. Nitrogen isotopes discriminate between (4) carnivores and herbivores, (5) forest and savanna grassland herbivores, and (6) water-dependent and drought-tolerant herbivores. This technique provides a quantitative approach to assessing long-term habitat and diet selection and the role of resource partitioning in animal community structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-406
Number of pages12
JournalOecologia
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The isotopic ecology of East African mammals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this