Feeding habits influence species habitat associations

21 outubro 2022

We analysed how differences in dietary preferences influence the spatial distribution and habitat associations of species at the landscape scale.
We used diet data to classify species into feeding guilds (frugivores, herbivores, piscivores, fin and scale feeders and planktivores) and three proxies of habitat association derived from satellite products: floodplain extent, landscape heterogeneity and flood duration.
Frugivores, piscivores and fin and scale feeders presented similar patterns of habitat associations, with frugivores occupying wider areas of floodplain and greater landscape heterogeneity. Herbivores and planktivores were associated with smaller floodplain extents and lower landscape heterogeneity. All feeding guilds were associated with similar levels of flood duration.
This work highlights the importance of understanding species habitat associations by fish as well as food resource dynamics and floodplain dependence. This realization is critical for assessing the impact of anthropogenic activities on freshwater ecosystems.
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