We performed stable isotope analysis on eight mammalian species: pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), long-tailed macaque (M. fascicularis), dusky leaf monkey (Trachypithecus obscurus), brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus macrourus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), lesser mouse-deer (Tragulus javanicus), greater mouse-deer (T. napu), and barking deer (Muntiacus muntjac), to test the hypothesis that the differences in diet and habitat types among species, guilds and foraging strategies are reflected in the δ15N and δ13C signatures of their tissues. Whereas the isotopic ratios differed among taxa, the four major isotopic groups observed were: mouse-deer species, primate species, brush-tailed porcupine, and wild boar. The brush-tailed porcupine showed the most divergent isotopic signatures, depleted in both δ15N and δ13C, and the wild boar had isotopic signatures enriched in both δ15N and δ13C. Although results are only indicative, the three habitat types occupied by the species were reflected by differences in isotopic signatures, with the ground-dwelling species having the most divergent isotopic values from arboreal and semi-arboreal species. Likewise, among the four different types of dietary lifestyle groups tested, each group showed either significantly different δ15N or δ13C from other groups. Omnivores had the highest isotopic values, and bark-eater/frugivores had the lowest. By increasing the sample sizes both within the species and the number of species in future analyses, this isotopic technique provides opportunity to elucidate the diets of their putative predators in the rainforests of Peninsular Malaysia.
Kawanishi, K., Liang, S. H. N., Darimont, C., Reimchen, T. E., & Sunquist, M. E. (2012). Isotopic niche differentiation among mammals from a rainforest in Peninsular Malaysia. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 60(1), 233-9.
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