Trophic niche divergence reduces survival in an omnivorous rodent

Pei Jen L. Shaner*, Sheng Hai Wu, Linhua Ke, Shuh Ji Kao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothesis: Individuals that diverge from their population's mean trophic niche suffer reduced survival. Organism: The Taiwan field mouse, Apodemus semotus, a common, small, omnivorous rodent. Field site: Pinus-Alnus-Quercus forest in central Taiwan (121°18E, 24°21N). Methods: We used capture-recapture data to measure the survival of individual Apodemus semotus. We measured individual trophic niches using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values obtained from samples of the rodents' hair. We used stepwise logistic regression to evaluate whether an individual's survival depended on the divergence of its trophic niche from the population mean. We controlled for the potentially confounding effects of resource abundance with dry weights of seeds and arthropods collected in seed traps and pitfall traps. Conclusions: The probability of survival declined with increasing niche divergence from the population mean. Stabilizing selection in this population of Apodemus semotus is thus acting to conserve niche width and location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-946
Number of pages14
JournalEvolutionary Ecology Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov


  • Apodemus semotus
  • Stabilizing selection
  • Stable isotopes
  • Trophic niche

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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