New Year and EC January

Submitted by editor on 11 January 2019.Get the paper!

Happy New Year to all Oikos readers! The editorial team wishes you a healthy and prosperous 2019, with lots of exciting science!

Our first issue of 2019 contains a collection of 13 fascinating articles, ranging from evolutionary processes of adaptation and sex-ration adjustment to ecosystem functioning. We selected the work of Annelies De Cuyper and colleagues ‘Predator size and prey size–gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals’ as the editor’s choice.

The authors integrated data from more than 400 studies on carnivore kills to study allometric relationships between predator and prey size and typology, and to predict kill frequencies. This integrated approach revealed that the general picture of carnivores killing large prey at low frequencies while others investing in killing many small prey at higher frequencies more depends on prey differences and availability than on carnivore size. By further linking allometry in gut size and food requirements to predator size, they also provide a mechanistic explanation of why some species leave more carcasses to themselves and scavengers, than others.

Allometric body-mass scaling has resulted in major breakthrough in ecology. Here, the authors show that, despite these generalities, realised size-based interactions are more context dependent and  as a consequence relevant for our understanding of cascading trophic processes.

Yours Dries

Editor's ChoiceInsights into Oikos papers