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Sample records for invasive predator rats

  1. Dietary shift of an invasive predator: rats, seabirds and sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Caut, Stéphane; Angulo, Elena; Courchamp, Franck

    2008-01-01

    Rats have reached about 80% of the world's islands and are among the most successful invasive mammals. Rats are opportunistic predators that are notorious for their impact on a variety of animal and plant species. However, little documented evidence on the complexities of these interactions is available.In our study, we assessed the impact of black rats Rattus rattus introduced on a small uninhabited island with a relatively simple ecosystem, Surprise Island, New Caledonia. We also compared the diet of R. rattus in the presence and absence of breeding seabirds, assessing the dietary compensation for this potentially important food source. From 2002 to 2005, we used live trapping studies combined with stable isotope analysis and conventional diet analyses (direct observations, gut and faecal contents) to characterize the diet of rats.Our results suggest a heavy predatory impact on seabirds, which could constitute as much as 24% of the rat diet. Moreover, in the absence of birds, rats compensated marginally by preying more heavily on other components of their diet but mostly acquired a new resource. They shifted their diet by preying heavily upon another endangered species, the hatchlings of sea turtles Chelonia mydas, which could constitute the main resource in the diet of R. rattus in those periods. Abundance, body condition and distribution of the rats were consistent with heavy predation upon this additional resource.Synthesis and applications. In island ecosystems invasive rats prey mainly upon seabird eggs and chicks, thereby threatening their populations. Although rats are certainly capable of surviving on terrestrial foods outside the seabird nesting season, their ability to prey upon ephemeral but abundant resources, such as hatchling sea turtles, may contribute to maintaining their populations. This may explain their success on Surprise Island, an ecosystem of extreme conditions, and suggests that biologists and managers working with threatened species

  2. Discriminating the Drivers of Edge Effects on Nest Predation: Forest Edges Reduce Capture Rates of Ship Rats (Rattus rattus), a Globally Invasive Nest Predator, by Altering Vegetation Structure

    PubMed Central

    Ruffell, Jay; Didham, Raphael K.; Barrett, Paul; Gorman, Nic; Pike, Rhonda; Hickey-Elliott, Andrée; Sievwright, Karin; Armstrong, Doug P.

    2014-01-01

    Forest edges can strongly affect avian nest success by altering nest predation rates, but this relationship is inconsistent and context dependent. There is a need for researchers to improve the predictability of edge effects on nest predation rates by examining the mechanisms driving their occurrence and variability. In this study, we examined how the capture rates of ship rats, an invasive nest predator responsible for avian declines globally, varied with distance from the forest edge within forest fragments in a pastoral landscape in New Zealand. We hypothesised that forest edges would affect capture rates by altering vegetation structure within fragments, and that the strength of edge effects would depend on whether fragments were grazed by livestock. We measured vegetation structure and rat capture rates at 488 locations ranging from 0–212 m from the forest edge in 15 forest fragments, seven of which were grazed. Contrary to the vast majority of previous studies of edge effects on nest predation, ship rat capture rates increased with increasing distance from the forest edge. For grazed fragments, capture rates were estimated to be 78% lower at the forest edge than 118 m into the forest interior (the farthest distance for grazed fragments). This relationship was similar for ungrazed fragments, with capture rates estimated to be 51% lower at the forest edge than 118 m into the forest interior. A subsequent path analysis suggested that these ‘reverse’ edge effects were largely or entirely mediated by changes in vegetation structure, implying that edge effects on ship rats can be predicted from the response of vegetation structure to forest edges. We suggest the occurrence, strength, and direction of edge effects on nest predation rates may depend on edge-driven changes in local habitat when the dominant predator is primarily restricted to forest patches. PMID:25412340

  3. Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states.

    PubMed

    Wallach, Arian D; Johnson, Christopher N; Ritchie, Euan G; O'Neill, Adam J

    2010-08-01

    Invasive species are regarded as one of the top five drivers of the global extinction crisis. In response, extreme measures have been applied in an attempt to control or eradicate invasives, with little success overall. We tested the idea that state shifts to invasive dominance are symptomatic of losses in ecosystem resilience, due to the suppression of apex predators. This concept was investigated in Australia where the high rate of mammalian extinctions is largely attributed to the destructive influence of invasive species. Intensive pest control is widely applied across the continent, simultaneously eliminating Australia's apex predator, the dingo (Canis lupus dingo). We show that predator management accounts for shifts between two main ecosystem states. Lethal control fractures dingo social structure and leads to bottom-up driven increases in invasive mesopredators and herbivores. Where control is relaxed, dingoes re-establish top-down regulation of ecosystems, allowing for the recovery of biodiversity and productivity. PMID:20545732

  4. Endemic predators, invasive prey and native diversity.

    PubMed

    Wanger, Thomas C; Wielgoss, Arno C; Motzke, Iris; Clough, Yann; Brook, Barry W; Sodhi, Navjot S; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-03-01

    Interactions between native diversity and invasive species can be more complex than is currently understood. Invasive ant species often substantially reduce diversity in the native ants diversity that act as natural control agents for pest insects. In Indonesia (on the island of Sulawesi), the third largest cacao producer worldwide, we show that a predatory endemic toad (Ingerophrynus celebensis) controls invasive ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) abundance, and positively affects native ant diversity. We call this the invasive-naivety effect (an opposite of enemy release), whereby alien species may not harbour anti-predatory defences against a novel native predator. A positive effect of the toads on native ants may facilitate their predation on insect vectors of cacao diseases. Hence, toads may increase crop yield, but further research is needed on this aspect. Ironically, amphibians are globally the most threatened vertebrate class and are strongly impacted by the conversion of rainforest to cacao plantations in Sulawesi. It is, therefore, crucial to manage cacao plantations to maintain these endemic toads, as they may provide critical ecosystem services, such as invasion resistance and preservation of native insect diversity. PMID:20826488

  5. Endemic predators, invasive prey and native diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wanger, Thomas C.; Wielgoss, Arno C.; Motzke, Iris; Clough, Yann; Brook, Barry W.; Sodhi, Navjot S.; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between native diversity and invasive species can be more complex than is currently understood. Invasive ant species often substantially reduce diversity in the native ants diversity that act as natural control agents for pest insects. In Indonesia (on the island of Sulawesi), the third largest cacao producer worldwide, we show that a predatory endemic toad (Ingerophrynus celebensis) controls invasive ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) abundance, and positively affects native ant diversity. We call this the invasive-naivety effect (an opposite of enemy release), whereby alien species may not harbour anti-predatory defences against a novel native predator. A positive effect of the toads on native ants may facilitate their predation on insect vectors of cacao diseases. Hence, toads may increase crop yield, but further research is needed on this aspect. Ironically, amphibians are globally the most threatened vertebrate class and are strongly impacted by the conversion of rainforest to cacao plantations in Sulawesi. It is, therefore, crucial to manage cacao plantations to maintain these endemic toads, as they may provide critical ecosystem services, such as invasion resistance and preservation of native insect diversity. PMID:20826488

  6. Inhibition between invasives: a newly introduced predator moderates the impacts of a previously established invasive predator.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Guy, Travis; Buck, Julia C

    2008-01-01

    1. With continued globalization, species are being transported and introduced into novel habitats at an accelerating rate. Interactions between invasive species may provide important mechanisms that moderate their impacts on native species. 2. The European green crab Carcinus maenas is an aggressive predator that was introduced to the east coast of North America in the mid-1800 s and is capable of rapid consumption of bivalve prey. A newer invasive predator, the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus, was first discovered on the Atlantic coast in the 1980s, and now inhabits many of the same regions as C. maenas within the Gulf of Maine. Using a series of field and laboratory investigations, we examined the consequences of interactions between these predators. 3. Density patterns of these two species at different spatial scales are consistent with negative interactions. As a result of these interactions, C. maenas alters its diet to consume fewer mussels, its preferred prey, in the presence of H. sanguineus. Decreased mussel consumption in turn leads to lower growth rates for C. maenas, with potential detrimental effects on C. maenas populations. 4. Rather than an invasional meltdown, this study demonstrates that, within the Gulf of Maine, this new invasive predator can moderate the impacts of the older invasive predator. PMID:18177327

  7. Soil-mediated indirect impacts of an invasive predator on plant growth

    PubMed Central

    Wardle, David A.; Bellingham, Peter J.; Fukami, Tadashi; Bonner, Karen I.

    2012-01-01

    While several studies have shown that invasive plant effects on soil biota influence subsequent plant performance, corresponding studies on how invasive animals affect plants through influencing soil biota are lacking. This is despite the fact that invasive animals often indirectly alter the below-ground subsystem. We studied 18 offshore islands in northern New Zealand, half of which have been invaded by rats that are predators of seabirds and severely reduce their densities, and half of which remain non-invaded; invasion of rats thwarts seabird transfer of resources from ocean to land. We used soil from each island in a glasshouse experiment involving soil sterilization treatments to determine whether rat invasion indirectly influences plant growth through the abiotic pathway (by impairing seabird-driven inputs to soil) or the biotic pathway (by altering the soil community). Rat invasion greatly impaired plant growth but entirely through the abiotic pathway. Plant growth was unaffected by the soil community or its response to invasion, meaning that the responses of plants and soil biota to invasion are decoupled. Our results provide experimental evidence for the powerful indirect effects that predator-instigated cascades can exert on plant and ecosystem productivity, with implications for the restoration of island ecosystems by predator removal. PMID:22496079

  8. Invasive plants may promote predator-mediated feedback that inhibits further invasion.

    PubMed

    Smith, Lauren M; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the impacts of invasive species requires placing invasion within a full community context. Plant invaders are often considered in the context of herbivores that may drive invasion by avoiding invaders while consuming natives (enemy escape), or inhibit invasion by consuming invaders (biotic resistance). However, predators that attack those herbivores are rarely considered as major players in invasion. Invasive plants often promote predators, generally by providing improved habitat. Here, we show that predator-promoting invaders may initiate a negative feedback loop that inhibits invasion. By enabling top-down control of herbivores, predator-promoting invaders lose any advantage gained through enemy escape, indirectly favoring natives. In cases where palatable invaders encounter biotic resistance, predator promotion may allow an invader to persist, but not dominate. Overall, results indicate that placing invaders in a full community context may reveal reduced impacts of invaders compared to expectations based on simple plant-plant or plant-herbivore subsystems. PMID:26120430

  9. Invasive plants may promote predator-mediated feedback that inhibits further invasion

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lauren M; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the impacts of invasive species requires placing invasion within a full community context. Plant invaders are often considered in the context of herbivores that may drive invasion by avoiding invaders while consuming natives (enemy escape), or inhibit invasion by consuming invaders (biotic resistance). However, predators that attack those herbivores are rarely considered as major players in invasion. Invasive plants often promote predators, generally by providing improved habitat. Here, we show that predator-promoting invaders may initiate a negative feedback loop that inhibits invasion. By enabling top-down control of herbivores, predator-promoting invaders lose any advantage gained through enemy escape, indirectly favoring natives. In cases where palatable invaders encounter biotic resistance, predator promotion may allow an invader to persist, but not dominate. Overall, results indicate that placing invaders in a full community context may reveal reduced impacts of invaders compared to expectations based on simple plant–plant or plant–herbivore subsystems. PMID:26120430

  10. Species invasion shifts the importance of predator dependence.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Delaney, David G

    2007-12-01

    The strength of interference between foraging individuals can influence per capita consumption rates, with important consequences for predator and prey populations and system stability. Here we demonstrate how the replacement of a previously established invader, the predatory crab Carcinus maenas, by the recently invading predatory crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus shifts predation from a species that experiences strong predator interference (strong predator dependence) to one that experiences weak predator interference (weak predator dependence). We demonstrate using field experiments that differences in the strength of predator dependence persist for these species both when they forage on a single focal prey species only (the mussel Mytilus edulis) and when they forage more broadly across the entire prey community. This shift in predator dependence with species replacement may be altering the biomass across trophic levels, consistent with theoretical predictions, as we show that H. sanguineus populations are much larger than C. maenas populations throughout their invaded ranges. Our study highlights that predator dependence may differ among predator species and demonstrates that different predatory impacts of two conspicuous invasive predators may be explained at least in part by different strengths of predator dependence. PMID:18229836

  11. Predation by native brown shrimp on invasive Pacific oyster spat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weerman, E. J.; Eriksson, B. K.; Olff, H.; van der Heide, T.

    2014-01-01

    In the last decades, the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) increased dramatically in the Wadden Sea. One of the driving mechanisms for the success of the Pacific oyster could be a relatively low predation pressure by epibenthic predators and shore birds on oyster spat. Nevertheless, observations and experiments on predation rates on early life-stages of the Pacific oyster are rare. Therefore, we examined predation rates of brown shrimps on Pacific oyster spat in a number of laboratory experiments. Our results demonstrate that spat of Pacific oysters are most susceptible to predation by brown shrimps (Crangon crangon) in the first days after settlement, when attachment to the substrate (unglazed tiles in our study) is still absent or weak. At this stage the shell length of oyster spat is around ~ 300 μm, and around 50% of the individuals in the experiment were consumed in the two hour trials. Predation rates decreased rapidly as the spat grew larger and reached zero within 10 days after settlement of the spat (shell length > 700 μm). Additional experiments revealed that the attachment of oysters is probably limiting predation by brown shrimps rather than the size of the spat. This indicates that Pacific oyster spat may limit predation loss faster compared to native bivalves, which commonly depend on size to reduce predation rates. Overall, our results suggest that the invasive success of Pacific oysters may in part be explained by relatively low predation rates throughout their life stages.

  12. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting.

    PubMed

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-12-22

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management. PMID:24197409

  13. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting

    PubMed Central

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management. PMID:24197409

  14. Invasive toads shift predator-prey densities in animal communities by removing top predators.

    PubMed

    Doody, J Sean; Soanes, Rebekah; Castellano, Christina M; Rhind, David; Green, Brian; McHenry, Colin R; Clulow, Simon

    2015-09-01

    Although invasive species can have substantial impacts on animal communities, cases of invasive species facilitating native species by removing their predators have rarely been demonstrated across vertebrate trophic linkages. The predictable spread of the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina), however, offered a unique opportunity to quantify cascading effects. In northern Australia, three species of predatory monitor lizards suffered severe population declines due to toad-induced lethal toxic ingestion (yellow-spotted monitor (Varanus panoptes), Mertens' water monitor (V. mertensi), Mitchell's water monitor (V. mitchelli). We, thus, predicted subsequent increases in the abundance and recruitment of prey species due to the reduction of those predators. Toad-induced population-level declines in the water monitor species approached 50% over a five-year period spanning the toad invasion, apparently causing fledging success of the Crimson Finch (Neochmia.phaeton) to increase from 55% to 81%. The consensus of our original and published long-term data is that invasive cane toads are causing predators to lose a foothold on top-down regulation of their prey, triggering shifts in the relative densities of predator and prey in the Australian tropical savannah ecosystem. PMID:26594710

  15. How predation can slow, stop or reverse a prey invasion.

    PubMed

    Owen, M R; Lewis, M A

    2001-07-01

    Observations on Mount St Helens indicate that the spread of recolonizing lupin plants has been slowed due to the presence of insect herbivores and it is possible that the spread of lupins could be reversed in the future by intense insect herbivory [Fagan, W. F. and J. Bishop (2000). Trophic interactions during primary sucession: herbivores slow a plant reinvasion at Mount St. Helens. Amer. Nat. 155, 238-251]. In this paper we investigate mechanisms by which herbivory can contain the spatial spread of recolonizing plants. Our approach is to analyse a series of predator-prey reaction-diffusion models and spatially coupled ordinary differential equation models to derive conditions under which predation pressure can slow, stall or reverse a spatial invasion of prey. We focus on models where prey disperse more slowly than predators. We comment on the types of functional response which give such solutions, and the circumstances under which the models are appropriate. PMID:11497163

  16. Disease-induced decline of an apex predator drives invasive dominated states and threatens biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hollings, Tracey; Jones, Menna; Mooney, Nick; McCallum, Hamish

    2016-02-01

    Apex predators are important in protecting biodiversity through top-down influence on food webs. Their loss is linked with competitive release of invasive mesopredators and species extinctions. The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) has experienced severe declines over a 15-yr period as a novel transmissible cancer has spread across its current geographic range. We surveyed the mammalian community, using hair traps, across the spatial extent of the devil's progressive population decline. We found increased activity of alien invasive species (feral cats, black rats), and reduced small and medium-sized native prey species in response to the timing of the decline. In areas of long-term devil decline, invasive species comprised a significantly larger proportion of the community. The results provide evidence that the devil plays a keystone role in Tasmania's ecosystem with their decline linked to a shift toward an invasive state and biodiversity loss in one of Australia's most intact faunal communities. PMID:27145614

  17. Fortune favours the bold: a higher predator reduces the impact of a native but not an invasive intermediate predator.

    PubMed

    Barrios-O'Neill, Daniel; Dick, Jaimie T A; Emmerson, Mark C; Ricciardi, Anthony; MacIsaac, Hugh J; Alexander, Mhairi E; Bovy, Helene C

    2014-05-01

    Emergent multiple predator effects (MPEs) might radically alter predictions of predatory impact that are based solely on the impact of individuals. In the context of biological invasions, determining if and how the individual-level impacts of invasive predators relates to their impacts in multiple-individual situations will inform understanding of how such impacts might propagate through recipient communities. Here, we use functional responses (the relationship between prey consumption rate and prey density) to compare the impacts of the invasive freshwater mysid crustacean Hemimysis anomala with a native counterpart Mysis salemaai when feeding on basal cladoceran prey (i) as individuals, (ii) in conspecific groups and (iii) in conspecific groups in the presence of a higher fish predator, Gasterosteus aculeatus. In the absence of the higher predator, the invader consumed significantly more basal prey than the native, and consumption was additive for both mysid species - that is, group consumption was predictable from individual-level consumption. Invaders and natives were themselves equally susceptible to predation when feeding with the higher fish predator, but an MPE occurred only between the natives and higher predator, where consumption of basal prey was significantly reduced. In contrast, consumption by the invaders and higher predator remained additive. The presence of a higher predator serves to exacerbate the existing difference in individual-level consumption between invasive and native mysids. We attribute the mechanism responsible for the MPE associated with the native to a trait-mediated indirect interaction, and further suggest that the relative indifference to predator threat on the part of the invader contributes to its success and impacts within invaded communities. PMID:24117414

  18. Cost-effective suppression and eradication of invasive predators.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Peter W J; Sabo, John L; Wilcox, Chris; McCarthy, Michael A; Possingham, Hugh P

    2008-02-01

    predators can have pronounced effects on naïve prey species; thus, predator control is often essential for conservation of threatened native species. Complete eradication of the predator, although desirable, may be elusive in budget-limited situations, whereas predator suppression is more feasible and may still achieve conservation goals. We used a stochastic predator-prey model based on a Lotka-Volterra system to investigate the cost-effectiveness of predator control to achieve prey conservation. We compared five control strategies: immediate eradication, removal of a constant number of predators (fixed-number control), removal of a constant proportion of predators (fixed-rate control), removal of predators that exceed a predetermined threshold (upper-trigger harvest), and removal of predators whenever their population falls below a lower predetermined threshold (lower-trigger harvest). We looked at the performance of these strategies when managers could always remove the full number of predators targeted by each strategy, subject to budget availability. Under this assumption immediate eradication reduced the threat to the prey population the most. We then examined the effect of reduced management success in meeting removal targets, assuming removal is more difficult at low predator densities. In this case there was a pronounced reduction in performance of the immediate eradication, fixed-number, and lower-trigger strategies. Although immediate eradication still yielded the highest expected minimum prey population size, upper-trigger harvest yielded the lowest probability of prey extinction and the greatest return on investment (as measured by improvement in expected minimum population size per amount spent). Upper-trigger harvest was relatively successful because it operated when predator density was highest, which is when predator removal targets can be more easily met and the effect of predators on the prey is most damaging. This suggests that controlling

  19. New parasitoid-predator associations: female parasitoids do not avoid competition with generalist predators when sharing invasive prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chailleux, Anaïs; Wajnberg, Eric; Zhou, Yuxiang; Amiens-Desneux, Edwige; Desneux, Nicolas

    2014-12-01

    Optimal habitat selection is essential for species survival in ecosystems, and interspecific competition is a key ecological mechanism for many observed species association patterns. Specialized animal species are commonly affected by resource and interference competition with generalist and/or omnivorous competitors, so avoidance behavior could be expected. We hypothesize that specialist species may exploit broad range cues from such potential resource competitors (i.e., cues possibly common to various generalist and/or omnivorous predators) to avoid costly competition regarding food or reproduction, even in new species associations. We tested this hypothesis by studying short-term interactions between a native larval parasitoid and a native generalist omnivorous predator recently sharing the same invasive host/prey, the leaf miner Tuta absoluta. We observed a strong negative effect of kleptoparasitism (food resource stealing) instead of classical intraguild predation on immature parasitoids. There was no evidence that parasitoid females avoided the omnivorous predator when searching for oviposition sites, although we studied both long- and short-range known detection mechanisms. Therefore, we conclude that broad range cue avoidance may not exist in our biological system, probably because it would lead to too much oviposition site avoidance which would not be an efficient and, thus, beneficial strategy. If confirmed in other parasitoids or specialist predators, our findings may have implications for population dynamics, especially in the current context of increasing invasive species and the resulting creation of many new species associations.

  20. Predator odor exposure increases food-carrying behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Wernecke, Kerstin E A; Brüggemann, Judith; Fendt, Markus

    2016-02-01

    To cover their energy demands, prey animals are forced to search for food. However, during foraging they also expose themselves to the risk of becoming the prey of predators. Consequently, in order to increase their fitness foraging animals have to trade-off efficiency of foraging against the avoidance of predation risk. For example, the decision on whether a found food piece should be eaten at the food source or whether it should be carried to a protective site such as the nest (food-carrying behavior), is strongly dependent on different incentive factors (e.g., hunger level, food size, distance to the nest). It has been shown that food-carrying behavior increases the more risky the foraging situation becomes. Since predator odors are clearly fear-inducing in rats, we ask here whether the detection of predator odors in close proximity to the food source modulates food-carrying behavior. In the present study, the food-carrying behavior of rats for six different food pellet sizes was measured in a "low risk" and a "high risk" testing condition by presenting water or a fox urine sample, respectively, next to the food source. For both testing conditions, food-carrying behavior of rats increased with increasing food pellet weight. Importantly, the proportion of food-carrying rats was significantly higher during exposure to fox urine ("high risk") than when rats were tested with the water control ("low risk"). Taken together, these results demonstrate that food-carrying behavior of rats is increased by the detection of a predator odor. Our data also support the idea that such food-carrying behavior can be considered as a pre-encounter defensive response. PMID:26556540

  1. Ocean acidification increases the vulnerability of native oysters to predation by invasive snails.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian; Hettinger, Annaliese; Lenz, Elizabeth A; Meyer, Kirstin; Hill, Tessa M

    2014-03-01

    There is growing concern that global environmental change might exacerbate the ecological impacts of invasive species by increasing their per capita effects on native species. However, the mechanisms underlying such shifts in interaction strength are poorly understood. Here, we test whether ocean acidification, driven by elevated seawater pCO₂, increases the susceptibility of native Olympia oysters to predation by invasive snails. Oysters raised under elevated pCO₂ experienced a 20% increase in drilling predation. When presented alongside control oysters in a choice experiment, 48% more high-CO₂ oysters were consumed. The invasive snails were tolerant of elevated CO₂ with no change in feeding behaviour. Oysters raised under acidified conditions did not have thinner shells, but were 29-40% smaller than control oysters, and these smaller individuals were consumed at disproportionately greater rates. Reduction in prey size is a common response to environmental stress that may drive increasing per capita effects of stress-tolerant invasive predators. PMID:24430847

  2. Stronger biotic resistance in tropics relative to temperate zone: effects of predation on marine invasion dynamics.

    PubMed

    Freestone, Amy L; Rutz, Gregory M; Torchin, Mark E

    2013-06-01

    Latitudinal patterns of nonnative species richness suggest fewer successful invasions in the tropics, relative to temperate regions. One main hypothesis for this pattern is that biotic resistance to invasion is stronger in the tropics than at higher latitudes. Biotic resistance can limit the distribution and abundance of nonnative species and, in extreme cases, can prevent establishment. We provide the first experimental test of this hypothesis, comparing the strength of biotic resistance in a tropical and a temperate marine ecosystem. Predation is one mechanism of biotic resistance, and since predation can be stronger at lower latitudes, we predicted that predation will serve to increase biotic resistance more in the tropics than at higher latitude. We conducted predator-exclusion experiments on marine epifaunal communities, a heavily invaded system, focusing on nonnative tunicates as a model fauna. The effect of predation on species richness of nonnative tunicates was more than three times greater at sites in tropical Panama than in temperate Connecticut, consistent with the prediction of stronger biotic resistance in the tropics. In Connecticut, predation reduced the abundance of one nonnative tunicate but did not affect the abundances of any other nonnative tunicate species, and no species were excluded from communities. In contrast, predation resulted in striking reductions in abundance and often exclusion of nonnative tunicates from experimental communities in Panama. If proved to be general, latitudinal differences in the biotic resistance of communities to nonnative species establishment may help explain emerging patterns of global invasions. PMID:23923500

  3. Reproduction in Risky Environments: The Role of Invasive Egg Predators in Ladybird Laying Strategies.

    PubMed

    Paul, Sarah C; Pell, Judith K; Blount, Jonathan D

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive environments are variable and the resources available for reproduction are finite. If reliable cues about the environment exist, mothers can alter offspring phenotype in a way that increases both offspring and maternal fitness ('anticipatory maternal effects'-AMEs). Strategic use of AMEs is likely to be important in chemically defended species, where the risk of offspring predation may be modulated by maternal investment in offspring toxin level, albeit at some cost to mothers. Whether mothers adjust offspring toxin levels in response to variation in predation risk is, however, unknown, but is likely to be important when assessing the response of chemically defended species to the recent and pervasive changes in the global predator landscape, driven by the spread of invasive species. Using the chemically defended two-spot ladybird, Adalia bipunctata, we investigated reproductive investment, including egg toxin level, under conditions that varied in the degree of simulated offspring predation risk from larval harlequin ladybirds, Harmonia axyridis. H. axyridis is a highly voracious alien invasive species in the UK and a significant intraguild predator of A. bipunctata. Females laid fewer, larger egg clusters, under conditions of simulated predation risk (P+) than when predator cues were absent (P-), but there was no difference in toxin level between the two treatments. Among P- females, when mean cluster size increased there were concomitant increases in both the mass and toxin concentration of eggs, however when P+ females increased cluster size there was no corresponding increase in egg toxin level. We conclude that, in the face of offspring predation risk, females either withheld toxins or were physiologically constrained, leading to a trade-off between cluster size and egg toxin level. Our results provide the first demonstration that the risk of offspring predation by a novel invasive predator can influence maternal investment in toxins within their

  4. Reproduction in Risky Environments: The Role of Invasive Egg Predators in Ladybird Laying Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Sarah C.; Pell, Judith K.; Blount, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive environments are variable and the resources available for reproduction are finite. If reliable cues about the environment exist, mothers can alter offspring phenotype in a way that increases both offspring and maternal fitness (‘anticipatory maternal effects’—AMEs). Strategic use of AMEs is likely to be important in chemically defended species, where the risk of offspring predation may be modulated by maternal investment in offspring toxin level, albeit at some cost to mothers. Whether mothers adjust offspring toxin levels in response to variation in predation risk is, however, unknown, but is likely to be important when assessing the response of chemically defended species to the recent and pervasive changes in the global predator landscape, driven by the spread of invasive species. Using the chemically defended two-spot ladybird, Adalia bipunctata, we investigated reproductive investment, including egg toxin level, under conditions that varied in the degree of simulated offspring predation risk from larval harlequin ladybirds, Harmonia axyridis. H. axyridis is a highly voracious alien invasive species in the UK and a significant intraguild predator of A. bipunctata. Females laid fewer, larger egg clusters, under conditions of simulated predation risk (P+) than when predator cues were absent (P-), but there was no difference in toxin level between the two treatments. Among P- females, when mean cluster size increased there were concomitant increases in both the mass and toxin concentration of eggs, however when P+ females increased cluster size there was no corresponding increase in egg toxin level. We conclude that, in the face of offspring predation risk, females either withheld toxins or were physiologically constrained, leading to a trade-off between cluster size and egg toxin level. Our results provide the first demonstration that the risk of offspring predation by a novel invasive predator can influence maternal investment in toxins within

  5. Preference and prey switching in a generalist predator attacking local and invasive alien pests.

    PubMed

    Jaworski, Coline C; Bompard, Anaïs; Genies, Laure; Amiens-Desneux, Edwige; Desneux, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Invasive pest species may strongly affect biotic interactions in agro-ecosystems. The ability of generalist predators to prey on new invasive pests may result in drastic changes in the population dynamics of local pest species owing to predator-mediated indirect interactions among prey. On a short time scale, the nature and strength of such indirect interactions depend largely on preferences between prey and on predator behavior patterns. Under laboratory conditions we evaluated the prey preference of the generalist predator Macrolophus pygmaeus Rambur (Heteroptera: Miridae) when it encounters simultaneously the local tomato pest Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and the invasive alien pest Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). We tested various ratios of local vs. alien prey numbers, measuring switching by the predator from one prey to the other, and assessing what conditions (e.g. prey species abundance and prey development stage) may favor such prey switching. The total predation activity of M. pygmaeus was affected by the presence of T. absoluta in the prey complex with an opposite effect when comparing adult and juvenile predators. The predator showed similar preference toward T. absoluta eggs and B. tabaci nymphs, but T. absoluta larvae were clearly less attacked. However, prey preference strongly depended on prey relative abundance with a disproportionately high predation on the most abundant prey and disproportionately low predation on the rarest prey. Together with the findings of a recent companion study (Bompard et al. 2013, Population Ecology), the insight obtained on M. pygmaeus prey switching may be useful for Integrated Pest Management in tomato crops, notably for optimal simultaneous management of B. tabaci and T. absoluta, which very frequently co-occur on tomato. PMID:24312646

  6. Native Predators Do Not Influence Invasion Success of Pacific Lionfish on Caribbean Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Green, Stephanie J.; Côté, Isabelle M.; Cox, Courtney E.; Akins, Lad; Layman, Craig A.; Precht, William F.; Bruno, John F.

    2013-01-01

    Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass) of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition) on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs. PMID:23874565

  7. Gape-limited predators as agents of selection on the defensive morphology of an invasive invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Miehls, Andrea L J; Peacor, Scott D; McAdam, Andrew G

    2014-09-01

    Invasive species have widespread and pronounced effects on ecosystems and adaptive evolution of invaders is often considered responsible for their success. Despite the potential importance of adaptation to invasion, we still have limited knowledge of the agents of natural selection on invasive species. Bythotrephes longimanus, a cladoceran zooplankton, invaded multiple Canadian Shield lakes over the past several decades. Bythotrephes have a conspicuous caudal process (tail spine) that provides a morphological defense against fish predation. We measured viability selection on the longest component of the Bythotrephes spine, the distal spine segment, through a comparison of the lengths of first and second instar Bythotrephes collected from lakes differing in the dominance of gape-limited predation (GLP) and nongape-limited predation (NGLP) by fish. We found that natural selection varied by predator gape-limitation, with strong selection (selection intensity: 0.20-0.79) for increased distal spine length in lakes dominated by GLP, and no significant selection in lakes dominated by NGLP. Further, distal spine length was 17% longer in lakes dominated by GLP, suggesting the possibility of local adaptation. As all study lakes were invaded less than 20 years prior to our collections, our results suggest rapid divergence in defensive morphology in response to selection from fish predators. PMID:24916281

  8. Native predators do not influence invasion success of pacific lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

    PubMed

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M; Cox, Courtney E; Akins, Lad; Layman, Craig A; Precht, William F; Bruno, John F

    2013-01-01

    Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass) of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition) on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs. PMID:23874565

  9. Temporal dynamics of woodpecker predation on the invasive emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) in North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Woodpeckers (Picidae) are among the most prevalent natural enemies attacking the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, in North America, but there can be considerable variation in the levels of EAB predation on ash trees (Oleaceae: Fraxinus) within and between sites as wel...

  10. Do defensive chemicals facilitate intraguild predation and influence invasion success in ladybird beetles?

    PubMed

    Kajita, Yukie; Obrycki, John J; Sloggett, John J; Evans, Edward W; Haynes, Kenneth F

    2014-12-01

    Egg predation and cannibalism are believed to be common phenomena among many species of aphidophagous predatory ladybird beetles despite the presence of alkaloid based defensive chemicals in all life stages. We identified defensive chemicals from eggs of three congeneric species, one introduced into North America (Coccinella septempunctata L.), and two native (C. transversoguttata richardsoni Brown, and C. novemnotata Herbst), and examined the effects of ingested defensive chemicals on first instars. Ingested congeneric alkaloids were not toxic to first instars, likely because the three congeners produce the same principal alkaloids, precoccinelline and coccinelline, in similar amounts. First instars of the three congeners accumulated alkaloids ingested through egg cannibalism and congeneric predation. Egg consumption doubled the amount of alkaloids in first instars when they fed on conspecific or congeneric eggs, in comparison to a pea aphid diet. No detrimental effects of ingested congeneric alkaloids on development or survival of first instars were observed among these congeners. Chemical defenses of eggs are therefore not likely to be important in favoring the invasive species, C. septempunctata, in interactions with these native congeneric species. Because the invasive species is the most aggressive predator, having the same types of alkaloids may facilitate disproportionate intraguild predation on native congeners by C. septempunctata thereby potentially enhancing the invasion success of this introduced species. PMID:25380992

  11. Roles of spatial partitioning, competition, and predation in the North American invasion of an exotic mosquito.

    PubMed

    Freed, T Z; Leisnham, P T

    2014-06-01

    Invasion success and species coexistence are often mediated by species interactions across patchily distributed habitats and resources. The invasive mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus has established in the North American range of the competitively superior resident congener, Aedes albopictus, and the predatory native mosquito Toxorhynchites rutilus. We tested predictions for two hypotheses of invasion success and species coexistence: keystone predation and spatial partitioning. We tested competition between A. japonicus japonicus and A. albopictus with or without T. rutilus in laboratory microcosms, and measured abundances of A. japonicus japonicus, A. albopictus, other resident competing mosquito species, and the presence of T. rutilus among tree holes and tires in metropolitan Washington, DC. In laboratory microcosms, A. albopictus was competitively dominant over A. japonicus japonicus, which is consistent with the few prior studies of competition between these two Aedes species. T. rutilus predation severely lowered performances of both Aedes species but more severely lowered A. japonicus japonicus performance than A. albopictus performance when all three species co-occurred, thus yielding no evidence for keystone predation. Consistent with the spatial partitioning hypothesis, A. japonicus japonicus was negatively correlated and independently aggregated with A. albopictus and all combined resident mosquito competitors and was not associated with T. rutilus among field containers. These results suggest that predation from T. rutilus and competition from A. albopictus are barriers to the spread of A. japonicus japonicus, but that A. japonicus japonicus may escape these interspecific effects by utilizing spatially partitioned container habitats. PMID:24569942

  12. Ocean acidification increases the vulnerability of native oysters to predation by invasive snails

    PubMed Central

    Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian; Hettinger, Annaliese; Lenz, Elizabeth A.; Meyer, Kirstin; Hill, Tessa M.

    2014-01-01

    There is growing concern that global environmental change might exacerbate the ecological impacts of invasive species by increasing their per capita effects on native species. However, the mechanisms underlying such shifts in interaction strength are poorly understood. Here, we test whether ocean acidification, driven by elevated seawater pCO2, increases the susceptibility of native Olympia oysters to predation by invasive snails. Oysters raised under elevated pCO2 experienced a 20% increase in drilling predation. When presented alongside control oysters in a choice experiment, 48% more high-CO2 oysters were consumed. The invasive snails were tolerant of elevated CO2 with no change in feeding behaviour. Oysters raised under acidified conditions did not have thinner shells, but were 29–40% smaller than control oysters, and these smaller individuals were consumed at disproportionately greater rates. Reduction in prey size is a common response to environmental stress that may drive increasing per capita effects of stress-tolerant invasive predators. PMID:24430847

  13. Stealth predation and the predatory success of the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi

    PubMed Central

    Colin, Sean P.; Costello, John H.; Hansson, Lars J.; Titelman, Josefin; Dabiri, John O.

    2010-01-01

    In contrast to higher metazoans such as copepods and fish, ctenophores are a basal metazoan lineage possessing a relatively narrow set of sensory-motor capabilities. Yet lobate ctenophores can capture prey at rates comparable to sophisticated predatory copepods and fish, and they are capable of altering the composition of coastal planktonic communities. Here, we demonstrate that the predatory success of the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi lies in its use of cilia to generate a feeding current that continuously entrains large volumes of fluid, yet is virtually undetectable to its prey. This form of stealth predation enables M. leidyi to feed as a generalist predator capturing prey, including microplankton (approximately 50 μm), copepods (approximately 1 mm), and fish larvae (>3 mm). The efficacy and versatility of this stealth feeding mechanism has enabled M. leidyi to be notoriously destructive as a predator and successful as an invasive species. PMID:20855619

  14. Sea Urchins Predation Facilitates Coral Invasion in a Marine Reserve

    PubMed Central

    Coma, Rafel; Serrano, Eduard; Linares, Cristina; Ribes, Marta; Díaz, David; Ballesteros, Enric

    2011-01-01

    Macroalgae is the dominant trophic group on Mediterranean infralittoral rocky bottoms, whereas zooxanthellate corals are extremely rare. However, in recent years, the invasive coral Oculina patagonica appears to be increasing its abundance through unknown means. Here we examine the pattern of variation of this species at a marine reserve between 2002 and 2010 and contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms that allow its current increase. Because indirect interactions between species can play a relevant role in the establishment of species, a parallel assessment of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the main herbivorous invertebrate in this habitat and thus a key species, was conducted. O. patagonica has shown a 3-fold increase in abundance over the last 8 years and has become the most abundant invertebrate in the shallow waters of the marine reserve, matching some dominant erect macroalgae in abundance. High recruitment played an important role in this increasing coral abundance. The results from this study provide compelling evidence that the increase in sea urchin abundance may be one of the main drivers of the observed increase in coral abundance. Sea urchins overgraze macroalgae and create barren patches in the space-limited macroalgal community that subsequently facilitate coral recruitment. This study indicates that trophic interactions contributed to the success of an invasive coral in the Mediterranean because sea urchins grazing activity indirectly facilitated expansion of the coral. Current coral abundance at the marine reserve has ended the monopolization of algae in rocky infralittoral assemblages, an event that could greatly modify both the underwater seascape and the sources of primary production in the ecosystem. PMID:21789204

  15. Keystone predators (eastern newts, Notophthalmus viridescens) reduce the impacts of an aquatic invasive species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Kimberly G.

    2006-01-01

    Predation, competition, and their interaction are known to be important factors that influence the structure of ecological communities. In particular, in those cases where a competitive hierarchy exists among prey species, the presence of certain keystone predators can result in enhanced diversity in the prey community. However, little is known regarding the influence of keystone predator presence on invaded prey communities. Given the widespread occurrence of invasive species and substantial concern regarding their ecological impacts, studies on this topic are needed. In this study I used naturalistic replications of an experimental tadpole assemblage to assess the influence of predatory eastern newts, Notophthalmus viridescens, on the outcome of interspecific competition among native and nonindigenous tadpoles. When newts were absent, the presence of the tadpoles of one invasive species, the Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, resulted in decreased survival and growth rate of the dominant native species, Bufo terrestris, and dominance of the tadpole assemblage by O. septentrionalis. However, the presence of one adult newt generally reduced or eliminated the negative impacts of O. septentrionalis tadpoles, resulting in comparable survival and performance of native species in invaded and noninvaded treatments. Differential mortality among the tadpole species suggests that newts preyed selectively on O. septentrionalis tadpoles, supporting the hypothesis that newts acted as keystone predators in the invaded assemblage. The presence of nonindigenous larval cane toads, Bufo marinus, did not significantly affect native species, and this species was not negatively affected by the presence of newts. Collectively, these results suggest that eastern newts significantly modified the competitive hierarchy of the invaded tadpole assemblage and reduced the impacts of a competitively superior invasive species. If general, these results suggest that the presence of

  16. Ankyrin-mediated self-protection during cell invasion by the bacterial predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Carey; Cadby, Ian T.; Till, Rob; Bui, Nhat Khai; Lerner, Thomas R.; Hughes, William S.; Lee, David J.; Alderwick, Luke J.; Vollmer, Waldemar; Sockett, Elizabeth R.; Lovering, Andrew L.

    2015-01-01

    Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus are natural antimicrobial organisms, killing other bacteria by whole-cell invasion. Self-protection against prey-metabolizing enzymes is important for the evolution of predation. Initial prey entry involves the predator's peptidoglycan DD-endopeptidases, which decrosslink cell walls and prevent wasteful entry by a second predator. Here we identify and characterize a self-protection protein from B. bacteriovorus, Bd3460, which displays an ankyrin-based fold common to intracellular pathogens of eukaryotes. Co-crystal structures reveal Bd3460 complexation of dual targets, binding a conserved epitope of each of the Bd3459 and Bd0816 endopeptidases. Complexation inhibits endopeptidase activity and cell wall decrosslinking in vitro. Self-protection is vital — ΔBd3460 Bdellovibrio deleteriously decrosslink self-peptidoglycan upon invasion, adopt a round morphology, and lose predatory capacity and cellular integrity. Our analysis provides the first mechanistic examination of self-protection in Bdellovibrio, documents protection-multiplicity for products of two different genomic loci, and reveals an important evolutionary adaptation to an invasive predatory bacterial lifestyle. PMID:26626559

  17. Ankyrin-mediated self-protection during cell invasion by the bacterial predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Carey; Cadby, Ian T; Till, Rob; Bui, Nhat Khai; Lerner, Thomas R; Hughes, William S; Lee, David J; Alderwick, Luke J; Vollmer, Waldemar; Sockett, R Elizabeth; Sockett, Elizabeth R; Lovering, Andrew L

    2015-01-01

    Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus are natural antimicrobial organisms, killing other bacteria by whole-cell invasion. Self-protection against prey-metabolizing enzymes is important for the evolution of predation. Initial prey entry involves the predator's peptidoglycan DD-endopeptidases, which decrosslink cell walls and prevent wasteful entry by a second predator. Here we identify and characterize a self-protection protein from B. bacteriovorus, Bd3460, which displays an ankyrin-based fold common to intracellular pathogens of eukaryotes. Co-crystal structures reveal Bd3460 complexation of dual targets, binding a conserved epitope of each of the Bd3459 and Bd0816 endopeptidases. Complexation inhibits endopeptidase activity and cell wall decrosslinking in vitro. Self-protection is vital - ΔBd3460 Bdellovibrio deleteriously decrosslink self-peptidoglycan upon invasion, adopt a round morphology, and lose predatory capacity and cellular integrity. Our analysis provides the first mechanistic examination of self-protection in Bdellovibrio, documents protection-multiplicity for products of two different genomic loci, and reveals an important evolutionary adaptation to an invasive predatory bacterial lifestyle. PMID:26626559

  18. Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, James D.; Soldan, Theodore

    1983-01-01

    Describes two computer simulations of the predator-prey interaction in which students explore theories and mathematical equations involved in this biological process. The programs (for Apple II), designed for college level ecology, may be used in lecture/demonstrations or as a basis for laboratory assignments. A list of student objectives is…

  19. Native Prey and Invasive Predator Patterns of Foraging Activity: The Case of the Yellow-Legged Hornet Predation at European Honeybee Hives

    PubMed Central

    Monceau, Karine; Arca, Mariangela; Leprêtre, Lisa; Mougel, Florence; Bonnard, Olivier; Silvain, Jean-François; Maher, Nevile; Arnold, Gérard; Thiéry, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective. PMID:23823754

  20. Modelling disease introduction as biological control of invasive predators to preserve endangered prey.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Nuno M; Hilker, Frank M

    2010-02-01

    Invasive species are a significant cause of bio-diversity loss particularly in island ecosystems. It has been suggested to release pathogenic parasites as an efficient control measure of these mostly immune-naïve populations. In order to explore the potential impacts of such bio-control approach, we construct and investigate mathematical models describing disease dynamics in a host population that acts as a predator embedded in a simple food chain. The consequences of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) introduction into a closed ecosystem are addressed using a bi-trophic system, comprising an indigenous prey (birds) and an introduced predator (cats). Our results show that FIV is unlikely to fully eradicate cats on sub-Antarctic islands, but it can be efficient in depressing their population size, allowing for the recovery of the endangered prey. Depending on the ecological setting and disease transmission mode (we consider proportionate mixing as well as mass action), successful pathogen invasion can induce population oscillations that are not possible in the disease-free predator-prey system. These fluctuations can be seen as a mixed blessing from a management point of view. On the one hand, they may increase the extinction risk of the birds. On the other hand, they provide an opportunity to eradicate cats more easily in combination with other methods such as trapping or culling. PMID:19787407

  1. Predation of the newly invasive pest Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in soybean habitats adjacent to cotton by a complex of predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), is a newly-invasive exotic insect found primarily on kudzu, but also on soybean, in the southeastern United States. We used molecular gut-content analysis to document predation on this pest by insects and spiders in soybean; and to d...

  2. Warming-induced changes in predation, extinction and invasion in an ectotherm food web.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Linda I; Weithoff, Guntram; Gaedke, Ursula; Vos, Matthijs

    2015-06-01

    Climate change will alter the forces of predation and competition in temperate ectotherm food webs. This may increase local extinction rates, change the fate of invasions and impede species reintroductions into communities. Invasion success could be modulated by traits (e.g., defenses) and adaptations to climate. We studied how different temperatures affect the time until extinction of species, using bitrophic and tritrophic planktonic food webs to evaluate the relative importance of predatory overexploitation and competitive exclusion, at 15 and 25 °C. In addition, we tested how inclusion of a subtropical as opposed to a temperate strain in this model food web affects times until extinction. Further, we studied the invasion success of the temperate rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus into the planktonic food web at 15 and 25 °C on five consecutive introduction dates, during which the relative forces of predation and competition differed. A higher temperature dramatically shortened times until extinction of all herbivore species due to carnivorous overexploitation in tritrophic systems. Surprisingly, warming did not increase rates of competitive exclusion among the tested herbivore species in bitrophic communities. Including a subtropical herbivore strain reduced top-down control by the carnivore at high temperature. Invasion attempts of temperate B. calyciflorus into the food web always succeeded at 15 °C, but consistently failed at 25 °C due to voracious overexploitation by the carnivore. Pre-induction of defenses (spines) in B. calyciflorus before the invasion attempt did not change its invasion success at the high temperature. We conclude that high temperatures may promote local extinctions in temperate ectotherms and reduce their chances of successful recovery. PMID:25564019

  3. High fecundity and predation pressure of the invasive Gammarus tigrinus cause decline of indigenous gammarids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänes, Holger; Kotta, Jonne; Herkül, Kristjan

    2015-11-01

    The North American amphipod Gammarus tigrinus is one of the most aggressive invaders recently expanding its distribution in the European waters. The species was detected in the north-eastern Baltic Sea in 2003 and has rapidly expanded its distribution ever since. This invasive amphipod has been notably successful in shallow, soft and mixed bottom habitats becoming one of the most abundant gammarid colonizing such environments. This study carried out two experiments: (1) an outdoor aquarium experiment to assess interspecific competition among the invasive G. tigrinus and the native Gammarus duebeni and compare their reproductive potential, and (2) an in situ meshbag experiment to determine the effect of adult G. tigrinus and native gammarids on juvenile gammarid amphipods. These demonstrated that the adult G. tigrinus had no effects on the adult G. duebeni; however, the invasive amphipod had higher reproductive potential compared to the native species such as G. duebeni. Moreover, almost all adult gammarids exerted a significant predation pressure on juvenile amphipods. Thus, the combined effect of predation on juvenile amphipods and large brood production of G. tigrinus could be plausible explanations describing increased abundance of G. tigrinus and decrease of local gammarid populations in the north-eastern Baltic Sea but plausibly in similar shallow water habitats in other seas.

  4. Molecular analysis of predation by carabid beetles (Carabidae) on the invasive Iberian slug Arion lusitanicus.

    PubMed

    Hatteland, B A; Symondson, W O C; King, R A; Skage, M; Schander, C; Solhøy, T

    2011-12-01

    The invasive Iberian slug, Arion lusitanicus, is spreading through Europe and poses a major threat to horticulture and agriculture. Natural enemies, capable of killing A. lusitanicus, may be important to our understanding of its population dynamics in recently invaded regions. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to study predation on A. lusitanicus by carabid beetles in the field. A first multiplex PCR was developed, incorporating species-specific primers, and optimised in order to amplify parts of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of large Arion slugs, including A. lusitanicus from the gut contents of the predators. A second multiplex PCR, targeting 12S rRNA mtDNA, detected predation on smaller Arion species and the field slug Deroceras reticulatum. Feeding trials were conducted to measure the effects of digestion time on amplicon detectability. The median detection times (the time at which 50% of samples tested positive) for A. lusitanicus and D. reticulatum DNA in the foreguts of Carabus nemoralis were 22 h and 20 h, respectively. Beetle activity-densities were monitored using pitfall traps, and slug densities were estimated using quadrats. Predation rates on slugs in the field by C. nemoralis in spring ranged from 16-39% (beetles positive for slug DNA) and were density dependent, with numbers of beetles testing positive being positively correlated with densities of the respective slug species. Carabus nemoralis was shown to be a potentially important predator of the alien A. lusitanicus in spring and may contribute to conservation biological control. PMID:21342604

  5. Experimental evaluation of predation as a facilitator of invasion success in a stream fish.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Douglas F; Lamphere, Bradley A

    2013-03-01

    Predator-prey relationships in poikilotherms are often size dependent, such as when adults of two interacting species are capable of eating juveniles of the other species. Such bi-directional predation can be important during the establishment and spread of an invading species, but its role remains poorly understood. Using a combination of laboratory and mesocosm experiments and field introductions, we demonstrate that guppies, Poecilia reticulata, prey on juvenile killifish, Rivulus hartii, and thereby facilitate their establishment in the habitat of a potential predator. Laboratory studies found that mature guppies can consume larval Rivulus, and experimental stream studies showed that guppies reduced the number of Rivulus surviving from eggs. Growth trials found that interspecific competition, while significant, cannot account for the declines in the survival of juvenile Rivulus seen in field surveys. Finally, a field experiment, in which guppies were introduced into previously guppy-free stream reaches, resulted in a marked reduction in the abundance of juvenile Rivulus relative to guppy-free controls. Together, these results indicate that reducing the native Rivulus population represents an important.mechanism promoting guppy invasion success. PMID:23687890

  6. Effects of spatially extensive control of invasive rats on abundance of native invertebrates in mainland New Zealand forests.

    PubMed

    Ruscoe, Wendy A; Sweetapple, Peter J; Perry, Mike; Duncan, Richard P

    2013-02-01

    Predation on native fauna by non-native invasive mammals is widely documented, but effects of predation at the population level are rarely measured. Eradication of invasive mammals from islands has led to recovery of native biota, but the benefits of controlling invasive mammal populations in settings where eradication is not feasible are less understood. We used various combinations of aerially delivered toxic bait and control measures on the ground to reduce abundances of invasive rats (Rattus rattus) to low levels over large areas on mainland New Zealand and then monitored the abundance of invertebrates on replicated treatment sites to compare with abundances on similar nontreatment sites. We also assessed rat diet by examining stomach contents. Abundance of the rats' most-consumed invertebrate prey item, the large-bodied Auckland tree weta (Hemideina thoracica), increased 3-fold on treatment sites where we maintained rats at <4/ha for approximately 3 years, compared with the nontreatment sites. Auckland tree weta also increased in abundance on sites where rats were controlled with a single aerial-poisoning operation, but rat abundance subsequently increased on these sites and tree weta abundance then declined. Nevertheless, our data suggest that biennial reduction of rat abundances may be sufficient to allow increases in tree weta populations. Other invertebrates that were consumed less often (cave weta [Rhaphidophoridae], spiders [Araneae], and cockroaches [Blattodea]) showed no systematic changes in abundance following rat control. Our results suggest that the significant threat to recruitment and individual survival that predation by rats poses for tree weta can be mitigated by wide-scale aerial pest control. PMID:23020670

  7. Invasive predator snake induces oxidative stress responses in insular amphibian species.

    PubMed

    Pinya, Samuel; Tejada, Silvia; Capó, Xavier; Sureda, Antoni

    2016-10-01

    The presence of predators induces physiological stress responses in preys to avoid being captured. A stressful situation enhances reactive oxygen species production with potential damage to macromolecules and alterations in oxidant defences levels. The antioxidant enzyme response of the endemic Majorcan Midwife toad (Alytes muletensis) and the Balearic green toad (Bufotes balearicus) tadpoles against an invasive predator, the viperine snake (Natrix maura) was investigated. Tadpoles were introduced in aquaria containing N. maura exudates during 24h. Antioxidant enzyme activities - catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD) - and reduced glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were measured in tadpoles. The presence of snake exudates induced a significant increase in CAT and GR activities and in GSH levels (p<0.05) in A. muletensis tadpoles, whereas no significant differences were reported in any of the parameters analysed in B. balearicus tadpoles. In conclusion, the presence of N. maura exudates is capable to induce an antipredatory response in the endemic A. muletensis tadpoles but not in B. balearicus. PMID:27213671

  8. Rats and Seabirds: Effects of Egg Size on Predation Risk and the Potential of Conditioned Taste Aversion as a Mitigation Method

    PubMed Central

    Latorre, Lucía; Larrinaga, Asier R.; Santamaría, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seabirds nesting on islands are threatened by invasive rodents, such as mice and rats, which may attack eggs, chicks and even adults. The low feasibility of rat eradications on many islands makes the development of alternate control plans necessary. We used a combination of field experiments on a Mediterranean island invaded by black rats (Rattusrattus) to evaluate (1) the predation risk posed to different-sized seabird eggs and (2), the potential of two deterrent methods (electronic and chemical) to reduce its impact. Rats were able to consume eggs of all sizes (12 to 68 g), but survival increased 13 times from the smallest to the largest eggs (which also had more resistant eggshells). Extrapolation to seabird eggs suggests that the smallest species (Hydrobatespelagicus) suffer the most severe predation risk, but even the largest (Larusmichahellis) could suffer >60% mortality. Nest attack was not reduced by the deterrents. However, chemical deterrence (conditioned taste aversion by lithium chloride) slowed the increase in predation rate over time, which resulted in a three-fold increase in egg survival to predation as compared to both control and electronic deterrence. At the end of the experimental period, this effect was confirmed by a treatment swap, which showed that conferred protection remains at least 15 days after cessation of the treatment. Results indicate that small seabird species are likely to suffer severe rates of nest predation by rats and that conditioned taste aversion, but not electronic repellents, may represent a suitable method to protect colonies when eradication or control is not feasible or cost-effective. PMID:24058712

  9. Amygdala regulates risk of predation in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment

    PubMed Central

    Choi, June-Seek; Kim, Jeansok J.

    2010-01-01

    In a natural environment, foragers constantly face the risk of encountering predators. Fear is a defensive mechanism evolved to protect animals from danger by balancing the animals’ needs for primary resources with the risk of predation, and the amygdala is implicated in mediating fear responses. However, the functions of fear and amygdala in foraging behavior are not well characterized because of the technical difficulty in quantifying prey–predator interaction with real (unpredictable) predators. Thus, the present study investigated the rat's foraging behavior in a seminaturalistic environment when confronted with a predator-like robot programmed to surge toward the animal seeking food. Rats initially fled into the nest and froze (demonstrating fear) and then cautiously approached and seized the food as a function of decreasing nest−food and increasing food−robot distances. The likelihood of procuring food increased and decreased via lesioning/inactivating and disinhibiting the amygdala, respectively. These results indicate that the amygdala bidirectionally regulates risk behavior in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment. PMID:21115817

  10. Separate and combined effects of habitat-specific fish predation on the survival of invasive and native gammarids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotta, Jonne; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Herkül, Kristjan

    2010-10-01

    The North-American amphipod Gammarus tigrinus was observed for the first time in the northern Baltic Sea in 2003. The invasive amphipod has been particularly successful in some habitats (e.g. on pebbles) where it has become one of the most abundant gammarid species. We studied experimentally if the dominant fish Gasterosteus aculeatus preyed differentially on the exotic G. tigrinus and the native Gammarus salinus, if predation differed among habitats, and if one gammarid species facilitated predation on the other. The experiment demonstrated that (1) fish preyed more on the exotic G. tigrinus than the native G. salinus. (2) Predation did not differ among habitats. (3) Gammarus tigrinus facilitated the predation on G. salinus and this facilitation varied among habitats with significant effects on pebbles. Thus, the combined effect of habitat-specific fish predation and competition between gammarid amphipods is a possible explanation of the current range of G. tigrinus in the northern Baltic Sea. G. tigrinus seems to establish in habitats where it can significantly increase fish predation on the native gammarids.

  11. Unintended consequences of invasive predator control in an Australian forest: overabundant wallabies and vegetation change.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Nick; Hudson, Matt; James, Stuart; Macgregor, Christopher; Lindenmayer, David B

    2013-01-01

    Over-abundance of native herbivores is a problem in many forests worldwide. The abundance of native macropod wallabies is extremely high at Booderee National Park (BNP) in south-eastern Australia. This has occurred because of the reduction of exotic predators through an intensive baiting program, coupled with the absence of other predators. The high density of wallabies at BNP may be inhibiting the recruitment of many plant species following fire-induced recruitment events. We experimentally examined the post-fire response of a range of plant species to browsing by wallabies in a forest heavily infested with the invasive species, bitou bush Chrysanthemoides monilifera. We recorded the abundance and size of a range of plant species in 18 unfenced (browsed) and 16 fenced (unbrowsed) plots. We found the abundance and size of bitou bush was suppressed in browsed plots compared to unbrowsed plots. Regenerating seedlings of the canopy or middle storey tree species Eucalyptus pilularis, Acacia implexa, Allocasuarina littoralis, Breynia oblongifolia and Banksia integrifolia were either smaller or fewer in number in grazed plots than treatment plots as were the vines Kennedia rubicunda, Glycine tabacina and Glycine clandestina. In contrast, the understorey fern, Pteridium esculentum increased in abundance in the browsed plots relative to unbrowsed plots probably because of reduced competition with more palatable angiosperms. Twelve months after plots were installed the community structure of the browsed and unbrowsed plots was significantly different (P = 0.023, Global R = 0.091). The relative abundance of C. monilifera and P. esculentum contributed most to the differences. We discuss the possible development of a low diversity bracken fern parkland in Booderee National Park through a trophic cascade, similar to that caused by overabundant deer in the northern hemisphere. We also discuss its implications for broad scale fox control in southern Australian forests

  12. Unintended Consequences of Invasive Predator Control in an Australian Forest: Overabundant Wallabies and Vegetation Change

    PubMed Central

    Dexter, Nick; Hudson, Matt; James, Stuart; MacGregor, Christopher; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2013-01-01

    Over-abundance of native herbivores is a problem in many forests worldwide. The abundance of native macropod wallabies is extremely high at Booderee National Park (BNP) in south-eastern Australia. This has occurred because of the reduction of exotic predators through an intensive baiting program, coupled with the absence of other predators. The high density of wallabies at BNP may be inhibiting the recruitment of many plant species following fire-induced recruitment events. We experimentally examined the post-fire response of a range of plant species to browsing by wallabies in a forest heavily infested with the invasive species, bitou bush Chrysanthemoides monilifera. We recorded the abundance and size of a range of plant species in 18 unfenced (browsed) and 16 fenced (unbrowsed) plots. We found the abundance and size of bitou bush was suppressed in browsed plots compared to unbrowsed plots. Regenerating seedlings of the canopy or middle storey tree species Eucalyptus pilularis, Acacia implexa, Allocasuarina littoralis, Breynia oblongifolia and Banksia integrifolia were either smaller or fewer in number in grazed plots than treatment plots as were the vines Kennedia rubicunda, Glycine tabacina and Glycine clandestina. In contrast, the understorey fern, Pteridium esculentum increased in abundance in the browsed plots relative to unbrowsed plots probably because of reduced competition with more palatable angiosperms. Twelve months after plots were installed the community structure of the browsed and unbrowsed plots was significantly different (P = 0.023, Global R = 0.091). The relative abundance of C. monilifera and P. esculentum contributed most to the differences. We discuss the possible development of a low diversity bracken fern parkland in Booderee National Park through a trophic cascade, similar to that caused by overabundant deer in the northern hemisphere. We also discuss its implications for broad scale fox control in southern Australian forests

  13. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    PubMed Central

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  14. The impact of a coastal invasive predator on infaunal communities: Assessing the roles of density and a native counterpart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregory, Garry J.; Quijón, Pedro A.

    2011-08-01

    Our understanding of the influence of many predatory invaders in areas of increasing overlap with native counterparts remains elusive. In Atlantic Canada, the European green crab, Carcinus maenas, overlaps with the native rock crab, Cancer irroratus, but surprisingly little is known about their effects in the light of their potential interactions. In this study we used short-term cage inclusion experiments to assess the impact of low and high green crab densities upon infaunal communities. Then, we re-assessed this impact by running identical manipulations combining green crabs with rock crabs of comparable size and at similar overall predator densities. Our results indicate that both low and high green crab densities accounted for severe declines in infaunal organisms with respect to ambient cages. Polychaetes, the group best represented in this trial, accounted for most of such decline with densities at least 50% lower in the green crab inclusions. A similar (~ 50%) decline in infaunal density was observed when green crabs and rock crabs were combined at low predator densities. However, at high predator densities their impact on polychaetes, molluscs and total infauna was less severe and non-significant with respect to ambient cages. Our results indicate that between-predator interactions have serious indirect effects on benthic prey and contrast previous results on the role played by these crab species. We propose a re-assessment of the role played by native counterparts while searching for management alternatives to minimize the impact of invasive predators in areas heavily invaded.

  15. Do seasonal patterns of rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) and black racer (Coluber constrictor) activity predict avian nest predation?

    PubMed

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Ward, Michael P; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2016-04-01

    Avian nest success often varies seasonally and because predation is the primary cause of nest failure, seasonal variation in predator activity has been hypothesized to explain seasonal variation in nest success. Despite the fact that nest predator communities are often diverse, recent evidence from studies of snakes that are nest predators has lent some support to the link between snake activity and nest predation. However, the strength of the relationship has varied among studies. Explaining this variation is difficult, because none of these studies directly identified nest predators, the link between predator activity and nest survival was inferred. To address this knowledge gap, we examined seasonal variation in daily survival rates of 463 bird nests (of 17 bird species) and used cameras to document predator identity at 137 nests. We simultaneously quantified seasonal activity patterns of two local snake species (N = 30 individuals) using manual (2136 snake locations) and automated (89,165 movements detected) radiotelemetry. Rat snakes (Pantherophis obsoletus), the dominant snake predator at the site (~28% of observed nest predations), were most active in late May and early June, a pattern reported elsewhere for this species. When analyzing all monitored nests, we found no link between nest predation and seasonal activity of rat snakes. When analyzing only nests with known predator identities (filmed nests), however, we found that rat snakes were more likely to prey on nests during periods when they were moving the greatest distances. Similarly, analyses of all monitored nests indicated that nest survival was not linked to racer activity patterns, but racer-specific predation (N = 17 nests) of filmed nests was higher when racers were moving the greatest distances. Our results suggest that the activity of predators may be associated with higher predation rates by those predators, but that those effects can be difficult to detect when nest predator communities

  16. Habitat connectivity and resident shared predators determine the impact of invasive bullfrogs on native frogs in farm ponds

    PubMed Central

    Atobe, Takashi; Osada, Yutaka; Takeda, Hayato; Kuroe, Misako; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-01-01

    Habitat connectivity is considered to have an important role on the persistence of populations in the face of habitat fragmentation, in particular, for species with conservation concern. However, it can also impose indirect negative effects on native species through the spread of invasive species. Here, we investigated direct and indirect effects of habitat connectivity on populations of invasive bullfrogs and native wrinkled frogs and how these effects are modified by the presence of common carp, a resident shared predator, in a farm pond system in Japan. The distribution pattern analysis using a hierarchical Bayesian modelling indicated that bullfrogs had negative effects on wrinkled frogs, and that these negative effects were enhanced with increasing habitat connectivity owing to the metapopulation structure of bullfrogs. The analysis also suggested that common carp mitigated these impacts, presumably owing to a top-down trophic cascade through preferential predation on bullfrog tadpoles. These presumed interspecific interactions were supported by evidence from laboratory experiments, i.e. predation by carp was more intense on bullfrog tadpoles than on wrinkled frog tadpoles owing to the difference in refuge use. Our results indicate that metacommunity perspectives could provide useful insights for establishing effective management strategies of invasive species living in patchy habitats. PMID:24827433

  17. Habitat connectivity and resident shared predators determine the impact of invasive bullfrogs on native frogs in farm ponds.

    PubMed

    Atobe, Takashi; Osada, Yutaka; Takeda, Hayato; Kuroe, Misako; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-07-01

    Habitat connectivity is considered to have an important role on the persistence of populations in the face of habitat fragmentation, in particular, for species with conservation concern. However, it can also impose indirect negative effects on native species through the spread of invasive species. Here, we investigated direct and indirect effects of habitat connectivity on populations of invasive bullfrogs and native wrinkled frogs and how these effects are modified by the presence of common carp, a resident shared predator, in a farm pond system in Japan. The distribution pattern analysis using a hierarchical Bayesian modelling indicated that bullfrogs had negative effects on wrinkled frogs, and that these negative effects were enhanced with increasing habitat connectivity owing to the metapopulation structure of bullfrogs. The analysis also suggested that common carp mitigated these impacts, presumably owing to a top-down trophic cascade through preferential predation on bullfrog tadpoles. These presumed interspecific interactions were supported by evidence from laboratory experiments, i.e. predation by carp was more intense on bullfrog tadpoles than on wrinkled frog tadpoles owing to the difference in refuge use. Our results indicate that metacommunity perspectives could provide useful insights for establishing effective management strategies of invasive species living in patchy habitats. PMID:24827433

  18. Getting ready for invasions: can background level of risk predict the ability of naïve prey to survive novel predators?

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Crane, Adam L.; Brown, Grant E.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2015-01-01

    Factors predicting the outcome of predator invasions on native prey communities are critical to our understanding of invasion ecology. Here, we tested whether background level of risk affected the survival of prey to novel predators, both native and invasive, predicting that high-risk environments would better prepare prey for invasions. We used naïve woodfrog as our prey and exposed them to a high or low risk regime either as embryos (prenatal exposure) or as larvae (recent exposure). Tadpoles were then tested for their survival in the presence of 4 novel predators: two dytiscid beetles, crayfish and trout. Survival was affected by both risk level and predator type. High risk was beneficial to prey exposed to the dytiscids larvae (ambush predators), but detrimental to prey exposed to crayfish or trout (pursuit predators). No effect of ontogeny of risk was found. We further documented that high-risk tadpoles were overall more active than their low-risk counterparts, explaining the patterns found with survival. Our results provide insights into the relationship between risk and resilience to predator invasions. PMID:25655436

  19. Will Climate Change, Genetic and Demographic Variation or Rat Predation Pose the Greatest Risk for Persistence of an Altitudinally Distributed Island Endemic?

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Catherine Laura; Auld, Tony D.; Hutton, Ian; Baker, William J.; Shapcott, Alison

    2012-01-01

    Species endemic to mountains on oceanic islands are subject to a number of existing threats (in particular, invasive species) along with the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. The Lord Howe Island endemic palm Hedyscepe canterburyana is restricted to two mountains above 300 m altitude. Predation by the introduced Black Rat (Rattus rattus) is known to significantly reduce seedling recruitment. We examined the variation in Hedyscepe in terms of genetic variation, morphology, reproductive output and demographic structure, across an altitudinal gradient. We used demographic data to model population persistence under climate change predictions of upward range contraction incorporating long-term climatic records for Lord Howe Island. We also accounted for alternative levels of rat predation into the model to reflect management options for control. We found that Lord Howe Island is getting warmer and drier and quantified the degree of temperature change with altitude (0.9 °C per 100 m). For H. canterburyana, differences in development rates, population structure, reproductive output and population growth rate were identified between altitudes. In contrast, genetic variation was high and did not vary with altitude. There is no evidence of an upward range contraction as was predicted and recruitment was greatest at lower altitudes. Our models predicted slow population decline in the species and that the highest altitude populations are under greatest threat of extinction. Removal of rat predation would significantly enhance future persistence of this species. PMID:24832517

  20. Prenatal exposure to restraint or predator stresses attenuates field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in infant rats.

    PubMed

    Saboory, Ehsan; Ahmadzadeh, Ramin; Roshan-Milani, Shiva

    2011-12-01

    Exposure to stress is known to change synaptic plasticity and results in long-term depression; further, this stress precipitates seizures. In the study described here, the prenatal restraint and predator stress models were used to test the hypothesis that indirect prenatal stresses influence hippocampal synaptic potentiation and may affect seizures susceptibility in infant rats. Pregnant female Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups: control, restraint-stressed, and predator-stressed groups. Both stressed groups were exposed to the stressor on gestation days 15, 16, and 17. The restraint stress involved 1-h sessions twice daily in a Plexiglas tube and the predator stress involved 2-h sessions once daily in a cage placed within the visual range of a caged cat. Blood corticosterone (COS) levels were measured in different time points. Hippocampal slices were prepared and field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) were studied on postnatal day 15. Pilocarpine was administered on postnatal day 25 and mortality rates were measured after 2 and 24h. Restraint and predator stresses resulted in significantly elevated COS blood levels in dams and pups. Both the amplitude and slope of fEPSP in the CA1 area decreased significantly in the stressed groups as compared to the control. Prenatal restraint and predator stresses significantly increased the fatal effect of pilocarpine at 24h after injection. Exposure to prenatal stresses and COS blood levels elevation reduce hippocampal synaptic potentiation and increase mortality rate of seizure in infant rats and may affect on later seizure susceptibility and prognosis. PMID:21925585

  1. The enemy of my enemy is my friend: intraguild predation between invaders and natives facilitates coexistence with shared invasive prey

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T. A.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding and predicting the outcomes of biological invasions is challenging where multiple invader and native species interact. We hypothesize that antagonistic interactions between invaders and natives could divert their impact on subsequent invasive species, thus facilitating coexistence. From field data, we found that, when existing together in freshwater sites, the native amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus and a previous invader G. pulex appear to facilitate the establishment of a second invader, their shared prey Crangonyx pseudogracilis. Indeed, the latter species was rarely found at sites where each Gammarus species was present on its own. Experiments indicated that this may be the result of G. d. celticus and G. pulex engaging in more intraguild predation (IGP) than cannibalism; when the ‘enemy’ of either Gammarus species was present, that is, the other Gammarus species, C. pseudogracilis significantly more often escaped predation. Thus, the presence of mutual enemies and the stronger inter- than intraspecific interactions they engage in can facilitate other invaders. With some invasive species such as C. pseudogracilis having no known detrimental effects on native species, and indeed having some positive ecological effects, we also conclude that some invasions could promote biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. PMID:25122739

  2. Increased BOLD Activation to Predator Stressor in Subiculum and Midbrain of Amphetamine-Sensitized Maternal Rats

    PubMed Central

    Febo, Marcelo; Pira, Ashley S.

    2011-01-01

    Amphetamine, which is known to cause sensitization, potentiates the hormonal and neurobiological signatures of stress and may also increase sensitivity to stress-inducing stimuli in limbic areas. Trimethylthiazoline (5 μL TMT) is a chemical constituent of fox feces that evokes innate fear and activates the neuronal and hormonal signatures of stress in rats. We used blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) MRI to test whether amphetamine sensitization (1 mg/kg, i.p. X 3 days) in female rats has a lasting effect on the neural response to a stress-evoking stimulus, the scent of a predator, during the postpartum period. The subiculum and dopamine-enriched midbrain VTA/SN of amphetamine-sensitized, but not control mothers showed a greater BOLD signal response to predator odor than a control putrid scent. The greater responsiveness of these two brain regions following stimulant sensitization might impact neural processing in response to stressors in the maternal brain. PMID:21134359

  3. Increased BOLD activation to predator stressor in subiculum and midbrain of amphetamine-sensitized maternal rats.

    PubMed

    Febo, Marcelo; Pira, Ashley S

    2011-03-25

    Amphetamine, which is known to cause sensitization, potentiates the hormonal and neurobiological signatures of stress and may also increase sensitivity to stress-inducing stimuli in limbic areas. Trimethylthiazoline (5μL TMT) is a chemical constituent of fox feces that evokes innate fear and activates the neuronal and hormonal signatures of stress in rats. We used blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) MRI to test whether amphetamine sensitization (1mg/kg, i.p. ×3days) in female rats has a lasting effect on the neural response to a stress-evoking stimulus, the scent of a predator, during the postpartum period. The subiculum and dopamine-enriched midbrain VTA/SN of amphetamine-sensitized but not control mothers showed a greater BOLD signal response to predator odor than a control putrid scent. The greater responsiveness of these two brain regions following stimulant sensitization might impact neural processing in response to stressors in the maternal brain. PMID:21134359

  4. Molecular evidence for the predation of Critically Endangered endemic Aphanius transgrediens from the stomach contents of world wide invasive Gambusia affinis.

    PubMed

    Keskin, Emre

    2016-01-01

    Predation and competition among native and invasive species are difficult to study in aquatic environments. Identification of preys from semi-digested body parts sampled from stomach contents of the predator is very challenging. Recent studies were mainly based on use of DNA extracted from stomach content to identify the prey species. This study presents the molecular evidence that reveals the predation of critically endangered Aphanius transgrediens by world-wide invasive Gambusia affinis for a better understanding of the link between the invasion and the extinction of native species in freshwater ecosystems. DNA samples were extracted from semi-digested stomach contents of the invader and short fragments of mitochondrial NADH1 gene were amplified using species-specific primers designed in this study to make identification at species level. Existence of both the prey and the predator species were also confirmed using environmental DNA extracted from water samples. PMID:25082451

  5. The effects of early-life predator stress on anxiety- and depression-like behaviors of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lu-jing; Shen, Bing-qing; Liu, Dan-dan; Li, Sheng-tian

    2014-01-01

    Childhood emotional trauma contributes significantly to certain psychopathologies, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In experimental animals, however, whether or not early-life stress results in behavioral abnormalities in adult animals still remains controversial. Here, we investigated both short-term and long-term changes of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors of Wistar rats after being exposed to chronic feral cat stress in juvenile ages. The 2-week predator stress decreased spontaneous activities immediately following stress but did not increase depression- or anxiety-like behaviors 4 weeks after the stimulation in adulthood. Instead, juvenile predator stress had some protective effects, though not very obvious, in adulthood. We also exposed genetic depression model rats, Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, to the same predator stress. In WKY rats, the same early-life predator stress did not enhance anxiety- or depression-like behaviors in both the short-term and long-term. However, the stressed WKY rats showed slightly reduced depression-like behaviors in adulthood. These results indicate that in both normal Wistar rats and WKY rats, early-life predator stress led to protective, rather than negative, effects in adulthood. PMID:24839560

  6. The Effects of Early-Life Predator Stress on Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors of Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lu-jing; Shen, Bing-qing; Liu, Dan-dan; Li, Sheng-tian

    2014-01-01

    Childhood emotional trauma contributes significantly to certain psychopathologies, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In experimental animals, however, whether or not early-life stress results in behavioral abnormalities in adult animals still remains controversial. Here, we investigated both short-term and long-term changes of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors of Wistar rats after being exposed to chronic feral cat stress in juvenile ages. The 2-week predator stress decreased spontaneous activities immediately following stress but did not increase depression- or anxiety-like behaviors 4 weeks after the stimulation in adulthood. Instead, juvenile predator stress had some protective effects, though not very obvious, in adulthood. We also exposed genetic depression model rats, Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, to the same predator stress. In WKY rats, the same early-life predator stress did not enhance anxiety- or depression-like behaviors in both the short-term and long-term. However, the stressed WKY rats showed slightly reduced depression-like behaviors in adulthood. These results indicate that in both normal Wistar rats and WKY rats, early-life predator stress led to protective, rather than negative, effects in adulthood. PMID:24839560

  7. Effects of oxytocin on methamphetamine-seeking exacerbated by predator odor pre-exposure in rats

    PubMed Central

    Ferland, Chantelle L.; Reichel, Carmela M.; McGinty, Jacqueline F.

    2016-01-01

    Rationale The endogenous oxytocin system has emerged as an inhibitor of drug-seeking and stress in preclinical models. Objectives The goal of this study was to examine whether systemic oxytocin administration attenuated methamphetamine (METH)–seeking in rats pre-exposed to a predator odor threat. Methods In Experiment 1, rats were exposed for five days to the predator odor, 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), or saline before METH self-administration began. After extinction training, rats were injected with 1 mg/kg, ip oxytocin (OXT) or saline 30 min before a cue-induced reinstatement test followed by re-extinction and a TMT–induced reinstatement test. In Experiment 2, TMT pre-exposure was followed by 10 days of 1 mg/kg OXT or saline injections before METH self-administration, extinction, and a TMT-induced reinstatement test. Results In Experiment 1, TMT pre-exposed rats that were injected with saline 30 min before reinstatement exhibited greater drug-seeking induced by conditioned cues or TMT than that exhibited by saline pre-exposed rats. A single injection of OXT 30 min before reinstatement suppressed METH-seeking in both saline- and TMT pre-exposed rats. In Experiment 2, TMT pre-exposed rats that received saline injections for 10d prior to METH self-administration exhibited enhanced drug-seeking induced by TMT during stress-induced reinstatement. OXT injections for 10d prior to METH self-administration blocked only the stress-induced exacerbation of drug-seeking in TMT pre-exposed rats. Conclusions These results support further research on the development of oxytocin as a novel therapeutic that has enduring effects on drug-seeking exacerbated by stress. PMID:26700240

  8. Behavioral consequences of predator stress in the rat elevated T-maze.

    PubMed

    Bulos, Erika Mondin; Pobbe, Roger Luis Henschel; Zangrossi, Helio

    2015-07-01

    Analyses of the behavioral reactions of rodents to predators have greatly contributed to the understanding of defense-related human psychopathologies such as anxiety and panic.We here investigated the behavioral consequences of exposing male Wistar rats to a live cat using the elevated T-maze test of anxiety. This test allows the measurement of two defensive responses: inhibitory avoidance and escape, which in terms of pathology have been associated with generalized anxiety and panic disorders, respectively. For comparative reasons, the effects of exposure to the cat were also assessed in the elevated plus-maze. The results showed that a 5-min exposure to the cat selectively facilitated inhibitory avoidance acquisition, an anxiogenic effect, without affecting escape expression in the elevated T-maze. This was seen immediately but not 30 min after contact with the predator. This short-lived anxiogenic effect was also detected in the elevated plus-maze. Previous administration of the benzodiazepine anxiolytic diazepam (2 mg/kg) decreased the immediate avoidance response to the predator and the neophobic reaction to a dummy cat used as a control stimulus. The drug also impaired inhibitory avoidance acquisition in the elevated T-maze, indicating an anxiolytic effect, without affecting escape performance. The results indicate that the state of anxiety evoked during contact with the predator generalizes to both elevated plus- and T-mazes, impacting on defensive responses associated with generalized anxiety disorder. PMID:26066720

  9. Insights into Embryo Defenses of the Invasive Apple Snail Pomacea canaliculata: Egg Mass Ingestion Affects Rat Intestine Morphology and Growth

    PubMed Central

    Gimeno, Eduardo J.; Heras, Horacio

    2014-01-01

    Background The spread of the invasive snail Pomacea canaliculata is expanding the rat lungworm disease beyond its native range. Their toxic eggs have virtually no predators and unusual defenses including a neurotoxic lectin and a proteinase inhibitor, presumably advertised by a warning coloration. We explored the effect of egg perivitellin fluid (PVF) ingestion on the rat small intestine morphology and physiology. Methodology/Principal Findings Through a combination of biochemical, histochemical, histopathological, scanning electron microscopy, cell culture and feeding experiments, we analyzed intestinal morphology, growth rate, hemaglutinating activity, cytotoxicity and cell proliferation after oral administration of PVF to rats. PVF adversely affects small intestine metabolism and morphology and consequently the standard growth rate, presumably by lectin-like proteins, as suggested by PVF hemaglutinating activity and its cytotoxic effect on Caco-2 cell culture. Short-term effects of ingested PVF were studied in growing rats. PVF-supplemented diet induced the appearance of shorter and wider villi as well as fused villi. This was associated with changes in glycoconjugate expression, increased cell proliferation at crypt base, and hypertrophic mucosal growth. This resulted in a decreased absorptive surface after 3 days of treatment and a diminished rat growth rate that reverted to normal after the fourth day of treatment. Longer exposure to PVF induced a time-dependent lengthening of the small intestine while switching to a control diet restored intestine length and morphology after 4 days. Conclusions/Significance Ingestion of PVF rapidly limits the ability of potential predators to absorb nutrients by inducing large, reversible changes in intestinal morphology and growth rate. The occurrence of toxins that affect intestinal morphology and absorption is a strategy against predation not recognized among animals before. Remarkably, this defense is rather similar to

  10. Population-level compensation by an invasive thistle thwarts biological control from seed predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predispersal seed predators are often chosen as biocontrol agents because of their high impacts on plant fitness; however, they have a mixed record in realizing decreased plant population growth. Few studies have experimentally removed agents to explore their impact on weed population growth. Here...

  11. Predator odor stress alters corticotropin-releasing factor-1 receptor (CRF1R)-dependent behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Roltsch, Emily A; Baynes, Brittni B; Mayeux, Jacques P; Whitaker, Annie M; Baiamonte, Brandon A; Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2014-04-01

    Humans with stress-related anxiety disorders exhibit increases in arousal and alcohol drinking, as well as altered pain processing. Our lab has developed a predator odor stress model that produces reliable and lasting increases in alcohol drinking. Here, we utilize this predator odor stress model to examine stress-induced increases in arousal, nociceptive processing, and alcohol self-administration by rats, and also to determine the effects of corticotropin-releasing factor-1 receptors (CRF1Rs) in mediating these behavioral changes. In a series of separate experiments, rats were exposed to predator odor stress, then tested over subsequent days for thermal nociception in the Hargreaves test, acoustic startle reactivity, or operant alcohol self-administration. In each experiment, rats were systemically injected with R121919, a CRF1R antagonist, and/or vehicle. Predator odor stress increased thermal nociception (i.e., hyperalgesia) and acoustic startle reactivity. Systemic administration of R121919 reduced thermal nociception and hyperarousal in stressed rats but not unstressed controls, and reduced operant alcohol responding over days. Stressed rats exhibited increased sensitivity to the behavioral effects of R121919 in all three tests, suggesting up-regulation of brain CRF1Rs number and/or function in stressed rats. These results suggest that post-stress alcohol drinking may be driven by a high-nociception high-arousal state, and that brain CRF1R signaling mediates these stress effects. PMID:24269607

  12. The mother as hunter: significant reduction in foraging costs through enhancements of predation in maternal rats.

    PubMed

    Kinsley, Craig Howard; Blair, Jamie C; Karp, Natalie E; Hester, Naomi W; McNamara, Ilan M; Orthmeyer, Angela L; McSweeney, Molly C; Bardi, Massimo M; Karelina, Kate; Christon, Lillian M; Sirkin, Maxwell R; Victoria, Lindsay W; Skurka, Danielle J; Fyfe, Christian R; Hudepohl, Margaret B; Felicio, Luciano F; Franssen, R Adam; Meyer, Elizabeth E A; da Silva, Ilton S; Lambert, Kelly G

    2014-09-01

    In previous laboratory investigations, we have identified enhanced cognition and reduced stress in parous rats, which are likely adaptations in mothers needing to efficiently exploit resources to maintain, protect and provision their immature offspring. Here, in a series of seven behavioral tests on rats, we examined a natural interface between cognition and resource gathering: predation. Experiment 1 compared predatory behavior (toward crickets) in age-matched nulliparous mothers (NULLs) and postpartum lactating mothers (LACTs), revealing a highly significant enhancement of predation in LACT females (mean = -65s in LACTs, vs. -270s in NULLs). Experiment 2 examined the possibility that LACTs, given their increased metabolic rate, were hungrier, and thus more motivated to hunt; doubling the length of time of food deprivation in NULLs did not decrease their predatory latencies. Experiments 3-5, which examined sensory regulation of the effect, indicated that olfaction (anosmia), audition (blockade with white noise), and somatosensation (trimming the vibrissae) appear to play little role in the behavioral enhancement observed in the LACTs; Experiment 6 examined the possibility that visual augmentations may facilitate the improvements in predation; testing LACTs in a 0-lux environment eliminated the behavioral advantage (increasing their latencies from -65s to -212s), which suggests that temporary augmentation to the visual system may be important, and with hormone-neural alterations therein a likely candidate for further study. In contrast, testing NULLS in the 0-lux environment had the opposite effect, reducing their latency to catch the cricket (from -270s to -200s). Finally, Experiment 7 examined the development of predatory behavior in Early-pregnant (PREG), Mid-PREG, and Late-PREG females. Here, we observed a significant enhancement of predation in Mid-PREG and Late-PREG females--at a time when maternity-associated bodily changes would be expected to diminish

  13. Predation on the Invasive Copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, and Native Zooplankton in the Lower Columbia River: An Experimental Approach to Quantify Differences in Prey-Specific Feeding Rates

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jesse B.; Bollens, Stephen M.; Bishop, John G.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive planktonic crustaceans have become a prominent feature of aquatic communities worldwide, yet their effects on food webs are not well known. The Asian calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, introduced to the Columbia River Estuary approximately 15 years ago, now dominates the late-summer zooplankton community, but its use by native aquatic predators is unknown. We investigated whether three species of planktivorous fishes (chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback, and northern pikeminnow) and one species of mysid exhibited higher feeding rates on native copepods and cladocerans relative to P. forbesi by conducting `single-prey’ feeding experiments and, additionally, examined selectivity for prey types with `two-prey’ feeding experiments. In single-prey experiments individual predator species showed no difference in feeding rates on native cyclopoid copepods (Cyclopidae spp.) relative to invasive P. forbesi, though wild-collected predators exhibited higher feeding rates on cyclopoids when considered in aggregate. In two-prey experiments, chinook salmon and northern pikeminnow both strongly selected native cladocerans (Daphnia retrocurva) over P. forbesi, and moreover, northern pikeminnow selected native Cyclopidae spp. over P. forbesi. On the other hand, in two-prey experiments, chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback and mysids were non- selective with respect to feeding on native cyclopoid copepods versus P. forbesi. Our results indicate that all four native predators in the Columbia River Estuary can consume the invasive copepod, P. forbesi, but that some predators select for native zooplankton over P. forbesi, most likely due to one (or both) of two possible underlying casual mechanisms: 1) differential taxon-specific prey motility and escape responses (calanoids > cyclopoids > daphnids) or 2) the invasive status of the zooplankton prey resulting in naivety, and thus lower feeding rates, of native predators feeding on invasive prey. PMID

  14. Predation on the Invasive Copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, and Native Zooplankton in the Lower Columbia River: An Experimental Approach to Quantify Differences in Prey-Specific Feeding Rates.

    PubMed

    Adams, Jesse B; Bollens, Stephen M; Bishop, John G

    2015-01-01

    Invasive planktonic crustaceans have become a prominent feature of aquatic communities worldwide, yet their effects on food webs are not well known. The Asian calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, introduced to the Columbia River Estuary approximately 15 years ago, now dominates the late-summer zooplankton community, but its use by native aquatic predators is unknown. We investigated whether three species of planktivorous fishes (chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback, and northern pikeminnow) and one species of mysid exhibited higher feeding rates on native copepods and cladocerans relative to P. forbesi by conducting `single-prey' feeding experiments and, additionally, examined selectivity for prey types with `two-prey' feeding experiments. In single-prey experiments individual predator species showed no difference in feeding rates on native cyclopoid copepods (Cyclopidae spp.) relative to invasive P. forbesi, though wild-collected predators exhibited higher feeding rates on cyclopoids when considered in aggregate. In two-prey experiments, chinook salmon and northern pikeminnow both strongly selected native cladocerans (Daphnia retrocurva) over P. forbesi, and moreover, northern pikeminnow selected native Cyclopidae spp. over P. forbesi. On the other hand, in two-prey experiments, chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback and mysids were non- selective with respect to feeding on native cyclopoid copepods versus P. forbesi. Our results indicate that all four native predators in the Columbia River Estuary can consume the invasive copepod, P. forbesi, but that some predators select for native zooplankton over P. forbesi, most likely due to one (or both) of two possible underlying casual mechanisms: 1) differential taxon-specific prey motility and escape responses (calanoids > cyclopoids > daphnids) or 2) the invasive status of the zooplankton prey resulting in naivety, and thus lower feeding rates, of native predators feeding on invasive prey. PMID:26618851

  15. Hemolymph Defense against an Invasive Herbivore: Its Breadth of Effectiveness Against Predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Defensive characteristics of organisms shape the trophic linkages within food webs and influence the ability of invasive organisms to expand their range. Diabrotica virgifera virgifera is an invasive herbivore in European maize, and its subterranean larval feeding affects the entire maize ecosystem....

  16. Predator-induced plasticity in sleep architecture in wild-caught Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus).

    PubMed

    Lesku, John A; Bark, Rebekah J; Martinez-Gonzalez, Dolores; Rattenborg, Niels C; Amlaner, Charles J; Lima, Steven L

    2008-06-01

    Sleep is a prominent behaviour in the lives of animals, but the unresponsiveness that characterizes sleep makes it dangerous. Mammalian sleep is composed of two neurophysiological states: slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. Given that the intensity of stimuli required to induce an arousal to wakefulness is highest during deep SWS or REM sleep, mammals may be most vulnerable during these states. If true, then animals should selectively reduce deep SWS and REM sleep following an increase in the risk of predation. To test this prediction, we simulated a predatory encounter with 10 wild-caught Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), which are perhaps more likely to exhibit natural anti-predator responses than laboratory strains. Immediately following the encounter, rats spent more time awake and less time in SWS and REM sleep. The reduction of SWS was due to the shorter duration of SWS episodes, whereas the reduction of REM sleep was due to a lower number of REM sleep episodes. The onset of SWS and REM sleep was delayed post-encounter by about 20 and 100 min, respectively. The reduction of REM sleep was disproportionately large during the first quarter of the sleep phase, and slow wave activity (SWA) (0.5-4.5 Hz power density) was lower during the first 10 min of SWS post-encounter. An increase in SWA and REM sleep was observed later in the sleep phase, which may reflect sleep homeostasis. These results suggest that aspects of sleep architecture can be adjusted to the prevailing risk of predation. PMID:18313152

  17. What doesn't kill you makes you wary? Effect of repeated culling on the behaviour of an invasive predator.

    PubMed

    Côté, Isabelle M; Darling, Emily S; Malpica-Cruz, Luis; Smith, Nicola S; Green, Stephanie J; Curtis-Quick, Jocelyn; Layman, Craig

    2014-01-01

    As a result of being hunted, animals often alter their behaviour in ways that make future encounters with predators less likely. When hunting is carried out for conservation, for example to control invasive species, these behavioural changes can inadvertently impede the success of future efforts. We examined the effects of repeated culling by spearing on the behaviour of invasive predatory lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Bahamian coral reef patches. We compared the extent of concealment and activity levels of lionfish at dawn and midday on 16 coral reef patches off Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Eight of the patches had been subjected to regular daytime removals of lionfish by spearing for two years. We also estimated the distance at which lionfish became alert to slowly approaching divers on culled and unculled reef patches. Lionfish on culled reefs were less active and hid deeper within the reef during the day than lionfish on patches where no culling had occurred. There were no differences at dawn when removals do not take place. Lionfish on culled reefs also adopted an alert posture at a greater distance from divers than lionfish on unculled reefs. More crepuscular activity likely leads to greater encounter rates by lionfish with more native fish species because the abundance of reef fish outside of shelters typically peaks at dawn and dusk. Hiding deeper within the reef could also make remaining lionfish less likely to be encountered and more difficult to catch by spearfishers during culling efforts. Shifts in the behaviour of hunted invasive animals might be common and they have implications both for the impact of invasive species and for the design and success of invasive control programs. PMID:24705447

  18. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Wary? Effect of Repeated Culling on the Behaviour of an Invasive Predator

    PubMed Central

    Côté, Isabelle M.; Darling, Emily S.; Malpica-Cruz, Luis; Smith, Nicola S.; Green, Stephanie J.; Curtis-Quick, Jocelyn; Layman, Craig

    2014-01-01

    As a result of being hunted, animals often alter their behaviour in ways that make future encounters with predators less likely. When hunting is carried out for conservation, for example to control invasive species, these behavioural changes can inadvertently impede the success of future efforts. We examined the effects of repeated culling by spearing on the behaviour of invasive predatory lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Bahamian coral reef patches. We compared the extent of concealment and activity levels of lionfish at dawn and midday on 16 coral reef patches off Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Eight of the patches had been subjected to regular daytime removals of lionfish by spearing for two years. We also estimated the distance at which lionfish became alert to slowly approaching divers on culled and unculled reef patches. Lionfish on culled reefs were less active and hid deeper within the reef during the day than lionfish on patches where no culling had occurred. There were no differences at dawn when removals do not take place. Lionfish on culled reefs also adopted an alert posture at a greater distance from divers than lionfish on unculled reefs. More crepuscular activity likely leads to greater encounter rates by lionfish with more native fish species because the abundance of reef fish outside of shelters typically peaks at dawn and dusk. Hiding deeper within the reef could also make remaining lionfish less likely to be encountered and more difficult to catch by spearfishers during culling efforts. Shifts in the behaviour of hunted invasive animals might be common and they have implications both for the impact of invasive species and for the design and success of invasive control programs. PMID:24705447

  19. Intraguild predation reduces redundancy of predator species in multiple predator assemblage.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

    1. Interference between predator species frequently decreases predation rates, lowering the risk of predation for shared prey. However, such interference can also occur between conspecific predators. 2. Therefore, to understand the importance of predator biodiversity and the degree that predator species can be considered functionally interchangeable, we determined the degree of additivity and redundancy of predators in multiple- and single-species combinations. 3. We show that interference between two invasive species of predatory crabs, Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus, reduced the risk of predation for shared amphipod prey, and had redundant per capita effects in most multiple- and single-species predator combinations. 4. However, when predator combinations with the potential for intraguild predation were examined, predator interference increased and predator redundancy decreased. 5. Our study indicates that trophic structure is important in determining how the effects of predator species combine and demonstrates the utility of determining the redundancy, as well as the additivity, of multiple predator species. PMID:17009759

  20. Divergent induced responses to an invasive predator in marine mussel populations.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Aaren S; Byers, James E

    2006-08-11

    Invasive species may precipitate evolutionary change in invaded communities. In southern New England (USA) the invasive Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, preys on mussels (Mytlius edulis), but the crab has not yet invaded northern New England. We show that southern New England mussels express inducible shell thickening when exposed to waterborne cues from Hemigrapsus, whereas naïve northern mussel populations do not respond. Yet, both populations thicken their shells in response to a long-established crab, Carcinus maenas. Our findings are consistent with the rapid evolution of an inducible morphological response to Hemigrapsus within 15 years of its introduction. PMID:16902136

  1. Analysis of naticid gastropod predation across the trans-Arctic invasion in the Tjörnes beds, Iceland, and the Red Crag Formation, East Anglia, England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neely, Samuel H.; Kelley, Patricia H.

    2016-04-01

    Invasive species are wreaking havoc on modern ecosystems; however, species invasions are not new threats to ecosystems. The fossil record allows conservationists to acquire deep-time perspectives on long-term effects of natural invasions before anthropogenic impacts. Drill holes from invasive naticid gastropod predators on bivalve prey can be quantified to provide evidence of the impact of these invasive predators on ecosystems. An asymmetrical faunal interchange, known as the trans-Arctic invasion (TAI), occurred between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans during the Pliocene (˜3.5 Ma) because of the opening of the Bering Strait. This interchange could have changed naticid gastropod drilling predation on bivalves due to the migration of Pacific fauna into the Atlantic Ocean. The Tjörnes locality of northeast Iceland well characterizes the TAI because this site has preserved genera in three distinct levels that divide the invasion into the pre-invasion (Tapes and Mactra zones) and the post-invasion (Serripes zone). Temporal comparisons can be made between these pre- and post-invasion zones to analyze drilling predation across the TAI. Spatial comparisons of drilling predation in the post-invasion deposits can be made by correlating the Serripes zone (3.6-2.6 Ma) to the Red Crag Formation (2.54 Ma) of East Anglia, England, because these localities are of similar age and contain similar taxa. Specimens from the Tjörnes Beds, Iceland, were analyzed in collections housed at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. Red Crag Formation specimens were analyzed at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. Height and length of bivalve specimens were measured. The occurrence of complete and incomplete (unsuccessful) drill holes and drill hole diameter were recorded for all whole bivalves. Drilling frequency (DF = % mortality) and prey effectiveness (PE = % of attempted drill holes that were incomplete) were calculated. Icelandic samples

  2. Ethopharmacological evaluation of the rat exposure test: a prey-predator interaction test.

    PubMed

    Campos, Kelciane Ferreira Caetano; Amaral, Vanessa Cristiane Santana; Rico, Javier Leonardo; Miguel, Tarciso Tadeu; Nunes-de-Souza, Ricardo Luiz

    2013-03-01

    The rat exposure test (RET) is a prey (mouse)-predator (rat) situation that activates brain defensive areas and elicits hormonal and defensive behavior in the mouse. Here, we investigated possible correlations between the spatiotemporal [time spent in protected (home chamber and tunnel) and unprotected (surface) compartments and frequency of entries into the three compartments] and ethological [e.g., duration of protected and unprotected stretched-attend postures (SAP), duration of contact with the rat's compartment] measures (Experiment 1). Secondly, we investigated the effects of systemic treatment with pro- or anti-aversive drugs on the behavior that emerged from the factor analysis (Experiment 2). The effects of chronic (21 days) imipramine and fluoxetine on defensive behavior were also investigated (Experiment 3). Exp. 1 revealed that the time in the protected compartment, protected SAP and rat contacts loaded on factor 1 (defensive behavior), while the total entries and unprotected SAP loaded on factor 2 (locomotor activity). Exp. 2 showed that alprazolam (but not diazepam) selectively changed the defensive factor. Caffeine produced a mild proaversive-like effect, whereas yohimbine only decreased locomotor activity (total entries). Fluoxetine (but not imipramine) produced a weak proaversive-like effect. 5-HT(1A)/5-HT(2) receptor ligands did not change any behavioral measure. In Exp. 3, chronic fluoxetine (but not imipramine) attenuated the defensive behavior factor without changing locomotion. Given that the defensive factor was sensitive to drugs known to attenuate (alprazolam and chronic fluoxetine) and induce (caffeine) panic attack, we suggest the RET as a useful test to assess the effects of panicolytic and panicogenic drugs. PMID:23195112

  3. Endocannabinoid Modulation of Predator Stress-Induced Long-Term Anxiety in Rats.

    PubMed

    Lim, James; Igarashi, Miki; Jung, Kwang-Mook; Butini, Stefania; Campiani, Giuseppe; Piomelli, Daniele

    2016-04-01

    Individuals who experience life-threatening psychological trauma are at risk of developing a series of chronic neuropsychiatric pathologies that include generalized anxiety, depression, and drug addiction. The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the modulation of these responses by regulating the activity of the amygdala and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. However, the relevance of this signaling complex to the long-term consequences of traumatic events is unclear. Here we use an animal model of predatory stress-induced anxiety-like behavior to investigate the role of the endocannabinoid system in the development of persistent anxiety states. Our main finding is that rats exposed to the fox pheromone 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), a life-threatening stimulus for rodents, display a marked and selective increase in the mobilization of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG), in the amygdala. This effect lasts for at least 14 days after the stress has occurred. In addition, systemic or local pharmacological inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL)-a lipid hydrolase that degrades 2-AG in presynaptic nerve terminals-elevates 2-AG levels and suppresses the anxiety-like behavior elicited by exposure to TMT. The results suggest that predator threat triggers long-term changes in 2-AG-mediated endocannabinoid signaling in the amygdala, and that pharmacological interventions targeting MGL might provide a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of chronic brain disorders initiated by trauma. PMID:26361059

  4. Rodents balancing a variety of risks: invasive fire ants and indirect and direct indicators of predation risk.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Danielson, Brent, J.

    2004-06-08

    Oecologia (2004) 140: 662 - 667 We used foraging trays to compare how old field mice, Peromyscus polionotus, altered foraging in response to the presence of fire ants, Solenopsisinvicta, and in the presence of direct (predator urine) and indirect (sheltered or exposed micro habitat, moonlight, and precipitation) indicators of predation risk. Foraging reductions elicited by S. invicta were greater than reductions in response to well-documented indicators of risk (i.e., moonlit nights) and the presence of predator urine. The presence of S. invicta always led to reduced foraging, but the overall impact of S. invicta was dependent upon microhabitat and precipitation. When S. invicta was not present, foraging was greater in sheltered microhabitats compared to exposed microhabitats. S. invicta made sheltered microhabitats equivalent to more risky exposed microhabitats, and this effect was especially pronounced on nights without precipitation. The effect of S. invicta suggests that interactions with S. invicta may entail a potentially heavy cost or that presence of S. invicta may represent a more reliable indicator of imminent competition or predation compared to indirect cues of risk and predator urine. The presence of S. invicta led to reduced foraging under situations when foraging activity would otherwise be greatest (i.e., under vegetative cover), potentially reducing habitat quality for P. polionotus and the distribution of seeds consumed by rodents.

  5. Long-term impacts of invasive species on a native top predator in a large lake system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rush, Scott A.; Paterson, Gordon; Johnson, Tim B.; Drouillard, Ken G.; Haffner, Gordon D.; Hebert, Craig E.; Arts, Michael T.; McGoldrick, Daryl J.; Backus, Sean M.; Lantry, Brian F.; Lantry, Jana R.; Schaner, Ted; Fisk, Aaron T.

    2012-01-01

    1. Declining abundances of forage fish and the introduction and establishment of non-indigenous species have the potential to substantially alter resource and habitat exploitation by top predators in large lakes. 2. We measured stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in field-collected and archived samples of Lake Ontario lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and five species of prey fish and compared current trophic relationships of this top predator with historical samples. 3. Relationships between δ15N and lake trout age were temporally consistent throughout Lake Ontario and confirmed the role of lake trout as a top predator in this food web. However, δ13C values for age classes of lake trout collected in 2008 ranged from 1.0 to 3.9‰ higher than those reported for the population sampled in 1992. 4. Isotope mixing models predicted that these changes in resource assimilation were owing to the replacement of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) by round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in lake trout diet and increased reliance on carbon resources derived from nearshore production. This contrasts with the historical situation in Lake Ontario where δ13C values of the lake trout population were dominated by a reliance on offshore carbon production. 5. These results indicate a reduced capacity of the Lake Ontario offshore food web to support the energetic requirements of lake trout and that this top predator has become increasingly reliant on prey resources that are derived from nearshore carbon pathways.

  6. Moderate Stress-Induced Social Bonding and Oxytocin Signaling are Disrupted by Predator Odor in Male Rats.

    PubMed

    Muroy, Sandra E; Long, Kimberly L P; Kaufer, Daniela; Kirby, Elizabeth D

    2016-07-01

    In times of stress, social support can serve as a potent buffering mechanism that enhances resilience. In humans, stress can promote protective affiliative interactions and prosocial behavior. Yet, stress also precipitates psychopathologies characterized by social withdrawal such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The factors that drive adaptive vs maladaptive social responses to stress are not yet clear. Rodent studies have focused on pair-bonded, opposite-sex mates and suggest that a variety of stressors can induce social support-like behaviors. However, between same-sex conspecifics-particularly males-stress effects on social bonding are less understood and often associated with aggression and social unrest. We thus sought to investigate if a moderate stressor-3 h of acute immobilization-impacts social-support behaviors differently when experienced in a neutral vs more innately threatening context (ie, paired with predator odor). We found that moderate stress increased social support-seeking behavior in rat cagemates and facilitated long-term sharing of a limited water resource, decreased aggression, and strongly defined dominance ranks (an indicator of home cage stability). In contrast, experiencing the same stressor in the presence of predator odor eliminated the positive behavioral effects of moderate stress. Importantly, hypothalamic oxytocin (OT) signaling increased coincident with stress in a neutral-but not a predator odor-context. Our results define a novel rodent model of divergent stress effects on social affiliation and OT signaling dependent on odor context with particularly strong relevance to stress-related disorders such as PTSD, which are characterized by a disrupted ability to seek and maintain social bonds. PMID:26830961

  7. Effects of quercetin on predator stress-related hematological and behavioral alterations in pregnant rats and their offspring.

    PubMed

    Toumi, Mohamed L; Merzoug, Sameha; Tahraoui, Abdelkrim

    2016-06-01

    This study aims at investigating the effect of a psychogenic stress during gestation on the behaviour and haematological indices in dams as well as on the neonatal haematological status and periadolescent behaviour in their offspring. Moreover, the ability of quercetin, a natural flavonoid, to prevent the stress-induced changes was estimated. Pregnant Wistar rats were pretreated with quercetin before the exposure to a predator stress on gestational day 19. Post-stress maternal anxiety-like behaviour was assessed with a concomitant haematological analysis. In the offspring, haematological analysis and behavioural testing were performed during the postnatal stage. Our results revealed that predator stress causes an anxiety-like behaviour in dams along with a decrease in erythrocytes, a microcytosis, and a thrombocytosis. Prenatally stressed neonates manifested microcytosis and thrombocytosis with a significant polycythemia. Signs of motor hyperactivity, anxiety-like behaviour, and memory dysfunction were detected at periadolescence. Quercetin pretreatment alleviated the stress-induced behavioural and haematological impairments in dams but failed to attenuate the haematological changes in neonates. A sex-dependent effect of quercetin on behaviour was found at periadolescence. Our findings suggest that, besides a beneficial effect on haematological and behavioural anomalies in traumatized dams, quercetin may lastingly modulate the behaviour of their progeny. PMID:27240984

  8. Ant predation on an invasive herbivore: Can an extrafloral nectar-producing plant provide associational resistance to Opuntia individuals?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The legume Chamaecrista fasciculata attracts ants to its extrafloral nectar (EFN) which can lead to reduced herbivory and increased fecundity for the plant. In Florida, Opuntia stricta and O. humifusa, hosts of the invasive moth Cactoblastis cactorum, are often found growing in close association wit...

  9. Invasion genetics of the introduced black rat (Rattus rattus) in Senegal, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Konečný, Adam; Estoup, Arnaud; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Bryja, Josef; Bâ, Khalilou; Galan, Maxime; Tatard, Caroline; Cosson, Jean-Francois

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the evolutionary history and dynamics of invasive species is required for the construction of predictive models of future spread and the design of biological management measures. The black rat (Rattus rattus) is a major vertebrate invader with a worldwide distribution. Despite the severe ecological, economic and health impacts of this species, its evolutionary history has been little studied. We carried out extensive specimen sampling in Senegal, West Africa, and used microsatellite markers to describe the pattern and processes of invasion in this large continental area. The genetic data obtained were combined with historical knowledge concerning the presence of this species in Senegal. Data were analysed by a combination of Bayesian clustering and approximate Bayesian computation methods. The invasion pathways closely paralleled the history of human trade routes in Senegal. In several places, we detected the occurrence of multiple introductions from genetically different sources. Long-distance migration between towns and villages was also observed. Our findings suggest that genetic bottlenecks and admixture have played a major role in shaping the genetics of invasive black rats. These two processes may generate genetic novelty and favour rapid evolution along the invasion pathways. PMID:23206272

  10. Changes in dam and pup behavior following repeated postnatal exposure to a predator odor (TMT): A preliminary investigation in Long-Evans rats.

    PubMed

    Ayers, Luke W; Asok, Arun; Blaze, Jennifer; Roth, Tania L; Rosen, Jeffrey B

    2016-03-01

    The present study investigated whether repeated early postnatal exposure to the predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT) alters behavioral responses to the stimulus later in life, at postnatal day (PN30). Long-Evans rat pups with their mothers were exposed for 20 min daily to TMT, water, or a noxious odor, butyric acid (BTA), during the first three weeks of life. Mothers exposed to TMT displayed more crouching and nursing behavior than those exposed to BTA, and TMT exposed pups emitted more ultrasonic vocalizations than BTA exposed pups. At PN30, rats were tested for freezing to TMT, water, or BTA. Rats exposed to TMT during the postnatal period displayed less freezing to TMT than rats exposed postnatally to water or BTA. Our data indicate that early-life experience with a predator cue has a significant impact on later fear responses to that same cue, highlighting the programming capacity of the postnatal environment on the development of behavior. PMID:26394891

  11. Power lines, roads, and avian nest survival: effects on predator identity and predation intensity.

    PubMed

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2014-05-01

    1 Anthropogenic alteration of landscapes can affect avian nest success by influencing the abundance, distribution, and behavior of predators. Understanding avian nest predation risk necessitates understanding how landscapes affect predator distribution and behavior. 2 From a sample of 463 nests of 17 songbird species, we evaluated how landscape features (distance to forest edge, unpaved roads, and power lines) influenced daily nest survival. We also used video cameras to identify nest predators at 137 nest predation events and evaluated how landscape features influenced predator identity. Finally, we determined the abundance and distribution of several of the principal predators using surveys and radiotelemetry. 3 Distance to power lines was the best predictor of predator identity: predation by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), corvids (Corvus sp. and Cyanocitta cristata), racers (Coluber constrictor), and coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum) increased with proximity to power lines, whereas predation by rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) and raptors decreased. In some cases, predator density may reliably indicate nest predation risk because racers, corvids, and cowbirds frequently used power line right-of-ways. 4 Of five bird species with enough nests to analyze individually, daily nest survival of only indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) decreased with proximity to power lines, despite predation by most predators at our site being positively associated with power lines. For all nesting species combined, distance to unpaved road was the model that most influenced daily nest survival. This pattern is likely a consequence of rat snakes, the locally dominant nest predator (28% of predation events), rarely using power lines and associated areas. Instead, rat snakes were frequently associated with road edges, indicating that not all edges are functionally similar. 5 Our results suggest that interactions between predators and landscape features are likely to be specific to

  12. Power lines, roads, and avian nest survival: effects on predator identity and predation intensity

    PubMed Central

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2014-01-01

    1 Anthropogenic alteration of landscapes can affect avian nest success by influencing the abundance, distribution, and behavior of predators. Understanding avian nest predation risk necessitates understanding how landscapes affect predator distribution and behavior. 2 From a sample of 463 nests of 17 songbird species, we evaluated how landscape features (distance to forest edge, unpaved roads, and power lines) influenced daily nest survival. We also used video cameras to identify nest predators at 137 nest predation events and evaluated how landscape features influenced predator identity. Finally, we determined the abundance and distribution of several of the principal predators using surveys and radiotelemetry. 3 Distance to power lines was the best predictor of predator identity: predation by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), corvids (Corvus sp. and Cyanocitta cristata), racers (Coluber constrictor), and coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum) increased with proximity to power lines, whereas predation by rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) and raptors decreased. In some cases, predator density may reliably indicate nest predation risk because racers, corvids, and cowbirds frequently used power line right-of-ways. 4 Of five bird species with enough nests to analyze individually, daily nest survival of only indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) decreased with proximity to power lines, despite predation by most predators at our site being positively associated with power lines. For all nesting species combined, distance to unpaved road was the model that most influenced daily nest survival. This pattern is likely a consequence of rat snakes, the locally dominant nest predator (28% of predation events), rarely using power lines and associated areas. Instead, rat snakes were frequently associated with road edges, indicating that not all edges are functionally similar. 5 Our results suggest that interactions between predators and landscape features are likely to be specific to

  13. Human and rat glioma growth, invasion, and vascularization in a novel chick embryo brain tumor model.

    PubMed

    Cretu, Alexandra; Fotos, Joseph S; Little, Brian W; Galileo, Deni S

    2005-01-01

    The mechanisms that control the insidiously invasive nature of malignant gliomas are poorly understood, and their study would be facilitated by an in vivo model that is easy to manipulate and inexpensive. The developing chick embryo brain was assessed as a new xenograft model for the production, growth, and study of human and rat glioma cell lines. Three established glioma lines (U-87 MG, C6, and 9L) were injected into chick embryo brain ventricles on embryonic day (E) 5 and brains were examined after several days to two weeks after injection. All glioma lines survived, produced vascularized intraventricular tumors, and invaded the brain in a manner similar to that in rodents. Rat C6 glioma cells spread along vasculature and also invaded the neural tissue. Human U-87 glioma cells migrated along vasculature and exhibited slight invasion of neural tissue. Rat 9L gliosarcoma cells were highly motile, but migrated only along the vasculature. A derivative of 9L cells that stably expressed the cell surface adhesion molecule NgCAM/L1 was produced and also injected into chick embryo brain ventricles to see if this protein could facilitate tumor cell migration away from the vasculature into areas such as axonal tracts. 9L/NgCAM cells, however, did not migrate away from the vasculature and, thus, this protein alone cannot be responsible for diffuse invasiveness of some gliomas. 9L/NgCAM cell motility was assessed in vitro using sophisticated time-lapse microscopy and quantitative analysis, and was significantly altered compared to parental 9L cells. These studies demonstrate that the chick embryo brain is a successful and novel xenograft model for mammalian gliomas and demonstrate the potential usefulness of this new model for studying glioma tumor cell growth, vascularization, and invasiveness. PMID:16158250

  14. Predator-Free New Zealand: Conservation Country

    PubMed Central

    Russell, James C.; Innes, John G.; Brown, Philip H.; Byrom, Andrea E.

    2015-01-01

    Eradications of invasive species from over 1000 small islands around the world have created conservation arks, but to truly address the threat of invasive species to islands, eradications must be scaled by orders of magnitude. New Zealand has eradicated invasive predators from 10% of its offshore island area and now proposes a vision to eliminate them from the entire country. We review current knowledge of invasive predator ecology and control technologies in New Zealand and the biological research, technological advances, social capacity and enabling policy required. We discuss the economic costs and benefits and conclude with a 50-year strategy for a predator-free New Zealand that is shown to be ecologically obtainable, socially desirable, and economically viable. The proposal includes invasive predator eradication from the two largest offshore islands, mammal-free mainland peninsulas, very large ecosanctuaries, plus thousands of small projects that will together merge eradication and control concepts on landscape scales. PMID:26955079

  15. Human bladder cancer invasion model using rat bladder in vitro and its use to test mechanisms and therapeutic inhibitors of invasion

    PubMed Central

    Fujiyama, C; Jones, A; Fuggle, S; Bicknell, R; Cranston, D; Harris, A L

    2001-01-01

    As well as being a passive support, the extracellular matrix also regulates key biological processes such as invasion, differentiation and angiogenesis. We have therefore developed an in vitro model of bladder cancer invasion using de-epithelialized rat bladder to allow for tumour cell–extracellular matrix interactions. Onto this we have seeded a panel of human bladder cancer cell lines (RT4, RT112, 253J and EJ28 (T24)) representing progression from well to poorly differentiated phenotypes and used as models of superficial to invasive bladder cancer. The better differentiated cell lines RT4 and RT112 reproducibly grew as stratified epithelium, whereas poorly differentiated EJ28 cells invaded across a broad front. Invasion was not simply related to proliferation rate, measured either as doubling time on plastic (non-invasive 253J and invasive EJ28 having the same doubling time) or by Ki-67 proliferation index within the model. We used the model to test the ability of 4 compounds that interfere with tumour cell–extracellular matrix interactions (suramin, N-acetylcysteine and the urokinase plasminogen activator pathway antagonists Å5 compound and monoclonal antibody Mab 3936) to inhibit invasion. At non-toxic concentrations, all significantly inhibited invasion (P< 0.05), although to varying degrees, suramin and Å5 almost completely and N-acetylcysteine the least. In conclusion, this model shows the urokinase system is important for bladder invasion and can be used to investigate other mechanisms of bladder cancer invasion and also for the testing of intravesical drugs. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com PMID:11207054

  16. Differential impact of adults and nymphs of a generalist predator on an exotic invasive pest demonstrated by molecular gut-content analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Generalist predators can regulate herbivore populations through a variety of mechanisms, but food webs are complex and defining the strength of trophic linkages can be difficult. Molecular gut-content analysis has revolutionized our understanding of these systems. Using this technology, we examined ...

  17. Complete Thymectomy in Adult Rats with Non-invasive Endotracheal Intubation

    PubMed Central

    Rendell, Victoria R.; Giamberardino, Charles; Li, Jie; Markert, M. Louise; Brennan, Todd V.

    2015-01-01

    Thymectomy in neonatal rodents is an established and reliable procedure for immunological studies. However, in adult rats, complications of hemorrhage and pneumothorax from pleural disruption can result in a significant mortality rate. This protocol is a simple method of rat thymectomy that utilizes a mini-sternotomy and endotracheal intubation. Intubation is accomplished with a non-invasive and easily reproducible method and allows for positive pressure ventilation to prevent pneumothorax and a controlled airway that allows sufficient time for careful thymus dissection to minimize pleural disruption. A 1.5 cm sternal incision decreases contact with mediastinal vessels and pleura, while still providing full visualization of the thymus. Following exposure of the mediastinum, the thymus is removed by blunt dissection under magnification. The pleural space is then sealed by suture closure of the pre-tracheal muscles followed by the application of surgical glue. The thorax is then closed by suture closure of the sternum, followed by suture closure of the skin. All thymectomies were complete as evidenced by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of mediastinal tissue, and absence of naïve T-cells by flow cytometry, and the procedure had a 96% survival rate. This method is suitable when complete thymectomy with minimal complications is desired for further immunological studies in athymic adult rats. PMID:25590868

  18. Patterns of Toxoplasma gondii cyst distribution in the forebrain associate with individual variation in predator odor avoidance and anxiety-related behavior in male Long-Evans rats

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Andrew K.; Strassmann, Patrick S.; Lee, I-Ping; Sapolsky, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is one of the world’s most successful brain parasites. T. gondii engages in parasite manipulation of host behavior and infection has been epidemiologically linked to numerous psychiatric disorders. Mechanisms by which T. gondii alters host behavior are not well understood, but neuroanatomical cyst presence and the localized host immune response to cysts are potential candidates. The aim of these studies was to test the hypothesis that T. gondii manipulation of specific host behaviors is dependent on neuroanatomical location of cysts in a time-dependent function post-infection. We examined neuroanatomical cyst distribution (53 forebrain regions) in infected rats after predator odor aversion behavior and anxiety-related behavior in the elevated plus maze and open field arena, across a 6-week time course. In addition, we examined evidence for microglial response to the parasite across the time course. Our findings demonstrate that while cysts are randomly distributed throughout the forebrain, individual variation in cyst localization, beginning 3 weeks post-infection, can explain individual variation in the effects of T. gondii on behavior. Additionally, not all infected rats develop cysts in the forebrain, and attenuation of predator odor aversion and changes in anxiety-related behavior are linked with cyst presence in specific forebrain areas. Finally, the immune response to cysts is striking. These data provide the foundation for testing hypotheses about proximate mechanisms by which T. gondii alters behavior in specific brain regions, including consequences of establishment of a homeostasis between T. gondii and the host immune response. PMID:24269877

  19. Resistance to DNA Damaging Agents Produced Invasive Phenotype of Rat Glioma Cells-Characterization of a New in Vivo Model.

    PubMed

    Stojković, Sonja; Podolski-Renić, Ana; Dinić, Jelena; Pavković, Željko; Ayuso, Jose M; Fernández, Luis J; Ochoa, Ignacio; Pérez-García, Victor M; Pešić, Vesna; Pešić, Milica

    2016-01-01

    Chemoresistance and invasion properties are severe limitations to efficient glioma therapy. Therefore, development of glioma in vivo models that more accurately resemble the situation observed in patients emerges. Previously, we established RC6 rat glioma cell line resistant to DNA damaging agents including antiglioma approved therapies such as 3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) and temozolomide (TMZ). Herein, we evaluated the invasiveness of RC6 cells in vitro and in a new orthotopic animal model. For comparison, we used C6 cells from which RC6 cells originated. Differences in cell growth properties were assessed by real-time cell analyzer. Cells' invasive potential in vitro was studied in fluorescently labeled gelatin and by formation of multicellular spheroids in hydrogel. For animal studies, fluorescently labeled cells were inoculated into adult male Wistar rat brains. Consecutive coronal and sagittal brain sections were analyzed 10 and 25 days post-inoculation, while rats' behavior was recorded during three days in the open field test starting from 25th day post-inoculation. We demonstrated that development of chemoresistance induced invasive phenotype of RC6 cells with significant behavioral impediments implying usefulness of orthotopic RC6 glioma allograft in preclinical studies for the examination of new approaches to counteract both chemoresistance and invasion of glioma cells. PMID:27355941

  20. Minimally Invasive Approach to the Lingual and Hypoglossal Nerves in the Adult Rat.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Edward John; Phillips, Grady W; Gratton, Michael Anne; Long, John P; Varvares, Mark A

    2016-06-01

    Surgical manipulation of the sensory and motor nerves of the rat tongue is often employed in studies evaluating the oral cavity functions of mastication and deglutition. A noninvasive, atraumatic approach that will then facilitate sufficient manipulation of these structures is required. In this study, we detail an approach that consistently allows identification of the hypoglossal (motor) and lingual (sensory) nerves of the rat. Six Wistar rats (250-500 g) were anesthetized and dissected either as fresh tissue (N = 3) or following transcardial perfusion with 4% paraformaldehyde (N = 3). Both fixed and non-fixed specimens of the rat head and neck were incised in the right submandibular region. The first animal in each group was used to gain a basic understanding of the regional muscular anatomy with reference to the hypoglossal and lingual nerves. Subsequent animals were used for the development of an efficient and minimally invasive approach to these nerves. The resultant approach begins as an incision through skin and platysma, followed by medial reflection of the digastric muscle. This allows visualization of the hypoglossal nerve in the region of the bifurcation of the common trunk into medial and lateral subdivisions. Next, the lingual nerve dissection is approached by reflection rostrally of the transversus mandibularis muscle and a caudal reflection of the mylohyoid muscle. This dissection reveals the geniohyoid muscle which when separated bluntly using forceps, exposes the lingual nerve. The anatomical approach described and illustrated herein will aid investigators in consistent identification of these two nerves as fundamental methods of their projects. PMID:26633569

  1. Predator Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Fong, Ng Swee

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that…

  2. Pasta Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waugh, Michael L.

    1986-01-01

    Presents a predator-prey simulation which involves students in collecting data, solving problems, and making predictions on the evolution of prey populations. Provides directives on how to perform the chi-square test and also includes an Applesoft BASK program that performs the calculations. (ML)

  3. Invasive rats and recent colonist birds partially compensate for the loss of endemic New Zealand pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Pattemore, David E.; Wilcove, David S.

    2012-01-01

    Reported declines of pollinator populations around the world have led to increasing concerns about the consequences for pollination as a critical ecosystem function and service. Pollination could be maintained through compensation if remaining pollinators increase their contribution or if novel species are recruited as pollinators, but empirical evidence of this compensation is so far lacking. Using a natural experiment in New Zealand where endemic vertebrate pollinators still occur on one offshore island reserve despite their local extinction on the adjacent North Island, we investigated whether compensation could maintain pollination in the face of pollinator extinctions. We show that two recently arrived species in New Zealand, the invasive ship rat (Rattus rattus) and the recent colonist silvereye (Zosterops lateralis; a passerine bird), at least partly maintain pollination for three forest plant species in northern New Zealand, and without this compensation, these plants would be significantly more pollen-limited. This study provides empirical evidence that widespread non-native species can play an important role in maintaining ecosystem functions, a role that needs to be assessed when planning invasive species control or eradication programmes. PMID:22090388

  4. Biogeographic variation in behavioral and morphological responses to predation risk.

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Smee, Delbert L

    2013-04-01

    The expression of prey antipredator defenses is often related to ambient consumer pressure, and prey express greater defenses under intense consumer pressure. Predation is generally greater at lower latitudes, and antipredator defenses often display a biogeographic pattern. Predation pressure may also vary significantly between habitats within latitudes, making biogeographic patterns difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, invasive predators may also influence the expression of prey defenses in ecological time. The purpose of this study was to determine how these factors influence the strength of antipredator responses. To assess patterns in prey antipredator defenses based upon geographic range (north vs. south), habitat type (wave-protected vs. wave-exposed shores), and invasive predators, we examined how native rock (Cancer irroratus) and invasive green (Carcinus maenas) crab predators influence the behavioral and morphological defenses of dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) prey from habitats that differ in wave exposure across an ~230 km range within the Gulf of Maine. The expression of behavioral and morphological antipredatory responses varied according to wave exposure, geographic location, and predator species. Dogwhelks from areas with an established history with green crabs exhibited the largest behavioral and morphological antipredator responses to green crabs. Dogwhelk behavioral responses to rock crabs did not vary between habitats or geographic regions, although morphological responses were greater further south where predation pressure was greatest. These findings suggest that dogwhelk responses to invasive and native predators vary according to geographic location and habitat, and are strongly affected by ambient predation pressure due to the invasion history of an exotic predator. PMID:23001623

  5. Barriers to seed and seedling survival of once-common Hawaiian palms: the role of invasive rats and ungulates.

    PubMed

    Shiels, Aaron B; Drake, Donald R

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian herbivores can limit plant recruitment and affect forest composition. Loulu palms (Pritchardia spp.) once dominated many lowland ecosystems in Hawai'i, and non-native rats (Rattus spp.), ungulates (e.g. pigs Sus scrofa, goats Capra hircus) and humans have been proposed as major causes of their decline. In lowland wet forest, we experimentally determined the vulnerability of seeds and seedlings of two species of Pritchardia, P. maideniana and P. hillebrandii, by measuring their removal by introduced vertebrates; we also used motion-sensing cameras to identify the animals responsible for Pritchardia removal. We assessed potential seed dispersal of P. maideniana by spool-and-line tracking, and conducted captive-feeding trials with R. rattus and seeds and seedlings of both Pritchardia species. Seed removal from the forest floor occurred rapidly for both species: >50 % of Pritchardia seeds were removed from the vertebrate-accessible stations within 6 days and >80 % were removed within 22 days. Although rats and pigs were both common to the study area, motion-sensing cameras detected only rats (probably R. rattus) removing Pritchardia seeds from the forest floor. Captive-feeding trials and spool-and-line tracking revealed that vertebrate seed dispersal is rare; rats moved seeds up to 8 m upon collection and subsequently destroyed them (100 % mortality in 24-48 h in captivity). Surprisingly, seedlings did not suffer vertebrate damage in field trials, and although rats damaged seedlings in captivity, they rarely consumed them. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis generated from palaeoecological studies, indicating that introduced rats may have assisted in the demise of native insular palm forests. These findings also imply that the seed stage of species in this Pacific genus is particularly vulnerable to rats; therefore, future conservation efforts involving Pritchardia should prioritize the reduction of rat predation on the plant recruitment stages

  6. Barriers to seed and seedling survival of once-common Hawaiian palms: the role of invasive rats and ungulates

    PubMed Central

    Shiels, Aaron B.; Drake, Donald R.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian herbivores can limit plant recruitment and affect forest composition. Loulu palms (Pritchardia spp.) once dominated many lowland ecosystems in Hawai‘i, and non-native rats (Rattus spp.), ungulates (e.g. pigs Sus scrofa, goats Capra hircus) and humans have been proposed as major causes of their decline. In lowland wet forest, we experimentally determined the vulnerability of seeds and seedlings of two species of Pritchardia, P. maideniana and P. hillebrandii, by measuring their removal by introduced vertebrates; we also used motion-sensing cameras to identify the animals responsible for Pritchardia removal. We assessed potential seed dispersal of P. maideniana by spool-and-line tracking, and conducted captive-feeding trials with R. rattus and seeds and seedlings of both Pritchardia species. Seed removal from the forest floor occurred rapidly for both species: >50 % of Pritchardia seeds were removed from the vertebrate-accessible stations within 6 days and >80 % were removed within 22 days. Although rats and pigs were both common to the study area, motion-sensing cameras detected only rats (probably R. rattus) removing Pritchardia seeds from the forest floor. Captive-feeding trials and spool-and-line tracking revealed that vertebrate seed dispersal is rare; rats moved seeds up to 8 m upon collection and subsequently destroyed them (100 % mortality in 24–48 h in captivity). Surprisingly, seedlings did not suffer vertebrate damage in field trials, and although rats damaged seedlings in captivity, they rarely consumed them. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis generated from palaeoecological studies, indicating that introduced rats may have assisted in the demise of native insular palm forests. These findings also imply that the seed stage of species in this Pacific genus is particularly vulnerable to rats; therefore, future conservation efforts involving Pritchardia should prioritize the reduction of rat predation on the plant recruitment

  7. KCa1.1 inhibition attenuates fibroblast-like synoviocyte invasiveness and ameliorates rat models of rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Tanner, Mark R.; Hu, Xueyou; Huq, Redwan; Tajhya, Rajeev B.; Sun, Liang; Khan, Fatima S.; Laragione, Teresina; Horrigan, Frank T.; Gulko, Pércio S.; Beeton, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Objective Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) participate in joint inflammation and damage during rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its animal models. The purpose of this study was to define the importance of KCa1.1 (BK, Maxi-K, Slo1, KCNMA1) channel expression and function in FLS and to establish these channels as potential new targets for RA therapy. Methods We compared KCa1.1 expression levels in FLS from rats with the pristane-induced arthritis (PIA) model of RA and in FLS from healthy rats. We then used ex vivo functional assays combined with siRNA-induced knock-down, over-expression, and functional modulation of KCa1.1 in PIA-FLS. Finally, we determined the effectiveness of modulating KCa1.1 in two rat models of RA, moderate PIA and severe complete Freund’s adjuvant collagen-induced arthritis (CFA-CIA). Results We found that PIA-FLS express the KCa1.1 channel as their major potassium channel, as do FLS from patients with RA. In contrast, FLS from healthy rats expressed fewer of these channels. Inhibiting the function or expression of KCa1.1 ex vivo reduced the proliferation, production of proteases, and invasive properties of PIA-FLS whereas opening native KCa1.1 or over-expressing the channel enhanced the invasiveness of both PIA-FLS and FLS isolated from healthy rats. Treatment with a KCa1.1 channel blocker starting at onset of clinical signs stopped disease progression in both PIA and CFA-CIA, reduced joint and bone damage, and inhibited FLS invasiveness and proliferation. Conclusion Our results demonstrate a critical role for KCa1.1 channels in the regulation of FLS invasiveness and suggest they represent a potential therapeutic target for RA. PMID:25252152

  8. PREDATOR IDENTITY AND ADDITIVE EFFECTS IN A TREEHOLE COMMUNITY

    PubMed Central

    Griswold, Marcus W.; Lounibos, L. Philip

    2007-01-01

    Multiple predator species can interact as well as strongly affect lower trophic levels, resulting in complex, nonadditive effects on prey populations and community structure. Studies of aquatic systems have shown that interactive effects of predators on prey are not necessarily predictable from the direct effects of each species alone. To test for complex interactions, the individual and combined effects of a top and intermediate predator on larvae of native and invasive mosquito prey were examined in artificial analogues of water-filled treeholes. The combined effects of the two predators were accurately predicted from single predator treatments by a multiplicative risk model, indicating additivity. Overall survivorship of both prey species decreased greatly in the presence of the top predator Toxorhynchites rutilus. By itself, the intermediate predator Corethrella appendiculata increased survivorship of the native prey species Ochlerotatus triseriatus and decreased survivorship of the invasive prey species Aedes albopictus relative to treatments without predators. Intraguild predation did not occur until alternative prey numbers had been reduced by approximately one-half. Owing to changes in size structure accompanying its growth, T. rutilus consumed more prey as time progressed, whereas C. appendiculata consumed less. The intermediate predator, C. appendiculata, changed species composition by preferentially consuming A. albopictus, while the top predator, T. rutilus, reduced prey density, regardless of species. Although species interactions were in most cases predicted from pairwise interactions, risk reduction from predator interference occurred when C. appendiculata densities were increased and when the predators were similarly sized. PMID:16676542

  9. Detailing renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in rats by a combined near-infrared spectroscopy and invasive probe approach.

    PubMed

    Grosenick, Dirk; Cantow, Kathleen; Arakelyan, Karen; Wabnitz, Heidrun; Flemming, Bert; Skalweit, Angela; Ladwig, Mechthild; Macdonald, Rainer; Niendorf, Thoralf; Seeliger, Erdmann

    2015-02-01

    We hypothesize that combining quantitative near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with established invasive techniques will enable advanced insights into renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in small animal models. We developed a NIRS technique to monitor absolute values of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin and of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin within the renal cortex of rats. This NIRS technique was combined with invasive methods to simultaneously record renal tissue oxygen tension and perfusion. The results of test procedures including occlusions of the aorta or the renal vein, hyperoxia, hypoxia, and hypercapnia demonstrated that the combined approach, by providing different but complementary information, enables a more comprehensive characterization of renal hemodynamics and oxygenation. PMID:25780726

  10. Detailing renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in rats by a combined near-infrared spectroscopy and invasive probe approach

    PubMed Central

    Grosenick, Dirk; Cantow, Kathleen; Arakelyan, Karen; Wabnitz, Heidrun; Flemming, Bert; Skalweit, Angela; Ladwig, Mechthild; Macdonald, Rainer; Niendorf, Thoralf; Seeliger, Erdmann

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesize that combining quantitative near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with established invasive techniques will enable advanced insights into renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in small animal models. We developed a NIRS technique to monitor absolute values of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin and of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin within the renal cortex of rats. This NIRS technique was combined with invasive methods to simultaneously record renal tissue oxygen tension and perfusion. The results of test procedures including occlusions of the aorta or the renal vein, hyperoxia, hypoxia, and hypercapnia demonstrated that the combined approach, by providing different but complementary information, enables a more comprehensive characterization of renal hemodynamics and oxygenation. PMID:25780726

  11. RhoC is essential for TGF-{beta}1-induced invasive capacity of rat ascites hepatoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mukai, M.; Endo, H.; Iwasaki, T.; Tatsuta, M.; Togawa, A.; Nakamura, H.; Inoue, M. . E-mail: inoue-ma2@mc.pref.osaka.jp

    2006-07-21

    Transforming growth factor-{beta}1 (TGF-{beta}1) is a multifunctional growth factor that plays a role in cell proliferation, differentiation, extracellular matrix production, apoptosis, and cell motility. We show here that TGF-{beta}1 increased the invasiveness of MM1 cells, which are a highly invasive clone of rat ascites hepatoma cells. Both mRNA and protein levels of RhoC but not RhoA in TGF-{beta}1-treated MM1 cells increased. In parallel with this increase in expression, RhoC activity was induced by TGF-{beta}1 treatment. When RhoC was overexpressed in MM1 cells, the invasive capacity increased. The RhoC-overexpressing cells formed more nodules than did mock cells when injected into rat peritoneum. Furthermore, when RhoC expression was reduced by transfection with shRNA/RhoC, the invasiveness of MM1 cells decreased with concomitant suppression of RhoC expression. Thus, the induced expression of RhoC by TGF-{beta}1 in MM1 cells plays a critical role in TGF-{beta}1-induced cell migration.

  12. Predators and Prey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1975-01-01

    Reviews basic concepts of predator-prey interaction, encourages the presentation of the predator's role and describes a model of predator behavior to be used in secondary school or college classes. (LS)

  13. Evolution: predator versus parasite.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-05-19

    Both predators and brood parasites can be major threats to the reproduction of many birds. A new study shows that some cuckoo chicks can help deter nest predators, potentially improving host reproductive success when predation risks are high. PMID:24845665

  14. Behavioral responses of native prey to disparate predators: naiveté and predator recognition.

    PubMed

    Anson, Jennifer R; Dickman, Chris R

    2013-02-01

    It is widely accepted that predator recognition and avoidance are important behaviors in allowing prey to mitigate the impacts of their predators. However, while prey species generally develop anti-predator behaviors through coevolution with predators, they sometimes show accelerated adoption of these behaviors under strong selection pressure from novel species. We used a field manipulation experiment to gauge the ability of the common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), a semi-arboreal Australian marsupial, to recognize and respond to olfactory cues of different predator archetypes. We predicted that ringtails would display stronger anti-predator behaviors to cues of the invasive European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in areas where fox impacts had been greatest, and to cues of the native lace monitor (Varanus varius) in areas of sympatry compared with allopatry. We found that ringtails fled quickly and were more alert when exposed to the fecal odors of both predators compared to neutral and pungent control odors, confirming that predator odors are recognized and avoided. However, these aversive responses were similar irrespective of predator presence or level of impact. These results suggest that selection pressure from the fox has been sufficient for ringtails to develop anti-predator behaviors over the few generations since foxes have become established. In contrast, we speculate that aversive responses by ringtails to the lace monitor in areas where this predator is absent reflect recent coexistence of the two species. We conclude that rapid evolution of anti-predator behaviors may occur when selection is strong. The maintenance of these behaviors should allow re-establishment of predator-prey relationships if the interactants regain sympatry via range shifts or management actions to reintroduce them to their former ranges. PMID:22865005

  15. Effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell transplantation combined with minimally invasive hematoma aspiration on intracerebral hemorrhage in rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qinghua; Shang, Xiao; Hao, Maolin; Zheng, Maoyong; Li, Yanxia; Liang, Zhigang; Cui, Yuanxiao; Liu, Zhenhua

    2015-01-01

    This study is to investigate the effects of human umbilical cord-mesenchymal stem cells (HUC-MSCs) transplantation combined with minimally invasive hematoma aspiration on neural functional recovery and p53 gene expression in rats with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Collagenase type-IV was injected to the caudate nucleus of the rats to make ICH models. One hundred and twenty Sprague-Dawley rats with successful modeling were randomly divided into 4 groups, including the ICH group, hematoma aspiration group, HUC-MSCs transplantation group and HUC-MSCs transplantation combined with hematoma aspiration group (combination group). Neural functional status of the rats was assessed by modified neurological severity score (mNSS). Expression of p53 in the cerebral tissues surrounding ICH was detected by immunohistochemical assays. The scores of mNSS and the expression of p53 gene in the hematoma aspiration group, the HUC-MSCs transplantation group and the combination group were significantly lower than those in the ICH group at each indicated time point (p < 0.05). Intriguingly, mNSS scores and p53 expression in the combination group were significantly lower than those in the hematoma aspiration group on day 7, 14 and 30 (p < 0.05), and significantly lower than those in the HUC-MSCs transplantation group on day 14 and 30 (p < 0.05). HUC-MSCs transplantation combined with minimally invasive hematoma aspiration is more effective than either therapy alone in rats with ICH and could distinctly reduce the damage of nerve cells. PMID:26807166

  16. Escherichia coli Binding to and Invasion of Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells Derived from Humans and Rats of Different Ages

    PubMed Central

    Stins, Monique F.; Nemani, Prasadarao V.; Wass, Carol; Kim, Kwang Sik

    1999-01-01

    Escherichia coli meningitis commonly occurs in the neonatal period, but the basis of this age dependency is unclear. We have previously identified two types of E. coli-brain microvascular endothelial cell (BMEC) interactions contributing to E. coli traversal of the blood-brain barrier (i.e., binding and invasion). The present study examined whether the age dependency of E. coli meningitis stemmed from differences in the capacities of neonatal and adult BMECs to interact with E. coli. BMECs were isolated from rats of different ages (10 days, 20 days and 3 months) as well as from humans of different ages (fetuses, 4- to 7-year-old children, and a 35-year-old adult, and 60- to 85-year-old geriatrics). The bindings of E. coli to young and old rat BMECs were similar. Also, the abilities of E. coli to invade BMECs were similar for BMECs derived from young and old rats and from human fetuses, children, adults, and geriatrics. These findings suggest that the predominance of E. coli meningitis in neonates is not likely due to greater binding and invasion capacities of newborn compared to adult BMECs. PMID:10496943

  17. Predator diversity effects in an exotic freshwater food web.

    PubMed

    Naddafi, Rahmat; Rudstam, Lars G

    2013-01-01

    Cascading trophic interactions are often defined as the indirect effects of a predator on primary producers through the effect of the predator on herbivores. These effects can be both direct through removal of herbivores [density-mediated indirect interactions (DMIIs)] or indirect through changes in the behavior of the herbivores [trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs)]. How the relative importance of these two indirect interactions varies with predator diversity remains poorly understood. We tested the effect of predator diversity on both TMIIs and DMIIs on phytoplankton using two competitive invasive dreissenid mussel species (zebra mussel and quagga mussel) as the herbivores and combinations of one, two or all three species of the predators pumpkinseed sunfish, round goby, and rusty crayfish. Predators had either direct access to mussels and induced both TMII and DMII, or no direct access and induced only TMII through the presence of risk cues. In both sets of treatments, the predators induced a trophic cascade which resulted in more phytoplankton remaining with predators present than with only mussels present. The trophic cascade was weaker in three-predator and two-predator treatments than in one-predator treatments when predators had direct access to dreissenids (DMIIs and TMIIs). Crayfish had higher cascading effects on phytoplankton than both pumpkinseed and round goby. Increased predator diversity decreased the strength of DMIIs but had no effect on the strength of TMIIs. The strength of TMIIs was higher with zebra than quagga mussels. Our study suggests that inter-specific interference among predators in multi-species treatments weakens the consumptive cascading effects of predation on lower trophic levels whereas the importance of predator diversity on trait mediated effects depends on predator identity. PMID:23991126

  18. Manganese superoxide dismutase promotes interaction of actin, S100A4 and Talin, and enhances rat gastric tumor cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Indo, Hiroko P.; Matsui, Hirofumi; Chen, Jing; Zhu, Haining; Hawkins, Clare L.; Davies, Michael J.; Yarana, Chontida; St. Clair, Daret K.; Majima, Hideyuki J.

    2015-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that cancer cells are under high levels of oxidative stress and express high levels of Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) to protect themselves and support the anabolic metabolism needed for growth and cell motility. The aim of this study was to identify proteins that may have a correlation with invasion and redox regulation by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). MnSOD scavenges superoxide anions generated from mitochondria and is an important regulator of cellular redox status. Oxidative posttranslational modification of cysteine residues is a key mechanism that regulates protein structure and function. We hypothesized that MnSOD regulates intracellular reduced thiol status and promotes cancer invasion. A proteomic thiol-labeling approach with 5-iodoacetamidofluorescein was used to identify changes in intracellular reduced thiol-containing proteins. Our results demonstrate that overexpression of MnSOD maintained the major structural protein, actin, in a reduced state, and enhanced the invasion ability in gastric mucosal cancer cells, RGK1. We also found that the expression of Talin and S100A4 were increased in MnSOD-overexpressed RGK1 cells. Moreover, Talin bound not only with actin but also with S100A4, suggesting that the interaction of these proteins may, in part, contribute to the invasive ability of rat gastric cancer. PMID:26236095

  19. Adenovirus-mediated expression of BmK CT suppresses growth and invasion of rat C6 glioma cells.

    PubMed

    Du, Jun; Fu, Yuejun; Wang, Jianing; Liang, Aihua

    2013-06-01

    BmK CT, one of the key toxins in the venom of the scorpion, Buthus martensii Karsch, can interact specifically with glioma cells as a chloride channel blocker and inhibit the invasion and migration of those cells via MMP-2. A recombinant adenovirus, Ad-BmK CT, was constructed and characterized by in vitro and in vivo studies, using MTT cytotoxicity assay and the glioma C6/RFP (red fluorescence protein)/BALB/c allogeneic athymic nude mice model, respectively. The adenovirus-mediated expression of BmK CT displayed a high activity in suppressing rat C6 glioma cells growth and invasion thereby suggesting that this recombinant adenovirus may be a powerful method for treating glioblastoma. PMID:23443213

  20. The Effect of Minimally Invasive Hematoma Aspiration on the JNK Signal Transduction Pathway after Experimental Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Pei, Haitao; Jiang, Tao; Liu, Guofang; Li, Zhaoxing; Luo, Kai; An, Jingjiao; Li, Guangcheng; Guo, Yunliang

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To explore the effect of minimally invasive hematoma aspiration (MIHA) on the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signal transduction pathway after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Methods: In this experiment, 300 adult male Wistar rats were randomly and averagely divided into sham-operated group, ICH group and MIHA group. In each group, 60 rats were used in the detection of indexes in this experiment, while the other 40 rats were used to replace rats which reached the exclusion criteria (accidental death or operation failure). In ICH group and MIHA group, ICH was induced by injection of 70 µL of autologous arterial blood into rat brain, while only the rats in MIHA group were treated by MIHA 6 h after ICH. Rats in sham-operated group were injected nothing into brains, and they were not treated either, like rats in ICH group. In each group, six rats were randomly selected to observe their Bederson’s scales persistently (6, 24, 48, 72, 96, 120 h after ICH). According to the time they were sacrificed, the remaining rats in each group were divided into 3 subgroups (24, 72, 120 h). The change of brain water content (BWC) was measured by the wet weight to dry weight ratio method. The morphology of neurons in cortex was observed by the hematoxylin–eosin (HE) staining. The expressions of phospho-c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (pJNK) and JNK in peri-hematomal brain tissue were determined by the immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting (WB). Results: At all time points, compared with the ICH groups, the expression of pJNK decreased obviously in MIHA groups (p < 0.05), while their Bederson’s scales and BWC declined, and neuron injury in the cortex was relieved. The expression level of JNK was not altered at different groups. The data obtained by IHC and WB indicated a high-level of consistency, which provided a certain dependability of the test results. Conclusion: The JNK signal transduction pathway could be activated after intracerebral hemorrhage, with the

  1. Stress Triangle: Do Introduced Predators Exert Indirect Costs on Native Predators and Prey?

    PubMed Central

    Anson, Jennifer R.; Dickman, Chris R.; Boonstra, Rudy; Jessop, Tim S.

    2013-01-01

    Non-consumptive effects of predators on each other and on prey populations often exceed the effects of direct predation. These effects can arise from fear responses elevating glucocorticoid (GC) hormone levels (predator stress hypothesis) or from increased vigilance that reduces foraging efficiency and body condition (predator sensitive foraging hypothesis); both responses can lead to immunosuppression and increased parasite loads. Non-consumptive effects of invasive predators have been little studied, even though their direct impacts on local species are usually greater than those of their native counterparts. To address this issue, we explored the non-consumptive effects of the invasive red fox Vulpes vulpes on two native species in eastern Australia: a reptilian predator, the lace monitor Varanus varius and a marsupial, the ringtail possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus. In particular, we tested predictions derived from the above two hypotheses by comparing the basal glucocorticoid levels, foraging behaviour, body condition and haemoparasite loads of both native species in areas with and without fox suppression. Lace monitors showed no GC response or differences in haemoparasite loads but were more likely to trade safety for higher food rewards, and had higher body condition, in areas of fox suppression than in areas where foxes remained abundant. In contrast, ringtails showed no physiological or behavioural differences between fox-suppressed and control areas. Predator sensitive foraging is a non-consumptive cost for lace monitors in the presence of the fox and most likely represents a response to competition. The ringtail’s lack of response to the fox potentially represents complete naiveté or strong and rapid selection to the invasive predator. We suggest evolutionary responses are often overlooked in interactions between native and introduced species, but must be incorporated if we are to understand the suite of forces that shape community assembly and function

  2. Stress triangle: do introduced predators exert indirect costs on native predators and prey?

    PubMed

    Anson, Jennifer R; Dickman, Chris R; Boonstra, Rudy; Jessop, Tim S

    2013-01-01

    Non-consumptive effects of predators on each other and on prey populations often exceed the effects of direct predation. These effects can arise from fear responses elevating glucocorticoid (GC) hormone levels (predator stress hypothesis) or from increased vigilance that reduces foraging efficiency and body condition (predator sensitive foraging hypothesis); both responses can lead to immunosuppression and increased parasite loads. Non-consumptive effects of invasive predators have been little studied, even though their direct impacts on local species are usually greater than those of their native counterparts. To address this issue, we explored the non-consumptive effects of the invasive red fox Vulpes vulpes on two native species in eastern Australia: a reptilian predator, the lace monitor Varanus varius and a marsupial, the ringtail possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus. In particular, we tested predictions derived from the above two hypotheses by comparing the basal glucocorticoid levels, foraging behaviour, body condition and haemoparasite loads of both native species in areas with and without fox suppression. Lace monitors showed no GC response or differences in haemoparasite loads but were more likely to trade safety for higher food rewards, and had higher body condition, in areas of fox suppression than in areas where foxes remained abundant. In contrast, ringtails showed no physiological or behavioural differences between fox-suppressed and control areas. Predator sensitive foraging is a non-consumptive cost for lace monitors in the presence of the fox and most likely represents a response to competition. The ringtail's lack of response to the fox potentially represents complete naiveté or strong and rapid selection to the invasive predator. We suggest evolutionary responses are often overlooked in interactions between native and introduced species, but must be incorporated if we are to understand the suite of forces that shape community assembly and function

  3. Frequency, efficiency, and physical characteristics of predation by generalist predators of brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) eggs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The native generalist predator community of Halyomorpha halys, an invasive species in the United States and Europe, remains poorly studied. The aims of the current study were to determine which generalist predators that are commonly found in mid-Atlantic orchards and vegetable crops are capable of ...

  4. Frequency, intensity, and physical characteristics of predation by generalist predators of brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) eggs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The native generalist predator community of Halyomorpha halys, an invasive species in the United States and Europe, remains poorly studied. The aims of the current study were to determine which generalist predators that are commonly found in mid-Atlantic orchards and vegetable crops are capable of ...

  5. Enhanced Neuroprotection of Minimally Invasive Surgery Joint Local Cooling Lavage against ICH-induced Inflammation Injury and Apoptosis in Rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xi-Chang; Jing, Li-Yan; Yang, Ming-Feng; Wang, Kun; Wang, Yuan; Fu, Xiao-Yan; Fang, Jie; Hou, Ya-Jun; Sun, Jing-Yi; Li, Da-Wei; Zhang, Zong-Yong; Mao, Lei-Lei; Tang, You-Mei; Fu, Xiao-Ting; Fan, Cun-Dong; Yang, Xiao-Yi; Sun, Bao-Liang

    2016-07-01

    Hypothermia treatment is one of the neuroprotective strategies that improve neurological outcomes effectively after brain damage. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has been an important treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Herein, we evaluated the neuroprotective effect and mechanism of MIS joint local cooling lavage (LCL) treatment on ICH via detecting the inflammatory responses, oxidative injury, and neuronal apoptosis around the hematoma cavity in rats. ICH model was established by type IV collagenase caudatum infusion. The rats were treated with MIS 6 h after injection, and then were lavaged by normothermic (37 °C) and hypothermic (33 °C) normal saline in brain separately. The results indicated that MIS joint LCL treatment showed enhanced therapeutic effects against ICH-induced inflammation injury and apoptosis in rats, as convinced by the decline of TUNEL-positive cells, followed by the decrease of IL-1β and LDH and increase of IL-10 and SOD. This study demonstrated that the strategy of using MIS joint LCL may achieve enhanced neuroprotection against ICH-induced inflammation injury and apoptosis in rats with potential clinic application. PMID:26224360

  6. Successful intestinal Echinococcus multilocularis oncosphere invasion and subsequent hepatic metacestode establishment in resistant RccHan™:WIST rats after pharmacological immunosuppression.

    PubMed

    Armua-Fernandez, Maria Teresa; Joekel, Deborah; Schweiger, Alexander; Eichenberger, Ramon Marc; Matsumoto, Jun; Deplazes, Peter

    2016-09-01

    Susceptibility/resistance to larval Echinococcus multilocularis infection varies greatly depending on host species and strains. Whereas several mice strains and non-human primates are highly susceptible to alveolar echinococcosis, rats and most of humans are considered as more resistant. In this study, we aimed to elucidate factors responsible for host resistance in rats (Experiments A-D). (A) The parasite establishment was not observed in immunocompetent Wistar rats orally inoculated with sodium hypochlorite resistant eggs with/without pig bile, or activated/non-activated oncospheres (NAO). Peritoneal inoculation with NAO or metacestode tissue allowed the parasite establishment in rats. (B) T-cell-deficient athymic nude rats showed complete resistance against the metacestode establishment after oral inoculation with parasite eggs. This finding suggests that T-cell-independent parasite clearance occurred in the animals during early phase of the parasite invasion. Finally, Wistar rats that received pharmacological immunosuppression using either dexamethasone (DMS) alone or methotrexate (MTX) i.p. alone or a combination of these compounds were orally inoculated with the parasite's eggs. As a result (D), successful establishment of metacestode with protoscoleces was observed in all 3 rats treated with DMS (s.c.) alone or in all 6 rats treated with DMS (s.c.) plus MTX but not in 8 rats with MTX alone, suggesting that factors affected by DMS treatment are responsible to regulate the parasite invasion and establishment. PMID:27188839

  7. Cardiopulmonary bypass model in the rat: a new minimal invasive model with a low flow volume†

    PubMed Central

    Lebreton, Guillaume; Tamion, Fabienne; Bessou, Jean-Paul; Doguet, Fabien

    2012-01-01

    Numerous cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) models in the rat have already been described, but these models often have an important mortality and differ a lot from human clinical conditions thus making them hardly usable. The CPB model in the rat we describe allows a femoro-femoral support CPB with a low priming volume, minimal surgical approach and excellent peroperative survival. This CPB model in the rat allows evaluating extracorporeal circulation effects. PMID:22345055

  8. Automated determination of wakefulness and sleep in rats based on non-invasively acquired measures of movement and respiratory activity

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Tao; Mott, Christopher; Mollicone, Daniel; Sanford, Larry D.

    2012-01-01

    The current standard for monitoring sleep in rats requires labor intensive surgical procedures and the implantation of chronic electrodes which have the potential to impact behavior and sleep. With the goal of developing a non-invasive method to determine sleep and wakefulness, we constructed a non-contact monitoring system to measure movement and respiratory activity using signals acquired with pulse Doppler radar and from digitized video analysis. A set of 23 frequency and time-domain features were derived from these signals and were calculated in 10 s epochs. Based on these features, a classification method for automated scoring of wakefulness, non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and REM in rats was developed using a support vector machine (SVM). We then assessed the utility of the automated scoring system in discriminating wakefulness and sleep by comparing the results to standard scoring of wakefulness and sleep based on concurrently recorded EEG and EMG. Agreement between SVM automated scoring based on selected features and visual scores based on EEG and EMG were approximately 91% for wakefulness, 84% for NREM and 70% for REM. The results indicate that automated scoring based on non-invasively acquired movement and respiratory activity will be useful for studies requiring discrimination of wakefulness and sleep. However, additional information or signals will be needed to improve discrimination of NREM and REM episodes within sleep. PMID:22178621

  9. Minimally invasive method for determining the effective lymphatic pumping pressure in rats using near-infrared imaging

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Tyler S.; Akin, Ryan E.; Weiler, Michael J.; Kassis, Timothy; Kornuta, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to quantify collecting vessel function in a minimally invasive fashion is crucial to the study of lymphatic physiology and the role of lymphatic pump function in disease progression. Therefore, we developed a highly sensitive, minimally invasive research platform for quantifying the pumping capacity of collecting lymphatic vessels in the rodent tail and forelimb. To achieve this, we have integrated a near-infrared lymphatic imaging system with a feedback-controlled pressure cuff to modulate lymph flow. After occluding lymphatic flow by inflating a pressure cuff on the limb or tail, we gradually deflate the cuff while imaging flow restoration proximal to the cuff. Using prescribed pressure applications and automated image processing of fluorescence intensity levels in the vessels, we were able to noninvasively quantify the effective pumping pressure (Peff, pressure at which flow is restored after occlusion) and vessel emptying rate (rate of fluorescence clearance during flow occlusion) of lymphatics in the rat. To demonstrate the sensitivity of this system to changes in lymphatic function, a nitric oxide (NO) donor cream, glyceryl trinitrate ointment (GTNO), was applied to the tails. GTNO decreased Peff of the vessels by nearly 50% and the average emptying rate by more than 60%. We also demonstrate the suitability of this approach for acquiring measurements on the rat forelimb. Thus, this novel research platform provides the first minimally invasive measurements of Peff and emptying rate in rodents. This experimental platform holds strong potential for future in vivo studies that seek to evaluate changes in lymphatic health and disease. PMID:24430884

  10. Predator exposure alters stress physiology in guppies across timescales.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Eva K; Harris, Rayna M; Hofmann, Hans A; Hoke, Kim L

    2014-02-01

    In vertebrates, glucocorticoids mediate a wide-range of responses to stressors. For this reason, they are implicated in adaptation to changes in predation pressure. Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from high-predation environments have repeatedly and independently colonized and adapted to low-predation environments, resulting in parallel changes in life history, morphology, and behavior. We validated methods for non-invasive waterborne hormone sample collection in this species, and used this technique to examine genetic and environmental effects of predation on basal glucocorticoid (cortisol) levels. To examine genetic differences, we compared waterborne cortisol levels in high- and low-predation fish from two distinct population pairs. We found that fish from high-predation localities had lower cortisol levels than their low-predation counterparts. To isolate environmental influences, we compared waterborne cortisol levels in genetically similar fish reared with and without exposure to predator chemical cues. We found that fish reared with predator chemical cues had lower waterborne cortisol levels than those reared without. Comparisons of waterborne and whole-body cortisol levels demonstrated that populations differed in overall cortisol levels in the body, whereas rearing conditions altered the release of cortisol from the body into the water. Thus, evolutionary history with predators and lifetime exposure to predator cues were both associated with lower cortisol release, but depended on distinct physiological mechanisms. PMID:24370688

  11. Predation at the Shore.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Helen M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hildreth, David P.; Couch, Emma

    2003-01-01

    Describes 10 predator/prey relationships that occur on the coast. Predators are compared to criminals and prey to their victims along with details of crime scenes. Accurately describes the habits and habitats of the criminals and presents games and activities that feature the relationships between predators and their prey. (Author/SOE)

  12. Nest Predation by Commensal Rodents in Urban Bushland Remnants.

    PubMed

    Smith, Helen M; Dickman, Chris R; Banks, Peter B

    2016-01-01

    Exotic predators are a major threat to native wildlife in many parts of the world. Developing and implementing effective strategies to mitigate their effects requires robust quantitative data so that management can be evidence-based, yet in many ecosystems this is missing. Birds in particular have been severely impacted by exotic mammalian predators, and a plethora of studies on islands record predation of bird eggs, fledglings and adults by exotic species such as rodents, stoats and cats. By comparison, few studies have examined nest predation around mainland urban centres which often act as dispersal hubs, especially for commensal species such as rodents. Here, we experimentally examine nest predation rates in habitat patches with varying black rat (Rattus rattus) densities in Sydney, Australia and test whether these exotic rats have the effects expected of exotic predators using effect size benchmarks. In the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus spp., we expected that black rats, being more arboreal than native Rattus spp., would be a significant source of predation on birds because they can readily access the arboreal niche where many birds nest. We tested this idea using above-ground artificial nests to represent those of typical small bird species such as the New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae). We found that fewer eggs were depredated by rodents on sites where we removed black rats compared to unmanipulated sites, and that the effect size calculated from the total number of eggs surviving beyond the typical incubation period was similar to that expected for an exotic predator. Our results suggest that, although Australian birds have co-evolved with native Rattus species, in the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus species, exotic black rats appear to pose an additive source of predation on birds in remnant habitats, most likely due to their ability to climb more efficiently than their native counterparts

  13. Nest Predation by Commensal Rodents in Urban Bushland Remnants

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Exotic predators are a major threat to native wildlife in many parts of the world. Developing and implementing effective strategies to mitigate their effects requires robust quantitative data so that management can be evidence-based, yet in many ecosystems this is missing. Birds in particular have been severely impacted by exotic mammalian predators, and a plethora of studies on islands record predation of bird eggs, fledglings and adults by exotic species such as rodents, stoats and cats. By comparison, few studies have examined nest predation around mainland urban centres which often act as dispersal hubs, especially for commensal species such as rodents. Here, we experimentally examine nest predation rates in habitat patches with varying black rat (Rattus rattus) densities in Sydney, Australia and test whether these exotic rats have the effects expected of exotic predators using effect size benchmarks. In the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus spp., we expected that black rats, being more arboreal than native Rattus spp., would be a significant source of predation on birds because they can readily access the arboreal niche where many birds nest. We tested this idea using above-ground artificial nests to represent those of typical small bird species such as the New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae). We found that fewer eggs were depredated by rodents on sites where we removed black rats compared to unmanipulated sites, and that the effect size calculated from the total number of eggs surviving beyond the typical incubation period was similar to that expected for an exotic predator. Our results suggest that, although Australian birds have co-evolved with native Rattus species, in the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus species, exotic black rats appear to pose an additive source of predation on birds in remnant habitats, most likely due to their ability to climb more efficiently than their native counterparts

  14. Effects of invasive rats and burrowing seabirds on seeds and seedlings on New Zealand islands.

    PubMed

    Grant-Hoffman, Madeline N; Mulder, Christa P H; Bellingham, Peter J

    2010-04-01

    Rats (Rattus rattus, Rattus norvegicus, Rattus exulans) are important invaders on islands. They alter vegetation indirectly by preying on burrowing seabirds. These seabirds affect vegetation through nutrient inputs from sea to land and physical disturbance through trampling and burrowing. Rats also directly affect vegetation though consumption of seeds and seedlings. Seedling communities on northern New Zealand islands differ in composition and densities among islands which have never been invaded by rats, are currently invaded by rats, or from which rats have been eradicated. We conducted experimental investigations to determine the mechanisms driving these patterns. When the physical disturbance of seabirds was removed, in soils collected from islands and inside exclosures, seedling densities increased with seabird burrow density. For example, seedling densities inside exclosures were 10 times greater than those outside. Thus the negative effects of seabirds on seedlings, by trampling and uprooting, overwhelm the potentially beneficial effects of high levels of seed germination, seedling emergence, and possibly seed production, which result from seed burial and nutrient additions. Potential seedling density was reduced on an island where rats were present, germination of seeds from soils of this island was approximately half that found on other islands, but on this island seedling density inside exclosures was 7 times the density outside. Although the total negative effects of seabirds and rats on seedling densities are similar (reduced seedling density), the differences in mechanisms and life stages affected result in very different filters on the plant community. PMID:19921273

  15. Biocontrol in an impulsive predator-prey model.

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2014-10-01

    We study a model for biological pest control (or "biocontrol") in which a pest population is controlled by a program of periodic releases of a fixed yield of predators that prey on the pest. Releases are represented as impulsive increases in the predator population. Between releases, predator-pest dynamics evolve according to a predator-prey model with some fairly general properties: the pest population grows logistically in the absence of predation; the predator functional response is either of Beddington-DeAngelis type or Holling type II; the predator per capita birth rate is bounded above by a constant multiple of the predator functional response; and the predator per capita death rate is allowed to be decreasing in the predator functional response and increasing in the predator population, though the special case in which it is constant is permitted too. We prove that, when the predator functional response is of Beddington-DeAngelis type and the predators are not sufficiently voracious, then the biocontrol program will fail to reduce the pest population below a particular economic threshold, regardless of the frequency or yield of the releases. We prove also that our model possesses a pest-eradication solution, which is both locally and globally stable provided that predators are sufficiently voracious and that releases occur sufficiently often. We establish, curiously, that the pest-eradication solution can be locally stable whilst not being globally stable, the upshot of which is that, if we delay a biocontrol response to a new pest invasion, then this can change the outcome of the response from pest eradication to pest persistence. Finally, we state a number of specific examples for our model, and, for one of these examples, we corroborate parts of our analysis by numerical simulations. PMID:25195089

  16. Monitoring hemodynamics and oxygenation of the kidney in rats by a combined near-infrared spectroscopy and invasive probe approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosenick, Dirk; Cantow, Kathleen; Arakelyan, Karen; Wabnitz, Heidrun; Flemming, Bert; Skalweit, Angela; Ladwig, Mechthild; Macdonald, Rainer; Niendorf, Thoralf; Seeliger, Erdmann

    2015-07-01

    We have developed a hybrid approach to investigate the dynamics of perfusion and oxygenation in the kidney of rats under pathophysiologically relevant conditions. Our approach combines near-infrared spectroscopy to quantify hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation in the renal cortex, and an invasive probe method for measuring total renal blood flow by an ultrasonic probe, perfusion by laser-Doppler fluxmetry, and tissue oxygen tension via fluorescence quenching. Hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation were determined from experimental data by a Monte Carlo model. The hybrid approach was applied to investigate and compare temporal changes during several types of interventions such as arterial and venous occlusions, as well as hyperoxia, hypoxia and hypercapnia induced by different mixtures of the inspired gas. The approach was also applied to study the effects of the x-ray contrast medium iodixanol on the kidney.

  17. Near-infrared oxymeter biosensor prototype for non-invasive in vivo analysis of rat brain oxygenation: effects of drugs of abuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespi, F.; Donini, M.; Bandera, A.; Congestri, F.; Formenti, F.; Sonntag, V.; Heidbreder, C.; Rovati, L.

    2006-07-01

    The feasibility of non-invasive analysis of brain activities was studied in the attempt to overcome the major limitation of actual in vivo methodologies, i.e. invasiveness. Optic fibre probes were used as the optical head of a novel, highly sensitive near-infrared continuous wave spectroscopy (CW-NIR) instrument. This prototype was designed for non-invasive analysis of the two main forms of haemoglobin: oxy-haemoglobin (HbO2) and deoxy-haemoglobin (Hb), chromophores present in biological tissues. It was tested in peripheral tissue (human gastrocnemius muscle) and then reset to perform the measurement on rat brain. In animal studies, the optical head was firmly placed using stereotaxic apparatus upon the sagittal line of the head of anaesthetized adult rats, without any surgery. Then pharmacological treatments with saline (300 µl s.c.) amphetamine (2 mg kg-1) or nicotine (0.4 mg kg-1) were performed. Within 10-20 min amphetamine substantially increased HbO2 and reduced Hb control levels. Nicotine produced a rapid initial increase followed by a decrease in HbO2. In contrast to amphetamine, nicotine treatment also reduced Hb and blood volume. These results support the capacity of our CW-NIR prototype to measure non-invasively HbO2 and Hb levels in the rat brain, that are markers of the degree of tissue oxygenation, thus providing an index of blood levels and therefore of brain metabolism.

  18. Habitat complexity does not promote coexistence in a size-structured intraguild predation system.

    PubMed

    Reichstein, Birte; Schröder, Arne; Persson, Lennart; De Roos, André M

    2013-01-01

    Size-dependent interactions and habitat complexity have been identified as important factors affecting the persistence of intraguild predation (IGP) systems. Habitat complexity has been suggested to promote intraguild (IG) prey and intraguild predator coexistence through weakening trophic interactions particularly the predation link. Here, we experimentally investigate the effects of habitat complexity on coexistence and invasion success of differently sized IG-predators in a size-structured IGP system consisting of the IG-predator Poecilia reticulata and a resident Heterandria formosa IG-prey population. The experiments included medium-long and long-term invasion experiments, predator-prey experiments and competition experiments to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effect of prey refuges. Habitat complexity did not promote the coexistence of IG-predator and IG-prey, although the predation link was substantially weakened. However, the presence of habitat structure affected the invasion success of large IG-predators negatively and the invasion success of small IG-predators positively. The effect of refuges on size-dependent invasion success could be related to a major decrease in the IG-predator's capture rate and a shift in the size distribution of IG-predator juveniles. In summary, habitat complexity had two main effects: (i) the predation link was diminished, resulting in a more competition driven system and (ii) the overall competitive abilities of the two species were equalized, but coexistence was not promoted. Our results suggest that in a size-structured IGP system, individual level mechanisms may gain in importance over species level mechanisms in the presence of habitat complexity. PMID:23004014

  19. Using resin to generate a non-invasive intestinal bile-depleted rat model was unsuccessful.

    PubMed

    Holm, René; Hesselkilde, Janne Z; Jørgensen, Erling B; Müllertz, Anette

    2012-09-29

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a rat model, based upon co-administration of the anion-exchanging resin, cholestyramine, could replace surgery when evaluating the importance of bile on drug absorption. Two different formulations were used for the administration of halofantrine; polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400) and PEG 400/polysorbate 80 (50:50, w/w%), as a positive and negative control on the dependency of bile. No significant effect of the resin was detected after evaluation of three different pre-dosing regimes, but in line with previous studies the formulation containing polysorbate 80 showed a significant increase in the absorption of halofantrine. This study therefore demonstrates that the pre-dosing of rats with Cholestyramine can not replace surgical bile duct cannulation if a formulation needs to be evaluated for its bile dependency. PMID:22732256

  20. Capsaicin-induced mucus secretion in rat airways assessed in vivo and non-invasively by magnetic resonance imaging

    PubMed Central

    Karmouty-Quintana, H; Cannet, C; Sugar, R; Fozard, J R; Page, C P; Beckmann, N

    2007-01-01

    Background and purpose: An up-regulation of the sensory neural pathways in the lung has been implicated in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is thought to contribute to mucus hypersecretion, an essential feature of both diseases. The aim of this study was to assess non-invasively the acute effects (up to 60 min) of sensory nerve stimulation by capsaicin in the lung, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Experimental approach: Male Brown Norway rats were imaged prior to and 10, 30 and 60 min after intra-tracheal challenge with capsaicin (30 μgkg−1) or vehicle (0.5% ethanol solution). In subsequent studies, pre-treatment with the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV)-1 antagonist, capsazepine; the dual neurokinin (NK) 1 and NK2 receptor antagonist, DNK333 and the mast cell stabilizer, di-sodium cromoglycate (DSCG) was used to modulate the effects of capsaicin. Key results: Diffuse fluid signals were detected by MRI in the lung as early as 10 min after capsaicin, remaining constant 30 and 60 min after treatment. Broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid analysis performed 60 min after capsaicin revealed increased mucin concentration. Capsazepine (3.5 mgkg−1), DNK333 (10 mgkg−1) but not DSCG (10 mgkg−1) administered prophylactically were able to block the effect of capsaicin in the airways. Conclusions and implications: These observations suggest that the fluid signals detected by MRI after capsaicin administration reflected predominantly the release of mucus following activation of sensory nerves. They point to the opportunity of non-invasively assessing with MRI the influence of neuronal mechanisms in animal models of asthma and COPD. PMID:17351665

  1. Bioinsecticide-Predator Interactions: Azadirachtin Behavioral and Reproductive Impairment of the Coconut Mite Predator Neoseiulus baraki

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Debora B.; Melo, José Wagner S.; Guedes, Nelsa Maria P.; Gontijo, Lessando M.; Guedes, Raul Narciso C.; Gondim, Manoel Guedes C.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic pesticide use has been the dominant form of pest control since the 1940s. However, biopesticides are emerging as sustainable pest control alternatives, with prevailing use in organic agricultural production systems. Foremost among botanical biopesticides is the limonoid azadirachtin, whose perceived environmental safety has come under debate and scrutiny in recent years. Coconut production, particularly organic coconut production, is one of the agricultural systems in which azadirachtin is used as a primary method of pest control for the management of the invasive coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae). The management of this mite species also greatly benefits from predation by Neoseiulus baraki (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Here, we assessed the potential behavioral impacts of azadirachtin on the coconut mite predator, N. baraki. We explored the effects of this biopesticide on overall predator activity, female searching time, and mating behavior and fecundity. Azadirachtin impairs the overall activity of the predator, reducing it to nearly half; however, female searching was not affected. In contrast, mating behavior was compromised by azadirachtin exposure particularly when male predators were exposed to the biopesticide. Consequently, predator fecundity was also compromised by azadirachtin, furthering doubts about its environmental safety and selectivity towards biological control agents. PMID:25679393

  2. Ability of predator odour exposure to elicit conditioned versus sensitised post traumatic stress disorder-like behaviours, and forebrain deltaFosB expression, in rats.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, L; Nalivaiko, E; Beig, M I; Day, T A; Walker, F R

    2010-08-25

    At present, exposure of a rodent to the odour of a predator is one of the most common animal models of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite this, the model remains incompletely characterized, particularly in regard to within subject assessment of major PTSD-like behaviours. In an attempt to redress this situation, we have extensively characterized the two broad categories of behaviour that are considered to characterize PTSD, that is sensitized behaviours such as social withdrawal and hypervigilance and conditioned behaviours such as avoidance of trauma linked cues. Specifically, we determined the presence and duration of both conditioned and sensitized behaviours, in the same cohort of animals, after three exposures to predator odour. Conditioned fear was assessed on the basis of inhibition of locomotor activity upon return to context 2, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after the last odour exposure session. To assess the impact on sensitization behaviours, we monitored acoustic startle responses and social interaction behaviour 4, 9, 16, 23, and 30 days after the last exposure session. In addition to examining the behavioural consequences associated with odour exposure, we also determined the key brain regions that were activated using DeltaFosB immunohistochemistry. Our results show that the two groups of behaviours thought to characterize PTSD (conditioned and sensitized) do not travel together in the predator odour model, with clear evidence of enduring changes in conditioned fear but little evidence of changes in social interaction or acoustic startle. With regard to associated patterns of activity in the brain, we observed that odour-exposed animals exhibited significantly higher numbers of FosB-positive nuclei in only the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a finding that can be viewed as being consistent with the observed behavioural changes. PMID:20478366

  3. mTOR Modulates Lymphocyte Differentiation through T-bet and Eomesodermin in Response to Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Na; Su, Long-Xiang; Wang, Hao; Xiao, Meng; Yang, Fei; Zheng, Min; Li, Xin; Xu, Ying-Chun; Liu, Da-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Background: Aspergillosis infection is common in the patients with insufficient immunity. The role of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), T-box expressed in T-cells (T-bet), and eomesodermin (EOMES) in mediating T lymphocytes differentiation in response to Aspergillus fumigatus infection in immunocompromised rats was investigated in this study. Methods: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) of immunosuppressive twenty male rats were established and sacrificed at 24 h (n = 5), 48 h (n = 5), 72 h (n = 5), and 96 h (n = 5) after A. fumigatus infection. In addition, control (n = 5), cyclophosphamide (CTX) (n = 5), and aspergillosis (n = 5) group were also established the tissues and pathology of lung tissue was examined by hematoxylin and eosin staining. CD8+ T-cells was sorted by flow cytometry. Serum mTOR, S6K, T-bet, and EOMES were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Histology of lung tissue indicated severe lung tissue injury including infiltration of inflammatory cells, alveolar wall damage or degradation, blood congestion, and hemorrhage in the CTX, IPA, and CTX + IPA rats. Hyphae were seen in the IPA, and CTX + IPA groups. The proportion of CD8+ T-cells was significantly increased in the animals of CTX + IPA. Memory CD8+ T-cells was significantly increased in early stage (24 h and 48 h, P < 0.001), but decreased in the late phase of fungal infection (72 h and 96 h) in the animals of CTX + IPA. In addition, at early stage of fungal infection (24 h and 48 h), serum mTOR (P < 0.001), S6K (P < 0.001), and T-bet (P < 0.05) was significantly higher, while EOMES was significantly lower (P < 0.001), in CTX + IPA group than that in control, CTX alone or IPA alone group. Conversely, serum mTOR, S6K, T-bet, and EOMES showed opposite changed in the late stage (72 h and 96 h). Pearson's correlation analysis indicated that mTOR and S6K were significantly correlated with T-bet (r = 0.901 and 0.91, respectively, P < 0.001), but negatively and

  4. Endocytosis‒Mediated Invasion and Pathogenicity of Streptococcus agalactiae in Rat Cardiomyocyte (H9C2)

    PubMed Central

    Pooja, Sharma; Pushpanathan, Muthuirulan; Gunasekaran, Paramasamy; Rajendhran, Jeyaprakash

    2015-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae infection causes high mortality in cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients, especially in case of setting prosthetic valve during cardiac surgery. However, the pathogenesis mechanism of S. agalactiae associate with CVD has not been well studied. Here, we have demonstrated the pathogenicity of S. agalactiae in rat cardiomyocytes (H9C2). Interestingly, both live and dead cells of S. agalactiae were uptaken by H9C2 cells. To further dissect the process of S. agalactiae internalization, we chemically inhibited discrete parts of cellular uptake system in H9C2 cells using genistein, chlorpromazine, nocodazole and cytochalasin B. Chemical inhibition of microtubule and actin formation by nocodazole and cytochalasin B impaired S. agalactiae internalization into H9C2 cells. Consistently, reverse‒ transcription PCR (RT‒PCR) and quantitative real time‒PCR (RT-qPCR) analyses also detected higher levels of transcripts for cytoskeleton forming genes, Acta1 and Tubb5 in S. agalactiae‒infected H9C2 cells, suggesting the requirement of functional cytoskeleton in pathogenesis. Host survival assay demonstrated that S. agalactiae internalization induced cytotoxicity in H9C2 cells. S. agalactiae cells grown with benzyl penicillin reduced its ability to internalize and induce cytotoxicity in H9C2 cells, which could be attributed with the removal of surface lipoteichoic acid (LTA) from S. agalactiae. Further, the LTA extracted from S. agalactiae also exhibited dose‒dependent cytotoxicity in H9C2 cells. Taken together, our data suggest that S. agalactiae cells internalized H9C2 cells through energy‒dependent endocytic processes and the LTA of S. agalactiae play major role in host cell internalization and cytotoxicity induction. PMID:26431539

  5. An abundant biological control agent does not provide a significant predator subsidy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Classical weed biological control agents, regardless of their effectiveness, may provide subsidies to predators and parasites. The chemically defended weevil Oxyops vitiosa Pascoe is a successful agent that was introduced to control the invasive tree Melaleuca quinquenervia. Two consecutive small ...

  6. Influence of diet conditions on predation response of a predatory mite to a polyphagous insect pest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), an invasive polyphagous species, is an economically important pest. A modified standard petri dish assay method was employed to examine the functional response and predation capacity of predatory mites (Amblyseius swirskii Anthias-...

  7. Development of a Non-Invasive Biomonitoring Approach to Determine Exposure to the Organophosphorus Insecticide Chlorpyrifos in Rat Saliva

    SciTech Connect

    Timchalk, Chuck; Campbell, James A.; Liu, Guodong; Lin, Yuehe; Kousba, Ahmed A.

    2007-03-01

    Abstract Non-invasive biomonitoring approaches are being developed using reliable portable analytical systems to quantify dosimetry utilizing readily obtainable body fluids, such as saliva. In the current study, rats were given single oral gavage doses (1, 10 or 50 mg/kg) of the insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF), saliva and blood were collected from groups of animals (4/time-point) at 3, 6, and 12 hr post-dosing, and the samples were analyzed for the CPF metabolite trichlorpyridinol (TCP). Trichlorpyridinol was detected in both blood and saliva at all doses and the TCP concentration in blood exceeded saliva, although the kinetics in blood and saliva were comparable. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) model for CPF incorporated a compartment model to describe the time-course of TCP in blood and saliva. The model adequately simulated the experimental results over the dose ranges evaluated. A rapid and sensitive sequential injection (SI) electrochemical immunoassay was developed to monitor TCP, and the reported detection limit for TCP in water was 6 ng/L. Computer model simulation in the range of the Allowable Daily Intake (ADI) or Reference Dose (RfD) for CPF (0.01-0.003 mg/kg/day) suggest that the electrochemical immunoassay had adequate sensitivity to detect and quantify TCP in saliva at these low exposure levels. To validate this approach further studies are needed to more fully understand the pharmacokinetics of CPF and TCP excretion in saliva. The utilization of saliva as a biomonitoring matrix, coupled to real-time quantitation and PBPK/PD modeling represents a novel approach with broad application for evaluating both occupational and environmental exposures to insecticides.

  8. Non-invasive detection and quantification of brain microvascular deficits by near-infrared spectroscopy in a rat model of Vascular Cognitive Impairment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallacoglu, Bertan; Sassaroli, Angelo M.; Rosenberg, Irwin H.; Troen, Aron; Fantini, Sergio

    2011-02-01

    Structural abnormalities in brain microvasculature are commonly associated with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. However, the extent to which structural microvascular abnormalities cause functional impairments in brain circulation and thereby to cognitive impairment is unclear. Non-invasive, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) methods can be used to determine the absolute hemoglobin concentration and saturation in brain tissue, from which additional parameters such as cerebral blood volume (a theoretical correlate of brain microvascular density) can be derived. Validating such NIRS parameters in animal models, and understanding their relationship to cognitive function is an important step in the ultimate application of these methods to humans. To this end we applied a non-invasive multidistance NIRS method to determine the absolute concentration and saturation of cerebral hemoglobin in rat, by separately measuring absorption and reduced scattering coefficients without relying on pre- or post-correction factors. We applied this method to study brain circulation in folate deficient rats, which express brain microvascular pathology1 and which we have shown to develop cognitive impairment.2 We found absolute brain hemoglobin concentration ([HbT]) and oxygen saturation (StO2) to be significantly lower in folate deficient rats (n=6) with respect to control rats (n=5) (for [HbT]: 73+/-10 μM vs. 95+/-14 μM for StO2: 55%+/-7% vs. 66% +/-4%), implicating microvascular pathology and diminished oxygen delivery as a mechanism of cognitive impairment. More generally, our study highlights how noninvasive, absolute NIRS measurements can provide unique insight into the pathophysiology of Vascular Cognitive Impairment. Applying this method to this and other rat models of cognitive impairment will help to validate physiologically meaningful NIRS parameters for the ultimate goal of studying cerebral microvascular disease and cognitive decline in humans.

  9. Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Nicole K; Pu, Zhichao; Jiang, Lin

    2016-09-01

    Predation is among the most important biotic factors influencing natural communities, yet we have a rather rudimentary understanding of its role in modulating metacommunity assembly. We experimentally examined the effects of two different predators (a generalist and a specialist) on metacommunity assembly, using protist microcosm metacommunities that varied in predator identity, dispersal among local communities and the history of species colonization into local communities. Generalist predation resulted in reduced α diversity and increased β diversity irrespective of dispersal, likely due to predation-induced stochastic extinction of different prey species in different local communities. Dispersal, however, induced source-sink dynamics in the presence of specialist predators, resulting in higher α diversity and marginally lower β diversity. These results demonstrate the distinct effects of different predators on prey metacommunity assembly, emphasizing the need to explore the role of predator diet breadth in structuring metacommunities. PMID:27349796

  10. Behavioural responses of feral and domestic guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to predators and their cues.

    PubMed

    Swaney, William T; Cabrera-Álvarez, María J; Reader, Simon M

    2015-09-01

    Predation is an important factor during adaptation to novel environments, and the feralisation of introduced domestic species often involves responding appropriately to allopatric predators despite a background of domestication and inbreeding. Twenty years ago, domestic guppies were introduced to a semi-natural environment at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands, where they have since been exposed to avian predation. We compared predation-linked behaviours in this feral population and in domestic guppies akin to the original founders. We found that both populations responded to a novel predator and to conspecific alarm cues. However, shoaling, an important anti-predator behaviour, was higher among feral guppies both at baseline and when exposed to the novel predator. We did not observe a linked suite of anti-predator behaviours across shoaling, predator inspection, alarm substance sensitivity and boldness, suggesting that these responses may be decoupled from one another depending on local predation regimes. As we compared two populations, we cannot identify the causal factors determining population differences, however, our results do suggest that shoaling is either a particularly consequential anti-predator adaptation or the most labile of the behaviours we tested. Finally, the behavioural adaptability of domestic guppies may help to explain their success as an invasive species. PMID:26003138

  11. Production of heteropteran predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter treats several key aspects of rearing procedures for predatory bugs. The value of natural, factitious, and artificial foods for the major species used in biological control is reviewed. Whereas several types of factitious foods are routinely used in the production of heteropteran predat...

  12. Prey-predator system with parental care for predators.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendi; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro; Saito, Yasuhisa; Nakaoka, Shinji

    2006-08-01

    A stage structure is incorporated into a prey-predator model in which predators are split into immature predators and mature predators. It is assumed that immature predators are raised by their parents in the sense that they cannot catch the prey and their foods are provided by parents. Further, it is assumed that the maturation rate of immature predators is a function of the food availability for one immature individual. It is found that the model admits periodic solutions which are produced from the stage structure. Further, it is shown that two stability switches of positive equilibria may occur due to the transition rate incorporating the influence of nutrient, and that the enrichment of adult predators may lead to the catastrophe of the ecological system. PMID:16414079

  13. Non-invasive and quantitative evaluation of peripheral vascular resistances in rats by combined NMR measurements of perfusion and blood pressure using ASL and dynamic angiography.

    PubMed

    Ménard, Jacques C; Giacomini, Eric; Baligand, Céline; Fromes, Yves; Carlier, Pierre G

    2010-02-01

    The in vivo determination of peripheral vascular resistances (VR) is crucial for the assessment of arteriolar function. It requires simultaneous determination of organ perfusion (F) and arterial blood pressure (BP). A fully non-invasive method was developed to measure systolic and diastolic BP in the caudal artery of rats based on dynamic NMR angiography. A good agreement was found between the NMR approach and the gold standard techniques (linear regression slope = 0.98, R(2) = 0.96). This method and the ASL-MRI measurement of skeletal muscle perfusion were combined into one single NMR experiment to quantitatively evaluate the local vascular resistances in the calf muscle of anaesthetized rats, in vivo and non-invasively 1) at rest: VR = 7.0 +/- 1.0 mmHg x min 100 g x ml(-1), F = 13 +/- 3 ml min(-1) x 100 g(-1) and mean BP (MBP) = 88 +/- 10 mmHg; 2) under vasodilator challenge (milrinone): VR = 3.7 +/- 1.1 mmHg min x 100 g ml(-1), F = 21 +/- 4 ml min(-1) x 100 g(-1) and MBP = 75 +/- 14 mmHg; 3) under vasopressor challenge (norepinephrine): VR = 9.8 +/- 1.2 mmHg min 100 g ml(-1), F = 14 +/- 3 ml min(-1) x 100 g(-1) and MBP = 137 +/- 2 mmHg. PMID:19795372

  14. Non-Invasive In Vivo Imaging and Quantification of Tumor Growth and Metastasis in Rats Using Cells Expressing Far-Red Fluorescence Protein.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jon; Vonwil, Daniel; Shastri, V Prasad

    2015-01-01

    Non-invasive in vivo imaging is emerging as an important tool for basic and preclinical research. Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence dyes and probes have been used for non-invasive optical imaging since in the NIR region absorption and auto fluorescence by body tissue is low, thus permitting for greater penetration depths and high signal to noise ratio. Currently, cell tracking systems rely on labeling cells prior to injection or administering probes targeting the cell population of choice right before imaging. These approaches do not enable imaging of tumor growth, as the cell label is diluted during cell division. In this study we have developed cell lines stably expressing the far-red fluorescence protein E2-Crimson, thus enabling continuous detection and quantification of tumor growth. In a xenograft rat model, we show that E2-Crimson expressing cells can be detected over a 5 week period using optical imaging. Fluorescence intensities correlated with tumor volume and weight and allowed for a reliable and robust quantification of the entire tumor compartment. Using a novel injection regime, the seeding of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in the lungs in a rat model was established and verified. PMID:26186005

  15. A Comparison of Surgical Invasions for Spinal Nerve Ligation with or without Paraspinal Muscle Removal in a Rat Neuropathic Pain Model.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yi-Gang; Zhang, Qing; Wu, Hao; Zhang, Chang-Qing

    2016-01-01

    L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats is one of the most popular models for studying neuropathic pain because of its high reproducibility. During the surgery, a part of the L5 paraspinal muscle is usually removed, which produces extra trauma and may potentially affect the physiological processes involved in neuropathic pain. To reduce the surgical trauma, the paraspinal muscle retraction was developed for exposure of the spinal nerve. The current study was aimed at comparing the surgical invasions between the L5 SNL models with paraspinal muscle removal or retraction. The results showed that both methods induced similar neuropathic pain behavior. However, the paraspinal muscle retraction group exhibited an average of 2.7 mg less blood loss than the muscle removal group. This group also showed a significantly lower increase in serum myoglobin and creatine phosphokinase levels on postoperative days 1 and 2, as well as a lower increase in interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 levels on postoperative day 1. The paraspinal muscle maintained normal morphological features following paraspinal muscle retraction. Our results indicate that the SNL rat model with paraspinal muscle retraction is a reliable physiological model that is reproducible, readily available, and less invasive than the model with muscle removal. PMID:27597970

  16. A Comparison of Surgical Invasions for Spinal Nerve Ligation with or without Paraspinal Muscle Removal in a Rat Neuropathic Pain Model

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yi-Gang; Zhang, Qing; Wu, Hao

    2016-01-01

    L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats is one of the most popular models for studying neuropathic pain because of its high reproducibility. During the surgery, a part of the L5 paraspinal muscle is usually removed, which produces extra trauma and may potentially affect the physiological processes involved in neuropathic pain. To reduce the surgical trauma, the paraspinal muscle retraction was developed for exposure of the spinal nerve. The current study was aimed at comparing the surgical invasions between the L5 SNL models with paraspinal muscle removal or retraction. The results showed that both methods induced similar neuropathic pain behavior. However, the paraspinal muscle retraction group exhibited an average of 2.7 mg less blood loss than the muscle removal group. This group also showed a significantly lower increase in serum myoglobin and creatine phosphokinase levels on postoperative days 1 and 2, as well as a lower increase in interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 levels on postoperative day 1. The paraspinal muscle maintained normal morphological features following paraspinal muscle retraction. Our results indicate that the SNL rat model with paraspinal muscle retraction is a reliable physiological model that is reproducible, readily available, and less invasive than the model with muscle removal. PMID:27597970

  17. Hierarchical Levels of Seed Predation Variation by Introduced Beetles on an Endemic Mediterranean Palm

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Marta; Delibes, Miguel; Fedriani, José Mª.

    2014-01-01

    Seed predators can limit plant recruitment and thus profoundly impinge the dynamics of plant populations, especially when diverse seed predators (e.g., native and introduced) attack particular plant populations. Surprisingly, however, we know little concerning the potential hierarchy of spatial scales (e.g., region, population, patch) and coupled ecological correlates governing variation in the overall impact that native and introduced seed predators have on plant populations. We investigated several spatial scales and ecological correlates of pre-dispersal seed predation by invasive borer beetles in Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae), a charismatic endemic palm of the Mediteranean basin. To this end, we considered 13 palm populations (115 palms) within four geographical regions of the Iberian Peninsula. The observed interregional differences in percentages of seed predation by invasive beetles were not significant likely because of considerable variation among populations within regions. Among population variation in seed predation was largely related to level of human impact. In general, levels of seed predation were several folds higher in human-altered populations than in natural populations. Within populations, seed predation declined significantly with the increase in amount of persisting fruit pulp, which acted as a barrier against seed predators. Our results revealed that a native species (a palm) is affected by the introduction of related species because of the concurrent introduction of seed predators that feed on both the introduced and native palms. We also show how the impact of invasive seed predators on plants can vary across a hierarchy of levels ranging from variation among individuals within local populations to large scale regional divergences. PMID:25340462

  18. Developments in the rat adjuvant arthritis model and its use in therapeutic evaluation of novel non-invasive treatment by SOD in Transfersomes.

    PubMed

    Simões, S I; Delgado, T C; Lopes, R M; Jesus, S; Ferreira, A A; Morais, J A; Cruz, M E M; Corvo, M L; Martins, M B F

    2005-03-21

    The aim of this study was firstly to refine a rat model of arthritis, the adjuvant arthritis (AA) model, by studying the time course of the disease, introducing new evaluation methods such as haematological and biochemical parameters in order to identify the main stages of the disease. An optimisation of treatment schedule and evaluation criteria was developed. This refinement provided novel non-invasive anti-inflammatory treatment of the AA with SOD by using mixed lipid vesicles specially developed for transdermal delivery, Transfersomes (Tfs), this being the second major aim. The time course of AA includes a first stage: 1 day after the disease induction, the induced paw volume more than doubled and the paw circumference increased by approx. 50%. Two weeks later, another stage occurred where the disease shifted from the local arthritis form towards polyarthritis: an additional increase of volume and circumference of the induced and non-induced paws, occurred. The animals also started to loose weight around day 14 after the disease induction. Radiographic observable lesions increased correspondingly. Treatment of animals, started at day 1 after induction, by epicutaneous application of SOD-Tfs showed that 1 mg SOD/kg body weight is more efficient than 0.66 mg SOD /kg body weight. As a positive control, SOD liposomes intravenously injected were used for comparison and confirmed the biological efficiency of epicutaneously applied SOD in Tfs. SOD solution and empty Tfs epicutaneously applied exerted no effect. In addition, epicutaneous application of SOD-Tfs used prophylactically was able to suppress the induced rat paw oedema. Radiographic images showed less joint lesions in SOD-Tfs treated animals in comparison with control and placebo treated rats. It was shown for the first time that SOD incorporated into Tfs and applied onto a skin area not necessarily close to the inflamed tissue is able to promote non-invasive treatment of induced arthritis. PMID:15763624

  19. Leopard predation and primate evolution.

    PubMed

    Zuberbühler, Klaus; Jenny, David

    2002-12-01

    Although predation is an important driving force of natural selection its effects on primate evolution are still not well understood, mainly because little is known about the hunting behaviour of the primates' various predators. Here, we present data on the hunting behaviour of the leopard (Panthera pardus), a major primate predator in the Tai; forest of Ivory Coast and elsewhere. Radio-tracking data showed that forest leopards primarily hunt for monkeys on the ground during the day. Faecal analyses confirmed that primates accounted for a large proportion of the leopards' diet and revealed in detail the predation pressure exerted on the eight different monkey and one chimpanzee species. We related the species-specific predation rates to various morphological, behavioural and demographic traits that are usually considered adaptations to predation (body size, group size, group composition, reproductive behaviour, and use of forest strata). Leopard predation was most reliably associated with density, suggesting that leopards hunt primates according to abundance. Contrary to predictions, leopard predation rates were not negatively, but positively, related to body size, group size and the number of males per group, suggesting that predation by leopards did not drive the evolution of these traits in the predicted way. We discuss these findings in light of some recent experimental data and suggest that the principal effect of leopard predation has been on primates' cognitive evolution. PMID:12473487

  20. Top predators induce the evolutionary diversification of intermediate predator species.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

    We analyze the evolutionary branching phenomenon of intermediate predator species in a tritrophic food chain model by using adaptive dynamics theory. Specifically, we consider the adaptive diversification of an intermediate predator species that feeds on a prey species and is fed upon by a top predator species. We assume that the intermediate predator׳s ability to forage on the prey can adaptively improve, but this comes at the cost of decreased defense ability against the top predator. First, we identify the general properties of trade-off relationships that lead to a continuously stable strategy or to evolutionary branching in the intermediate predator species. We find that if there is an accelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy is continuously stable. In contrast, if there is a mildly decelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after branching has occurred, depending on the specific shape and strength of the trade-off relationship, the intermediate predator species may reach an evolutionarily stable dimorphism or one of the two resultant predator lineages goes extinct. PMID:26431773

  1. Bioluminescent imaging reveals novel patterns of colonization and invasion in systemic Escherichia coli K1 experimental infection in the neonatal rat.

    PubMed

    Witcomb, Luci A; Collins, James W; McCarthy, Alex J; Frankel, Gadi; Taylor, Peter W

    2015-12-01

    Key features of Escherichia coli K1-mediated neonatal sepsis and meningitis, such as a strong age dependency and development along the gut-mesentery-blood-brain course of infection, can be replicated in the newborn rat. We examined temporal and spatial aspects of E. coli K1 infection following initiation of gastrointestinal colonization in 2-day-old (P2) rats after oral administration of E. coli K1 strain A192PP and a virulent bioluminescent derivative, E. coli A192PP-lux2. A combination of bacterial enumeration in the major organs, two-dimensional bioluminescence imaging, and three-dimensional diffuse light imaging tomography with integrated micro-computed tomography indicated multiple sites of colonization within the alimentary canal; these included the tongue, esophagus, and stomach in addition to the small intestine and colon. After invasion of the blood compartment, the bacteria entered the central nervous system, with restricted colonization of the brain, and also invaded the major organs, in line with increases in the severity of symptoms of infection. Both keratinized and nonkeratinized surfaces of esophagi were colonized to a considerably greater extent in susceptible P2 neonates than in corresponding tissues from infection-resistant 9-day-old rat pups; the bacteria appeared to damage and penetrate the nonkeratinized esophageal epithelium of infection-susceptible P2 animals, suggesting the esophagus represents a portal of entry for E. coli K1 into the systemic circulation. Thus, multimodality imaging of experimental systemic infections in real time indicates complex dynamic patterns of colonization and dissemination that provide new insights into the E. coli K1 infection of the neonatal rat. PMID:26351276

  2. Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus in a rat model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis by real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanan; Park, Steven; Warn, Peter; Shrief, Raghdaa; Harrison, Elizabeth; Perlin, David S

    2010-04-01

    Rapid and sensitive detection of Aspergillus from clinical samples may facilitate the early diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). A real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) method was investigated by use of an inhalational rat model of IPA. Immunosuppressed male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to Aspergillus fumigatus spores for an hour in an aerosol chamber. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, lung tissues, and whole blood were collected from five infected rats at 1, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h postinfection and five uninfected rats at the end of the experiment. Total nucleic acid (TNA) was extracted on an easyMAG instrument. A primer-molecular beacon set targeting 28S rRNA was designed to detect Aspergillus spp. The results were compared to those of quantitative PCR (qPCR) (18S rDNA) and quantitative culture. The analytical sensitivity of the real-time NASBA assay was <1 CFU/assay. A linear range of detection was demonstrated over 5 log units of conidia (10 to 10(5) spores). Both NASBA and qPCR showed a progressive increase in lung tissue burdens, while the CFU counts were stable over time. The fungal burdens in BAL fluid were more variable and not indicative of a progressive infection. The results of both real-time assays correlated well for both sample types (r = 0.869 and P < 0.0001 for lung tissue, r = 0.887 and P < 0.0001 for BAL fluid). For all whole-blood specimens, NASBA identified Aspergillus-positive samples in the group from which samples were collected at 72 h postinfection (three of five samples) and the group from which samples were collected at 96 h postinfection (five of five samples), but no positive results were obtained by culture or PCR. Real-time NASBA is highly sensitive and useful for the detection of Aspergillus in an experimental model of IPA. PMID:20129972

  3. Patterns of avian nest predators and a brood parasite among restored riparian habitats in agricultural watersheds.

    PubMed

    Maul, Jonathan D; Smiley, Peter C; Cooper, Charles M

    2005-09-01

    In fragmented edge-dominated landscapes, nest predation and brood parasitism may reduce avian reproductive success and, ultimately, populations of some passerine species. In the fragmented agroecosystem of northwest Mississippi, placement of drop-pipe structures has been used as a restoration technique for abating gully erosion along stream banks. These actions have formed small herbaceous and woody habitat extensions into former agricultural lands. We quantified species relative abundances, species richness, and evenness of avian nest predators and a brood parasite within four categories of constructed habitat resulting from drop-pipe installation. Differences in the abundance of two nest predators, cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus) and blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), were observed among constructed habitats. However, relative abundances of other predators such as common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), and hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), and the obligate brood parasite brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) did not differ among four habitat categories. Although species richness, abundance, and evenness of potential nest predators were generally similar among the constructed habitats, predator species composition varied, suggesting that these habitats supported different predator communities. This difference is important because as each predator species is added to or deleted from the community, variation may occur in the framework of prey search methods, predator strategies, and potentially overall predation pressure. We suggest that land managers using drop-pipes as part of stream restoration projects allow for the development of the constructed habitat with the largest area and greatest vegetative structure. PMID:16160783

  4. Effect of different predation rate on predator-prey model with harvesting, disease and refuge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pusawidjayanti, K.; Suryanto, A.; Wibowo, R. B. E.

    2015-03-01

    This paper deals with predator-prey interactions with predator harvesting and prey refuge. The predator may be infective by a disease. Therefore the predator is divided into two subclasses, i.e. infective and susceptible predator. It is assumed that susceptible predator have higher predation rate than infective predator, and hence the growth rate of susceptible predator will be higher than infective predator. It is found that the model has five equilibrium points. Finally, numerical simulation are presented not only to illustrate equilibrium point but also to illustrate effect of predation rate.

  5. Collective Predation and Escape Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelani, Luca

    2012-09-01

    The phenomenon of collective predation is analyzed by using a simple individual-based model reproducing spatial animal movements. Two groups of self-propelled organisms are simulated by using Vicseklike models including steric intragroup repulsion. Chase and escape are described by intergroups interactions, attraction (for predators) or repulsion (for preys) from nearest particles of the opposite group. The quantitative analysis of some relevant quantities (total catch time, lifetime distribution, predation rate) allows us to characterize many aspects of the predation phenomenon and gives insights into the study of efficient escape strategies. The reported findings could be of relevance for many basic and applied disciplines, from statistical physics, to ecology, and robotics.

  6. Ecological chaos in the wake of invasion.

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, J A; Lewis, M A; Fowler, A C

    1995-01-01

    Irregularities in observed population densities have traditionally been attributed to discretization of the underlying dynamics. We propose an alternative explanation by demonstrating the evolution of spatiotemporal chaos in reaction-diffusion models for predator-prey interactions. The chaos is generated naturally in the wake of invasive waves of predators. We discuss in detail the mechanism by which the chaos is generated. By considering a mathematical caricature of the predator-prey models, we go on to explain the dynamical origin of the irregular behavior and to justify our assertion that the behavior we present is a genuine example of spatiotemporal chaos. Images Fig. 7 PMID:7708678

  7. Bat Predation by Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (∼90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed. PMID:23516436

  8. Role of Type IV Pili in Predation by Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

    PubMed Central

    Chanyi, Ryan M.; Koval, Susan F.

    2014-01-01

    Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, as an obligate predator of Gram-negative bacteria, requires contact with the surface of a prey cell in order to initiate the life cycle. After attachment, the predator penetrates the prey cell outer membrane and enters the periplasmic space. Attack phase cells of B. bacteriovorus have polar Type IV pili that are required for predation. In other bacteria, these pili have the ability to extend and retract via the PilT protein. B. bacteriovorus has two pilT genes, pilT1 and pilT2, that have been implicated in the invasion process. Markerless in-frame deletion mutants were constructed in a prey-independent mutant to assess the role of PilT1 and PilT2 in the life cycle. When predation was assessed using liquid cocultures, all mutants produced bdelloplasts of Escherichia coli. These results demonstrated that PilT1 and PilT2 are not required for invasion of prey cells. Predation of the mutants on biofilms of E. coli was also assessed. Wild type B. bacteriovorus 109JA and the pilT1 mutant decreased the mass of the biofilm to 35.4% and 27.9% respectively. The pilT1pilT2 mutant was able to prey on the biofilm, albeit less efficiently with 50.2% of the biofilm remaining. The pilT2 mutant was unable to disrupt the biofilm, leaving 92.5% of the original biofilm after predation. The lack of PilT2 function may impede the ability of B. bacteriovorus to move in the extracellular polymeric matrix and find a prey cell. The role of Type IV pili in the life cycle of B. bacteriovorus is thus for initial recognition of and attachment to a prey cell in liquid cocultures, and possibly for movement within the matrix of a biofilm. PMID:25409535

  9. Intraguild predation in pioneer predator communities of alpine glacier forelands

    PubMed Central

    Raso, Lorna; Sint, Daniela; Mayer, Rebecca; Plangg, Simon; Recheis, Thomas; Brunner, Silvia; Kaufmann, Rüdiger; Traugott, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Pioneer communities establishing themselves in the barren terrain in front of glacier forelands consist principally of predator species such as carabid beetles and lycosid spiders. The fact that so many different predators can co-inhabit an area with no apparent primary production was initially explained by allochthonous material deposited in these forelands. However, whether these populations can be sustained on allochthonous material alone is questionable and recent studies point towards this assumption to be flawed. Intraguild predation (IGP) might play an important role in these pioneer predator assemblages, especially in the very early successional stages where other prey is scarce. Here, we investigated IGP between the main predator species and their consumption of Collembola, an important autochthonous alternative prey, within a glacier foreland in the Ötztal (Austrian Alps). Multiplex PCR and stable isotope analysis were used to characterize the trophic niches in an early and late pioneer stage over 2 years. Results showed that intraguild prey was consumed by all invertebrate predators, particularly the larger carabid species. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the DNA detection frequency of IGP prey was not significantly higher in early than in late pioneer stage, which was corroborated by the stable isotope analysis. Collembola were the most frequently detected prey in all of the predators, and the overall prey DNA detection patterns were consistent between years. Our findings show that IGP appears as a constant in these pioneer predator communities and that it remains unaffected by successional changes. PMID:24383765

  10. Quantitative Analysis of Lysobacter Predation

    PubMed Central

    Seccareccia, Ivana; Kost, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Lysobacter are considered to be facultative predators that use a feeding strategy similar to that of myxobacteria. Experimental data supporting this assumption, however, are scarce. Therefore, the predatory activities of three Lysobacter species were tested in the prey spot plate assay and in the lawn predation assay, which are commonly used to analyze myxobacterial predation. Surprisingly, only one of the tested Lysobacter species showed predatory behavior in the two assays. This result suggested that not all Lysobacter strains are predatory or, alternatively, that the assays were not appropriate for determining the predatory potential of this bacterial group. To differentiate between the two scenarios, predation was tested in a CFU-based bioassay. For this purpose, defined numbers of Lysobacter cells were mixed together with potential prey bacteria featuring phenotypic markers, such as distinctive pigmentation or antibiotic resistance. After 24 h, cocultivated cells were streaked out on agar plates and sizes of bacterial populations were individually determined by counting the respective colonies. Using the CFU-based predation assay, we observed that Lysobacter spp. strongly antagonized other bacteria under nutrient-deficient conditions. Simultaneously, the Lysobacter population was increasing, which together with the killing of the cocultured bacteria indicated predation. Variation of the predator/prey ratio revealed that all three Lysobacter species tested needed to outnumber their prey for efficient predation, suggesting that they exclusively practiced group predation. In summary, the CFU-based predation assay not only enabled the quantification of prey killing and consumption by Lysobacter spp. but also provided insights into their mode of predation. PMID:26231654

  11. Using consumption rate to assess potential predators for biological control of white perch

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gosch, N.J.C.; Pope, K.L.

    2011-01-01

    Control of undesirable fishes is important in aquatic systems, and using predation as a tool for biological control is an attractive option to fishery biologists. However, determining the appropriate predators for biological control is critical for success. The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of consumption rate as an index to determine the most effective predators for biological control of an invasive fish. Consumption rate values were calculated for nine potential predators that prey on white perch Morone americana in Branched Oak and Pawnee reservoirs, Nebraska. The consumption rate index provided a unique and insightful means of determining the potential effectiveness of each predator species in controlling white perch. Cumulative frequency distributions facilitated interpretation by providing a graphical presentation of consumption rates by all individuals within each predator species. Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, walleye Sander vitreus and sauger S. canadensis were the most efficient white perch predators in both reservoirs; however, previous attempts to increase biomass of these predators have failed suggesting that successful biological control is unlikely using existing predator species in these Nebraska reservoirs. ?? 2011 ONEMA.

  12. Intraguild predation and competition impacts on a subordinate predator.

    PubMed

    Björklund, Heidi; Santangeli, Andrea; Blanchet, F Guillaume; Huitu, Otso; Lehtoranta, Hannu; Lindén, Harto; Valkama, Jari; Laaksonen, Toni

    2016-05-01

    Intraguild (IG) predation and interspecific competition may affect the settlement and success of species in their habitats. Using data on forest-dwelling hawks from Finland, we addressed the impact of an IG predator, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis (goshawk), on the breeding of an IG prey, the common buzzard Buteo buteo. We hypothesized that the subordinate common buzzard avoids breeding in the proximity of goshawks and that interspecific competitors, mainly Strix owls, may also disturb common buzzards by competing for nests and food. Our results show that common buzzards more frequently occupied territories with a low IG predation threat and with no interspecific competitors. We also observed that common buzzards avoided territories with high levels of grouse, the main food of goshawks, possibly due to a risk of IG predation since abundant grouse can attract goshawks. High levels of small rodents attracted interspecific competitors to common buzzard territories and created a situation where there was not only an abundance of food but also an abundance of competitors for the food. These results suggest interplay between top-down and bottom-up processes which influence the interactions between avian predator species. We conclude that the common buzzard needs to balance the risks of IG predation and interference competition with the availability of its own resources. The presence of other predators associated with high food levels may impede a subordinate predator taking full advantage of the available food. Based on our results, it appears that interspecific interactions with dominant predators have the potential to influence the distribution pattern of subordinate predators. PMID:26841931

  13. Corridors cause differential seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.

    2005-06-01

    Orrock, John, L., and Ellen I. Damschen. 2005. Corridors cause differential seed predation. Ecol. Apps. 15(3):793-798. Abstract. Corridors that connect disjunct populations are heavily debated in conservation, largely because the effects of corridors have rarely been evaluated by replicated, large-scale studies. Using large-scale experimental landscapes, we found that, in addition to documented positive effects, corridors also have negative impacts on bird-dispersed plants by affecting seed predation, and that overall predation is a function of the seeds primary consumer (rodents or arthropods). Both large-seeded Prunus serotina and small-seeded Rubus allegheniensis experienced greater predation in connected patches. However, P. serotina experienced significantly less seed predation compared to R. allegheniensis in unconnected patches, due to decreased impacts of rodent seed predators on this large-seeded species. Viewed in light of previous evidence that corridors have beneficial impacts by increasing pollination and seed dispersal, this work demonstrates that corridors may have both positive and negative effects for the same plant species at different life stages. Moreover, these effects may differentially affect plant species within the same community: seeds primarily consumed by rodents suffer less predation in unconnected patches. By shifting the impact of rodent and arthropod seed predators, corridors constructed for plant conservation could lead to shifts in the seed bank.

  14. Dynamics of a plant-herbivore-predator system with plant-toxicity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feng, Zhilan; Qiu, Zhipeng; Liu, Rongsong; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2011-01-01

    A system of ordinary differential equations is considered that models the interactions of two plant species populations, an herbivore population, and a predator population. We use a toxin-determined functional response to describe the interactions between plant species and herbivores and use a Holling Type II functional response to model the interactions between herbivores and predators. In order to study how the predators impact the succession of vegetation, we derive invasion conditions under which a plant species can invade into an environment in which another plant species is co-existing with a herbivore population with or without a predator population. These conditions provide threshold quantities for several parameters that may play a key role in the dynamics of the system. Numerical simulations are conducted to reinforce the analytical results. This model can be applied to a boreal ecosystem trophic chain to examine the possible cascading effects of predator-control actions when plant species differ in their levels of toxic defense.

  15. Spreading and vanishing in the diffusive prey-predator model with a free boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Mingxin

    2015-06-01

    This paper deals with the diffusive Lotka-Volterra type prey-predator model with a free boundary over a one dimensional habitat. This problem may be used to describe the interaction between indigenous species and invasive species and the spreading of such two species, with the free boundary representing the expanding front. Our main purpose is to study the spreading and vanishing phenomena and long time behaviors of prey and predator.

  16. Development of a Novel Inhalational Model of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Rats and Comparative Evaluation of Three Biomarkers for Its Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Suhail; Al-Shaikh, Ali A.; Khan, Ziauddin

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a thermotolerant fungus, is the main causative agent of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in immunocompromised patients that is associated with high mortality rates. Early diagnosis of IPA is crucial for mortality reduction and improved prognosis. An experimental inhalational model of IPA was developed in rats and the efficacy of three biomarkers, namely β-D-glucan (BDG), a panfungal marker, galactomannan (GM), a genus-specific marker, and A. fumigatus DNA, a species-specific marker was evaluated in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens at different time points postinfection for early diagnosis of IPA. BDG and GM were detected by using commercial Fungitell and Platelia Aspergillus EIA kits, respectively. A. fumigatus DNA was detected by developing a sensitive, single-step PCR assay. IPA was successfully developed in immunosuppressed rats and all animals until 5 days post-infection were positive for A. fumigatus by culture and KOH-calcofluor microscopy also showed A. fumigatus in 19 of 24 (79%) lung tissue samples. Fourteen of 30 (47%) and 27 of 30 (90%) serum and BAL specimens, respectively, were positive for all three biomarkers with 100% specificity (none of sera or BAL specimens of 12 control rats was positive for biomarkers). Our data show that BAL is a superior specimen than serum and combined detection of BDG, GM and A. fumigatus DNA provide a sensitive diagnosis of IPA in an experimental animal model. Moreover, combined detection of GM and DNA in BAL and detection of either GM or DNA in serum was also positive in 27 of 30 (90%) animals. For economic reasons and considering that the positive predictive value of BDG is low, the detection of GM and/or DNA in serum and BAL samples has the potential to serve as an integral component of the diagnostic-driven strategy in high-risk patients suspected for IPA. PMID:24955575

  17. Development of a novel inhalational model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in rats and comparative evaluation of three biomarkers for its diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Suhail; Al-Shaikh, Ali A; Khan, Ziauddin

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, a thermotolerant fungus, is the main causative agent of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in immunocompromised patients that is associated with high mortality rates. Early diagnosis of IPA is crucial for mortality reduction and improved prognosis. An experimental inhalational model of IPA was developed in rats and the efficacy of three biomarkers, namely β-D-glucan (BDG), a panfungal marker, galactomannan (GM), a genus-specific marker, and A. fumigatus DNA, a species-specific marker was evaluated in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens at different time points postinfection for early diagnosis of IPA. BDG and GM were detected by using commercial Fungitell and Platelia Aspergillus EIA kits, respectively. A. fumigatus DNA was detected by developing a sensitive, single-step PCR assay. IPA was successfully developed in immunosuppressed rats and all animals until 5 days post-infection were positive for A. fumigatus by culture and KOH-calcofluor microscopy also showed A. fumigatus in 19 of 24 (79%) lung tissue samples. Fourteen of 30 (47%) and 27 of 30 (90%) serum and BAL specimens, respectively, were positive for all three biomarkers with 100% specificity (none of sera or BAL specimens of 12 control rats was positive for biomarkers). Our data show that BAL is a superior specimen than serum and combined detection of BDG, GM and A. fumigatus DNA provide a sensitive diagnosis of IPA in an experimental animal model. Moreover, combined detection of GM and DNA in BAL and detection of either GM or DNA in serum was also positive in 27 of 30 (90%) animals. For economic reasons and considering that the positive predictive value of BDG is low, the detection of GM and/or DNA in serum and BAL samples has the potential to serve as an integral component of the diagnostic-driven strategy in high-risk patients suspected for IPA. PMID:24955575

  18. Stability of an intraguild predation system with mutual predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2016-04-01

    We examine intraguild predation (IGP), in which species both compete for resources or space and prey on each other. The IGP system is modeled here by a lattice gas model of the mean-field theory. First, we consider the IGP system of one species in which individuals of the same species cannibalize each other. The dynamical behavior of the model demonstrates a mechanism by which the intraspecific predation promotes persistence of the species. Then we consider the IGP system of two species with mutual predation. Global dynamics of the model exhibit basic properties of IGP: (i) When both species' efficiencies in converting the consumptions into fitness are large, the outcome of their interaction is mutualistic in form and the IGP promotes persistence of both species. (ii) When one species' efficiency is large but the other's is small, the interaction outcomes become parasitic in nature, in which an obligate species can survive through the mutual predation with a facultative one. (iii) When both species' efficiencies are small, the interaction outcomes are competitive in nature and the IGP leads to extinction of one of the species. A novel result of this work is that varying one parameter or population density of the species can lead to transition of interaction outcomes between mutualism, parasitism and competition. On the other hand, dynamics of the models demonstrate that over-predation or under-predation will result in extinction of one/both species, while intermediate predation is favorable under certain parameter ranges.

  19. Presence of Native Prey Does Not Divert Predation on Exotic Pests by Harmonia axyridis in Its Indigenous Range

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Gui Fen; Lövei, Gábor L; Wu, Xia; Wan, Fang Hao

    2016-01-01

    In China, two invasive pests, Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 (Gennadius) and Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), often co-occur with the native pest, Aphis gossypii (Glover), on plants of Malvaceae and Cucurbitaceae. All three are preyed on by the native ladybird, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas); however, the native predator might be expected to prefer native prey to the exotic ones due to a shared evolutionary past. In order to clarify whether the presence of native prey affected the consumption of these two invasive species by the native predator, field-cage experiments were conducted. A duplex qPCR was used to simultaneously detect both non-native pests within the gut of the predator. H. axyridis readily accepted both invasive prey species, but preferred B. tabaci. With all three prey species available, H. axyridis consumption of B. tabaci was 39.3±2.2% greater than consumption of F. occidentalis. The presence of A. gossypii reduced (by 59.9% on B. tabaci, and by 60.6% on F. occidentalis), but did not stop predation on the two exotic prey when all three were present. The consumption of B. tabaci was similar whether it was alone or together with A. gossypii. However, the presence of aphids reduced predation on the invasive thrips. Thus, some invasive prey may be incorporated into the prey range of a native generalist predator even in the presence of preferred native prey. PMID:27391468

  20. Presence of Native Prey Does Not Divert Predation on Exotic Pests by Harmonia axyridis in Its Indigenous Range.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Gui Fen; Lövei, Gábor L; Wu, Xia; Wan, Fang Hao

    2016-01-01

    In China, two invasive pests, Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 (Gennadius) and Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), often co-occur with the native pest, Aphis gossypii (Glover), on plants of Malvaceae and Cucurbitaceae. All three are preyed on by the native ladybird, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas); however, the native predator might be expected to prefer native prey to the exotic ones due to a shared evolutionary past. In order to clarify whether the presence of native prey affected the consumption of these two invasive species by the native predator, field-cage experiments were conducted. A duplex qPCR was used to simultaneously detect both non-native pests within the gut of the predator. H. axyridis readily accepted both invasive prey species, but preferred B. tabaci. With all three prey species available, H. axyridis consumption of B. tabaci was 39.3±2.2% greater than consumption of F. occidentalis. The presence of A. gossypii reduced (by 59.9% on B. tabaci, and by 60.6% on F. occidentalis), but did not stop predation on the two exotic prey when all three were present. The consumption of B. tabaci was similar whether it was alone or together with A. gossypii. However, the presence of aphids reduced predation on the invasive thrips. Thus, some invasive prey may be incorporated into the prey range of a native generalist predator even in the presence of preferred native prey. PMID:27391468

  1. Deciphering Scavenging Propensity Among Arthropod Predators.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scavenging is a well documented feeding behavior among many arthrop predators. However, quantifying scavenging feeding activity is not well understood because many predators are small elusive. This makes directly observing predation events in nature almost impossible. If predators prefer dead prey ...

  2. Non-Invasive Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Rats for Prediction of the Fate of Grafted Kidneys from Cardiac Death Donors

    PubMed Central

    Kaimori, Jun-Ya; Iwai, Satomi; Hatanaka, Masaki; Teratani, Takumi; Obi, Yoshitsugu; Tsuda, Hidetoshi; Isaka, Yoshitaka; Yokawa, Takashi; Kuroda, Kagayaki; Ichimaru, Naotsugu; Okumi, Masayoshi; Yazawa, Koji; Rakugi, Hiromi; Nonomura, Norio; Takahara, Shiro; Kobayashi, Eiji

    2013-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to assess cardiac death (CD) kidney grafts before transplantation to determine whether blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) and diffusion MRI techniques can predict damage to these grafts after transplantation. We assessed CD kidney tissue by BOLD and diffusion MRI. We also examined pathological and gene expression changes in CD kidney grafts before and after transplantation. Although there was significantly more red cell congestion (RCC) in the inner stripe of the outer medulla (IS) in both 1 h after cardiac death (CD1h) and CD2h kidneys destined for grafts before transplantation compared with CD0h (p<0.05), CD2h, but not CD1h, kidney grafts had significantly different RCC in the IS 2 days after transplantation (p<0.05). Consistent with these pathological findings, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) gene expression was increased only in the cortex and medulla of CD2h kidney grafts after transplantation. BOLD MRI successfully and non-invasively imaged and quantified RCC in the IS in both CD1h and CD2h kidney grafts (p<0.05). Diffusion MRI also non-invasively assessed increased the apparent diffusion coefficient in the IS and decreased it in the outer stripe (OS) of CD2h grafts, in concordance with interstitial edema in the IS and tubule cellular edema in the OS. These two types of edema in the outer medulla could explain the prolonged RCC in the IS only of CD2h kidney grafts, creating part of a vicious cycle inhibiting red cells coming out of capillary vessels in the IS. Perfusion with University of Wisconsin solution before MRI measurements did not diminish the difference in tissue damage between CD1h and CD2h kidney grafts. BOLD and diffusion MRI, which are readily available non-invasive tools for evaluating CD kidney grafts tissue damage, can predict prolonged organ damage, and therefore the outcome, of transplanted CD kidney grafts. PMID:23667641

  3. Integrated management of Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius: is control enhanced when seed predation is combined with prescribed fire or mowing?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Integrated weed management (IWM) strategies are being advocated and employed to control invasive plants species. Prescribed fire, mechanical removal, and biological control (seed predator Exapion fuscirostre) are used to manage the invasive plant, Cytisus scoparius, in prairies at Fort Lewis, Washi...

  4. Chemotactic predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Ankush; Kruppa, Tobias; Löwen, Hartmut

    2011-03-01

    A discrete chemotactic predator-prey model is proposed in which the prey secrets a diffusing chemical which is sensed by the predator and vice versa. Two dynamical states corresponding to catching and escaping are identified and it is shown that steady hunting is unstable. For the escape process, the predator-prey distance is diffusive for short times but exhibits a transient subdiffusive behavior which scales as a power law t¹/³ with time t and ultimately crosses over to diffusion again. This allows us to classify the motility and dynamics of various predatory microbes and phagocytes. In particular, there is a distinct region in the parameter space where they prove to be infallible predators. PMID:21517532

  5. Functional photoacoustic tomography for non-invasive imaging of cerebral blood oxygenation and blood volume in rat brain in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xueding; Xie, Xueyi; Ku, Geng; Stoica, George; Wang, Lihong V.

    2005-04-01

    Based on the multi-wavelength laser-based photoacoustic tomography, non-invasive in vivo imaging of functional parameters, including the hemoglobin oxygen saturation and the total concentration of hemoglobin, in small-animal brains was realized. The high sensitivity of this technique is based on the spectroscopic differences between oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin while its spatial resolution is bandwidth-limited by the photoacoustic signals rather than by the optical diffusion as in optical imaging. The point-by-point distributions of blood oxygenation and blood volume in the cerebral cortical venous vessels, altered by systemic physiological modulations including hyperoxia, normoxia and hypoxia, were visualized successfully through the intact skin and skull. This technique, with its prominent intrinsic advantages, can potentially accelerate the progress in neuroscience and provide important new insights into cerebrovascular physiology and brain function that are of great significance to the neuroscience community.

  6. Habitat segregation mediates predation by the benthic fish Cottus gobio on the exotic amphipod species Gammarus roeseli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaldonski, Nicolas; Lagrue, Clément; Motreuil, Sébastien; Rigaud, Thierry; Bollache, Loïc

    2008-09-01

    Predation is often considered as one of the most important biotic factor determining the success of exotic species. The freshwater amphipod Gammarus roeseli has widely colonized Western Europe, where it is frequently found in sympatry with the native species ( Gammarus pulex). Previous laboratory experiments revealed that G. roeseli may have an advantage over G. pulex through differential predation by native fish (brown trout). Morphological anti-predator defences (spines) were found responsible for lower rates of predation on the invasive G. roeseli. Here, using both field surveys and laboratory experiments, we tested if a differential of predation exists with other fish predators naturally encountered by gammarids. The main predators present in our field site were nocturnal benthic feeders (mainly bullheads, Cottus gobio). Fish diet analysis showed that, compared to its global availability in the river, G. roeseli was less consumed than G. pulex. In the field, however, G. roeseli was found mainly in the aquatic vegetation whereas G. pulex was found in all habitat types. Laboratory experiments in microcosms revealed that G. roeseli was less prone to predation by C. gobio only when vegetation was present. Depending on the type of predator, the differential of predation could therefore be mediated by antipredator behaviour, and a better usage of refuges, rather than by morphological defences.

  7. Non-invasive characterization of polyurethane-based tissue constructs in a rat abdominal repair model using high frequency ultrasound elasticity imaging.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jiao; Takanari, Keisuke; Hong, Yi; Lee, Kee-Won; Amoroso, Nicholas J; Wang, Yadong; Wagner, William R; Kim, Kang

    2013-04-01

    The evaluation of candidate materials and designs for soft tissue scaffolds would benefit from the ability to monitor the mechanical remodeling of the implant site without the need for periodic animal sacrifice and explant analysis. Toward this end, the ability of non-invasive ultrasound elasticity imaging (UEI) to assess temporal mechanical property changes in three different types of porous, biodegradable polyurethane scaffolds was evaluated in a rat abdominal wall repair model. The polymers utilized were salt-leached scaffolds of poly(carbonate urethane) urea, poly(ester urethane) urea and poly(ether ester urethane) urea at 85% porosity. A total of 60 scaffolds (20 each type) were implanted in a full thickness muscle wall replacement in the abdomens of 30 rats. The constructs were ultrasonically scanned every 2 weeks and harvested at weeks 4, 8 and 12 for compression testing or histological analysis. UEI demonstrated different temporal stiffness trends among the different scaffold types, while the stiffness of the surrounding native tissue remained unchanged. The changes in average normalized strains developed in the constructs from UEI compared well with the changes of mean compliance from compression tests and histology. The average normalized strains and the compliance for the same sample exhibited a strong linear relationship. The ability of UEI to identify herniation and to characterize the distribution of local tissue in-growth with high resolution was also investigated. In summary, the reported data indicate that UEI may allow tissue engineers to sequentially evaluate the progress of tissue construct mechanical behavior in vivo and in some cases may reduce the need for interim time point animal sacrifice. PMID:23347836

  8. Non-invasive collection of exhaled breath condensate in rats: evaluation of pH, H₂O₂ and NOx in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury.

    PubMed

    de Broucker, Virginie; Hassoun, Sidi Mohamed; Hulo, Sébastien; Chérot-Kornobis, Nathalie; Nevière, Rémi; Matran, Régis; Sobaszek, Annie; Edme, Jean-Louis

    2012-11-01

    The analysis of exhaled breath condensate (EBC) offers the potential for identifying lung disease markers in humans and animals, but methodological issues and standardised procedures need to be addressed before the technique can be considered for use in applications to help understand the role of environmental pollution in respiratory diseases. The purpose of this study was to develop and implement a new device using a glass-chamber for collecting EBC non-invasively from rats in order to analyse EBC markers in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury. Eighty-four adult rats were used in five different series of experiments to determine the source of EBC formation, intra-day and inter-day variability, and the influence of environmental parameters on EBC markers. The hypothesis that inflammation induces an oxidative stress was assessed by measuring pH, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in EBC. The results confirmed that EBC fluid was generated at the level of the respiratory tract. The repeatability studies of disease markers indicated higher concentrations of NOx and H(2)O(2) at midday compared to the morning, but there were no significant difference between measurements on consecutive days. EBC volume was influenced by both ambient temperature and humidity. Moreover, 3h after LPS challenge, significantly increased concentrations of both NOx and H(2)O(2) were observed in EBC of the LPS group compared with controls (P=0.005 and P=0.027, respectively). These results suggested that EBC collection may be a valuable tool to monitor the presence of markers, such as NOx and H(2)O(2), in an animal model of LPS-induced acute lung injury. PMID:22658821

  9. Non-invasive Characterization of Polyurethane-based Tissue Constructs in a Rat Abdominal Repair Model Using High Frequency Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jiao; Takanari, Keisuke; Hong, Yi; Lee, Kee-Won; Amoroso, Nicholas J.; Wang, Yadong; Wagner, William R.; Kim, Kang

    2013-01-01

    The evaluation of candidate materials and designs for soft tissue scaffolds would benefit from the ability to monitor the mechanical remodeling of the implant site without the need for periodic animal sacrifice and explant analysis. Toward this end, the ability of non-invasive ultrasound elasticity imaging (UEI) to assess temporal mechanical property changes in three different types of porous, biodegradable polyurethane scaffolds was evaluated in a rat abdominal wall repair model. The polymers utilized were salt-leached scaffolds of poly(carbonate urethane) urea, poly(ester urethane) urea and poly(ether ester urethane) urea at 85% porosity. A total of 60 scaffolds (20 each type) were implanted in a full thickness muscle wall replacement in the abdomens of 30 rats. The constructs were ultrasonically scanned every 2 weeks and harvested at weeks 4, 8 and 12 for compression testing or histological analysis. UEI demonstrated different temporal stiffness trends among the different scaffold types, while the stiffness of the surrounding native tissue remained unchanged. The changes in average normalized strains developed in the constructs from UEI compared well with the changes of mean compliance from compression tests and histology. The average normalized strains and the compliance for the same sample exhibited a strong linear relationship. The ability of UEI to identify herniation and to characterize the distribution of local tissue in-growth with high resolution was also investigated. In summary, the reported data indicate that UEI may allow tissue engineers to sequentially evaluate the progress of tissue construct mechanical behavior in vivo and in some cases may reduce the need for interim time point animal sacrifice. PMID:23347836

  10. Investigating Invasives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lightbody, Mary

    2008-01-01

    Invasive species, commonly known as "invasives," are nonnative plants, animals, and microbes that completely take over and change an established ecosystem. The consequences of invasives' spread are significant. In fact, many of the species that appear on the Endangered Species list are threatened by invasives. Therefore, the topic of invasive…

  11. Bacterial Alkaloids Prevent Amoebal Predation.

    PubMed

    Klapper, Martin; Götze, Sebastian; Barnett, Robert; Willing, Karsten; Stallforth, Pierre

    2016-07-25

    Bacterial defense mechanisms have evolved to protect bacteria against predation by nematodes, predatory bacteria, or amoebae. We identified novel bacterial alkaloids (pyreudiones A-D) that protect the producer, Pseudomonas fluorescens HKI0770, against amoebal predation. Isolation, structure elucidation, total synthesis, and a proposed biosynthetic pathway for these structures are presented. The generation of P. fluorescens gene-deletion mutants unable to produce pyreudiones rendered the bacterium edible to a variety of soil-dwelling amoebae. PMID:27294402

  12. Modelling Landscape-Level Numerical Responses of Predators to Prey: The Case of Cats and Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Jennyffer; Glen, Alistair S.; Pech, Roger P.

    2013-01-01

    Predator-prey systems can extend over large geographical areas but empirical modelling of predator-prey dynamics has been largely limited to localised scales. This is due partly to difficulties in estimating predator and prey abundances over large areas. Collection of data at suitably large scales has been a major problem in previous studies of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and their predators. This applies in Western Europe, where conserving rabbits and predators such as Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is important, and in other parts of the world where rabbits are an invasive species supporting populations of introduced, and sometimes native, predators. In pastoral regions of New Zealand, rabbits are the primary prey of feral cats (Felis catus) that threaten native fauna. We estimate the seasonal numerical response of cats to fluctuations in rabbit numbers in grassland–shrubland habitat across the Otago and Mackenzie regions of the South Island of New Zealand. We use spotlight counts over 1645 km of transects to estimate rabbit and cat abundances with a novel modelling approach that accounts simultaneously for environmental stochasticity, density dependence and varying detection probability. Our model suggests that cat abundance is related consistently to rabbit abundance in spring and summer, possibly through increased rabbit numbers improving the fecundity and juvenile survival of cats. Maintaining rabbits at low abundance should therefore suppress cat numbers, relieving predation pressure on native prey. Our approach provided estimates of the abundance of cats and rabbits over a large geographical area. This was made possible by repeated sampling within each season, which allows estimation of detection probabilities. A similar approach could be applied to predator-prey systems elsewhere, and could be adapted to any method of direct observation in which there is no double-counting of individuals. Reliable estimates of numerical responses are essential

  13. Is naïveté forever? Alien predator and aggressor recognition by two endemic island reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gérard, A; Jourdan, H; Cugnière, C; Millon, A; Vidal, E

    2014-11-01

    The disproportionate impacts of invasive predators are often attributed to the naïveté (i.e., inefficient or non-existing anti-predator behavior) of island native species having evolved without such predators. Naïveté has long been regarded as a fixed characteristic, but a few recent studies indicate a capacity for behavioral adaptation in native species in contact with alien predators. Here, we tested whether two reptiles endemic to New Caledonia, a skink, Caledoniscincus austrocaledonicus, and a gecko, Bavayia septuiclavis, recognized and responded to the odor of six introduced species (two rodents, the feral cat, and three species of ants). We used an experimental design in which reptiles had a choice of retreat sites with or without the odor of predators or aggressors. Skinks avoided two or three of the predators, whereas geckos avoided at most one. These results suggest that diurnal skinks are more responsive than nocturnal geckos to the odor of introduced predators. Neither skinks nor geckos avoided the three species of ants. Thus, the odors of alien predators are shown to influence retreat site selection by two native island reptiles. Moreover, the study suggests that this loss of naïveté varies among native species, probably as a consequence of the intensity of the threat and of time since introduction. These findings argue for re-thinking the behavioral flexibility of ectothermic reptiles in terms of their responses to biological invasion. PMID:25193147

  14. Mutualism Between Fire Ants and Mealybugs Reduces Lady Beetle Predation.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shoujie; Zeng, Ling; Xu, Yijuan

    2015-08-01

    Solenopsis invicta Buren is an important invasive pest that has a negative impact on biodiversity. However, current knowledge regarding the ecological effects of its interaction with honeydew-producing hemipteran insects is inadequate. To partially address this problem, we assessed whether the interaction between the two invasive species S. invicta and Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley mediated predation of P. solenopsis by Propylaea japonica Thunbery lady beetles using field investigations and indoor experiments. S. invicta tending significantly reduced predation by the Pr. japonica lady beetle, and this response was more pronounced for lady beetle larvae than for adults. A field investigation showed that the species richness and quantity of lady beetle species in plots with fire ants were much lower than in those without fire ants. In an olfaction bioassay, lady beetles preferred to move toward untended rather than tended mealybugs. Overall, these results suggest that mutualism between S. invicta and P. solenopsis may have a serious impact on predation of P. solenopsis by lady beetles, which could promote growth of P. solenopsis populations. PMID:26470296

  15. [Comparison of glucan and galactomannan tests with real-time PCR for diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis in a neutropenic rat model].

    PubMed

    Aydoğan, Sibel; Kuştimur, Semra; Kalkancı, Ayşe

    2010-07-01

    The incidence of aspergillosis which has high mortality rates, has increased gradually. Since invasive aspergillosis (IA) is one of the leading causes of death in immunocompromized and neutropenic patients, early and accurate diagnosis of IA is of crucial importance. The aims of this study were to compare the results of culture, real-time polymerase chain reaction (RtPCR), galactomannan (GM) antigen and glucan (GC) antigen detection tests and to evaluate their performances in view of rapid and accurate diagnosis of IA in neutropenic rat model. Female Wistar albino rats were included in the study with the consent of Animal Searching Ethical Committee and classified into three groups as healthy controls (n= 6), neutropenic controls (n= 10) and pulmonary aspergillosis (n= 35) groups. Rats were immunosuppressed with 5-flourourasil and then Aspergillus fumigatus conidia were inoculated intranasally. On the seventh day of the infection, blood, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung tissue samples were collected from the animals, and control and aspergillosis groups were compared in terms of infection markers. All of the tests (culture, RtPCR, GM and BG tests) were found to be negative in controls. At the end of the study 22 rats in aspergillosis group survived. Lung tissue samples from those 22 animals were all positive for the presence of hypha on pathological preparations, while 20 (91%) yielded Aspergillus colonies on the cultures. Aspergillus DNA was detected in 7 of the 12 BAL samples (58.3%), 7 of 19 blood samples (36.8%) and 4 of 22 lung tissue samples (18%) using RtPCR method. GM antigen was detected in 7 of 20 serum samples (35%) with a commercial kit (Platelia® Aspergillus ELISA, BioRad, France). Quantitative detection of betalucan levels were investigated by using a commercial kit (Fungitell™, Cape Cod, USA) in serum and BAL samples and positive results were obtained in 11 of 22 serum (50%) and 9 of 17 BAL (52.9%) samples. In this study it was demonstrated

  16. Mismatched anti-predator behavioral responses in predator-naïve larval anurans.

    PubMed

    Albecker, Molly; Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D

    2015-01-01

    Organisms are adept at altering behaviors to balance the tradeoff between foraging and predation risk in spatially and temporally shifting predator environments. In order to optimize this tradeoff, prey need to be able to display an appropriate response based on degree of predation risk. To be most beneficial in the earliest life stages in which many prey are vulnerable to predation, innate anti-predator responses should scale to match the risk imposed by predators until learned anti-predator responses can occur. We conducted an experiment that examined whether tadpoles with no previous exposure to predators (i.e., predator-naive) exhibit innate antipredator behavioral responses (e.g., via refuge use and spatial avoidance) that match the actual risk posed by each predator. Using 7 treatments (6 free-roaming, lethal predators plus no-predator control), we determined the predation rates of each predator on Lithobates sphenocephalus tadpoles. We recorded behavioral observations on an additional 7 nonlethal treatments (6 caged predators plus no-predator control). Tadpoles exhibited innate responses to fish predators, but not non-fish predators, even though two non-fish predators (newt and crayfish) consumed the most tadpoles. Due to a mismatch between innate response and predator consumption, tadpoles may be vulnerable to greater rates of predation at the earliest life stages before learning can occur. Thus, naïve tadpoles in nature may be at a high risk to predation in the presence of a novel predator until learned anti-predator responses provide additional defenses to the surviving tadpoles. PMID:26664805

  17. Mismatched anti-predator behavioral responses in predator-naïve larval anurans

    PubMed Central

    Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D.

    2015-01-01

    Organisms are adept at altering behaviors to balance the tradeoff between foraging and predation risk in spatially and temporally shifting predator environments. In order to optimize this tradeoff, prey need to be able to display an appropriate response based on degree of predation risk. To be most beneficial in the earliest life stages in which many prey are vulnerable to predation, innate anti-predator responses should scale to match the risk imposed by predators until learned anti-predator responses can occur. We conducted an experiment that examined whether tadpoles with no previous exposure to predators (i.e., predator-naive) exhibit innate antipredator behavioral responses (e.g., via refuge use and spatial avoidance) that match the actual risk posed by each predator. Using 7 treatments (6 free-roaming, lethal predators plus no-predator control), we determined the predation rates of each predator on Lithobates sphenocephalus tadpoles. We recorded behavioral observations on an additional 7 nonlethal treatments (6 caged predators plus no-predator control). Tadpoles exhibited innate responses to fish predators, but not non-fish predators, even though two non-fish predators (newt and crayfish) consumed the most tadpoles. Due to a mismatch between innate response and predator consumption, tadpoles may be vulnerable to greater rates of predation at the earliest life stages before learning can occur. Thus, naïve tadpoles in nature may be at a high risk to predation in the presence of a novel predator until learned anti-predator responses provide additional defenses to the surviving tadpoles. PMID:26664805

  18. Local genetic adaptation generates latitude-specific effects of warming on predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    De Block, Marjan; Pauwels, Kevin; Van Den Broeck, Maarten; De Meester, Luc; Stoks, Robby

    2013-03-01

    Temperature effects on predator-prey interactions are fundamental to better understand the effects of global warming. Previous studies never considered local adaptation of both predators and prey at different latitudes, and ignored the novel population combinations of the same predator-prey species system that may arise because of northward dispersal. We set up a common garden warming experiment to study predator-prey interactions between Ischnura elegans damselfly predators and Daphnia magna zooplankton prey from three source latitudes spanning >1500 km. Damselfly foraging rates showed thermal plasticity and strong latitudinal differences consistent with adaptation to local time constraints. Relative survival was higher at 24 °C than at 20 °C in southern Daphnia and higher at 20 °C than at 24 °C, in northern Daphnia indicating local thermal adaptation of the Daphnia prey. Yet, this thermal advantage disappeared when they were confronted with the damselfly predators of the same latitude, reflecting also a signal of local thermal adaptation in the damselfly predators. Our results further suggest the invasion success of northward moving predators as well as prey to be latitude-specific. We advocate the novel common garden experimental approach using predators and prey obtained from natural temperature gradients spanning the predicted temperature increase in the northern populations as a powerful approach to gain mechanistic insights into how community modules will be affected by global warming. It can be used as a space-for-time substitution to inform how predator-prey interaction may gradually evolve to long-term warming. PMID:23504827

  19. Non-invasive Parenchymal, Vascular and Metabolic High-frequency Ultrasound and Photoacoustic Rat Deep Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Giustetto, Pierangela; Filippi, Miriam; Castano, Mauro; Terreno, Enzo

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustics and high frequency ultrasound stands out as powerful tools for neurobiological applications enabling high-resolution imaging on the central nervous system of small animals. However, transdermal and transcranial neuroimaging is frequently affected by low sensitivity, image aberrations and loss of space resolution, requiring scalp or even skull removal before imaging. To overcome this challenge, a new protocol is presented to gain significant insights in brain hemodynamics by photoacoustic and high-frequency ultrasounds imaging with the animal skin and skull intact. The procedure relies on the passage of ultrasound (US) waves and laser directly through the fissures that are naturally present on the animal cranium. By juxtaposing the imaging transducer device exactly in correspondence to these selected areas where the skull has a reduced thickness or is totally absent, one can acquire high quality deep images and explore internal brain regions that are usually difficult to anatomically or functionally describe without an invasive approach. By applying this experimental procedure, significant data can be collected in both sonic and optoacoustic modalities, enabling to image the parenchymal and the vascular anatomy far below the head surface. Deep brain features such as parenchymal convolutions and fissures separating the lobes were clearly visible. Moreover, the configuration of large and small blood vessels was imaged at several millimeters of depth, and precise information were collected about blood fluxes, vascular stream velocities and the hemoglobin chemical state. This repertoire of data could be crucial in several research contests, ranging from brain vascular disease studies to experimental techniques involving the systemic administration of exogenous chemicals or other objects endowed with imaging contrast enhancement properties. In conclusion, thanks to the presented protocol, the US and PA techniques become an attractive noninvasive

  20. Non-invasive parenchymal, vascular and metabolic high-frequency ultrasound and photoacoustic rat deep brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Giustetto, Pierangela; Filippi, Miriam; Castano, Mauro; Terreno, Enzo

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustics and high frequency ultrasound stands out as powerful tools for neurobiological applications enabling high-resolution imaging on the central nervous system of small animals. However, transdermal and transcranial neuroimaging is frequently affected by low sensitivity, image aberrations and loss of space resolution, requiring scalp or even skull removal before imaging. To overcome this challenge, a new protocol is presented to gain significant insights in brain hemodynamics by photoacoustic and high-frequency ultrasounds imaging with the animal skin and skull intact. The procedure relies on the passage of ultrasound (US) waves and laser directly through the fissures that are naturally present on the animal cranium. By juxtaposing the imaging transducer device exactly in correspondence to these selected areas where the skull has a reduced thickness or is totally absent, one can acquire high quality deep images and explore internal brain regions that are usually difficult to anatomically or functionally describe without an invasive approach. By applying this experimental procedure, significant data can be collected in both sonic and optoacoustic modalities, enabling to image the parenchymal and the vascular anatomy far below the head surface. Deep brain features such as parenchymal convolutions and fissures separating the lobes were clearly visible. Moreover, the configuration of large and small blood vessels was imaged at several millimeters of depth, and precise information were collected about blood fluxes, vascular stream velocities and the hemoglobin chemical state. This repertoire of data could be crucial in several research contests, ranging from brain vascular disease studies to experimental techniques involving the systemic administration of exogenous chemicals or other objects endowed with imaging contrast enhancement properties. In conclusion, thanks to the presented protocol, the US and PA techniques become an attractive noninvasive

  1. Time-dependent effects of rapamycin on consolidation of predator stress-induced hyperarousal.

    PubMed

    Fifield, Kathleen; Hebert, Mark; Williams, Kimberly; Linehan, Victoria; Whiteman, Jesse D; Mac Callum, Phillip; Blundell, Jacqueline

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies have indicated that rapamycin, a potent inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, blocks consolidation of shock-induced associative fear memories. Moreover, rapamycin's block of associative fear memories is time-dependent. It is unknown, however, if rapamycin blocks consolidation of predator stress-induced non-associative fear memories. Furthermore, the temporal pattern of mTOR activation following predator stress is unknown. Thus, the goal of the current studies was to determine if rapamycin blocks consolidation of predator stress-induced fear memories and if so, whether rapamycin's effect is time-dependent. Male rats were injected systemically with rapamycin at various time points following predator stress. Predator stress involves an acute, unprotected exposure of a rat to a cat, which causes long-lasting non-associative fear memories manifested as generalized hyperarousal and increased anxiety-like behaviour. We show that rapamycin injected immediately after predator stress blocked consolidation of stress-induced startle. However, rapamycin injected 9, 24 or 48h post predator stress potentiated stress-induced startle. Consistent with shock-induced associative fear memories, we show that mTOR signalling is essential for consolidation of predator stress-induced hyperarousal. However, unlike shock-induced fear memories, a second, persistent, late phase mTOR-dependent process following predator stress actually dampens startle. Consistent with previous findings, our data support the potential role for rapamycin in treatment of stress related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. However, our data suggest timing of rapamycin administration is critical. PMID:25746515

  2. Are lemmings prey or predators?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turchin, P.; Oksanen, L.; Ekerholm, P.; Oksanen, T.; Henttonen, H.

    2000-06-01

    Large oscillations in the populations of Norwegian lemmings have mystified both professional ecologists and lay public. Ecologists suspect that these oscillations are driven by a trophic mechanism: either an interaction between lemmings and their food supply, or an interaction between lemmings and their predators. If lemming cycles are indeed driven by a trophic interaction, can we tell whether lemmings act as the resource (`prey') or the consumer (`predator')? In trophic interaction models, peaks of resource density generally have a blunt, rounded shape, whereas peaks of consumer density are sharp and angular. Here we have applied several statistical tests to three lemming datasets and contrasted them with comparable data for cyclic voles. We find that vole peaks are blunt, consistent with their cycles being driven by the interaction with predators. In contrast, the shape of lemming peaks is consistent with the hypothesis that lemmings are functional predators, that is, their cycles are driven by their interaction with food plants. Our findings suggest that a single mechanism, such as interaction between rodents and predators, is unlikely to provide the `universal' explanation of all cyclic rodent dynamics.

  3. Analysis of a predator-prey system with predator switching.

    PubMed

    Khan, Q J A; Balakrishnan, E; Wake, G C

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, we consider an interaction of prey and predator species where prey species have the ability of group defence. Thresholds, equilibria and stabilities are determined for the system of ordinary differential equations. Taking carrying capacity as a bifurcation parameter, it is shown that a Hopf bifurcation can occur implying that if the carrying capacity is made sufficiently large by enrichment of the environment, the model predicts the eventual extinction of the predator providing strong support for the so-called 'paradox of enrichment'. PMID:14670532

  4. Invasive Candidiasis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida . Unlike Candida ... mouth and throat (also called “thrush”) or vaginal “yeast infections,” invasive candidiasis is a serious infection that ...

  5. Ficus whitefly, Singhiella simplex, and its predation by a coccinellid beetle, Delphastus catalinae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ficus whitefly, Singhiella simplex, is a pest of ficus plant such as Ficus benjamina, F. altissima, F. bengalensis and others. This invasive pest causes plants to exhibit leaf yellowing, wilting, and eventually, leaf drop. There is little information on the effectiveness of insect predators to contr...

  6. Variable effects of a generalist parasitoid on a biocontrol seed predator and its target weed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control – the importation of enemies from an invasive species’ native range – is often seen as our best hope of reducing the abundance of the most widespread invaders. Classic predator-prey models provide the theoretical underpinning for the practice of biological control. Ideally, the pr...

  7. Spatiotemporal Analysis of Predation by Carabid Beetles (Carabidae) on Nematode Infected and Uninfected Slugs in the Field

    PubMed Central

    Hatteland, Bjørn Arild; Haukeland, Solveig; Roth, Steffen; Brurberg, May Bente; Vaughan, Ian P.; Symondson, William O. C.

    2013-01-01

    The dynamics of predation on parasites within prey has received relatively little attention despite the profound effects this is likely to have on both prey and parasite numbers and hence on biological control programmes where parasites are employed. The nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita is a commercially available biological agent against slugs. Predation on these slugs may, at the same time, result in intraguild predation on slug-parasitic nematodes. This study describes, for the first time, predation by carabid beetles on slugs and their nematode parasites on both spatial and temporal scales, using PCR-based methods. The highest nematode infection levels were found in the slugs Deroceras reticulatum and Arion silvaticus. Numbers of infected slugs decreased over time and no infected slugs were found four months after nematode application. The density of the most abundant slug, the invasive Arion vulgaris, was positively related to the activity-density of the carabid beetle, Carabus nemoralis. Predation on slugs was density and size related, with highest predation levels also on A. vulgaris. Predation on A. vulgaris decreased significantly in summer when these slugs were larger than one gram. Predation by C. nemoralis on slugs was opportunistic, without any preferences for specific species. Intraguild predation on the nematodes was low, suggesting that carabid beetles such as C. nemoralis probably do not have a significant impact on the success of biological control using P. hermaphrodita. PMID:24349202

  8. Comment on "Invasive harlequin ladybird carries biological weapons against native competitors".

    PubMed

    Sloggett, John J

    2013-09-20

    Vilcinskas et al. (Reports, 17 May 2013, p. 862) proposed that infectious microsporidia of the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis act against intraguild predators, rather than ladybird alkaloid defenses. However, as both microsporidia and the harmonine defense alkaloid were administered to predators by microinjection rather than into the gut, such a conclusion is premature. Alkaloids also provide defense when predation occurs, whereas microsporidia act much later. PMID:24052292

  9. Functional traits determine formation of mutualism and predation interactions in seed-rodent dispersal system of a subtropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-02-01

    Network structure in plant-animal systems has been widely investigated but the roles of functional traits of plants and animals in formation of mutualism and predation interactions and community structure are still not fully understood. In this study, we quantitatively assessed interaction strength of mutualism and predation between 5 tree species and 7 rodent species by using semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest China. Seeds with high handling-time and nutrition traits (for both rat and mouse species) or high tannin trait (for mouse species) show high mutualism but low predation with rodents; while seeds with low handling-time and low nutrition traits show high predation but low mutualism with rodents. Large-sized rat species are more linked to seeds with high handling-time and high nutrition traits, while small-sized mouse species are more connected with seeds with low handling-time, low nutrition value and high tannin traits. Anti-predation seed traits tend to increase chance of mutualism instead of reducing predation by rodents, suggesting formation of mutualism may be connected with that of predation. Our study demonstrates that seed and animal traits play significant roles in the formation of mutualism and predation and network structure of the seed-rodent dispersal system.

  10. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator-prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator-prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. PMID:25265905

  11. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey

    PubMed Central

    Heurich, Marco; Zeis, Klara; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Müller, Jörg; Belotti, Elisa; Bufka, Luděk; Woelfing, Benno

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly’s standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males—the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates. PMID:27548478

  12. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey.

    PubMed

    Heurich, Marco; Zeis, Klara; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Müller, Jörg; Belotti, Elisa; Bufka, Luděk; Woelfing, Benno

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly's standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males-the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates. PMID:27548478

  13. Living with the enemy: parasites and pathogens of the invasive alien ladybird Harmonia axyridis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harmonia axyridis is an invasive alien predator in many countries across the world. The rapid establishment and spread of this species is of concern because of the threat it poses to biodiversity as a generalist predator. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the success of this species ...

  14. Intraguild predation and native lady beetle decline.

    PubMed

    Gardiner, Mary M; O'Neal, Matthew E; Landis, Douglas A

    2011-01-01

    Coccinellid communities across North America have experienced significant changes in recent decades, with declines in several native species reported. One potential mechanism for these declines is interference competition via intraguild predation; specifically, increased predation of native coccinellid eggs and larvae following the introduction of exotic coccinellids. Our previous studies have shown that agricultural fields in Michigan support a higher diversity and abundance of exotic coccinellids than similar fields in Iowa, and that the landscape surrounding agricultural fields across the north central U.S. influences the abundance and activity of coccinellid species. The goal of this study was to quantify the amount of egg predation experienced by a native coccinellid within Michigan and Iowa soybean fields and explore the influence of local and large-scale landscape structure. Using the native lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata as a model, we found that sentinel egg masses were subject to intense predation within both Michigan and Iowa soybean fields, with 60.7% of egg masses attacked and 43.0% of available eggs consumed within 48 h. In Michigan, the exotic coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis were the most abundant predators found in soybean fields whereas in Iowa, native species including C. maculata, Hippodamia parenthesis and the soft-winged flower beetle Collops nigriceps dominated the predator community. Predator abundance was greater in soybean fields within diverse landscapes, yet variation in predator numbers did not influence the intensity of egg predation observed. In contrast, the strongest predictor of native coccinellid egg predation was the composition of edge habitats bordering specific fields. Field sites surrounded by semi-natural habitats including forests, restored prairies, old fields, and pasturelands experienced greater egg predation than fields surrounded by other croplands. This study shows that intraguild

  15. Intraguild Predation and Native Lady Beetle Decline

    PubMed Central

    Gardiner, Mary M.; O'Neal, Matthew E.; Landis, Douglas A.

    2011-01-01

    Coccinellid communities across North America have experienced significant changes in recent decades, with declines in several native species reported. One potential mechanism for these declines is interference competition via intraguild predation; specifically, increased predation of native coccinellid eggs and larvae following the introduction of exotic coccinellids. Our previous studies have shown that agricultural fields in Michigan support a higher diversity and abundance of exotic coccinellids than similar fields in Iowa, and that the landscape surrounding agricultural fields across the north central U.S. influences the abundance and activity of coccinellid species. The goal of this study was to quantify the amount of egg predation experienced by a native coccinellid within Michigan and Iowa soybean fields and explore the influence of local and large-scale landscape structure. Using the native lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata as a model, we found that sentinel egg masses were subject to intense predation within both Michigan and Iowa soybean fields, with 60.7% of egg masses attacked and 43.0% of available eggs consumed within 48 h. In Michigan, the exotic coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis were the most abundant predators found in soybean fields whereas in Iowa, native species including C. maculata, Hippodamia parenthesis and the soft-winged flower beetle Collops nigriceps dominated the predator community. Predator abundance was greater in soybean fields within diverse landscapes, yet variation in predator numbers did not influence the intensity of egg predation observed. In contrast, the strongest predictor of native coccinellid egg predation was the composition of edge habitats bordering specific fields. Field sites surrounded by semi-natural habitats including forests, restored prairies, old fields, and pasturelands experienced greater egg predation than fields surrounded by other croplands. This study shows that intraguild

  16. Species diversity and predation strategies in a multiple species predator-prey model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullan, Rory; Glass, David H.; McCartney, Mark

    2015-08-01

    A single predator, single prey ecological model, in which the behaviour of the populations relies upon two control parameters has been expanded to allow for multiple predators and prey to occupy the ecosystem. The diversity of the ecosystem that develops as the model runs is analysed by assessing how many predator or prey species survive. Predation strategies that dictate how the predators distribute their efforts across the prey are introduced in this multiple species model. The paper analyses various predation strategies and highlights their effect on the survival of the predators and prey species.

  17. Herbivory, Predation, and Biological Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Terence M.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Authors describe a set of controlled ecosystems that can be used to demonstrate the effects of herbivory on the health and growth of a plant population and of predation on the growth of a primary consumer population. The system also shows the effectiveness of biological pest control measures in a dramatic way. The construction of the ecosystems is…

  18. Differential predation of forage seed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In recent field experiments we observed that the main invertebrate seed predators of overseeded tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) or Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) seed in unimproved pastures were harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex sp.) and common field crickets (Gryllus sp.) To determ...

  19. OVIGENY IN SELECTED GENERALIST PREDATORS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    “Ovigeny” refers to the process of egg production in adult insects. “Pro-ovigenic” adult insects emerge with a fixed complement of mature eggs; whereas, “synovigenic” species continuously produce and develop eggs throughout adulthood. Very little work has been done on ovigeny in insect predators. We...

  20. Ovigeny in selected generalist predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    “Ovigeny” refers to the process of egg production in adult insects. “Pro-ovigenic” adult insects emerge with a fixed complement of mature eggs; whereas, “synovigenic” species continuously produce and develop eggs throughout adulthood. Very little work has been done on ovigeny in insect predators. We...

  1. Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators

    PubMed Central

    Rota, Jadranka; Wagner, David L.

    2006-01-01

    Cases of mimicry provide many of the nature's most convincing examples of natural selection. Here we report evidence for a case of predator mimicry in which metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia mimic jumping spiders, one of their predators. In controlled trials, Brenthia had higher survival rates than other similarly sized moths in the presence of jumping spiders and jumping spiders responded to Brenthia with territorial displays, indicating that Brenthia were sometimes mistaken for jumping spiders, and not recognized as prey. Our experimental results and a review of wing patterns of other insects indicate that jumping spider mimicry is more widespread than heretofore appreciated, and that jumping spiders are probably an important selective pressure shaping the evolution of diurnal insects that perch on vegetation. PMID:17183674

  2. Innate predator recognition in giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Du, Yiping; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Yang, Bo; Wei, Ming; Zhou, Yingmin; Liu, Yang

    2012-02-01

    Innate predator recognition confers a survival advantage to prey animals. We investigate whether giant pandas exhibit innate predator recognition. We analyzed behavioral responses of 56 naive adult captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), to urine from predators and non-predators and water control. Giant pandas performed more chemosensory investigation and displayed flehmen behaviors more frequently in response to predator urine compared to both non-predator urine and water control. Subjects also displayed certain defensive behaviors, as indicated by vigilance, and in certain cases, fleeing behaviors. Our results suggest that there is an innate component to predator recognition in captive giant pandas, although such recognition was only slight to moderate. These results have implications that may be applicable to the conservation and reintroduction of this endangered species. PMID:22303845

  3. Effects of a Synthetic Predator Odor (TMT) on Freezing, Analgesia, Stereotypy, and Spatial Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Jon L.; Baez, Catherine; Hladky, Katherine J.; Camacho, Cheri A.

    2005-01-01

    Exposing rats to the predator odor of trimethylthiazoline (TMT), obtained from the red fox, was compared to exposure to the novel control odor of citronella. In Experiment 1, TMT produced defensive freezing and an analgesic reaction that was reversed by an opiate antagonist. In Experiment 2, TMT augmented response stereotypy induced by an…

  4. A tour de force by Hawaii’s invasive mammals: Establishment, takeover, and ecosystem restoration through eradication

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steve

    2016-01-01

    Invasive mammals have irreversibly altered ecosystems of Hawai‘i and other tropical Pacific islands in numerous cases through novel herbivory, predation, and diseases, thereby causing the disproportionate extinction of flora and fauna that occur nowhere else on Earth. The control and eradication of invasive mammals is the single most expensive management activity necessary for restoring ecological integrity to many natural areas of Hawai‘i and other Pacific Islands, and have already advanced the restoration of native biota by removing herbivorous ungulates from >750 km2. Rodenticides which have been tested and registered for hand and aerial broadcast in Hawai‘i have been used to eradicate rats from remote islands to protect nesting seabirds and are now being applied to larger islands to protect forest birds. The exclusion of other invasive mammals is now being undertaken with more sophisticated control techniques and fences. New fence designs are capable of excluding all mammals from areas to protect endangered native birds. Although the eradication of mammals from large areas has resulted in the restoration of some ecosystem processes such as natural forest regeneration, changes in other processes such as fire regimes, nutrient cycling, and invasive plant proliferation remain more difficult to reverse at larger landscape scales.

  5. Modelling the dynamics of traits involved in fighting-predators-prey system.

    PubMed

    Kooi, B W

    2015-12-01

    We study the dynamics of a predator-prey system where predators fight for captured prey besides searching for and handling (and digestion) of the prey. Fighting for prey is modelled by a continuous time hawk-dove game dynamics where the gain depends on the amount of disputed prey while the costs for fighting is constant per fighting event. The strategy of the predator-population is quantified by a trait being the proportion of the number of predator-individuals playing hawk tactics. The dynamics of the trait is described by two models of adaptation: the replicator dynamics (RD) and the adaptive dynamics (AD). In the RD-approach a variant individual with an adapted trait value changes the population's strategy, and consequently its trait value, only when its payoff is larger than the population average. In the AD-approach successful replacement of the resident population after invasion of a rare variant population with an adapted trait value is a step in a sequence changing the population's strategy, and hence its trait value. The main aim is to compare the consequences of the two adaptation models. In an equilibrium predator-prey system this will lead to convergence to a neutral singular strategy, while in the oscillatory system to a continuous singular strategy where in this endpoint the resident population is not invasible by any variant population. In equilibrium (low prey carrying capacity) RD and AD-approach give the same results, however not always in a periodically oscillating system (high prey carrying-capacity) where the trait is density-dependent. For low costs the predator population is monomorphic (only hawks) while for high costs dimorphic (hawks and doves). These results illustrate that intra-specific trait dynamics matters in predator-prey dynamics. PMID:25773467

  6. Predators reduce abundance and species richness of coral reef fish recruits via non-selective predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinlein, J. M.; Stier, A. C.; Steele, M. A.

    2010-06-01

    Predators have important effects on coral reef fish populations, but their effects on community structure have only recently been investigated and are not yet well understood. Here, the effect of predation on the diversity and abundance of young coral reef fishes was experimentally examined in Moorea, French Polynesia. Effects of predators were quantified by monitoring recruitment of fishes onto standardized patch reefs in predator-exclosure cages or uncaged reefs. At the end of the 54-day experiment, recruits were 74% less abundant on reefs exposed to predators than on caged ones, and species richness was 42% lower on reefs exposed to predators. Effects of predators varied somewhat among families, however, rarefaction analysis indicated that predators foraged non-selectively among species. These results indicate that predation can alter diversity of reef fish communities by indiscriminately reducing the abundance of fishes soon after settlement, thereby reducing the number of species present on reefs.

  7. Landscape heterogeneity shapes predation in a newly restored predator-prey system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kauffman, M.J.; Varley, N.; Smith, D.W.; Stahler, D.R.; MacNulty, D.R.; Boyce, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    Because some native ungulates have lived without top predators for generations, it has been uncertain whether runaway predation would occur when predators are newly restored to these systems. We show that landscape features and vegetation, which influence predator detection and capture of prey, shape large-scale patterns of predation in a newly restored predator-prey system. We analysed the spatial distribution of wolf (Canis lupus) predation on elk (Cervus elaphus) on the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park over 10 consecutive winters. The influence of wolf distribution on kill sites diminished over the course of this study, a result that was likely caused by territorial constraints on wolf distribution. In contrast, landscape factors strongly influenced kill sites, creating distinct hunting grounds and prey refugia. Elk in this newly restored predator-prey system should be able to mediate their risk of predation by movement and habitat selection across a heterogeneous risk landscape. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  8. Optimal control of native predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Julien; O'Connell, Allan F.; Kendall, William L.; Runge, Michael C.; Simons, Theodore R.; Waldstein, Arielle H.; Schulte, Shiloh A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Smith, Graham W.; Pinion, Timothy; Rikard, Michael; Zipkin, Elise F.

    2010-01-01

    We apply decision theory in a structured decision-making framework to evaluate how control of raccoons (Procyon lotor), a native predator, can promote the conservation of a declining population of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our management objective was to maintain Oystercatcher productivity above a level deemed necessary for population recovery while minimizing raccoon removal. We evaluated several scenarios including no raccoon removal, and applied an adaptive optimization algorithm to account for parameter uncertainty. We show how adaptive optimization can be used to account for uncertainties about how raccoon control may affect Oystercatcher productivity. Adaptive management can reduce this type of uncertainty and is particularly well suited for addressing controversial management issues such as native predator control. The case study also offers several insights that may be relevant to the optimal control of other native predators. First, we found that stage-specific removal policies (e.g., yearling versus adult raccoon removals) were most efficient if the reproductive values among stage classes were very different. Second, we found that the optimal control of raccoons would result in higher Oystercatcher productivity than the minimum levels recommended for this species. Third, we found that removing more raccoons initially minimized the total number of removals necessary to meet long term management objectives. Finally, if for logistical reasons managers cannot sustain a removal program by removing a minimum number of raccoons annually, managers may run the risk of creating an ecological trap for Oystercatchers.

  9. Age and sex-selective predation moderate the overall impact of predators.

    PubMed

    Hoy, Sarah R; Petty, Steve J; Millon, Alexandre; Whitfield, D Philip; Marquiss, Michael; Davison, Martin; Lambin, Xavier

    2015-05-01

    Currently, there is no general agreement about the extent to which predators impact prey population dynamics and it is often poorly predicted by predation rates and species abundances. This could, in part be caused by variation in the type of selective predation occurring. Notably, if predation is selective on categories of individuals that contribute little to future generations, it may moderate the impact of predation on prey population dynamics. However, despite its prevalence, selective predation has seldom been studied in this context. Using recoveries of ringed tawny owls (Strix aluco) predated by 'superpredators', northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) as they colonized the area, we investigated the extent to which predation was sex and age-selective. Predation of juvenile owls was disproportionately high. Amongst adults, predation was strongly biased towards females and predation risk appeared to increase with age. This implies age-selective predation may shape the decline in survival with age, observed in tawny owls. To determine whether selective predation can modulate the overall impact of predation, age-based population matrix models were used to simulate the impact of five different patterns of age-selective predation, including the pattern actually observed in the study site. The overall impact on owl population size varied by up to 50%, depending on the pattern of selective predation. The simulation of the observed pattern of predation had a relatively small impact on population size, close to the least harmful scenario, predation on juveniles only. The actual changes in owl population size and structure observed during goshawk colonization were also analysed. Owl population size and immigration were unrelated to goshawk abundance. However, goshawk abundance appeared to interact with owl food availability to have a delayed effect on recruitment into the population. This study provides strong evidence to suggest that predation of other predators is

  10. Coevolution can reverse predator-prey cycles.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H; Weitz, Joshua S

    2014-05-20

    A hallmark of Lotka-Volterra models, and other ecological models of predator-prey interactions, is that in predator-prey cycles, peaks in prey abundance precede peaks in predator abundance. Such models typically assume that species life history traits are fixed over ecologically relevant time scales. However, the coevolution of predator and prey traits has been shown to alter the community dynamics of natural systems, leading to novel dynamics including antiphase and cryptic cycles. Here, using an eco-coevolutionary model, we show that predator-prey coevolution can also drive population cycles where the opposite of canonical Lotka-Volterra oscillations occurs: predator peaks precede prey peaks. These reversed cycles arise when selection favors extreme phenotypes, predator offense is costly, and prey defense is effective against low-offense predators. We present multiple datasets from phage-cholera, mink-muskrat, and gyrfalcon-rock ptarmigan systems that exhibit reversed-peak ordering. Our results suggest that such cycles are a potential signature of predator-prey coevolution and reveal unique ways in which predator-prey coevolution can shape, and possibly reverse, community dynamics. PMID:24799689

  11. Predator-prey interactions mediated by prey personality and predator hunting mode.

    PubMed

    Belgrad, Benjamin A; Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-04-13

    Predator-prey interactions are important drivers in structuring ecological communities. However, despite widespread acknowledgement that individual behaviours and predator species regulate ecological processes, studies have yet to incorporate individual behavioural variations in a multipredator system. We quantified a prevalent predator avoidance behaviour to examine the simultaneous roles of prey personality and predator hunting mode in governing predator-prey interactions. Mud crabs, Panopeus herbstii, reduce their activity levels and increase their refuge use in the presence of predator cues. We measured mud crab mortality and consistent individual variations in the strength of this predator avoidance behaviour in the presence of predatory blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, and toadfish, Opsanus tau We found that prey personality and predator species significantly interacted to affect mortality with blue crabs primarily consuming bold mud crabs and toadfish preferentially selecting shy crabs. Additionally, the strength of the predator avoidance behaviour depended upon the predation risk from the predator species. Consequently, the personality composition of populations and predator hunting mode may be valuable predictors of both direct and indirect predator-prey interaction strength. These findings support theories postulating mechanisms for maintaining intraspecies diversity and have broad implications for community dynamics. PMID:27075257

  12. Antagonistic interactions between an invasive alien and a native coccinellid species may promote coexistence.

    PubMed

    Hentley, William T; Vanbergen, Adam J; Beckerman, Andrew P; Brien, Melanie N; Hails, Rosemary S; Jones, T Hefin; Johnson, Scott N

    2016-07-01

    Despite the capacity of invasive alien species to alter ecosystems, the mechanisms underlying their impact remain only partly understood. Invasive alien predators, for example, can significantly disrupt recipient communities by consuming prey species or acting as an intraguild predator (IGP). Behavioural interactions are key components of interspecific competition between predators, yet these are often overlooked invasion processes. Here, we show how behavioural, non-lethal IGP interactions might facilitate the establishment success of an invading alien species. We experimentally assessed changes in feeding behaviour (prey preference and consumption rate) of native UK coccinellid species (Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella septempunctata), whose populations are, respectively, declining and stable, when exposed to the invasive intraguild predator, Harmonia axyridis. Using a population dynamics model parameterized with these experimental data, we predicted how intraguild predation, accommodating interspecific behavioural interactions, might impact the abundance of the native and invasive alien species over time. When competing for the same aphid resource, the feeding rate of A. bipunctata significantly increased compared to the feeding in isolation, while the feeding rate of H. axyridis significantly decreased. This suggests that despite significant declines in the UK, A. bipunctata is a superior competitor to the intraguild predator H. axyridis. In contrast, the behaviour of non-declining C. septempunctata was unaltered by the presence of H. axyridis. Our experimental data show the differential behavioural plasticity of competing native and invasive alien predators, but do not explain A. bipunctata declines observed in the UK. Using behavioural plasticity as a parameter in a population dynamic model for A. bipunctata and H. axyridis, coexistence is predicted between the native and invasive alien following an initial period of decline in the native species. We

  13. Plastic response to a proxy cue of predation risk when direct cues are unreliable.

    PubMed

    Miehls, Andrea L J; McAdam, Andrew G; Bourdeau, Paul E; Peacor, Scott D

    2013-10-01

    Responses to proximate cues that directly affect fitness or cues directly released by selective agents are well-documented forms of phenotypic plasticity. For example, to reduce predation risk, prey change phenotype in response to light level (e.g., moon phase) when light affects predation risk from visual predators, and to chemical cues (kairomones) released by predators. Less well understood is the potential for organisms to perceive predation risk through "proxy cues": proximate cues that correlate with, but do not directly affect predation risk. Previous field studies indicate that body and spine length of an invasive cladoceran in Lake Michigan, Bythotrephes longimanus (the spiny water flea), increase during the growing season, coincident with a decrease in clutch size. Although the cause of seasonal trait changes is not known, changes are associated with warmer water temperature and increased predation risk from gape-limited fish (i.e., fish whose ability to consume Bythotrephes is limited by mouth size). Using a laboratory experiment, we found no effect of fish (Perca flavescens) kairomones on Bythotrephes morphology or life history. In contrast, higher water temperature led to longer absolute spine and body length, increased investment in morphological defense of offspring (measured as the ratio of spine-to-body length), and decreased clutch size and age at reproduction. These plastic responses are unlikely to be adaptive to temperature per se, but rather our findings indicate that temperature serves as a proxy cue of fish predation risk. Temperature correlates with risk of gape-limited fish predation due to growth of fish from larval stages incapable of consuming Bythotrephes early in the season, to larger sizes by midseason increasingly capable of consuming Bythotrephes, but limited by gape size to consuming smaller individuals. We argue that for Bythotrephes, temperature is a more reliable cue of predation risk than fish kairomones, because fish

  14. Anomalocaris predation on nonmineralized and mineralized trilobites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nedin, Christopher

    1999-11-01

    The giant Cambrian form Anomalocaris is considered to have been a raptoral predator of trilobites. However, doubt has been raised about its ability to successfully predate on strongly biomineralized forms (durophagy). A specimen of the trilobite Naraoia from the Early Cambrian Emu Bay Shale of South Australia represents the earliest direct body fossil evidence of predation on nonbiomineralized individuals. Analysis of arthropod cuticle rheology and examination of the injuries inflicted on this specimen suggest that Anomalocaris was the predator. It appears that some anomalocaridids actively utilized their large frontal appendages to rapidly flex trilobites during predation. Comparison with predation damage from mineralized trilobites and coprolites suggests that this method of flexing allowed durophagous predation. The presence in the Early Cambrian of durophagous, nonbiomineralized predators may have important implications for the role of predation pressure in the acquisition of mineralized cuticles and the rise of enrollment in trilobites. Variation in the frontal appendages of anomalocaridids indicates that niche partitioning within the genus was well established by the late Early Cambrian.

  15. Ecology of invasive mosquitoes: effects on resident species and on human health

    PubMed Central

    Juliano, Steven A.; Lounibos, L. Philip

    2007-01-01

    Investigations of biological invasions focus on patterns and processes that are related to introduction, establishment, spread and impacts of introduced species. This review focuses on the ecological interactions operating during invasions by the most prominent group of insect vectors of disease, mosquitoes. First, we review characteristics of non-native mosquito species that have established viable populations, and those invasive species that have spread widely and had major impacts, testing whether biotic characteristics are associated with the transition from established non-native to invasive. Second, we review the roles of interspecific competition, apparent competition, predation, intraguild predation and climatic limitation as causes of impacts on residents or as barriers to invasion. We concentrate on the best-studied invasive mosquito, Aedes albopictus, evaluating the application of basic ecological theory to invasions by Aedes albopictus. We develop a model based on observations of Aedes albopictus for effects of resource competition and predation as barriers to invasion, evaluating which community and ecosystem characteristics favour invasion. Third, we evaluate the ways in which invasive mosquitoes have contributed to outbreaks of human and animal disease, considering specifically whether invasive mosquitoes create novel health threats, or modify disease transmission for existing pathogen–host systems. PMID:17637849

  16. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies

    PubMed Central

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Summary Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator–prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator–prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. PMID:25265905

  17. Predicted responses of invasive mammal communities to climate-related changes in mast frequency in forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tompkins, Daniel M; Byrom, Andrea E; Pech, Roger P

    2013-07-01

    Predicting the dynamics and impacts of multiple invasive species can be complex because ecological relationships, which occur among several trophic levels, are often incompletely understood. Further, the complexity of these trophic relationships exacerbates our inability to predict climate change effects on invaded ecosystems. We explore the hypothesis that interactions between two global change drivers, invasive vertebrates and climate change, will potentially make matters worse for native biodiversity. In New Zealand beech (Nothofagus spp.) forests, a highly irruptive invasive mammal community is driven by multi-annual resource pulses of beech seed (masting). Because mast frequency is predicted to increase with climate change, we use this as a model system to explore the extent to which such effects may influence invasive vertebrate communities, and the implications of such interactions for native biodiversity and its management. We build on an established model of trophic interactions in the system, combining it with a logistic probability mast function, the parameters of which were altered to simulate either contemporary conditions or conditions of more or less frequent masting. The model predicts that increased mast frequency will lead to populations of a top predator (the stoat) and a mesopredator (the ship rat) becoming less irruptive and being maintained at appreciably higher average abundances in this forest type. In addition, the ability of both current and in-development management approaches to suppress invasive mammals is predicted to be compromised. Because invasive mammals are key drivers of native fauna extinction in New Zealand, with the additional loss of associated functions such as pollination and seed dispersal, these predictions imply potentially serious adverse impacts of climate change for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem function. Our study also highlights the importance of long-term monitoring data for assessing and managing

  18. Wanted dead or alive: scavenging versus predation by three insect predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many generalist insect predators may engage in facultative scavenging. If an apparent predator frequently consumes dead prey instead of live prey then the biological control services provided by that predator may be overestimated. The use of unique protein markers on live and dead prey of the same s...

  19. Learning to distinguish between predators and non-predators: understanding the critical role of diet cues and predator odours in generalisation

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Matthew D.; Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Ferrari, Maud C.O.

    2015-01-01

    It is critical for prey to recognise predators and distinguish predators from non-threatening species. Yet, we have little understanding of how prey develop effective predator recognition templates. Recent studies suggest that prey may actually learn key predator features which can be used to recognise novel species with similar characteristics. However, non-predators are sometimes mislabelled as predators when generalising recognition. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive investigation of how prey integrate information on predator odours and predator diet cues in generalisation, allowing them to discriminate between predators and non-predators. We taught lemon damselfish to recognise a predator fed a fish diet, and tested them for their response to the known predator and a series of novel predators (fed fish diet) and non-predators (fed squid diet) distributed across a phylogenetic gradient. Our findings show that damselfish distinguish between predators and non-predators when generalising recognition. Additional experiments revealed that generalised recognition did not result from recognition of predator odours or diet cues, but that damselfish based recognition on what they learned during the initial conditioning. Incorporating multiple sources of information enables prey to develop highly plastic and accurate recognition templates that will increase survival in patchy environments where they have little prior knowledge. PMID:26358861

  20. Predicting invasion success in complex ecological networks

    PubMed Central

    Romanuk, Tamara N.; Zhou, Yun; Brose, Ulrich; Berlow, Eric L.; Williams, Richard J.; Martinez, Neo D.

    2009-01-01

    A central and perhaps insurmountable challenge of invasion ecology is to predict which combinations of species and habitats most effectively promote and prevent biological invasions. Here, we integrate models of network structure and nonlinear population dynamics to search for potential generalities among trophic factors that may drive invasion success and failure. We simulate invasions where 100 different species attempt to invade 150 different food webs with 15–26 species and a wide range (0.06–0.32) of connectance. These simulations yield 11 438 invasion attempts by non-basal species, 47 per cent of which are successful. At the time of introduction, whether or not the invader is a generalist best predicts final invasion success; however, once the invader establishes itself, it is best distinguished from unsuccessful invaders by occupying a lower trophic position and being relatively invulnerable to predation. In general, variables that reflect the interaction between an invading species and its new community, such as generality and trophic position, best predict invasion success; however, for some trophic categories of invaders, fundamental species traits, such as having the centre of the feeding range low on the theoretical niche axis (for non-omnivorous and omnivorous herbivores), or the topology of the food web (for tertiary carnivores), best predict invasion success. Across all invasion scenarios, a discriminant analysis model predicted successful and failed invasions with 76.5 per cent accuracy for properties at the time of introduction or 100 per cent accuracy for properties at the time of establishment. More generally, our results suggest that tackling the challenge of predicting the properties of species and habitats that promote or inhibit invasions from food web perspective may aid ecologists in identifying rules that govern invasions in natural ecosystems. PMID:19451125

  1. Predation of caterpillars on understory saplings in an Ozark forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lichtenberg, J.S.; Lichtenberg, D.A.

    2003-01-01

    Predators of caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae) can indirectly enhance economic gains from plant resources by reducing herbivore damage to plants. For this study, we directly observed predation of caterpillars on understory trees in the Ozarks. Our objectives were to determine the relative importance of diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators, the time of day most diurnal predation events occur, and whether predators spend more time feeding in open or closed canopy areas. Once per month, June-September, we tethered caterpillars to understory saplings and recorded all predation events. Only invertebrate predators were observed feeding on caterpillars, and most predation events were attributed to ants and vespids (wasps, hornets and yellow jackets). Predation by vertebrate predators such as birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians was not observed. Most predation events took place at mid-day between 1200 and 1600 hrs. Predation pressure differed significantly over the four observation dates with peak ant predation in July and peak vespid predation in September. Canopy environment appeared to influence predation events as there was a trend towards higher vespid predation of caterpillars on open canopy as opposed to closed canopy saplings. Ants and vespids accounted for 90% of observed predation events; therefore they appear to be important predators of caterpillars during the summer months. Future studies at earlier sampling dates would be valuable in determining whether the relative importance of other diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators might be greater in the spring.

  2. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird

    PubMed Central

    Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio) that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments. PMID:26624619

  3. Alternative Responses to Predation in Two Headwater Stream Minnows Is Reflected in Their Contrasting Diel Activity Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Kadye, Wilbert T.; Booth, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Animals exhibit diel periodicity in their activity in part to meet energy requirements whilst evading predation. A competing hypothesis suggests that partitioning of diel activities is less important because animals capitalise on opportunity. To test these hypotheses we examined the diel activity patterns for two cyprinid minnows, chubbyhead barb Barbus anoplus and the Eastern Cape redfin minnow Pseudobarbus afer that both occur within headwater streams in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Chubbyhead barbs exhibited consistent nocturnal activity based on both field and laboratory observations. Due to the absence of fish predators within its habitat, its nocturnal behaviour suggests a response to the cost associated with diurnal activity, such as predation risk by diving and wading birds. In contrast, redfin minnows showed high diurnal activity and a shoaling behaviour in the wild, whereas, in the laboratory, they showed high refuge use during the diel cycle. Despite their preference for refuge in the laboratory, they were diurnally active, a behaviour that was consistent with observations in the wild. The diurnal activity of this species suggests a response to the cost associated with nocturnal activity. Such a cost could be inferred from the presence of the longfin eel, a native predator that was active at night, whereas the daytime shoaling behaviour suggests an anti-predator mechanism to diurnal visual predators. The implications of these findings relate to the impacts associated with the potential invasions by non-native piscivores that occur in the mainstem sections. Diurnal activity patterns for redfin minnows, that are IUCN-listed as endangered, may, in part, explain their susceptibility to high predation by visual non-native piscivores, such as bass and trout. In contrast, the nocturnal habits of chubbyhead barbs suggest a probable pre-adaptation to visual predation. The likelihood of invasion by nocturnally-active sharptooth catfish Clarias gariepinus

  4. Responses of tadpoles to hybrid predator odours: strong maternal signatures and the potential risk/response mismatch

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P.; Mathiron, Anthony; Sloychuk, Janelle R.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have established that when a prey animal knows the identity of a particular predator, it can use this knowledge to make an ‘educated guess' about similar novel predators. Such generalization of predator recognition may be particularly beneficial when prey are exposed to introduced and invasive species of predators or hybrids. Here, we examined generalization of predator recognition for woodfrog tadpoles exposed to novel trout predators. Tadpoles conditioned to recognize tiger trout, a hybrid derived from brown trout and brook trout, showed generalization of recognition of several unknown trout odours. Interestingly, the tadpoles showed stronger responses to odours of brown trout than brook trout. In a second experiment, we found that tadpoles trained to recognize brown trout showed stronger responses to tiger trout than those tadpoles trained to recognize brook trout. Given that tiger trout always have a brown trout mother and a brook trout father, these results suggest a strong maternal signature in trout odours. Tadpoles that were trained to recognize both brown trout and brook trout showed stronger response to novel tiger trout than those trained to recognize only brown trout or only brook trout. This is consistent with a peak shift in recognition, whereby cues that are intermediate between two known cues evoke stronger responses than either known cue. Given that our woodfrog tadpoles have no evolutionary or individual experience with trout, they have no way of knowing whether or not brook trout, brown trout or tiger trout are more dangerous. The differential intensity of responses that we observed to hybrid trout cues and each of the parental species indicates that there is a likely mismatch between risk and anti-predator response intensity. Future work needs to address the critical role of prey naivety on responses to invasive and introduced hybrid predators. PMID:26041358

  5. Responses of tadpoles to hybrid predator odours: strong maternal signatures and the potential risk/response mismatch.

    PubMed

    Chivers, Douglas P; Mathiron, Anthony; Sloychuk, Janelle R; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2015-06-22

    Previous studies have established that when a prey animal knows the identity of a particular predator, it can use this knowledge to make an 'educated guess' about similar novel predators. Such generalization of predator recognition may be particularly beneficial when prey are exposed to introduced and invasive species of predators or hybrids. Here, we examined generalization of predator recognition for woodfrog tadpoles exposed to novel trout predators. Tadpoles conditioned to recognize tiger trout, a hybrid derived from brown trout and brook trout, showed generalization of recognition of several unknown trout odours. Interestingly, the tadpoles showed stronger responses to odours of brown trout than brook trout. In a second experiment, we found that tadpoles trained to recognize brown trout showed stronger responses to tiger trout than those tadpoles trained to recognize brook trout. Given that tiger trout always have a brown trout mother and a brook trout father, these results suggest a strong maternal signature in trout odours. Tadpoles that were trained to recognize both brown trout and brook trout showed stronger response to novel tiger trout than those trained to recognize only brown trout or only brook trout. This is consistent with a peak shift in recognition, whereby cues that are intermediate between two known cues evoke stronger responses than either known cue. Given that our woodfrog tadpoles have no evolutionary or individual experience with trout, they have no way of knowing whether or not brook trout, brown trout or tiger trout are more dangerous. The differential intensity of responses that we observed to hybrid trout cues and each of the parental species indicates that there is a likely mismatch between risk and anti-predator response intensity. Future work needs to address the critical role of prey naivety on responses to invasive and introduced hybrid predators. PMID:26041358

  6. Influence of predator mutual interference and prey refuge on Lotka-Volterra predator-prey dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Liujuan; Chen, Fengde; Wang, Yiqin

    2013-11-01

    A Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model incorporating a constant number of prey using refuges and mutual interference for predator species is presented. By applying the divergency criterion and theories on exceptional directions and normal sectors, we show that the interior equilibrium is always globally asymptotically stable and two boundary equilibria are both saddle points. Our results indicate that prey refuge has no influence on the coexistence of predator and prey species of the considered model under the effects of mutual interference for predator species, which differently from the conclusion without predator mutual interference, thus improving some known ones. Numerical simulations are performed to illustrate the validity of our results.

  7. Predator-induced neophobia in juvenile cichlids.

    PubMed

    Meuthen, Denis; Baldauf, Sebastian A; Bakker, Theo C M; Thünken, Timo

    2016-08-01

    Predation is an important but often fluctuating selection factor for prey animals. Accordingly, individuals plastically adopt antipredator strategies in response to current predation risk. Recently, it was proposed that predation risk also plastically induces neophobia (an antipredator response towards novel cues). Previous studies, however, do not allow a differentiation between general neophobia and sensory channel-specific neophobic responses. Therefore, we tested the neophobia hypothesis focusing on adjustment in shoaling behavior in response to a novel cue addressing a different sensory channel than the one from which predation risk was initially perceived. From hatching onwards, juveniles of the cichlid Pelvicachromis taeniatus were exposed to different chemical cues in a split-clutch design: conspecific alarm cues which signal predation risk and heterospecific alarm cues or distilled water as controls. At 2 months of age, their shoaling behavior was examined prior and subsequent to a tactical disturbance cue. We found that fish previously exposed to predation risk formed more compact shoals relative to the control groups in response to the novel disturbance cue. Moreover, the relationship between shoal density and shoal homogeneity was also affected by experienced predation risk. Our findings indicate predator-induced, increased cross-sensory sensitivity towards novel cues making neophobia an effective antipredator mechanism. PMID:26578223

  8. Predator population depending on lemming cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anashkina, Ekaterina I.; Chichigina, Olga A.; Valenti, Davide; Kargovsky, Aleksey V.; Spagnolo, Bernardo

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, a Langevin equation for predator population with multiplicative correlated noise is analyzed. The noise source, which is a nonnegative random pulse noise with regulated periodicity, corresponds to the prey population cycling. The increase of periodicity of noise affects the average predator density at the stationary state.

  9. Pinpointing Predation Events: A different molecular approach.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca vitripennis, protien marking system has been developed as a diagnostic tool for quantifying predation rates via gut content analysis. A field study was conducted to quantify predation rates on each of the GWSS lifestages. Specifically, two GWSS nymp...

  10. Top predators and habitat complexity alter an intraguild predation module in pond communities.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2016-03-01

    Predator diversity and habitat complexity frequently influence species interactions at lower trophic levels, yet their joint investigation has been performed infrequently despite the demonstrated importance of each individual factor. We investigated how different top predators and varying habitat complexity influence the function of an intraguild predation module consisting of two larval salamanders, intraguild predator Ambystoma annulatum and intraguild prey A. maculatum. We manipulated predator food webs and habitat complexity in outdoor mesocosms. Top predators significantly influenced body condition and survival of A. annulatum, but habitat complexity had minimal effects on either response. A three-way interaction among the covariates top predator identity, habitat complexity and A. annulatum survival influenced body condition and survival of A. maculatum via a density-mediated indirect effect. Different top predator combinations had variable effects in different habitat complexity treatments on intraguild predator (A. annulatum) survival that subsequently influenced intraguild prey (A. maculatum) body condition and survival. Future work should consider how different top predators influence other food web components, which should vary due to predator attributes and the physical environments in which they co-occur. PMID:26476095

  11. Do predators influence the behaviour of bats?

    PubMed

    Lima, Steven L; O'Keefe, Joy M

    2013-08-01

    Many aspects of animal behaviour are affected by real-time changes in the risk of predation. This conclusion holds for virtually all taxa and ecological systems studied, but does it hold for bats? Bats are poorly represented in the literature on anti-predator behaviour, which may reflect a lack of nocturnal predators specialized on bats. If bats actually experience a world with minimal anti-predator concerns, then they will provide a unique contrast within the realm of vertebrate ecology. Alternatively, such predator-driven behaviour in bats may not yet be fully understood, given the difficulties in working with these highly mobile and nocturnal animals. We provide a wide-ranging exploration of these issues in bat behaviour. We first cover the basic predator-prey information available on bats, both on potential predators and the ways in which bats might perceive predators and respond to attacks. We then cover work relevant to key aspects of bat behaviour, such as choice of daytime roosts, the nature of sleep and torpor, evening roost departures, moonlight avoidance, landscape-related movement patterns, and habitat selection. Overall, the evidence in favour of a strong influence of predators on bat behaviour is equivocal, with the picture clouded by contradictory results and a lack of information on potential predators and the perception of risk by bats. It seems clear that day-active bats run a considerable risk of being killed by diurnal raptors, which are able to capture bats with relative ease. Thus, bats taking advantage of a pulse of insects just prior to sunset are likely taking risks to gain much-needed energy. Further, the choice of daytime roosts by bats is probably strongly influenced by roost safety. Few studies, however, have directly addressed either of these topics. As a group, insectivorous temperate-zone bats show no clear tendency to avoid apparently risky situations, such as activity on moonlit nights. However, some observations are consistent

  12. Parasites that change predator or prey behaviour can have keystone effects on community composition

    PubMed Central

    Hatcher, Melanie J.; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Dunn, Alison M.

    2014-01-01

    Parasites play pivotal roles in structuring communities, often via indirect interactions with non-host species. These effects can be density-mediated (through mortality) or trait-mediated (behavioural, physiological and developmental), and may be crucial to population interactions, including biological invasions. For instance, parasitism can alter intraguild predation (IGP) between native and invasive crustaceans, reversing invasion outcomes. Here, we use mathematical models to examine how parasite-induced trait changes influence the population dynamics of hosts that interact via IGP. We show that trait-mediated indirect interactions impart keystone effects, promoting or inhibiting host coexistence. Parasites can thus have strong ecological impacts, even if they have negligible virulence, underscoring the need to consider trait-mediated effects when predicting effects of parasites on community structure in general and biological invasions in particular. PMID:24429680

  13. Invasive mammals.

    PubMed

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Every region of the world is concerned by potential mammal invasions, as humans are already present on all the world's land masses. All these invasions are a result of species introductions by humans for one reason or another. The authors briefly review the known movements and observed consequences of mammal-related invasions. They take examples from all five continents, as well as from a few island systems. The ancient introduction of game species, and later of domestic species, has been followed more recently by movements of commercial species. We are now seeing the emergence of what are known as entertainment species. In a number of cases, such introductions have led to the establishment of new epidemiological cycles that previously might never have been thought possible. According to current indicators, this phenomenon is not on the wane. PMID:20919577

  14. Invasive species information networks: Collaboration at multiple scales for prevention, early detection, and rapid response to invasive alien species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, A.; Jarnevich, C.; Madsen, J.; Westbrooks, R.; Fournier, C.; Mehrhoff, L.; Browne, M.; Graham, J.; Sellers, E.

    2009-01-01

    Accurate analysis of present distributions and effective modeling of future distributions of invasive alien species (IAS) are both highly dependent on the availability and accessibility of occurrence data and natural history information about the species. Invasive alien species monitoring and detection networks (such as the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth) generate occurrence data at local and regional levels within the United States, which are shared through the US National Institute of Invasive Species Science. The Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network's Invasives Information Network (I3N), facilitates cooperation on sharing invasive species occurrence data throughout the Western Hemisphere. The I3N and other national and regional networks expose their data globally via the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN). International and interdisciplinary cooperation on data sharing strengthens cooperation on strategies and responses to invasions. However, limitations to effective collaboration among invasive species networks leading to successful early detection and rapid response to invasive species include: lack of interoperability; data accessibility; funding; and technical expertise. This paper proposes various solutions to these obstacles at different geographic levels and briefly describes success stories from the invasive species information networks mentioned above. Using biological informatics to facilitate global information sharing is especially critical in invasive species science, as research has shown that one of the best indicators of the invasiveness of a species is whether it has been invasive elsewhere. Data must also be shared across disciplines because natural history information (e.g. diet, predators, habitat requirements, etc.) about a species in its native range is vital for effective prevention, detection, and rapid response to an invasion. Finally, it has been our

  15. Egg Predation by the Introduced Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Lowers Mortality but Raises Relative Risk for the Native Lady Beetle, Coccinella novemnotata

    PubMed Central

    Turnipseed, Rakim; Ugine, Todd A.; Losey, John E.

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the native ninespotted lady beetle, Coccinella novemnotata Herbst, have undergone precipitous declines in North America following the establishment of the exotic sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata L. Recent volunteer efforts have made it possible to establish colonies of the now-rare C. novemnotata and test mechanisms contributing to its decline. We evaluated the relative frequencies of intraguild predation and cannibalism of eggs between these two species. A single C. novemnotata or C. septempunctata adult was exposed to conspecific and heterospecific eggs in either the presence or absence of pea aphids. The study revealed two expected results: 1) eggs of C. novemnotata were consumed more frequently than eggs of C. septempunctata by both species, and 2) egg consumption was higher when aphids were absent, independent of predator and egg species. There were also two unexpected results from the study: 1) the asymmetry between egg predation rates was higher when aphids were present, and 2) higher predation rates on C. novemnotata eggs in the absence of alternate prey was due to a relatively higher rate of intraspecific cannibalism. This implies that C. novemnotata would have suffered higher egg mortality rates before the invasion of C. septempunctata, but even though the aggregate rate of egg predation on C. novemnotata eggs is lower post-invasion, it is still significantly higher than the aggregate rate of predation of C. septempunctata eggs. This differential pattern of asymmetric predation could contribute to habitat compression and the overall decline of C. novemnotata. PMID:26090935

  16. Egg Predation by the Introduced Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Lowers Mortality but Raises Relative Risk for the Native Lady Beetle, Coccinella novemnotata.

    PubMed

    Turnipseed, Rakim; Ugine, Todd A; Losey, John E

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the native ninespotted lady beetle, Coccinella novemnotata Herbst, have undergone precipitous declines in North America following the establishment of the exotic sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata L. Recent volunteer efforts have made it possible to establish colonies of the now-rare C. novemnotata and test mechanisms contributing to its decline. We evaluated the relative frequencies of intraguild predation and cannibalism of eggs between these two species. A single C. novemnotata or C. septempunctata adult was exposed to conspecific and heterospecific eggs in either the presence or absence of pea aphids. The study revealed two expected results: 1) eggs of C. novemnotata were consumed more frequently than eggs of C. septempunctata by both species, and 2) egg consumption was higher when aphids were absent, independent of predator and egg species. There were also two unexpected results from the study: 1) the asymmetry between egg predation rates was higher when aphids were present, and 2) higher predation rates on C. novemnotata eggs in the absence of alternate prey was due to a relatively higher rate of intraspecific cannibalism. This implies that C. novemnotata would have suffered higher egg mortality rates before the invasion of C. septempunctata, but even though the aggregate rate of egg predation on C. novemnotata eggs is lower post-invasion, it is still significantly higher than the aggregate rate of predation of C. septempunctata eggs. This differential pattern of asymmetric predation could contribute to habitat compression and the overall decline of C. novemnotata. PMID:26090935

  17. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  18. Low-Reynolds-number predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebrahimian, Mehran; Yekehzare, Mohammad; Ejtehadi, Mohammad Reza

    2015-12-01

    To generalize simple bead-linker model of swimmers to higher dimensions and to demonstrate the chemotaxis ability of such swimmers, here we introduce a low-Reynolds predator, using a two-dimensional triangular bead-spring model. Two-state linkers as mechanochemical enzymes expand as a result of interaction with particular activator substances in the environment, causing the whole body to translate and rotate. The concentration of the chemical stimulator controls expansion versus the contraction rate of each arm and so affects the ability of the body for diffusive movements; also the variation of activator substance's concentration in the environment breaks the symmetry of linkers' preferred state, resulting in the drift of the random walker along the gradient of the density of activators. External food or danger sources may attract or repel the body by producing or consuming the chemical activators of the organism's enzymes, inducing chemotaxis behavior. Generalization of the model to three dimensions is straightforward.

  19. Low-Reynolds-number predator.

    PubMed

    Ebrahimian, Mehran; Yekehzare, Mohammad; Ejtehadi, Mohammad Reza

    2015-12-01

    To generalize simple bead-linker model of swimmers to higher dimensions and to demonstrate the chemotaxis ability of such swimmers, here we introduce a low-Reynolds predator, using a two-dimensional triangular bead-spring model. Two-state linkers as mechanochemical enzymes expand as a result of interaction with particular activator substances in the environment, causing the whole body to translate and rotate. The concentration of the chemical stimulator controls expansion versus the contraction rate of each arm and so affects the ability of the body for diffusive movements; also the variation of activator substance's concentration in the environment breaks the symmetry of linkers' preferred state, resulting in the drift of the random walker along the gradient of the density of activators. External food or danger sources may attract or repel the body by producing or consuming the chemical activators of the organism's enzymes, inducing chemotaxis behavior. Generalization of the model to three dimensions is straightforward. PMID:26764831

  20. The emergence of defective predators who never hunt by themselves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xueting; Pan, Qiuhui; Kang, Yibin; He, Mingfeng

    2013-06-01

    We propose a lattice Monte Carlo model of two populations, predators and prey. We divide predators into cooperative predators and defective predators. Cooperative predators participate in hunting. On the other hand, defective predators only participate to dominate, i.e. take possession of, the food when a kill has already been made by a cooperative predator. Numerous factors have been taken into account in our research, such as individual mobility, predation and hunger time. The model we have constructed displays the features of the population that evolve through time and the spatial distribution of the population. We focus on the emergence of defective predators and how the parameters affect the system. The results indicate that prey can profit from the appearance of these defective predators in some specific situations. It has even been shown that the emergence of defective predators can sometimes save endangered systems.

  1. Neonatal mortality of elk driven by climate, predator phenology and predator community composition.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Kathleen A; Hebblewhite, Mark; Robinson, Hugh S; Zager, Peter; Barber-Meyer, Shannon M; Christianson, David; Creel, Scott; Harris, Nyeema C; Hurley, Mark A; Jackson, DeWaine H; Johnson, Bruce K; Myers, Woodrow L; Raithel, Jarod D; Schlegel, Mike; Smith, Bruce L; White, Craig; White, P J

    2011-11-01

    1. Understanding the interaction among predators and between predation and climate is critical to understanding the mechanisms for compensatory mortality. We used data from 1999 radio-marked neonatal elk (Cervus elaphus) calves from 12 populations in the north-western United States to test for effects of predation on neonatal survival, and whether predation interacted with climate to render mortality compensatory. 2. Weibull survival models with a random effect for each population were fit as a function of the number of predator species in a community (3-5), seven indices of climatic variability, sex, birth date, birth weight, and all interactions between climate and predators. Cumulative incidence functions (CIF) were used to test whether the effects of individual species of predators were additive or compensatory. 3. Neonatal elk survival to 3 months declined following hotter previous summers and increased with higher May precipitation, especially in areas with wolves and/or grizzly bears. Mortality hazards were significantly lower in systems with only coyotes (Canis latrans), cougars (Puma concolor) and black bears (Ursus americanus) compared to higher mortality hazards experienced with gray wolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus horribilis). 4. In systems with wolves and grizzly bears, mortality by cougars decreased, and predation by bears was the dominant cause of neonatal mortality. Only bear predation appeared additive and occurred earlier than other predators, which may render later mortality by other predators compensatory as calves age. Wolf predation was low and most likely a compensatory source of mortality for neonatal elk calves. 5. Functional redundancy and interspecific competition among predators may combine with the effects of climate on vulnerability to predation to drive compensatory mortality of neonatal elk calves. The exception was the evidence for additive bear predation. These results suggest that effects of predation by

  2. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote (Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye (Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  3. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  4. Partitioning mechanisms of predator interference in different habitats.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-01-01

    Prey are often consumed by multiple predator species. Predation rates on shared prey species measured in isolation often do not combine additively due to interference or facilitation among the predator species. Furthermore, the strength of predator interactions and resulting prey mortality may change with habitat type. We experimentally examined predation on amphipods in rock and algal habitats by two species of intertidal crabs, Hemigrapsus sanguineus (top predators) and Carcinus maenas (intermediate predators). Algae provided a safer habitat for amphipods when they were exposed to only a single predator species. When both predator species were present, mortality of amphipods was less than additive in both habitats. However, amphipod mortality was reduced more in rock than algal habitat because intermediate predators were less protected in rock habitat and were increasingly targeted by omnivorous top predators. We found that prey mortality in general was reduced by (1) altered foraging behavior of intermediate predators in the presence of top predators, (2) top predators switching to foraging on intermediate predators rather than shared prey, and (3) density reduction of intermediate predators. The relative importance of these three mechanisms was the same in both habitats; however, the magnitude of each was greater in rock habitat. Our study demonstrates that the strength of specific mechanisms of interference between top and intermediate predators can be quantified but cautions that these results may be habitat specific. PMID:16086166

  5. Mesopredator suppression by an apex predator alleviates the risk of predation perceived by small prey.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher E; Feit, Anna; Grüber, Jennifer; Letnic, Mike

    2015-03-01

    Predators can impact their prey via consumptive effects that occur through direct killing, and via non-consumptive effects that arise when the behaviour and phenotypes of prey shift in response to the risk of predation. Although predators' consumptive effects can have cascading population-level effects on species at lower trophic levels there is less evidence that predators' non-consumptive effects propagate through ecosystems. Here we provide evidence that suppression of abundance and activity of a mesopredator (the feral cat) by an apex predator (the dingo) has positive effects on both abundance and foraging efficiency of a desert rodent. Then by manipulating predators' access to food patches we further the idea that apex predators provide small prey with refuge from predation by showing that rodents increased their habitat breadth and use of 'risky' food patches where an apex predator was common but mesopredators rare. Our study suggests that apex predators' suppressive effects on mesopredators extend to alleviate both mesopredators' consumptive and non-consumptive effects on prey. PMID:25652837

  6. Predator olfactory cues generate a foraging–predation trade-off through prey apprehension

    PubMed Central

    Siepielski, Adam M.; Fallon, Eric; Boersma, Kate

    2016-01-01

    Most animals are faced with the challenge of securing food under the risk of predation. This frequently generates a trade-off whereby animals respond to predator cues with reduced movement to avoid predation at the direct cost of reduced foraging success. However, predators may also cause prey to be apprehensive in their foraging activities, which would generate an indirect ‘apprehension cost’. Apprehension arises when a forager redirects attention from foraging tasks to predator detection and incurs a cost from such multi-tasking, because the forager ends up making more mistakes in its foraging tasks as a result. Here, we test this apprehension cost hypothesis and show that damselflies miss a greater proportion of their prey during foraging bouts in response to both olfactory cues produced by conspecifics that have only viewed a fish predator and olfactory cues produced directly by fish. This reduced feeding efficiency is in addition to the stereotypical anti-predator response of reduced activity, which we also observed. These results show that costs associated with anti-predator responses not only arise through behavioural alterations that reduce the risk of predation, but also from the indirect costs of apprehension and multi-tasking that can reduce feeding efficiency under the threat of predation. PMID:26998324

  7. Mesopredator suppression by an apex predator alleviates the risk of predation perceived by small prey

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Christopher E.; Feit, Anna; Grüber, Jennifer; Letnic, Mike

    2015-01-01

    Predators can impact their prey via consumptive effects that occur through direct killing, and via non-consumptive effects that arise when the behaviour and phenotypes of prey shift in response to the risk of predation. Although predators' consumptive effects can have cascading population-level effects on species at lower trophic levels there is less evidence that predators' non-consumptive effects propagate through ecosystems. Here we provide evidence that suppression of abundance and activity of a mesopredator (the feral cat) by an apex predator (the dingo) has positive effects on both abundance and foraging efficiency of a desert rodent. Then by manipulating predators' access to food patches we further the idea that apex predators provide small prey with refuge from predation by showing that rodents increased their habitat breadth and use of ‘risky′ food patches where an apex predator was common but mesopredators rare. Our study suggests that apex predators' suppressive effects on mesopredators extend to alleviate both mesopredators' consumptive and non-consumptive effects on prey. PMID:25652837

  8. Predator identity influences the effect of habitat management on nest predation.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Timothy P; Miller, James R; Debinski, Diane M; Engle, David M

    2015-09-01

    Predation is the leading cause of nest failure for many passerines and considerable effort is devoted to identifying the habitat characteristics and management practices that influence nest loss. The habitat components associated with nest loss are strongly influenced by the ecology of nest predators and differ among predator species as a result. Nevertheless, there is a tendency to generalize about the effects of habitat features and management on nest failure without considering how resulting patterns are influenced by nest predators. We examined how predator-specific patterns of nest loss differed among predators and in response to grassland management with fire and grazing by cattle (Bos taurus). We used video cameras to monitor and identify predators at nests of the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), a species of conservation concern throughout its range. We observed predation by 15 different species that differed in their response to management and the habitat characteristics associated with nests they preyed on. Losses to mammals and snakes were more likely at nests with greater amounts of litter cover and tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix). Mammals were less likely to prey on nests surrounded by greater forb cover. Nest predation by snakes was lower in burned areas, whereas predation by mammals and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) was unaffected by the use of fire. Neither vegetation density at the nest, nor landscape context was related to nest loss by any predator taxon. Although there were many similarities, we identified important differences in the species composing the nest predator community between our. study and other published research. These differences are likely to be responsible for geographic variation in the influence of habitat features and management actions on nest success. Our results demonstrate the need for natural resource managers to incorporate knowledge of local nest predators and their ecology when developing

  9. Bald eagle predation on common loon egg

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeStefano, Stephen; McCarthy, Kyle P.; Laskowski, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The Common Loon (Gavia immer) must defend against many potential egg predators during incubation, including corvids, Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), fisher (Martes pennanti), and mink (Neovison vison) (McIntyre 1988, Evers 2004, McCann et al. 2005). Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been documented as predators of both adult Common Loons and their chicks (Vliestra and Paruk 1997, Paruk et al. 1999, Erlandson et al. 2007, Piper et al. 2008). In Wisconsin, where nesting Bald Eagles are abundant (>1200 nesting pairs, >1 young/pair/year), field biologists observed four instances of eagle predation of eggs in loon nests during the period 2002–2004 (M. Meyer pers. comm.). In addition, four cases of eagle predation of incubating adult loons were inferred from evidence found at the loon nest (dozens of plucked adult loon feathers, no carcass remains) and/or loon leg, neck, and skull bones beneath two active eagle nests, including leg bones containing the bands of the nearby (<25 m) incubating adult loon. However, although loon egg predation has been associated with Bald Eagles, predation events have yet to be described in peer-reviewed literature. Here we describe a photographic observation of predation on a Common Loon egg by an immature Bald Eagle as captured by a nest surveillance video camera on Lake Umbagog, a large lake (32 km2) at Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge (UNWR) in Maine.

  10. The increased risk of predation enhances cooperation

    PubMed Central

    Krams, Indrikis; Bērziņš, Arnis; Krama, Tatjana; Wheatcroft, David; Igaune, Kristīne; Rantala, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that animals in adverse conditions can decrease individual risks and increase long-term benefits by cooperating with neighbours. However, some empirical studies suggest that animals often focus on short-term benefits, which can reduce the likelihood that they will cooperate with others. In this experimental study, we tested between these two alternatives by evaluating whether increased predation risk (as a correlate of environmental adversity) enhances or diminishes the occurrence of cooperation in mobbing, a common anti-predator behaviour, among breeding pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. We tested whether birds would join their mobbing neighbours more often and harass a stuffed predator placed near their neighbours' nests more intensely in areas with a higher perceived risk of predation. Our results show that birds attended mobs initiated by their neighbours more often, approached the stuffed predator significantly more closely, and mobbed it at a higher intensity in areas where the perceived risk of predation was experimentally increased. In such high-risk areas, birds also were more often involved in between-pair cooperation. This study demonstrates the positive impact of predation risk on cooperation in breeding songbirds, which might help in explaining the emergence and evolution of cooperation. PMID:19846454

  11. Lethal predators: psychopathic, sadistic, and sane.

    PubMed

    Ochberg, Frank M; Brantley, Alan C; Hare, R D; Houk, Peter D; Ianni, Robert; James, Earl; O'Toole, Mary Ellen; Saathoff, Gregory

    2003-01-01

    The violent criminals defined in this article are a small, exceptionally dangerous group of offenders designated by the authors as "lethal predators." They have a history of sexual predation, have killed at least once, and are mentally abnormal but legally sane. They are highly likely to keep killing as long as they are free. Laws permitting civil commitment of dangerous and mentally abnormal sexual predators after they have completed criminal prison sentences have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Such laws can provide a legal means of keeping these highly dangerous killers confined so they cannot kill again. PMID:14608825

  12. Nutrient-Specific Foraging in Invertebrate Predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayntz, David; Raubenheimer, David; Salomon, Mor; Toft, Søren; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

    Many herbivores and omnivores adjust their food selection behavior to regulate the intake of multiple nutrients. Carnivores, however, are generally assumed to optimize the rate of prey capture rather than select prey according to nutrient composition. We showed experimentally that invertebrate predators can forage selectively for protein and lipids to redress specific nutritional imbalances. This selection can take place at different stages of prey handling: The predator may select among foods of different nutritional composition, eat more of a prey if it is rich in nutrients that the predator is deficient in, or extract specific nutrients from a single prey item.

  13. Feeding behaviour of an intertidal snail: Does past environmental stress affect predator choices and prey vulnerability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gestoso, Ignacio; Arenas, Francisco; Olabarria, Celia

    2015-03-01

    Predation is one of the most important factors in determining structure and dynamics of communities on intertidal rocky shores. Such regulatory role may be of special relevance in novel communities resulting from biological invasions. Non-indigenous species frequently escape natural predators that limit their distribution and abundance in the native range. However, biological interactions also can limit the establishment and spread of non-native populations. There is a growing concern that climate change might affect predator-prey interactions exacerbating the ecological impacts of non-indigenous species. However, mechanisms underlying such interactions are poorly understood in marine ecosystems. Here, we explored if past environmental stress, i.e., increasing temperature and decreasing pH, could affect the vulnerability of two mussel prey, the native Mytilus galloprovincialis and the non-indigenous Xenostrobus securis, to predation by the native dogwhelk Nucella lapillus. In addition, we evaluated the consequences on the feeding behaviour of N. lapillus. First, we exposed monospecific assemblages of each mussel species to combined experimental conditions of increasing temperature and decreasing pH in mesocosms for 3 weeks. Then assemblages were placed on a rocky shore and were enclosed in cages with dogwhelks where they remained for 3 weeks. Despite the lack of preference, consumption was much greater on the native than on the invasive mussels, which barely were consumed by dogwhelks. However, this trend was diverted when temperature increased. Thus, under a coastal warming scenario shifts in dogwhelks feeding behaviour may help to contain invader's populations, especially in estuarine areas where these predators are abundant.

  14. Alien Invasions and the Game of Hide and Seek in Patagonia

    PubMed Central

    Lindegren, Martin; Vigliano, Pablo; Nilsson, P. Anders

    2012-01-01

    The introduction, establishment and spread of alien species is a major threat to biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services for human wellbeing. In order to reduce further loss of biodiversity and maintain productive and sustainable ecosystems, understanding the ecological mechanisms underlying species invasions and avoiding potentially harmful effects on native communities is urgently needed, but largely lacking. We here demonstrate, by means of hydroacoustics and advanced spatial modelling, how native fish species as a result of previous exposure to native predators may successfully respond to invasive novel predators through a complicated game of hide and seek, minimizing spatio-temporal overlap with predators, and potentially facilitating coexistence between native prey species (Galaxiids) and introduced novel predators (Salmonids) in a deep Andean lake, Patagonia. PMID:23071496

  15. The Use of Protein Markers to Pinpoint Predation Events

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Identifying the feeding choices and amount of prey consumed by generalist predators is difficult. Often the only evidence of arthropod predation is in the stomach contents of predators. Currently, the state-of-the-art predator stomach content assays include prey-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent...

  16. Intraguild Predation in Heteroptera: Effects of Density and Predator Identity on Dipteran Prey.

    PubMed

    Brahma, S; Sharma, D; Kundu, M; Saha, N; Saha, G K; Aditya, G

    2015-08-01

    In tropical freshwaters, different species of water bugs (Heteroptera) constitute a guild sharing similar prey resources including chironomid and mosquito larvae. Assuming possibilities of intraguild predation (IGP) among the constituent members, an attempt was made to evaluate the effects of prey and predator density on the mortality of mosquito and chironomid larvae (shared prey), using Laccotrephes griseus Guérin-Méneville (Hemiptera: Nepidae) and Ranatra filiformis Fabricius (Hemiptera: Nepidae) as IG predators and Anisops bouvieri Kirkaldy (Hemiptera: Notonectidae) as IG prey. The predation on mosquito and chironomid larvae varied with the density and combinations of the predators. When present as conspecific IG predators, L. griseus exhibited greater effect on the prey mortality than R. filiformis. The effects on shared prey suggest that the two predators are not substitutable in terms of the effect on the shared prey mortality. The mortality of A. bouvieri (IG prey) at low shared prey density was significantly different (p < 0.05) from high shared prey density. In view of predatory effect of the heteropteran predators on the dipteran larvae, the results suggest possible interference by the presence of A. bouvieri as an intermediate predator. It seems that the presence of heteropteran predators including A. bouvieri as IG prey may benefit the dipteran prey under situations when the density is low in tropical waters. The intensity of the predatory effect may differ based on the species composition at IG predator level. For mosquito biological control, the interactions between the predators may not be substitutable and are independent in their effects. PMID:26174962

  17. Patterns of detection and capture are associated with cohabiting predators and prey.

    PubMed

    Lazenby, Billie T; Dickman, Christopher R

    2013-01-01

    Avoidance behaviour can play an important role in structuring ecosystems but can be difficult to uncover and quantify. Remote cameras have great but as yet unrealized potential to uncover patterns arising from predatory, competitive or other interactions that structure animal communities by detecting species that are active at the same sites and recording their behaviours and times of activity. Here, we use multi-season, two-species occupancy models to test for evidence of interactions between introduced (feral cat Felis catus) and native predator (Tasmanian devil Sarcophilus harrisii) and predator and small mammal (swamp rat Rattus lutreolus velutinus) combinations at baited camera sites in the cool temperate forests of southern Tasmania. In addition, we investigate the capture rates of swamp rats in traps scented with feral cat and devil faecal odours. We observed that one species could reduce the probability of detecting another at a camera site. In particular, feral cats were detected less frequently at camera sites occupied by devils, whereas patterns of swamp rat detection associated with devils or feral cats varied with study site. Captures of swamp rats were not associated with odours on traps, although fewer captures tended to occur in traps scented with the faecal odour of feral cats. The observation that a native carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil, can suppress the detectability of an introduced eutherian predator, the feral cat, is consistent with a dominant predator-mesopredator relationship. Such a relationship has important implications for the interaction between feral cats and the lower trophic guilds that form their prey, especially if cat activity increases in places where devil populations are declining. More generally, population estimates derived from devices such as remote cameras need to acknowledge the potential for one species to change the detectability of another, and incorporate this in assessments of numbers and survival. PMID

  18. Patterns of Detection and Capture Are Associated with Cohabiting Predators and Prey

    PubMed Central

    Lazenby, Billie T.; Dickman, Christopher R.

    2013-01-01

    Avoidance behaviour can play an important role in structuring ecosystems but can be difficult to uncover and quantify. Remote cameras have great but as yet unrealized potential to uncover patterns arising from predatory, competitive or other interactions that structure animal communities by detecting species that are active at the same sites and recording their behaviours and times of activity. Here, we use multi-season, two-species occupancy models to test for evidence of interactions between introduced (feral cat Felis catus) and native predator (Tasmanian devil Sarcophilus harrisii) and predator and small mammal (swamp rat Rattus lutreolus velutinus) combinations at baited camera sites in the cool temperate forests of southern Tasmania. In addition, we investigate the capture rates of swamp rats in traps scented with feral cat and devil faecal odours. We observed that one species could reduce the probability of detecting another at a camera site. In particular, feral cats were detected less frequently at camera sites occupied by devils, whereas patterns of swamp rat detection associated with devils or feral cats varied with study site. Captures of swamp rats were not associated with odours on traps, although fewer captures tended to occur in traps scented with the faecal odour of feral cats. The observation that a native carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil, can suppress the detectability of an introduced eutherian predator, the feral cat, is consistent with a dominant predator – mesopredator relationship. Such a relationship has important implications for the interaction between feral cats and the lower trophic guilds that form their prey, especially if cat activity increases in places where devil populations are declining. More generally, population estimates derived from devices such as remote cameras need to acknowledge the potential for one species to change the detectability of another, and incorporate this in assessments of numbers and survival

  19. Behavioral responses of anuran larvae to chemical cues of native and introduced predators in the Pacific Northwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Adams, Michael J.; Schuytema, Gerald S.; Nebeker, A.V.

    2003-01-01

    We compared behavioral responses of larvae of three Pacific Northwest anurans from different hydroperiods to water borne cues of native and introduced predators. Two native anurans (Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla, and Northern Red-Legged Frog, Rana aurora aurora) and introduced Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) responded to water conditioned by native Redside Shiners (Richardsonius balteatus) by increasing refuge use. The larvae of the two native anurans differed in their response to introduced predator cues. Rana aurora aurora, which occur in temporary and permanent waters, responded to both introduced Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) and introduced Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). Pseudacris regilla, which occur primarily in temporary ponds, did not respond to water borne cues from either introduced predator. The broader responses of R. a. aurora may indicate greater behavioral plasticity or more exposure to novel predators than experienced by P. regilla. Larvae of introduced R. catesbeiana responded strongly to cues from two fish native to the Pacific northwest but did not alter behavior in response to any of five potential predators with which they coexist in their native range. Fish that occur with R. catesbeiana in their native range generally find Bullfrog larvae unpalatable. This pattern suggests that Bullfrog larvae can recognize cues of novel predators that may find them palatable, which could contribute to their success as an invasive species in the region.

  20. Predator-specific camouflage in chameleons.

    PubMed

    Stuart-Fox, Devi; Moussalli, Adnan; Whiting, Martin J

    2008-08-23

    A crucial problem for most animals is how to deal with multiple types of predator, which differ in their sensory capabilities and methods of prey detection. For animals capable of rapid colour change, one potential strategy is to change their appearance in relation to the threat posed by different predators. Here, we show that the dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion taeniabronchum, exhibits different colour responses to two predators that differ in their visual capabilities. Using a model of animal colour perception to gain a 'predator's eye view', we show that chameleons showed better background colour matching in response to birds than snakes, yet they appear significantly more camouflaged to the snake visual system because snakes have poorer colour discrimination. PMID:18492645

  1. Frequency-dependent selection by predators.

    PubMed

    Allen, J A

    1988-07-01

    Sometimes predators tend to concentrate on common varieties of prey and overlook rare ones. Within prey species, this could result in the fitness of each variety being inversely related to its frequency in the population. Such frequency-dependent or 'apostatic' selection by predators hunting by sight could maintain polymorphism for colour pattern, and much of the supporting evidence for this idea has come from work on birds and artificial prey. These and other studies have shown that the strength of the observed selection is affected by prey density, palatability, coloration and conspicuousness. When the prey density is very high, selection becomes 'anti-apostatic': predators preferentially remove rare prey. There is still much to be learned about frequency-dependent selection by predators on artificial prey: work on natural polymorphic prey has hardly begun. PMID:2905488

  2. Predator-dependent species-area relationships.

    PubMed

    Ryberg, Wade A; Chase, Jonathan M

    2007-10-01

    In addition to having a positive effect on species richness (species-area relationships [SARs]), habitat area can influence the presence of predators, which can indirectly influence prey richness. While these direct and indirect effects of area on richness occur simultaneously, no research has examined how predation might contribute to SAR variation. We extend MacArthur and Wilson's equilibrium theory of island biogeography by including predation-induced shifts in prey extinction and predict that predators will reduce slopes of prey SARs. We provide support for this with data from two insular ecosystems: orthopteran richness in Ozark glades (rocky herbaceous communities within a forested matrix) with and without insectivorous lizards and zooplankton richness in freshwater ponds with and without zooplanktivorous fishes. Our results emphasize that anthropogenic activities yield simultaneous changes in processes altering diversity and that it is critical that we understand how these components of anthropogenic change interact to impact diversity. PMID:17891741

  3. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems. PMID:26861474

  4. Predation-risk effects of predator identity on the foraging behaviors of frugivorous bats.

    PubMed

    Breviglieri, C P B; Piccoli, G C O; Uieda, W; Romero, G Q

    2013-11-01

    Predators directly and indirectly affect the density and the behavior of prey. These effects may potentially cascade down to lower trophic levels. In this study, we tested the effects of predator calls (playbacks of bird vocalizations: Tyto alba, Speotyto cunicularia, and Vanellus chilensis), predator visual stimuli (stuffed birds) and interactions of visual and auditory cues, on the behavior of frugivore phyllostomid bats in the field. In addition, we tested if the effects of predation risk cascade down to other trophic levels by measuring rates of seed dispersal of the tree Muntingia calabura. Using video recording, we found that bats significantly decreased the foraging frequency on trees when a visual cue of T. alba was present. However, no stimuli of potential predatory birds, including vocalization of T. alba, affected bat foraging frequency. There was a change in bat behavior during 7 min, but then their frequency of activity gradually increased. Consequently, the presence of T. alba decreased by up to ten times the rate of seed removal. These results indicate that risk sensitivity of frugivorous phyllostomid bats depends on predator identity and presence. Among the predators used in this study, only T. alba is an effective bat predator in the Neotropics. Sound stimuli of T. alba seem not to be a cue of predation risk, possibly because their vocalizations are used only for intraspecific communication. This study emphasizes the importance of evaluating different predator stimuli on the behavior of vertebrates, as well as the effects of these stimuli on trait-mediated trophic cascades. PMID:23657559

  5. The island syndrome and population dynamics of introduced rats.

    PubMed

    Russell, James C; Ringler, David; Trombini, Aurélien; Le Corre, Matthieu

    2011-11-01

    The island syndrome predicts directional changes in the morphology and demography of insular vertebrates, due to changes in trophic complexity and migration rates caused by island size and isolation. However, the high rate of human-mediated species introductions to some islands also increases trophic complexity, and this will reduce the perceived insularity on any such island. We test four hypotheses on the role of increased trophic complexity on the island syndrome, using introduced black rats (Rattus rattus) on two isolated coral atolls in the Mozambique Channel. Europa Island has remained relatively pristine and insular, with few species introductions, whereas Juan de Nova Island has had many species introductions, including predators and competitors of rats, anthropogenically increasing its trophic complexity. In the most insular environments, the island syndrome is expected to generate increases in body size and densities of rodents but decreases in the rates of reproduction and population cycling. Morphology and reproduction were compared using linear regression and canonical discriminant analysis, while density and population cycling were compared using spatially explicit capture-recapture analysis. Results were compared to other insular black rat populations in the Mozambique Channel and were consistent with predictions from the island syndrome. The manifestation of an island syndrome in rodents depends upon the trophic composition of a community, and may not relate to island size alone when many species additions, such as invasions, have occurred. The differing patterns of rodent population dynamics on each island provide information for future rodent eradication operations. PMID:21643994

  6. Biotic resistance to invasion along an estuarine gradient

    PubMed Central

    Hovel, Kevin A.

    2010-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the ability of native communities to repel the establishment of invasive species. Predation by native species may confer biotic resistance to communities, but the environmental context under which this form of biotic resistance occurs is not well understood. We evaluated several factors that influence the distribution of invasive Asian mussels (Musculista senhousia) in Mission Bay, a southern California estuary containing an extensive eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat. Asian mussels exhibit a distinct spatial pattern of invasion, with extremely high densities towards the back of Mission Bay (up to 4,000 m−2) in contrast with near-complete absence at sites towards the front of the bay. We established that recruits arrived at sites where adult mussels were absent and found that dense eelgrass does not appear to preclude Asian mussel growth and survival. Mussel survival and growth were high in predator-exclusion plots throughout the bay, but mussel survival was low in the front of the bay when plots were open to predators. Additional experiments revealed that consumption by spiny lobsters (Panulirus interruptus) and a gastropod (Pteropurpura festiva) likely are the primary factors responsible for resistance to Asian mussel invasion. However, biotic resistance was dependent on location within the estuary (for both species) and also on the availability of a hard substratum (for P. festiva). Our findings indicate that biotic resistance in the form of predation may be conferred by higher order predators, but that the strength of resistance may strongly vary across estuarine gradients and depend on the nature of the locally available habitat. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1700-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20602118

  7. Environmental and Biotic Correlates to Lionfish Invasion Success in Bahamian Coral Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Anton, Andrea; Simpson, Michael S.; Vu, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    Lionfish (Pterois volitans), venomous predators from the Indo-Pacific, are recent invaders of the Caribbean Basin and southeastern coast of North America. Quantification of invasive lionfish abundances, along with potentially important physical and biological environmental characteristics, permitted inferences about the invasion process of reefs on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Environmental wave-exposure had a large influence on lionfish abundance, which was more than 20 and 120 times greater for density and biomass respectively at sheltered sites as compared with wave-exposed environments. Our measurements of topographic complexity of the reefs revealed that lionfish abundance was not driven by habitat rugosity. Lionfish abundance was not negatively affected by the abundance of large native predators (or large native groupers) and was also unrelated to the abundance of medium prey fishes (total length of 5–10 cm). These relationships suggest that (1) higher-energy environments may impose intrinsic resistance against lionfish invasion, (2) habitat complexity may not facilitate the lionfish invasion process, (3) predation or competition by native fishes may not provide biotic resistance against lionfish invasion, and (4) abundant prey fish might not facilitate lionfish invasion success. The relatively low biomass of large grouper on this island could explain our failure to detect suppression of lionfish abundance and we encourage continuing the preservation and restoration of potential lionfish predators in the Caribbean. In addition, energetic environments might exert direct or indirect resistance to the lionfish proliferation, providing native fish populations with essential refuges. PMID:25184250

  8. Environmental and biotic correlates to lionfish invasion success in Bahamian coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Anton, Andrea; Simpson, Michael S; Vu, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    Lionfish (Pterois volitans), venomous predators from the Indo-Pacific, are recent invaders of the Caribbean Basin and southeastern coast of North America. Quantification of invasive lionfish abundances, along with potentially important physical and biological environmental characteristics, permitted inferences about the invasion process of reefs on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Environmental wave-exposure had a large influence on lionfish abundance, which was more than 20 and 120 times greater for density and biomass respectively at sheltered sites as compared with wave-exposed environments. Our measurements of topographic complexity of the reefs revealed that lionfish abundance was not driven by habitat rugosity. Lionfish abundance was not negatively affected by the abundance of large native predators (or large native groupers) and was also unrelated to the abundance of medium prey fishes (total length of 5-10 cm). These relationships suggest that (1) higher-energy environments may impose intrinsic resistance against lionfish invasion, (2) habitat complexity may not facilitate the lionfish invasion process, (3) predation or competition by native fishes may not provide biotic resistance against lionfish invasion, and (4) abundant prey fish might not facilitate lionfish invasion success. The relatively low biomass of large grouper on this island could explain our failure to detect suppression of lionfish abundance and we encourage continuing the preservation and restoration of potential lionfish predators in the Caribbean. In addition, energetic environments might exert direct or indirect resistance to the lionfish proliferation, providing native fish populations with essential refuges. PMID:25184250

  9. Interactions between αv-Integrin and HER2 and Their Role in the Invasive Phenotype of Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro and in Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Lal, Sangeet; Kersch, Cymon; Beeson, Kathleen A.; Wu, Y. Jeffrey; Muldoon, Leslie L.; Neuwelt, Edward A.

    2015-01-01

    Background We tested the hypothesis that αv-integrin and the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) interact with each other in brain trophic metastatic breast cancer cells and influence their invasive phenotype. Methods Clones of MDA-MB231BR human breast cancer cells with stable knock down of αv-integrin in combination with high or low levels of HER2 were created. The interactions of these two proteins and their combined effect on cell migration and invasion were investigated in vitro and in vivo. Results Knockdown of αv-integrin in MDA-MB231BR clones altered the actin cytoskeleton and cell morphology. HER2 co-precipitated with αv-integrin in three breast cancer cell lines in vitro, suggesting they complex in cells. Knockdown of αv-integrin altered HER2 localization from its normal membrane position to a predominantly lysosomal localization. When αv-integrin expression was decreased by 69–93% in HER2-expressing cells, cellular motility was significantly reduced. Deficiency of both αv-integrin and HER2 decreased cellular migration and invasion by almost 90% compared to cells expressing both proteins (P<0.01). After intracerebral inoculation, cells expressing high levels of both αv-integrin and HER2 showed a diffusely infiltrative tumor phenotype, while cells deficient in αv-integrin and/or HER2 showed a compact tumor growth phenotype. In the αv-integrin positive/HER2 positive tumors, infiltrative growth was 57.2 ± 19% of tumor volume, compared to only 5.8 ± 6.1% infiltration in the double deficient tumor cells. Conclusions αv-integrin interacts with HER2 in breast cancer cells and may regulate HER2 localization. The combined impacts of αv-integrin and HER2 influence the invasive phenotype of breast cancer cells. Targeting αv-integrin in HER2-positive breast cancer may slow growth and decrease infiltration in the normal brain. PMID:26222911

  10. Limited spatial response to direct predation risk by African herbivores following predator reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew B; Tambling, Craig J; Kerley, Graham I H; Asner, Gregory P

    2016-08-01

    Predators affect ecosystems not only through direct mortality of prey, but also through risk effects on prey behavior, which can exert strong influences on ecosystem function and prey fitness. However, how functionally different prey species respond to predation risk and how prey strategies vary across ecosystems and in response to predator reintroduction are poorly understood. We investigated the spatial distributions of six African herbivores varying in foraging strategy and body size in response to environmental factors and direct predation risk by recently reintroduced lions in the thicket biome of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, using camera trap surveys, GPS telemetry, kill site locations and Light Detection and Ranging. Spatial distributions of all species, apart from buffalo, were driven primarily by environmental factors, with limited responses to direct predation risk. Responses to predation risk were instead indirect, with species distributions driven by environmental factors, and diel patterns being particularly pronounced. Grazers were more responsive to the measured variables than browsers, with more observations in open areas. Terrain ruggedness was a stronger predictor of browser distributions than was vegetation density. Buffalo was the only species to respond to predator encounter risk, avoiding areas with higher lion utilization. Buffalo therefore behaved in similar ways to when lions were absent from the study area. Our results suggest that direct predation risk effects are relatively weak when predator densities are low and the time since reintroduction is short and emphasize the need for robust, long-term monitoring of predator reintroductions to place such events in the broader context of predation risk effects. PMID:27547350

  11. Rhinoceros beetles suffer male-biased predation by mammalian and avian predators.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Wataru; Sugiura, Shinji; Makihara, Hiroshi; Ishikawa, Yukio; Takanashi, Takuma

    2014-03-01

    Male sexually-selected traits often impose an increased risk of predation on their bearers, causing male-biased predation. We investigated whether males of the sap-feeding Japanese rhinoceros beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus were more susceptible to predation than females by comparing the morphology of beetles caught in bait traps with the remains of beetles found on the ground. The males of this species are larger than the females and have a horn on the head. We found that predation pressure was greater for males than for females, and that larger individuals of both sexes were more vulnerable to predation. We identified two predators, the raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides and jungle crow Corvus macrorhynchos, by monitoring sap-site trees with infrared video cameras. Raccoon dogs visited sap-site trees at night, while crows came after daybreak. The highest frequency of visits by both predators was observed in the first half of August, which matches the peak season of T. dichotomus. Raccoon dogs often left bite marks on the remains of prey, whereas crows did not. Bite marks were found on most of the remains collected at two distant localities, which suggested that predation by raccoon dogs is common. Size- and sex-dependent differences in the conspicuousness and active period of T. dichotomus probably explain these biased predation patterns. Our results suggest that having a large horn/body is costly in terms of the increased risk of predation. Predation cost may act as a stabilizing selection pressure against the further exaggeration of male sexual traits. PMID:24601771

  12. Assessing the potential for fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): Insight from bioenergetics models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eggleton, M.A.; Miranda, L.E.; Kirk, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Rates of annual food consumption and biomass were modeled for several fish species across representative rivers and lakes in eastern North America. Results were combined to assess the relative potential of fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Predicted annual food consumption by fishes in southern waters was over 100% greater than that in northern systems because of warmer annual water temperatures and presumed increases in metabolic demand. Although generally increasing with latitude, biomasses of several key zebra mussel fish predators did not change significantly across latitudes. Biomasses of some less abundant fish predators did increase significantly with latitude, but increases were not of the magnitude to offset predicted decreases in food consumption. Our results generally support the premise that fishes in rivers and lakes of the southern United States (U.S.) have inherently greater potential to impact zebra mussels by predation. Our simulations may provide a partial explanation of why zebra mussel invasions have not been as rapid and widespread in southern U.S. waters compared to the Great Lakes region. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

  13. Keystone effects of an alien top-predator stem extinctions of native mammals.

    PubMed

    Letnic, Mike; Koch, Freya; Gordon, Chris; Crowther, Mathew S; Dickman, Christopher R

    2009-09-22

    Alien predators can have catastrophic effects on ecosystems and are thought to be much more harmful to biodiversity than their native counterparts. However, trophic cascade theory and the mesopredator release hypothesis predict that the removal of top predators will result in the reorganization of trophic webs and loss of biodiversity. Using field data collected throughout arid Australia, we provide evidence that removal of an alien top-predator, the dingo, has cascading effects through lower trophic levels. Dingo removal was linked to increased activity of herbivores and an invasive mesopredator, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and to the loss of grass cover and native species of small mammals. Using species distribution data, we predict that reintroducing or maintaining dingo populations would produce a net benefit for the conservation of threatened native mammals across greater than 2.42 x 10(6) km(2) of Australia. Our study provides evidence that an alien top predator can assume a keystone role and be beneficial for biodiversity conservation, and also that mammalian carnivores more generally can generate strong trophic cascades in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:19535372

  14. Impulsive spatial control of invading pests by generalist predators.

    PubMed

    Aniţa, Sebastian; Casas, Jérôme; Suppo, Christelle

    2014-09-01

    We model the conditions for pest eradication in a reaction-diffusion system made of a prey and a generalist predator through spatial impulsive control within a bounded domain. The motivating example is the control of the invasive horse chestnut leafminer moth through the yearly destruction of leaves in autumn, in which both the pest and its parasitoids overwinter. The model is made of two integro-partial differential equations, the integral portion describing the within-year immigration from the whole domain. The problem of pest eradication is strongly related to some appropriate eigenvalue problems. Basic properties of the principal eigenvalues of these problems are derived by using of Krein-Rutman's theorem and of comparison results for parabolic equations with non-local terms. Spatial control of the pest can be achieved, if one of these principal eigenvalues is large enough, at an exponential rate. This is true without and with parasitoids, the latter case being of course more rapid. We discuss the possible implementation of these results to the leafminer invasion problem and discuss complementary methods. PMID:23788257

  15. Evidence of intraguild predation on a key member of the cotton predator complex

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding trophic level interactions of arthropods is vital for identifying the biological control services provided by the predator complex. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed to examine the gut contents of the cotton predator community for the presence of the DNA of green l...

  16. A predator-prey model with diseases in both prey and predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xubin; Pan, Qiuhui; He, Mingfeng; Kang, Yibin

    2013-12-01

    In this paper, we present and analyze a predator-prey model, in which both predator and prey can be infected. Each of the predator and prey is divided into two categories, susceptible and infected. The epidemics cannot be transmitted between prey and predator by predation. The predation ability of susceptible predators is stronger than infected ones. Likewise, it is more difficult to catch a susceptible prey than an infected one. And the diseases cannot be hereditary in both of the predator and prey populations. Based on the assumptions above, we find that there are six equilibrium points in this model. Using the base reproduction number, we discuss the stability of the equilibrium points qualitatively. Then both of the local and global stabilities of the equilibrium points are analyzed quantitatively by mathematical methods. We provide numerical results to discuss some interesting biological cases that our model exhibits. Lastly, we discuss how the infectious rates affect the stability, and how the other parameters work in the five possible cases within this model.

  17. Predator interference effects on biological control: The "paradox" of the generalist predator revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parshad, Rana D.; Bhowmick, Suman; Quansah, Emmanuel; Basheer, Aladeen; Upadhyay, Ranjit Kumar

    2016-10-01

    An interesting conundrum in biological control questions the efficiency of generalist predators as biological control agents. Theory suggests, generalist predators are poor agents for biological control, primarily due to mutual interference. However field evidence shows they are actually quite effective in regulating pest densities. In this work we provide a plausible answer to this paradox. We analyze a three species model, where a generalist top predator is introduced into an ecosystem as a biological control, to check the population of a middle predator, that in turn is depredating on a prey species. We show that the inclusion of predator interference alone, can cause the solution of the top predator equation to blow-up in finite time, while there is global existence in the no interference case. This result shows that interference could actually cause a population explosion of the top predator, enabling it to control the target species, thus corroborating recent field evidence. Our results might also partially explain the population explosion of certain species, introduced originally for biological control purposes, such as the cane toad (Bufo marinus) in Australia, which now functions as a generalist top predator. We also show both Turing instability and spatio-temporal chaos in the model. Lastly we investigate time delay effects.

  18. Temporal scaling of episodic point estimates of weed seed predation to long-term predation rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed seed predation is an important ecosystem service supporting weed management in low-external-input agroecosystems. For convenience, measurements of seed predation are often made at very short time scales (< 3 d). However, one of the primary uses of such data, the parameterization of models of cr...

  19. Predation of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by a complex of predators in soybean habitats adjoining cotton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molecular gut-content analysis was used to examine predation on stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by arthropod predators in habitats of soybean with and without buckwheat and adjoining cotton. Nezara viridula (L.), Euschistus servus (Say), Chinavia hilaris (Say), and Euschistus quadrator Rolston,...

  20. Long-lasting, selective, anxiogenic effects of feline predator stress in mice.

    PubMed

    Adamec, Robert; Walling, Sue; Burton, Paul

    2004-12-15

    Lasting increases in anxiety-like behavior (ALB) are produced by brief exposure of rats to a cat [Adamec RE, Shallow T, Lasting effects on rodent anxiety of a single exposure to a cat, Physiol. Behav., 54 (1993) 101-109.]. Mice also respond defensively to natural predator stimuli. Moreover, chronic exposure of mice to rat odor has immediate anxiogenic effects in plus maze and lasting (7 days) and effects on acoustic startle. The present study examined the lasting (7 days) after effects on ALB of a brief unprotected exposure of male CFW mice to a cat. Lasting effects on ALB of exposure to the cat exposure room were also assessed. Effects on behavior were studied in the hole board and elevated plus-maze (EPM). An ethological analysis of behavior revealed that risk assessment in the EPM was increased the most in predator-stressed mice. Mice exposed to the cat exposure room showed increased risk assessment falling between controls and cat exposed mice. Behavior in the hole board was unaffected, as were most other behaviors in the plus maze. Factor analysis revealed independence of risk assessment from other measures of ALB, activity and exploration, consistent with findings in rats. Aspects of the stress experience were highly predictive of later response to the cat. Cat biting and pawing, mouse fleeing and mouse weight measured at the time of cat exposure together accounted for 71% of the variance of risk assessment in cat exposed mice. The significance of these findings for vulnerability to cat predator stress of mice and for the use of predator stress in mice as a model of aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are discussed. PMID:15581662

  1. Effects of invasive plants on arthropods.

    PubMed

    Litt, Andrea R; Cord, Erin E; Fulbright, Timothy E; Schuster, Greta L

    2014-12-01

    Non-native plants have invaded nearly all ecosystems and represent a major component of global ecological change. Plant invasions frequently change the composition and structure of vegetation communities, which can alter animal communities and ecosystem processes. We reviewed 87 articles published in the peer-reviewed literature to evaluate responses of arthropod communities and functional groups to non-native invasive plants. Total abundance of arthropods decreased in 62% of studies and increased in 15%. Taxonomic richness decreased in 48% of studies and increased in 13%. Herbivorous arthropods decreased in response to plant invasions in 48% of studies and increased in 17%, likely due to direct effects of decreased plant diversity. Predaceous arthropods decreased in response to invasive plants in 44% of studies, which may reflect indirect effects due to reductions in prey. Twenty-two percent of studies documented increases in predators, which may reflect changes in vegetation structure that improved mobility, survival, or web-building for these species. Detritivores increased in 67% of studies, likely in response to increased litter and decaying vegetation; no studies documented decreased abundance in this functional group. Although many researchers have examined effects of plant invasions on arthropods, sizeable information gaps remain, specifically regarding how invasive plants influence habitat and dietary requirements. Beyond this, the ability to predict changes in arthropod populations and communities associated with plant invasions could be improved by adopting a more functional and mechanistic approach. Understanding responses of arthropods to invasive plants will critically inform conservation of virtually all biodiversity and ecological processes because so many organisms depend on arthropods as prey or for their functional roles, including pollination, seed dispersal, and decomposition. Given their short generation times and ability to respond rapidly to

  2. Group formation stabilizes predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Fryxell, John M; Mosser, Anna; Sinclair, Anthony R E; Packer, Craig

    2007-10-25

    Theoretical ecology is largely founded on the principle of mass action, in which uncoordinated populations of predators and prey move in a random and well-mixed fashion across a featureless landscape. The conceptual core of this body of theory is the functional response, predicting the rate of prey consumption by individual predators as a function of predator and/or prey densities. This assumption is seriously violated in many ecosystems in which predators and/or prey form social groups. Here we develop a new set of group-dependent functional responses to consider the ecological implications of sociality and apply the model to the Serengeti ecosystem. All of the prey species typically captured by Serengeti lions (Panthera leo) are gregarious, exhibiting nonlinear relationships between prey-group density and population density. The observed patterns of group formation profoundly reduce food intake rates below the levels expected under random mixing, having as strong an impact on intake rates as the seasonal migratory behaviour of the herbivores. A dynamical system model parameterized for the Serengeti ecosystem (using wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) as a well-studied example) shows that grouping strongly stabilizes interactions between lions and wildebeest. Our results suggest that social groups rather than individuals are the basic building blocks around which predator-prey interactions should be modelled and that group formation may provide the underlying stability of many ecosystems. PMID:17960242

  3. Introduced northern pike predation on salmonids in southcentral Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, Adam J.; Rutz, David S.; Ivey, Sam S.; Dunker, Kristine J.; Gross, Jackson A.

    2013-01-01

    Northern pike (Esox lucius) are opportunistic predators that can switch to alternative prey species after preferred prey have declined. This trophic adaptability allows invasive pike to have negative effects on aquatic food webs. In Southcentral Alaska, invasive pike are a substantial concern because they have spread to important spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids and are hypothesised to be responsible for recent salmonid declines. We described the relative importance of salmonids and other prey species to pike diets in the Deshka River and Alexander Creek in Southcentral Alaska. Salmonids were once abundant in both rivers, but they are now rare in Alexander Creek. In the Deshka River, we found that juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and coho salmon (O. kisutch) dominated pike diets and that small pike consumed more of these salmonids than large pike. In Alexander Creek, pike diets reflected the distribution of spawning salmonids, which decrease with distance upstream. Although salmonids dominated pike diets in the lowest reach of the stream, Arctic lamprey (Lampetra camtschatica) and slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) dominated pike diets in the middle and upper reaches. In both rivers, pike density did not influence diet and pike consumed smaller prey items than predicted by their gape-width. Our data suggest that (1) juvenile salmonids are a dominant prey item for pike, (2) small pike are the primary consumers of juvenile salmonids and (3) pike consume other native fish species when juvenile salmonids are less abundant. Implications of this trophic adaptability are that invasive pike can continue to increase while driving multiple species to low abundance.

  4. Defensive behaviour of Apis mellifera against Vespa velutina in France: testing whether European honeybees can develop an effective collective defence against a new predator.

    PubMed

    Arca, Mariangela; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Mougel, Florence; Rortais, Agnès; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Tardy, Pascal; Thiéry, Denis; Silvain, Jean-François; Arnold, Gérard

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the prey-predator interactions between the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, which first invaded France in 2004 and thereafter spread to neighbouring European countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Our goal was to determine how successfully honeybees are able to defend their colonies against their new predator in Europe. Experiments were conducted in the southwest of France-the point of entry of the hornet in Europe-under natural and semi-controlled field conditions. We investigated a total of eight apiaries and 95 colonies subjected to either low or high levels of predation. We analyzed hornet predatory behaviour and collective response of colonies under attack. The results showed that A. mellifera in France exhibit an inefficient and unorganized defence against V. velutina, unlike in other regions of Europe and other areas around the globe where honeybees have co-evolved with their natural Vespa predators. PMID:24857979

  5. Prey perception of predation risk: volatile chemical cues mediate non-consumptive effects of a predator on a herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Sara L; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2014-11-01

    Predators can affect prey in two ways-by reducing their density (consumptive effects) or by changing their behavior, physiology or other phenotypic traits (non-consumptive effects). Understanding the cues and sensory modalities prey use to detect predators is critical for predicting the strength of non-consumptive effects and the outcome of predator-prey encounters. While predator-associated cues have been well studied in aquatic systems, less is known about how terrestrial prey, particularly insect larvae, detect their predators. We evaluated how Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, larvae perceive predation risk by isolating cues from its stink bug predator, the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris. When exposed to male "risk" predators that were surgically manipulated so they could hunt but not kill, beetles reduced feeding 29% compared to controls. Exposure to risk females caused an intermediate response. Beetles ate 24% less on leaves pre-exposed to predators compared to leaves never exposed to predators, indicating that tactile and visual cues are not required for the prey's response. Volatile odor cues from predators reduced beetle feeding by 10% overall, although male predators caused a stronger reduction than females. Finally, visual cues from the predator had a weak effect on beetle feeding. Because multiple cues appear to be involved in prey perception of risk, and because male and female predators have differential effects, beetle larvae likely experience tremendous variation in the information about risk from their local environment. PMID:25234373

  6. Intraguild relationships between sympatric predators exposed to lethal control: predator manipulation experiments

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Terrestrial top-predators are expected to regulate and stabilise food webs through their consumptive and non-consumptive effects on sympatric mesopredators and prey. The lethal control of top-predators has therefore been predicted to inhibit top-predator function, generate the release of mesopredators and indirectly harm native fauna through trophic cascade effects. Understanding the outcomes of lethal control on interactions within terrestrial predator guilds is important for zoologists, conservation biologists and wildlife managers. However, few studies have the capacity to test these predictions experimentally, and no such studies have previously been conducted on the eclectic suite of native and exotic, mammalian and reptilian taxa we simultaneously assess. We conducted a series of landscape-scale, multi-year, manipulative experiments at nine sites spanning five ecosystem types across the Australian continental rangelands to investigate the responses of mesopredators (red foxes, feral cats and goannas) to contemporary poison-baiting programs intended to control top-predators (dingoes) for livestock protection. Result Short-term behavioural releases of mesopredators were not apparent, and in almost all cases, the three mesopredators we assessed were in similar or greater abundance in unbaited areas relative to baited areas, with mesopredator abundance trends typically either uncorrelated or positively correlated with top-predator abundance trends over time. The exotic mammals and native reptile we assessed responded similarly (poorly) to top-predator population manipulation. This is because poison baits were taken by multiple target and non-target predators and top-predator populations quickly recovered to pre-control levels, thus reducing the overall impact of baiting on top-predators and averting a trophic cascade. Conclusions These results are in accord with other predator manipulation experiments conducted worldwide, and suggest that Australian

  7. Minimizing predation risk in a landscape of multiple predators: effects on the spatial distribution of African ungulates.

    PubMed

    Thaker, Maria; Vanak, Abi T; Owen, Cailey R; Ogden, Monika B; Niemann, Sophie M; Slotow, Rob

    2011-02-01

    Studies that focus on single predator-prey interactions can be inadequate for understanding antipredator responses in multi-predator systems. Yet there is still a general lack of information about the strategies of prey to minimize predation risk from multiple predators at the landscape level. Here we examined the distribution of seven African ungulate species in the fenced Karongwe Game Reserve (KGR), South Africa, as a function of predation risk from all large carnivore species (lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, and spotted hyena). Using observed kill data, we generated ungulate-specific predictions of relative predation risk and of riskiness of habitats. To determine how ungulates minimize predation risk at the landscape level, we explicitly tested five hypotheses consisting of strategies that reduce the probability of encountering predators, and the probability of being killed. All ungulate species avoided risky habitats, and most selected safer habitats, thus reducing their probability of being killed. To reduce the probability of encountering predators, most of the smaller prey species (impala, warthog, waterbuck, kudu) avoided the space use of all predators, while the larger species (wildebeest, zebra, giraffe) only avoided areas where lion and leopard space use were high. The strength of avoidance for the space use of predators generally did not correspond to the relative predation threat from those predators. Instead, ungulates used a simpler behavioral rule of avoiding the activity areas of sit-and-pursue predators (lion and leopard), but not those of cursorial predators (cheetah and African wild dog). In general, selection and avoidance of habitats was stronger than avoidance of the predator activity areas. We expect similar decision rules to drive the distribution pattern of ungulates in other African savannas and in other multi-predator systems, especially where predators differ in their hunting modes. PMID:21618919

  8. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sara M; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Breed, Greg A; Nickel, Barry; Teutschel, Nicole M; Crowder, Larry B; Benson, Scott; Dutton, Peter H; Bailey, Helen; Kappes, Michelle A; Kuhn, Carey E; Weise, Michael J; Mate, Bruce; Shaffer, Scott A; Hassrick, Jason L; Henry, Robert W; Irvine, Ladd; McDonald, Birgitte I; Robinson, Patrick W; Block, Barbara A; Costa, Daniel P

    2013-01-01

    Stressors associated with human activities interact in complex ways to affect marine ecosystems, yet we lack spatially explicit assessments of cumulative impacts on ecologically and economically key components such as marine predators. Here we develop a metric of cumulative utilization and impact (CUI) on marine predators by combining electronic tracking data of eight protected predator species (n=685 individuals) in the California Current Ecosystem with data on 24 anthropogenic stressors. We show significant variation in CUI with some of the highest impacts within US National Marine Sanctuaries. High variation in underlying species and cumulative impact distributions means that neither alone is sufficient for effective spatial management. Instead, comprehensive management approaches accounting for both cumulative human impacts and trade-offs among multiple stressors must be applied in planning the use of marine resources. PMID:24162104

  9. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Stephen D; Radford, Andrew N; Nedelec, Sophie L; Ferrari, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G

    2016-01-01

    Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise and direct disturbance by motorboats elevated metabolic rate in Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), which when stressed by motorboat noise responded less often and less rapidly to simulated predatory strikes. Prey were captured more readily by their natural predator (dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) during exposure to motorboat noise compared with ambient conditions, and more than twice as many prey were consumed by the predator in field experiments when motorboats were passing. Our study suggests that a common source of noise in the marine environment has the potential to impact fish demography, highlighting the need to include anthropogenic noise in management plans. PMID:26847493

  10. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Stephen D.; Radford, Andrew N.; Nedelec, Sophie L.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Meekan, Mark G.

    2016-01-01

    Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise and direct disturbance by motorboats elevated metabolic rate in Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), which when stressed by motorboat noise responded less often and less rapidly to simulated predatory strikes. Prey were captured more readily by their natural predator (dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) during exposure to motorboat noise compared with ambient conditions, and more than twice as many prey were consumed by the predator in field experiments when motorboats were passing. Our study suggests that a common source of noise in the marine environment has the potential to impact fish demography, highlighting the need to include anthropogenic noise in management plans. PMID:26847493

  11. Predators and the breeding bird: behavioral and reproductive flexibility under the risk of predation.

    PubMed

    Lima, Steven L

    2009-08-01

    A growing body of work suggests that breeding birds have a significant capacity to assess and respond, over ecological time, to changes in the risk of predation to both themselves and their eggs or nestlings. This review investigates the nature of this flexibility in the face of predation from both behavioural and reproductive perspectives, and also explores several directions for future research. Most available work addresses different aspects of nest predation. A substantial change in breeding location is perhaps the best documented response to nest predation, but such changes are not always observed and not necessarily the best strategy. Changes in nesting microhabitat (to more concealed locations) following predation are known to occur. Surprisingly little work addresses the proactive avoidance of areas with many nest predators, but such avoidance is probably widespread. Individual birds could conceivably adopt anti-predator strategies based on the nest predators actually present in an area, but such effects have yet to be demonstrated. In fact, the ways in which birds assess the risk of nest predation is unclear. Nest defence in birds has historically received much attention, but little is known about how it interacts with other aspects of decision-making by parents. Other studies concentrate on predation risk to adults. Some findings suggest that risk to adults themselves influences territory location, especially relative to raptor nests. An almost completely unexplored area concerns the sorts of social protection from predators that might exist during the breeding season. Flocking typical of the non-breeding season appears unusual while breeding, but a mated pair may sometimes act as a "flock of two". Opportunistic heterospecific sociality may exist, with heterospecific protector species associations more prevalent than currently appreciated. The dynamics of singing during the breeding season may also respond to variation in predation risk, but empirical

  12. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.M.; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Manly, B.F.

    2004-01-01

    Nesting success of Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis) has declined greatly since a major earthquake affected southern Alaska in 1964. To identify nest predators, we collected predation data at goose nests and photographs of predators at natural nests containing artificial eggs in 1997-2000. To document feeding behavior by nest predators, we compiled the evidence from destroyed nests with known predators on our study site and from previous studies. We constructed a profile for each predator group and compared the evidence from 895 nests with unknown predators to our predator profiles using mixture-model analysis. This analysis indicated that 72% of destroyed nests were depredated by Bald Eagles and 13% by brown bears, and also yielded the probability that each nest was correctly assigned to a predator group based on model fit. Model testing using simulations indicated that the proportion estimated for eagle predation was unbiased and the proportion for bear predation was slightly overestimated. This approach may have application whenever there are adequate data on nests destroyed by known predators and predators exhibit different feeding behavior at nests.

  13. Intense or Spatially Heterogeneous Predation Can Select against Prey Dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Barraquand, Frederic; Murrell, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Dispersal theory generally predicts kin competition, inbreeding, and temporal variation in habitat quality should select for dispersal, whereas spatial variation in habitat quality should select against dispersal. The effect of predation on the evolution of dispersal is currently not well-known: because predation can be variable in both space and time, it is not clear whether or when predation will promote dispersal within prey. Moreover, the evolution of prey dispersal affects strongly the encounter rate of predator and prey individuals, which greatly determines the ecological dynamics, and in turn changes the selection pressures for prey dispersal, in an eco-evolutionary feedback loop. When taken all together the effect of predation on prey dispersal is rather difficult to predict. We analyze a spatially explicit, individual-based predator-prey model and its mathematical approximation to investigate the evolution of prey dispersal. Competition and predation depend on local, rather than landscape-scale densities, and the spatial pattern of predation corresponds well to that of predators using restricted home ranges (e.g. central-place foragers). Analyses show the balance between the level of competition and predation pressure an individual is expected to experience determines whether prey should disperse or stay close to their parents and siblings, and more predation selects for less prey dispersal. Predators with smaller home ranges also select for less prey dispersal; more prey dispersal is favoured if predators have large home ranges, are very mobile, and/or are evenly distributed across the landscape. PMID:22247764

  14. Testing for predator dependence in predator-prey dynamics: a non-parametric approach.

    PubMed Central

    Jost, C; Ellner, S P

    2000-01-01

    The functional response is a key element in all predator-prey interactions. Although functional responses are traditionally modelled as being a function of prey density only, evidence is accumulating that predator density also has an important effect. However, much of the evidence comes from artificial experimental arenas under conditions not necessarily representative of the natural system, and neglecting the temporal dynamics of the organism (in particular the effects of prey depletion on the estimated functional response). Here we present a method that removes these limitations by reconstructing the functional response non-parametrically from predator-prey time-series data. This method is applied to data on a protozoan predator-prey interaction, and we obtain significant evidence of predator dependence in the functional response. A crucial element in this analysis is to include time-lags in the prey and predator reproduction rates, and we show that these delays improve the fit of the model significantly. Finally, we compare the non-parametrically reconstructed functional response to parametric forms, and suggest that a modified version of the Hassell-Varley predator interference model provides a simple and flexible function for theoretical investigation and applied modelling. PMID:11467423

  15. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for Scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Eric J.; Esler, Daniel N.; Sean, Boyd W.; Evenson, Joseph; Nysewander, David R.; Ward, David H.; Dickson, Rian D.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, Jerry

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (≤ 0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  16. Tadpoles balance foraging and predator avoidance: Effects of predation, pond drying, and hunger

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.

    2002-01-01

    Organisms are predicted to make trade-offs when foraging and predator avoidance behaviors present conflicting demands. Balancing conflicting demands is important to larval amphibians because adult fitness can be strongly influenced by size at metamorphosis and duration of the larval period. Larvae in temporary ponds must maximize growth within a short time period to achieve metamorphosis before ponds dry, while simultaneously avoiding predators. To determine whether tadpoles trade off between conflicting demands, I examined tadpole (Pseudacris triseriata) activity and microhabitat use in the presence of red-spotted newts (Notopthalmus viridescens) under varying conditions of pond drying and hunger. Tadpoles significantly decreased activity and increased refuge use when predators were present. The proportion of active time tadpoles spent feeding was significantly greater in predator treatments, suggesting tadpoles adaptively balance the conflicting demands of foraging and predator avoidance without making apparent trade-offs. Tadpoles responded to simulated drying conditions by accelerating development. Pond drying did not modify microhabitat use or activity in the presence of predators, suggesting tadpoles perceived predation and hunger as greater immediate threats than desiccation, and did not take more risks.

  17. Warming increases chlorpyrifos effects on predator but not anti-predator behaviours.

    PubMed

    Dinh Van, Khuong; Janssens, Lizanne; Debecker, Sara; Stoks, Robby

    2014-07-01

    Recent insights indicate that negative effects of pesticides on aquatic biota occur at concentrations that current legislation considers environmentally protective. We here address two, potentially interacting, mechanisms that may contribute to the underestimation of the impact of sublethal pesticide effects in single species tests at room temperature: the impairment of predator and antipredator behaviours and the stronger impact of organophosphate pesticides at higher temperatures. To address these issues we assessed the effects of chlorpyrifos on the predator and antipredator behaviours of larvae of the damselfly Ischnura elegans, important intermediate predators in aquatic food webs, in a common-garden warming experiment with replicated low- and high-latitude populations along the latitudinal gradient of this species in Europe. Chlorpyrifos reduced the levels of predator behavioural endpoints, and this reduction was stronger at the higher temperature for head orientations and feeding strikes. Chlorpyrifos also impaired two key antipredator behavioural endpoints, activity reductions in response to predator cues were smaller in the presence of chlorpyrifos, and chlorpyrifos caused a lower escape swimming speed; these effects were independent of temperature. This suggests chlorpyrifos may impact food web interactions by changing predator-prey interactions both with higher (predators) and lower trophic levels (food). Given that only the interaction with the lower trophic level was more impaired at higher temperatures, the overall pesticide-induced changes in food web dynamics may be strongly temperature-dependent. These findings were consistent in damselflies from low- and high-latitude populations, illustrating that thermal adaptation will not mitigate the increased toxicity of pesticides at higher temperatures. Our study not only underscores the relevance of including temperature and prey-predator interactions in ecological risk assessment but also their potential

  18. Ultimate Predators: Lionfish Have Evolved to Circumvent Prey Risk Assessment Abilities

    PubMed Central

    Lönnstedt, Oona M.; McCormick, Mark I.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species cause catastrophic alterations to communities worldwide by changing the trophic balance within ecosystems. Ever since their introduction in the mid 1980's common red lionfish, Pterois volitans, are having dramatic impacts on the Caribbean ecosystem by displacing native species and disrupting food webs. Introduced lionfish capture prey at extraordinary rates, altering the composition of benthic communities. Here we demonstrate that the extraordinary success of the introduced lionfish lies in its capacity to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities as it is virtually undetectable by prey species in its native range. While experienced prey damselfish, Chromis viridis, respond with typical antipredator behaviours when exposed to a common predatory rock cod (Cephalopholis microprion) they fail to visibly react to either the scent or visual presentation of the red lionfish, and responded only to the scent (not the visual cue) of a lionfish of a different genus, Dendrochirus zebra. Experienced prey also had much higher survival when exposed to the two non-invasive predators compared to P. volitans. The cryptic nature of the red lionfish has enabled it to be destructive as a predator and a highly successful invasive species. PMID:24146775

  19. Ultimate predators: lionfish have evolved to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities.

    PubMed

    Lönnstedt, Oona M; McCormick, Mark I

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species cause catastrophic alterations to communities worldwide by changing the trophic balance within ecosystems. Ever since their introduction in the mid 1980's common red lionfish, Pterois volitans, are having dramatic impacts on the Caribbean ecosystem by displacing native species and disrupting food webs. Introduced lionfish capture prey at extraordinary rates, altering the composition of benthic communities. Here we demonstrate that the extraordinary success of the introduced lionfish lies in its capacity to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities as it is virtually undetectable by prey species in its native range. While experienced prey damselfish, Chromis viridis, respond with typical antipredator behaviours when exposed to a common predatory rock cod (Cephalopholis microprion) they fail to visibly react to either the scent or visual presentation of the red lionfish, and responded only to the scent (not the visual cue) of a lionfish of a different genus, Dendrochirus zebra. Experienced prey also had much higher survival when exposed to the two non-invasive predators compared to P. volitans. The cryptic nature of the red lionfish has enabled it to be destructive as a predator and a highly successful invasive species. PMID:24146775

  20. Top predators as biodiversity regulators: the dingo Canis lupus dingo as a case study.

    PubMed

    Letnic, Mike; Ritchie, Euan G; Dickman, Christopher R

    2012-05-01

    Top-order predators often have positive effects on biological diversity owing to their key functional roles in regulating trophic cascades and other ecological processes. Their loss has been identified as a major factor contributing to the decline of biodiversity in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Consequently, restoring and maintaining the ecological function of top predators is a critical global imperative. Here we review studies of the ecological effects of the dingo Canis lupus dingo, Australia's largest land predator, using this as a case study to explore the influence of a top predator on biodiversity at a continental scale. The dingo was introduced to Australia by people at least 3500 years ago and has an ambiguous status owing to its brief history on the continent, its adverse impacts on livestock production and its role as an ecosystem architect. A large body of research now indicates that dingoes regulate ecological cascades, particularly in arid Australia, and that the removal of dingoes results in an increase in the abundances and impacts of herbivores and invasive mesopredators, most notably the red fox Vulpes vulpes. The loss of dingoes has been linked to widespread losses of small and medium-sized native mammals, the depletion of plant biomass due to the effects of irrupting herbivore populations and increased predation rates by red foxes. We outline a suite of conceptual models to describe the effects of dingoes on vertebrate populations across different Australian environments. Finally, we discuss key issues that require consideration or warrant research before the ecological effects of dingoes can be incorporated formally into biodiversity conservation programs. PMID:22051057

  1. Behavioural response of adult sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) to predator and conspecific alarm cues: evidence of additive effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Di Rocco, Richard T; Imre, Istvan; Johnson, Nicholas; Brown, Grant B

    2015-01-01

    Sea lampreys Petromyzon marinus, an invasive pest in the Upper Great Lakes, avoid odours that represent danger in their habitat. These odours include conspecific alarm cues and predator cues, like 2-phenylethylamine hydrochloride (PEA HCl), which is found in the urine of mammalian predators. Whether conspecific alarm cues and predator cues function additively or synergistically when mixed together is unknown. The objectives of this experimental study were to determine if the avoidance response of sea lamprey to PEA HCl is proportional to the concentration delivered, and if the avoidance response to the combination of a predator cue (PEA HCl) and sea lamprey alarm cue is additive. To accomplish the first objective, groups of ten sea lampreys were placed in an artificial stream channel and presented with stepwise concentrations of PEA HCl ranging from 5 × 10−8 to 5 × 10−10 M and a deionized water control. Sea lampreys exhibited an increase in their avoidance behaviour in response to increasing concentrations of PEA HCl. To accomplish the second objective, sea lampreys were exposed to PEA HCl, conspecific alarm cue and a combination of the two. Sea lampreys responded to the combination of predator cue and conspecific alarm cue in an additive manner.

  2. The Roles of Standing Genetic Variation and Evolutionary History in Determining the Evolvability of Anti-Predator Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Dworkin, Ian; Wagner, Aaron P.

    2014-01-01

    Standing genetic variation and the historical environment in which that variation arises (evolutionary history) are both potentially significant determinants of a population's capacity for evolutionary response to a changing environment. Using the open-ended digital evolution software Avida, we evaluated the relative importance of these two factors in influencing evolutionary trajectories in the face of sudden environmental change. We examined how historical exposure to predation pressures, different levels of genetic variation, and combinations of the two, affected the evolvability of anti-predator strategies and competitive abilities in the presence or absence of threats from new, invasive predator populations. We show that while standing genetic variation plays some role in determining evolutionary responses, evolutionary history has the greater influence on a population's capacity to evolve anti-predator traits, i.e. traits effective against novel predators. This adaptability likely reflects the relative ease of repurposing existing, relevant genes and traits, and the broader potential value of the generation and maintenance of adaptively flexible traits in evolving populations. PMID:24955847

  3. Global ecological impacts of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gallardo, Belinda; Clavero, Miguel; Sánchez, Marta I; Vilà, Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    The introduction of invasive species, which often differ functionally from the components of the recipient community, generates ecological impacts that propagate along the food web. This review aims to determine how consistent the impacts of aquatic invasions are across taxa and habitats. To that end, we present a global meta-analysis from 151 publications (733 cases), covering a wide range of invaders (primary producers, filter collectors, omnivores and predators), resident aquatic community components (macrophytes, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates and fish) and habitats (rivers, lakes and estuaries). Our synthesis suggests a strong negative influence of invasive species on the abundance of aquatic communities, particularly macrophytes, zooplankton and fish. In contrast, there was no general evidence for a decrease in species diversity in invaded habitats, suggesting a time lag between rapid abundance changes and local extinctions. Invaded habitats showed increased water turbidity, nitrogen and organic matter concentration, which are related to the capacity of invaders to transform habitats and increase eutrophication. The expansion of invasive macrophytes caused the largest decrease in fish abundance, the filtering activity of filter collectors depleted planktonic communities, omnivores (including both facultative and obligate herbivores) were responsible for the greatest decline in macrophyte abundance, and benthic invertebrates were most negatively affected by the introduction of new predators. These impacts were relatively consistent across habitats and experimental approaches. Based on our results, we propose a framework of positive and negative links between invasive species at four trophic positions and the five different components of recipient communities. This framework incorporates both direct biotic interactions (predation, competition, grazing) and indirect changes to the water physicochemical conditions mediated by invaders (habitat

  4. Response of predators to habitat manipulation in potato fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Determining the impact of habitat complexity and predator species diversity on prey suppression is crucial in developing predictions for the impact of biological control programs. Biological control literature contains controversial evidence for the impact of increased predator species diversity and...

  5. Esophagectomy - minimally invasive

    MedlinePlus

    Minimally invasive esophagectomy; Robotic esophagectomy; Removal of the esophagus - minimally invasive; Achalasia - esophagectomy; Barrett esophagus - esophagectomy; Esophageal cancer - esophagectomy - laparoscopic; Cancer of the ...

  6. Are Local Filters Blind to Provenance? Ant Seed Predation Suppresses Exotic Plants More than Natives

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Dean E.; Icasatti, Nadia S.; Hierro, Jose L.; Bird, Benjamin J.

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species’ origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species’ traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species’ origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific plant densities not commonly seen in native assemblages, suggesting that exotic species may respond to community filters differently than natives. Here, we tested whether exotic and native species differed in their responses to a local community filter by examining how ant seed predation affected recruitment of eighteen native and exotic plant species in central Argentina. Ant seed predation proved to be an important local filter that strongly suppressed plant recruitment, but ants suppressed exotic recruitment far more than natives (89% of exotic species vs. 22% of natives). Seed size predicted ant impacts on recruitment independent of origins, with ant preference for smaller seeds resulting in smaller seeded plant species being heavily suppressed. The disproportionate effects of provenance arose because exotics had generally smaller seeds than natives. Exotics also exhibited greater emergence and earlier peak emergence than natives in the absence of ants. However, when ants had access to seeds, these potential advantages of exotics were negated due to the filtering bias against exotics. The differences in traits we observed between exotics and natives suggest that higher-order introduction filters or regional processes preselected for certain exotic traits that then interacted with the local seed predation filter. Our results suggest that the interactions between local filters and species traits can predict invasion outcomes, but understanding the role of provenance will require quantifying filtering processes at multiple hierarchical scales and evaluating interactions between filters. PMID:25099535

  7. Histopathology of Incontinence-Associated Skin Lesions: Inner Tissue Damage Due to Invasion of Proteolytic Enzymes and Bacteria in Macerated Rat Skin

    PubMed Central

    Mugita, Yuko; Minematsu, Takeo; Huang, Lijuan; Nakagami, Gojiro; Kishi, Chihiro; Ichikawa, Yoshie; Nagase, Takashi; Oe, Makoto; Noguchi, Hiroshi; Mori, Taketoshi; Abe, Masatoshi; Sugama, Junko; Sanada, Hiromi

    2015-01-01

    A common complication in patients with incontinence is perineal skin lesions, which are recognized as a form of dermatitis. In these patients, perineal skin is exposed to digestive enzymes and intestinal bacterial flora, as well as excessive water. The relative contributions of digestive enzymes and intestinal bacterial flora to skin lesion formation have not been fully shown. This study was conducted to reveal the process of histopathological changes caused by proteases and bacterial inoculation in skin maceration. For skin maceration, agarose gel containing proteases was applied to the dorsal skin of male Sprague-Dawley rats for 4 h, followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa inoculation for 30 min. Macroscopic changes, histological changes, bacterial distribution, inflammatory response, and keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation were examined. Proteases induced digestion in the prickle cell layer of the epidermis, and slight bleeding in the papillary dermis and around hair follicles in the macerated skin without macroscopic evidence of erosion. Bacterial inoculation of the skin macerated by proteolytic solution resulted in the formation of bacteria-rich clusters comprising numerous microorganisms and inflammatory cells within the papillary dermis, with remarkable tissue damage around the clusters. Tissue damage expanded by day 2. On day 3, the proliferative keratinocyte layer was elongated from the bulge region of the hair follicles. Application of proteases and P. aeruginosa induced skin lesion formation internally without macroscopic erosion of the overhydrated area, suggesting that the histopathology might be different from regular dermatitis. The healing process of this lesion is similar to transepidermal elimination. PMID:26407180

  8. Histopathology of Incontinence-Associated Skin Lesions: Inner Tissue Damage Due to Invasion of Proteolytic Enzymes and Bacteria in Macerated Rat Skin.

    PubMed

    Mugita, Yuko; Minematsu, Takeo; Huang, Lijuan; Nakagami, Gojiro; Kishi, Chihiro; Ichikawa, Yoshie; Nagase, Takashi; Oe, Makoto; Noguchi, Hiroshi; Mori, Taketoshi; Abe, Masatoshi; Sugama, Junko; Sanada, Hiromi

    2015-01-01

    A common complication in patients with incontinence is perineal skin lesions, which are recognized as a form of dermatitis. In these patients, perineal skin is exposed to digestive enzymes and intestinal bacterial flora, as well as excessive water. The relative contributions of digestive enzymes and intestinal bacterial flora to skin lesion formation have not been fully shown. This study was conducted to reveal the process of histopathological changes caused by proteases and bacterial inoculation in skin maceration. For skin maceration, agarose gel containing proteases was applied to the dorsal skin of male Sprague-Dawley rats for 4 h, followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa inoculation for 30 min. Macroscopic changes, histological changes, bacterial distribution, inflammatory response, and keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation were examined. Proteases induced digestion in the prickle cell layer of the epidermis, and slight bleeding in the papillary dermis and around hair follicles in the macerated skin without macroscopic evidence of erosion. Bacterial inoculation of the skin macerated by proteolytic solution resulted in the formation of bacteria-rich clusters comprising numerous microorganisms and inflammatory cells within the papillary dermis, with remarkable tissue damage around the clusters. Tissue damage expanded by day 2. On day 3, the proliferative keratinocyte layer was elongated from the bulge region of the hair follicles. Application of proteases and P. aeruginosa induced skin lesion formation internally without macroscopic erosion of the overhydrated area, suggesting that the histopathology might be different from regular dermatitis. The healing process of this lesion is similar to transepidermal elimination. PMID:26407180

  9. Dark side of predation: Blind side in biocontrol research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predation of pests by arthopod predators (insects and spiders) occurs around the clock. Yet little effort has been made to characterize the 24-hour pattern of predation on insect pests in the field, particularly events that occur nocturnally. The few round-the-clock observations in various ecosyst...

  10. Coexistence in a predator-prey system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Droz, Michel; Pȩkalski, Andrzej

    2001-05-01

    We propose a lattice model of two populations, predators and prey. The model is solved via Monte Carlo simulations. Each species moves randomly on the lattice and can live only a certain time without eating. The lattice cells are either grass (eaten by prey) or tree (giving cover for prey). Each animal has a reserve of food that is increased by eating (prey or grass) and decreased after each Monte Carlo step. To breed, a pair of animals must be adjacent and have a certain minimum of food supply. The number of offspring produced depends on the number of available empty sites. We show that such a predator-prey system may finally reach one of the following three steady states: coexisting, with predators and prey; pure prey; or an empty one, in which both populations become extinct. We demonstrate that the probability of arriving at one of the above states depends on the initial densities of the prey and predator populations, the amount of cover, and the way it is spatially distributed.

  11. What regulates crab predation on mangrove propagules?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Nedervelde, Fleur; Cannicci, Stefano; Koedam, Nico; Bosire, Jared; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid

    2015-02-01

    Crabs play a major role in some ecosystems. To increase our knowledge about the factors that influence crab predation on propagules in mangrove forests, we performed experiments in Gazi Bay, Kenya in July 2009. We tested whether: (1) crab density influences propagule predation rate; (2) crab size influences food competition and predation rate; (3) crabs depredate at different rates according to propagule and canopy cover species; (4) vegetation density is correlated with crab density; (5) food preferences of herbivorous crabs are determined by size, shape and nutritional value. We found that (1) propagule predation rate was positively correlated to crab density. (2) Crab competitive abilities were unrelated to their size. (3) Avicennia marina propagules were consumed more quickly than Ceriops tagal except under C. tagal canopies. (4) Crab density was negatively correlated with the density of A. marina trees and pneumatophores. (5) Crabs prefer small items with a lower C:N ratio. Vegetation density influences crab density, and crab density affects propagule availability and hence vegetation recruitment rate. Consequently, the mutual relationships between vegetation and crab populations could be important for forest restoration success and management.

  12. Sexually Violent Predators and Civil Commitment Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beyer Kendall, Wanda D.; Cheung, Monit

    2004-01-01

    This article analyzes the civil commitment models for treating sexually violent predators (SVPs) and analyzes recent civil commitment laws. SVPs are commonly defined as sex offenders who are particularly predatory and repetitive in their sexually violent behavior. Data from policy literature, a survey to all states, and a review of law review…

  13. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean.

    PubMed

    Worm, Boris; Lotze, Heike K; Myers, Ransom A

    2003-08-19

    Concentrations of biodiversity, or hotspots, represent conservation priorities in terrestrial ecosystems but remain largely unexplored in marine habitats. In the open ocean, many large predators such as tunas, sharks, billfishes, and sea turtles are of current conservation concern because of their vulnerability to overfishing and ecosystem role. Here we use scientific-observer records from pelagic longline fisheries in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to show that oceanic predators concentrate in distinct diversity hotspots. Predator diversity consistently peaks at intermediate latitudes (20-30 degrees N and S), where tropical and temperate species ranges overlap. Individual hotspots are found close to prominent habitat features such as reefs, shelf breaks, or seamounts and often coincide with zooplankton and coral reef hotspots. Closed-area models in the northwest Atlantic predict that protection of hotspots outperforms other area closures in safeguarding threatened pelagic predators from ecological extinction. We conclude that the seemingly monotonous landscape of the open ocean shows rich structure in species diversity and that these features should be used to focus future conservation efforts. PMID:12907699

  14. Turing instabilities in prey-predator systems with dormancy of predators.

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, Masataka

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we study the stationary and oscillatory Turing instabilities of a homogeneous equilibrium in prey-predator reaction-diffusion systems with dormant phase of predators. We propose a simple criterion which is useful in classifying these Turing instabilities. Moreover, numerical simulations reveal transient spatio-temporal complex patterns which are a mixture of spatially periodic steady states and traveling/standing waves. In this mixture, the steady part is the stable Turing pattern bifurcated primarily from the homogeneous equilibrium, while wave parts are unstable oscillatory solutions bifurcated secondarily from the same homogeneous equilibrium. Although our criterion does not exclude the occurrence of oscillatory Turing instability, we have not yet found stable traveling/standing waves due to oscillatory Turing instability in our simulations. These results suggest that dormancy of predators is not a generator but an enhancer of spatio-temporal Turing patterns in prey-predator reaction-diffusion systems. PMID:25053475

  15. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    J. L . Orrock; B. J. Danielson; M. J. Burns; D. J. Levey

    2003-02-03

    J.L. Orrock, B.J. Danielson, M.J. Burns, and D.J. Levey. 2003. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation. Ecology, 84(10):2589-2599. Abstract: Corridors that connect patches of disjunct habitat may be promising tools for mediating the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation, but little is known about how corridors affect ecological interactions. In eight 12-ha experimental landscapes, we examined how corridors affect the impact of invertebrate, rodent, and avian seed predators on pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. Over 13 months in 2000 and 2001, we quantified the effects of patch shape, connectivity, and predator type on the number of seeds germinating in the field (germinants), seed removal, and the viability of remaining seeds. Corridors did not affect the number of P. americana germinants in experimental exclosures or the viability of seeds remaining in exclosures. However, corridors affected the removal of seeds in a predator-specific manner: invertebrates removed more seeds in unconnected patches, whereas rodents removed more seeds in connected patches. Seed removal by birds was similar in connected and unconnected patches. Total seed removal by all seed predators was not affected by corridors, because invertebrates removed more seeds where rodents removed fewer seeds, and vice versa. Overall, seed predation signi®cantly reduced the number and viability of remaining seeds, and reduced the number of germinants in 2000 but not in 2001. The abundance of naturally occurring P. americana plants in our experimental patches in 2000 decreased with increasing seed removal from exclosures but was not related to viability or germinants in 2000, suggesting that seed removal may shape the distribution and abundance of this species. Complementary patterns of seed removal by rodents and invertebrates suggest that corridors alter the effects of these predator taxa by changing the relative amounts of edge and core

  16. Inducible defences as key adaptations for the successful invasion of Daphnia lumholtzi in North America?

    PubMed

    Engel, Katharina; Tollrian, Ralph

    2009-05-22

    The mechanisms underlying successful biological invasions often remain unclear. In the case of the tropical water flea Daphnia lumholtzi, which invaded North America, it has been suggested that this species possesses a high thermal tolerance, which in the course of global climate change promotes its establishment and rapid spread. However, D. lumholtzi has an additional remarkable feature: it is the only water flea that forms rigid head spines in response to chemicals released in the presence of fishes. These morphologically (phenotypically) plastic traits serve as an inducible defence against these predators. Here, we show in controlled mesocosm experiments that the native North American species Daphnia pulicaria is competitively superior to D. lumholtzi in the absence of predators. However, in the presence of fish predation the invasive species formed its defences and became dominant. This observation of a predator-mediated switch in dominance suggests that the inducible defence against fish predation may represent a key adaptation for the invasion success of D. lumholtzi. PMID:19324783

  17. Predation of Alouatta puruensis by Boa constrictor.

    PubMed

    Quintino, Erika Patrícia; Bicca-Marques, Júlio César

    2013-10-01

    Reports of successful predator attacks on primates are rare. Primates from all major radiations are particularly susceptible to raptors, carnivores, and snakes. Among New World primates, reports of snake predation are limited to medium- and small-bodied species. Here, we report the first documented case of successful predation of an atelid by a snake-an adult female Purús red howler monkey, Alouatta puruensis, that was subdued by a ca. 2-m-long Boa constrictor in an arboreal setting at a height of 7.5 m above the ground. The victim belonged to a group composed of six individuals (one adult male, two adult females, two juveniles, and one infant) that inhabited a ca. 2.5-ha forest fragment in the State of Rondônia, western Brazilian Amazon. The boa applied the species' typical hunting behavior of striking and immediately coiling around its prey and then killing it through constriction (probably in less than 5 min), but the entire restraint period lasted 38 min. The attack occurred around noon. The howler was swallowed head-first in 76 min. The only group member to respond to the distress vocalization emitted by the victim was the other adult female, which was closest to the location where the attack occurred. This female ran toward the snake, also vocalizing, and hit it with her hands several times, but the snake did not react and she moved off to a nearby tree from where she watched most of the interaction. The remaining group members stayed resting at a height approximately 15 m above the victim in a nearby tree without showing any overt signs of stress, except for a single whimper vocalization. This event indicates that even large-bodied atelids are vulnerable to predation by large snakes and suggests that B. constrictor may be a more common predator of primates. PMID:23917944

  18. Food-limitation in a generalist predator

    PubMed Central

    Rutz, Christian; Bijlsma, Rob G

    2006-01-01

    Investigating food-limitation in generalist predators is difficult, because they can switch to alternative prey, when one of their staple prey becomes scarce. Apart from data on the dynamics of the predator population, a robust study requires: (i) a documentation of the predator's entire prey base; and (ii) an experimental or natural situation, where profitable dietary shifts are impossible, because several preferred prey species decline simultaneously. Here, we provide a detailed description of how food-supply has limited a generalist avian top predator, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis. In our study area, populations of several principal goshawk prey species crashed simultaneously during 1975–2000, whereas other extrinsic factors remained essentially unchanged. The breeding and non-breeding segments of the local goshawk population declined markedly, associated with a significant increase in nest failures. Brood size of successful pairs remained unaffected by changes in prey availability. Breeding recruitment ceased at a time when potential replacement birds (‘floaters’) were still present, providing a rare empirical demonstration of an ‘acceptance threshold’ in raptor territory choice. To investigate how goshawk diet changed in response to varying food-supplies, we make novel use of an analytical tool from biodiversity research—‘abundance–biomass–comparison curves’ (ABC curves). With increasing levels of food-stress, the dominance of principal prey species in the diet decreased, and the number of small-bodied prey species increased, as did intra-guild predation. Our finding that breeder and non-breeder segments declined in concert is unexpected. Our results carry the management implication that, in food-limited raptor populations, externally induced breeder mortality can rapidly depress population size, as losses are no longer buffered when floaters reject breeding opportunities. PMID:16846915

  19. A tropical horde of counterfeit predator eyes

    PubMed Central

    Janzen, Daniel H.; Hallwachs, Winnie; Burns, John M.

    2010-01-01

    We propose that the many different, but essentially similar, eye-like and face-like color patterns displayed by hundreds of species of tropical caterpillars and pupae—26 examples of which are displayed here from the dry, cloud, and rain forests of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica—constitute a huge and pervasive mimicry complex that is evolutionarily generated and sustained by the survival behavior of a large and multispecific array of potential predators: the insect-eating birds. We propose that these predators are variously and innately programmed to flee when abruptly confronted, at close range, with what appears to be an eye of one of their predators. Such a mimetic complex differs from various classical Batesian and Müllerian mimicry complexes of adult butterflies in that (i) the predators sustain it for the most part by innate traits rather than by avoidance behavior learned through disagreeable experiences, (ii) the more or less harmless, sessile, and largely edible mimics vastly outnumber the models, and (iii) there is no particular selection for the eye-like color pattern to closely mimic the eye or face of any particular predator of the insect-eating birds or that of any other member of this mimicry complex. Indeed, selection may not favor exact resemblance among these mimics at all. Such convergence through selection could create a superabundance of one particular false eyespot or face pattern, thereby increasing the likelihood of a bird species or guild learning to associate that pattern with harmless prey. PMID:20547863

  20. Predator odours attract other predators, creating an olfactory web of information.

    PubMed

    Banks, Peter B; Daly, Andrew; Bytheway, Jenna P

    2016-05-01

    Many studies have reported the aversive reactions of prey towards a predator's odour signals (e.g. urine marks), a behaviour widely thought to reduce the risk of predation by the predator. However, because odour signals persist in the environment, they are vulnerable to exploitation and eavesdropping by predators, prey and conspecifics. As such, scent patches created by one species might attract other species interested in information about their enemies. We studied this phenomenon by examining red fox investigation of odours from conspecifics and competing species in order to understand what prey are responding to when avoiding the odours of a predator. Surprisingly, foxes showed limited interest in conspecific odours but were highly interested in the odours of their competitors (wild dogs and feral cats), suggesting that odours are likely to play an important role in mediating competitive interactions. Importantly, our results identify that simple, dyadic interpretations of prey responses to a predator odour (i.e. cat odour = risk of cat encounter = fear of cats) can no longer be assumed in ecological or psychology research. Instead, interactions mediated by olfactory cues are more complex than previously thought and are likely to form a complicated olfactory web of interactions. PMID:27194283

  1. Collective behavior and predation success in a predator-prey model inspired by hunting bats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan; Abaid, Nicole

    2013-12-01

    We establish an agent-based model to study the impact of prey behavior on the hunting success of predators. The predators and prey are modeled as self-propelled particles moving in a three-dimensional domain and subject to specific sensing abilities and behavioral rules inspired by bat hunting. The predators randomly search for prey. The prey either align velocity directions with peers, defined as "interacting" prey, or swarm "independently" of peer presence; both types of prey are subject to additive noise. In a simulation study, we find that interacting prey using low noise have the maximum predation avoidance because they form localized large groups, while they suffer high predation as noise increases due to the formation of broadly dispersed small groups. Independent prey, which are likely to be uniformly distributed in the domain, have higher predation risk under a low noise regime as they traverse larger spatial extents. These effects are enhanced in large prey populations, which exhibit more ordered collective behavior or more uniform spatial distribution as they are interacting or independent, respectively.

  2. Tameness and stress physiology in a predator-naive island species confronted with novel predation threat

    PubMed Central

    Rödl, Thomas; Berger, Silke; Michael Romero, L; Wikelski, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Tame behaviour, i.e. low wariness, in terrestrial island species is often attributed to low predation pressure. However, we know little about its physiological control and its flexibility in the face of predator introductions. Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on the Galápagos Islands are a good model to study the physiological correlates of low wariness. They have lived virtually without predation for 5–15 Myr until some populations were first confronted with feral cats and dogs some 150 years ago. We tested whether and to what extent marine iguanas can adjust their behaviour and endocrine stress response to novel predation threats. Here, we show that a corticosterone stress response to experimental chasing is absent in naive animals, but is quickly restored with experience. Initially, low wariness also increases with experience, but remains an order of magnitude too low to allow successful escape from introduced predators. Our data suggest that the ability of marine iguanas to cope with predator introductions is limited by narrow reaction norms for behavioural wariness rather than by constraints in the underlying physiological stress system. In general, we predict that island endemics show flexible physiological stress responses but are restricted by narrow behavioural plasticity. PMID:17476779

  3. A multi-stage anti-predator response increases information on predation risk.

    PubMed

    Hemmi, Jan M; Pfeil, Andreas

    2010-05-01

    Optimal escape theory generally assumes that animals have accurate information about predator distance and direction of approach. To what degree such information is available depends not only on the prey's sensory capabilities but also on its behaviour. The structure of behaviour can strongly constrain or support the gathering of information. The ability of animals to collect and process information is therefore an important factor shaping predator avoidance strategies. Fiddler crabs, like many prey animals, escape predators in a multi-step sequence. In their initial response, they do not have accurate information about a predator's distance and approach trajectory and are forced to base their response decision on incomplete information that is not strictly correlated with risk. We show here that fiddler crabs gather qualitatively different visual information during successive stages of their escape sequence. This suggests that multi-stage anti-predator behaviours serve not only to successively reduce risk but also to increase the quality of information with regards to the actual risk. There are countless reasons why prey animals are not able to accurately assess risk. By concentrating on sensory limitations, we can quantify such information deficits and investigate how improving risk assessment helps prey optimise the balance between predation risk and escape costs. PMID:20400633

  4. Effect of barrier perturbation on cutaneous penetration of salicylic acid in hairless rats: in vivo pharmacokinetics using microdialysis and non-invasive quantification of barrier function.

    PubMed

    Benfeldt, E; Serup, J

    1999-09-01

    The penetration of topically applied drugs is altered in diseased or barrier-damaged skin. We used microdialysis in the dermis to measure salicylic acid (SA) penetration in hairless rats following application to normal (unmodified) skin (n = 11) or skin with perturbed barrier function from (1) tape-stripping (n = 5), (2) sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) 2% for 24 h (n = 3) or (3) delipidization by acetone (n = 4). Prior to the experiment, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and erythema were measured. Two microdialysis probes were inserted into the dermis on the side of the trunk and 5% SA in ethanol was applied in a chamber overlying the probes. Microdialysis sampling was continued for 4 h, followed by measurements of probe depth by ultrasound scanning. SA was detectable in all samples and rapidly increasing up to 130 min. Microdialysates collected between 80 and 200 min showed mean SA concentrations of 3 microg/ml in unmodified and acetone-treated skin, whereas mean SA concentrations were 280 microg/ml in SLS-pretreated skin and 530 microg/ml in tape-stripped skin (P < 0.001). The penetration of SA correlated with barrier perturbation measured by TEWL (P < 0.001) and erythema (P < 0.001). A correlation between dermal probe depth and SA concentration was found in unmodified skin (P = 0.04). Microdialysis sampling in anatomical regions remote from the dosed site excluded the possibility that SA levels measured were due to systemic absorption. Microdialysis sampling of cutaneous penetration was highly reproducible. Impaired barrier function, caused by irritant dermatitis or tape stripping, resulted in an 80- to 170-fold increase in the drug level in the dermis. This dramatic increase in drug penetration could be relevant to humans, in particular to topical treatment of skin diseases and to occupational toxicology. PMID:10541883

  5. Exploratory behaviour and novel predator recognition: behavioural correlations across contexts.

    PubMed

    Blake, C A; Gabor, C R

    2016-08-01

    It was hypothesized that the exploratory behaviour of an individual measured in a novel environment could predict its behaviour in response to a novel predator. This study examined novel predator recognition in the western mosquitofish Gambusia affinis, a species with individual differences in risk-taking, activity and exploration in novel environments. Prey responded with characteristic shoaling and avoidance in response to native predators, but did not show characteristic antipredator behaviour towards novel predators. Furthermore, G. affinis exhibited individual-level behavioural correlations across contexts but only when prey were tested with native predators. This could be the result of native predatory selection on behavioural correlations in the prey species. PMID:27220896

  6. Evolutionary ecology of microsporidia associated with the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis.

    PubMed

    Vilcinskas, Andreas; Schmidtberg, Henrike; Estoup, Arnaud; Tayeh, Ashraf; Facon, Benoit; Vogel, Heiko

    2015-03-01

    Invasive species are characterized by the rapid growth and spread of their populations after establishing a foothold in new habitats, and there are now many examples of such species negatively affecting biodiversity and the economy. It is unclear why some species can become successful invaders, whereas most (even if closely related) remain noninvasive. We previously proposed a hypothesis that parasites associated with invading species can promote their invasive success if they are harmless toward the invaders but harmful to their competitors and/or predators in the newly colonized habitat. Here we discuss whether microsporidia that have recently been discovered in the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis contribute to its invasive success. We show that all H. axyridis beetles sourced from diverse collection sites all over the world carry abundant microsporidia. This suggests that both native and invasive H. axyridis populations are associated with these tolerated parasites, which were likely to have existed in native populations before expansion rather than being acquired in newly colonized areas. We describe the pathogenesis of the microsporidia during different developmental stages of H. axyridis and we address the possibility that the predation of its infected eggs and larvae by competing native ladybird species may lead to their infection and ultimately to their decline. Finally, we discuss our initial hypothesis: microsporidia that are tolerated by an invasive vector insect can be active against susceptible native competitors and/or predator species. PMID:25131382

  7. Biotic resistance via granivory: establishment by invasive, naturalized, and native asters reflects generalist preference.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Callaway, Ragan M; Maron, John L

    2011-09-01

    Escape from specialist natural enemies is frequently invoked to explain exotic plant invasions, but little attention has been paid to how generalist consumers in the recipient range may influence invasion. We examined how seed preferences of the widespread generalist granivore Peromyscus maniculatus related to recruitment of the strongly invasive exotic Centaurea stoebe and several weakly invasive exotics and natives by conducting laboratory feeding trials and seed addition experiments in the field. Laboratory feeding trials showed that P. maniculatus avoided consuming seeds of C. stoebe relative to the 12 other species tested, even when seeds of alternative species were 53-94% smaller than those of C. stoebe. Seed addition experiments conducted in and out of rodent exclosures revealed that weakly invasive exotics experienced relatively greater release from seed predation than C. stoebe, although this was not the case for natives. Seed mass explained 81% of the variation in recruitment associated with rodent exclusion for natives and weak invaders, with larger-seeded species benefiting most from protection from granivores. However, recruitment of C. stoebe was unaffected by rodent exclusion, even though the regression model predicted seeds of correspondingly large mass should experience substantial predation. These combined laboratory and field results suggest that generalist granivores can be an important biological filter in plant communities and that species-specific seed attributes that determine seed predation may help to explain variation in native plant recruitment and the success of exotic species invasions. PMID:21939071

  8. Ecological immunization: in situ training of free-ranging predatory lizards reduces their vulnerability to invasive toxic prey.

    PubMed

    Ward-Fear, G; Pearson, D J; Brown, G P; Rangers, Balanggarra; Shine, R

    2016-01-01

    In Australia, large native predators are fatally poisoned when they ingest invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina). As a result, the spread of cane toads has caused catastrophic population declines in these predators. Immediately prior to the arrival of toads at a floodplain in the Kimberley region, we induced conditioned taste aversion in free-ranging varanid lizards (Varanus panoptes), by offering them small cane toads. By the end of the 18-month study, only one of 31 untrained lizards had survived longer than 110 days, compared to more than half (nine of 16) of trained lizards; the maximum known survival of a trained lizard in the presence of toads was 482 days. In situ aversion training (releasing small toads in advance of the main invasion front) offers a logistically simple and feasible way to buffer the impact of invasive toads on apex predators. PMID:26740565

  9. Re-examining the relationship between invasive lionfish and native grouper in the Caribbean

    PubMed Central

    Bruno, John F.; Cox, Courtney E.; Hackerott, Serena; Green, Stephanie J.

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the idea that native species negatively affect the invasion success of introduced species, but whether this can occur at large spatial scales is poorly understood. Here we re-evaluated the hypothesis that native large-bodied grouper and other predators are controlling the abundance of exotic lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Caribbean coral reefs. We assessed the relationship between the biomass of lionfish and native predators at 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions while taking into consideration several cofactors that may affect fish abundance, including among others, proxies for fishing pressure and habitat structural complexity. Our results indicate that the abundance of lionfish, large-bodied grouper and other predators were not negatively related. Lionfish abundance was instead controlled by several physical site characteristics, and possibly by culling. Taken together, our results suggest that managers cannot rely on current native grouper populations to control the lionfish invasion. PMID:24765582

  10. Re-examining the relationship between invasive lionfish and native grouper in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Valdivia, Abel; Bruno, John F; Cox, Courtney E; Hackerott, Serena; Green, Stephanie J

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the idea that native species negatively affect the invasion success of introduced species, but whether this can occur at large spatial scales is poorly understood. Here we re-evaluated the hypothesis that native large-bodied grouper and other predators are controlling the abundance of exotic lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Caribbean coral reefs. We assessed the relationship between the biomass of lionfish and native predators at 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions while taking into consideration several cofactors that may affect fish abundance, including among others, proxies for fishing pressure and habitat structural complexity. Our results indicate that the abundance of lionfish, large-bodied grouper and other predators were not negatively related. Lionfish abundance was instead controlled by several physical site characteristics, and possibly by culling. Taken together, our results suggest that managers cannot rely on current native grouper populations to control the lionfish invasion. PMID:24765582

  11. Testing ecological and behavioral correlates of nest predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martel, M.; Markland, H.M.; Niklison, Alina M.; Decker, Karie L.; Martin, T.E.

    2007-01-01

    Variation in nest predation rates among bird species are assumed to reflect differences in risk that are specific to particular nest sites. Theoretical and empirical studies suggest that parental care behaviors can evolve in response to nest predation risk and thereby differ among ecological conditions that vary in inherent risk. However, parental care also can influence predation risk. Separating the effects of nest predation risk inherent to a nest site from the risk imposed by parental strategies is needed to understand the evolution of parental care. Here we identify correlations between risks inherent to nest sites, and risk associated with parental care behaviors, and use an artificial nest experiment to assess site-specific differences in nest predation risk across nesting guilds and between habitats that differed in nest predator abundance. We found a strong correlation between parental care behaviors and inherent differences in nest predation risk, but despite the absence of parental care at artificial nests, patterns of nest predation risk were similar for real and artificial nests both across nesting guilds and between predator treatments. Thus, we show for the first time that inherent risk of nest predation varies with nesting guild and predator abundance independent of parental care. ?? Oikos.

  12. Prey bacteria shape the community structure of their predators

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Huan; Athar, Rana; Zheng, Guili; Williams, Henry N

    2011-01-01

    Although predator–prey interactions among higher organisms have been studied extensively, only few examples are known for microbes other than protists and viruses. Among the bacteria, the most studied obligate predators are the Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) that prey on many other bacteria. In the macroscopical world, both predator and prey influence the population size of the other's community, and may have a role in selection. However, selective pressures among prey and predatory bacteria have been rarely investigated. In this study, Bacteriovorax, a predator within the group of BALOs, in environmental waters were fed two prey bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The two prey species yielded distinct Bacteriovorax populations, evidence that selective pressures shaped the predator community and diversity. The results of laboratory experiments confirmed the differential predation of Bacteriovorax phylotypes on the two bacteria species. Not only did Bacteriovorax Cluster IX exhibit the versatility to be the exclusive efficient predator on Vibrio vulnificus, thereby, behaving as a specialist, but was also able to prey with similar efficiency on Vibrio parahaemolyticus, indicative of a generalist. Therefore, we proposed a designation of versatilist for this predator. This initiative should provide a basis for further efforts to characterize the predatory patterns of bacterial predators. The results of this study have revealed impacts of the prey on Bacteriovorax predation and in structuring the predator community, and advanced understanding of predation behavior in the microbial world. PMID:21326335

  13. Simulated predator attacks on flocks: a comparison of tactics.

    PubMed

    Demšar, Jure; Lebar Bajec, Iztok

    2014-01-01

    It is not exactly known why birds aggregate in coordinated flocks. The most common hypothesis proposes that the reason is protection from predators. Most of the currently developed examples of individual-based predator-prey models assume predators are attracted to the center of a highly coordinated flock. This proposed attraction of a predator to a flock would appear to be contradictory to an alternate hypothesis that flocks evolved as a protection against predation. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, in this article we use a fuzzy individual-based model to study three attack tactics (attack center, attack nearest, attack isolated) and analyze the success of predation on two types of prey (social and individualistic). Our simulations revealed that social flocking (as opposed to individualistic behavior) is the optimal anti-predatory response to predators attacking mainly isolated individuals. PMID:24730766

  14. Bacterial predation in a marine host-associated microbiome.

    PubMed

    Welsh, Rory M; Zaneveld, Jesse R; Rosales, Stephanie M; Payet, Jérôme P; Burkepile, Deron E; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2016-06-01

    In many ecological communities, predation has a key role in regulating community structure or function. Although predation has been extensively explored in animals and microbial eukaryotes, predation by bacteria is less well understood. Here we show that predatory bacteria of the genus Halobacteriovorax are prevalent and active predators on the surface of several genera of reef-building corals. Across a library of 198 16S rRNA samples spanning three coral genera, 79% were positive for carriage of Halobacteriovorax. Cultured Halobacteriovorax from Porites asteroides corals tested positive for predation on the putative coral pathogens Vibrio corallyticus and Vibrio harveyii. Co-occurrence network analysis showed that Halobacteriovorax's interactions with other bacteria are influenced by temperature and inorganic nutrient concentration, and further suggested that this bacterial predator's abundance may be driven by prey availability. Thus, animal microbiomes can harbor active bacterial predators, which may regulate microbiome structure and protect the host by consuming potential pathogens. PMID:26613338

  15. Modeling spatial patterns of limits to production of deposit-feeders and ectothermic predators in the northern Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovvorn, James R.; Jacob, Ute; North, Christopher A.; Kolts, Jason M.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Cooper, Lee W.; Cui, Xuehua

    2015-03-01

    Network models can help generate testable predictions and more accurate projections of food web responses to environmental change. Such models depend on predator-prey interactions throughout the network. When a predator currently consumes all of its prey's production, the prey's biomass may change substantially with loss of the predator or invasion by others. Conversely, if production of deposit-feeding prey is limited by organic matter inputs, system response may be predictable from models of primary production. For sea floor communities of shallow Arctic seas, increased temperature could lead to invasion or loss of predators, while reduced sea ice or change in wind-driven currents could alter organic matter inputs. Based on field data and models for three different sectors of the northern Bering Sea, we found a number of cases where all of a prey's production was consumed but the taxa involved varied among sectors. These differences appeared not to result from numerical responses of predators to abundance of preferred prey. Rather, they appeared driven by stochastic variations in relative biomass among taxa, due largely to abiotic conditions that affect colonization and early post-larval survival. Oscillatory tendencies of top-down versus bottom-up interactions may augment these variations. Required inputs of settling microalgae exceeded existing estimates of annual primary production by 50%; thus, assessing limits to bottom-up control depends on better corrections of satellite estimates to account for production throughout the water column. Our results suggest that in this Arctic system, stochastic abiotic conditions outweigh deterministic species interactions in food web responses to a varying environment.

  16. Fine-Scale Habitat Segregation between Two Ecologically Similar Top Predators

    PubMed Central

    Palomares, Francisco; Fernández, Néstor; Roques, Severine; Chávez, Cuauhtemoc; Silveira, Leandro; Keller, Claudia; Adrados, Begoña

    2016-01-01

    Similar, coexisting species often segregate along the spatial ecological axis. Here, we examine if two top predators (jaguars and pumas) present different fine-scale habitat use in areas of coexistence, and discuss if the observed pattern can be explained by the risk of interference competition between them. Interference competition theory predicts that pumas should avoid habitats or areas used by jaguars (the dominant species), and as a consequence should present more variability of niche parameters across study areas. We used non-invasive genetic sampling of faeces in 12 different areas and sensor satellite fine-scale habitat indices to answer these questions. Meta-analysis confirmed differences in fine-scale habitat use between jaguars and pumas. Furthermore, average marginality of the realized niches of pumas was more variable than those of jaguars, and tolerance (a measure of niche breadth) was on average 2.2 times higher in pumas than in jaguars, as expected under the interference competition risk hypothesis. The use of sensor satellite fine-scale habitat indices allowed the detection of subtle differences in the environmental characteristics of the habitats used by these two similar top predators, which, as a rule, until now were recorded using the same general habitat types. The detection of fine spatial segregation between these two top predators was scale-dependent. PMID:27187596

  17. Neurological effects on startle response and escape from predation by medaka exposed to organic chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, R.; Drummond, R.; Hammermeister, D.; Bradbury, S.

    1995-12-31

    Simultaneous electrophysiological and behavioral studies were performed on juvenile Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) exposed to representative neurotoxic organic chemicals at sublethal concentrations. Non-invasive recordings were made of the electrical impulses generated within giant neuronal Mauthner cells, associated interneurons or motoneurons, and musculature, all of which initiate the startle or escape response in fish. Timing in milliseconds between these electrical sequelae was measured for each fish before and at 24 and 48 hours exposure to a chemical. Also noted was the number of startle responses to number of stimuli ratio (R/S). Other groups of medaka were fed to bluegills and consumption times recorded to assess their ability to escape predation. These results were compared to neurophysiological effect levels. Phenol, 2,4-dinitrophenol, chlorpyrifos, fenvalerate, and 1-octanol impaired the ability of medaka to escape predation at all concentrations. Medaka were more susceptible to predation in high concentrations of carbaryl and strychnine, but less susceptible at low concentrations, whereas the reverse was true for endosulfan. The variety of neurological effects detected at these concentrations suggest that different mechanisms may be responsible. Phenol and strychnine affected Mauthner cell to motoneuron transmission, chlorpyrifos and carbaryl showed neuromuscular effects, and R/S was affected by most chemicals. Although a variety of neurotoxic mechanisms were examined, the exposure threshold for significant effects for each specific compound was found to be consistent for both the neurophysiological and behavioral endpoints.

  18. Predator prey interactions of Procambarus clarkii with aquatic macroinvertebrates in single and multiple prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, Alexandra Marçal; Bandeira, Nuno; Anastácio, Pedro Manuel

    2005-11-01

    Understanding the interspecific interactions of Procambarus clarkii with other aquatic macroinvertebrates will help to unveil the mechanisms and processes underlying biological invasiveness. The purpose of this study was to investigate predator-prey interactions of two ontogenic phases of P. clarkii with native and exotic species of aquatic macroinvertebrates at a single and multiple prey level. We performed laboratory experiments to determine the consumption and the behavioral responses of Chironomus riparius, Physa acuta and Corbicula fluminea to P. clarkii. The presence of P. clarkii significantly affected the abundance of C. riparius and P. acuta, but not of C. fluminea whether prey species were provided singly or simultaneously. The consumption of C. riparius by P. clarkii was higher than P. acuta for both crayfish sizes and situations (single/multiple prey systems) and C. fluminea was never consumed. Physa acuta was the only species that exhibited an anti-predator behavior to P. clarkii. Our results show that P. clarkii can have strong consumptive and trait effects on aquatic macroinvertebrate prey at a single and multiple prey level, resulting in differential impacts on different prey species. This study clarifies some aspects of the predator-prey interactions between P. clarkii and native as well as other exotic macroinvertebrate species that have invaded freshwater biocenosis worldwide.

  19. Fine-Scale Habitat Segregation between Two Ecologically Similar Top Predators.

    PubMed

    Palomares, Francisco; Fernández, Néstor; Roques, Severine; Chávez, Cuauhtemoc; Silveira, Leandro; Keller, Claudia; Adrados, Begoña

    2016-01-01

    Similar, coexisting species often segregate along the spatial ecological axis. Here, we examine if two top predators (jaguars and pumas) present different fine-scale habitat use in areas of coexistence, and discuss if the observed pattern can be explained by the risk of interference competition between them. Interference competition theory predicts that pumas should avoid habitats or areas used by jaguars (the dominant species), and as a consequence should present more variability of niche parameters across study areas. We used non-invasive genetic sampling of faeces in 12 different areas and sensor satellite fine-scale habitat indices to answer these questions. Meta-analysis confirmed differences in fine-scale habitat use between jaguars and pumas. Furthermore, average marginality of the realized niches of pumas was more variable than those of jaguars, and tolerance (a measure of niche breadth) was on average 2.2 times higher in pumas than in jaguars, as expected under the interference competition risk hypothesis. The use of sensor satellite fine-scale habitat indices allowed the detection of subtle differences in the environmental characteristics of the habitats used by these two similar top predators, which, as a rule, until now were recorded using the same general habitat types. The detection of fine spatial segregation between these two top predators was scale-dependent. PMID:27187596

  20. Role for different cell proteinases in cancer invasion and cytolysis.

    PubMed Central

    Zucker, S.; Beck, G.; DiStefano, J. F.; Lysik, R. M.

    1985-01-01

    The crucial role of non-plasminogen dependent serine proteinases is tissue invasive and cytolytic functions of Walker 256 cancer cells has been documented using a rat urinary bladder invasion and a 125I-labelled fibroblast cytolysis assay. The invasive capacity of these cancer cells was abrogated by non toxic concentrations of the serine proteinase inhibitors, diisopropylfluorophosphate and phenylmethylsulfonylfluoride, but not by metallo or cysteine proteinase inhibitors. Although tumour cell collagenase activity and plasminogen activator were demonstrated, these proteolytic enzymes were not essential in these in vitro assays. These results suggest that different categories of proteinases play specific roles in the complicated process of cancer invasion. PMID:2992566

  1. Beyond Predation: The Zoophytophagous Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus Induces Tomato Resistance against Spider Mites.

    PubMed

    Pappas, Maria L; Steppuhn, Anke; Geuss, Daniel; Topalidou, Nikoleta; Zografou, Aliki; Sabelis, Maurice W; Broufas, George D

    2015-01-01

    Many predatory insects that prey on herbivores also feed on the plant, but it is unknown whether plants affect the performance of herbivores by responding to this phytophagy with defence induction. We investigate whether the prior presence of the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur) on tomato plants affects plant resistance against two different herbivore species. Besides plant-mediated effects of M. pygmaeus on herbivore performance, we examined whether a plant defence trait that is known to be inducible by herbivory, proteinase inhibitors (PI), may also be activated in response to the interactions of this predator with the tomato plant. We show that exposing tomato plants to the omnivorous predator M. pygmaeus reduced performance of a subsequently infesting herbivore, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch, but not of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood). The spider-mite infested tomato plants experience a lower herbivore load, i.e., number of eggs deposited and individuals present, when previously exposed to the zoophytophagous predator. This effect is not restricted to the exposed leaf and persists on exposed plants for at least two weeks after the removal of the predators. The decreased performance of spider mites as a result of prior exposure of the plant to M. pygmaeus is accompanied by a locally and systemically increased accumulation of transcripts and activity of proteinase inhibitors that are known to be involved in plant defence. Our results demonstrate that zoophytophagous predators can induce plant defence responses and reduce herbivore performance. Hence, the suppression of populations of certain herbivores via consumption may be strengthened by the induction of plant defences by zoophytophagous predators. PMID:25974207

  2. Beyond Predation: The Zoophytophagous Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus Induces Tomato Resistance against Spider Mites

    PubMed Central

    Pappas, Maria L.; Steppuhn, Anke; Geuss, Daniel; Topalidou, Nikoleta; Zografou, Aliki; Broufas, George D.

    2015-01-01

    Many predatory insects that prey on herbivores also feed on the plant, but it is unknown whether plants affect the performance of herbivores by responding to this phytophagy with defence induction. We investigate whether the prior presence of the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur) on tomato plants affects plant resistance against two different herbivore species. Besides plant-mediated effects of M. pygmaeus on herbivore performance, we examined whether a plant defence trait that is known to be inducible by herbivory, proteinase inhibitors (PI), may also be activated in response to the interactions of this predator with the tomato plant. We show that exposing tomato plants to the omnivorous predator M. pygmaeus reduced performance of a subsequently infesting herbivore, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch, but not of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood). The spider-mite infested tomato plants experience a lower herbivore load, i.e., number of eggs deposited and individuals present, when previously exposed to the zoophytophagous predator. This effect is not restricted to the exposed leaf and persists on exposed plants for at least two weeks after the removal of the predators. The decreased performance of spider mites as a result of prior exposure of the plant to M. pygmaeus is accompanied by a locally and systemically increased accumulation of transcripts and activity of proteinase inhibitors that are known to be involved in plant defence. Our results demonstrate that zoophytophagous predators can induce plant defence responses and reduce herbivore performance. Hence, the suppression of populations of certain herbivores via consumption may be strengthened by the induction of plant defences by zoophytophagous predators. PMID:25974207

  3. Predator odor recognition and antipredatory response in fish: does the prey know the predator diel rhythm?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ylönen, Hannu; Kortet, Raine; Myntti, Janne; Vainikka, Anssi

    2007-01-01

    We studied in a laboratory experiment using stream tanks if two percid prey fish, the perch ( Perca fluviatilis) and the ruffe ( Gymnocephalus cernuus), can recognize and respond to increased predation risk using odors of two piscivores, the pike ( Esox lucius) and the burbot ( Lota lota). Burbot is night-active most of the year but pike hunts predominantly visually whenever there is enough light. Perch is a common day-active prey of pike and dark-active ruffe that of burbot. We predicted that besides recognizing the predator odors, the prey species would respond more strongly to odors of the predator which share the same activity pattern. Both perch and ruffe clearly responded to both predator fish odors. They decreased movements and erected the spiny dorsal fins. Fin erection showed clearly the black warning ornamentation in the fin and thus erected fin may function besides as mechanical defense also as warning ornament for an approaching predator. No rapid escape movements were generally observed. Both perch and ruffe responded more strongly to pike odor than to burbot. There were no clear differences in response between day and night. In conclusion, we were able to verify clear predator odor recognition by both prey fish. Both perch and ruffe responded to both predator odors and it seemed that pike forms a stronger threat for both prey species. Despite of diel activity differences both perch and ruffe used the same antipredatory strategies, but the day-active perch seemed to have a more flexible antipredatory behavior by responding more strongly to burbot threat during the night when burbot is active.

  4. Environmental predators as models for bacterial pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hilbi, Hubert; Weber, Stefan S; Ragaz, Curdin; Nyfeler, Yves; Urwyler, Simon

    2007-03-01

    Environmental bacteria are constantly threatened by bacterivorous predators such as free-living protozoa and nematodes. In the course of their coevolution with environmental predators, some bacteria developed sophisticated defence mechanisms, including the secretion of toxins, or the capacity to avoid lysosomal killing and to replicate intracellularly within protozoa. To analyse the interactions with bacterial pathogens on a molecular, cellular or organismic level, protozoa and other non-mammalian hosts are increasingly used. These include amoebae, as well as genetically tractable hosts, such as the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Using these hosts, the virulence mechanisms of opportunistic pathogenic bacteria such as Legionella, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas or Vibrio were found to be not only relevant for the interactions of the bacteria with protozoa, nematodes and insect phagocytes, but also with mammalian hosts including humans. Thus, non-mammalian model hosts provide valuable insight into the pathogenesis of environmental bacteria. PMID:17298357

  5. The Great White Guppy: Top Predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalski, G. M.

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen isotopes are often used to trace the trophic level of members of an ecosystem. As part of a stable isotope biogeochemistry and forensics course at Purdue University, students are introduced to this concept by analyzing nitrogen isotopes in sea food purchased from local grocery stores. There is a systematic increase in 15N/14N ratios going from kelp to clams/shrimp, to sardines, to tuna and finally to shark. These enrichments demonstrate how nitrogen is enriched in biomass as predators consume prey. Some of the highest nitrogen isotope enrichments observed, however, are in the common guppy. We investigated a number of aquarium fish foods and find they typically have high nitrogen isotope ratios because they are made form fish meal that is produced primarily from the remains of predator fish such as tuna. From, a isotope perspective, the guppy is the top of the food chain, more ferocious than even the Great White shark.

  6. Autoimmunity vs. cancer: predator vs. alien?

    PubMed

    Berens, Christian; Lauber, Kirsten; Herrmann, Martin

    2013-08-01

    "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." According to this motto, the human protagonists in Paul W. S. Anderson's science-fiction movie "Alien vs. Predator" (2004) solidarize with a predator in order to fight the aliens. Can this ancient and simple logic be transferred to the field of oncology and cancer immunotherapy? Can we utilize mechanisms known from the context of autoimmunity to fight cancer? Here, we summarize immune cell-mediated detection of danger and damage, central and peripheral tolerance, immunoregulation and immune privilege--processes known to be deregulated in the context of autoimmunity. We discuss them with special regard towards their misusage by tumors and pathogens and how they might be instrumentalized in the context of anti-cancer immunotherapy. PMID:23706137

  7. A field test of attractant traps for invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) in southern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, R.N.; Hart, K.M.; Rodda, G.H.; Mazzotti, F.J.; Snow, R.W.; Cherkiss, M.; Rozar, R.; Goetz, S.

    2011-01-01

    Context. Invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) are established over thousands of square kilometres of southern Florida, USA, and consume a wide range of native vertebrates. Few tools are available to control the python population, and none of the available tools have been validated in the field to assess capture success as a proportion of pythons available to be captured. Aims. Our primary aim was to conduct a trap trial for capturing invasive pythons in an area east of Everglades National Park, where many pythons had been captured in previous years, to assess the efficacy of traps for population control.Wealso aimed to compare results of visual surveys with trap capture rates, to determine capture rates of non-target species, and to assess capture rates as a proportion of resident pythons in the study area. Methods.Weconducted a medium-scale (6053 trap nights) experiment using two types of attractant traps baited with live rats in the Frog Pond area east of Everglades National Park.Wealso conducted standardised and opportunistic visual surveys in the trapping area. Following the trap trial, the area was disc harrowed to expose pythons and allow calculation of an index of the number of resident pythons. Key results. We captured three pythons and 69 individuals of various rodent, amphibian, and reptile species in traps. Eleven pythons were discovered during disc harrowing operations, as were large numbers of rodents. Conclusions. The trap trial captured a relatively small proportion of the pythons that appeared to be present in the study area, although previous research suggests that trap capture rates improve with additional testing of alternative trap designs. Potential negative impacts to non-target species were minimal. Low python capture rates may have been associated with extremely high local prey abundances during the trap experiment. Implications. Results of this trial illustrate many of the challenges in implementing and interpreting results

  8. Hydrological disturbance diminishes predator control in wetlands.

    PubMed

    Dorn, Nathan J; Cook, Mark I

    2015-11-01

    Effects of predators on prey populations can be especially strong in aquatic ecosystems, but disturbances may mediate the strength of predator limitation and even allow outbreaks of some prey populations. In a two-year study we investigated the numerical responses of crayfish (Procambarus fallax) and small fishes (Poeciliidae and Fundulidae) to a brief hydrological disturbance in replicated freshwater wetlands with an experimental drying and large predatory fish reduction. The experiment and an in situ predation assay tested the component of the consumer stress model positing that disturbances release prey from predator limitation. In the disturbed wetlands, abundances of large predatory fish were seasonally reduced, similar to dynamics in the Everglades (southern Florida). Densities of small fish were unaffected by the disturbance, but crayfish densities, which were similar across all wetlands before drying, increased almost threefold in the year after the disturbance. Upon re-flooding, juvenile crayfish survival was inversely related to the abundance of large fish across wetlands, but we found no evidence for enhanced algal food quality. At a larger landscape scale (500 km2 of the Everglades), crayfish densities over eight years were positively correlated with the severity of local dry disturbances (up to 99 days dry) during the preceding dry season. In contrast, densities of small-bodied fishes in the same wetlands were seasonally depressed by dry disturbances. The results from our experimental wetland drought and the observations of crayfish densities in the Everglades represent a large-scale example of prey population release following a hydrological disturbance in a freshwater ecosystem. The conditions producing crayfish pulses in the Everglades appear consistent with the mechanics of the consumer stress model, and we suggest crayfish pulses may influence the number of nesting wading birds in the Everglades. PMID:27070017

  9. Bacterial symbioses. Predation and mutually beneficial associations.

    PubMed

    Esteve, I; Gaju, N

    1999-06-01

    The endosymbiotic theory, which has proved to explain the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts, also posits the origin of nucleus and other cellular organelles that could have derived from ancient relationships among bacteria. It seems that predation might have been a prerequisite to the establishment of symbiosis as a source of evolutionary novelty. This review describes current different examples of bacteria able not only to attack and degrade other bacteria, but also to establish stable symbiotic relationships with different eukaryotic organisms. PMID:10943397

  10. Simulated predator extinctions: predator identity affects survival and recruitment of oysters.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Nessa E; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Ladwig, Laura M; Bruno, John F

    2008-02-01

    The rate of species loss is increasing at a global scale, and human-induced extinctions are biased toward predator species. We examined the effects of predator extinctions on a foundation species, the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica). We performed a factorial experiment manipulating the presence and abundance of three of the most common predatory crabs, the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), stone crab (Menippe mercenaria), and mud crab (Panopeus herbstii) in estuaries in the eastern United States. We tested the effects of species richness and identity of predators on juvenile oyster survival, oyster recruitment, and organic matter content of sediment. We also manipulated the density of each of the predators and controlled for the loss of biomass of species by maintaining a constant mass of predators in one set of treatments and simultaneously using an additive design. This design allowed us to test the density dependence of our results and test for functional compensation by other species. The identity of predator species, but not richness, affected oyster populations. The loss of blue crabs, alone or in combination with either of the other species, affected the survival rate of juvenile oysters. Blue crabs and stone crabs both affected oyster recruitment and sediment organic matter negatively. Mud crabs at higher than ambient densities, however, could fulfill some of the functions of blue and stone crabs, suggesting a level of ecological redundancy. Importantly, the strong effects of blue crabs in all processes measured no longer occurred when individuals were present at higher-than-ambient densities. Their role as dominant predator is, therefore, dependent on their density within the system and the density of other species within their guild (e.g., mud crabs). Our findings support the hypothesis that the effects of species loss at higher trophic levels are determined by predator identity and are subject to complex intraguild interactions that are largely

  11. Background level of risk determines how prey categorize predators and non-predators

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Mitchell, Matthew D.; Ramasamy, Ryan A.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the plasticity that prey exhibit in response to predators is linked to the prey's immediate background level of risk. However, we know almost nothing of how background risk influences how prey learn to categorize predators and non-predators. Learning non-predators probably represents one of the most underappreciated aspects of anti-predator decision-making. Here, we provide larval damselfish (Pomacentrus chrysurus) with a high or low background risk and then try to teach them to recognize a cue as non-threatening through the process of latent inhibition. Prey from the low-risk background that were pre-exposed to the novel odour cues in the absence of negative reinforcement for 3 days, and then provided the opportunity to learn to recognize the odour as threatening, failed to subsequently respond to the odour as a threat. Fish from the high-risk background showed a much different response. These fish did not learn the odour as non-threatening, probably because the cost of falsely learning an odour as non-threatening is higher when the background level of risk is higher. Our work highlights that background level of risk appears to drive plasticity in cognition of prey animals learning to discriminate threats in their environment. PMID:24898371

  12. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures

    PubMed Central

    Tew Kai, Emilie; Rossi, Vincent; Sudre, Joel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Lopez, Cristobal; Hernandez-Garcia, Emilio; Marsac, Francis; Garçon, Veronique

    2009-01-01

    Meso- and submesoscales (fronts, eddies, filaments) in surface ocean flow have a crucial influence on marine ecosystems. Their dynamics partly control the foraging behavior and the displacement of marine top predators (tuna, birds, turtles, and cetaceans). In this work we focus on the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel in the distribution of a marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using a newly developed dynamic concept, the finite-size Lyapunov exponent (FSLE), we identified Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the channel over a 2-month observation period (August and September 2003). By comparing seabird satellite positions with LCS locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these structures in the Mozambique Channel, providing the first evidence that a top predator is able to track these FSLE ridges to locate food patches. After comparing bird positions during long and short trips and different parts of these trips, we propose several hypotheses to understand how frigatebirds can follow these LCSs. The birds might use visual and/or olfactory cues and/or atmospheric current changes over the structures to move along these biologic corridors. The birds being often associated with tuna schools around foraging areas, a thorough comprehension of their foraging behavior and movement during the breeding season is crucial not only to seabird ecology but also to an appropriate ecosystemic approach to fisheries in the channel. PMID:19416811

  13. Rose odor can innately counteract predator odor.

    PubMed

    Matsukawa, Mutsumi; Imada, Masato; Murakami, Toyotaka; Aizawa, Shin; Sato, Takaaki

    2011-03-24

    When animals smell a predator odor such as 2,5-Dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), even if it is a novel substance, the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is activated, causing stress-like behaviors. Although the medial part of the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (mBST) is known to be involved in this process, the mechanism remains unclear. Moreover, it is unknown whether there is any odor that can counteract the predator odor, even when the odorants are novel substances for the animals. In this study, we assessed whether rose odor can counteract by counting the number of activated neurons in mice brain following the presentation of rose odor with or without TMT for 30 min. The number of activated cells in the mBST and in the ventrorostral part of the anterior piriform cortex (APC) was significantly reduced by a mixture of TMT and rose odor; however, no significant differences were noted in the dorsal part of the APC and in the olfactory bulb (OB) following TMT presentation with or without rose odor. The results suggest that rose odor may counteract the TMT-induced stress response in the OB and/or APC and suppress the neural circuit to the mBST. It also indicates that there are some odors that can innately counteract predator odor, even when they have not been experienced before. PMID:21266167

  14. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures.

    PubMed

    Tew Kai, Emilie; Rossi, Vincent; Sudre, Joel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Lopez, Cristobal; Hernandez-Garcia, Emilio; Marsac, Francis; Garçon, Veronique

    2009-05-19

    Meso- and submesoscales (fronts, eddies, filaments) in surface ocean flow have a crucial influence on marine ecosystems. Their dynamics partly control the foraging behavior and the displacement of marine top predators (tuna, birds, turtles, and cetaceans). In this work we focus on the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel in the distribution of a marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using a newly developed dynamic concept, the finite-size Lyapunov exponent (FSLE), we identified Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the channel over a 2-month observation period (August and September 2003). By comparing seabird satellite positions with LCS locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these structures in the Mozambique Channel, providing the first evidence that a top predator is able to track these FSLE ridges to locate food patches. After comparing bird positions during long and short trips and different parts of these trips, we propose several hypotheses to understand how frigatebirds can follow these LCSs. The birds might use visual and/or olfactory cues and/or atmospheric current changes over the structures to move along these biologic corridors. The birds being often associated with tuna schools around foraging areas, a thorough comprehension of their foraging behavior and movement during the breeding season is crucial not only to seabird ecology but also to an appropriate ecosystemic approach to fisheries in the channel. PMID:19416811

  15. Environmental deterioration increases tadpole vulnerability to predation.

    PubMed

    Squires, Zoe E; Bailey, Paul C E; Reina, Richard D; Wong, Bob B M

    2008-08-23

    Human-induced environmental change is occurring at an unprecedented rate and scale. Many freshwater habitats, in particular, have been degraded as a result of increased salinity. Little is known about the effects of anthropogenic salinization on freshwater organisms, especially at sublethal concentrations, where subtle behavioural changes can have potentially drastic fitness consequences. Using a species of Australian frog (Litoria ewingii), we experimentally examined the effects of salinization on tadpole behaviour and their vulnerability to a predatory dragonfly nymph (Hemianax papuensis). We found that tadpoles exposed to an ecologically relevant concentration of salt (15% seawater, SW) were less active than those in our freshwater control (0.4% SW). Tadpoles in elevated salinity also experienced a higher risk of predation, even though the strike rate of the predator did not differ between salt and freshwater treatments. In a separate experiment testing the burst-speed performance of tadpoles, we found that tadpoles in saltwater were slower than those in freshwater. Thus, it would appear that salt compromised the anti-predator response of tadpoles and made them more susceptible to being captured. Our results demonstrate that environmentally relevant concentrations of aquatic contaminants can, even at sublethal levels, severely undermine the fitness of exposed organisms. PMID:18492650

  16. Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, Predator B in flight.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. ALTAIR/PREDATOR B -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator testbed aircraft to validate a variety of command and control technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Ten-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 84 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of those basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  17. Range contraction in large pelagic predators

    PubMed Central

    Worm, Boris; Tittensor, Derek P.

    2011-01-01

    Large reductions in the abundance of exploited land predators have led to significant range contractions for those species. This pattern can be formalized as the range–abundance relationship, a general macroecological pattern that has important implications for the conservation of threatened species. Here we ask whether similar responses may have occurred in highly mobile pelagic predators, specifically 13 species of tuna and billfish. We analyzed two multidecadal global data sets on the spatial distribution of catches and fishing effort targeting these species and compared these with available abundance time series from stock assessments. We calculated the effort needed to reliably detect the presence of a species and then computed observed range sizes in each decade from 1960 to 2000. Results suggest significant range contractions in 9 of the 13 species considered here (between 2% and 46% loss of observed range) and significant range expansions in two species (11–29% increase). Species that have undergone the largest declines in abundance and are of particular conservation concern tended to show the largest range contractions. These include all three species of bluefin tuna and several marlin species. In contrast, skipjack tuna, which may have increased its abundance in the Pacific, has also expanded its range size. These results mirror patterns described for many land predators, despite considerable differences in habitat, mobility, and dispersal, and imply ecological extirpation of heavily exploited species across parts of their range. PMID:21693644

  18. Phase diagram of a cyclic predator-prey model with neutral-pair exchange.

    PubMed

    Guisoni, Nara C; Loscar, Ernesto S; Girardi, Mauricio

    2013-08-01

    In this paper we obtain the phase diagram of a four-species predator-prey lattice model by using the proposed gradient method. We consider cyclic transitions between consecutive states, representing invasion or predation, and allowed the exchange between neighboring neutral pairs. By applying a gradient in the invasion rate parameter one can see, in the same simulation, the presence of two symmetric absorbing phases, composed by neutral pairs, and an active phase that includes all four species. In this sense, the study of a single-valued interface and its fluctuations give the critical point of the irreversible phase transition and the corresponding universality classes. Also, the consideration of a multivalued interface and its fluctuations bring the percolation threshold. We show that the model presents two lines of irreversible first-order phase transition between the two absorbing phases and the active phase. Depending on the value of the system parameters, these lines can converge into a triple point, which is the beginning of a first-order irreversible line between the two absorbing phases, or end in two critical points belonging to the directed percolation universality class. Standard simulations for some characteristic values of the parameters confirm the order of the transitions as determined by the gradient method. Besides, below the triple point the model presents two standard percolation lines in the active phase and above a first-order percolation transition as already found in other similar models. PMID:24032801

  19. When r-selection may not predict introduced-species proliferation: predation of a nonnative oyster.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Melanie J; Peterson, Charles H

    2006-04-01

    oysters, if introduced, from attaining high adult densities required to restore a fishery, provide appreciable reef habitat, and reduce turbidity through filtration. Thus, in high-predation environments, allocation of resources to rapid growth and development rather than to predation defenses reflects a life-history trade-off that may promote early stages of invasion, yet prevent attainment of dense adult populations. PMID:16711058

  20. Do predator-prey relationships on the river bed affect fine sediment ingress?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathers, Kate; Rice, Stephen; Wood, Paul

    2016-04-01

    predator and prey) resulted in intermediate fine sediment infiltration rates. The results suggest that reductions in prey availability may enhance crayfish foraging behaviour and therefore their impact on fine sediment ingress into river beds. Consequently, as invading species become more established and prey resources are depleted, the implications of invasive crayfish on fine sediment dynamics may become more prominent. These experiments demonstrate the importance of abiotic-biotic coupling in fluvial systems for both geomorphological and ecological understanding.

  1. Survey of predators and sampling method comparison in sweet corn.

    PubMed

    Musser, Fred R; Nyrop, Jan P; Shelton, Anthony M

    2004-02-01

    Natural predation is an important component of integrated pest management that is often overlooked because it is difficult to quantify and perceived to be unreliable. To begin incorporating natural predation into sweet corn, Zea mays L., pest management, a predator survey was conducted and then three sampling methods were compared for their ability to accurately monitor the most abundant predators. A predator survey on sweet corn foliage in New York between 1999 and 2001 identified 13 species. Orius insidiosus (Say), Coleomegilla maculata (De Geer), and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) were the most numerous predators in all years. To determine the best method for sampling adult and immature stages of these predators, comparisons were made among nondestructive field counts, destructive counts, and yellow sticky cards. Field counts were correlated with destructive counts for all populations, but field counts of small insects were biased. Sticky cards underrepresented immature populations. Yellow sticky cards were more attractive to C. maculata adults than H. axyridis adults, especially before pollen shed, making coccinellid population estimates based on sticky cards unreliable. Field counts were the most precise method for monitoring adult and immature stages of the three major predators. Future research on predicting predation of pests in sweet corn should be based on field counts of predators because these counts are accurate, have no associated supply costs, and can be made quickly. PMID:14998137

  2. Conspecific density modulates the effect of predation on dispersal rates.

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Fitzjohn, Richard G; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-08-01

    Dispersal decisions underlie the spatial dynamics of metacommunities. Prey individuals may disperse to reduce the risk of either predation or starvation, and both of these risks may depend on conspecific density. Surprisingly, there is little theory examining how dispersal rates should change in response to the combined effects of predation and changes in conspecific density. We develop such a model and show that, under certain conditions, predators may induce dispersal at low prey densities but not high prey densities. We then experimentally manipulate the density of the ciliate Paramecium aurelia and the perceived presence of its predator, the flatworm Stenostomum virginiamum, in a two-patch metacommunity to parameterise the model. Paramecium dispersed in response to Stenostomum at low densities, but they reduced their dispersal in response to predation risk at high predator densities. By applying our model to the empirical data, we show that this switch in dispersal strategy, linked to increases in prey density, occurred because predators increased the difficulty or risk of dispersal. Together, the model and experiment reveal that the effects of predators on dispersal are contingent on prey density. Previous studies have sometimes reported an increase in dispersal rate when predation risk is elevated, and other times a decrease in dispersal rate. Our demonstration of a switch point, with predation risk increasing dispersal at low prey densities but reducing dispersal above a threshold of prey density, may reconcile the diversity of prey dispersal behaviours reported in these previous investigations and observed in nature. PMID:25820788

  3. Taphonomy for taxonomists: Implications of predation in small mammal studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández-Jalvo, Yolanda; Andrews, Peter; Denys, Christiane; Sesé, Carmen; Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Marin-Monfort, Dolores; Pesquero, Dolores

    2016-05-01

    Predation is one of the most recurrent sources of bone accumulations. The influence of predation is widely studied for large mammal sites where humans, acting as predators, produce bone accumulations similar to carnivore accumulations. Similarly, small mammal fossil sites are mainly occupation levels of predators (nests or dens). In both cases, investigations of past events can be compared with present day equivalents or proxies. Chewing marks are sometimes present on large mammal predator accumulations, but digestion traits are the most direct indication of predation, and evidence for this is always present in small mammal (prey) fossil assemblages. Digestion grades and frequency indicates predator type and this is well established since the publication of Andrews (1990). The identification of the predator provides invaluable information for accurate interpretation of the palaeoenvironment. Traditionally, palaeoenvironmental interpretations are obtained from the taxonomic species identified in the site, but rather than providing direct interpretations of the surrounding palaeoenvironment, this procedure actually describes the dietary preferences of the predators and the type of occupation (nests, marking territory, dens, etc). This paper reviews the identification of traits produced by predators on arvicolins, murins and soricids using a method that may be used equally by taxonomists and taphonomists. It aims to provide the "tools" for taxonomists to identify the predator based on their methodology, which is examining the occlusal surfaces of teeth rather than their lateral aspects. This will greatly benefit both the work of taphonomists and taxonomists to recognize signs of predation and the improvement of subsequent palaeoecological interpretations of past organisms and sites by identifying both the prey and the predator.

  4. Olfactory systems and neural circuits that modulate predator odor fear

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Lorey K.

    2014-01-01

    When prey animals detect the odor of a predator a constellation of fear-related autonomic, endocrine, and behavioral responses rapidly occur to facilitate survival. How olfactory sensory systems process predator odor and channel that information to specific brain circuits is a fundamental issue that is not clearly understood. However, research in the last 15 years has begun to identify some of the essential features of the sensory detection systems and brain structures that underlie predator odor fear. For instance, the main (MOS) and accessory olfactory systems (AOS) detect predator odors and different types of predator odors are sensed by specific receptors located in either the MOS or AOS. However, complex predator chemosignals may be processed by both the MOS and AOS, which complicate our understanding of the specific neural circuits connected directly and indirectly from the MOS and AOS to activate the physiological and behavioral components of unconditioned and conditioned fear. Studies indicate that brain structures including the dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG), paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, and the medial amygdala (MeA) appear to be broadly involved in predator odor induced autonomic activity and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress hormone secretion. The MeA also plays a key role in predator odor unconditioned fear behavior and retrieval of contextual fear memory associated with prior predator odor experiences. Other neural structures including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the ventral hippocampus (VHC) appear prominently involved in predator odor fear behavior. The basolateral amygdala (BLA), medial hypothalamic nuclei, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are also activated by some but not all predator odors. Future research that characterizes how distinct predator odors are uniquely processed in olfactory systems and neural circuits will provide significant insights into the differences of how diverse predator

  5. Density-Dependent Growth in Invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans)

    PubMed Central

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E.

    2013-01-01

    Direct demographic density dependence is necessary for population regulation and is a central concept in ecology, yet has not been studied in many invasive species, including any invasive marine fish. The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is an invasive predatory marine fish that is undergoing exponential population growth throughout the tropical western Atlantic. Invasive lionfish threaten coral-reef ecosystems, but there is currently no evidence of any natural population control. Therefore, a manipulative field experiment was conducted to test for density dependence in lionfish. Juvenile lionfish densities were adjusted on small reefs and several demographic rates (growth, recruitment, immigration, and loss) were measured throughout an 8-week period. Invasive lionfish exhibited direct density dependence in individual growth rates, as lionfish grew slower at higher densities throughout the study. Individual growth in length declined linearly with increasing lionfish density, while growth in mass declined exponentially with increasing density. There was no evidence, however, for density dependence in recruitment, immigration, or loss (mortality plus emigration) of invasive lionfish. The observed density-dependent growth rates may have implications for which native species are susceptible to lionfish predation, as the size and type of prey that lionfish consume is directly related to their body size. The absence of density-dependent loss, however, contrasts with many native coral-reef fish species and suggests that for the foreseeable future manual removals may be the only effective local control of this invasion. PMID:23825604

  6. Density-dependent growth in invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans).

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2013-01-01

    Direct demographic density dependence is necessary for population regulation and is a central concept in ecology, yet has not been studied in many invasive species, including any invasive marine fish. The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is an invasive predatory marine fish that is undergoing exponential population growth throughout the tropical western Atlantic. Invasive lionfish threaten coral-reef ecosystems, but there is currently no evidence of any natural population control. Therefore, a manipulative field experiment was conducted to test for density dependence in lionfish. Juvenile lionfish densities were adjusted on small reefs and several demographic rates (growth, recruitment, immigration, and loss) were measured throughout an 8-week period. Invasive lionfish exhibited direct density dependence in individual growth rates, as lionfish grew slower at higher densities throughout the study. Individual growth in length declined linearly with increasing lionfish density, while growth in mass declined exponentially with increasing density. There was no evidence, however, for density dependence in recruitment, immigration, or loss (mortality plus emigration) of invasive lionfish. The observed density-dependent growth rates may have implications for which native species are susceptible to lionfish predation, as the size and type of prey that lionfish consume is directly related to their body size. The absence of density-dependent loss, however, contrasts with many native coral-reef fish species and suggests that for the foreseeable future manual removals may be the only effective local control of this invasion. PMID:23825604

  7. Cannibalistic Predator-Prey Model with Disease in Predator — A Delay Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, Santosh; Samanta, Sudip; Chattopadhyay, Joydev

    In this paper, we propose and analyze a cannibalistic predator-prey model with a transmissible disease in the predator population. The disease can be transmitted through contacts with infected individuals as well as the cannibalism of an infected predator. We also consider incubation delay in disease transmission, where the incubation period represents the time in which the infectious agent develops in the host. Local stability analysis of the system around the biologically feasible equilibria is studied. Bifurcation analysis of the system around interior equilibrium is also studied. Applying the normal form theory and central manifold theorem, the direction of Hopf bifurcation, the stability and the period of bifurcating periodic solutions are derived. Under appropriate conditions, the permanence of the system with time delay is proved. Our results suggest that incubation delay destabilizes the system and can produce chaos. We also observe that cannibalism can control disease and population oscillations. Extensive numerical simulations are performed to support our analytical results.

  8. Predation on exotic zebra mussels by native fishes: Effects on predator and prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magoulick, D.D.; Lewis, L.C.

    2002-01-01

    1. Exotic zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, occur in southern U.S. waterways in high densities, but little is known about the interaction between native fish predators and zebra mussels. Previous studies have suggested that exotic zebra mussels are low profitability prey items and native vertebrate predators are unlikely to reduce zebra mussel densities. We tested these hypotheses by observing prey use of fishes, determining energy content of primary prey species of fishes, and conducting predator exclusion experiments in Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas. 2. Zebra mussels were the primary prey eaten by 52.9% of blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus; 48.2% of freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens; and 100% of adult redear sunfish, Lepomis microlophus. Blue catfish showed distinct seasonal prey shifts, feeding on zebra mussels in summer and shad, Dorosoma spp., during winter. Energy content (joules g-1) of blue catfish prey (threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense; gizzard shad, D. cepedianum; zebra mussels; and asiatic clams, Corbicula fluminea) showed a significant species by season interaction, but shad were always significantly greater in energy content than bivalves examined as either ash-free dry mass or whole organism dry mass. Fish predators significantly reduced densities of large zebra mussels (>5 mm length) colonising clay tiles in the summers of 1997 and 1998, but predation effects on small zebra mussels (???5 mm length) were less clear. 3. Freshwater drum and redear sunfish process bivalve prey by crushing shells and obtain low amounts of higher-energy food (only the flesh), whereas blue catfish lack a shell-crushing apparatus and ingest large amounts of low-energy food per unit time (bivalves with their shells). Blue catfish appeared to select the abundant zebra mussel over the more energetically rich shad during summer, then shifted to shad during winter when shad experienced temperature-dependent stress and mortality. Native fish predators can suppress adult zebra

  9. Cannabidiol blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors.

    PubMed

    Campos, Alline Cristina; Ferreira, Frederico Rogério; Guimarães, Francisco Silveira

    2012-11-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an incapacitating syndrome that follows a traumatic experience. Predator exposure promotes long-lasting anxiogenic effect in rodents, an effect related to symptoms found in PTSD patients. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic component of Cannabis sativa with anxiolytic effects. The present study investigated the anti-anxiety actions of CBD administration in a model of PTSD. Male Wistar rats exposed to a predator (cat) received, 1 h later, singled or repeated i.p. administration of vehicle or CBD. Seven days after the stress animals were submitted to the elevated plus maze. To investigate the involvement of 5HT1A receptors in CBD effects animals were pre-treated with WAY100635, a 5HT1A receptor antagonist. To explore possible neurobiological mechanisms involved in these effects, 5HT1A receptor mRNA and BDNF protein expression were measured in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, amygdaloid complex and dorsal periaqueductal gray. Repeated administration of CBD prevented long-lasting anxiogenic effects promoted by a single predator exposure. Pretreatment with WAY100635 attenuated CBD effects. Seven days after predator exposure 5HT1A mRNA expression was up regulated in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. CBD and paroxetine failed to prevent this effect. No change in BDNF expression was found. In conclusion, predator exposure promotes long-lasting up-regulation of 5HT1A receptor gene expression in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. Repeated CBD administration prevents the long-lasting anxiogenic effects observed after predator exposure probably by facilitating 5HT1A receptors neurotransmission. Our results suggest that CBD has beneficial potential for PTSD treatment and that 5HT1A receptors could be a therapeutic target in this disorder. PMID:22979992

  10. Effect of predator reduction on waterfowl nesting success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balser, D.S.; Dill, H.H.; Nelson, H.K.

    1968-01-01

    A 6-year study to determine the effect of nest-predator removal on waterfowl nesting success was conducted at the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern Minnesota from 1959 through 1964. Predators were removed from the west side of the Refuge while the east side served as a control area. At the end of 3 years, these areas were reversed to reduce the effects of environmental influences. The effect of predator removal was measured by a simulated nest study to determine predation pressure, a check of natural nest success, and weekly breeding pair and brood counts. Results indicated that 60 percent more Class I ducklings were produced on the units where predator control was conducted. Until more is known, reduction of predators to increase waterfowl nesting success should be limited to intensively managed production areas where substantial nest losses are demonstrated.

  11. Can shrub cover increase predation risk for a desert rodent?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schooley, R.L.; Sharpe, Peter B.

    1996-01-01

    Previous research indicates that predation risk may influence activity patterns, habitat partitioning, and community structure of nocturnal desert rodents. Shrub microhabitat is typically considered safer than open microhabitat for these small mammals. We investigated predation risk for Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii), which are diurnal desert rodents that detect predators visually and use burrows for refuge. Our results suggested that shrub cover may increase risk for these squirrels by decreasing their ability to escape from predators. Our field experiment indicated that running speeds of juvenile squirrels were lower in shrub (Ceratoides lanata) habitat than in open areas. Shrub cover was also associated with shorter predator-detection distances (mammalian and avian) and fewer refuges (burrow entrances per hectare) than in open areas in one year but not in another. Our study demonstrated that the visual and locomotive obstruction of vegetative cover may increase predation risk for diurnal desert rodents and that elements of habitat-dependent risk may be temporally dynamic.

  12. Nest predation research: Recent findings and future perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, Anna L.; Ibanez-Alamo, J. D.; Magrath, R. D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.; Thomson, R. L.; Oteyza, Juan C.; Haff, T. M.; Martin, T.E.

    2016-01-01

    Nest predation is a key source of selection for birds that has attracted increasing attention from ornithologists. The inclusion of new concepts applicable to nest predation that stem from social information, eavesdropping or physiology has expanded our knowledge considerably. Recent methodological advancements now allow focus on all three players within nest predation interactions: adults, offspring and predators. Indeed, the study of nest predation now forms a vital part of avian research in several fields, including animal behaviour, population ecology, evolution and conservation biology. However, within nest predation research there are important aspects that require further development, such as the comparison between ecological and evolutionary antipredator responses, and the role of anthropogenic change. We hope this review of recent findings and the presentation of new research avenues will encourage researchers to study this important and interesting selective pressure, and ultimately will help us to better understand the biology of birds.

  13. Vertical heterogeneity in predation pressure in a temperate forest canopy

    PubMed Central

    Aikens, Kathleen R.; Buddle, Christopher M.

    2013-01-01

    The forest canopy offers a vertical gradient across which variation in predation pressure implies variation in refuge quality for arthropods. Direct and indirect experimental approaches were combined to assess whether canopy strata differ in ability to offer refuge to various arthropod groups. Vertical heterogeneity in impact of avian predators was quantified using exclosure cages in the understory, lower, mid, and upper canopy of a north-temperate deciduous forest near Montreal, Quebec. Bait trials were completed in the same strata to investigate the effects of invertebrate predators. Exclusion of birds yielded higher arthropod densities across all strata, although treatment effects were small for some taxa. Observed gradients in predation pressure were similar for both birds and invertebrate predators; the highest predation pressure was observed in the understory and decreased with height. Our findings support a view of the forest canopy that is heterogeneous with respect to arthropod refuge from natural enemies. PMID:24010017

  14. Experimental predator removal causes rapid salt marsh die-off

    PubMed Central

    Bertness, Mark D; Brisson, Caitlin P; Coverdale, Tyler C; Bevil, Matt C; Crotty, Sinead M; Suglia, Elena R

    2014-01-01

    Salt marsh habitat loss to vegetation die-offs has accelerated throughout the western Atlantic in the last four decades. Recent studies have suggested that eutrophication, pollution and/or disease may contribute to the loss of marsh habitat. In light of recent evidence that predators are important determinants of marsh health in New England, we performed a total predator exclusion experiment. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that predator depletion can cause salt marsh die-off by releasing the herbivorous crab Sesarma reticulatum from predator control. Excluding predators from a marsh ecosystem for a single growing season resulted in a >100% increase in herbivory and a >150% increase in unvegetated bare space compared to plots with predators. Our results confirm that marshes in this region face multiple, potentially synergistic threats. PMID:24766277

  15. Attacking invasive grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.

    2015-01-01

    In grasslands fire may play a role in the plant invasion process, both by creating disturbances that potentially favour non-native invasions and as a possible tool for controlling alien invasions. Havill et al. (Applied Vegetation Science, 18, 2015, this issue) determine how native and non-native species respond to different fire regimes as a first step in understanding the potential control of invasive grasses.

  16. Presence and distribution of mosquito larvae predators and factors influencing their abundance along the Mara River, Kenya and Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Dida, Gabriel O; Gelder, Frank B; Anyona, Douglas N; Abuom, Paul O; Onyuka, Jackson O; Matano, Ally-Said; Adoka, Samson O; Kanangire, Canisius K; Owuor, Philip O; Ouma, Collins; Ofulla, Ayub Vo

    2015-01-01

    Among all the malaria controlling measures, biological control of mosquito larvae may be the cheapest and easiest to implement. This study investigated baseline predation of immature mosquitoes by macroinvertebrate predators along the Mara River, determined the diversity of predators and mosquito larvae habitats and the range of their adaptive capacity to water physico-chemical parameters. Between July and August 2011, sampling sites (n=39) along the Mara River were selected and investigated for the presence of macroinvertebrate predators and mosquito larvae. The selected sampling sites were geocoded and each dipped 20 times using standard mosquito larvae dipper to sample mosquito larvae, while a D-frame dip net was used to capture the macroinvertebrate predators. Water physico-chemical parameters (dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, conductivity, salinity and turbidity) were taken in situ at access points, while hardness and alkalinity were measured titrimetically. The influence of macroinvertebrate predator occurrence was correlated with mosquito larvae and water quality parameters using Generalized Linear Model (GLM). Predators (n=297) belonging to 3 orders of Hemiptera (54.2%), Odonata (22.9%) and Coleoptera (22.9%), and mosquito larvae (n=4001) belonging to 10 species, which included An.gambiae s.l (44.9%), Culex spp. (34.8%) and An. coustani complex (13.8%), An. maculipalpis (3.6%), An. phaorensis (1.2%), An. funestus group (0.5%), An. azaniae (0.4%), An. hamoni (0.3%), An. christyi (0.3%), An. ardensis (0.08%), An. faini (0.07%), An. sergentii (0.05%) and 0.05% of Aedes mosquito larvae which were not identified to species level, due to lack of an appropriate key, were captured from different habitats along the Mara river. It was established that invasion of habitats by the macroinvertebrate predators were partially driven by the presence of mosquito larvae (p < 0.001), and the prevailing water physico-chemical parameters (DO, temperature, and turbidity, p <0

  17. Assessment of predation risk through referential communication in incubating birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N.

    2015-05-01

    Parents of many bird species produce alarm calls when they approach and deter a nest predator in order to defend their offspring. Alarm calls have been shown to warn nestlings about predatory threats, but parents also face a similar risk of predation when incubating eggs in their nests. Here, I show that incubating female Japanese great tits, Parus minor, assess predation risk by conspecific alarm calls given outside the nest cavity. Tits produce acoustically discrete alarm calls for different nest predators: “jar” calls for snakes and “chicka” calls for other predators such as crows and martens. Playback experiments revealed that incubating females responded to “jar” calls by leaving their nest, whereas they responded to “chicka” calls by looking out of the nest entrance. Since snakes invade the nest cavity, escaping from the nest helps females avoid snake predation. In contrast, “chicka” calls are used for a variety of predator types, and therefore, looking out of the nest entrance helps females gather information about the type and location of approaching predators. These results show that incubating females derive information about predator type from different types of alarm calls, providing a novel example of functionally referential communication.

  18. Assessment of predation risk through referential communication in incubating birds

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N.

    2015-01-01

    Parents of many bird species produce alarm calls when they approach and deter a nest predator in order to defend their offspring. Alarm calls have been shown to warn nestlings about predatory threats, but parents also face a similar risk of predation when incubating eggs in their nests. Here, I show that incubating female Japanese great tits, Parus minor, assess predation risk by conspecific alarm calls given outside the nest cavity. Tits produce acoustically discrete alarm calls for different nest predators: “jar” calls for snakes and “chicka” calls for other predators such as crows and martens. Playback experiments revealed that incubating females responded to “jar” calls by leaving their nest, whereas they responded to “chicka” calls by looking out of the nest entrance. Since snakes invade the nest cavity, escaping from the nest helps females avoid snake predation. In contrast, “chicka” calls are used for a variety of predator types, and therefore, looking out of the nest entrance helps females gather information about the type and location of approaching predators. These results show that incubating females derive information about predator type from different types of alarm calls, providing a novel example of functionally referential communication. PMID:25985093

  19. Acquisition and Use of Nematocysts by Cnidarian Predators

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, Paul G.

    2009-01-01

    Although toxic, physically destructive, and produced solely by cnidarians, cnidocysts are acquired, stored, and used by some predators of cnidarians. Despite knowledge of this phenomenon for well over a century, little empirical evidence details the mechanisms of how (and even why) these organisms use organelles of cnidarians. However, in the past twenty years a number of published experimental investigations address two of the fundamental questions of nematocyst acquisition and use by cnidarian predators: 1) how are cnidarian predators protected from cnidocyst discharge during feeding, and 2) how are the nematocysts used by the predator? PMID:19269306

  20. Evolution of Swarming Behavior Is Shaped by How Predators Attack.

    PubMed

    Olson, Randal S; Knoester, David B; Adami, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Animal grouping behaviors have been widely studied due to their implications for understanding social intelligence, collective cognition, and potential applications in engineering, artificial intelligence, and robotics. An important biological aspect of these studies is discerning which selection pressures favor the evolution of grouping behavior. In the past decade, researchers have begun using evolutionary computation to study the evolutionary effects of these selection pressures in predator-prey models. The selfish herd hypothesis states that concentrated groups arise because prey selfishly attempt to place their conspecifics between themselves and the predator, thus causing an endless cycle of movement toward the center of the group. Using an evolutionary model of a predator-prey system, we show that how predators attack is critical to the evolution of the selfish herd. Following this discovery, we show that density-dependent predation provides an abstraction of Hamilton's original formulation of domains of danger. Finally, we verify that density-dependent predation provides a sufficient selective advantage for prey to evolve the selfish herd in response to predation by coevolving predators. Thus, our work corroborates Hamilton's selfish herd hypothesis in a digital evolutionary model, refines the assumptions of the selfish herd hypothesis, and generalizes the domain of danger concept to density-dependent predation. PMID:27139941

  1. Zebrafish larvae evade predators by sensing water flow.

    PubMed

    Stewart, William J; Cardenas, Gilberto S; McHenry, Matthew J

    2013-02-01

    The ability of fish to evade predators is central to the ecology and evolution of a diversity of species. However, it is largely unclear how prey fish detect predators in order to initiate their escape. We tested whether larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) sense the flow created by adult predators of the same species. When placed together in a cylindrical arena, we found that larvae were able to escape 70% of predator strikes (mean escape probability P(escape)=0.7, N=13). However, when we pharmacologically ablated the flow-sensitive lateral line system, larvae were rarely capable of escape (mean P(escape)=0.05, N=11). In order to explore the rapid events that facilitate a successful escape, we recorded freely swimming predators and prey using a custom-built camera dolly. This device permitted two-dimensional camera motion to manually track prey and record their escape response with high temporal and spatial resolution. These recordings demonstrated that prey were more than 3 times more likely to evade a suction-feeding predator if they responded before (P(escape)=0.53, N=43), rather than after (P(escape)=0.15, N=13), a predator's mouth opened, which is a highly significant difference. Therefore, flow sensing plays an essential role in predator evasion by facilitating a response prior to a predator's strike. PMID:23325859

  2. Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveries

    PubMed Central

    Stier, Adrian C.; Samhouri, Jameal F.; Novak, Mark; Marshall, Kristin N.; Ward, Eric J.; Holt, Robert D.; Levin, Phillip S.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss, overexploitation, and numerous other stressors have caused global declines in apex predators. This “trophic downgrading” has generated widespread concern because of the fundamental role that apex predators can play in ecosystem functioning, disease regulation, and biodiversity maintenance. In attempts to combat declines, managers have conducted reintroductions, imposed stricter harvest regulations, and implemented protected areas. We suggest that full recovery of viable apex predator populations is currently the exception rather than the rule. We argue that, in addition to well-known considerations, such as continued exploitation and slow life histories, there are several underappreciated factors that complicate predator recoveries. These factors include three challenges. First, a priori identification of the suite of trophic interactions, such as resource limitation and competition that will influence recovery can be difficult. Second, defining and accomplishing predator recovery in the context of a dynamic ecosystem requires an appreciation of the timing of recovery, which can determine the relative density of apex predators and other predators and therefore affect competitive outcomes. Third, successful recovery programs require designing adaptive sequences of management strategies that embrace key environmental and species interactions as they emerge. Consideration of recent research on food web modules, alternative stable states, and community assembly offer important insights for predator recovery efforts and restoration ecology more generally. Foremost among these is the importance of a social-ecological perspective in facilitating a long-lasting predator restoration while avoiding unintended consequences. PMID:27386535

  3. Prey scan at random to evade observant predators.

    PubMed Central

    Scannell, J.; Roberts, G.; Lazarus, J.

    2001-01-01

    Anti-predator scans by animals occur with very irregular timing, so that the initiation of scans resembles a random, Poisson-like, process. At first sight, this seems both dangerous (predators could exploit the long intervals) and wastefull (scans after very short intervals are relatively uninformative). We explored vigilance timing using a new model that allows both predators and prey to vary their behaviour. Given predators that attack at random with respect to prey behaviour, constant inter-scan intervals minimize predation risk. However, if prey scan regularly to minimize their risk from randomly attacking predators, they become more vulnerable to predators that initiate attacks when the inter-scan intervals begin. If, in order to defeat this tactic, prey choose extremely variable inter-scan intervals, they become more vulnerable to predators who wait for long intervals before launching attacks. Only if predators can monitor the variability of inter-scan intervals and either attack immediately (if variability is too low) or wait for long intervals to attack (if variability is too high) does the empirically observed pattern of Poisson-like scanning become the optimal prey strategy. PMID:11296867

  4. Corridors and olfactory predator cues affect small mammal behavior.

    SciTech Connect

    Brinkerhoff, Robert Jory; Haddad, Nick M.; Orrock, John L.

    2005-03-30

    Abstract The behavior of prey individuals is influenced by a variety of factors including, but not limited to, habitat configuration, risk of predation, and availability of resources, and these habitat-dependent factors may have interactive effects. We studied the responses of mice to an increase in perceived predation risk in a patchy environment to understand how habitat corridors might affect interactions among species in a fragmented landscape. We used a replicated experiment to investigate corridor-mediated prey responses to predator cues in a network of open habitat patches surrounded by a matrix of planted pine forest. Some of the patches were connected by corridors. We used mark–recapture techniques and foraging trays to monitor the movement, behavior, and abundance of small mammals. Predation threat was manipulated in one-half of the replicates by applying an olfactory predator cue. Corridors synchronized small mammal foraging activity among connected patches. Foraging also was inhibited in the presence of an olfactory predator cue but apparently increased in adjacent connected patches. Small mammal abundance did not change as a result of the predator manipulation and was not influenced by the presence of corridors. This study is among the 1st to indicate combined effects of landscape configuration and predation risk on prey behavior. These changes in prey behavior may, in turn, have cascading effects on community dynamics where corridors and differential predation risk influence movement and patch use.

  5. Spider mite web mediates anti-predator behaviour.

    PubMed

    Lemos, Felipe; Sarmento, Renato Almeida; Pallini, Angelo; Dias, Cleide Rosa; Sabelis, Maurice W; Janssen, Arne

    2010-09-01

    Herbivores suffer significant mortality from predation and are therefore subject to natural selection on traits promoting predator avoidance and resistance. They can employ an array of strategies to reduce predation, for example through changes in behaviour, morphology and life history. So far, the anti-predator response studied most intensively in spider mites has been the avoidance of patches with high predation risk. Less attention has been given to the dense web produced by spider mites, which is a complex structure of silken threads that is thought to hinder predators. Here, we investigate the effects of the web produced by the red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker & Pritchard, on its interactions with the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus longipes Evans. We tested whether female spider mites recognize predator cues and whether these can induce the spider mites to produce denser web. We found that the prey did not produce denser web in response to such cues, but laid more eggs suspended in the web, away from the leaf surface. These suspended eggs suffered less from predation by P. longipes than eggs that were laid on the leaf surface under the web. Thus, by altering their oviposition behaviour in response to predator cues, females of T. evansi protect their offspring. PMID:20191311

  6. Population dynamics of intraguild predation in a lattice gas system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    In the system of intraguild predation (IGP) we are concerned with, species that are in a predator-prey relationship, also compete for shared resources (space or food). While several models have been established to characterize IGP, mechanisms by which IG prey and IG predator can coexist in IGP systems with spatial competition, have not been shown. This paper considers an IGP model, which is derived from reactions on lattice and has a form similar to that of Lotka-Volterra equations. Dynamics of the model demonstrate properties of IGP and mechanisms by which the IGP leads to coexistence of species and occurrence of alternative states. Intermediate predation is shown to lead to persistence of the predator, while extremely big predation can lead to extinction of one/both species and extremely small predation can lead to extinction of the predator. Numerical computations confirm and extend our results. While empirical observations typically exhibit coexistence of IG predator and IG prey, theoretical analysis in this work demonstrates exact conditions under which this coexistence can occur. PMID:25447811

  7. Top predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology.

    PubMed

    Palacios, Maria M; Killen, Shaun S; Nadler, Lauren E; White, James R; McCormick, Mark I

    2016-07-01

    Predation theory and empirical evidence suggest that top predators benefit the survival of resource prey through the suppression of mesopredators. However, whether such behavioural suppression can also affect the physiology of resource prey has yet to be examined. Using a three-tier reef fish food web and intermittent-flow respirometry, our study examined changes in the metabolic rate of resource prey exposed to combinations of mesopredator and top predator cues. Under experimental conditions, the mesopredator (dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) continuously foraged and attacked resource prey (juveniles of the damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis) triggering an increase in prey O2 uptake by 38 ± 12·9% (mean ± SE). The visual stimulus of a top predator (coral trout, Plectropomus leopardus) restricted the foraging activity of the mesopredator, indirectly allowing resource prey to minimize stress and maintain routine O2 uptake. Although not as strong as the effect of the top predator, the sight of a large non-predator species (thicklip wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus) also reduced the impact of the mesopredator on prey metabolic rate. We conclude that lower trophic-level species can benefit physiologically from the presence of top predators through the behavioural suppression that top predators impose on mesopredators. By minimizing the energy spent on mesopredator avoidance and the associated stress response to mesopredator attacks, prey may be able to invest more energy in foraging and growth, highlighting the importance of the indirect, non-consumptive effects of top predators in marine food webs. PMID:27113316

  8. Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveries.

    PubMed

    Stier, Adrian C; Samhouri, Jameal F; Novak, Mark; Marshall, Kristin N; Ward, Eric J; Holt, Robert D; Levin, Phillip S

    2016-05-01

    Habitat loss, overexploitation, and numerous other stressors have caused global declines in apex predators. This "trophic downgrading" has generated widespread concern because of the fundamental role that apex predators can play in ecosystem functioning, disease regulation, and biodiversity maintenance. In attempts to combat declines, managers have conducted reintroductions, imposed stricter harvest regulations, and implemented protected areas. We suggest that full recovery of viable apex predator populations is currently the exception rather than the rule. We argue that, in addition to well-known considerations, such as continued exploitation and slow life histories, there are several underappreciated factors that complicate predator recoveries. These factors include three challenges. First, a priori identification of the suite of trophic interactions, such as resource limitation and competition that will influence recovery can be difficult. Second, defining and accomplishing predator recovery in the context of a dynamic ecosystem requires an appreciation of the timing of recovery, which can determine the relative density of apex predators and other predators and therefore affect competitive outcomes. Third, successful recovery programs require designing adaptive sequences of management strategies that embrace key environmental and species interactions as they emerge. Consideration of recent research on food web modules, alternative stable states, and community assembly offer important insights for predator recovery efforts and restoration ecology more generally. Foremost among these is the importance of a social-ecological perspective in facilitating a long-lasting predator restoration while avoiding unintended consequences. PMID:27386535

  9. Predation-competition interactions for seasonally recruiting species.

    PubMed

    Kuang, Jessica J; Chesson, Peter

    2008-03-01

    We investigate the interacting effects of predation and competition on species coexistence in a model of seasonally recruiting species in a constant environment. For these species, life-history parameters, such as maximum productivity and survival, have important roles in fluctuation-dependent species coexistence in that they introduce nonlinearities into population growth rates and cause endogenous population fluctuations, which can activate the coexistence mechanism termed "relative nonlinearity." Under this mechanism, different species must differ in the nonlinearities of their growth rates and must make different contributions to fluctuations in competition and predation. Both of these features can result from life-history trade-offs associated with seasonal recruitment. Coexistence by relative nonlinearity can occur with or without predation. However, predation can undermine coexistence. It does this by reducing variance contrasts between species. However, when competition is not sufficient to cause endogenous population fluctuations, predation can enable fluctuation-dependent coexistence by destabilizing the equilibrium. This model also reproduces the classic finding that coexistence can occur with selective predation provided that it causes a trade-off between competition and predation. Our model is formulated for competition between annual plant species subject to seed predation, but it also applies to perennial communities where competition and predation limit recruitment to the adult population. PMID:18201119

  10. Interactive effects of ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures alter predation rate and predator selectivity in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Munday, Philip L; Rummer, Jodie L; McCormick, Mark I; Corkill, Katherine; Watson, Sue-Ann; Allan, Bridie J M; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-05-01

    Ocean warming and acidification are serious threats to marine life. While each stressor alone has been studied in detail, their combined effects on the outcome of ecological interactions are poorly understood. We measured predation rates and predator selectivity of two closely related species of damselfish exposed to a predatory dottyback. We found temperature and CO2 interacted synergistically on overall predation rate, but antagonistically on predator selectivity. Notably, elevated CO2 or temperature alone reversed predator selectivity, but the interaction between the two stressors cancelled selectivity. Routine metabolic rates of the two prey showed strong species differences in tolerance to CO2 and not temperature, but these differences did not correlate with recorded mortality. This highlights the difficulty of linking species-level physiological tolerance to resulting ecological outcomes. This study is the first to document both synergistic and antagonistic effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on a crucial ecological process like predator-prey dynamics. PMID:25430991

  11. Wave propagation in predator-prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Sheng-Chen; Tsai, Je-Chiang

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, we study a class of predator-prey systems of reaction-diffusion type. Specifically, we are interested in the dynamical behaviour for the solution with the initial distribution where the prey species is at the level of the carrying capacity, and the density of the predator species has compact support, or exponentially small tails near x=+/- ∞ . Numerical evidence suggests that this will lead to the formation of a pair of diverging waves propagating outwards from the initial zone. Motivated by this phenomenon, we establish the existence of a family of travelling waves with the minimum speed. Unlike the previous studies, we do not use the shooting argument to show this. Instead, we apply an iteration process based on Berestycki et al 2005 (Math Comput. Modelling 50 1385-93) to construct a set of super/sub-solutions. Since the underlying system does not enjoy the comparison principle, such a set of super/sub-solutions is not based on travelling waves, and in fact the super/sub-solutions depend on each other. With the aid of the set of super/sub-solutions, we can construct the solution of the truncated problem on the finite interval, which, via the limiting argument, can in turn generate the wave solution. There are several advantages to this approach. First, it can remove the technical assumptions on the diffusivities of the species in the existing literature. Second, this approach is of PDE type, and hence it can shed some light on the spreading phenomenon indicated by numerical simulation. In fact, we can compute the spreading speed of the predator species for a class of biologically acceptable initial distributions. Third, this approach might be applied to the study of waves in non-cooperative systems (i.e. a system without a comparison principle).

  12. Statistical evidence of predation by theropods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2011-03-01

    Dinosaurs hold a great fascination for everyone and provide an interesting venue for teaching many elementary concepts of kinematics. Dinosaur trackways provide interesting information about the locomotion of these extinct animals. A statistical analysis of the known trackways made by theropods (carnivorous dinosaurs) shows that they usually moved by walking with an average speed of 2.4 +/- 1.5 m/s. Fast running, determined by the relative stride length greater than 3, is observed in about 10% of the trackways, with speeds on the order of 10 m/s. These trackways are believed to have been formed during predation.

  13. Risk communication in sexually violent predator hearings.

    PubMed

    Scott, Sarah; Gilcrist, Brett; Thurston, Nicole; Huss, Matthew T

    2010-01-01

    Sexually violent predator (SVP) laws use the civil commitment process to confine mentally disordered and dangerous offenders who are at high risk to reoffend. Few studies have examined how jurors decide SVP cases. As a result, a pilot study and three experimental studies were conducted, in which victim type, risk communication, and juror education were manipulated to assess juror response. Results continually illustrated that victim type was the most salient manipulation across studies and that the manner of risk communication and juror education had little impact on jurors. PMID:19908210

  14. Predation of Notiophilus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on Collembola as a Predator-Prey Teaching Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgins, R. C.

    1982-01-01

    The carabid beetle (Notiophilus) preys readily on an easily-cultured collembolan in simple experimental conditions. Some features of this predator-prey system are outlined to emphasize its use in biology instruction. Experiments with another potential collembolan are described in the context of developing the method for more advanced studies.…

  15. Parental investment decisions in response to ambient nest-predation risk versus actual predation on the prior nest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, A.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that parents should invest less in dependent offspring with lower reproductive value, such as those with a high risk of predation. Moreover, high predation risk can favor reduced parental activity when such activity attracts nest predators. Yet, the ability of parents to assess ambient nest-predation risk and respond adaptively remains unclear, especially where nest-predator assemblages are diverse and potentially difficult to assess. We tested whether variation in parental investment by a multi-brooded songbird (Brewer's Sparrow, Spizella breweri) in an environment (sagebrush steppe) with diverse predators was predicted by ambient nest-predation risk or direct experience with nest predation. Variation among eight sites in ambient nest-predation risk, assayed by daily probabilities of nest predation, was largely uncorrelated across four years. In this system risk may therefore be unpredictable, and aspects of parental investment (clutch size, egg mass, incubation rhythms, nestling-feeding rates) were not related to ambient risk. Moreover, investment at first nests that were successful did not differ from that at nests that were depredated, suggesting parents could not assess and respond to territorylevel nest-predation risk. However, parents whose nests were depredated reduced clutch sizes and activity at nests attempted later in the season by increasing the length of incubation shifts (on-bouts) and recesses (off-bouts) and decreasing trips to feed nestlings. In this unpredictable environment parent birds may therefore lack sufficient cues of ambient risk on which to base their investment decisions and instead rely on direct experience with nest predation to inform at least some of their decisions. ?? 2010 The Cooper Ornithological Society.

  16. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in “100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species”; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest “attack rates” a, shortest “handling times” h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  17. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T A; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species"; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest "attack rates" a, shortest "handling times" h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  18. Are invasive fire ants kept in check by native aerial insectivores?

    PubMed

    Helms, Jackson A; Godfrey, Aaron P; Ames, Tayna; Bridge, Eli S

    2016-05-01

    Aerial predator-prey interactions may impact populations of many terrestrial species. Here, we use altitude loggers to study aerial foraging in a native insectivore, the purple martin (Progne subis), in the southern USA. Purple martins fed primarily on mating queens and males of the invasive red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), and doubled their foraging efficiency by doing so. Across the USA, purple martins likely eat billions of fire ant queens each year, potentially impacting the spread of this species. Alternatively, predation on fire ants may help sustain populations of purple martins and other aerial insectivores. PMID:27194285

  19. Parasitism and predation on sentinel egg masses of the brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in three vegetable crops: Importance of dissections for evaluating the impact of native parasitoids on an exotic pest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We conducted a survey to examine parasitism, predation and the species composition of native parasitoids attacking sentinel egg masses of the invasive pest, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stål), in bell pepper, squash, and tomato. A two-year survey was conducted for each c...

  20. Fish predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. A. L.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-09-01

    Predators are important for regulating adult sea urchin densities. Here, we employ remote underwater video cameras to record diurnal predation on tethered sea urchins at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We identified four fish predators of adult sea urchins ( Balistoides viridescens, Balistapus undulatus, Lethrinus atkinsoni and Choerodon schoenleinii). Predator activity appeared to be site-specific. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus (f: Balistidae) were the two most important predators of Echinometra mathaei with the former handling E. mathaei significantly faster (mean 0.7 min) than B. undulatus (5.2 min). Balistoides viridescens also successfully preyed on 70 % of detections, while C. schoenleinii, B. undulatus and L. atkinsoni preyed on just 33, 17 and <1 %, respectively. Additionally, B. viridescens were behaviourally dominant among predator species and were observed as aggressors in 30 encounters with B. undulatus and 8 encounters with L. atkinsoni. In only one encounter was B. viridescens the recipient of any aggression (from B. undulatus). In terms of relative vulnerability, of the three sea urchin species examined, E. mathaei were more vulnerable to predation than Diadema setosum or Echinothrix calamaris, with mean handling times of 1.2, 4.8 and 10.3 min, respectively. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus both appear to be able to play an important role as predators of sea urchins on the relatively intact coral reefs of Lizard Island. However, B. viridescens emerge as the most efficient predator in terms of handling speed and the proportion of detections preyed upon. They were also the behaviourally dominant predator. This preliminary study of the predators of sea urchins on the GBR highlights the potential significance of relatively scarce but functionally important species.

  1. The evolutionary impact of invasive species

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, H. A.; Cleland, E. E.

    2001-01-01

    Since the Age of Exploration began, there has been a drastic breaching of biogeographic barriers that previously had isolated the continental biotas for millions of years. We explore the nature of these recent biotic exchanges and their consequences on evolutionary processes. The direct evidence of evolutionary consequences of the biotic rearrangements is of variable quality, but the results of trajectories are becoming clear as the number of studies increases. There are examples of invasive species altering the evolutionary pathway of native species by competitive exclusion, niche displacement, hybridization, introgression, predation, and ultimately extinction. Invaders themselves evolve in response to their interactions with natives, as well as in response to the new abiotic environment. Flexibility in behavior, and mutualistic interactions, can aid in the success of invaders in their new environment. PMID:11344292

  2. Bacteriovorax stolpii proliferation and predation without sphingophosphonolipids

    SciTech Connect

    Kaneshiro, Edna S. Hunt, Shannon M.; Watanabe, Yoko

    2008-02-29

    Bacteriovorax stolpii strain UKi2, a facultative predator-parasite of larger Gram-negative bacteria, synthesizes distinct sphingophosphonolipids. These lipids are characterized by a direct P-C bond, the novel head group 1-hydroxy-2-aminoethylphosphonate, iso-branched long chain bases and fatty acids, and fatty acids dominated by those with {alpha}-hydroxy groups. Myriocin, an inhibitor of serine:fatty acyl CoA transferase, reversibly blocked sphingophosphonolipid synthesis in B. stolpii UKi2. However, the inhibitor did not block cell proliferation indicating that these lipids are not vital for B. stolpii UKi2 viability and growth. When mixed with Escherichia coli prey cells, control predator-parasite bacteria were effective in forming large E. coli bdelloplasts and cleared the suspension of the prey cells. Although myriocin-treated cells could attack prey cells and form bdelloplasts, their locomotory behavior was altered and fewer and smaller bdelloplasts were produced. These observations open up the possibility for a role of sphingophosphonolipids in B. stolpii UKi2 complex behavior.

  3. Evolution of invasive traits in nonindigenous species: increased survival and faster growth in invasive populations of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)

    PubMed Central

    Sargent, Lindsey W; Lodge, David M

    2014-01-01

    The importance of evolution in enhancing the invasiveness of species is not well understood, especially in animals. To evaluate evolution in crayfish invasions, we tested for differences in growth rate, survival, and response to predators between native and invaded range populations of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus). We hypothesized that low conspecific densities during introductions into lakes would select for increased investment in growth and reproduction in invasive populations. We reared crayfish from both ranges in common garden experiments in lakes and mesocosms, the latter in which we also included treatments of predatory fish presence and food quality. In both lake and mesocosm experiments, O. rusticus from invasive populations had significantly faster growth rates and higher survival than individuals from the native range, especially in mesocosms where fish were present. There was no influence of within-range collection location on growth rate. Egg size was similar between ranges and did not affect crayfish growth. Our results, therefore, suggest that growth rate, which previous work has shown contributes to strong community-level impacts of this invasive species, has diverged since O. rusticus was introduced to the invaded range. This result highlights the need to consider evolutionary dynamics in invasive species mitigation strategies. PMID:25469173

  4. No Evolutionary Response to Four Generations of Laboratory Selection on Antipredator Behavior of Aedes albopictus: Potential Implications for Biotic Resistance to Invasion

    PubMed Central

    KESAVARAJU, BANUGOPAN; JULIANO, STEVEN A.

    2009-01-01

    Aedes albopictus (Skuse) is an invasive container-dwelling mosquito and an important disease vector that co-occurs with the native mosquito, Aedes triseriatus (Say), and the predatory midge, Corethrella appendiculata (Grabham). Larval Ae. triseriatus show significantly greater antipredatory responses when compared to larval Ae. albopictus in the presence of predation cues from C. appendiculata. The potential for evolution of antipredatory behavioral responses to C. appendiculata in Ae. albopictus is unknown. We used a controlled laboratory selection experiment to test whether Ae. albopictus could evolve antipredatory behavioral responses to C. appendiculata predation. We subjected replicate Ae. albopictus populations to four generations of predation by C. appendiculata or a predator-free control treatment and compared the behavior and life history of Ae. albopictus in the two treatments in each generation. There were no differences in Ae. albopictus behavioral responses between predation and control lines in any of the four generations. There was also no evidence of differences in life histories between predation and control lines. Ae. albopictus is superior as a competitor compared with Ae. triseriatus, which it has replaced in areas where C. appendiculata are rare. Our results suggest limited potential for Ae. albopictus to evolve stronger antipredatory behavioral responses to C. appendiculata predation and imply that C. appendiculata will continue to act as an impediment to invasion by Ae. albopictus and replacement of Ae. triseriatus and to promote coexistence of these competitors. PMID:19645279

  5. Preference Alters Consumptive Effects of Predators: Top-Down Effects of a Native Crab on a System of Native and Introduced Prey

    PubMed Central

    Grason, Emily W.; Miner, Benjamin G.

    2012-01-01

    Top-down effects of predators in systems depend on the rate at which predators consume prey, and on predator preferences among available prey. In invaded communities, these parameters might be difficult to predict because ecological relationships are typically evolutionarily novel. We examined feeding rates and preferences of a crab native to the Pacific Northwest, Cancer productus, among four prey items: two invasive species of oyster drill (the marine whelks Urosalpinx cinerea and Ocenebra inornata) and two species of oyster (Crassostrea gigas and Ostrea lurida) that are also consumed by U. cinerea and O. inornata. This system is also characterized by intraguild predation because crabs are predators of drills and compete with them for prey (oysters). When only the oysters were offered, crabs did not express a preference and consumed approximately 9 juvenile oysters crab−1 day−1. We then tested whether crabs preferred adult drills of either U. cinerea or O. inornata, or juvenile oysters (C. gigas). While crabs consumed drills and oysters at approximately the same rate when only one type of prey was offered, they expressed a strong preference for juvenile oysters over drills when they were allowed to choose among the three prey items. This preference for oysters might negate the positive indirect effects that crabs have on oysters by crabs consuming drills (trophic cascade) because crabs have a large negative direct effect on oysters when crabs, oysters, and drills co-occur. PMID:23236472

  6. Assessing predation risk to threatened fauna from their prevalence in predator scats: dingoes and rodents in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin L; Leung, Luke K-P

    2012-01-01

    The prevalence of threatened species in predator scats has often been used to gauge the risks that predators pose to threatened species, with the infrequent occurrence of a given species often considered indicative of negligible predation risks. In this study, data from 4087 dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) scats were assessed alongside additional information on predator and prey distribution, dingo control effort and predation rates to evaluate whether or not the observed frequency of threatened species in dingo scats warrants more detailed investigation of dingo predation risks to them. Three small rodents (dusky hopping-mice Notomys fuscus; fawn hopping-mice Notomys cervinus; plains mice Pseudomys australis) were the only threatened species detected in <8% of dingo scats from any given site, suggesting that dingoes might not threaten them. However, consideration of dingo control effort revealed that plains mice distribution has largely retracted to the area where dingoes have been most heavily subjected to lethal control. Assessing the hypothetical predation rates of dingoes on dusky hopping-mice revealed that dingo predation alone has the potential to depopulate local hopping-mice populations within a few months. It was concluded that the occurrence of a given prey species in predator scats may be indicative of what the predator ate under the prevailing conditions, but in isolation, such data can have a poor ability to inform predation risk assessments. Some populations of threatened fauna assumed to derive a benefit from the presence of dingoes may instead be susceptible to dingo-induced declines under certain conditions. PMID:22563498

  7. Assessing Predation Risk to Threatened Fauna from their Prevalence in Predator Scats: Dingoes and Rodents in Arid Australia

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Benjamin L.; Leung, Luke K.-P.

    2012-01-01

    The prevalence of threatened species in predator scats has often been used to gauge the risks that predators pose to threatened species, with the infrequent occurrence of a given species often considered indicative of negligible predation risks. In this study, data from 4087 dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) scats were assessed alongside additional information on predator and prey distribution, dingo control effort and predation rates to evaluate whether or not the observed frequency of threatened species in dingo scats warrants more detailed investigation of dingo predation risks to them. Three small rodents (dusky hopping-mice Notomys fuscus; fawn hopping-mice Notomys cervinus; plains mice Pseudomys australis) were the only threatened species detected in <8% of dingo scats from any given site, suggesting that dingoes might not threaten them. However, consideration of dingo control effort revealed that plains mice distribution has largely retracted to the area where dingoes have been most heavily subjected to lethal control. Assessing the hypothetical predation rates of dingoes on dusky hopping-mice revealed that dingo predation alone has the potential to depopulate local hopping-mice populations within a few months. It was concluded that the occurrence of a given prey species in predator scats may be indicative of what the predator ate under the prevailing conditions, but in isolation, such data can have a poor ability to inform predation risk assessments. Some populations of threatened fauna assumed to derive a benefit from the presence of dingoes may instead be susceptible to dingo-induced declines under certain conditions. PMID:22563498

  8. An invasive species facilitates the recovery of salt marsh ecosystems on Cape Cod.

    PubMed

    Bertness, Mark D; Coverdale, Tyler C

    2013-09-01

    With global increases in human impacts, invasive species have become a major threat to ecosystems worldwide. While they have been traditionally viewed as harmful, invasive species may facilitate the restoration of degraded ecosystems outside their native ranges. In New England (USA) overfishing has depleted salt marsh predators, allowing the herbivorous crab Sesarma reticulatum to denude hundreds of hectares of low marsh. Here, using multiple site surveys and field caging experiments, we show that the subsequent invasion of green crabs, Carcinus maenas, into heavily burrowed marshes partially reverses decades of cordgrass die-off. By consuming Sesarma, eliciting a nonlethal escape response, and evicting Sesarma from burrows, Carcinus reduces Sesarma herbivory and promotes cordgrass recovery. These results suggest that invasive species can contribute to restoring degraded ecosystems and underscores the potential for invasive species to return ecological functions lost to human impacts. PMID:24279265

  9. Phenotypically plastic neophobia: a response to variable predation risk

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Grant E.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Elvidge, Chris K.; Ramnarine, Indar; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2013-01-01

    Prey species possess a variety of morphological, life history and behavioural adaptations to evade predators. While specific evolutionary conditions have led to the expression of permanent, non-plastic anti-predator traits, the vast majority of prey species rely on experience to express adaptive anti-predator defences. While ecologists have identified highly sophisticated means through which naive prey can deal with predation threats, the potential for death upon the first encounter with a predator is still a remarkably important unresolved issue. Here, we used both laboratory and field studies to provide the first evidence for risk-induced neophobia in two taxa (fish and amphibians), and argue that phenotypically plastic neophobia acts as an adaptive anti-predator strategy for vulnerable prey dealing with spatial and temporal variation in predation risk. Our study also illustrates how risk-free maintenance conditions used in laboratory studies may blind researchers to adaptive anti-predator strategies that are only expressed in high-risk conditions. PMID:23390103

  10. Toward understanding the effect of top predators on ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A

    2009-01-01

    To what extent top predators - carnivores at the top of food chains - drive or just respond to ecosystem dynamics is a central, but partially unresolved, question in ecology. In this report, we highlight how different research approaches employed in aquatic and terrestrial ecology may have a bearing on how the role of top predators in ecosystems is perceived. PMID:20948660

  11. Saving the Predators: Teaching About the Role of Predatory Animals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soltow, Willow

    1985-01-01

    Discusses the role of predators in regulating prey populations, noting that this is an excellent example of the "interconnectedness" of life. Suggestions for films, books, articles, and student questions are given, and a special section dealing with human attitudes about predators is provided. (DH)

  12. Predation on lake whitefish eggs by longnose suckers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nester, Robert T.; Poe, Thomas P.

    1984-01-01

    In November 1981, we observed intense predation on lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) eggs by longnose suckers (Catostomus catostomus) on lake whitefish spawning grounds in northwestern Lake Huron. Since longnose suckers commonly frequent the same habitat used by spawning lake whitefish, there exists the potential for high losses of eggs due to sucker predation.

  13. Sleeping Birds Do Not Respond to Predator Odour

    PubMed Central

    Amo, Luisa; Caro, Samuel P.; Visser, Marcel E.

    2011-01-01

    Background During sleep animals are relatively unresponsive and unaware of their environment, and therefore, more exposed to predation risk than alert and awake animals. This vulnerability might influence when, where and how animals sleep depending on the risk of predation perceived before going to sleep. Less clear is whether animals remain sensitive to predation cues when already asleep. Methodology/Principal Findings We experimentally tested whether great tits are able to detect the chemical cues of a common nocturnal predator while sleeping. We predicted that birds exposed to the scent of a mammalian predator (mustelid) twice during the night would not go into torpor (which reduces their vigilance) and hence would not reduce their body temperature as much as control birds, exposed to the scent of another mammal that does not represent a danger for the birds (rabbit). As a consequence of the higher body temperature birds exposed to the scent of a predator are predicted to have a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR) and to lose more body mass. In the experiment, all birds decreased their body temperature during the night, but we did not find any influence of the treatment on body temperature, RMR, or body mass. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that birds are not able to detect predator chemical cues while sleeping. As a consequence, antipredatory strategies taken before sleep, such as roosting sites inspection, may be crucial to cope with the vulnerability to predation risk while sleeping. PMID:22110676

  14. Reproductive biology and predation by the ladybeetle, Delphastus catalinae (Coleoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ladybeetle, Delphastus catalinae, is an important insect predator of the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii. This whitefly pest causes damage to plants through direct feeding and transmission of plant diseases. D. catalinae is a voracious predator of whiteflies in various plants such as v...

  15. Weighing Abiotic and Biotic Influences on Weed Seed Predation Rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed seed predation is an important ecosystem service supporting weed management in low-external-input agroecosystems. Current knowledge of weed seed predation focuses on biotic mechanisms, with less understood about the relative impact of abiotic variables. In order to quantify relative contributio...

  16. Weighing Abiotic and Biotic Influences on Weed Seed Predation Rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed seed predation is an important ecosystem service supporting weed management in low-external-input agroecosystems. Current knowledge of weed seed predation in arable systems focuses on biotic mechanisms, with less understood about the relative impact of abiotic variables on this process. In orde...

  17. New approaches to understanding weed seed predation in agroecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Postdispersal predation of weed seeds in arable systems can be a valuable ecosystem service, with the potential to support ecological approaches to weed management by reducing inputs to the soil seed bank. Scientific understanding of factors regulating weed seed predation rates is still insufficient...

  18. Field verification of predator attraction to minnow alarm substance.

    PubMed

    Wisenden, Brian D; Thiel, Travis A

    2002-02-01

    Fishes such as minnows in the superorder Ostariophysi possess specialized alarm substance cells (ASC) that contain an alarm cue. Alarm substance can only be released by damage to the epidermis; thus, the release of alarm substance is a reliable indicator of predation risk. When nearby minnows detect the cue, they adopt a range of antipredator behaviors that reduce their probability of predation. Predator-predator interactions afford prey an opportunity to escape and, thus, a fitness benefit that maintains alarm substance calls over evolutionary time. Here, we present data from a simple field experiment verifying that nearby predators are attracted to minnow alarm substance because it signals an opportunity to pirate a meal. Fishing lures were baited with sponge blocks scented with either (1) water (control for sponge odor and appearance), (2) skin extract from non-ostariophysan convict cichlids (superorder Acanthopterygii, Archocentrus "Cichlasoma" nigrofasciatus) to control for general injury-released cues from fish, or (3) skin extract from fathead minnows (superorder Ostariophysi, Pimephales promelas). Predator strike frequency on each sponge type was 1, 1, and 7 for water, cichlid, and minnow cues, respectively. These data provide the first field test using fish predators of the predator-attraction hypothesis for the evolution of Ostariophysan alarm substance cells. PMID:11925077

  19. Ecology: The Upside-Down World of Coral Reef Predators.

    PubMed

    Simpfendorfer, Colin A; Heupel, Michelle R

    2016-08-01

    Examination of a large aggregation of sharks demonstrates that trophic pyramids with greater amounts of high-level predators than prey can occur on coral reefs. This is possible because the high-level predators obtain food from sources outside their home location. PMID:27505241

  20. Influence of edge on predator prey distribution and abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Steven H.

    2004-03-01

    I investigated the effect of spatial configuration on distribution and abundance of invertebrate trophic groups by counting soil arthropods under boxes (21 × 9.5 cm) arranged in six different patterns that varied in the amount of edge (137-305 cm). I predicted fewer individuals from the consumer trophic group (Collembola) in box groups with greater amount of edge. This prediction was based on the assumption that predators (mites, ants, spiders, centipedes) select edge during foraging and thereby reduce abundance of the less mobile consumer group under box patterns with greater edge. Consumer abundance (Collembola) was not correlated with amount of edge. Among the predator groups, mite, ant and centipede abundance related to the amount of edge of box groups. However, in contrast to predictions, abundance of these predators was negatively correlated with amount of edge in box patterns. All Collembola predators, with the exception of ants, were less clumped in distribution than Collembola. The results are inconsistent with the view that predators used box edges to predate the less mobile consumer trophic group. Alternative explanations for the spatial patterns other than predator-prey relations include (1) a negative relationship between edge and moisture, (2) a positive relationship between edge and detritus decomposition (i.e. mycelium as food for the consumer group), and (3) a negative relationship between edge and the interstices between adjacent boxes. Landscape patterns likely affect microclimate, food, and predator-prey relations and, therefore, future experimental designs need to control these factors individually to distinguish among alternative hypotheses.

  1. Predator-induced reduction of freshwater carbon dioxide emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwood, Trisha B.; Hammill, Edd; Greig, Hamish S.; Kratina, Pavel; Shurin, Jonathan B.; Srivastava, Diane S.; Richardson, John S.

    2013-03-01

    Predators can influence the exchange of carbon dioxide between ecosystems and the atmosphere by altering ecosystem processes such as decomposition and primary production, according to food web theory. Empirical knowledge of such an effect in freshwater systems is limited, but it has been suggested that predators in odd-numbered food chains suppress freshwater carbon dioxide emissions, and predators in even-numbered food chains enhance emissions. Here, we report experiments in three-tier food chains in experimental ponds, streams and bromeliads in Canada and Costa Rica in the presence or absence of fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and invertebrate (Hesperoperla pacifica and Mecistogaster modesta) predators. We monitored carbon dioxide fluxes along with prey and primary producer biomass. We found substantially reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the presence of predators in all systems, despite differences in predator type, hydrology, climatic region, ecological zone and level of in situ primary production. We also observed lower amounts of prey biomass and higher amounts of algal and detrital biomass in the presence of predators. We conclude that predators have the potential to markedly influence carbon dioxide dynamics in freshwater systems.

  2. Disentangling mite predator-prey relationships by multiplex PCR.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sayas, Consuelo; Pina, Tatiana; Gómez-Martínez, María A; Camañes, Gemma; Ibáñez-Gual, María V; Jaques, Josep A; Hurtado, Mónica A

    2015-11-01

    Gut content analysis using molecular techniques can help elucidate predator-prey relationships in situations in which other methodologies are not feasible, such as in the case of trophic interactions between minute species such as mites. We designed species-specific primers for a mite community occurring in Spanish citrus orchards comprising two herbivores, the Tetranychidae Tetranychus urticae and Panonychus citri, and six predatory mites belonging to the Phytoseiidae family; these predatory mites are considered to be these herbivores' main biological control agents. These primers were successfully multiplexed in a single PCR to test the range of predators feeding on each of the two prey species. We estimated prey DNA detectability success over time (DS50), which depended on the predator-prey combination and ranged from 0.2 to 18 h. These values were further used to weight prey detection in field samples to disentangle the predatory role played by the most abundant predators (i.e. Euseius stipulatus and Phytoseiulus persimilis). The corrected predation value for E. stipulatus was significantly higher than for P. persimilis. However, because this 1.5-fold difference was less than that observed regarding their sevenfold difference in abundance, we conclude that P. persimilis is the most effective predator in the system; it preyed on tetranychids almost five times more frequently than E. stipulatus did. The present results demonstrate that molecular tools are appropriate to unravel predator-prey interactions in tiny species such as mites, which include important agricultural pests and their predators. PMID:25824504

  3. Visual motion with pink noise induces predation behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Matsunaga, Wataru; Watanabe, Eiji

    2012-01-01

    Visual motion cues are one of the most important factors for eliciting animal behaviour, including predator-prey interactions in aquatic environments. To understand the elements of motion that cause such selective predation behaviour, we used a virtual plankton system where the predation behaviour in response to computer-generated prey was analysed. First, we performed motion analysis of zooplankton (Daphnia magna) to extract mathematical functions for biologically relevant motions of prey. Next, virtual prey models were programmed on a computer and presented to medaka (Oryzias latipes), which served as predatory fish. Medaka exhibited predation behaviour against several characteristic virtual plankton movements, particularly against a swimming pattern that could be characterised as pink noise motion. Analysing prey-predator interactions via pink noise motion will be an interesting research field in the future. PMID:22355733

  4. Environmental versus demographic variability in stochastic predator-prey models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobramysl, U.; Täuber, U. C.

    2013-10-01

    In contrast to the neutral population cycles of the deterministic mean-field Lotka-Volterra rate equations, including spatial structure and stochastic noise in models for predator-prey interactions yields complex spatio-temporal structures associated with long-lived erratic population oscillations. Environmental variability in the form of quenched spatial randomness in the predation rates results in more localized activity patches. Our previous study showed that population fluctuations in rare favorable regions in turn cause a remarkable increase in the asymptotic densities of both predators and prey. Very intriguing features are found when variable interaction rates are affixed to individual particles rather than lattice sites. Stochastic dynamics with demographic variability in conjunction with inheritable predation efficiencies generate non-trivial time evolution for the predation rate distributions, yet with overall essentially neutral optimization.

  5. Effects of multiple predator species on green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) tadpoles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gunzburger, M.S.; Travis, J.

    2005-01-01

    Prey species that occur across a range of habitats may be exposed to variable communities of multiple predator species across habitats. Predicting the combined effects of multiple predators can be complex. Many experiments evaluating the effects of multiple predators on prey confound either variation in predator density with predator identity or variation in relative predator frequency with overall predation rates. We develop a new experimental design of factorial predator combinations that maintains a constant expected predation rate, under the null hypothesis of additive predator effects. We implement this design to evaluate the combined effects of three predator species (bass, aeshnid and libellulid odonate naiads) on mortality rate of a prey species, Hyla cinerea (Schneider, 1799) tadpoles, that occurs across a range of aquatic habitats. Two predator treatments (libellulid and aeshnid + libellulid) resulted in lower tadpole mortality than any of the other predator treatments. Variation in tadpole mortality across treatments was not related to coarse variation in microhabitat use, but was likely due to intraguild predation, which occurred in all predator treatments. Hyla cinerea tadpoles have constant, low survival values when exposed to many different combinations of predator species, and predation rate probably increases linearly with predator density.

  6. Invasive mammals and habitat modification interact to generate unforeseen outcomes for indigenous fauna.

    PubMed

    Norbury, Grant; Byrom, Andrea; Pech, Roger; Smith, James; Clarke, Dean; Anderson, Dean; Forrester, Guy

    2013-10-01

    Biotic invasions and habitat modification are two drivers of global change predicted to have detrimental impacts on the persistence of indigenous biota worldwide. Few studies have investigated how they operate synergistically to alter trophic interactions among indigenous and nonindigenous species in invaded ecosystems. We experimentally manipulated a suite of interacting invasive mammals, including top predators (cat Felis catus, ferret Mustela furo, stoat M. erminea), herbivores (rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, hare Lepus europaeus), and an insectivore (hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus occidentalis), and measured their effects on indigenous lizards and invertebrates and on an invasive mesopredator (house mouse Mus musculus). The work was carried out in a grassland/shrubland ecosystem that had been subjected to two types of habitat modification (widespread introduction of high-seed-producing pasture species, and areas of land use intensification by fertilization and livestock grazing). We also quantified food productivity for indigenous and invasive fauna by measuring pasture biomass, as well as seed and fruit production by grasses and shrubs. Indigenous fauna did not always increase following top-predator suppression: lizards increased on one of two sites; invertebrates did not increase on either site. Mesopredator release of mice was evident at the site where lizards did not increase, suggesting negative effects of mice on lizard populations. High mouse abundance occurred only on the predator-suppression site with regular production of pasture seed, indicating that this food resource was the main driver of mouse populations. Removal of herbivores increased pasture and seed production, which further enhanced ecological release of mice, particularly where pasture swards were overtopped by shrubs. An effect of landscape supplementation was also evident where nearby fertilized pastures boosted rabbit numbers and the associated top predators. Other studies have shown that

  7. Natural selection by pulsed predation: survival of the thickest.

    PubMed

    Bijleveld, Aller I; Twietmeyer, Sönke; Piechocki, Julia; van Gils, Jan A; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-07-01

    Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of predator-induced short-term selection pressures on prey populations are scarce. Here we report measurements of density dependence in body composition in a bivalve prey (edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule) during bouts of intense predation by an avian predator (Red Knot, Calidris canutus). We measured densities, patchiness, morphology, and body composition (shell and flesh mass) of cockles in a quasi-experimental setting, i.e., before and after predation in three similar plots of 1 ha each, two of which experienced predation, and one of which remained unvisited in the course of the short study period and served as a reference. An individual's shell and flesh mass declined with cockle density (negative density dependence). Before predation, cockles were patchily distributed. After predation, during which densities were reduced by 78% (from 232 to 50 cockles/m2), the patchiness was substantially reduced, i.e., the spatial distribution was homogenized. Red Knots selected juvenile cockles with an average length of 6.9 ± 1.0 mm (mean ± SD). Cockles surviving predation had heavier shells than before predation (an increase of 21.5 percentage points), but similar flesh masses. By contrast, in the reference plot shell mass did not differ statistically between initial and final sampling occasions, while flesh mass was larger (an increase of 13.2 percentage points). In this field study, we show that Red Knots imposed a strong selection pressure on cockles to grow fast with thick shells and little flesh mass, with selection gradients among the highest reported in the literature. PMID:26378316

  8. Non-invasive monitoring of spreading depression.

    PubMed

    Bastany, Zoya J R; Askari, Shahbaz; Dumont, Guy A; Speckmann, Erwin-Josef; Gorji, Ali

    2016-10-01

    Spreading depression (SD), a slow propagating depolarization wave, plays an important role in pathophysiology of different neurological disorders. Yet, research into SD-related disorders has been hampered by the lack of non-invasive recording techniques of SD. Here we compared the manifestations of SD in continuous non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings to invasive electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings in order to obtain further insights into generator structures and electrogenic mechanisms of surface recording of SD. SD was induced by KCl application and simultaneous SD recordings were performed by scalp EEG as well as ECoG electrodes of somatosensory neocortex of rats using a novel homemade EEG amplifier, AgCl recording electrodes, and high chloride conductive gel. Different methods were used to analyze the data; including the spectrogram, bi-spectrogram, pattern distribution, relative spectrum power, and multivariable Gaussian fit analysis. The negative direct current (DC) shifts recorded by scalp electrodes exhibited a high homogeneity to those recorded by ECoG electrodes. Furthermore, this novel method of recording and analysis was able to separate SD recorded by scalp electrodes from non-neuronal DC shifts induced by other potential generators, such as the skin, muscles, arteries, dura, etc. These data suggest a novel application for continuous non-invasive monitoring of DC potential changes, such as SD. Non-invasive monitoring of SD would allow early intervention and improve outcome in SD-related neurological disorders. PMID:27397413

  9. Predation of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by a complex of predators and adjoining soybean habitats in Georgia, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molecular gut-content analysis was used to examine predation on stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by arthropod predators in habitats of soybean with and without buckwheat and adjoining cotton. Nezara viridula (L.), Euschistus servus (Say), Chinavia hilaris (Say), and Euschistus quadrator Rolston,...

  10. Do Predators Always Win? Starfish versus Limpets: A Hands-On Activity Examining Predator-Prey Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faria, Claudia; Boaventura, Diana; Galvao, Cecilia; Chagas, Isabel

    2011-01-01

    In this article we propose a hands-on experimental activity about predator-prey interactions that can be performed both in a research laboratory and in the classroom. The activity, which engages students in a real scientific experiment, can be explored not only to improve students' understanding about the diversity of anti-predator behaviors but…

  11. The effect of turbidity on recognition and generalization of predators and non-predators in aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P; Al-Batati, Fawaz; Brown, Grant E; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-01-01

    Recent anthropogenic activities have caused a considerable change in the turbidity of freshwater and marine ecosystems. Concomitant with such perturbations are changes in community composition. Understanding the mechanisms through which species interactions are influenced by anthropogenic change has come to the forefront of many ecological disciplines. Here, we examine how a change in the availability of visual information influences the behavior of prey fish exposed to potential predators and non-predators. When fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, were conditioned to recognize predators and non-predators in clear water, they showed a highly sophisticated ability to distinguish predators from non-predators. However, when learning occurred under conditions of increased turbidity, the ability of the prey to learn and generalize recognition of predators and non-predators was severely impaired. Our work highlights that changes at the community level associated with anthropogenic perturbations may be mediated through altered trophic interactions, and highlights the need to closely examine behavioral interactions to understand how species interactions change. PMID:23467451

  12. Stationary distribution and periodic solution for stochastic predator-prey systems with nonlinear predator harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Wenjie; Jiang, Daqing

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of the stochastic autonomous and non-autonomous predator-prey systems with nonlinear predator harvesting respectively. For the autonomous system, we first give the existence of the global positive solution. Then, in the case of persistence, we prove that there exists a unique stationary distribution and it has ergodicity by constructing a suitable Lyapunov function. The result shows that, the relatively weaker white noise will strengthen the stability of the system, but the stronger white noise will result in the extinction of one or two species. Particularly, for the non-autonomous periodic system, we show that there exists at least one nontrivial positive periodic solution according to the theory of Khasminskii. Finally, numerical simulations illustrate our theoretical results.

  13. Prey-Predator Three Species Model Using Predator Harvesting Holling Type II Functional

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijaya, S.; Rekha, E.

    2016-07-01

    This paper presents three species harvesting model in which there is one predator species and two others are prey species. We derive boundedness and equilibrium point for this system. Also we derive the stability of this system analytically. We find bifurcation for this system. We have derived the binomic equilibrium point by using Pontryagin’s maximum principle (PMP). Presented are various suitable analytical and numerical examples with Maple 18 programming.

  14. Estimating cougar predation rates from GPS location clusters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, C.R., Jr.; Lindzey, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    We examined cougar (Puma concolor) predation from Global Positioning System (GPS) location clusters (???2 locations within 200 m on the same or consecutive nights) of 11 cougars during September-May, 1999-2001. Location success of GPS averaged 2.4-5.0 of 6 location attempts/night/cougar. We surveyed potential predation sites during summer-fall 2000 and summer 2001 to identify prey composition (n = 74; 3-388 days post predation) and record predation-site variables (n = 97; 3-270 days post predation). We developed a model to estimate probability that a cougar killed a large mammal from data collected at GPS location clusters where the probability of predation increased with number of nights (defined as locations at 2200, 0200, or 0500 hr) of cougar presence within a 200-m radius (P < 0.001). Mean estimated cougar predation rates for large mammals were 7.3 days/kill for subadult females (1-2.5 yr; n = 3, 90% CI: 6.3 to 9.9), 7.0 days/kill for adult females (n = 2, 90% CI: 5.8 to 10.8), 5.4 days/kill for family groups (females with young; n = 3, 90% CI: 4.5 to 8.4), 9.5 days/kill for a subadult male (1-2.5 yr; n = 1, 90% CI: 6.9 to 16.4), and 7.8 days/kill for adult males (n = 2, 90% CI: 6.8 to 10.7). We may have slightly overestimated cougar predation rates due to our inability to separate scavenging from predation. We detected 45 deer (Odocoileus spp.), 15 elk (Cervus elaphus), 6 pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), 2 livestock, 1 moose (Alces alces), and 6 small mammals at cougar predation sites. Comparisons between cougar sexes suggested that females selected mule deer and males selected elk (P < 0.001). Cougars averaged 3.0 nights on pronghorn carcasses, 3.4 nights on deer carcasses, and 6.0 nights on elk carcasses. Most cougar predation (81.7%) occurred between 1901-0500 hr and peaked from 2201-0200 hr (31.7%). Applying GPS technology to identify predation rates and prey selection will allow managers to efficiently estimate the ability of an area's prey base to

  15. Predator cannibalism can intensify negative impacts on heterospecific prey.

    PubMed

    Takatsu, Kunio; Kishida, Osamu

    2015-07-01

    Although natural populations consist of individuals with different traits, and the degree of phenotypic variation varies among populations, the impact of phenotypic variation on ecological interactions has received little attention, because traditional approaches to community ecology assume homogeneity of individuals within a population. Stage structure, which is a common way of generating size and developmental variation within predator populations, can drive cannibalistic interactions, which can affect the strength of predatory effects on the predator's heterospecific prey. Studies have shown that predator cannibalism weakens predatory effects on heterospecific prey by reducing the size of the predator population and by inducing less feeding activity of noncannibal predators. We predict, however, that predator cannibalism, by promoting rapid growth of the cannibals, can also intensify predation pressure on heterospecific prey, because large predators have large resource requirements and may utilize a wider variety of prey species. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in which we created carnivorous salamander (Hynobius retardatus) populations with different stage structures by manipulating the salamander's hatch timing (i.e., populations with large or small variation in the timing of hatching), and explored the resultant impacts on the abundance, behavior, morphology, and life history of the salamander's large heterospecific prey, Rana pirica frog tadpoles. Cannibalism was rare in salamander populations having small hatch-timing variation, but was frequent in those having large hatch-timing variation. Thus, giant salamander cannibals occurred only in the latter. We clearly showed that salamander giants exerted strong predation pressure on frog tadpoles, which induced large behavioral and morphological defenses in the tadpoles and caused them to metamorphose late at large size. Hence, predator cannibalism arising from large variation in the timing

  16. Shifts in dynamic regime of an invasive lady beetle are linked to the invasion and insecticidal management of its prey.

    PubMed

    Bahlai, Christine A; van der Werf, Wopke; vander Werf, Wopke; O'Neal, Matthew; Hemerik, Lia; Landis, Douglas A

    2015-10-01

    The spread and impact of invasive species may vary over time in relation to changes in the species itself, the biological community of which it is part, or external controls on the system. We investigate whether there have been changes in dynamic regimes over the last 20 years of two invasive species in the midwestern United States, the multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis and the soybean aphid Aphis glycines. We show by model selection that after its 1993 invasion into the American Midwest, the year-to-year population dynamics of H. axyridis were initially governed by a logistic rule supporting gradual rise to a stable carrying capacity. After invasion of the soybean aphid in 2000, food resources at the landscape level became abundant, supporting a higher year-to-year growth rate and a higher but unstable carrying capacity, with two-year cycles in both aphid and lady beetle abundance as a consequence. During 2005-2007, farmers in the Midwest progressively increased their use of insecticides for managing A. glycines, combining prophylactic seed treatment with curative spraying based on thresholds. This human intervention dramatically reduced the soybean aphid as a major food resource for H. axyridis at landscape level and corresponded to a reverse shift towards the original logistic rule for year-to-year dynamics. Thus, we document a short episode of major predator-prey fluctuations in an important agricultural system resulting from two biological invasions that were apparently damped by widespread insecticide use. Recent advances in development of plant resistance to A. glycines in soybeans may mitigate the need for pesticidal control and achieve the same stabilization of pest and predator populations at lower cost and environmental burden. PMID:26591447

  17. Managing a subsidized predator population: Reducing common raven predation on desert tortoises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boarman, W.I.

    2003-01-01

    Human communities often are an inadvertent source of food, water, and other resources to native species of wildlife. Because these resources are more stable and predictable than those in a natural environment, animals that subsist on them are able to increase in numbers and expand their range, much to the detriment of their competitors and species they prey upon. In the Mojave Desert, common ravens (Corvus corax) have benefited from human-provided resources to increase in population size precipitously in recent years. This trend has caused concern because ravens prey on juvenile desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), a federally threatened species. In this paper, I discuss management strategies to reduce raven predation on desert tortoises. The recommendations fall into three categories: (1) managing raven populations by reducing access to anthropogenic resources; (2) removing offending ravens or other birds in specially targeted tortoise management zones; and (3) continuing research on raven ecology, raven behavior, and methods of reducing raven predation on tortoises. I also recommend approaching the problem within an adaptive management framework: management efforts should first be employed as scientific experiments - with replicates and controls - to yield an unbiased assessment of their effectiveness. Furthermore, these strategies should be implemented in concert with actions that reduce other causes of desert tortoise mortality to aid the long-term recovery of their populations. Overall, the approaches outlined in this paper are widely applicable to the management of subsidized predators, particularly where they present a threat to a declining species of prey.

  18. Effects of stream predator richness on the prey community and ecosystem attributes.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Erika; Olsson, Karin; Persson, Anders; Nyström, Per; Svensson, Gustav; Nilsson, Ulf

    2008-10-01

    It is important to understand the role that different predators can have to be able to predict how changes in the predator assemblage may affect the prey community and ecosystem attributes. We tested the effects of different stream predators on macroinvertebrates and ecosystem attributes, in terms of benthic algal biomass and accumulation of detritus, in artificial stream channels. Predator richness was manipulated from zero to three predators, using two fish and one crayfish species, while density was kept equal (n = 6) in all treatments with predators. Predators differed in their foraging strategies (benthic vs. drift feeding fish and omnivorous crayfish) but had overlapping food preferences. We found effects of both predator species richness and identity, but the direction of effects differed depending on the response variable. While there was no effect on macroinvertebrate biomass, diversity of predatory macroinvertebrates decreased with increasing predator species richness, which suggests complementarity between predators for this functional feeding group. Moreover, the accumulation of detritus was affected by both predator species richness and predator identity. Increasing predator species richness decreased detritus accumulation and presence of the benthic fish resulted in the lowest amounts of detritus. Predator identity (the benthic fish), but not predator species richness had a positive effect on benthic algal biomass. Furthermore, the results indicate indirect negative effects between the two ecosystem attributes, with a negative correlation between the amount of detritus and algal biomass. Hence, interactions between different predators directly affected stream community structure, while predator identity had the strongest impact on ecosystem attributes. PMID:18597120

  19. Cortagine infused into the medial prefrontal cortex attenuates predator-induced defensive behaviors and Fos protein production in selective nuclei of the amygdala in male CD1 mice.

    PubMed

    Pentkowski, Nathan S; Tovote, Philip; Zavala, Arturo R; Litvin, Yoav; Blanchard, D Caroline; Spiess, Joachim; Blanchard, Robert J

    2013-08-01

    Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) plays an essential role in coordinating the autonomic, endocrine and behavioral responses to stressors. In this study, we investigated the role of CRF within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in modulating unconditioned defensive behaviors, by examining the effects of microinfusing cortagine a selective type-1 CRF receptor (CRF1) agonist, or acidic-astressin a preferential CRF1 antagonist, into the mPFC in male CD-1 mice exposed to a live predator (rat exposure test--RET). Cortagine microinfusions significantly reduced several indices of defense, including avoidance and freezing, suggesting a specific role for CRF1 within the infralimbic and prelimbic regions of the mPFC in modulating unconditioned behavioral responsivity to a predator. In contrast, microinfusions of acidic-astressin failed to alter defensive behaviors during predator exposure in the RET. Cortagine microinfusions also reduced Fos protein production in the medial, central and basomedial, but not basolateral subnuclei of the amygdala in mice exposed to the rat predatory threat stimulus. These results suggest that CRF1 activation within the mPFC attenuates predator-induced unconditioned anxiety-like defensive behaviors, likely via inhibition of specific amygdalar nuclei. Furthermore, the present findings suggest that the mPFC represents a unique neural region whereby activation of CRF1 produces behavioral effects that contrast with those elicited following systemic administration of CRF1 agonists. PMID:23845323

  20. Community shelter use in response to two benthic decapod predators in the Long Island Sound

    PubMed Central

    Reagan, Dugan; Crivello, Joseph F.

    2016-01-01

    To investigate community shelter effects of two invasive decapod species, Hemigrapsus sanguineus and Carcinus maenas, in the Long Island Sound (LIS), we deployed artificial shelters in the intertidal and immediate subtidal zones. These consisted of five groups during the summer: a control, a resident H. sanguineus male or female group, and a resident C. maenas male or female group. We quantified utilization of the shelters at 24 h by counting crabs and fish present. We found significant avoidance of H. sanguineus in the field by benthic hermit crabs (Pagurus spp.) and significant avoidance of C. maenas by the seaboard goby (Gobiosoma ginsburgi). The grubby (Myoxocephalus aenaeus) avoided neither treatment, probably since it tends to be a predator of invertebrates. H. sanguineus avoided C. maenas treatments, whereas C. maenas did not avoid any treatment. Seasonal deployments in the subtidal indicated cohabitation of a number of benthic species in the LIS, with peak shelter use corresponding with increased predation and likely reproductive activity in spring and summer for green crabs (C. maenas), hermit crabs (Pagurus spp.), seaboard gobies (G. ginsburgi), and grubbies (Myoxocephalus aenaeus). PMID:27547570

  1. Community shelter use in response to two benthic decapod predators in the Long Island Sound.

    PubMed

    Hudson, David M; Reagan, Dugan; Crivello, Joseph F

    2016-01-01

    To investigate community shelter effects of two invasive decapod species, Hemigrapsus sanguineus and Carcinus maenas, in the Long Island Sound (LIS), we deployed artificial shelters in the intertidal and immediate subtidal zones. These consisted of five groups during the summer: a control, a resident H. sanguineus male or female group, and a resident C. maenas male or female group. We quantified utilization of the shelters at 24 h by counting crabs and fish present. We found significant avoidance of H. sanguineus in the field by benthic hermit crabs (Pagurus spp.) and significant avoidance of C. maenas by the seaboard goby (Gobiosoma ginsburgi). The grubby (Myoxocephalus aenaeus) avoided neither treatment, probably since it tends to be a predator of invertebrates. H. sanguineus avoided C. maenas treatments, whereas C. maenas did not avoid any treatment. Seasonal deployments in the subtidal indicated cohabitation of a number of benthic species in the LIS, with peak shelter use corresponding with increased predation and likely reproductive activity in spring and summer for green crabs (C. maenas), hermit crabs (Pagurus spp.), seaboard gobies (G. ginsburgi), and grubbies (Myoxocephalus aenaeus). PMID:27547570

  2. Social deprivation affects cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Saskia; Anaya-Rojas, Jaime M.; Frommen, Joachim G.; Thünken, Timo

    2015-01-01

    The social environment individuals are exposed to during ontogeny shapes social skills and social competence in group-living animals. Consequently, social deprivation has serious effects on behaviour and development in animals but little is known about its impact on cooperation. In this study, we examined the effect of social environment on cooperative predator inspection. Predator inspection behaviour is a complex behaviour, which is present in a variety of shoaling fish species. Often, two fish leave the safety of the group and inspect a potentially dangerous predator in order to gather information about the current predation risk. As predator inspection is highly risky, it is prone to conflicts and cheating. However, cooperation among individuals may reduce the individual predation risk. We investigated this complex social behaviour in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus that were reared in two different social environments throughout development. Fish reared in a group inspected more often than isolation-reared fish and were more likely to cooperate, i.e. they conducted conjoint inspection of a predator. By contrast, isolation-reared fish were more likely to perform a single inspection without a companion. These results suggest an impairment of cooperative behaviour in isolation-reared fish most probably due to lack of social experience and resulting in lowered social skills needed in coordinated behaviour. PMID:26064616

  3. Reduced flocking by birds on islands with relaxed predation.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2004-05-22

    Adaptive hypotheses for the evolution of flocking in birds have usually focused on predation avoidance or foraging enhancement. It still remains unclear to what extent each factor has contributed to the evolution of flocking. If predation avoidance were the sole factor involved, flocking should not be prevalent when predation is relaxed. I examined flocking tendencies along with mean and maximum flock size in species living on islands where predation risk is either absent or negligible and then compared these results with matched counterparts on the mainland. The dataset consisted of 46 pairs of species from 22 different islands across the world. The tendency to flock was retained on islands in most species, but in pairs with dissimilar flocking tendencies, island species were less likely to flock. Mean and maximum flock size were smaller on islands than on the mainland. Potential confounding factors such as population density, nest predation, habitat type, food type and body mass failed to account for the results. The results suggest that predation is a significant factor in the evolution of flocking in birds. Nevertheless, predation and other factors, such as foraging enhancement, probably act together to maintain the trait in most species. PMID:15293857

  4. Developmental thermal plasticity of prey modifies the impact of predation.

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Grigaltchik, Veronica S

    2015-05-01

    Environmental conditions during embryonic development can influence the mean expression of phenotypes as well as phenotypic responses to environmental change later in life. The resulting phenotypes may be better matched to their environment and more resilient to environmental change, including human-induced climate change. However, whether plasticity does improve success in an ecological context is unresolved. In a microcosm experiment, we show that developmental plasticity in embryos of the frog Limnodynastes peronii is beneficial by increasing survivorship of tadpoles in the presence of predators when egg incubation (15 or 25°C) and tadpole acclimation temperature in microcosms (15 or 25°C) coincided at 15°C. Tadpoles that survived predation were smaller, and had faster burst swimming speeds than those kept in no-predator control conditions, but only at high (25°C) egg incubation or subsequent microcosm temperatures. Metabolic rates were determined by a three-way interaction between incubation and microcosm temperatures and predation; maximal glycolytic and mitochondrial metabolic capacities (enzyme activities) were lower in survivors from predation compared with controls, particularly when eggs were incubated at 25°C. We show that thermal conditions experienced during early development are ecologically relevant by modulating survivorship from predation. Importantly, developmental thermal plasticity also impacts population phenotypes indirectly by modifying species interactions and the selection pressure imposed by predation. PMID:25767143

  5. Plankton reach new heights in effort to avoid predators

    PubMed Central

    Gemmell, Brad J.; Jiang, Houshuo; Strickler, J. Rudi; Buskey, Edward J.

    2012-01-01

    The marine environment associated with the air–water interface (neuston) provides an important food source to pelagic organisms where subsurface prey is limited. However, studies on predator–prey interactions within this environment are lacking. Copepods are known to produce strong escape jumps in response to predators, but must contend with a low-Reynolds-number environment where viscous forces limit escape distance. All previous work on copepod interaction with predators has focused on a liquid environment. Here, we describe a novel anti-predator behaviour in two neustonic copepod species, where individuals frequently exit the water surface and travel many times their own body length through air to avoid predators. Using both field recordings with natural predators and high-speed laboratory recordings, we obtain detailed kinematics of this behaviour, and estimate energetic cost associated with this behaviour. We demonstrate that despite losing up to 88 per cent of their initial kinetic energy, copepods that break the water surface travel significantly further than those escaping underwater and successfully exit the perceptive field of the predator. This behaviour provides an effective defence mechanism against subsurface-feeding visual predators and the results provide insight into trophic interactions within the neustonic environment. PMID:22438496

  6. Endocrine regulation of predator-induced phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Stuart R; LeBlanc, Gerald A; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2014-11-01

    Elucidating the developmental and genetic control of phenotypic plasticity remains a central agenda in evolutionary ecology. Here, we investigate the physiological regulation of phenotypic plasticity induced by another organism, specifically predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in the model ecological and evolutionary organism Daphnia pulex. Our research centres on using molecular tools to test among alternative mechanisms of developmental control tied to hormone titres, receptors and their timing in the life cycle. First, we synthesize detail about predator-induced defenses and the physiological regulation of arthropod somatic growth and morphology, leading to a clear prediction that morphological defences are regulated by juvenile hormone and life-history plasticity by ecdysone and juvenile hormone. We then show how a small network of genes can differentiate phenotype expression between the two primary developmental control pathways in arthropods: juvenoid and ecdysteroid hormone signalling. Then, by applying an experimental gradient of predation risk, we show dose-dependent gene expression linking predator-induced plasticity to the juvenoid hormone pathway. Our data support three conclusions: (1) the juvenoid signalling pathway regulates predator-induced phenotypic plasticity; (2) the hormone titre (ligand), rather than receptor, regulates predator-induced developmental plasticity; (3) evolution has favoured the harnessing of a major, highly conserved endocrine pathway in arthropod development to regulate the response to cues about changing environments (risk) from another organism (predator). PMID:25284611

  7. Escaping peril: perceived predation risk affects migratory propensity

    PubMed Central

    Hulthén, Kaj; Chapman, Ben B.; Nilsson, P. Anders; Vinterstare, Jerker; Hansson, Lars-Anders; Skov, Christian; Brodersen, Jakob; Baktoft, Henrik; Brönmark, Christer

    2015-01-01

    Although migratory plasticity is increasingly documented, the ecological drivers of plasticity are not well understood. Predation risk can influence migratory dynamics, but whether seasonal migrants can adjust their migratory behaviour according to perceived risk is unknown. We used electronic tags to record the migration of individual roach (Rutilus rutilus), a partially migratory fish, in the wild following exposure to manipulation of direct (predator presence/absence) and indirect (high/low roach density) perceived predation risk in experimental mesocosms. Following exposure, we released fish in their lake summer habitat and monitored individual migration to connected streams over an entire season. Individuals exposed to increased perceived direct predation risk (i.e. a live predator) showed a higher migratory propensity but no change in migratory timing, while indirect risk (i.e. roach density) affected timing but