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Sample records for post-dispersal seed predation

  1. Dispersal and post-dispersal predation of Italian ryegrass seed in unimproved pasture.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dispersal and post-dispersal predation of Italian ryegrass seed in unimproved pasture. Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.) can be a productive and high-quality cool-season forage, but is considered a weed in some pastures. Italian ryegrass does not form a persistent seed bank and needs to prod...

  2. Edge effect on post-dispersal artificial seed predation in the southeastern Amazonia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Penido, G; Ribeiro, V; Fortunato, D S

    2015-05-01

    This paper evaluates the post-dispersal artificial seed predation rates in two areas of the southeastern Amazon forest-savanna boundary, central Brazil. We conducted the survey in a disturbance regime controlled research site to verify if exists an edge effect in these rates and if the disturbance (in this case annual fire and no fire) affects seed predation. We placed 800 peanuts seeds in each area at regular distance intervals from the fragment`s edge. Data were analyzed by a likelihood ratio model selection in generalized linear models (GLM). The complete model (with effects from edge distance and site and its interaction) was significative (F3=4.43; p=0.005). Seeds had a larger predation rates in fragment's interior in both areas, but in the controlled area (no disturbance) this effect was less linear. This suggests an edge effect for post-dispersal seed predation, and that disturbances might alter these effects. Even if we exclude the site effect (grouping both areas together) there is still a strong edge effect on seed predation rates (F3=32.679; p>0.001). We did not verify predator's species in this study; however, the presence of several species of ants was extremely common in the seeds. The detection of an edge effect in only a short survey time suggests that there is heterogeneity in predation rates and that this variation might affect plant recruitment in fragmented areas of the Amazon forest. Henceforth, this seed predation should be taken in consideration in reforestation projects, where the main source of plants species is from seed distribution. PMID:26132017

  3. Annual post-dispersal weed seed predation in contrasting field environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in weed seed predation as an ecological weed management tactic has led to a growing number of investigations of agronomic and environmental effects on predation rates. Whereas the measurements in most of these studies have taken place at very short time scales, from days to weeks, measureme...

  4. Adaptive Advantage of Myrmecochory in the Ant-Dispersed Herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): Predation Avoidance through the Deterrence of Post-Dispersal Seed Predators

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Koki; Ogata, Kanako; Mukai, Hiromi; Yamawo, Akira; Tokuda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is found worldwide, but the benefits that plants obtain from this mutualism remain uncertain. In the present study, we conducted laboratory experiments to demonstrate seed predator avoidance as a benefit of myrmecochory using the annual ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule, the disperser ant Tetramorium tsushimae, and the seed predatory burrower bug Adomerus rotundus. We compared the predation intensity of Lamium amplexicaule seeds by Adomerus rotundus under the presence or absence of Tetramorium tsushimae. Both the number of seeds sucked by Adomerus rotundus adults and the feeding duration of sucked seeds by nymphs were significantly reduced in the presence of ants. This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment. Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds. The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants. PMID:26197397

  5. Adaptive Advantage of Myrmecochory in the Ant-Dispersed Herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): Predation Avoidance through the Deterrence of Post-Dispersal Seed Predators.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Koki; Ogata, Kanako; Mukai, Hiromi; Yamawo, Akira; Tokuda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is found worldwide, but the benefits that plants obtain from this mutualism remain uncertain. In the present study, we conducted laboratory experiments to demonstrate seed predator avoidance as a benefit of myrmecochory using the annual ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule, the disperser ant Tetramorium tsushimae, and the seed predatory burrower bug Adomerus rotundus. We compared the predation intensity of Lamium amplexicaule seeds by Adomerus rotundus under the presence or absence of Tetramorium tsushimae. Both the number of seeds sucked by Adomerus rotundus adults and the feeding duration of sucked seeds by nymphs were significantly reduced in the presence of ants. This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment. Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds. The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants. PMID:26197397

  6. Spatial variation in post-dispersal seed removal in an Atlantic forest: Effects of habitat, location and guilds of seed predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianini, Alexander V.; Galetti, Mauro

    2007-11-01

    Studies of post-dispersal seed removal in the Neotropics have rarely examined the magnitude of seed removal by different types of granivores. The relative impact of invertebrates, small rodents, and birds on seed removal was investigated in a 2,178 ha Atlantic forest fragment in southeastern Brazil. We used popcorn kernels ( Zea mays—Poaceae) to investigate seed removal in a series of selective exclosure treatments in a replicated, paired design experiment that included forest understory, gaps, and forest edge sites. We recorded the vegetation around the experimental seed stations in detail in order to evaluate the influence of microhabitat traits on seed removal. Vertebrate granivores (rodents and birds) were surveyed to determine whether granivore abundance was correlated with seed removal levels. Seed removal varied spatially and in unpredictable ways at the study site. Seed encounter and seed use varied with treatments, but not with habitat type. However, seed removal by invertebrates was negatively correlated with gap-related traits, which suggested an avoidance of large gaps by granivorous ants. The abundance of small mammals was remarkably low, but granivorous birds (tinamous and doves) were abundant at the study site. Birds were the main seed consumers in open treatments, but there was no correlation between local granivorous bird abundance and seed removal. These results emphasize the stochastic spatial pattern of seed removal, and, contrary to previous studies, highlight the importance of birds as seed predators in forest habitats.

  7. Gut passage and secondary metabolites alter the source of post-dispersal predation for bird-dispersed chili seeds.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Haak, David C; Levey, Douglas J; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2016-07-01

    Plants can influence the source and severity of seed predation through various mechanisms; the use of secondary metabolites for chemical defense, for example, is well documented. Gut passage by frugivores can also reduce mortality of animal-dispersed seeds, although this mechanism has gained far less attention than secondary metabolites. Apart from influencing the severity of seed predation, gut passage may also influence the source of seed predation. In Bolivia, we compared impacts of these two mechanisms, gut passage and secondary metabolites, on the source of seed predation in Capsicum chacoense, a wild chili species that is polymorphic for pungency (individual plants either produce fruits and seeds containing or lacking capsaicinoids). Using physical exclosures, we isolated seed removal by insects, mammals, and birds; seeds in the trials were from either pungent or non-pungent fruits and were either passed or not passed by seed-dispersing birds. Pungency had little influence on total short-term seed removal by animals, although prior work on this species indicates that capsaicin reduces mortality caused by fungi at longer time scales. Gut passage strongly reduced removal by insects, altering the relative impact of the three predator types. The weak impact of pungency on short-term predation contrasts with previous studies, highlighting the context dependence of secondary metabolites. The strong impact of gut passage demonstrates that this mechanism alone can influence which seed predators consume seeds, and that impacts of gut passage can be larger than those of secondary metabolites, which are more commonly acknowledged as a defense mechanism. PMID:27016078

  8. Global patterns in post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W; Moles, Angela T

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  9. Global Patterns in Post-Dispersal Seed Removal by Invertebrates and Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W.; Moles, Angela T.

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  10. Post-dispersal seed fates of four prairie species.

    PubMed

    Clark, Deborah L; Wilson, Mark V

    2003-05-01

    After dispersal, seeds can germinate and establish as seedlings, persist as seeds, or die. Knowledge of these three seed fates is crucial for understanding the abundance and distribution of plant populations and ultimately, community composition and diversity. Few studies, however, have simultaneously measured these fates, while also examining the factors causing mortality. The goal of this research was to simultaneously quantify the three seed fates and factors causing death (predation and fungal disease) for four species found in prairies in western Oregon, USA. The most common seed fate for the four study species was death (44-80%). Fungal disease, which has seldom been quantified in natural ecosystems, generally caused less than 10% mortality for each of the four species. Vertebrate predation substantially reduced seed numbers only for Bromus carinatus (21%). Of the unmeasured mortality factors, indirect evidence showed invertebrate predation was a cause of death for seeds of only one species, Prunella vulgaris. In addition, competitive pressures caused seedling death for only the two grass species, Bromus carinatus and Cynosurus echinatus. Survival as established seedlings was generally much more common than survival as persistent seed, with the exception of Daucus carota, in which 14% of the sown seeds persisted the first year. PMID:21659169

  11. Post-dispersal seed removal by ground-feeding rodents in tropical peatlands, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Blackham, Grace V; Corlett, Richard T

    2015-01-01

    Forested tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia are being rapidly converted to agriculture or degraded into non-forest vegetation. Although large areas have been abandoned, there is little evidence for subsequent forest recovery. As part of a study of forest degradation and recovery, we used seed removal experiments and rodent surveys to investigate the potential role of post-dispersal seed predation in limiting the regeneration of woody plants. Two 14-day seed removal trials were done in deforested and forested peatland habitat in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Seeds of Nephelium lappaceum, Syzygium muelleri, Artocarpus heterophyllus (all animal-dispersed) and Combretocarpus rotundatus (wind-dispersed) were tested. Significantly more seeds (82.8%) were removed in forest than non-forest (38.1%) and Combretocarpus had the lowest removal in both habitats. Most handled seeds were eaten in situ and little caching was observed. Six species of rodents were captured in forest and five in non-forest. The most trapped taxa were three Maxomys spp. in forest (85.5% of individuals) and Rattus tiomanicus in non-forest (74.8%). Camera traps confirmed that rodents were responsible for seed removal. Seed predation in deforested areas, which have a much lower seed rain than forest, may contribute to the low density and diversity of regenerating forest. PMID:26369444

  12. Post-dispersal seed removal by ground-feeding rodents in tropical peatlands, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Blackham, Grace V.; Corlett, Richard T.

    2015-01-01

    Forested tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia are being rapidly converted to agriculture or degraded into non-forest vegetation. Although large areas have been abandoned, there is little evidence for subsequent forest recovery. As part of a study of forest degradation and recovery, we used seed removal experiments and rodent surveys to investigate the potential role of post-dispersal seed predation in limiting the regeneration of woody plants. Two 14-day seed removal trials were done in deforested and forested peatland habitat in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Seeds of Nephelium lappaceum, Syzygium muelleri, Artocarpus heterophyllus (all animal-dispersed) and Combretocarpus rotundatus (wind-dispersed) were tested. Significantly more seeds (82.8%) were removed in forest than non-forest (38.1%) and Combretocarpus had the lowest removal in both habitats. Most handled seeds were eaten in situ and little caching was observed. Six species of rodents were captured in forest and five in non-forest. The most trapped taxa were three Maxomys spp. in forest (85.5% of individuals) and Rattus tiomanicus in non-forest (74.8%). Camera traps confirmed that rodents were responsible for seed removal. Seed predation in deforested areas, which have a much lower seed rain than forest, may contribute to the low density and diversity of regenerating forest. PMID:26369444

  13. Seed handling by primary frugivores differentially influence post-dispersal seed removal of Chinese yew by ground-dwelling animals.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yang; Bai, Bing; Xiong, Tianshi; Shi, Peijian; Lu, Changhu

    2016-05-01

    Seed handling by primary frugivores can influence secondary dispersal and/or predation of post-dispersal seeds by attracting different guilds of ground-dwelling animals. Many studies have focused on seeds embedded in feces of mammals or birds; however, less is known about how ground-dwelling animals treat seeds regurgitated by birds (without pulp and not embedded in feces). To compare the effect of differential seed handling by primary dispersers on secondary seed removal of Chinese yew (Taxus chinensis var. mairei), we conducted a series of exclosure experiments to determine the relative impact of animals on the removal of defecated seeds (handled by masked palm civet), regurgitated seeds (handled by birds) and intact fruits. All types of yew seeds were consistently removed at a higher rate by rodents than by ants. Regurgitated seeds had the highest removal percentage and were only removed by rodents. These seeds were probably eaten in situ without being secondarily dispersed. Defecated seeds were removed by both rodents and ants; only ants might act as secondary dispersers of defecated seeds, whereas rodents ate most of them. We inferred that seeds regurgitated by birds were subjected to the highest rates of predation, whereas those dispersed in the feces of masked palm civets probably had a higher likelihood of secondary dispersal. Seeds from feces attracted ants, which were likely to transport seeds and potentially provided a means by which the seeds could escape predation by rodents. Our study highlighted that primary dispersal by birds might not always facilitate secondary dispersal and establishment of plant populations. PMID:26846724

  14. Empty Seeds Are Not Always Bad: Simultaneous Effect of Seed Emptiness and Masting on Animal Seed Predation

    PubMed Central

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed. PMID:23776503

  15. 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.

  16. How much Dillenia indica seed predation occurs from Asian elephant dung?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekar, Nitin; Giam, Xingli; Sharma, Netra Prasad; Sukumar, Raman

    2016-01-01

    Elephants are thought to be effective seed dispersers, but research on whether elephant dung effectively protects seeds from seed predation is lacking. Quantifying rates of seed predation from elephant dung will facilitate comparisons between elephants and alternative dispersers, helping us understand the functional role of megaherbivores in ecosystems. We conducted an experiment to quantify the predation of Dillenia indica seeds from elephant dung in Buxa Reserve, India from December 2012 to April 2013. Using dung boluses from the same dung pile, we compared the number of seeds in boluses that are a) opened immediately upon detection (control boluses), b) made available only to small seed predators (<3 mm wide) for 1-4 months, and c) made available to all seed predators and secondary dispersers for 1-4 months. Using a model built on this experiment, we estimated that seed predation by small seed predators (most likely ants and termites) destroys between 82.9% and 96.4% of seeds in elephant dung between the time of defecation and the median germination date for D. indica. Exposure to larger seed predators and secondary dispersers did not lead to a significant additional reduction in the number of seeds per dung bolus. Our findings suggest that post-dispersal seed predation by small insects (<3 mm) substantially reduces but does not eliminate the success of elephants as dispersers of D. indica in a tropical moist forest habitat.

  17. 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...

  18. Seed predators exert selection on the subindividual variation of seed size.

    PubMed

    Sobral, M; Guitián, J; Guitián, P; Larrinaga, A R

    2014-07-01

    Subindividual variation among repeated organs in plants constitutes an overlooked level of variation in phenotypic selection studies, despite being a major component of phenotypic variation. Animals that interact with plants could be selective agents on subindividual variation. This study examines selective pressures exerted during post-dispersal seed predation and germination on the subindividual variation of seed size in hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). With a seed offering experiment and a germination test, we estimated phenotypic selection differentials for average and subindividual variation of seed size due to seed predation and germination. Seed size affects germination, growth rate and the probability of an individual seed of escaping predation. Longer seeds showed higher germination rates, but this did not result in significant selection on phenotypes of the maternal trees. On the other hand, seed predators avoided wider seeds, and by doing so exerted phenotypic selection on adult average and subindividual variation of seed size. The detected selection on subindividual variation suggests that the levels of phenotypic variation within individual plants may be, at least partly, the adaptive consequence of animal-mediated selection. PMID:24176051

  19. Seed dispersal capacity and post-dispersal fate of the invasive Spartina alterniflora in saltmarshes of the Yangtze Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Derong; Zhang, Chao; Zhang, Liquan; Zhu, Zhenchang; Tian, Kun; Gao, Wei

    2016-02-01

    Spartina alterniflora is one of the most serious invasive species in the coastal saltmarshes of China. Seeds are generally considered to be the main method for this species to colonise new habitat, but little is known quantitatively about the seed dispersal capacity and post-dispersal fate (i.e., germination and survival time). We measured the duration of seed flotation, seed persistence and seed germination of S. alterniflora in three intertidal zones [low intertidal zone (LIT), middle intertidal zone (MIT) and high intertidal zone (HIT)] in the Yangtze Estuary on the eastern coast of China. The results showed that (1) the flotation time of S. alterniflora seeds ranged from 3 to 13 days, and the values were higher in HIT and MIT than in LIT; (2) the period of seed germination was from February to June, mainly in March and April, and seed source affected seed germination as the values for seeds from HIT and MIT were much higher than those from LIT, while burial sites had no effect on germination percentages, and (3) the seed persistence was less than a year regardless of seed source, which was characterised by a transient seed bank, with values being higher in HIT and MIT than in LIT. Our results suggested that low marsh plants were far less able to produce successful seeds, or conversely, that the mid-marsh location had plants with the greatest seed production and seed mass, and the high- and mid-marsh plants had good seed floatation ability, germination and survival. Thus, plants in the mid-and high-marsh may contribute disproportionally to an invasion.

  20. Molecular approach to describing a seed-based food web: the post-dispersal granivore community of an invasive plant

    PubMed Central

    Lundgren, Jonathan G; Saska, Pavel; Honěk, Alois

    2013-01-01

    Communities of post-dispersal granivores can shape the density and dispersion of exotic plants and invasive weeds, yet plant ecologists have a limited perception of the relative trophic linkages between a seed species and members of its granivore community. Dandelion seeds marked with Rabbit IgG were disseminated into replicated plots in the recipient habitat (South Dakota) and the native range (Czech Republic). Arthropods were collected in pitfall traps, and their guts were searched for the protein marker using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Seed dishes were placed in each plot, and dandelion seed removal rates were measured. The entire experiment was repeated five times over the dandelion flowering period. Gut analysis revealed that approximately 22% of specimens tested positive for the seed marker. A more diverse granivore community had trophic linkages to seeds than has been previously realized under field conditions. This community included taxa such as isopods, millipedes, weevils, rove beetles, and caterpillars, in addition to the traditionally recognized ants, crickets, and carabid beetles. Rarefaction and Chao analysis estimated approximately 16 and 27 species in the granivore communities of the Czech Republic and South Dakota, respectively. Synthesis: Generalist granivore communities are diverse and polyphagous, and are clearly important as a form of biotic resistance to invasive and weedy plants. These granivore communities can be managed to limit population growth of these pests. PMID:23789074

  1. Relocation of Croton sonderianus (Euphorbiaceae) seeds by Pheidole fallax Mayr (Formicidae): a case of post-dispersal seed protection by ants?

    PubMed

    Lôbo, D; Tabarelli, M; Leal, I R

    2011-01-01

    Although seed dispersal by ants might reduce seed predation near the parent plants, predation on discarded seeds clustered on nest refuse piles may reduce any initial benefit provided by seed removal. Here we examine the fate of Croton sonderianus seeds that were discarded by Pheidole fallax Mayr ants on their nest refuses in caatinga vegetation of northeast Brazil. We collected all seeds discarded in refuse piles of 20 nests and within a radius of 50 cm from their borders, and examined them for evidence of predation. A total of 3,017 seeds were recorded either located in the P. fallax refuse piles (89.1%) or nest vicinity (10.9%). Predation was three fold higher in nest vicinity as compared to refuse piles. By removing seeds from beneath parent plants and relocating then to refuse piles, P. fallax is possibly providing double protection services for C. sonderianus seeds. Our findings represent the first evidence for predator-avoidance as benefit for plants resulting from ant seed-dispersal in the neotropics. PMID:21952959

  2. Seed size variation in the palm Euterpe edulis and the effects of seed predators on germination and seedling survival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizo, Marco A.; Von Allmen, Christiane; Morellato, L. Patricia C.

    2006-05-01

    Intraspecific variation in seed size is common in wild plant populations and has important consequences for the reproductive success of individual plants. Multiple, often conflicting evolutionary forces mediated by biotic as well as abiotic agents may maintain such a variation. In this paper we assessed seed size variation in a population of the threatened, commercially important palm Euterpe edulis in southeast Brazil. We investigated (i) how this variation affects the probability of attack by vertebrate and invertebrate post-dispersal seed predators, and (ii) if seed size influences the outcome of seeds damaged by beetles in terms of seed germination and early survival of seedlings. Euterpe edulis seeds varied in diameter from 8.3 to 14.1 mm. Neither insects nor rodents selected the seeds they preyed upon based on seed size. Seed germination and total, shoot and root biomasses of one-year seedlings were significantly and positively affected by seed size. Root biomass and seedling survival were negatively affected by seed damage caused by a scolytid beetle ( Coccotrypes palmarum) whose adults bore into seeds to consume part of the endosperm, but do not oviposit on them. Seed size had a marginally significant effect on seedling survival. Therefore, if any advantage is accrued by E. edulis individuals producing large seeds, this is because of greater seed germination success and seedling vigor. If this is so, even a relatively narrow range of variation in seed size as observed in the E. edulis population studied may translate into differential success of individual plants.

  3. Ecological Interactions Shape the Dynamics of Seed Predation in Acrocomia aculeata (Arecaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Anielle C. F.; Fonseca, Francine S. A.; Mota, Gleicielle R.; Fernandes, Ane K. C.; Fagundes, Marcílio; Reis-Júnior, Ronaldo; Faria, Maurício L.

    2014-01-01

    Background The complex network of direct and indirect relationships determines not only the species abundances but also the community characteristics such as diversity and stability. In this context, seed predation is a direct interaction that affects the reproductive success of the plant. For Acrocomia aculeata, the seed predation by Pachymerus cardo and Speciomerus revoili in post-dispersal may destroy more than 70% of the propagules and is influenced by the herbivory of the fruits during pre-dispersal. Fruits of plants with a higher level of herbivory during pre-dispersal are less attacked by predators in post-dispersal. We proposed a hypothesis that describes this interaction as an indirect defense mediated by fungi in a multitrophic interaction. As explanations, we proposed the predictions: i) injuries caused by herbivores in the fruits of A. aculeata favor fungal colonization and ii) the colonization of A. acuelata fruit by decomposing fungi reduces the selection of the egg-laying site by predator. Methodology/Principal Findings For prediction (i), differences in the fungal colonization in fruits with an intact or damaged epicarp were evaluated in fruits exposed in the field. For prediction (ii), we performed fruit observations in the field to determine the number of eggs of P. cardo and/or S. revoili per fruit and the amount of fungal colonization in the fruits. In another experiment, in the laboratory, we use P. cardo females in a triple-choice protocol. Each insect to choose one of the three options: healthy fruits, fruits with fungus, or an empty pot. The proposed hypothesis was corroborated. Fruits with injuries in the epicarp had a higher fungal colonization, and fruits colonized by fungi were less attractive for egg-laying by seed predators. Conclusion/Significance This study emphasizes the importance of exploring the networks of interactions between multitrophic systems to understand the dynamics and maintenance of natural populations. PMID:24875386

  4. 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...

  5. Pre-dispersal predation effect on seed packaging strategies and seed viability.

    PubMed

    DeSoto, Lucía; Tutor, David; Torices, Rubén; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana; Nabais, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    An increased understanding of intraspecific seed packaging (i.e. seed size/number strategy) variation across different environments may improve current knowledge of the ecological forces that drive seed evolution in plants. In particular, pre-dispersal seed predation may influence seed packaging strategies, triggering a reduction of the resources allocated to undamaged seeds within the preyed fruits. Assessing plant reactions to pre-dispersal seed predation is crucial to a better understanding of predation effects, but the response of plants to arthropod attacks remains unexplored. We have assessed the effect of cone predation on the size and viability of undamaged seeds in populations of Juniperus thurifera with contrasting seed packaging strategies, namely, North African populations with single-large-seeded cones and South European populations with multi-small-seeded cones. Our results show that the incidence of predation was lower on the single-large-seeded African cones than on the multi-small-seeded European ones. Seeds from non-preyed cones were also larger and had a higher germination success than uneaten seeds from preyed cones, but only in populations with multi-seeded cones and in cones attacked by Trisetacus sp., suggesting a differential plastic response to predation. It is possible that pre-dispersal seed predation has been a strong selective pressure in European populations with high cone predation rates, being a process which maintains multi-small-seeded cones and empty seeds as a strategy to save some seeds from predation. Conversely, pre-dispersal predation might not have a strong effect in the African populations with single-large-seeded cones characterized by seed germination and filling rates higher than those in the European populations. Our results indicate that differences in pre-dispersal seed predators and predation levels may affect both selection on and intraspecific variation in seed packaging. PMID:26400794

  6. Molecular approach to describing a seed-based food web: the post-dispersal granivore community of an invasive plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We adapted protein-marking techniques and gut content analysis to study the relative granivore communities of the invasive plant, dandelion, in its recipient and native ranges. Dandelion seeds marked with Rabbit IgG were disseminated into plots that had high dandelion populations in recipient habita...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Impacts of logging on density-dependent predation of dipterocarp seeds in a South East Asian rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Bagchi, Robert; Philipson, Christopher D.; Slade, Eleanor M.; Hector, Andy; Phillips, Sam; Villanueva, Jerome F.; Lewis, Owen T.; Lyal, Christopher H. C.; Nilus, Reuben; Madran, Adzley; Scholes, Julie D.; Press, Malcolm C.

    2011-01-01

    Much of the forest remaining in South East Asia has been selectively logged. The processes promoting species coexistence may be the key to the recovery and maintenance of diversity in these forests. One such process is the Janzen–Connell mechanism, where specialized natural enemies such as seed predators maintain diversity by inhibiting regeneration near conspecifics. In Neotropical forests, anthropogenic disturbance can disrupt the Janzen–Connell mechanism, but similar data are unavailable for South East Asia. We investigated the effects of conspecific density (two spatial scales) and distance from fruiting trees on seed and seedling survival of the canopy tree Parashorea malaanonan in unlogged and logged forests in Sabah, Malaysia. The production of mature seeds was higher in unlogged forest, perhaps because high adult densities facilitate pollination or satiate pre-dispersal predators. In both forest types, post-dispersal survival was reduced by small-scale (1 m2) conspecific density, but not by proximity to the nearest fruiting tree. Large-scale conspecific density (seeds per fruiting tree) reduced predation, probably by satiating predators. Higher seed production in unlogged forest, in combination with slightly higher survival, meant that recruitment was almost entirely limited to unlogged forest. Thus, while logging might not affect the Janzen–Connell mechanism at this site, it may influence the recruitment of particular species. PMID:22006965

  12. Effects of seed predators and light level on the distribution of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. in tropical, tidal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Thomas J.

    1987-07-01

    Avicennia marina has an unusual distributional pattern across the intertidal region in mangrove forests of north-eastern Australia. It is often abundant in the low intertidal and high intertidal but is very rare in mid-intertidal areas. The influences of shade intolerance and seed predators on the distribution of Avicennia were investigated. Field observations of 391 light gaps indicated that while seedlings were equally abundant in gaps versus under the neighboring forest canopy, saplings were much more abundant in gaps. Subsequent field studies showed that seedlings survived and grew best in light gaps as opposed to under the forest canopy. Further field experiments revealed that 96·0±3·4% of the post-dispersal propagules of Avicennia are consumed by seed predators, primarily grapsid crabs. Predation on propagules was less in low and high intertidal regions where conspecific adults were common and was highest in the mid intertidal where Avicennia is rarest. Predator exclusion experiments indicated that Avicennia was capable of growing in mid-intertidal areas. It is concluded that the combination of shade intolerance and extensive predation on its' propagules effectively limits the distribution of Avicennia marina across the intertidal and may account for the dominance by members of the Rhizophoraceae in the mangrove forests of northern Australia.

  13. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds.

    PubMed

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J

    2016-01-01

    Large "hypercarnivorous" felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km(2). Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  14. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds

    PubMed Central

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Large “hypercarnivorous” felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km2. Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  15. Seed predation, not seed dispersal, explains the landscape-level abundance of an early-successional plant.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Douglas J. Levey; Brent J. Danielson; Ellen I Damschen.

    2006-01-01

    Plants may not occur in a given area if there are no suitable sites for seeds to establish (microsite limitation), if seeds fail to arrive in suitable microsites (dispersal limitation) or if seeds in suitable microsites are destroyed by predators (predator limitation). When dispersal and microsites are not limiting, the role of local seed predators can be important for generating emergent, large-scale patterns of plant abundance across landscapes. Moreover, because predators may generate large-scale patterns that resemble other forms of limitation and predators may target specific species, predator impacts should be more frequently incorporated into experiments on the role of seed limitation and plant community composition.

  16. Gender inequality in predispersal seed predation contributes to female seed set advantage in a gynodioecious species.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Gretel L; Brody, Alison K

    2015-05-01

    Most flowering plants are hermaphrodites. However, in gynodioecious species, some members of the population are male-sterile and reproduce only by setting seed, while others gain fitness through both male and female function. How females compensate for the loss of male function remains unresolved for most gynodioecious species. Here, as with many plants, fitness differences may be influenced by interactions with multiple species. However, whether multiple species interactions result in gender-specific fitness differences remains unknown. Using observational data from 2009-2010, we quantified seed set of the two sex morphs of Polemonium foliosissimu and asked how it is affected by pollination, and seed predation from a dipteran predispersal seed predator (Anthomyiidae: Hylemya sp.). We assessed seed production and losses to predation in 27 populations for one year and in six populations for a second year. Females set significantly more seed than did hermaphrodites in both years. Of the fitness components we assessed, including the number of flowers per plant, fruit set, seeds/fruit, and proportion of fruits destroyed by Hylemya, only fruit destruction differed significantly between the sexes. In one year, seeds/fruit and predation had a stronger effect on seed set for hermaphrodites than for females. Because predispersal seed predators do not pollinate flowers, their effects may depend on successful pollination of flowers on which they oviposit. To examine if genders differed in pollen limitation and seed predation and/or their interactive effects, in 2011 we hand-pollinated flowers and removed seed predator eggs in a fully factorial design. Both sexes were pollen limited, but their degree of pollen limitation did not differ. However, predation reduced.seed set more for hermaphrodites than for females. We found no significant interaction between hand pollen and seed predation, and no interaction between hand pollination and gender. Our results suggest that while

  17. Predation of italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) seed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) can be a productive and high-quality cool-season forage, but is considered a weed in some pastures. Italian ryegrass does not form a persistent seed bank and needs to produce sufficient seed annually for effective re-establishment. Before the re-seeding ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Parthenocarpy and Seed Predation by Insects in Bursera morelensis

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-Ordoñez, María F.; Márquez-Guzmán, Judith; Del Coro Arizmendi, Ma.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims While parthenocarpy (meaning the production of fruits without seeds) may limit fecundity in many plants, its function is not clear; it has been proposed, however, that it might be associated with a strategy to avoid seed predation. Bursera morelensis is a dioecious endemic plant that produces fruits with and without seeds, and its fruits are parasitized by insects. Its reproductive system is not well described and no published evidence of parthenocarpy exists for the species. The purpose of this work was to describe the breeding system of B. morelensis and its relationship to seed predation by insects. Methods The breeding system was described using pollination experiments, verifying the presence of parthenocarpic fruits and apomictic seeds. Reproductive structures from flower buds to mature fruits were quantified. For fruits, an anatomical and histological characterization was made. The number of fruits in which seeds had been predated by insects was correlated with parthenocarpic fruit production. Key Results The major abortion of reproductive structures occurred during fruit set. The results discard the formation of apomictic seeds. Flowers that were not pollinated formed parthenocarpic fruits and these could be distinguished during early developmental stages. In parthenocarpic fruits in the first stages of development, an unusual spread of internal walls of the ovary occurred invading the locule and preventing ovule development. Unlike fruits with seeds, parthenocarpic fruits do not have calcium oxalate crystals in the ovary wall. Both fruit types can be separated in the field at fruit maturity by the presence of dehiscence, complete in seeded and partial in parthenocarpic fruits. Trees with more parthenocarpic fruits had more parasitized fruits. Conclusions This is the first time the anatomy of parthenocarpic fruits in Burseraceae has been described. Parthenocarpic fruits in B. morelensis might function as a deceit strategy for insect seed

  1. Seed Dispersers, Seed Predators, and Browsers Act Synergistically as Biotic Filters in a Mosaic Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  2. Seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers act synergistically as biotic filters in a mosaic landscape.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  3. Seed predation and climate impacts on reproductive variation in temperate forests of the southeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Bell, David M; Clark, James S

    2016-04-01

    Climatic effects on tree recruitment will be determined by the interactive effects of fecundity and seed predation. Evaluating how insect and vertebrate seed predators mediate tree reproductive responses to climate depends on long-term studies of seed production, development, and predation. In this study, our objectives were to (1) assess the effects of interannual climate variation on seed abortion rates, (2) assess the impact of seed density on predation rates, and (3) examine the degree to which density-dependent seed predation would amplify or dampen interannual variation in fecundity associated with seed abortion. We used a 19-year study of seed abortion and pre-dispersal predation rates by insects and vertebrates (birds and rodents) for five temperate tree species across forest plots from the North Carolina Piedmont to the Southern Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern USA. We found that rates of seed abortion and predation increased reproductive variation for oaks (Quercus species). Probability of seed abortion was greatest during years with cool, dry springs. Responses of seed predation on Quercus species to current year's seed density varied by species, but exhibited positive density-dependence to previous year's seed density consistent with numerical responses of seed predators. Seed abortion and predation rates for two drupe species responded little to variation in climate or seed density, respectively. Given that predation increased interannual variation in seed availability and the negative density-dependence to previous year's seed density, our results indicate that consistent numerical responses of oak seed predators may amplify interannual variation due to climate-mediated processes like seed abortion. PMID:26747267

  4. A seed predator drives the evolution of a seed dispersal mutualism.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Benkman, Craig W

    2008-08-22

    Although antagonists are hypothesized to impede the evolution of mutualisms, they may simultaneously exert selection favouring the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions. We found that increases in limber pine (Pinus flexilis) seed defences arising from selection exerted by a pre-dispersal seed predator (red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) reduced the efficacy of limber pine's primary seed disperser (Clark's nutcracker Nucifraga columbiana) while enhancing seed dispersal by ground-foraging scatter-hoarding rodents (Peromyscus). Thus, there is a shift from relying on primary seed dispersal by birds in areas without red squirrels, to an increasing reliance on secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents in areas with red squirrels. Seed predators can therefore drive the evolution of seed defences, which in turn favour alternative seed dispersal mutualisms that lead to major changes in the mode of seed dispersal. Given that adaptive evolution in response to antagonists frequently impedes one kind of mutualistic interaction, the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions may be a common by-product. PMID:18460433

  5. Effects of frugivore impoverishment and seed predators on the recruitment of a keystone palm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadini, Rodrigo F.; Fleury, Marina; Donatti, Camila I.; Galetti, Mauro

    2009-03-01

    Many plant species are threatened as a result of extinction of their large-bodied frugivores all over the world. Additionally, introduced herbivores and seed predators may cause severe pressure on early stages of plant recruitment. We studied the seed dispersal and seed predation of the keystone palm Euterpe edulis on a land-bridge island with a highly impoverished frugivore fauna and overabundant seed predators, and in a continuous Atlantic forest in Brazil. While the diversity of avian seed dispersers and predators was higher on the mainland, the abundance of seed dispersers was 4-fold higher on the island. Turdus flavipes was responsible for 72% and 96% of seeds removed in the island and mainland, respectively. However, the higher density of T. flaviceps on the island did not result in higher seed removal. In fact, seed removal rate was 1.7 times lower there than on the mainland, probably due to the aggressive behavior of the major seed disperser who defend palm fruits. Seed predation, on the other hand, was markedly higher on the island, where nearly 100% of seeds were preyed upon, but only 0.3% on the mainland. As a consequence of higher seed predation the population of E. edulis has few numbers of seedlings and saplings on the island. Therefore, management of the seed predator populations on the island is a key priority for recovering the natural population of this keystone palm and the frugivores that depend on its fruits.

  6. Uncoupling the Effects of Seed Predation and Seed Dispersal by Granivorous Ants on Plant Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength. PMID:22880125

  7. 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

  8. A Simple Relationship Between Short- and Long-term 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. 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...

  9. Factors affecting seed predation of Eriotheca gracilipes (Bombacaceae) by parakeets in a cerrado fragment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francisco, Mercival R.; Lunardi, Vitor O.; Guimarães, Paulo R., Jr.; Galetti, Mauro

    2008-03-01

    Psittacids are important pre-dispersal seed predators. However, little is known about the parameters that may determine seed predation rates by these birds, such as plants' characteristics and microhabitat. Eriotheca gracilipes (Bombacaceae) is a semi-deciduous tree widely distributed in the Brazilian cerrado. The fruits are dehiscent pods and the seeds are wind-dispersed. Some individuals lose their leaves during the fruiting season, getting very conspicuous. Here we tested the hypothesis that the absence of leaves in E. gracilipes during the fruiting season may increase pre-dispersal seed predation by psittacids. We also tested the hypotheses that (1) seed predation intensity increases with increasing plant size and (2) number of fruits, (3) seed predation decreases with the increasing number of conspecific plants in a range of 15 m, and (4) seed predation intensity is lower in plants with higher vegetation cover over their crowns. The small parakeet Brotogeris versicolurus was the only species observed preying upon the seeds of E. gracilipes. The percentage of fruits damaged by the parakeets ranged from 0 to 100% (66.98 ± 43.11%, n = 72) among the different plants. Our data give weak support to the hypothesis that the absence of leaves may facilitate plants and/or fruits detection by the parakeets. However, seed predation intensity was significantly affected by crop size. The hypothesis that conspecific fruiting plants surrounding the studied individuals may reduce predation rate was not supported. Nevertheless, trees without higher vegetation cover over their crowns were significantly affected by increased seed predation. This suggests that seed predation by parakeets can be a potential selective factor influencing fruit crop sizes in E. gracilipes.

  10. Impact of seed predators on the herb Baptista lanceolata (Fabales: Fabacae).

    SciTech Connect

    Scott Horn; James L. Hanula.

    2004-09-01

    Leguminous seeds are a concentrated source of nutrition (Brashier 2000). In a nutrient-poor habitat, these seeds are important resources for many of the animal species residing there. Several insect predators are known to feed on Baptisia seeds. One such insect is Apion rostrum Say (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a weevil that feeds on seeds of several wild indigo species. Females lay eggs in developing seed pods where the larvae eat the seeds.

  11. Indirect effects of prey swamping: differential seed predation during a bamboo masting event.

    PubMed

    Kitzberger, Thomas; Chaneton, Enrique J; Caccia, Fernando

    2007-10-01

    Resource pulses often involve extraordinary increases in prey availability that "swamp" consumers and reverberate through indirect interactions affecting other community members. We developed a model that predicts predator-mediated indirect effects induced by an epidemic prey on co-occurring prey types differing in relative profitability/preference and validated our model by examining current-season and delayed effects of a bamboo mass seeding event on seed survival of canopy tree species in mixed Patagonian forests. The model shows that predator foraging behavior, prey profitability, and the scale of prey swamping influence the character and strength of short-term indirect effects on various alternative prey. When in large prey-swamped patches, nonselective predators decrease predation on all prey types. Selective predators, instead, only benefit prey of similar quality to the swamping species, while very low or high preference prey remain unaffected. Negative indirect effects (apparent competition) may override such positive effects (apparent mutualism), especially for highly preferred prey, when prey-swamped patches are small enough to allow predator aggregation and/or predators show a reproductive numerical response to elevated food supply. Seed predation patterns during bamboo (Chusquea culeou) masting were consistent with predicted short-term indirect effects mediated by a selective predator foraging in large prey-swamped patches. Bamboo seeds and similarly-sized Austrocedrus chilensis (ciprés) and Nothofagus obliqua (roble) seeds suffered lower predation in bamboo flowered than nonflowered patches. Predation rates on the small-seeded Nothofagus dombeyi (coihue) and the large-seeded Nothofagus alpina (rauli) were independent of bamboo flowering. Indirect positive effects were transient; three months after bamboo seeding, granivores preyed heavily upon all seed types, irrespective of patch flowering condition. Moreover, one year after bamboo seeding

  12. Synchrony between fruit maturation and effective dispersers' foraging activity increases seed protection against seed predators

    PubMed Central

    Boulay, Raphaël; Carro, Francisco; Soriguer, Ramón C; Cerdá, Xim

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms is conditioned by the spatial and temporal co-occurrence of animals and plants. In the present study we explore the timing of seed release of a myrmecochorous plant (Helleborus foetidus) and ant activity in two populations in southern Spain during 2 consecutive years. The results indicate that fruit dehiscence and seed shedding occur mostly in the morning and correspond to the period of maximum foraging activity of the most effective ant dispersers. By contrast, ant species that do not transport seeds and/or that do not abound near the plants are active either before or after H. foetidus diaspores are released. Experimental analysis of diet preference for three kinds of food shows that effective ant dispersers are mostly scavengers that readily feed on insect corpses and sugars. Artificial seed depots suggest that seeds deposited on the ground out of the natural daily time window of diaspore releasing are not removed by ants and suffer strong predation by nocturnal rodents Apodemus sylvaticus. Nevertheless, important inter-annual variations in rodent populations cast doubts on their real importance as selection agents. We argue that traits allowing synchrony between seed presentation and effective partners may constitute a crucial pre-adaptation for the evolution of plant–animal mutualisms involving numerous animal partners. PMID:17698486

  13. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Ryan P; Arnold, Paige M; Michaels, Helen J

    2014-01-01

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  14. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Ryan P.; Arnold, Paige M.; Michaels, Helen J.

    2014-01-01

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  15. Seed dispersal and predation of Buchenavia tomentosa Eichler (Combretaceae) in a Cerrado sensu stricto, midwest Brazil.

    PubMed

    Farias, J; Sanchez, M; Abreu, M F; Pedroni, F

    2015-11-01

    The ecology of seed dispersal is critical to understand the patterns of distribution and abundance of plant species. We investigated seed dispersal aspects associated with the high abundance of Buchenavia tomentosa in the Serra Azul State Park (PESA). We estimated fruit production and conducted fruit removal experiments. We carried out diurnal and nocturnal observations on frugivory as well as germination tests. Fruiting occurred in the dry season and totaled 1,365,015 ± 762,670 fruits.ha-1. B. tomentosa fruits were utilized by eight animal species. The lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) was considered the main seed disperser. Leafcutter ants (Atta laevigata and Atta sexdens) participated in the seed cleaning and occasionally dispersed seeds. The beetle Amblycerus insuturatus, blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) and red-and-green macaw (Ara chloropterus) were considered pre-dispersal seed predators. The seeds manually cleaned presented higher germination rate (100%) and speed index (4.2 seeds.d-1) than that of seeds with pulp. Germination of seeds found in tapirs'feces was 40%, while for the seeds without pulp it was 25%. The high abundance of B. tomentosa in the cerrado of PESA may be due to massive fruit production, low rates of seed predation, and efficient seed dispersal by tapirs, occurring before the rains which promote germination and recruitment of this species. PMID:26602355

  16. Indirect interactions among tropical tree species through shared rodent seed predators: a novel mechanism of tree species coexistence.

    PubMed

    Garzon-Lopez, Carol X; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Ordoñez, Alejandro; Bohlman, Stephanie A; Olff, Han; Jansen, Patrick A

    2015-08-01

    The coexistence of numerous tree species in tropical forests is commonly explained by negative dependence of recruitment on the conspecific seed and tree density due to specialist natural enemies that attack seeds and seedlings ('Janzen-Connell' effects). Less known is whether guilds of shared seed predators can induce a negative dependence of recruitment on the density of different species of the same plant functional group. We studied 54 plots in tropical forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, with contrasting mature tree densities of three coexisting large seeded tree species with shared seed predators. Levels of seed predation were far better explained by incorporating seed densities of all three focal species than by conspecific seed density alone. Both positive and negative density dependencies were observed for different species combinations. Thus, indirect interactions via shared seed predators can either promote or reduce the coexistence of different plant functional groups in tropical forest. PMID:25939379

  17. Scatterhoarding rodents favor higher predation risks for cache sites: The potential for predators to influence the seed dispersal process.

    PubMed

    Steele, Michael A; Rompré, Ghislain; Stratford, Jeffrey A; Zhang, Hongmao; Suchocki, Matthew; Marino, Shealyn

    2015-05-01

    Scatterhoarding rodents often place caches in the open where pilferage rates are reduced, suggesting that they tradeoff higher risks of predation for more secure cache sites. We tested this hypothesis in two study systems by measuring predation risks inferred from measures of giving-up densities (GUDs) at known cache sites and other sites for comparison. Rodent GUDs were measured with small trays containing 3 L of fine sand mixed with sunflower seeds. In the first experiment, we relied on a 2-year seed dispersal study in a natural forest to identify caches of eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and then measured GUDs at: (i) these caches; (ii) comparable points along logs and rocks where rodent activity was assumed highest; and (iii) a set of random points. We found that GUDs and, presumably, predation risks, were higher at both cache and random points than those with cover. At the second site, we measured GUDs of eastern gray squirrels in an open park system and found that GUDs were consistently lowest at the base of the tree compared to more open sites, where previous studies show caching by squirrels to be highest and pilferage rates by naïve competitors to be lowest. These results confirm that predation risks can influence scatterhoarding decisions but that they are also highly context dependent, and that the landscape of fear, now so well documented in the literature, could potentially shape the temporal and spatial patterns of seedling establishment and forest regeneration in systems where scatterhoarding is common. PMID:25827710

  18. Seed predation by insects in tropical mangrove forests: extent and effects on seed viability and the growth of seedlings.

    PubMed

    Robertson, A I; Giddins, R; Smith, T J

    1990-06-01

    Although insects are known to be important seed predators in most terrestrial forests, their role in marine tidal (mangrove) forests has not been examined. Surveys at 12 sites in tropical Australia showed that between 3.1 and 92.7 percent of the seeds or propagules of 12 mangrove tree species had been attacked by insects. Seeds/propagules of six species (Avicennia marina, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, B. parviflora, Heritiera littoralis, Xylocarpus australasicus and X. granatum) showed consistently high (>40%) levels of insect damage. Greater than 99% of H. littoralis seeds were attacked by insect predators. The survival and subsequent growth in height and biomass of insect-damaged and non-damaged control seeds/propagules of eight mangrove species were compared in shadehouse experiments. Mangrove species fell into 4 groups with regard to the effect of insect predators on their seeds and seedlings. Xylocarpus australasicus and X. granatum had significantly decreased survival (X 48 and 70%) and growth in height (X 61 and 96%) and biomass (X 66 and 85%). Bruguiera parviflora showed decreased survival (X 59%), but there was no effect of insects on the growth of surviving propagules. In contrast, there was no effect of insect damage on the survival of seedlings of Avicennia marina and Bruguiera exaristata, but decreased growth in height (X 22 and 25%) and biomass (X 22 and 26%). Survival and growth of seedlings of Rhizophora stylosa and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza were not affected. The influence of insect seed predators on the survival and growth of seeds of mangrove species in forests will depend on the relative abundance of seed-eating crabs and intertidal position in mangrove forests. PMID:22160114

  19. Advantages of masting in European beech: timing of granivore satiation and benefits of seed caching support the predator dispersal hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Zwolak, Rafał; Bogdziewicz, Michał; Wróbel, Aleksandra; Crone, Elizabeth E

    2016-03-01

    The predator satiation and predator dispersal hypotheses provide alternative explanations for masting. Both assume satiation of seed-eating vertebrates. They differ in whether satiation occurs before or after seed removal and caching by granivores (predator satiation and predator dispersal, respectively). This difference is largely unrecognized, but it is demographically important because cached seeds are dispersed and often have a microsite advantage over nondispersed seeds. We conducted rodent exclosure experiments in two mast and two nonmast years to test predictions of the predator dispersal hypothesis in our study system of yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Specifically, we tested whether the fraction of seeds removed from the forest floor is similar during mast and nonmast years (i.e., lack of satiation before seed caching), whether masting decreases the removal of cached seeds (i.e., satiation after seed storage), and whether seed caching increases the probability of seedling emergence. We found that masting did not result in satiation at the seed removal stage. However, masting decreased the removal of cached seeds, and seed caching dramatically increased the probability of seedling emergence relative to noncached seeds. European beech thus benefits from masting through the satiation of scatterhoarders that occurs only after seeds are removed and cached. Although these findings do not exclude other evolutionary advantages of beech masting, they indicate that fitness benefits of masting extend beyond the most commonly considered advantages of predator satiation and increased pollination efficiency. PMID:26612728

  20. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators

    PubMed Central

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N.; Spiesman, Brian J.; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation. PMID:27271673

  1. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators.

    PubMed

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N; Spiesman, Brian J; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation. PMID:27271673

  2. Insect seed predation as a factor in Italian ryegrass persistence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Italian ryegrass can be a productive and high-quality cool-season forage. However, as an annual, it does not form a persistent seed bank and needs to be managed to produce sufficient seed for effective re-establishment. Before the re-seeding dynamics of Italian ryegrass can be modeled, an underst...

  3. Predation of warm-and cool-season grass seed by the common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In field experiments we noted that one of the main predators of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) seed was the field cricket (Gryllus sp.). To determine if there might be a seed predation preference among forage grasses a laboratory study was ...

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of carbaryl-bran bait on trap catch and seed predation by ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

    PubMed

    Fielding, Dennis J; DeFoliart, Linda S; Hagerty, Aaron M

    2013-04-01

    Carbaryl-bran bait is effective against grasshoppers without many impacts on nontarget organisms, but ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) may be susceptible to these baits. Carabids are beneficial in agricultural settings as predators of insect pests and weed seeds. Carabid species and their consumption of weed seeds have not been previously studied in agricultural settings in Alaska. This study examined the effect of grasshopper bran bait on carabid activity-density, as measured by pitfall trap catches, and subsequent predation by invertebrates of seeds of three species of weed. Data were collected in fallow fields in agricultural landscape in the interior of Alaska, near Delta Junction, in 2008 and 2010. Bait applications reduced ground beetle activity-density by over half in each of 2 yr of bait applications. Seed predation was generally low overall (1-10%/wk) and not strongly affected by the bait application, but predation of lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.) seed was lower on treated plots in 1 yr (340 seeds recovered versus 317 seeds, on treated versus untreated plots, respectively). Predation of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale G. H. Weber ex Wiggers) seeds was correlated with ground beetle activity-density in 1 yr, and predation of dragonhead mint (Dracocephalum parvifolium Nutt.) seed in the other year. We conclude that applications of carbaryl-bran bait for control of grasshoppers will have only a small, temporary effect on weed seed populations in high-latitude agricultural ecosystems. PMID:23786053

  6. Effects of carbaryl-bran bait on trap-catch and seed predation by ground beetles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Carbaryl-bran bait is effective against grasshoppers without many impacts on non-target organisms, but ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) may be susceptible to these baits. Carabids are beneficial in agricultural settings as predators of insect pests and weed seeds. Carabid species composition a...

  7. Preferential predation of cool season grass seed by the common cricket (Acheta domesticus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To determine if there might be a seed predation preference among forage grasses a laboratory study was conducted using the common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.). Six cool-season grasses were selected and feeding studies were conducted over a three day period. The study was designed as a randomized ...

  8. 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...

  9. [Predation, removal and seed dispersal in a wetland dominated by palms (Arecaceae)].

    PubMed

    Myers, Ronald L

    2013-09-01

    In the Tortuguero floodplains, Costa Rica, a significant number of trees such as Carapa guianensis, Pentaclethra mnacroloba and the palm Manicaria saccifera have floating seeds adapted to hydrocory, while others, such as the almendro Dipteryx oleifera and the raffia palm Raphia taedigera have heavy seeds that do not float. These species have differential distributions, and while C. guianensis, P macroloba and D. oleifera also grow on slopes away from the flood, the palms M saccifera and R. taedigera hardly occur outside the swamps, where they stand as the dominant species. To understand the differences in the micro-distribution of these tree species in waterlogged environments and differences in their seed adaptations, I did a series of experiments to compare the loss and germination of their seeds in the slope forest and in palm swamps in the region. Overall, seeds in the forest slope have higher removal rates than those in the M. saccifera and R. taedigera swamps. This last one exhibits the lowest seed loss of all three habitats. Also, differences in seed predation/removal were noticed between the two species of palms studied. Thus, seeds of M saccifera disappeared rapidly, regardless of density aggregation and location in the swamp. Removal rates in R. taedigera seeds were low in the raffia dominated swamp, where apparently, seed losses are slightly higher in the mounds of palm clumps than in the swamp floor. These observations suggest that both: flooding and microtopography determine, directly or indirectly, the fate of tree species within these wetlands. Restrictions on seed dispersal and the slow germination confine R. taedigera marshes and flooded places, whereas flooding and predators mediate in the distribution of the other tree species. PMID:24459753

  10. When condition trumps location: seed consumption by fruit-eating birds removes pathogens and predator attractants.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Simon, Melissa J; Reagan, Karen M; Levey, Douglas J; Riffell, Jeffrey A; Carlo, Tomás A; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2013-08-01

    Seed ingestion by frugivorous vertebrates commonly benefits plants by moving seeds to locations with fewer predators and pathogens than under the parent. For plants with high local population densities, however, movement from the parent plant is unlikely to result in 'escape' from predators and pathogens. Changes to seed condition caused by gut passage may also provide benefits, yet are rarely evaluated as an alternative. Here, we use a common bird-dispersed chilli pepper (Capsicum chacoense) to conduct the first experimental comparison of escape-related benefits to condition-related benefits of animal-mediated seed dispersal. Within chilli populations, seeds dispersed far from parent plants gained no advantage from escape alone, but seed consumption by birds increased seed survival by 370% - regardless of dispersal distance - due to removal during gut passage of fungal pathogens and chemical attractants to granivores. These results call into question the pre-eminence of escape as the primary advantage of dispersal within populations and document two overlooked mechanisms by which frugivores can benefit fruiting plants. PMID:23786453

  11. When condition trumps location: seed consumption by fruit-eating birds removes pathogens and predator attractants

    PubMed Central

    Fricke, Evan C; Simon, Melissa J; Reagan, Karen M; Levey, Douglas J; Riffell, Jeffrey A; Carlo, Tomás A; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2013-01-01

    Seed ingestion by frugivorous vertebrates commonly benefits plants by moving seeds to locations with fewer predators and pathogens than under the parent. For plants with high local population densities, however, movement from the parent plant is unlikely to result in ‘escape’ from predators and pathogens. Changes to seed condition caused by gut passage may also provide benefits, yet are rarely evaluated as an alternative. Here, we use a common bird-dispersed chilli pepper (Capsicum chacoense) to conduct the first experimental comparison of escape-related benefits to condition-related benefits of animal-mediated seed dispersal. Within chilli populations, seeds dispersed far from parent plants gained no advantage from escape alone, but seed consumption by birds increased seed survival by 370% – regardless of dispersal distance – due to removal during gut passage of fungal pathogens and chemical attractants to granivores. These results call into question the pre-eminence of escape as the primary advantage of dispersal within populations and document two overlooked mechanisms by which frugivores can benefit fruiting plants. PMID:23786453

  12. 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

  13. Pre-Dispersal Seed Predation in a Species-Rich Forest Community: Patterns and the Interplay with Determinants.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yue; Shen, Zehao; Li, Daoxin; Guo, Qinfeng

    2015-01-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP) is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community-level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal variability of seed production and PDSP remain elusive. In this study, the community seed rain of woody plants in a mixed evergreen-deciduous broadleaf forest was monitored for seven years. We examined predation on collected seeds and analyzed the determinants of PDSP. PDSP was recorded in 17 out of 44 woody plant species, and three-quarters of PDSP was due to insect predators. Annual seed production varied substantially at community level, reversely linked with the temporal variation of PDSP rate. The PDSP rate was biased regarding fruit types, and being significantly correlated with seed mass when using phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs) or without taking into account phylogenetic relations, especially for nuts. PDSP rate was also negatively correlated with seed density, showing a threshold-related predator satiation effect. The community-level PDSP rate was primarily determined by tree height, fruit type, and interannual variation of seed production and seed mass. Our analysis revealed a causal link between seed production and the dynamics of PDSP rate at the community level. The predator satiation effect was primarily contributed by the dominant species, whereas the rare species seemed to apply a distinct "hide-and-seek" strategy to control the risk of PDSP. The mechanistic difference of seed production between the common and rare species can shed new light on species coexistence and community assembly. Long-term monitoring of both seed rain and seed predation is required for understanding the ecological and evolutionary implications of species regeneration strategies in a species-rich forest community. PMID:26575270

  14. Pre-Dispersal Seed Predation in a Species-Rich Forest Community: Patterns and the Interplay with Determinants

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yue; Shen, Zehao; Li, Daoxin; Guo, Qinfeng

    2015-01-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP) is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community-level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal variability of seed production and PDSP remain elusive. In this study, the community seed rain of woody plants in a mixed evergreen-deciduous broadleaf forest was monitored for seven years. We examined predation on collected seeds and analyzed the determinants of PDSP. PDSP was recorded in 17 out of 44 woody plant species, and three-quarters of PDSP was due to insect predators. Annual seed production varied substantially at community level, reversely linked with the temporal variation of PDSP rate. The PDSP rate was biased regarding fruit types, and being significantly correlated with seed mass when using phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs) or without taking into account phylogenetic relations, especially for nuts. PDSP rate was also negatively correlated with seed density, showing a threshold-related predator satiation effect. The community-level PDSP rate was primarily determined by tree height, fruit type, and interannual variation of seed production and seed mass. Our analysis revealed a causal link between seed production and the dynamics of PDSP rate at the community level. The predator satiation effect was primarily contributed by the dominant species, whereas the rare species seemed to apply a distinct “hide-and-seek” strategy to control the risk of PDSP. The mechanistic difference of seed production between the common and rare species can shed new light on species coexistence and community assembly. Long-term monitoring of both seed rain and seed predation is required for understanding the ecological and evolutionary implications of species regeneration strategies in a species-rich forest community. PMID:26575270

  15. Seed harvester ants (Polonomyrmex rugosus) as "pulse" predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed harvesting ants, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, collected grass cicadas at a high rate (>5 min-1 taken into the nest) at one location where cicada emergence exceeded 3m-2. Dry conditions in the winter-spring resulted in no annual plants in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. P. rugosus colonies were inactiv...

  16. Endophyte status of tall fescue (festuca arundinacea) affects seed predation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In a preliminary study seed of a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) variety ‘Jesup’ without endophyte were consumed at a slightly higher rate by common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.) in a standard feeding trial than the same fescue variety with the endophyte. Although, the preference for the...

  17. Multiple infestation by seed predators: the effect of loculate fruits on intraspecific insect larval competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrano, José M.; Delgado, Juan A.; López, Francisco; Acosta, Francisco J.; Fungairiño, Sara G.

    2001-06-01

    Many morphological features of fruits are important factors affecting predispersal seed predation by insects. This paper analyses the predispersal seed predation process of a major predator (a Noctuidae lepidopteran larvae) in loculate fruits of a bushy perennial plant, Cistus ladanifer. The main aim of the study is to assess the potential effect of internal valvae (which partition groups of seeds) in the intraspecific competition between larvae in multiple-infested fruits. Our results show that larvae do not reject already infested fruits, but they avoid the proximity of other larvae within the fruit, keeping an average minimum distance of one locule. In multiple-infested fruits, larval mortality increases and the proportion of seeds consumed by each larvae decreases. In those situations in which valvae keep apart larvae within a fruit, these only suffer the cost of exploitation competition with a low acquisition of resources. However, when all valvae between them are pierced by the larvae, competition switches to an interference component and larval mortality increases markedly. The existence of valvae within a fruit allows larvae to diminish the cost of intraspecific competition, obtaining high life expectancies (70%), even in triple-infested fruits.

  18. Beach almond (Terminalia catappa, Combretaceae) seed production and predation by scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides).

    PubMed

    Henn, Jonathan J; McCoy, Michael B; Vaughan, Christopher S

    2014-09-01

    Knowledge of ecological impacts of exotic beach almond (Terminalia catappa) in the central Pacific of Costa Rica are little known, but studies have found this species to be a potentially important food source for endangered scarlet macaws (Ara macao). In this study, reproductive phenology and seed predation by variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides) and scarlet macaws were measured during March and April 2011 on beaches of central Pacific coastal Costa Rica. Seed productivity and predation levels were quantified on a weekly basis for 111 beach almond trees to assess the importance of beach almond as a food source for scarlet macaws and the extent of resource partitioning between seed predators. Seed production of the trees was great (about 194 272 seeds) and approximately 67% of seeds were predated by seed predators. Macaws consumed an estimated 49% of seeds while squirrels consumed 18%. Additionally, evidence of resource partitioning between squirrels and macaws was found. Scarlet macaws preferred to feed on the northern side and edge of the canopy while squirrels preferred to feed on the southern and inside parts of the canopy. Both species ate most seeds on the ocean side of the tree. Despite the status of this tree as an exotic species, the beach almond appears to be an important resource for scarlet macaw population recovery. The resource produced by this tree should be taken into account as reforestation efforts continue in Costa Rica. PMID:25412525

  19. Seed Predators, not Herbivores, Exert Natural Selection on Solidago spp. in an Urban Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Bode, R F; Gilbert, A B

    2016-02-01

    The effects of urbanization on biodiversity are well established, as a growing city will reduce the size and diversity of patches of native plants. Recolonization of old patches and discovery of new ones by arthropod herbivores should occur as predicted by island biogeography theory. Although colonization represents an increase in biodiversity, such arrivals may exert new forms of natural selection on plants through herbivory and seed predation. Using a single species of old-field aster (Solidago altissima L.), we found that the level of natural selection by seed predators and herbivores follows patterns of island biogeography, with lower amounts of damage on smaller islands, where there are fewer species, and hypothetically smaller populations of arthropods. We also found that in an urban system, levels of herbivory are far below the tolerance levels of Solidago, and that seed predators are likely to be the only arthropod to cause reduced fitness. The pattern seen also implies that as a patch of Solidago grows through clonal expansion, it will come under higher selective pressure. PMID:26494854

  20. Fruit production and predispersal seed fall and predation in Rhamnus alaternus (Rhamnaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bas, Josep M.; Gómez, Crisanto; Pons, Pere

    2005-03-01

    In the reproductive cycle of fleshy-fruited plants, and before the seeds are dispersed, some fruits fall down or are predated on the branches. Here, we study the predispersal biology of Rhamnus alaternus in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula over a 4-year period. Specifically, we examined fruit production, fructification and the phenology of ripening, together with the causes and the consequences of the predispersal loss in female plants. In addition, we evaluated the influence of the biometric traits and the spatial distribution of plants with regard to these aspects. The total estimated fruit production and fruiting phenology varied between localities and years, and there was no relation either to the plant biometry or to the spatial situation. The ripening period was between April and August, with a mean period of fruit permanence on the branches of 102 days. The maximum presence of ripe fruits was from early June to July, 54 days in average after fruit ripening began. The interaction of animals with the fruits has four important consequences: (a) losses in the initial production due to depredation of seeds, mainly by rodents; (b) direct fall of fruit and seeds under the cover of the female plants due to invertebrate predators of pulp; (c) reduction of the period of fruit availability on the branches; and (d) reduction of the proportion of ripe fruits on branches. In summary, the number of seeds available to be dispersed by frugivorous vertebrates is considerably reduced as a consequence of predispersal effects.

  1. Nut predation and dispersal of Harland Tanoak Lithocarpus harlandii by scatter-hoarding rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Zhibin

    2006-03-01

    Plants that use the propagule to co-opt animals as dispersal agents must balance the costs of seed predation with the benefits of dispersal. Successful post-dispersal germination is a key metric that reflects these costs and benefits. By tracking individual nuts with coded tin-tags over 3 years (2000-2003), this study quantified nut predation and dispersal of harland tanoak ( Lithocarpus harlandii) by seed-caching rodents in a subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in the Duiangyan Region of Sichuan Province, Southwest China. We found that tanoak seedlings established from rodent-generated caches in the primary stands over a 12-month post-dispersal period. Our results indicate that seed-caching rodents are effective dispersers of tanoak nuts, but dispersal effectiveness varies among years and stands, probably due to mast seeding of harland tanoak or community-level seed availability according to the predator satiation hypothesis. Some nut traits in tanoak species, e.g. large seed size, hard nut husk, lower tannin and mast seeding, are important characteristics for seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents, compared with oak species with higher tannin content.

  2. 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…

  3. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine

    PubMed Central

    Tella, José L.; Dénes, Francisco V.; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P.; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved. PMID:27546381

  4. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Dénes, Francisco V; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved. PMID:27546381

  5. Cheating on the mutualistic contract: nutritional gain through seed predation in the frugivorous bat Chiroderma villosum (Phyllostomidae).

    PubMed

    Wagner, Insa; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Tschapka, Marco

    2015-04-01

    Most frugivorous bats are efficient seed dispersers, as they typically do not damage seeds and transport them over long distances. In contrast, bats of the phyllostomid genus Chiroderma cheat fig trees by acting more as seed predators than as seed dispersers. The bats initially separate seeds from fruit pulp in the mouth. After extracting the juice from the fruit pulp, they thoroughly chew the seeds and spit out small seed fragments in a pellet. Consequently, the faeces contain almost no viable seeds. We compared the nutrient content of intact fig seeds with ejecta and faecal samples from both Chiroderma villosum and the 'conventional' frugivorous bat Artibeus watsoni. We show that C. villosum can extract nutrients from the seeds, especially protein and fat. The processing time of figs showed no significant difference between the two bat species. Food-choice experiments showed that C. villosum preferred fig species with more seeds over those with fewer seeds. This preference, in combination with the specialized seed-chewing behaviour, leads to an increased nutrient intake per fig. This unique strategy enables C. villosum to satisfy its nutritional requirements with a lower number of figs than other species, which decreases the amount of energy necessary for foraging flights as well as the predation risk during foraging. PMID:25833133

  6. 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

  7. Flowering schedule in a perennial plant; life-history trade-offs, seed predation, and total offspring fitness.

    PubMed

    Ehrlén, Johan; Raabova, Jana; Dahlgren, Johan P

    2015-08-01

    Optimal timing of reproduction within a season may be influenced by several abiotic and biotic factors. These factors sometimes affect different components of fitness, making assessments of net selection difficult. We used estimates of offspring fitness to examine how pre-dispersal seed predation influences selection on flowering schedule in an herb with a bimodal flowering pattern, Actaea spicata. Within individuals, seeds from flowers on early terminal inflorescences had a higher germination rate and produced larger seedlings than seeds from flowers on late basal inflorescences. Reproductive value, estimated using demographic integral projection models and accounting for size-dependent differences in future performance, was two times higher for intact seeds from early flowers than for seeds from late flowers. Fruits from late flowers were, however, much more likely to escape seed predation than fruits from early flowers. Reproductive values of early and late flowers balanced at a predation intensity of 63%. Across 15 natural populations, the strength of selection for allocation to late flowers was positively correlated with mean seed predation intensity. Our results suggest that the optimal shape of the flowering schedule, in terms of the allocation between early and late flowers, is determined by the trade-off between offspring number and quality, and that variation in antagonistic interactions among populations influences the balancing of this trade-off. At the same time they illustrate that phenotypic selection analyses that fail to account for differences in offspring fitness might be misleading. PMID:26405752

  8. Yucca brevifolia fruit production, predispersal seed predation, and fruit removal by rodents during two years of contrasting reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borchert, Mark I.; DeFalco, Lesley

    2016-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The distribution of Yucca brevifolia, a keystone species of the Mojave Desert, may contract with climate change, yet reproduction and dispersal are poorly understood. We tracked reproduction, seed predation, and fruit dispersal for two years and discuss whether Y. brevifolia is a masting species. METHODS: Fruit maturation, seed predation (larval yucca moths), and fruit dispersal (rodents) were monitored on a random sample of panicles during 2013 and 2014, which were years of high and low reproduction, respectively. Fates of fruits placed on the ground and in canopies were also tracked. Rodents were live-trapped to assess abundance and species composition. KEY RESULTS: In 2013, 66% of inflorescences produced fruit of which 53% escaped larval predation; 19.5% of seeds were destroyed in infested fruits. Total seed production was estimated to be >100 times greater in 2013 than 2014. One-third of the fruit crop fell to the ground and was removed by rodents over the course of 120 d. After ground fruits became scarce, rodents exploited canopy fruits. Rodent numbers were low in 2013, so fruits remained in canopies for 370 d. In 2014, fruit production was approximately 20% lower. Larvae infested the majority of fruits, and almost twice the number of seeds were damaged. Fruits were exploited by rodents within 65 d. CONCLUSIONS: High fertilization, prolific seed production, and low predispersal predation in 2013 suggests that pollinator attraction and satiation of seed predators influence masting in Y. brevifolia. Abundant, prolonged fruit availability to seed-dispersing rodents likely extends recruitment opportunities during mast years.

  9. Past agricultural land use and present-day fire regimes can interact to determine the nature of seed predation.

    PubMed

    Stuhler, John D; Orrock, John L

    2016-06-01

    Historical agriculture and present-day fire regimes can have significant effects on contemporary ecosystems. Although past agricultural land use can lead to long-term changes in plant communities, it remains unclear whether these persistent land-use legacies alter plant-consumer interactions, such as seed predation, and whether contemporary disturbance (e.g., fire) alters the effects of historical agriculture on these interactions. We conducted a study at 27 sites distributed across 80,300 ha in post-agricultural and non-agricultural longleaf pine woodlands with different degrees of fire frequency to test the hypothesis that past and present-day disturbances that alter plant communities can subsequently alter seed predation. We quantified seed removal by arthropods and rodents for Tephrosia virginiana and Vernonia angustifolia, species of conservation interest. We found that the effects of land-use history and fire frequency on seed removal were contingent on granivore guild and microhabitat characteristics. Tephrosia virginiana removal was greater in low fire frequency sites, due to greater seed removal by rodents. Although overall removal of V. angustifolia did not differ among habitats, rodents removed more seeds than arthropods at post-agricultural sites and non-agricultural sites with low fire frequencies, but not at non-agricultural sites with high fire frequencies. Land-use history and fire frequency also affected the relationship between microhabitat characteristics and removal of V. angustifolia. Our results suggest that historical agriculture and present-day fire regimes may alter seed predation by shifting the impact of rodent and arthropod seed predators among habitats, with potential consequences for the establishment of rare plant species consumed by one or both predators. PMID:26905418

  10. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer

    PubMed Central

    Talluto, Matthew V.; Benkman, Craig W.

    2014-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  11. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer.

    PubMed

    Talluto, Matthew V; Benkman, Craig W

    2014-07-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  12. Tracking Seed Fates of Tropical Tree Species: Evidence for Seed Caching in a Tropical Forest in North-East India

    PubMed Central

    Sidhu, Swati; Datta, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that varied in seed size and followed the fates of 10,777 tagged seeds. We used camera traps to determine the identity of rodent visitors, visitation rates and their seed-handling behavior. Seeds of all tree species were handled by at least one rodent taxon. Overall rates of seed removal (44.5%) were much higher than direct on-site seed predation (9.9%), but seed-handling behavior differed between the terrestrial rodent groups: two species of murid rodents removed and cached seeds, and two species of porcupines were on-site seed predators. In addition, a true cricket, Brachytrupes sp., cached seeds of three species underground. We found 309 caches formed by the rodents and the cricket; most were single-seeded (79%) and seeds were moved up to 19 m. Over 40% of seeds were re-cached from primary cache locations, while about 12% germinated in the primary caches. Seed removal rates varied widely amongst tree species, from 3% in Beilschmiedia assamica to 97% in Actinodaphne obovata. Seed predation was observed in nine species. Chisocheton cumingianus (57%) and Prunus ceylanica (25%) had moderate levels of seed predation while the remaining species had less than 10% seed predation. We hypothesized that seed traits that provide information on resource quantity would influence rodent choice of a seed, while traits that determine resource accessibility would influence whether seeds are removed or eaten. Removal rates significantly decreased (p < 0.001) while predation rates increased (p = 0

  13. Tracking Seed Fates of Tropical Tree Species: Evidence for Seed Caching in a Tropical Forest in North-East India.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Swati; Datta, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that varied in seed size and followed the fates of 10,777 tagged seeds. We used camera traps to determine the identity of rodent visitors, visitation rates and their seed-handling behavior. Seeds of all tree species were handled by at least one rodent taxon. Overall rates of seed removal (44.5%) were much higher than direct on-site seed predation (9.9%), but seed-handling behavior differed between the terrestrial rodent groups: two species of murid rodents removed and cached seeds, and two species of porcupines were on-site seed predators. In addition, a true cricket, Brachytrupes sp., cached seeds of three species underground. We found 309 caches formed by the rodents and the cricket; most were single-seeded (79%) and seeds were moved up to 19 m. Over 40% of seeds were re-cached from primary cache locations, while about 12% germinated in the primary caches. Seed removal rates varied widely amongst tree species, from 3% in Beilschmiedia assamica to 97% in Actinodaphne obovata. Seed predation was observed in nine species. Chisocheton cumingianus (57%) and Prunus ceylanica (25%) had moderate levels of seed predation while the remaining species had less than 10% seed predation. We hypothesized that seed traits that provide information on resource quantity would influence rodent choice of a seed, while traits that determine resource accessibility would influence whether seeds are removed or eaten. Removal rates significantly decreased (p < 0.001) while predation rates increased (p = 0

  14. Direct and indirect selection on floral pigmentation by pollinators and seed predators in a color polymorphic South African shrub.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Jane E; Holsinger, Kent E

    2013-04-01

    The coexistence of different color morphs is often attributed to variable selection pressures across space, time, morph frequencies, or selection agents, but the routes by which each morph is favored are rarely identified. In this study we investigated factors that influence floral color polymorphisms on a local scale in Protea, within which approximately 40% of species are polymorphic. Previous work shows that seed predators and reproductive differences likely contribute to maintaining polymorphism in four Protea species. We explored whether selection acts directly or indirectly on floral color in two populations of Protea aurea, using path analysis of pollinator behavior, nectar production, seed predation, color, morphology, and maternal fecundity fitness components. We found that avian pollinators spent more time on white morphs, likely due to nectar differences, but that this had no apparent consequences for fecundity. Instead, the number of flowers per inflorescence underpinned many of the reproductively important differences between color morphs. White morphs had more flowers per inflorescence, which itself was positively correlated with nectar production, seed predator occurrence, and total long-term seed production. The number of seeds per plant to survive predation, in contrast, was not directly associated with color or any other floral trait. Thus, although color differences may be associated with conflicting selection pressures, the selection appears to be associated with the number of flowers per inflorescence and its unmeasured correlates, rather than with inflorescence color itself. PMID:23007806

  15. Seed predation and fruit damage of Solanum lycocarpum (Solanaceae) by rodents in the cerrado of central Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briani and, Denis C., Jr.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2007-01-01

    Although neotropical savannas and grasslands, collectively referred to as cerrado, are rich in seed-eating species of rodents, little is known about seed predation and its determinants in this habitat. In this study, we investigated seed predation and damage to fruits of the widespread shrub Solanum lycocarpum. In addition, the influence of two possible determinants (distance from the parental plant and total crop size) on the feeding behaviour of Oryzomys scotti (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae) was also examined. O. scotti were captured more frequently close to the shrubs or on shrub crops, indicating that these rodents were attracted to the shrubs and that seed predation was probably distance-dependent. Moreover, the proportion of damaged fruit on the plant decreased as the total crop size increased; consequently, more productive plants were attacked proportionally less by rodents. This pattern of fruit damage may reflect predator satiation caused by the consumption of a large amount of pulp. Alternatively, secondary metabolites in S. lycocarpum fruits may reduce the pulp consumption per feeding event, thereby limiting the number of fruits damaged.

  16. 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...

  17. Emergence of ratio-dependent and predator-dependent functional responses for pollination mutualism and seed parasitism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Holland, J. Nathaniel

    2006-01-01

    Prey (N) dependence [g(N)], predator (P) dependence [g(P) or g(N,P)], and ratio dependence [f(P/N)] are often seen as contrasting forms of the predator's functional response describing predator consumption rates on prey resources in predator–prey and parasitoid–host interactions. Analogously, prey-, predator-, and ratio-dependent functional responses are apparently alternative functional responses for other types of consumer–resource interactions. These include, for example, the fraction of flowers pollinated or seeds parasitized in pollination (pre-dispersal) seed-parasitism mutualisms, such as those between fig wasps and fig trees or yucca moths and yucca plants. Here we examine the appropriate functional responses for how the fraction of flowers pollinated and seeds parasitized vary with the density of pollinators (predator dependence) or the ratio of pollinator and flower densities (ratio dependence). We show that both types of functional responses can emerge from minor, but biologically important variations on a single model. An individual-based model was first used to describe plant–pollinator interactions. Conditional upon on whether the number of flowers visited by the pollinator was limited by factors other than search time (e.g., by the number of eggs it had to lay, if it was also a seed parasite), and on whether the pollinator could directly find flowers on a plant, or had to search, the simulation results lead to either a predator-dependent or a ratio-dependent functional response. An analytic model was then used to show mathematically how these two cases can arise.

  18. Effects of pollen load, parasitoids and the environment on pre-dispersal seed predation in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora.

    PubMed

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-11-01

    Few studies have simultaneously addressed the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on pre-dispersal seed predation (PSP). Plant-seed predator interactions may be influenced by natural enemies and pollinators (the latter through changes in fruit or seed traits), and the activity of pre-dispersal seed predators and their natural enemies may both be affected by the abiotic environment. Additionally, in the case of cleistogamous plants with fruit dimorphism, PSP may be biased towards larger and more seeded chasmogamous (CH) fruits [relative to the smaller cleistogamous (CL) fruits], and the effects of biotic and abiotic factors may be contingent upon this fruit dimorphism. We studied PSP in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora using a split-plot experimental design and asked the following: (1) is PSP biased towards CH fruits and is there an effect of pollen load on PSP? (2) Do parasitoids influence PSP and is their effect influenced by pollen load or fruit type? And (3) do light and water availability modify PSP and parasitoid effects? PSP was higher for CH relative to CL fruits, and under low water availability it was lower for pollen-supplemented CH fruits relative to open-pollinated CH fruits. Parasitoids were not influenced by abiotic conditions, but their negative effect on PSP was stronger for pollen-supplemented CH fruits. Overall, we show that fruit dimorphism, abiotic factors and natural enemies affect PSP, and that these effects can be non-additive. PMID:23576106

  19. Interspecific and annual variation in pre-dispersal seed predation by a granivorous bird in two East Asian hackberries, Celtis biondii and Celtis sinensis.

    PubMed

    Yoshikawa, T; Masaki, T; Isagi, Y; Kikuzawa, K

    2012-05-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation by granivorous birds has potential to limit fruit removal and subsequent seed dispersal by legitimate avian seed dispersers in bird-dispersed plants, especially when the birds form flocks. We monitored pre-dispersal seed predation by the Japanese grosbeak, Eophona personata, of two bird-dispersed hackberry species (Cannabaceae), Celtis biondii (four trees) and Celtis sinensis (10 trees), for 3 years (2005, 2007 and 2008) in a fragmented forest in temperate Japan. Throughout the 3 years, predation was more intense on C. biondii, which, as a consequence, lost a larger part of its fruit crop. Grosbeaks preferred C. biondii seeds that had a comparatively lower energy content and lower hardness than C. sinensis, suggesting an association between seed hardness and selective foraging by grosbeaks. In C. biondii, intensive predation markedly reduced fruit duration and strongly limited fruit removal by seed dispersers, especially in 2007 and 2008. In C. sinensis, seed dispersers consumed fruits throughout the fruiting seasons in all 3 years. In C. biondii, variation in the timing of grosbeak migration among years was associated with annual variation in this bird's effects on fruit removal. Our results demonstrate that seed predation by flocks of granivorous birds can dramatically disrupt seed dispersal in fleshy-fruited plants and suggest the importance of understanding their flocking behaviour. PMID:22136589

  20. Interactions between a pollinating seed predator and its host plant: the role of environmental context within a population

    PubMed Central

    Kula, Abigail A R; Castillo, Dean M; Dudash, Michele R; Fenster, Charles B

    2014-01-01

    Plant–insect interactions often are important for plant reproduction, but the outcome of these interactions may vary with environmental context. Pollinating seed predators have positive and negative effects on host plant reproduction, and the interaction outcome is predicted to vary with density or abundance of the partners. We studied the interaction between Silene stellata, an herbaceous perennial, and Hadena ectypa, its specialized pollinating seed predator. Silene stellata is only facultatively dependent upon H. ectypa for pollination because other nocturnal moth co-pollinators are equally effective at pollen transfer. We hypothesized that for plants without conspecific neighbors, H. ectypa would have higher visitation rates compared to co-pollinators, and the plants would experience lower levels of H. ectypa pollen deposition. We predicted similar oviposition throughout the study site but greater H. ectypa predation in the area without conspecific neighbors compared to plants embedded in a naturally high density area. We found that H. ectypa had consistently higher visitation than moth co-pollinators in all host plant contexts. However, H. ectypa pollinator importance declined in areas with low conspecific density because of reduced pollen deposition, resulting in lower seed set. Conversely, oviposition was similar across the study site independent of host plant density. Greater likelihood of very high fruit predation combined with lower pollination by H. ectypa resulted in reduced S. stellata female reproductive success in areas with low conspecific density. Our results demonstrate local context dependency of the outcomes of pollinating seed predator interactions with conspecific host plant density within a population. PMID:25165527

  1. The impact of specialist and generalist pre-dispersal seed predators on the reproductive output of a common and a rare Euphorbia species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boieiro, Mário; Rego, Carla; Serrano, Artur R. M.; Espadaler, Xavier

    2010-03-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predators can have a severe impact on the reproductive output of their hosts, which can translate into negative effects on population dynamics. Here we compared the losses due to specialist and generalist insect seed predators in two Euphorbia species, a rare ( Euphorbia welwitschii) and a common one ( Euphorbia characias). Pre-dispersal losses to specialist seed-wasps ( Eurytoma jaltica) and generalist hemipterans ( Cydnus aterrimus and Dicranocephalus agilis) were on average higher for the rare E. welwitschii than for its widespread congener. In both Euphorbia species, the variation in losses to specialist and generalist seed predators was not related with traits indicative of plant size, fecundity, or isolation. Nevertheless, the temporal variation in losses to seed-wasps seemed to be intimately associated with the magnitude of yearly variation in fruit production. The impact of seed-wasps and hemipterans on the reproductive output of both Euphorbia species was additive, though there was evidence for infochemical-mediated interference at the fruit level. The moderate levels of seed predation in E. welwitschii, together with the results from the comparative analysis with its widespread congener, suggest that insect seed predation is not a causal effect of plant rarity.

  2. Phylogeography of specialist weevil Trichobaris soror: a seed predator of Datura stramonium.

    PubMed

    De-la-Mora, Marisol; Piñero, Daniel; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2015-12-01

    Can the genetic structure of a specialist weevil be explained by the geological history of their distribution zone? We analyze the genetic variation of the weevil Trichobaris soror, a specialist seed predator of Datura stramonium, in order to address this question. For the phylogeographic analysis we used the COI gene, and assessed species identity in weevil populations through geometric morphometric approach. In total, we found 53 haplotypes in 413 samples, whose genetic variation supports the formation of three groups: (1) the Transmexican Volcanic Belt (TVB group), (2) the Sierra Madre Sur (SMS group) and (3) the Balsas Basin (BB group). The morphometric analysis suggests that BB group is probably not T. soror. Our results have two implications: first, the phylogeographic pattern of T. soror is explained by both the formation of the geological provinces where it is currently distributed and the coevolution with its host plant, because the TVB and SMS groups could be separated due to the discontinuity of altitude between the geological provinces, but the recent population expansion of TVB group and the high frequency of only one haplotype can be due to specialization to the host plant. Second, we report a new record of a different species of weevil in BB group parasitizing D. stramonium fruits. PMID:26498017

  3. Negative impacts of a vertebrate predator on insect pollinator visitation and seed output in Chuquiraga oppositifolia, a high Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2004-01-01

    Studies on plant-pollinator interactions have largely neglected the potential negative effects of the predators of pollinators on seed output, even though anti-predatory behaviour of pollinators may affect visitation patterns, pollen transfer, and therefore potentially, plant reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of lizards and insectivorous birds, by reducing pollinator visitation, can have significant negative effects on seed output in the insect-pollinated, genetically self-incompatible lower alpine Andean shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae). The lower alpine belt supports a high density of territorial Liolaemus (Tropiduridae) lizards and low shrubs interspersed among rocks of varying sizes, the latter inhabited by lizards and commonly used by flycatchers Muscisaxicola (Tyrannidae) as perching sites. In a 2x2 factorial predator-exclusion experiment, visitation rates of the most frequent pollinators of C. oppositifolia (the satyrid butterfly Cosmosatyrus chilensis and the syrphid fly Scaeva melanostoma), the duration of pollinator visits, and seed output, were 2-4 times greater when lizards were excluded, while birds had no effect. In a natural experiment, visits by S. melanostoma were 9 times shorter, and pollinator visitation rates of C. chilensis and S. melanostoma, and C. oppositifolia seed output were 2-3 times lower on shrubs growing adjacent to lizard-occupied rocks compared to those growing distant from rocks. Our results, verified for additional Andean sites, suggest that lizard predators can alter the behaviour of pollinators and elicit strong top-down indirect negative effects on seed output. Such effects may be especially important in high alpine plant communities, where pollinator activity can be low and erratic, and pollen limitation has been reported. PMID:14551828

  4. Implications of Habitat Loss on Seed Predation and Early Recruitment of a Keystone Palm in Anthropogenic Landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Soares, Leiza Aparecida S. S.; Faria, Deborah; Vélez-Garcia, Felipe; Vieira, Emerson M.; Talora, Daniela C.; Cazetta, Eliana

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the loss of global biodiversity. Knowledge on this subject, however, is highly concentrated on species richness and composition patterns, with little discussion on the consequences of habitat loss for ecological interactions. Therefore, a systemic approach is necessary to maximize the success of conservation efforts by providing more realistic information about the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on natural environmental processes. We investigated the implications of habitat loss for the early recruitment of Euterpe edulis Martius, a keystone palm in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, in nine sampling sites located in landscapes with different percentages of forest cover (9%-83%). We conducted a paired experiment using E. Edulis seeds set up in experimental stations composed of a vertebrate exclosure versus an open treatment. We used ANCOVA models with treatments as factors to assess the influence of habitat loss on the number of germinated seeds, predation by vertebrates and invertebrates, infestation by fungi, and number of seedlings established. Habitat loss did not affect the probability of transition from a dispersed to a germinated seed. However, when seeds were protected from vertebrate removal, seedling recruitment showed a positive relationship with the amount of forest cover. Seed infestation by fungi was not significant, and seed predation was the main factor limiting seed recruitment. The loss of forest cover antagonistically affected the patterns of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates; predation by invertebrates was higher in less forested areas, and predation by vertebrates was higher in forested areas. When seeds were exposed to the action of all biotic mortality factors, the number of recruited seedlings was very low and unrelated to habitat loss. This result indicates that the opposite effects of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates mask a differential response of E. edulis recruitment to

  5. Impact of the newly arrived seed-predating beetle Specularius impressithorax (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) in Hawai'i

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medeiros, A.C.; Von Allmen, E.; Fukada, M.; Samuelson, A.; Lau, T.

    2008-01-01

    Prior to 2001, seed predation was virtually absent in the endemic Wiliwili Erythrina sandwicensis (Fabaceae: Degener), dominant tree species of lower-elevation Hawaiian dryland forests. The African bruchine chrysomelid Specularius impressithorax (Pic) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) was first detected in Hawai'i in 2001 and became established on all main islands within the next two years. The mode of entry for this invasive Erythrina seed predator into Hawai'i is unknown, but likely occurred with the importation of trinket jewelry from Africa containing characteristically brightly-colored Erythrina seeds. The initial establishment of this insect likely occurred on a non-native host, the widely cultivated coral tree E. variegata. Within three years of its first record, S. impressithorax accounted for 77.4% mean seed crop loss in 12 populations of Wiliwili on six main Hawaiian islands. Specularius impressithorax, dispersed through international commerce and established via E. variegata, has become a threat to a unique Hawaiian forest type and may threaten other Erythrina, especially New World representatives.

  6. Plant-Species Diversity Correlates with Genetic Variation of an Oligophagous Seed Predator

    PubMed Central

    Laukkanen, Liisa; Mutikainen, Pia; Muola, Anne; Leimu, Roosa

    2014-01-01

    Several characteristics of habitats of herbivores and their food-plant communities, such as plant-species composition and plant quality, influence population genetics of both herbivores and their host plants. We investigated how different ecological and geographic factors affect genetic variation in and differentiation of 23 populations of the oligophagous seed predator Lygaeus equestris (Heteroptera) in southwestern Finland and in eastern Sweden. We tested whether genetic differentiation of the L. equestris populations was related to the similarity of vegetation, and whether there was more within-population genetic variation in habitats with a high number of plant species or in those with a large population of the primary food plant, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria. We also tested whether genetic differentiation of the populations was related to the geographic distance, and whether location of the populations on islands or on mainland, island size, or population size affected within-population genetic variation. Pairwise FST ranged from 0 to 0.1 indicating low to moderate genetic differentiation of populations. Differentiation increased with geographic distance between the populations, but was not related to the similarity of vegetation between the habitats. Genetic variation within the L. equestris populations did not increase with the population size of the primary food plant. However, the more diverse the plant community the higher was the level of genetic variation within the L. equestris population. Furthermore, the level of genetic variation did not vary significantly between island and mainland populations. The effect of the population size on within-population genetic variation was related to island size. Usually small populations are susceptible to loss of genetic variation, but small L. equestris populations on large islands seemed to maintain a relatively high level of within-population genetic variation. Our findings suggest that, in addition to geographic

  7. Seed preferences by rodents in the agri-environment and implications for biological weed control.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Christina; Türke, Manfred

    2016-08-01

    Post-dispersal seed predation and endozoochorous seed dispersal are two antagonistic processes in relation to plant recruitment, but rely on similar preconditions such as feeding behavior of seed consumers and seed traits. In agricultural landscapes, rodents are considered important seed predators, thereby potentially providing regulating ecosystem services in terms of biological weed control. However, their potential to disperse seeds endozoochorously is largely unknown. We exposed seeds of arable plant species with different seed traits (seed weight, nutrient content) and different Red List status in an experimental rye field and assessed seed removal by rodents. In a complementary laboratory experiment, consumption rates, feeding preferences, and potential endozoochory by two vole species (Microtus arvalis and Myodes glareolus) were tested. Seed consumption by rodents after 24 h was 35% in the field and 90% in the laboratory. Both vole species preferred nutrient-rich over nutrient-poor seeds and M. glareolus further preferred light over heavy seeds and seeds of common over those of endangered plants. Endozoochory by voles could be neglected for all tested plant species as no seeds germinated, and only few intact seeds could be retrieved from feces. Synthesis and applications. Our results suggest that voles can provide regulating services in agricultural landscapes by depleting the seed shadow of weeds, rather than facilitating plant recruitment by endozoochory. In the laboratory, endangered arable plants were less preferred by voles than noxious weeds, and thus, our results provide implications for seed choice in restoration approaches. However, other factors such as seed and predator densities need to be taken into account to reliably predict the impact of rodents on the seed fate of arable plants. PMID:27547355

  8. 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...

  9. Edge-mediated patterns of seed removal in experimentally connected and fragmented landscapes.

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Michael, T.; Orrock, John, L.; Brudvig, Lars, A.

    2011-09-07

    While biological reserves remain central to biodiversity conservation, the amount of area available for terrestrial reserves may be inadequate for many taxa. Biodiversity spillover - the promotion of diversity in matrix areas surrounding reserves - might help address this shortfall in reserve area. However, the mechanistic underpinning of spillover remains uninvestigated. Two fundamental processes - seed dispersal and establishment - might generate plant biodiversity spillover. Here, we investigate the role of establishment in promoting spillover by assessing post-dispersal seed predation, a key component of establishment, in the matrix of a replicated, large-scale habitat fragmentation experiment, where spillover is relevated around patches connected by landscape corridors. Our results show that matrix seed predation may constrain the distance of this spillover effect by reducing establishment: seed removal was least at the matrix edge and increased further into the matrix. We found some support for matrix seed predation underpinning previously reported landscape-level variation in spillover. Of the three species we investigated, two showed evidence for elevated seed predation in the matrix surrounding the unconnected patches around which the lowest levels of spillover occur. However, seed predation did not explain connectivity-enhanced spillover, suggesting that seed dispersal likely drives this pattern. Management activities that increase seed deposition in the matrix may have beneficial effects via spillover. Our work also illustrates that matrix-mediated gradients in seed predation may be widespread, but likely vary depending upon matrix composition and the ecological system under consideration. In fragmented landscapes, this gradient could impact the distribution, abundance, and spread of plant species.

  10. Seed chemistry of Sophora chrysophylla (mamane) in relation to diet of specialist avian seed predator Loxioides bailleui (palila) in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banko, P.C.; Cipollini, M.L.; Breton, G.W.; Paulk, E.; Wink, M.; Izhaki, I.

    2002-01-01

    This study describes the chemical ecology of a tritrophic interaction among species endemic to the island of Hawaii, USA: a tree (Sophora chrysophylla: mamane), an endangered bird (Loxioides bailleui; palila), and moth larvae (Cydia spp.). Palila and Cydia both specialize on the seed embryos of mamane but avoid eating the seed coats. Palila actively seek out and feed mamane embryos and Cydia larvae to their nestlings. Because mamane embryos contain potentially toxic levels of alkaloids, including broadly toxic quinolizidine alkaloids, and because insects often sequester alkaloids from their food plants, we focus on the questions of why palila forage upon mamane embryos and why they supplement their diet with Cydia larvae. Our data show that mamane embryos contain high amounts of potentially toxic alkaloids, but are well balanced nutritionally and contain lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, and minerals at levels that are likely to be sufficient for maintenance and breeding. Mamane seed coats contain lower levels of alkaloids and nutrients, somewhat higher levels of phenolics, and much higher levels of nondigestible fiber. Taken together, these results suggest that palila have evolved tolerance to high levels of alkaloids and that they forage upon embryos primarily because of their availability in the habitat and high nutritional reward. Our data also suggest that Cydia are used by palila because they are readily accessible, nontoxic, and nutritious; the larvae apparently do not sequester alkaloids while feeding upon mamane seeds. Our results are interpreted with respect to the likelihood of current and historical coadaptive responses in this ecologically isolated and simplified island setting.

  11. Cover crops promote aggregation of omnivorous predators in seed patches and facilitate weed biological control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Omnivores are important consumers of both weed seeds and insect pests, and habitat provisions like cover crops are suggested to promote their ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, few studies establish direct links between cover, food, and pest suppression because they are entangled a...

  12. Cover crops increase foraging activity of omnivorous predators in seed patches and facilitate weed biological control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Omnivores are important consumers of both weed seeds and insect pests, and habitat provisions like cover crops are suggested to promote their ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, few studies establish direct links between cover, food, and pest suppression because they are entangled a...

  13. Cache placement, pilfering, and a recovery advantage in a seed-dispersing rodent: Could predation of scatter hoarders contribute to seedling establishment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, Michael A.; Bugdal, Melissa; Yuan, Amy; Bartlow, Andrew; Buzalewski, Jarrod; Lichti, Nathan; Swihart, Robert

    2011-11-01

    Scatter-hoarding mammals are thought to rely on spatial memory to relocate food caches. Yet, we know little about how long these granivores (primarily rodents) recall specific cache locations or whether individual hoarders have an advantage when recovering their own caches. Indeed, a few recent studies suggest that high rates of pilferage are common and that individual hoarders may not have a retriever's advantage. We tested this hypothesis in a high-density (>7 animals/ha) population of eastern gray squirrels ( Sciurus carolinensis) by presenting individually marked animals (>20) with tagged acorns, mapping cache sites, and following the fate of seed caches. PIT tags allowed us to monitor individual seeds without disturbing cache sites. Acorns only remained in the caches for 12-119 h (0.5-5 d). However, when we live-trapped and removed some animals from the site immediately after they stored seeds (thus simulating predation), their seed caches remained intact for significantly longer periods (16-27 d). Cache duration corresponded roughly to the time at which squirrels were returned to the study area. These results suggest that squirrels have a retriever's advantage and may remember specific cache sites longer than previously thought. We further suggest that predation of scatter hoarders who store seeds for long periods and also possess a recovery advantage may be one important mechanism by which seed establishment is achieved.

  14. Vertebrate seed dispersers maintain the composition of tropical forest seedbanks

    PubMed Central

    Wandrag, E. M.; Dunham, A. E.; Miller, R. H.; Rogers, H. S.

    2015-01-01

    The accumulation of seeds in the soil (the seedbank) can set the template for the early regeneration of habitats following disturbance. Seed dispersal is an important factor determining the pattern of seed rain, which affects the interactions those seeds experience. For this reason, seed dispersal should play an important role in structuring forest seedbanks, yet we know little about how that happens. Using the functional extirpation of frugivorous vertebrates from the island of Guam, together with two nearby islands (Saipan and Rota) that each support relatively intact disperser assemblages, we aimed to identify the role of vertebrate dispersers in structuring forest seedbanks. We sampled the seedbank on Guam where dispersers are absent, and compared this with the seedbank on Saipan and Rota where they are present. Almost twice as many species found in the seedbank on Guam, when compared with Saipan and Rota, had a conspecific adult within 2 m. This indicates a strong role of vertebrate dispersal in determining the identity of seeds in the seedbank. In addition, on Guam, a greater proportion of samples contained no seeds and overall species richness was lower than on Saipan. Differences in seed abundance and richness between Guam and Rota were less clear, as seedbanks on Rota also contained fewer species than Saipan, possibly due to increased post-dispersal seed predation. Our findings suggest that vertebrate seed dispersers can have a strong influence on the species composition of seedbanks. Regardless of post-dispersal processes, without dispersal, seedbanks no longer serve to increase the species pool of recruits during regeneration. PMID:26578741

  15. Vertebrate seed dispersers maintain the composition of tropical forest seedbanks.

    PubMed

    Wandrag, E M; Dunham, A E; Miller, R H; Rogers, H S

    2015-01-01

    The accumulation of seeds in the soil (the seedbank) can set the template for the early regeneration of habitats following disturbance. Seed dispersal is an important factor determining the pattern of seed rain, which affects the interactions those seeds experience. For this reason, seed dispersal should play an important role in structuring forest seedbanks, yet we know little about how that happens. Using the functional extirpation of frugivorous vertebrates from the island of Guam, together with two nearby islands (Saipan and Rota) that each support relatively intact disperser assemblages, we aimed to identify the role of vertebrate dispersers in structuring forest seedbanks. We sampled the seedbank on Guam where dispersers are absent, and compared this with the seedbank on Saipan and Rota where they are present. Almost twice as many species found in the seedbank on Guam, when compared with Saipan and Rota, had a conspecific adult within 2 m. This indicates a strong role of vertebrate dispersal in determining the identity of seeds in the seedbank. In addition, on Guam, a greater proportion of samples contained no seeds and overall species richness was lower than on Saipan. Differences in seed abundance and richness between Guam and Rota were less clear, as seedbanks on Rota also contained fewer species than Saipan, possibly due to increased post-dispersal seed predation. Our findings suggest that vertebrate seed dispersers can have a strong influence on the species composition of seedbanks. Regardless of post-dispersal processes, without dispersal, seedbanks no longer serve to increase the species pool of recruits during regeneration. PMID:26578741

  16. Activity, Density, and Weed Seed Predation Potential of Ground Beetles in Annual Row Crops of the Pacific Northwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Regulation of weed seed banks in agricultural systems involves management of seed input from seed rain, and seed removal from mortality and germination. While seed rain, germination, and emergence are managed using a number of methods such as tillage and herbicides, management of seed mortality is f...

  17. Determinants of spatial behavior of a tropical forest seed predator: The roles of optimal foraging, dietary diversification, and home range defense.

    PubMed

    Palminteri, Suzanne; Powell, George V N; Peres, Carlos A

    2016-05-01

    Specialized seed predators in tropical forests may avoid seasonal food scarcity and interspecific feeding competition but may need to diversify their daily diet to limit ingestion of any given toxin. Seed predators may, therefore, adopt foraging strategies that favor dietary diversity and resource monitoring, rather than efficient energy intake, as suggested by optimal foraging theory. We tested whether fine-scale space use by a small-group-living seed predator-the bald-faced saki monkey (Pithecia irrorata)-reflected optimization of short-term foraging efficiency, maximization of daily dietary diversity, and/or responses to the threat of territorial encroachment by neighboring groups. Food patches across home ranges of five adjacent saki groups were widely spread, but areas with higher densities of stems or food species were not allocated greater feeding time. Foraging patterns-specifically, relatively long daily travel paths that bypassed available fruiting trees and relatively short feeding bouts in undepleted food patches-suggest a strategy that maximizes dietary diversification, rather than "optimal" foraging. Travel distance was unrelated to the proportion of seeds in the diet. Moreover, while taxonomically diverse, the daily diets of our study groups were no more species-rich than randomly derived diets based on co-occurring available food species. Sakis preferentially used overlapping areas of their HRs, within which adjacent groups shared many food trees, yet the density of food plants or food species in these areas was no greater than in other HR areas. The high likelihood of depletion by neighboring groups of otherwise enduring food sources may encourage monitoring of peripheral food patches in overlap areas, even if at the expense of immediate energy intake, suggesting that between-group competition is a key driver of fine-scale home range use in sakis. PMID:25807916

  18. The Effect of Pollen Source vs. Flower Type on Progeny Performance and Seed Predation under Contrasting Light Environments in a Cleistogamous Herb

    PubMed Central

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A.; Campos-Navarrete, María J.; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    Dimorphic cleistogamy is a specialized form of mixed mating system where a single plant produces both open, potentially outcrossed chasmogamous (CH) and closed, obligately self-pollinated cleistogamous (CL) flowers. Typically, CH flowers and seeds are bigger and energetically more costly than those of CL. Although the effects of inbreeding and floral dimorphism are critical to understanding the evolution and maintenance of cleistogamy, these effects have been repeatedly confounded. In an attempt to separate these effects, we compared the performance of progeny derived from the two floral morphs while controlling for the source of pollen. That is, flower type and pollen source effects were assessed by comparing the performance of progeny derived from selfed CH vs. CL and outcrossed CH vs. selfed CH flowers, respectively. The experiment was carried out with the herb Ruellia nudiflora under two contrasting light environments. Outcrossed progeny generally performed better than selfed progeny. However, inbreeding depression ranges from low (1%) to moderate (36%), with the greatest value detected under shaded conditions when cumulative fitness was used. Although flower type generally had less of an effect on progeny performance than pollen source did, the progeny derived from selfed CH flowers largely outperformed the progeny from CL flowers, but only under shaded conditions and when cumulative fitness was taken into account. On the other hand, the source of pollen and flower type influenced seed predation, with selfed CH progeny the most heavily attacked by predators. Therefore, the effects of pollen source and flower type are environment-dependant and seed predators may increase the genetic differences between progeny derived from CH and CL flowers. Inbreeding depression alone cannot account for the maintenance of a mixed mating system in R. nudiflora and other unidentified mechanisms must thus be involved. PMID:24260515

  19. The effect of pollen source vs. flower type on progeny performance and seed predation under contrasting light environments in a cleistogamous herb.

    PubMed

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Campos-Navarrete, María J; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    Dimorphic cleistogamy is a specialized form of mixed mating system where a single plant produces both open, potentially outcrossed chasmogamous (CH) and closed, obligately self-pollinated cleistogamous (CL) flowers. Typically, CH flowers and seeds are bigger and energetically more costly than those of CL. Although the effects of inbreeding and floral dimorphism are critical to understanding the evolution and maintenance of cleistogamy, these effects have been repeatedly confounded. In an attempt to separate these effects, we compared the performance of progeny derived from the two floral morphs while controlling for the source of pollen. That is, flower type and pollen source effects were assessed by comparing the performance of progeny derived from selfed CH vs. CL and outcrossed CH vs. selfed CH flowers, respectively. The experiment was carried out with the herb Ruellia nudiflora under two contrasting light environments. Outcrossed progeny generally performed better than selfed progeny. However, inbreeding depression ranges from low (1%) to moderate (36%), with the greatest value detected under shaded conditions when cumulative fitness was used. Although flower type generally had less of an effect on progeny performance than pollen source did, the progeny derived from selfed CH flowers largely outperformed the progeny from CL flowers, but only under shaded conditions and when cumulative fitness was taken into account. On the other hand, the source of pollen and flower type influenced seed predation, with selfed CH progeny the most heavily attacked by predators. Therefore, the effects of pollen source and flower type are environment-dependant and seed predators may increase the genetic differences between progeny derived from CH and CL flowers. Inbreeding depression alone cannot account for the maintenance of a mixed mating system in R. nudiflora and other unidentified mechanisms must thus be involved. PMID:24260515

  20. Oviposition and predation by Speciomerus revoili (Coleoptera, Bruchidae) on seeds of Acrocomia aculeata (Arecaceae) in Brasília, DF, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ramos, F A; Martins, I; Farias, J M; Silva, I C; Costa, D C; Miranda, A P

    2001-08-01

    Oviposition and predation levels by Speciomerus revoili bruchid beetles were quantified on fruits and seeds of the macaúba palm, Acrocomia aculeata, collected from below mother-trees within the Sarah Kubitschek Park of Brasília, DF, Brazil. A maximum of 12 eggs per fruit were found, with high variations observed between samples. No clear pattern was found for the distribution of the number of eggs per fruit, perhaps due to the artificial conditions of the study area, the absence of dispersers and/or the plasticity in the oviposition behavior of the insect. The number of eggs per fruit was not related to fruit size, but was associated with their availability under the tree-mother. This suggests that the density of eggs per fruit is a balance between the availability of this resource and the number of females in the beetle population. The observed mortality rate, from the egg phase to the final larval stages, was over 75%. About 40% of the seeds of Acrocomia aculeata were predated by Speciomerus revoili. PMID:11706572

  1. Does Ferocactus wislizeni (Cactaceae) have a between-year seed bank?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2000-01-01

    Field and laboratory experiments at Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A., demonstrated that Ferocactus wislizeni, a common perennial cactus in the northern Sonoran Desert, has a between-year seed bank. In laboratory studies, F. wislizeni seeds lost dormancy during storage at room temperature and had a light requirement for germination. Field experiments suggested that as much as 2% of the annual seed crop might escape post-dispersal predation even when unprotected; where suitable safe sites exist, a higher percentage might escape. Germination of seed recovered monthly from above- and below-ground components of an artificial seed bank showed that seeds can survive at least 18 months in and on the soil. Seed banks enable F. wislizeni to take advantage of favorable rains and temperatures throughout the growing season, thus increasing the number of opportunities for germination. Moreover, seed banks enable F. wislizeni to respond hugely when the climate seems especially favorable, thus producing the large cohorts necessary to compensate for high seedling mortality. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

  2. Folivory or fruit/seed predation for Mesopithecus, an earliest colobine from the late Miocene of Eurasia?

    PubMed

    Merceron, Gildas; Scott, Jessica; Scott, Robert S; Geraads, Denis; Spassov, Nikolai; Ungar, Peter S

    2009-12-01

    Here we compare dental microwear textures from specimens of the fossil genus Mesopithecus (Cercopithecidae, Colobinae) from the late Miocene of Eastern Europe with dental microwear textures from four extant primate species with known dietary differences. Results indicate that the dental microwear textures of Mesopithecus differ from those of extant leaf eaters Alouatta palliata and Trachypithecus cristatus and instead resemble more closely those of the occasional hard-object feeders Cebus apella and Lophocebus albigena. Microwear texture data presented here in combination with results from previous analyses suggest that Mesopithecus was a widespread, opportunistic feeder that often consumed hard seeds. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that early colobines may have preferred hard seeds to leaves. PMID:19733899

  3. Effects of Fruit Toxins on Intestinal and Microbial β-Glucosidase Activities of Seed-Predating and Seed-Dispersing Rodents (Acomys spp.).

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Samuni-Blank, Michal; Lymberakis, Petros; Kurnath, Patrice; Izhaki, Ido; Arad, Zeev; Karasov, William H; Dearing, M Denise

    2016-01-01

    Plant secondary compounds (PSCs) have profound influence on the ecological interaction between plants and their consumers. Glycosides, a class of PSC, are inert in their intact form and become toxic on activation by either plant β-glucosidase enzymes or endogenous β-glucosidases produced by the intestine of the plant-predator or its microbiota. Many insect herbivores decrease activities of endogenous β-glucosidases to limit toxin exposure. However, such an adaptation has never been investigated in nonmodel mammals. We studied three species of spiny mice (Acomys spp.) that vary in their feeding behavior of the glycoside-rich fruit of Ochradenus baccatus. Two species, the common (Acomys cahirinus) and Crete (Acomys minous) spiny mice, behaviorally avoid activating glycosides, while the golden spiny mouse (Acomys russatus) regularly consumes activated glycosides. We fed each species a nontoxic diet of inert glycosides or a toxic diet of activated fruit toxins and investigated the responses of intestinal and microbial β-glucosidase activities. We found that individuals feeding on activated toxins had lower intestinal β-glucosidase activity and that the species that behaviorally avoid activating glycosides also had lower intestinal β-glucosidase activity regardless of treatment. The microbiota represented a larger source of toxin liberation, and the toxin-adapted species (golden spiny mouse) exhibited almost a fivefold increase in microbial β-glucosidase when fed activated toxins, while other species showed slight decreases. These results are contrary to those in insects, where glycoside-adapted species have lower β-glucosidase activity. The glycoside-adapted golden spiny mouse may have evolved tolerance mechanisms such as enhanced detoxification rather than avoidance mechanisms. PMID:27153129

  4. From seed production to seedling establishment: Important steps in an invasive process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreras, Ana Elisa; Galetto, Leonardo

    2010-03-01

    It is widely accepted that exotic invasive species are one of the most important ecological and economic problems. Reproductive and establishment traits are considered key features of a population expansion process, but few works have studied many of these simultaneously. This work examines how large the differences are in reproductive and establishment traits between two Fabaceae, the exotic invasive, Gleditsia triacanthos and the native, Acacia aroma. Gleditsia is a serious leguminous woody invader in various parts of the world and Acacia is a common native tree of Argentina. Both species have similar dispersal mechanisms and their reproductive phenology overlaps. We chose 17 plants of each species in a continuous forest of the Chaco Serrano Forest of Córdoba, Argentina. In each plant we measured fruit production, fruit removal (exclusion experiments), seed predation (pre- and post-dispersal), seed germination, seed bank (on each focal tree, three sampling periods during the year), and density of seedlings (around focal individuals and randomly in the study site). Gleditsia presented some traits that could favour the invasion process, such as a higher number of seeds per plant, percentage of scarified seed germination and density of seedlings around the focal individuals, than Acacia. On the other hand, Gleditsia presented a higher percentage of seed predation. The seed bank was persistent in both species and no differences were observed in fruit removal. This work highlights the importance of simultaneously studying reproductive and establishment variables involved in the spreading of an exotic invasive species. It also gives important insight into the variables to be considered when planning management strategies. The results are discussed from the perspective of some remarkable hypotheses on invasive species and may contribute to rethinking some aspects of the theory on invasive species.

  5. Conditions favouring hard seededness as a dispersal and predator escape strategy

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Torbjørn R; Högstedt, Göran; Thompson, Ken; Vandvik, Vigdis; Eliassen, Sigrunn; Leishman, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    Summery The water-impermeable seed coat of ‘hard’ seeds is commonly considered a dormancy trait. Seed smell is, however, strongly correlated with seed water content, and hard seeds are therefore olfactionally cryptic to foraging rodents. This is the rationale for the crypsis hypothesis, which proposes that the primary functions of hard seeds are to reduce seed predation and promote rodent seed dispersal. We use a mechanistic model to describe seed survival success of plants with different dimorphic soft and hard seed strategies. The model is based on established empirical–ecological relationships of moisture requirements for germination and benefits of seed dispersal, and on experimentally demonstrated relationships between seed volatile emission, predation and predator escape. We find that water-impermeable seed coats can reduce seed predation under a wide range of natural humidity conditions. Plants with rodent dispersed seeds benefit from producing dimorphic soft and hard seeds at ratios where the anti-predator advantages of hard seeds are balanced by the dispersal benefits gained by producing some soft seeds. The seed pathway predicted from the model is similar to those of experimental seed-tracking studies. This validates the relevance and realism of the ecological mechanisms and relationships incorporated in the model. Synthesis. Rodent seed predators are often also important seed dispersers and have the potential to exert strong selective pressures on seeds to evolve methods of avoiding detection, and hard seeds seem to do just that. This work suggests that water-impermeable hard seeds may evolve in the absence of a dormancy function and that optimal seed survival in many environments with rodent seed predators is obtained by plants having a dimorphic soft and hard seed strategy. PMID:25558091

  6. The mechanical defence advantage of small seeds.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Wright, S Joseph

    2016-08-01

    Seed size and toughness affect seed predators, and size-dependent investment in mechanical defence could affect relationships between seed size and predation. We tested how seed toughness and mechanical defence traits (tissue density and protective tissue content) are related to seed size among tropical forest species. Absolute toughness increased with seed size. However, smaller seeds had higher specific toughness both within and among species, with the smallest seeds requiring over 2000 times more energy per gram to break than the largest seeds. Investment in mechanical defence traits varied widely but independently of the toughness-mass allometry. Instead, a physical scaling relationship confers a toughness advantage on small seeds independent of selection on defence traits and without a direct cost. This scaling relationship may contribute to seed size diversity by decreasing fitness differences among large and small seeds. Allometric scaling of toughness reconciles predictions and conflicting empirical relationships between seed size and predation. PMID:27324185

  7. Distance-responsive predation is not necessary for the Janzen-Connell hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Stump, Simon Maccracken; Chesson, Peter

    2015-12-01

    The Janzen-Connell hypothesis states that tree diversity in tropical forests is maintained by specialist predators that are distance- or density-responsive (i.e. predators that reduce seed or seedling survival near adults of their hosts). Many empirical studies have investigated whether predators are distance-responsive; however, few studies have examined whether distance-responsiveness matters for how predators maintain tree diversity. Using a site-occupancy model, we show analytically that distance-responsive predators are actually less able to maintain diversity than specialist predators that are not distance-responsive. Generally, specialist predators maintain diversity because they become rare when their host's densities are low, reducing predation risk. However, if predators are distance-responsive, and most seeds cannot disperse away from these predators, then seed predation rates will remain high, even if predator density is low across the landscape. Consequently, a reduction in a host's population density may not lead to a significant reduction in seed and seedling predation. We show that habitat partitioning can cause recruitment to be highest near conspecific adults, even in the presence of distance-responsive predators, without any change in the effect that the predators have on coexistence (a result contrary to predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis). Rather, specialist predators and habitat partitioning have additive effects on species coexistence in our model, i.e., neither mechanism alters the effect of the other one. PMID:26525355

  8. 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…

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Efficiency of pollination and satiation of predators determine reproductive output in Iberian Juniperus thurifera woodlands.

    PubMed

    Mezquida, E T; Rodríguez-García, E; Olano, J M

    2016-01-01

    Fruit production in animal-dispersed plants has a strong influence on fitness because large crops increase the number of seeds dispersed by frugivores. Large crops are costly, and environmental control of plant resources is likely play a role in shaping temporal and spatial variations in seed production, particularly in fluctuating environments such as the Mediterranean. The number of fruits that start to develop and the proportion of viable seeds produced are also linked to the number of flowers formed and the efficiency of pollination in wind-pollinated plants. Finally, large fruit displays also attract seed predators, having a negative effect on seed output. We assessed the relative impact of environmental conditions on fruit production, and their combined effect on seed production, abortion and seed loss through three predispersal predators in Juniperus thurifera L., sampling 14 populations across the Iberian Peninsula. Wetter than average conditions during flowering and early fruit development led to larger crop sizes; this effect was amplified at tree level, with the most productive trees during more favourable years yielding fruits with more viable seeds and less empty and aborted seeds. In addition, large crops satiated the less mobile seed predator. The other two predispersal predators responded to plant traits, the presence of other seed predators and environmental conditions, but did not show a satiation response to the current-year crop. Our large-scale study on a dioecious, wind-pollinated Mediterranean juniper indicates that pollination efficiency and satiation of seed predators, mediated by environmental conditions, are important determinants of reproductive output in this juniper species. PMID:25892115

  18. Annual variation in seedfall, postdispersal predation, and recruitment of a neotropical tree

    SciTech Connect

    Schupp, E.W. )

    1990-04-01

    Knowledge of the dynamics of seed production and seedling recruitment of individual tree species is crucial for a complete understanding of tropical forest dynamics, yet multiyear studies on the seed and young seedling stages of tropical trees are virtually nonexistent. In a 4-yr study of the understory tree Faramea occidentalis on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, the author quantified natural levels of viable seedfall, seedling emergence, and seedling establishment, and experimentally estimated postdispersal seed predation. The levels of viable seedfall, seed predation, seedling emergence, early seedling survival, and seedling recruitment all differed significantly among years. The proportion of fallen seeds destroyed by predators before germination was not related to the quantity of F. occidentalis seedfall. Within a year, however, F. occidentalis seed predation appeared to be influenced by community-wide seedfall, with high predation rates during times of low seed abundance and very low predation during the late dry season peak in seedfall by the community. Most of the annual variation in recruitment can be explained by the combination of seedfall and seed predation; in 3 of the 4 yr seedling emergence could be predicted from a knowledge of viable seedfall and the probability of a seed surviving until the peak of germination. The 4th yr, however, demonstrated that environmental conditions provide a sporadic, though important, limitation to recruitment. In comparison to many tree species, early seedling survival was relatively high, as was the ratio of seedlings recruited per seed falling. The highly successful recruitment of F. occidentalis is associated with a high population density of both saplings and adults in the study area.

  19. Seasonal Variation in the Fate of Seeds under Contrasting Logging Regimes

    PubMed Central

    Fleury, Marina; Rodrigues, Ricardo R.; do Couto, Hilton T. Z.; Galetti, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Seed predators and dispersers may drive the speed and structure of forest regeneration in natural ecosystems. Rodents and ants prey upon and disperse seeds, yet empirical studies on the magnitude of these effects are lacking. Here, we examined the role of ants and rodents on seed predation in 4 plant species in a successional gradient on a tropical rainforest island. We found that (1) seeds are mostly consumed rather than dispersed; (2) rates of seed predation vary by habitat, season, and species; (3) seed size, shape, and hardness do not affect the probability of being depredated. Rodents were responsible for 70% of seed predation and were negligible (0.14%) seed dispersers, whereas ants were responsible for only 2% of seed predation and for no dispersal. We detected seasonal and habitat effects on seed loss, with higher seed predation occurring during the wet season and in old-growth forests. In the absence of predators regulating seed-consumer populations, the densities of these resilient animals explode to the detriment of natural regeneration and may reduce diversity and carrying capacity for consumers and eventually lead to ecological meltdown. PMID:24614500

  20. [Effects of rodents and litter coverage on the seed fate of wild Prunus divaricata in wild fruit forest of Tianshan Mountain, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yu; Liu, Ying; Wang, Jian-Ming; Zhang, Yong-Heng; Yang, Yun-Fei

    2014-09-01

    The dynamic variation characteristics of seed bank and the main factors influencing the fate of Prunus divaricata seeds under the pressure of rodent predation and litter coverage were investigated with artificial soil seed banks from September, 2010 to April, 2013. It was found that there was about 48.3% of seeds germinated under the rodent predation disturbance conditions, 50% of the seeds was predated in situ or removed, and only about 4% decayed. The artificial seed bank formed a short-term persistent soil seed bank without any rodent predation disturbance, and the seeds could germinate even though they had been stored in the seed bank for three years. Soil burial provided a lower predation pressure and promoted the recruitment of wild P. divaricata seedlings, removal and predation in situ by animals was an important factor affecting the fate of seeds. At the same time, seeds removed and foraged in situ in the control and litter coverage samples were significantly less than that in the bare soil samples. Ground coverage reduced the removal and predation of seeds by rodents, but the effect was not enough to result in more seedlings. Rodent predation and removal were the main factors that could affect the seed fate and dynamics of seed bank. PMID:25757305

  1. Seed feeding beetles (Bruchidae, Curculionidae, Brentidae) from legumes (Dalea ornata, Astragalus filipes) and other forbs needed for restoring rangelands of the Intermountain West

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Larval seed beetles are common seed predators that feed within individual seeds, and legume plants are especially plagued by seed beetles. This can be problematic for seed growers who raise seeds of North American legumes native to the Intermountain Region of the western U.S. for use in the reveget...

  2. Rodent foraging is affected by indirect, but not by direct, cues of predation risk.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, R., Jory

    2004-01-01

    Behavioral Ecology Vol. 15 No. 3: 433 - 437 We used foraging trays to determine whether old field mice, Peromyscus polionotus , altered foraging in response to direct cues of predation risk (urine of native and nonnative predators) and indirect cues of predation risk (foraging microhabitat, precipitation, and moon illumination). The proportion of seeds remaining in each tray (a measure of the giving-up density [GUD]) was used to measure risk perceived by mice. Mice did not alter their GUD when presented with cues of native predators (bobcats, Lynx r ufus , and red foxes, Vulpes vulpes), recently introduced predators (coyotes, Canis latrans ), nonnative predators (ocelots, Leopardus pardalis ), a native herbivore (white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus), or a water control. Rather, GUD was related to microhabitat: rodents removed more seeds from foraging trays sheltered beneath vegetative cover compared with exposed trays outside of cover. Rodents also removed more seeds during nights with precipitation and when moon illumination was low. Our results suggest that P. polionotus used indirect cues rather than direct cues to assess risk of vertebrate predation. Indirect cues may be more reliable than are direct scent cues for estimating risk from multiple vertebrate predators that present the most risk in open environments.

  3. Scatter Hoarding of Seeds Confers Survival Advantages and Disadvantages to Large-Seeded Tropical Plants at Different Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Kuprewicz, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Seed fate in the myrmecochorous Neotropical plant Turnera ulmifolia L., from plant to germination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salazar-Rojas, Betzabeth; Rico-Gray, Víctor; Canto, Azucena; Cuautle, Mariana

    2012-04-01

    Myrmecochory (seed dispersal by ants) differs from other dispersal systems in a series of advantages offered by the ants to the plants. Here, seed fate, from fruit to germination, of the myrmecochorous Neotropical plant Turnera ulmifolia L. is described. Seed movement from the fruit to their germination was studied, using different measurements and experiments. The results show that a T. ulmifolia individual produces ca. 5000 seeds per year. The main pre-seed-fall predators are the larvae of the Microlepidopteran Crocidosema plebejana Zeller, which consumed 1% of the seeds on the plant. The red-land crab Gecarcinus lateralis (Freminville) consumed 19% of the seeds beneath the plant and was the main post-seed-fall predator. Seed removal by ants was recorded on and beneath the plant, and ants removed 49% of the total seed production. Considering the seed removal events, the ant Forelius analis contributed with 64% of the total number of events. F. analis took seeds to its nest and discarded 23% of the seeds collected. Germination of seeds collected by F. analis was two to four times higher than that of seeds with and without elaiosome, respectively. The relatively low seed predation was probably related to ant defense, associated with the presence of extrafloral nectaries in this plant and with seed removal on the plant. Our results suggest that F. analis is a quantitatively efficient but qualitatively inefficient seed disperser of T. ulmifolia.

  8. A strong conditional mutualism limits and enhances seed dispersal and germination of a tropical palm

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klinger, R.; Rejmanek, M.

    2010-01-01

    Seed predation and seed dispersal can have strong effects on early life history stages of plants. These processes have often been studied as individual effects, but the degree to which their relative importance co-varies with seed predator abundance and how this influences seed germination rates is poorly understood. Therefore, we used a combination of observations and field experiments to determine the degree to which germination rates of the palm Astrocaryum mexicanum varied with abundance of a small mammal seed predator/disperser, Heteromysdesmarestianus, in a lowland tropical forest. Patterns of abundance of the two species were strongly related; density of H. desmarestianus was low in sites with low density of A. mexicanum and vice versa. Rates of predation and dispersal of A. mexicanum seeds depended on abundance of H. desmarestianus; sites with high densities of H. desmarestianus had the highest rates of seed predation and lowest rates of seed germination, but a greater total number of seeds were dispersed and there was greater density of seedlings, saplings, and adults of A. mexicanum in these sites. When abundance of H. desmarestianus was experimentally reduced, rates of seed predation decreased, but so did dispersal of A. mexicanum seeds. Critically, rates of germination of dispersed seeds were 5 times greater than undispersed seeds. The results suggest that the relationship between A. mexicanum and H. desmarestianus is a conditional mutualism that results in a strong local effect on the abundance of each species. However, the magnitude and direction of these effects are determined by the relative strength of opposing, but related, mechanisms. A. mexicanum nuts provide H. desmarestianus with a critical food resource, and while seed predation on A. mexicanum nuts by H. desmarestianus is very intense, A. mexicanum ultimately benefits because of the relatively high germination rates of its seeds that are dispersed by H. desmarestianus. ?? The Author(s) 2010.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Dispersal of mimetic seeds of three species of Ormosia (Leguminosae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foster, M.S.; DeLay, L.S.

    1998-01-01

    Seeds with 'imitation arils' appear wholly or partially covered by pulp or aril but actually carry no fleshy material. The mimetic seed hypothesis to explain this phenomenon proposes a parasitic relationship in which birds are deceived into dispersing seeds that resemble bird-dispersed fruits, without receiving a nutrient reward. The hard-seed for grit hypothesis proposes a mutualistic relationship in which large, terrestrial birds swallow the exceptionally hard 'mimetic' seeds as grit for grinding the softer seeds on which they feed. They defecate, dispersing the seeds, and abrade the seed surface, enhancing germination. Any fruit mimicry is incidental. Fruiting trees of Ormosia spp. (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae) were observed to ascertain mechanisms of seed dispersal and the role of seemingly mimetic characteristics of the seeds in that dispersal. Seed predation and seed germination were also examined. Ormosia isthamensis and O. macrocalyx (but not O. bopiensis) deceived arboreally-foraging frugivorous birds into taking their mimetic seeds, although rates of seed dispersal were low. These results are consistent with the mimetic seed hypothesis. On the other hand, the rates of disappearance of seeds from the ground under the Ormosia trees, hardness of the seeds, and enhancement of germination with the abrasion of the seed coat are all consistent with the hard-seed for grit hypothesis.

  14. 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

  15. Contagious seed dispersal beneath heterospecific fruiting trees and its consequences.

    SciTech Connect

    Kwit, Charles; Levey, Douglas, J.; Greenberg, Cathyrn, H.

    2004-05-03

    Kwit, Charles, D.J. Levey and Cathryn H. Greenberg. 2004. Contagious seed dispersal beneath heterospecific fruiting trees and its consequences. Oikos. 107:303-308 A n hypothesized advantage of seed dispersal is avoidance of high per capita mortality (i.e. density-dependent mortality) associated with dense populations of seeds and seedlings beneath parent trees. This hypothesis, inherent in nearly all seed dispersal studies, assumes that density effects are species-specific. Yet because many tree species exhibit overlapping fruiting phenologies and share dispersers, seeds may be deposited preferentially under synchronously fruiting heterospecific trees, another location where they may be particularly vulnerable to mortality, in this case by generalist seed predators. We demonstrate that frugivores disperse higher densities of Cornus florida seeds under fruiting (female) I lex opaca trees than under non-fruiting (male) I lex trees in temperate hardwood forest settings in South Carolina, U SA . To determine if density of Cornus and/or I lex seeds influences survivorship of dispersed Cornus seeds, we followed the fates of experimentally dispersed Cornus seeds in neighborhoods of differing, manipulated background densities of Cornus and I lex seeds. We found that the probability of predation on dispersed Cornus seeds was a function of both Cornus and I lex background seed densities. H igher densities of I lex seeds negatively affected Cornus seed survivorship, and this was particularly evident as background densities of dispersed Cornus seeds increased. These results illustrate the importance of viewing seed dispersal and predation in a community context, as the pattern and intensity of density-dependent mortality may not be solely a function of conspecific densities.

  16. Investment in seed physical defence is associated with species' light requirement for regeneration and seed persistence: evidence from Macaranga species in Borneo

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The life stage from seed dispersal to seedling emergence is often critical in determining the regeneration success of plants. During this period seeds must survive an array of seed predators and pathogens and germinate under conditions favorable for seedling establishment. To maximise recruitment s...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Seed Germination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Initiation of seed germination is a critical decision for plants. It is important for seed populations under natural conditions to spread the timing of germination of individual seeds to maximize the probability of species survival. Therefore, seeds have evolved the multiple layers of mechanisms tha...

  1. Frugivory and seed dispersal by tapirs: an insight on their ecological role.

    PubMed

    O'Farrill, Georgina; Galetti, Mauro; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa

    2013-03-01

    Tapirs are one of the last extant megafauna species that survived the Pleistocene extinctions. Given their size and digestive system characteristics, tapirs might be the last potential seed disperser of plant species that were previously dispersed by other large mammal species that are now extinct. We compiled evidence from 39 published scientific studies showing that tapirs have a key role as seed dispersers and seed predators. Tapirs play an important role either through seed predation or by facilitating the recruitment of seeds over long distances, therefore influencing the diversity of plant species in the ecosystem. Neotropical tapirs might have a unique role as long-distance seed dispersers of large seeds (<20 mm) because they are capable of depositing viable large seeds in favorable places for germination that even large-bodied primates cannot disperse. Given the high diversity of seed species found in tapir diet, more information is needed on the identification of seed traits that allow the survival of seeds in the tapir's gut. Moreover, further studies are necessary on the role of tapirs as seed dispersers and predators; in particular considering spatial patterns of dispersed seeds, seed viability, effect of dung, and seed density in tapir latrines, and the effect of deposition sites on germination and seedling survival. Because all tapir species are highly threatened, it is paramount to identify gaps in our knowledge on the ecological role of tapirs and, in particular, on critical and endangered plant-tapir interactions to avoid possible trophic cascading effects on ecosystem function. PMID:23586556

  2. 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.

  3. The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.: Damschen, Ellen, I.

    2007-04-01

    Abstract - Although burial is known to have important effects on seed predation in a variety of habitats, the role of burial depth in affecting the removal of seeds in early successional systems is poorly known. Phytolacca American (pokeweed) is a model species to examine the role of burial depth in affecting seed removal because it is common in early-successional habitats, studies suggest that seed removal is indicative of seed predation, and seed predation is related to the recruitment of mature plants. To determine how burial depth affects P. americana seed removal, 20 seeds of P. americana were buried at depths of 0, 1, or 3 cm in early-successional habitats at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina for over 6 weeks. The frequency with which seeds were encountered (as measured by the removal of at least one seed) and the proportion of seeds removed was significantly greater when seeds were on the soil surface (0 cm depth) compared to seeds that were buried 1 cm or 3 cm; there was no difference in encounter or removal between seeds at 1 cm or 3 cm. Our findings suggest that burial may have important consequences for P. americana population dynamics, because seed survival depends upon whether or not the seed is buried, and relatively shallow burial can yield large increases in seed survival. Because seed limitation is known to be an important determinant of plant community composition in early successional systems, our work suggests that burial may play an unappreciated role in the dynamics of these communities by reducing predator-mediated seed limitation.

  4. 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 ...

  5. Seed rain, soil seed bank, seed loss and regeneration of Castanopsis fargesii (Fagaceae) in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Du, X.; Guo, Q.; Gao, X.; Ma, K.

    2007-01-01

    Understanding the seed rain and seed loss dynamics in the natural condition has important significance for revealing the natural regeneration mechanisms. We conducted a 3-year field observation on seed rain, seed loss and natural regeneration of Castanopsis fargesii Franch., a dominant tree species in evergreen broad-leaved forests in Dujiangyan, southwestern China. The results showed that: (1) there were marked differences in (mature) seed production between mast (733,700 seeds in 2001) and regular (51,200 and 195,600 seeds in 2002 and 2003, respectively) years for C. fargesii. (2) Most seeds were dispersed in leaf litter, humus and 0-2 cm depth soil in seed bank. (3) Frequency distributions of both DBH and height indicated that C. fargesii had a relatively stable population. (4) Seed rain, seed ground density, seed loss, and leaf fall were highly dynamic and certain quantity of seeds were preserved on the ground for a prolonged time due to predator satiation in both the mast and regular years so that the continuous presence of seed bank and seedling recruitments in situ became possible. Both longer time observations and manipulative experiments should be carried out to better understand the roles of seed dispersal and regeneration process in the ecosystem performance. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Seed proteomics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seeds comprise a protective covering, a small embryonic plant, and a nutrient-storage organ. Seeds are protein-rich, and have been the subject of many mass spectrometry-based analyses. Seed storage proteins (SSP), which are transient depots for reduced nitrogen, have been studied for decades by cel...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Masting mediated by summer drought reduces acorn predation in Mediterranean oak forests.

    PubMed

    Espelta, Josep Maria; Cortés, Pilar; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Sánchez-Humanes, Belén; Retana, Javier

    2008-03-01

    Temporally variable production of seed crops by perennial plants (masting) has been hypothesized to be a valuable mechanism in the reduction of seed predation by satiating and starving seed consumers. To achieve these benefits, coexisting species subjected to the same predator would benefit from a similar pattern of seeding fluctuation over time that could lead to a reduction in predation at the within-species level. We tested for the existence of an environmental factor enforcing synchrony in acorn production in two sympatric Mediterranean oaks (Quercus ilex and Q. humilis) and the consequences on within-species and between-species acorn predation, by monitoring 15 mixed forests (450 trees) over seven years. Acorn production in Q. ilex and Q. humilis was highly variable among years, with high population variability (CVp) values. The two species exhibited a very different pattern across years in their initial acorn crop size (sum of aborted, depredated, and sound acorns). Nevertheless, interannual differences in summer water stress modified the likelihood of abortion during acorn ripening and enforced within- and, particularly, between-species synchrony and population variability in acorn production. The increase in CVp from initial to mature acorn crop (after summer) accounted for 33% in Q. ilex, 59% in Q. humilis, and 60% in the two species together. Mean yearly acorn pre-dispersal predation by invertebrates was considerably higher in Q. humilis than in Q. ilex. Satiation and starvation of predators was recorded for the two oaks, and this effect was increased by the year-to-year variability in the size of the acorn crop of the two species combined. Moreover, at a longer time scale (over seven years), we observed a significant reduction in the mean proportion of acorns depredated for each oak and the variability in both species' acorn production combined. Therefore, our results demonstrate that similar patterns of seeding fluctuation over time in coexisting

  14. Contrasting patterns of short-term indirect seed-seed interactions mediated by scatter-hoarding rodents.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-09-01

    It is well known that direct effects of seed predators or dispersers can have strong effects on seedling establishment. However, we have limited knowledge about the indirect species interactions between seeds of different species that are mediated by shared seed predators and/or dispersers and their consequences for plant demography and diversity. Because scatter-hoarding rodents as seed dispersers may leave some hoarded seeds uneaten, scatter hoarding may serve to increase seed survival and dispersal. Consequently, the presence of heterospecific seeds could alter whether the indirect interactions mediated by scatter-hoarding rodents have a net positive effect, creating apparent mutualism between seed species, or a net negative effect, creating apparent competition between seed species. We present a testable framework to measure short-term indirect effects between co-occurring plant species mediated by seed scatter-hoarding rodents. We tested this framework in a subtropical forest in south-west China using a replacement design and tracked the fate of individually tagged seeds in experimental patches. We manipulated the benefits to rodents by using low-tannin dormant chestnuts as palatable food and high-tannin non-dormant acorns as unpalatable food. We found that seed palatability changed the amount of scatter hoarding that occurred when seeds co-occurred either among or within patches. Consistent with our predictions, scatter-hoarding rodents created apparent mutualism through increasing seed removal and seed caching, and enhancing survival, of both plant species in mixed patches compared with monospecific patches. However, if we ignore scatter hoarding and treat all seed harvest as seed predation (and not dispersal), then apparent competition between palatable chestnuts and unpalatable acorns was also observed. This study is the first to demonstrate that foraging decisions by scatter-hoarding animals to scatter hoard seeds for later consumption (or loss) or

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Frugivore loss limits recruitment of large-seeded trees

    PubMed Central

    Wotton, Debra M.; Kelly, Dave

    2011-01-01

    Although global declines in frugivores may disrupt seed dispersal mutualisms and inhibit plant recruitment, quantifying the likely reduction in plant regeneration has been difficult and rarely attempted. We use a manipulative factorial experiment to quantify dependence of recruitment on dispersal (i.e. fruit pulp removal and movement of seed away from parental area) in two large-seeded New Zealand tree species. Complete dispersal failure would cause a 66 to 81 per cent reduction in recruitment to the 2-year-old seedling stage, and synergistic interactions with introduced mammalian seed and seedling predators increase the reduction to 92 to 94 per cent. Dispersal failure reduced regeneration through effects on seed predation, germination and (especially) seedling survival, including distance- and density-dependent (Janzen–Connell) effects. Dispersal of both species is currently largely dependent on a single frugivore, and many fruits today remain uneaten. Present-day levels of frugivore loss and mammal seed and seedling predators result in 57 to 84 per cent fewer seedlings after 2 years. Our study demonstrates the importance of seed dispersal for local plant population persistence, and validates concerns about the community consequences of frugivore declines. PMID:21450732

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Litter effects on seedling establishment interact with seed position and earthworm activity.

    PubMed

    Donath, T W; Eckstein, R L

    2012-01-01

    Seedling establishment is influenced by litter cover and by seed predators, but little is known about interactions between these two factors. We tested their effects on emergence of five typical grassland species in a microcosm experiment. We manipulated the amounts of grass litter, seed sowing position and earthworm activity to determine whether: (i) the protective effect of litter against seed predation depends on cover amount and seed sowing position, i.e., on top or beneath litter; (ii) seed transport by earthworms changes the effect of seed sowing position on seedling emergence; and (iii) seeds transported into deeper soil layers by earthworms are still germinable. Litter cover and presence of earthworms lowered seedling emergence. The impact of seed position increased with seed size. Emergence of large-seeded species was reduced when sown on the surface. Additionally, we found an important seed position × earthworm interaction related to seed size. Emergence of large-seeded species sown on top of the litter was up to three times higher when earthworms were present than without earthworms. Earthworms also significantly altered the depth distribution of seeds in the soil and across treatments: on average 6% of seeds germinated after burial. In contrast to the seed position effect, we found no size effect on mobility and germinability of seeds after burial in the soil. Nevertheless, the fate of different-sized seeds may differ. While burial will remove large seeds from the regeneration pool, it may enhance seed bank build up in small-seeded species. Consequently, changes in the amount of litter cover and the invertebrate community play a significant role in plant community composition. PMID:21972886

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. An indigenous gut bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis (Lactobacillales: Enterococcaceae), increases seed consumption by Harpalus pensylvanicus (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harpalus pensylvanicus is a beneficial beetle contributing to insect control and seed predation in North American cropland. The bacterial endosymbiont Enterococcus faecalis is found in the intestinal tract of H. pensylvanicus and is thought to contribute to the digestion of the insect's seed diet. W...

  10. Seed consumption and dispersal of ant-dispersed plants by slugs.

    PubMed

    Türke, Manfred; Heinze, Eric; Andreas, Kerstin; Svendsen, Sarah M; Gossner, Martin M; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2010-07-01

    In beech-dominated forests in Central Europe, many spring geophytes show adaptations to seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory). Ants, however, can be rare in such moist forests. Motivated by observations of slug feeding on seeds we investigated the seed consumption of two plant species, Anemone nemorosa and Asarum europaeum, by slugs, in a series of experiments. In a seed predation experiment in a beech forest, we found that seed removal was strongly reduced when gastropods were excluded from the seed depots. The contribution of insects, including ants, and rodents to seed removal was relatively less but differed between May and July. In the laboratory, slug species, in particular Arion sp., consumed seeds of both plant species. Slugs either consumed the elaiosomes of seeds or swallowed seeds intact. Swallowed seeds were defecated undamaged and germinated as well as control seeds when buried overwinter, indicating the potential for seed dispersal by slugs. We also recovered seeds of myrmecochores in the faeces of several slugs caught in forests. In a slug release experiment in the forest, slugs moved up to 14.6 m (mean 4.4 m) in 15 h, which is the median gut passage time of seeds based on measurements made in the laboratory. We also found that when slug-defecated seeds were offered to rodents, these were less attractive than control seeds, suggesting that passage through the slug gut reduces seed predation risk. Our results demonstrate that slugs are significant consumers of elaiosomes or entire seeds of ant-dispersed plants and that they can function as seed dispersers of these plants. PMID:20364390

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interaction between juniper Juniperus communis L. and its fruit pest insects: Pest abundance, fruit characteristics and seed viability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Daniel

    1998-12-01

    The relationships between the fruit features of Juniperus communis and the presence of fruit pests were studied in Sierra Nevada, SE Spain. The abundance of two insect species — a pulp-sucking scale and a seed-predator wasp — was surveyed with respect both to fruit characteristics and to viability of seeds contained therein. Seed-predator pressure was not significantly related to any fruit characteristics; however, pulp suckers tended to be more abundant in plants with low pulp: seed ratios and high fruit-water content. In addition, fruits with high levels of pulp-sucker attack tended to have higher water content. A multi-factor ANOVA, considering the identity of the plant and the attack of the different pests as factors, showed that plant identity accounts for most of the variation in fruit characteristics. The viability of seeds tended to be lower in plants strongly attacked by both pests. Fruits attacked by seed predators showed significantly lower proportions of viable and unviable seeds than did unattacked fruits. Seed viability was also lower in those fruits heavily attacked by pulp suckers, but this pattern is strongly mediated by plant identity. Pest activity proved to be clearly associated with a direct decrease in juniper reproductive capacity. This loss involved a reduction of the viable-seed number, mainly related to the seed predator, as well as a reduction of fruit attractiveness to frugivorous dispersers, related to the pulp sucker.

  14. Environmental Factors That Influence a Mutualism Between the Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris L. and the Annual Weed Ambrosia trifida L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The earthworm Lumbricus terrestris L. can improve Ambrosia trifida L. seed survival and seedling recruitment in agroecosystems with high risks of post-dispersal seed predation. In a previous 1-yr survey of no-till agricultural fields in the eastern U.S. Corn Belt, both L. terrestris and A. trifida w...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Endocarp thickness affects seed removal speed by small rodents in a warm-temperate broad-leafed deciduous forest, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongmao; Zhang, Zhibin

    2008-11-01

    Seed traits are important factors affecting seed predation by rodents and thereby the success of recruitment. Seeds of many tree species have hard hulls. These are thought to confer mechanical protection, but the effect of endocarp thickness on seed predation by rodents has not been well investigated. Wild apricot ( Prunus armeniaca), wild peach ( Amygdalus davidiana), cultivated walnut ( Juglans regia), wild walnut ( Juglans mandshurica Maxim) and Liaodong oak ( Quercus liaotungensis) are very common tree species in northwestern Beijing city, China. Their seeds vary greatly in size, endocarp thickness, caloric value and tannin content. This paper aims to study the effects of seed traits on seed removal speed of these five tree species by small rodents in a temperate deciduous forest, with emphasis on the effect of endocarp thickness. The results indicated that speed of removal of seeds released at stations in the field decreased significantly with increasing endocarp thickness. We found no significant correlations between seed removal speed and other seed traits such as seed size, caloric value and tannin content. In seed selection experiments in small cages, Père David's rock squirrel ( Sciurotamias davidianus), a large-bodied, strong-jawed rodent, selected all of the five seed species, and the selection order among the five seed species was determined by endocarp thickness and the ratio of endocarp mass/seed mass. In contrast, the Korean field mouse ( Apodemus peninsulae) and Chinese white-bellied rat ( Niviventer confucianus), with relatively small bodies and weak jaws, preferred to select small seeds like acorns of Q. liaotungensis and seeds of P. armeniaca, indicating that rodent body size is also an important factor affecting food selection based on seed size. These results suggest endocarp thickness significantly reduces seed removal speed by rodents and then negatively affects dispersal fitness of seeds before seed removal of tree species in the study

  18. 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

  19. Soil surface searching and transport of Euphorbia characias seeds by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espadaler, Xavier; Gómez, Crisanto

    The intensity of exploring the soil surface by ants was studied for the four species involved in the dispersal and predation of seeds of the West-Mediterranean myrmecochorous plant Euphorbia characias. During the dehiscence period (June) the whole soil surface is sccanned in 43 minutes. Not all ants that find a seed take it to the nest. For the four ant species studied ( Pheidole pallidula, Aphaenogaster senilis, Tapinoma nigerrimum, Messor barbarus) the proportion of ants that finally take the seed is 67.6%. In spite of this, the high level of soil surface searching explains the rather short time that seeds remain on the soil before being removed. The presence of an elaiosome is a key element in the outcome of the ant-seed interaction: a seed with elaiosome has a seven-fold increase in probability of being taken to the nest if found by a non-granivorous ant. The predator-avoidance hypothesis for myrmecochory is supported.

  20. 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

  1. Relative Preference and Localized Food Affect Predator Space Use and Consumption of Incidental Prey

    PubMed Central

    Schartel, Tyler E.; Schauber, Eric M.

    2016-01-01

    Abundant, localized foods can concentrate predators and their foraging efforts, thus altering both the spatial distribution of predation risk and predator preferences for prey that are encountered incidentally. However, few investigations have quantified the spatial scale over which localized foods affect predator foraging behavior and consumption of incidental prey. In spring 2010, we experimentally tested how point-source foods altered how generalist predators (white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus) utilized space and depredated two incidental prey items: almonds (Prunus dulcis; highly profitable) and maple seeds (Acer saccharum; less profitable). We estimated mouse population densities with trapping webs, quantified mouse consumption rates of these incidental prey items, and measured local mouse activity with track plates. We predicted that 1) mouse activity would be elevated near full feeders, but depressed at intermediate distances from the feeder, 2) consumption of both incidental prey would be high near feeders providing less-preferred food and, 3) consumption of incidental prey would be contingent on predator preference for prey relative to feeders providing more-preferred food. Mouse densities increased significantly from pre- to post-experiment. Mean mouse activity was unexpectedly greatest in control treatments, particularly <15 m from the control (empty) feeder. Feeders with highly preferred food (sunflower seeds) created localized refuges for incidental prey at intermediate distances (15 to 25m) from the feeder. Feeders with less-preferred food (corn) generated localized high risk for highly preferred almonds <10 m of the feeder. Our findings highlight the contingent but predictable effects of locally abundant food on risk experienced by incidental prey, which can be positive or negative depending on both spatial proximity and relative preference. PMID:26978659

  2. Relative Preference and Localized Food Affect Predator Space Use and Consumption of Incidental Prey.

    PubMed

    Schartel, Tyler E; Schauber, Eric M

    2016-01-01

    Abundant, localized foods can concentrate predators and their foraging efforts, thus altering both the spatial distribution of predation risk and predator preferences for prey that are encountered incidentally. However, few investigations have quantified the spatial scale over which localized foods affect predator foraging behavior and consumption of incidental prey. In spring 2010, we experimentally tested how point-source foods altered how generalist predators (white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus) utilized space and depredated two incidental prey items: almonds (Prunus dulcis; highly profitable) and maple seeds (Acer saccharum; less profitable). We estimated mouse population densities with trapping webs, quantified mouse consumption rates of these incidental prey items, and measured local mouse activity with track plates. We predicted that 1) mouse activity would be elevated near full feeders, but depressed at intermediate distances from the feeder, 2) consumption of both incidental prey would be high near feeders providing less-preferred food and, 3) consumption of incidental prey would be contingent on predator preference for prey relative to feeders providing more-preferred food. Mouse densities increased significantly from pre- to post-experiment. Mean mouse activity was unexpectedly greatest in control treatments, particularly <15 m from the control (empty) feeder. Feeders with highly preferred food (sunflower seeds) created localized refuges for incidental prey at intermediate distances (15 to 25m) from the feeder. Feeders with less-preferred food (corn) generated localized high risk for highly preferred almonds <10 m of the feeder. Our findings highlight the contingent but predictable effects of locally abundant food on risk experienced by incidental prey, which can be positive or negative depending on both spatial proximity and relative preference. PMID:26978659

  3. Consumer preference for seeds and seedlings of rare species impacts tree diversity at multiple scales.

    PubMed

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Guevara, Roger; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2013-07-01

    Positive density-dependent seed and seedling predation, where herbivores selectively eat seeds or seedlings of common species, is thought to play a major role in creating and maintaining plant community diversity. However, many herbivores and seed predators are known to exhibit preferences for rare foods, which could lead to negative density-dependent predation. In this study, we first demonstrate the occurrence of increased predation of locally rare tree species by a widespread group of insular seed and seedling predators, land crabs. We then build computer simulations based on these empirical data to examine the effects of such predation on diversity patterns. Simulations show that herbivore preferences for locally rare species are likely to drive scale-dependent effects on plant community diversity: at small scales these foraging patterns decrease plant community diversity via the selective consumption of rare plant species, while at the landscape level they should increase diversity, at least for short periods, by promoting clustered local dominance of a variety of species. Finally, we compared observed patterns of plant diversity at the site to those obtained via computer simulations, and found that diversity patterns generated under simulations were highly consistent with observed diversity patterns. We posit that preference for rare species by herbivores may be prevalent in low- or moderate-diversity systems, and that these effects may help explain diversity patterns across different spatial scales in such ecosystems. PMID:23229391

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Evolutionary optimization of material properties of a tropical seed

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Peter W.; Gaskins, John T.; Lowrey, Timothy K.; Harrison, Mark E.; Morrogh-Bernard, Helen C.; Cheyne, Susan M.; Begley, Matthew R.

    2012-01-01

    Here, we show how the mechanical properties of a thick-shelled tropical seed are adapted to permit them to germinate while preventing their predation. The seed has evolved a complex heterogeneous microstructure resulting in hardness, stiffness and fracture toughness values that place the structure at the intersection of these competing selective constraints. Analyses of different damage mechanisms inflicted by beetles, squirrels and orangutans illustrate that cellular shapes and orientations ensure damage resistance to predation forces imposed across a broad range of length scales. This resistance is shown to be around the upper limit that allows cracking the shell via internal turgor pressure (i.e. germination). Thus, the seed appears to strike an exquisitely delicate adaptive balance between multiple selection pressures. PMID:21613287

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of habitat and season on removal and hoarding of seeds of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) by small rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji-Qi, Lu; Zhi-Bin, Zhang

    2004-12-01

    The wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is widely distributed in the Donglingshan Mountains of Mentougou District of Beijing, China, where its seeds may be an important food resource for rodents. Predation, removal and hoarding of seeds by rodents will inevitably affect the spatio-temporal pattern of seed fate of wild apricot in this area. By marking and releasing tagged seeds of wild apricot, we investigated seeds survival, scatter-hoarding, cache size and seedling establishment, and the preference of micro-habitats used by rodents to store seeds. The results showed that: (1) rodents in this area hoarded food intensively in autumn, as well as in spring and summer. (2) There were significant effects of habitat and season on removal rate of tagged seeds at releasing plots. In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, tagged seeds were removed most rapidly by rodents in autumn, at intermediate rates in spring and least rapidly in summer. (3) During three seasons, mean dispersal distance of scatter-hoarded seeds in Low shrub habitat was greater than that in High shrub. Most removed seeds were buried within 21.0 m of the releasing plots. (4) In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, rodents tended to carry seeds to US (Under shrub) and SE (Shrub edge) microhabitats for scatter-hoarding or predation. (5) Among the caches made by rodents, most caches contained only one seed, but up to three seeds were observed; caches of 2-3 seeds were common in autumn. (6) By comparing dental marks, we determined that large field mice (Apodemus peninsulae) and David's rock squirrels (Sciurotamias davidianus) contributed to removal and predation of released tagged seeds. However, only the large field mice exerted a pivotal and positive role on the burial of dispersed seeds. (7) Establishment of three seedlings originated from seeds buried by rodents was documented in High shrub habitat.

  10. 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

  11. Differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species on seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera) in Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2011-05-01

    Seed hoarding is an important behavioral adaptation to food shortages for many rodent species. Sympatric rodents may affect the natural regeneration of large-seeded trees differently as seed dispersers or seed predators. Using seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera), we investigated differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species in semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest of China. We found that all these six species ate seeds of C. oleifera, but only Edward's long-tailed rats ( Leopoldamys edwardsi) were predominantly scatter hoarders; chestnut rats ( Niviventer fulvescens) and white-bellied rats ( Niviventer confucianus) scatter hoarded and larder hoarded few seeds, but were seed predators; South China field mice ( Apodemus draco) exhibited little larder-hoarding behavior; and Chevrier's field mice ( A. chevrieri) as well as Himalayan rats ( Rattus nitidusa) did not hoard seeds at all. The rodents that engaged in scatter hoarding often formed single-seed caches and tended to cache seeds under grass or shrubs. Our findings indicate that sympatric rodents consuming seeds of the same species of plant can have different hoarding strategies, affecting seed dispersal and plant regeneration differently. We conclude by discussing the role of these species in hoarding seeds of C. oleifera and highlight the essential role of Edward's long-tailed rats as predominantly potential dispersers of this plant species.

  12. Project SEED.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Reports on Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged) a project in which high school students from low-income families work in summer jobs in a variety of academic, industrial, and government research labs. The program introduces the students to career possibilities in chemistry and to the advantages of higher education.…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Dense understory dwarf bamboo alters the retention of canopy tree seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Feng; Zhang, Tengda; Guo, Qinxue; Tao, Jianping

    2016-05-01

    Tree seed retention is thought to be an important factor in the process of forest community regeneration. Although dense understory dwarf bamboo has been considered to have serious negative effects on the regeneration of forest community species, little attention has been paid to the relationship between dwarf bamboo and seed retention. In a field experiment we manipulated the density of Fargesia decurvata, a common understory dwarf bamboo, to investigate the retention of seeds from five canopy tree species in an evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve, SW China. We found that the median survival time and retention ratio of seeds increased with the increase in bamboo density. Fauna discriminately altered seed retention in bamboo groves of different densities. Arthropods reduced seed survival the most, and seeds removed decreased with increasing bamboo density. Birds removed or ate more seeds in groves of medium bamboo density and consumed fewer seeds in dense or sparse bamboo habitats. Rodents removed a greater number of large and highly profitable seeds in dense bamboo groves but more small and thin-husked seeds in sparse bamboo groves. Seed characteristics, including seed size, seed mass and seed profitability, were important factors affecting seed retention. The results suggested that dense understory dwarf bamboo not only increased seeds concealment and reduced the probability and speed of seed removal but also influenced the trade-off between predation and risk of animal predatory strategies, thereby impacting the quantity and composition of surviving seeds. Our results also indicated that dense understory dwarf bamboo and various seed characteristics can provide good opportunities for seed storage and seed germination and has a potential positive effect on canopy tree regeneration.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Detection of seed DNA in regurgitates of granivorous carabid beetles.

    PubMed

    Wallinger, C; Sint, D; Baier, F; Schmid, C; Mayer, R; Traugott, M

    2015-12-01

    Granivory can play a pivotal role in influencing regeneration, colonization as well as abundance and distribution of plants. Due to their high abundance, nutrient content and longevity, seeds are an important food source for many animals. Among insects, carabid beetles consume substantial numbers of seeds and are thought to be responsible for a significant amount of seed loss. However, the processes that govern which seeds are eaten and are therefore prevented from entering the seedbank are poorly understood. Here, we assess if DNA-based diet analysis allows tracking the consumption of seeds by carabids. Adult individuals of Harpalus rufipes were fed with seeds of Taraxacum officinale and Lolium perenne allowing them to digest for up to 3 days. Regurgitates were tested for the DNA of ingested seeds at eight different time points post-feeding using general and species-specific plant primers. The detection of seed DNA decreased with digestion time for both seed species, albeit in a species-specific manner. Significant differences in overall DNA detection rates were found with the general plant primers but not with the species-specific primers. This can have implications for the interpretation of trophic data derived from next-generation sequencing, which is based on the application of general primers. Our findings demonstrate that seed predation by carabids can be tracked, molecularly, on a species-specific level, providing a new way to unravel the mechanisms underlying in-field diet choice in granivores. PMID:26271284

  1. Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration.

    PubMed

    Neuschulz, Eike Lena; Mueller, Thomas; Schleuning, Matthias; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Plant regeneration is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which are globally threatened by human disturbance. Here we present the first integrative meta-analysis on how forest disturbance affects multiple ecological processes of plant regeneration including pollination, seed dispersal, seed predation, recruitment and herbivory. We analysed 408 pairwise comparisons of these processes between near-natural and disturbed forests. Human impacts overall reduced plant regeneration. Importantly, only processes early in the regeneration cycle that often depend on plant-animal interactions, i.e. pollination and seed dispersal, were negatively affected. Later processes, i.e. seed predation, recruitment and herbivory, showed overall no significant response to human disturbance. Conserving pollination and seed dispersal, including the animals that provide these services to plants, should become a priority in forest conservation efforts globally. PMID:27435026

  2. Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Neuschulz, Eike Lena; Mueller, Thomas; Schleuning, Matthias; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Plant regeneration is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which are globally threatened by human disturbance. Here we present the first integrative meta-analysis on how forest disturbance affects multiple ecological processes of plant regeneration including pollination, seed dispersal, seed predation, recruitment and herbivory. We analysed 408 pairwise comparisons of these processes between near-natural and disturbed forests. Human impacts overall reduced plant regeneration. Importantly, only processes early in the regeneration cycle that often depend on plant-animal interactions, i.e. pollination and seed dispersal, were negatively affected. Later processes, i.e. seed predation, recruitment and herbivory, showed overall no significant response to human disturbance. Conserving pollination and seed dispersal, including the animals that provide these services to plants, should become a priority in forest conservation efforts globally. PMID:27435026

  3. Bird and ant synergy increases the seed dispersal effectiveness of an ornithochoric shrub.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Paulo H S A; Martins, Milene M; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Christianini, Alexander V

    2016-06-01

    Seed dispersal may involve different vectors of dispersal in two or more sequential phases (i.e., diplochory). However, contributions of each phase to the overall seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) are poorly understood and hard to evaluate due to post-dispersal processes that affect seed and seedling survival. We investigated the simultaneous bird (phase 1, in plant canopy) and ant (phase 2, on the floor) contributions to SDE with the ornithochoric shrub Erythroxylum ambiguum in a Brazilian Atlantic forest. Twelve species of birds fed on fruit and dispersed approximately 26 % of the seed crop. The remaining seed crop, 90 % of which contained viable seeds, fell to the ground beneath the parental plant. Ants either cleaned seeds in fruits or carried fallen fruit and seeds from bird feces to their nests. Although E. ambiguum has no adaptation for ant dispersal, ants were as quantitatively important as birds. Birds and ants equally increased germination rates compared to controls. However, birds deposited seeds farther from the parent, where seedling survival was higher (78 %) than it was beneath the parent (44 %), whereas ants carried seeds to their nests, where seedling survival was higher (83 %) than in controls away from their nests (63 %). Diplochory allowed a 42 % increase in SDE compared to dispersal in phase 1 alone. High lipid content in the fruit pulp of E. ambiguum may facilitate the inclusion of ants in a second step of dispersal after diaspores reach the floor. Ants can also buffer the dispersal of diplochorous plants against decreases in phase 1 dispersers. PMID:26899481

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Skylarks trade size and energy content in weed seeds to maximize total ingested lipid biomass.

    PubMed

    Gaba, Sabrina; Collas, Claire; Powolny, Thibaut; Bretagnolle, François; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2014-10-01

    The trade-off between forage quality and quantity has been particularly studied in herbivore organisms, but much less for seed eating animals, in particular seed-eating birds which constitute the bulk of wintering passerines in European farmlands. The skylark is one of the commonest farmland birds in winter, mainly feeding on seeds. We focus on weed seeds for conservation and management purposes. Weed seeds form the bulk of the diet of skylarks during winter period, and although this is still a matter for discussion, weed seed predation by granivorous has been suggested as an alternative to herbicides used to regulate weed populations in arable crops. Our objectives were to identify whether weed seed traits govern foraging decisions of skylarks, and to characterize key seed traits with respect to size, which is related to searching and handling time, and lipid content, which is essential for migratory birds. We combined a single-offer experiment and a multiple-offer one to test for feeding preferences of the birds by estimating seed intake on weed seed species differing in their seed size and seed lipid content. Our results showed (1) a selective preference for smaller seeds above a threshold of seed size or seed size difference in the pair and, (2) a significant effect of seed lipid biomass suggesting a trade-off between foraging for smaller seeds and selecting seeds rich in lipids. Skylarks foraging decision thus seems to be mainly based on seed size, that is presumably a 'proxy' for weed seed energy content. However, there are clearly many possible combinations of morphological and physiological traits that must play crucial role in the plant-bird interaction such as toxic compound or seed coat. PMID:25452078

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A latitudinal gradient in seed nutrients of the forest herb Anemone nemorosa.

    PubMed

    De Frenne, P; Kolb, A; Graae, B J; Decocq, G; Baltora, S; De Schrijver, A; Brunet, J; Chabrerie, O; Cousins, S A O; Dhondt, R; Diekmann, M; Gruwez, R; Heinken, T; Hermy, M; Liira, J; Saguez, R; Shevtsova, A; Baskin, C C; Verheyen, K

    2011-05-01

    The nutrient concentration in seeds determines many aspects of potential success of the sexual reproductive phase of plants, including the seed predation probability, efficiency of seed dispersal and seedling performance. Despite considerable research interest in latitudinal gradients of foliar nutrients, a similar gradient for seeds remains unexplored. We investigated a potential latitudinal gradient in seed nutrient concentrations within the widespread European understorey forest herb Anemone nemorosa L. We sampled seeds of A. nemorosa in 15 populations along a 1900-km long latitudinal gradient at three to seven seed collection dates post-anthesis and investigated the relative effects of growing degree-hours >5 °C, soil characteristics and latitude on seed nutrient concentrations. Seed nitrogen, nitrogen:phosphorus ratio and calcium concentration decreased towards northern latitudes, while carbon:nitrogen ratios increased. When taking differences in growing degree-hours and measured soil characteristics into account and only considering the most mature seeds, the latitudinal decline remained particularly significant for seed nitrogen concentration. We argue that the decline in seed nitrogen concentration can be attributed to northward decreasing seed provisioning due to lower soil nitrogen availability or greater investment in clonal reproduction. This pattern may have large implications for the reproductive performance of this forest herb as the degree of seed provisioning ultimately co-determines seedling survival and reproductive success. PMID:21489100

  20. Seed Treatment. Bulletin 760.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowery, Harvey C.

    This manual gives a definition of seed treatment, the types of seeds normally treated, diseases and insects commonly associated with seeds, fungicides and insecticides used, types of equipment used for seed treatment, and information on labeling and coloring of treated seed, pesticide carriers, binders, stickers, and safety precautions. (BB)

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. What Are Chia Seeds?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Men For Women For Seniors What Are Chia Seeds? Published February 05, 2014 Print Email When you ... number of research participants. How to Eat Chia Seeds Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared ...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Wind-dispersed Seed Deposition Patterns and Seedling Recruitment of Artemisia halodendron in a Moving Sandy Land

    PubMed Central

    LI, FENG-RUI; WANG, TAO; ZHANG, AI-SHENG; ZHAO, LI-YA; KANG, LING-FEN; CHEN, WEN

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims Artemisia halodendron is a native sub-shrub that occurs mainly in moving and semi-fixed sandy lands in Inner Mongolia, China. Information on the spatial patterns of wind-dispersed seed deposition and seedling recruitment of A. halodendron inhabiting moving sandy lands is very limited. The aim of this study was to examine wind-dispersed seed deposition patterns and post-dispersal recruitment of A. halodendron seedlings. •Methods The spatial patterns of wind-dispersed seed deposition and seedling recruitment of A. halodendron were examined by investigating the numbers of deposited seeds, emerged and surviving seedlings using sampling points at a range of distances from the parent plant in eight compass directions for two consecutive growing seasons. •Key Results Wind-dispersed seed deposition showed considerable variation between directions and years. Wind transported A. halodendron seeds only a few meters away from the parent plant in all eight directions. Seedling emergence and establishment also showed between-direction and between-year variability, but the spatial pattern of seedling distribution differed from that of seed deposition. Only a very small fraction (<1 %) of the deposited seeds emerged in the field and survived for long enough to be included in our seedling censuses at the end of the growing season. •Conclusions The spatial variation in wind speed and frequency strongly affects the pattern of seed deposition, although the variation in seed deposition does not determine the spatial pattern of seedling recruitment. Seeds of A. halodendron are not dispersed very well by wind. The low probability of recruitment success for A. halodendron seedlings suggests that this species does not rely on seedling recruitment for its persistence and maintenance of population. PMID:15857850

  11. Adaptive and selective seed abortion reveals complex conditional decision making in plants.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Katrin M; Soldaat, Leo L; Auge, Harald; Thulke, Hans-Hermann

    2014-03-01

    Behavior is traditionally attributed to animals only. Recently, evidence for plant behavior is accumulating, mostly from plant physiological studies. Here, we provide ecological evidence for complex plant behavior in the form of seed abortion decisions conditional on internal and external cues. We analyzed seed abortion patterns of barberry plants exposed to seed parasitism and different environmental conditions. Without abortion, parasite infestation of seeds can lead to loss of all seeds in a fruit. We statistically tested a series of null models with Monte Carlo simulations to establish selectivity and adaptiveness of the observed seed abortion patterns. Seed abortion was more frequent in parasitized fruits and fruits from dry habitats. Surprisingly, seed abortion occurred with significantly greater probability if there was a second intact seed in the fruit. This strategy provides a fitness benefit if abortion can prevent a sibling seed from coinfestation and if nonabortion of an infested but surviving single seed saves resources invested in the fruit coat. Ecological evidence for complex decision making in plants thus includes a structural memory (the second seed), simple reasoning (integration of inner and outer conditions), conditional behavior (abortion), and anticipation of future risks (seed predation). PMID:24561600

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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,...

  16. 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

  17. Seed health and vigor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The health of lentil and chickpea seed greatly impacts the quality of the crop stand and yield. Healthy seed has a high germination rate, is whole (free of cracks or other damage), is free from foreign matter including weed seed and has limited seedborne pathogens. The health of the seed often dep...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Notes on spider (Theridiidae, Salticidae) predation of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), and a possible parasitoid fly (Chloropidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, W.H. Univ. of Idaho, Moscow ); Blom, P.E. )

    1992-12-01

    Spiders are known predators of ants. Pressure exerted by consistent spider predation can alter the behavior of ant colonies (MacKay 1982) and may be a selective pressure contributing to the seed-harvesting behavior of Pogonomyrmex (MacKay and MacKay 1984). The authors observed the spider Euryopis formosa Banks (Araneae: Theridiidae) capture and transport workers of the harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen [Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Myrmicinae]) in southeastern Idaho. Additional observations revealed a crab spider of the genus Xysticus preying on P. salinus and the presence of a chloropid fly (Incertella) that may have been parasitizing the moribund prey subdued by the spider.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Evolutionary and ecological implications of primate seed dispersal.

    PubMed

    Lambert, J E; Garber, P A

    1998-01-01

    In this paper, we evaluate patterns of fruit eating and seed dispersal in monkeys and apes and draw an important distinction between 1) the ecological consequences of primates as seed dispersers and 2) the evolutionary implications of primates on the seed and fruit traits of the plant species they exploit. In many forest communities, primates act as both seed predators and seed dispersers and are likely to have an important ecological impact on patterns of forest regeneration and tree species diversity. Evidence from Kibale National Park, Uganda, and Manu National Park, Peru, as well as several other South American sites indicates that monkeys and apes display a wide range of fruit-processing behaviors, including spitting seeds, dropping seeds, masticating seeds, and swallowing seeds. Differences in consumer body size, diet, ranging patterns, and oral and digestive morphology result in different patterns in the distance and distribution of seeds from the parent plant. In the case of South American monkeys, for example, despite their relatively small body size, platyrrhines were found to exploit larger fruits and swallow larger seeds on average than did Old World monkeys and apes of the Kibale forest. We found little evidence to support the existence of a coevolutionary relationship between a single or set of primate dispersers and the particular plant species they disperse. This is due to variability in the manner in which monkeys and apes select fruits and treat seeds, the fact that many species of primates and nonprimates exploit and disperse the same fruit species, and the fact that extremely high levels of postdispersal seed, seedling, and sapling mortality serve to dilute the influence that any primate species may have on the recruitment of the next generation of adult trees. It is apparent that many primate lineages exhibit dental, digestive, and/or sensory adaptations that aid in the exploitation of particular food types and that many lineages of flowering

  16. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  17. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  18. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  19. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  20. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  1. 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

  2. A Switch in Keystone Seed-Dispersing Ant Genera between Two Elevations for a Myrmecochorous Plant, Acacia terminalis

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Fiona J.; Auld, Tony D.; Ramp, Daniel; Kingsford, Richard T.

    2016-01-01

    The dispersal capacity of plant species that rely on animals to disperse their seeds (biotic dispersal) can alter with changes to the populations of their keystone dispersal vectors. Knowledge on how biotic dispersal systems vary across landscapes allows better understanding of factors driving plant persistence. Myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants, is a common method of biotic dispersal for many plant species throughout the world. We tested if the seed dispersal system of Acacia terminalis (Fabaceae), a known myrmecochore, differed between two elevations in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, in southeastern Australia. We compared ant assemblages, seed removal rates of ants and other vertebrates (bird and mammal) and the dominant seed-dispersing ant genera. At low elevations (c. 200 m a.s.l) seed removal was predominantly by ants, however, at high elevation sites (c. 700 m a.s.l) vertebrate seed dispersers or seed predators were present, removing over 60% of seeds from experimental depots when ants were excluded. We found a switch in the keystone seed-dispersing ant genera from Rhytidoponera at low elevations sites to Aphaenogaster at high elevation sites. This resulted in more seeds being removed faster at low elevation sites compared to high elevation sites, however long-term seed removal rates were equal between elevations. Differences in the keystone seed removalist, and the addition of an alternate dispersal vector or seed predator at high elevations, will result in different dispersal and establishment patterns for A. terminalis at different elevations. These differences in dispersal concur with other global studies that report myrmecochorous dispersal systems alter with elevation. PMID:27310262

  3. A Switch in Keystone Seed-Dispersing Ant Genera between Two Elevations for a Myrmecochorous Plant, Acacia terminalis.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Fiona J; Auld, Tony D; Ramp, Daniel; Kingsford, Richard T

    2016-01-01

    The dispersal capacity of plant species that rely on animals to disperse their seeds (biotic dispersal) can alter with changes to the populations of their keystone dispersal vectors. Knowledge on how biotic dispersal systems vary across landscapes allows better understanding of factors driving plant persistence. Myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants, is a common method of biotic dispersal for many plant species throughout the world. We tested if the seed dispersal system of Acacia terminalis (Fabaceae), a known myrmecochore, differed between two elevations in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, in southeastern Australia. We compared ant assemblages, seed removal rates of ants and other vertebrates (bird and mammal) and the dominant seed-dispersing ant genera. At low elevations (c. 200 m a.s.l) seed removal was predominantly by ants, however, at high elevation sites (c. 700 m a.s.l) vertebrate seed dispersers or seed predators were present, removing over 60% of seeds from experimental depots when ants were excluded. We found a switch in the keystone seed-dispersing ant genera from Rhytidoponera at low elevations sites to Aphaenogaster at high elevation sites. This resulted in more seeds being removed faster at low elevation sites compared to high elevation sites, however long-term seed removal rates were equal between elevations. Differences in the keystone seed removalist, and the addition of an alternate dispersal vector or seed predator at high elevations, will result in different dispersal and establishment patterns for A. terminalis at different elevations. These differences in dispersal concur with other global studies that report myrmecochorous dispersal systems alter with elevation. PMID:27310262

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Seed Proteomics"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proteomic analysis of seeds encounters some specific problems that do not impinge on analyses of other plant cells, tissues, or organs. There are anatomic considerations. Seeds comprise the seed coat, the storage organ(s), and the embryonic axis. Are these to be studied individually or as a compo...

  8. Going to Seed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Richard R.

    1984-01-01

    Describes a unit on seeds designed to introduce students to their scientific and nutritional uses. Unit activities are easily done, employ a variety of process skills, and can be used at various grade levels. Suggests field trips to gather seeds, seed sprouting, and making cookies out of various whole grains. (JM)

  9. Needs of Seeds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page

    2011-01-01

    The "Needs of Seeds" formative assessment probe can be used to find out whether students recognize that seeds have needs both similar to and different from plants and other living organisms (Keeley, Eberle, and Tugel 2007). The probe reveals whether students overgeneralize the needs of seeds by assuming they have the same needs as the adult plants…

  10. Pasture seed banks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In our surveys of northeastern pastures, we found the equivalent of more than 8 million seeds per acre in the surface soil (the top four inches) from the seed bank study. These seeds came from 58 species of plants. The annual forbs (all broadleaf plants with the exception of legumes and trees) domin...

  11. Preservation of recalcitrant seeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recalcitrant and intermediate seeds are not included in seed banks because of misperceptions that these efforts would be futile. Between 20 and 25% of the Earth’s angiosperm species are estimated to produce recalcitrant or intermediate seeds. These species are more prevalent in the tropics and sub...

  12. Seed Development and Germination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed is the fertilized and matured ovule of angiosperms and gymnosperms and represents a crucial stage in the life cycle of plants. Seeds of diverse plant species may display differences in size, shape and color. Despite apparent morphological variations, most mature seeds consist of three major com...

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The effect of hydroperiod and predation on the diversity of temporary pond zooplankton communities

    PubMed Central

    Zokan, Marcus; Drake, John M

    2015-01-01

    In temporary pond ecosystems, it is hypothesized that the two dominant structuring forces on zooplankton communities are predation and demographic constraints due to wetland drying. Both of these forces are deterministic processes that act most strongly at opposing ends of a hydroperiod gradient. Our objective was to test how these two processes affect α- and β-diversity of zooplankton communities derived from a diverse temporary pond system. We hypothesized that decreased hydroperiod length and the presence of salamander larvae as predators would decrease β-diversity and that intermediate hydroperiod communities would have the greatest species richness. Our 1-year mesocosm experiment (n = 36) consisted of two predation treatments (present/absent) and three hydroperiod treatments (short/medium/long) fully crossed, seeded from the resting egg bank of multiple temporary ponds. In total, we collected 37 species of microcrustacean zooplankton from our mesocosms. A reduction in hydroperiod length resulted in lower α-diversity, with short-hydroperiod treatments affected most strongly. Endpoint community dissimilarity (β-diversity) was greatest in the medium-hydroperiod treatment with regard to species presence/absence, but was greatest in the long-hydroperiod treatment when abundances were included. Predation by salamander larvae led to reduced β-diversity with respect to species presence/absence, but not among abundant species, and had no effect on α-diversity. Our results suggest that environmental changes that reduce hydroperiod length would result in reduced α-diversity; however, intermediate hydroperiod length appear to enhance β-diversity within a group of wetlands. PMID:26357537

  20. The Roles of Dispersal, Fecundity, and Predation in the Population Persistence of an Oak (Quercus engelmannii) under Global Change

    PubMed Central

    Conlisk, Erin; Lawson, Dawn; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Franklin, Janet; Flint, Lorraine; Flint, Alan; Regan, Helen M.

    2012-01-01

    A species’ response to climate change depends on the interaction of biotic and abiotic factors that define future habitat suitability and species’ ability to migrate or adapt. The interactive effects of processes such as fire, dispersal, and predation have not been thoroughly addressed in the climate change literature. Our objective was to examine how life history traits, short-term global change perturbations, and long-term climate change interact to affect the likely persistence of an oak species - Quercus engelmannii (Engelmann oak). Specifically, we combined dynamic species distribution models, which predict suitable habitat, with stochastic, stage-based metapopulation models, which project population trajectories, to evaluate the effects of three global change factors – climate change, land use change, and altered fire frequency – emphasizing the roles of dispersal and seed predation. Our model predicted dramatic reduction in Q. engelmannii abundance, especially under drier climates and increased fire frequency. When masting lowers seed predation rates, decreased masting frequency leads to large abundance decreases. Current rates of dispersal are not likely to prevent these effects, although increased dispersal could mitigate population declines. The results suggest that habitat suitability predictions by themselves may under-estimate the impact of climate change for other species and locations. PMID:22623955

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Testing hypotheses for excess flower production and low fruit-to-flower ratios in a pollinating seed-consuming mutualism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holland, J. Nathaniel; Bronstein, Judith L.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2004-01-01

    Pollinator attraction, pollen limitation, resource limitation, pollen donation and selective fruit abortion have all been proposed as processes explaining why hermaphroditic plants commonly produce many more flowers than mature fruit. We conducted a series of experiments in Arizona to investigate low fruit-to-flower ratios in senita cacti, which rely exclusively on pollinating seed-consumers. Selective abortion of fruit based on seed predators is of particular interest in this case because plants relying on pollinating seed-consumers are predicted to have such a mechanism to minimize seed loss. Pollinator attraction and pollen dispersal increased with flower number, but fruit set did not, refuting the hypothesis that excess flowers increase fruit set by attracting more pollinators. Fruit set of natural- and hand-pollinated flowers were not different, supporting the resource, rather than pollen, limitation hypothesis. Senita did abort fruit, but not selectively based on pollen quantity, pollen donors, or seed predators. Collectively, these results are consistent with sex allocation theory in that resource allocation to excess flower production can increase pollen dispersal and the male fitness function of flowers, but consequently results in reduced resources available for fruit set. Inconsistent with sex allocation theory, however, fruit production and the female fitness function of flowers may actually increase with flower production. This is because excess flower production lowers pollinator-to-flower ratios and results in fruit abortion, both of which limit the abundance and hence oviposition rates, of pre-dispersal seed predators.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Hot seeding using large Y-123 seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scruggs, S. J.; Putman, P. T.; Zhou, Y. X.; Fang, H.; Salama, K.

    2006-07-01

    There are several motivations for increasing the diameter of melt textured single domain discs. The maximum magnetic field produced by a trapped field magnet is proportional to the radius of the sample. Furthermore, the availability of trapped field magnets with large diameter could enable their use in applications that have traditionally been considered to require wound electromagnets, such as beam bending magnets for particle accelerators and electric propulsion. We have investigated the possibility of using large area epitaxial growth instead of the conventional point nucleation growth mechanism. This process involves the use of large Y123 seeds for the purpose of increasing the maximum achievable Y123 single domain size. The hot seeding technique using large Y-123 seeds was employed to seed Y-123 samples. Trapped field measurements indicate that single domain samples were indeed grown by this technique. Microstructural evaluation indicates that growth can be characterized by a rapid nucleation followed by the usual peritectic grain growth which occurs when large seeds are used. Critical temperature measurements show that no local Tc suppression occurs in the vicinity of the seed. This work supports the suggestion of using an iterative method for increasing the size of Y-123 single domains that can be grown.

  5. Seed moisture at physiological maturity in oilseed and confectionary sunflower hybrids in the Northern U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Desiccating sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) to hasten harvest has become a common practice in the northern U.S. and can aid in reducing yield loss associated with severe weather and bird predation. Currently, it is recommended to apply desiccants to sunflower at 35% or less seed moisture correspond...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. A role for seed storage proteins in Arabidopsis seed longevity

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Thu-Phuong; Cueff, Gwendal; Hegedus, Dwayne D; Rajjou, Loïc; Bentsink, Leónie

    2015-01-01

    Proteomics approaches have been a useful tool for determining the biological roles and functions of individual proteins and identifying the molecular mechanisms that govern seed germination, vigour and viability in response to ageing. In this work the dry seed proteome of four Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes, that carry introgression fragments at the position of seed longevity quantitative trait loci and as a result display different levels of seed longevity, was investigated. Seeds at two physiological states, after-ripened seeds that had the full germination ability and aged (stored) seeds of which the germination ability was severely reduced, were compared. Aged dry seed proteomes were markedly different from the after-ripened and reflected the seed longevity level of the four genotypes, despite the fact that dry seeds are metabolically quiescent. Results confirmed the role of antioxidant systems, notably vitamin E, and indicated that protection and maintenance of the translation machinery and energy pathways are essential for seed longevity. Moreover, a new role for seed storage proteins (SSPs) was identified in dry seeds during ageing. Cruciferins (CRUs) are the most abundant SSPs in Arabidopsis and seeds of a triple mutant for three CRU isoforms (crua crub cruc) were more sensitive to artificial ageing and their seed proteins were highly oxidized compared with wild-type seeds. These results confirm that oxidation is involved in seed deterioration and that SSPs buffer the seed from oxidative stress, thus protecting important proteins required for seed germination and seedling formation. PMID:26184996

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.…

  10. 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.

  11. A quick SEED tutorial

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ringler, Adam; Evans, John R.

    2015-01-01

    A number of different government-funded seismic data centers offer free open-access data (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), and Data Management System), which can be freely downloaded and shared among different members of the community (Lay, 2009). To efficiently share data, it is important that different data providers follow a common format. The Standard for the Exchange of Earthquake Data (SEED) provides one such format for storing seismic and other geophysical data. The SEED format is widely used in earthquake seismology; however, SEED and its structure can be difficult for many first-time users (ourselves included). Below is a quick tutorial that outlines the basic structure of SEED format. This write-up is in no way intended to replace the comprehensive SEED manual (Ahern et al., 2009), and instead of going into the details of any specific part of the SEED format we refer the reader to the manual for additional details. The goal of this write-up is to succinctly explain the basic structure of SEED format as well as the associated jargon, as most commonly used now, in a colloquial way so that novice users of SEED can become more familiar with the format and its application quickly. Our goal is to give the reader the necessary background so that when problems or questions about SEED format arise they will have some understanding of where they should look for more details or from where the problem might be stemming. As a secondary goal, we hope to help the reader become familiar with the SEED manual (Ahern et al., 2009), which contains detailed information about all aspects of the SEED format.

  12. The presence and inactivation of trypsin inhibitors, tannins, lectins and amylase inhibitors in legume seeds during germination. A review.

    PubMed

    Savelkoul, F H; van der Poel, A F; Tamminga, S

    1992-01-01

    During the germination of legume seeds, enzymes become active in order to degrade starch, storage-protein and proteinaceous antinutritional factors. The degradation of storage-protein is necessary to make peptides and amino acids available in order to stimulate seed growth and early plant growth. Proteinaceous antinutritional factors such as amylase inhibitors, lectins and trypsin inhibitors are present in legume seeds and protect them against predators. However, during germination, they degrade to a lower level by the action of several enzymes. The effect of germination on the content and activity of amylase inhibitors, lectins, tannins and trypsin inhibitors is discussed. PMID:1372122

  13. 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.

  14. Do Flower Color and Floral Scent of Silene Species affect Host Preference of Hadena bicruris, a Seed-Eating Pollinator, under Field Conditions?

    PubMed Central

    Page, Paul; Favre, Adrien; Schiestl, Florian P.; Karrenberg, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    Specialization in plant–insect interactions is an important driver of evolutionary divergence; yet, plant traits mediating such interactions are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated how flower color and floral scent are related to seed predation by a seed-eating pollinator. We used field-transplanted recombinant F2 hybrids between Silene latifolia and S. dioica that are the preferred and alternative hosts of the moth Hadena bicruris and crosses within these species for comparison. We scored seed predation and flower color and analyzed floral scent. Pinker S. dioica-like flowers and emission of α-pinene decreased the odds of seed predation while emission of benzyl acetate and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one increased the odds of seed predation. Emission of these compounds did not differ significantly between the two Silene species. Our results suggest that flower color plays an important role in the specific interaction of H. bicruris with its preferred host S. latifolia. The compounds α-pinene, benzyl acetate and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one could represent non-specific deterrents and attractants to ovipositing moths. Alternatively, emission of these compounds could be related to herbivory or pathogen attack and act as a signal for host quality. This would weaken the predictability of the plant's costs and benefits of the interaction and act to maintain an imperfect degree of specialization. PMID:24905986

  15. Examining Children's Models of Seed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, Natalie

    2002-01-01

    Reports research that examines children's models of seed. Explores the conceptions held by children (N=75) of germination and seed formation. Concludes that children hold a restricted meaning for the term 'seed'. (DDR)

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. GROWING SEEDS, TEACHER'S GUIDE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elementary Science Study, Newton, MA.

    THIS TEACHER'S GUIDE IS DESIGNED FOR USE WITH AN ELEMENTARY SCIENCE STUDY UNIT, "GROWING SEEDS," IN WHICH SUCH BASIC SCIENCE SKILLS AND PROCESSES AS MEASUREMENT, OBSERVATION, AND HYPOTHESIS FORMATION ARE INTRODUCED THROUGH STUDENT ACTIVITIES INVOLVING SEEDS, GERMINATION, AND SEEDLING GROWTH. THE MATERIALS WERE DEVELOPED FOR USE IN ELEMENTARY…

  20. [Quality classification criteria of Paeonia suffruticosa seeds].

    PubMed

    Cao, Ya-yue; Zhu, Zai-biao; Guo, Qiao-sheng; Liu, Li; Wang, Chang-lin

    2015-02-01

    In order to establish the quality classification criteria of Paeonia suffruticosa seeds, thirty-one batches of P. suffruticosa seeds from different provenances were selected. The seed rooting rate, seed germination rate, seed purity, seed viability, 1,000-seed weight and moisture content were determined and analyzed through SPSS 20.0 software. Seed rooting rate, seed germination rate and seed purity were selected as the main index for classification, while 1,000-seed weight, seed viability and moisture content could be used as important references. The seed quality grading of P. suffruticosa was set as three grades. The seed quality of each grade should meet following requirements: For the first grade seeds, seed rooting rate ≥ 80%, seed germination rate ≥ 80%, seed purity ≥ 90%, seed viability ≥ 80%, 1,000-seed weight ≥ 250 g, moisture content, ≤ 10. For the second grade seeds, seed rooting rate ≥ 50%, seed germination rate ≥ 60%, seed purity ≥ 70%, seed viability ≥ 75%, 1,000-seed weight ≥ 225 g, moisture content ≤ 10. For the third grade seeds, seed rooting rate ≥ 20%, seed germination rate ≥ 45%, seed purity ≥ 60%, seed viability ≥ 45%, 1,000-seed weight ≥ 205 g, moisture content ≤ 10. The quality classification criteria of P. suffruticosa seeds have been initially established. PMID:26137680

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Are Introduced Species Better Dispersers Than Native Species? A Global Comparative Study of Seed Dispersal Distance

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Moreno, Habacuc; Thomson, Fiona J.; Warton, David I.; Moles, Angela T.

    2013-01-01

    We provide the first global test of the idea that introduced species have greater seed dispersal distances than do native species, using data for 51 introduced and 360 native species from the global literature. Counter to our expectations, there was no significant difference in mean or maximum dispersal distance between introduced and native species. Next, we asked whether differences in dispersal distance might have been obscured by differences in seed mass, plant height and dispersal syndrome, all traits that affect dispersal distance and which can differ between native and introduced species. When we included all three variables in the model, there was no clear difference in dispersal distance between introduced and native species. These results remained consistent when we performed analyses including a random effect for site. Analyses also showed that the lack of a significant difference in dispersal distance was not due to differences in biome, taxonomic composition, growth form, nitrogen fixation, our inclusion of non-invasive introduced species, or our exclusion of species with human-assisted dispersal. Thus, if introduced species do have higher spread rates, it seems likely that these are driven by differences in post-dispersal processes such as germination, seedling survival, and survival to reproduction. PMID:23818991

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Spatial variability in plant predation determines the strength of stochastic community assembly.

    PubMed

    Germain, Rachel M; Johnson, Laura; Schneider, Stefan; Cottenie, Karl; Gillis, Elizabeth A; MacDougall, Andrew S

    2013-08-01

    High diversity is often poorly explained by trait-based deterministic models, in part because stochastic processes also influence community assembly. Testing how deterministic and stochastic processes combine to regulate diversity, however, has been limited by the spatial complexity of these interactions. Here, we demonstrate how spatial variability in small-mammal predation on plants, mostly by granivory, results in fine-scale switching between deterministically and stochastically regulated plant community assembly in an otherwise environmentally homogeneous tallgrass prairie. We initiated assembly with the uniform application of a 24-species mixture of prairie grasses and forbs, thereby setting the maximum level of diversity (γ-diversity). In field edges with higher densities of small mammals, traits reducing seed palatability deterministically produced homogeneous subsets of less palatable plant species within the first few months after planting (low α and β diversity). As small-mammal densities decreased in more open areas, assembly unfolded stochastically on the basis of which planted species happened to land at a given location (high α and β diversity). We used randomization models to validate that this higher β diversity was explained by true differences in community structure among plots rather than by the hidden effects of increasing α diversity. The net effect at the site level was a spatially structured array of prairie species, including a positive relationship between diversity and environmental suitability relating to reduced predator intensity. PMID:23852352

  20. Magnetic stimulation of marigold seed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afzal, I.; Mukhtar, K.; Qasim, M.; Basra, S. M. A.; Shahid, M.; Haq, Z.

    2012-10-01

    The effects of magnetic field treatments of French marigold seeds on germination, early seedling growth and biochemical changes of seedlings were studied under controlled conditions. For this purpose, seeds were exposed to five different magnetic seed treatments for 3 min each. Most of seed treatments resulted in improved germination speed and spread, root and shoot length, seed soluble sugars and a-amylase activity. Magnetic seed treatment with 100 mT maximally improved germination, seedling vigour and starch metabolism as compared to control and other seed treatments. In emergence experiment, higher emergence percentage (4-fold), emergence index (5-fold) and vigorous seedling growth were obtained in seeds treated with 100 mT. Overall, the enhancement of marigold seeds by magnetic seed treatment with 100 mT could be related to enhanced starch metabolism. The results suggest that magnetic field treatments of French marigold seeds have the potential to enhance germination, early growth and biochemical parameters of seedlings.

  1. 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,...

  2. 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…

  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. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. Rainwater in cupulate bracts repels seed herbivores in a bumblebee-pollinated subalpine flower.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shi-Guo; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2015-01-01

    Floral herbivory may have deleterious effects on the reproductive success of flowering plants. However, plants may evolve floral traits that allow them to defend against herbivory in particular conditions. A bumblebee-pollinated subalpine herb, Pedicularis rex (Orobanchaceae), endemic to southwest China, has cup-like bracts that fill with rainwater, which submerges its corolla tubes. We hypothesized that these water-filled cupulate bracts function to deter nectar robbers and/or seed herbivores. To test these hypotheses, we experimentally drained bracts and measured both the response of mutualistic floral visitors and antagonistic nectar robbers and seed predators and their effects on seed production. Our observations revealed that neither nectar robbers nor legitimate pollinators discriminated between water-drained flowers and intact controls. However, seed predation significantly increased in drained flowers, suggesting that water-filled bracts help protect the flowers from seed herbivores. The water-filled bracts in P. rex may represent an adaptation to reduce floral herbivory in a high-rainfall environment. PMID:25762460

  7. Rainwater in cupulate bracts repels seed herbivores in a bumblebee-pollinated subalpine flower

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Shi-Guo; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2015-01-01

    Floral herbivory may have deleterious effects on the reproductive success of flowering plants. However, plants may evolve floral traits that allow them to defend against herbivory in particular conditions. A bumblebee-pollinated subalpine herb, Pedicularis rex (Orobanchaceae), endemic to southwest China, has cup-like bracts that fill with rainwater, which submerges its corolla tubes. We hypothesized that these water-filled cupulate bracts function to deter nectar robbers and/or seed herbivores. To test these hypotheses, we experimentally drained bracts and measured both the response of mutualistic floral visitors and antagonistic nectar robbers and seed predators and their effects on seed production. Our observations revealed that neither nectar robbers nor legitimate pollinators discriminated between water-drained flowers and intact controls. However, seed predation significantly increased in drained flowers, suggesting that water-filled bracts help protect the flowers from seed herbivores. The water-filled bracts in P. rex may represent an adaptation to reduce floral herbivory in a high-rainfall environment. PMID:25762460

  8. Consumers limit the abundance and dynamics of a perennial shrub with a seed bank

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kauffman, M.J.; Maron, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    For nearly 30 years, ecologists have argued that predators of seeds and seedlings seldom have population-level effects on plants with persistent seed banks and density-dependent seedling survival. We parameterized stage-based population models that incorporated density dependence and seed dormancy with data from a 5.5-year experiment that quantified how granivorous mice and herbivorous voles influence bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus) demography. We asked how seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival mediate the impacts of these consumers in dune and grassland habitats. In dune habitat, mice reduced analytical ?? (the intrinsic rate of population growth) by 39%, the equilibrium number of above-ground plants by 90%, and the seed bank by 98%; voles had minimal effects. In adjacent grasslands, mice had minimal effects, but seedling herbivory by voles reduced analytical ?? by 15% and reduced both the equilibrium number of aboveground plants and dormant seeds by 63%. A bootstrap analysis demonstrated that these consumer effects were robust to parameter uncertainty. Our results demonstrate that the quantitative strengths of seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival-not their mere existence-critically mediate consumer effects. This study suggests that plant population dynamics and distribution may be more strongly influenced by consumers of seeds and seedlings than is currently recognized. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago.

  9. Consumers limit the abundance and dynamics of a perennial shrub with a seed bank.

    PubMed

    Kauffman, Matthew J; Maron, John L

    2006-10-01

    For nearly 30 years, ecologists have argued that predators of seeds and seedlings seldom have population-level effects on plants with persistent seed banks and density-dependent seedling survival. We parameterized stage-based population models that incorporated density dependence and seed dormancy with data from a 5.5-year experiment that quantified how granivorous mice and herbivorous voles influence bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus) demography. We asked how seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival mediate the impacts of these consumers in dune and grassland habitats. In dune habitat, mice reduced analytical lambda (the intrinsic rate of population growth) by 39%, the equilibrium number of aboveground plants by 90%, and the seed bank by 98%; voles had minimal effects. In adjacent grasslands, mice had minimal effects, but seedling herbivory by voles reduced analytical lambda by 15% and reduced both the equilibrium number of aboveground plants and dormant seeds by 63%. A bootstrap analysis demonstrated that these consumer effects were robust to parameter uncertainty. Our results demonstrate that the quantitative strengths of seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival--not their mere existence--critically mediate consumer effects. This study suggests that plant population dynamics and distribution may be more strongly influenced by consumers of seeds and seedlings than is currently recognized. PMID:17004218

  10. Converting Predation Cues into Conservation Tools: The Effect of Light on Mouse Foraging Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Farnworth, Bridgette; Innes, John; Waas, Joseph R.

    2016-01-01

    Prey face a conflict between acquiring energy and avoiding predators and use both direct and indirect cues to assess predation risk. Illumination, an indirect cue, influences nocturnal rodent foraging behaviour. New Zealand holds no native rodent species but has introduced mice (Mus musculus) that severely impair native biodiversity. We used Giving-Up Densities (GUDs) and observations of foraging frequency and duration to assess if artificial light induces risk avoidance behaviour in mice and could limit their activity. We found both captive (wild strain) mice in outdoor pens and wild mice within a pest fenced sanctuary (Maungatautari, New Zealand) displayed avoidance behaviour in response to illumination. In captivity, total foraging effort was similar across lit and unlit pens but mice displayed a strong preference for removing seeds from dark control areas (mean: 15.33 SD: +/-11.64 per 3.5 hours) over illuminated areas (2.00 +/-3.44). Wild mice also removed fewer seeds from illuminated areas (0.42 +/-1.00 per 12 hours) compared to controls (6.67 +/-9.20). Captive mice spent less than 1.0% of available time at illuminated areas, versus 11.3% at controls; visited the lit areas less than control areas (12.00 +/- 9.77 versus 29.00 +/-21.58 visits respectively); and spent less time per visit at illuminated versus control areas (8.17 +/-7.83 versus 44.83 +/-87.52 seconds per visit respectively). Illumination could provide protection at ecologically sensitive sites, damaged exclusion fences awaiting repair, fence terminus zones of peninsula sanctuaries and shipping docks that service offshore islands. We promote the hypothesis that the tendency of mice to avoid illumination could be a useful conservation tool, and advance knowledge of risk assessment and foraging under perceived danger. PMID:26760039

  11. Converting Predation Cues into Conservation Tools: The Effect of Light on Mouse Foraging Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Farnworth, Bridgette; Innes, John; Waas, Joseph R

    2016-01-01

    Prey face a conflict between acquiring energy and avoiding predators and use both direct and indirect cues to assess predation risk. Illumination, an indirect cue, influences nocturnal rodent foraging behaviour. New Zealand holds no native rodent species but has introduced mice (Mus musculus) that severely impair native biodiversity. We used Giving-Up Densities (GUDs) and observations of foraging frequency and duration to assess if artificial light induces risk avoidance behaviour in mice and could limit their activity. We found both captive (wild strain) mice in outdoor pens and wild mice within a pest fenced sanctuary (Maungatautari, New Zealand) displayed avoidance behaviour in response to illumination. In captivity, total foraging effort was similar across lit and unlit pens but mice displayed a strong preference for removing seeds from dark control areas (mean: 15.33 SD: +/-11.64 per 3.5 hours) over illuminated areas (2.00 +/-3.44). Wild mice also removed fewer seeds from illuminated areas (0.42 +/-1.00 per 12 hours) compared to controls (6.67 +/-9.20). Captive mice spent less than 1.0% of available time at illuminated areas, versus 11.3% at controls; visited the lit areas less than control areas (12.00 +/- 9.77 versus 29.00 +/-21.58 visits respectively); and spent less time per visit at illuminated versus control areas (8.17 +/-7.83 versus 44.83 +/-87.52 seconds per visit respectively). Illumination could provide protection at ecologically sensitive sites, damaged exclusion fences awaiting repair, fence terminus zones of peninsula sanctuaries and shipping docks that service offshore islands. We promote the hypothesis that the tendency of mice to avoid illumination could be a useful conservation tool, and advance knowledge of risk assessment and foraging under perceived danger. PMID:26760039

  12. Burial of Zostera marina seeds in sediment inhabited by three polychaetes: Laboratory and field studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delefosse, M.; Kristensen, E.

    2012-07-01

    The large number of seeds produced by eelgrass, Zostera marina, provides this plant with a potential to disperse widely and colonise new areas. After dispersal, seeds must be buried into sediment for assuring long-term survival, successful germination and safe seedling development. Seeds may be buried passively by sedimentation or actively through sediment reworking by benthic fauna. We evaluated the effect of three polychaetes on the burial rate and depth of eelgrass seeds. Burial was first measured in controlled laboratory experiments using different densities of Nereis (Hediste) diversicolor (400-3200 ind m- 2), Arenicola marina (20-80 ind m- 2), and the invasive Marenzelleria viridis (400-1600 ind m- 2). The obtained results were subsequently compared with burial rates of seed mimics in experimental field plots (1 m2) dominated by the respective polychaetes. High recovery of seeds in the laboratory (97-100%) suggested that none of these polychaetes species feed on eelgrass seeds. N. diversicolor transported seeds rapidly (< 1 day) into its burrow, where they remained buried at a median depth of 0.5 cm. A. marina and M. viridis buried seeds by depositing their faeces on top of the sediment. At their highest abundance, A. marina and M. viridis buried seeds to a median depth of 6.7 cm and 0.5 cm, respectively, after a month. The burial efficiency and depth of these species were, in contrast to N. diversicolor, dependent on animal abundance. Only 2% of seed mimics casted in the field plots were recovered, suggesting that physical dispersion by waves and currents was considerably important for horizontal distribution. However, polychaete affected significantly the vertical distribution of seeds. Overall the effects of these three polychaetes indicate that benthic macroinvertebrates may significantly impact eelgrass seed bank at the ecosystem scale. Some species have a positive effect by burying seeds to shallow depths and thereby reducing seed predation and

  13. Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Peanut Seed and Seed Coat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is grown extensively worldwide for its edible seed and oil. In a peanut, within the hull and encasing the cotyledon is the seed coat, which is commonly referred to within the peanut industry as the skin. The seed coat is a distinct plant structure critical for seed deve...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Rapid, local adaptation of zooplankton behavior to changes in predation pressure in the absence of neutral genetic changes

    PubMed Central

    Cousyn, C.; De Meester, L.; Colbourne, J. K.; Brendonck, L.; Verschuren, D.; Volckaert, F.

    2001-01-01

    Organisms producing resting stages provide unique opportunities for reconstructing the genetic history of natural populations. Diapausing seeds and eggs often are preserved in large numbers, representing entire populations captured in an evolutionary inert state for decades and even centuries. Starting from a natural resting egg bank of the waterflea Daphnia, we compare the evolutionary rates of change in an adaptive quantitative trait with those in selectively neutral DNA markers, thus effectively testing whether the observed genetic changes in the quantitative trait are driven by natural selection. The population studied experienced variable and well documented levels of fish predation over the past 30 years and shows correlated genetic changes in phototactic behavior, a predator-avoidance trait that is related to diel vertical migration. The changes mainly involve an increased plasticity response upon exposure to predator kairomone, the direction of the changes being in agreement with the hypothesis of adaptive evolution. Genetic differentiation through time was an order of magnitude higher for the studied behavioral trait than for neutral markers (DNA microsatellites), providing strong evidence that natural selection was the driving force behind the observed, rapid, evolutionary changes. PMID:11353872

  1. 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

  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 not propensity showing that elevated risk carried over to alter migratory behaviour in the wild. Our key finding demonstrates predator-driven migratory plasticity, highlighting the powerful role of predation risk for migratory decision-making and dynamics. PMID:26311158

  8. Predation Risk Shapes Social Networks in Fission-Fusion Populations

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Jennifer L.; Morrell, Lesley J.; Inskip, Chloe; Krause, Jens; Croft, Darren P.

    2011-01-01

    Predation risk is often associated with group formation in prey, but recent advances in methods for analysing the social structure of animal societies make it possible to quantify the effects of risk on the complex dynamics of spatial and temporal organisation. In this paper we use social network analysis to investigate the impact of variation in predation risk on the social structure of guppy shoals and the frequency and duration of shoal splitting (fission) and merging (fusion) events. Our analyses revealed that variation in the level of predation risk was associated with divergent social dynamics, with fish in high-risk populations displaying a greater number of associations with overall greater strength and connectedness than those from low-risk sites. Temporal patterns of organisation also differed according to predation risk, with fission events more likely to occur over two short time periods (5 minutes and 20 minutes) in low-predation fish and over longer time scales (>1.5 hours) in high-predation fish. Our findings suggest that predation risk influences the fine-scale social structure of prey populations and that the temporal aspects of organisation play a key role in defining social systems. PMID:21912627

  9. Tomato seeds for LDEF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    Tomato seeds are prepared for their launch aboard the Langley's Long Duration Exposure Facility. Photograph published in Winds of Change, 75th Anniversary NASA publication (page 119), by James Schultz.

  10. Seeds in Flight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Willard K.

    1978-01-01

    Discussed are the seed dispersal mechanisms of six different plants: big-leaf maple, pincushion tree, tree of heaven, squirting cucumber, digger pine, and bull thistle. Elaborate color and black-and-white drawings illustrate the text. (MA)

  11. Fishing for Seeds.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science and Children, 2001

    2001-01-01

    Describes a method to collect seeds that are dispersed from weeds while avoiding some outdoor hazards such as rough terrain or animals. Describes a plan for creating a weed fishing pole and includes a materials list. (SAH)

  12. Grape Seed Extract

    MedlinePlus

    ... Dekker; 2005:309–325. Grape. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed at www.naturaldatabase.com on June ... Grape seed ( Vitis vinifera, Vitis coignetiae ). Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed at www.naturalstandard.com on June ...

  13. Seed survival in soil: interacting effects of predation, dormancy and the soil microbial community

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant defence theory provides a robust framework for understanding interactions between plants and antagonists, and for interpreting broad patterns in the functional-trait composition of plant communities. However, this framework has been built almost entirely on traits expressed by seedlings and ma...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Malaria and risk of predation: a comparative study of birds.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape; Nielsen, Jan Tøttrup

    2007-04-01

    Predators have been hypothesized to prey on individuals in a poor state of health, although this hypothesis has only rarely been examined. We used extensive data on prey abundance and availability from two long-term studies of the European Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and the Eurasian Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) to quantify the relationship between predation risk of different prey species and infection with malaria and other protozoan blood parasites. Using a total of 31 745 prey individuals of 65 species of birds from 1709 nests during 1977-1997 for the Sparrowhawk and a total of 21 818 prey individuals of 76 species of birds from 1480 nests for the Goshawk during 1977-2004, we show that prey species with a high prevalence of blood parasites had higher risks of predation than species with a low prevalence. That was also the case when a number of confounding variables of prey species, such as body mass, breeding sociality, sexual dichromatism, and similarity among species in risk of predation due to common descent, were controlled in comparative analyses of standardized linear contrasts. Prevalence of the genera Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Trypanosoma were correlated with each other, and we partitioned out the independent effects of different protozoan genera on predation risk in comparative analyses. Prevalence of Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, and Plasmodium accounted for interspecific variation in predation risk for the two raptors. These findings suggest that predation is an important factor affecting parasite-host dynamics because predators tend to prey on hosts that are more likely to be infected, thereby reducing the transmission success of parasites. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that protozoan infections are a common cause of death for hosts mediated by increased risk of predation. PMID:17536704

  17. Mapping risk for nest predation on a barrier island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackney, Amanda D.; Baldwin, Robert F.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2013-01-01

    Barrier islands and coastal beach systems provide nesting habitat for marine and estuarine turtles. Densely settled coastal areas may subsidize nest predators. Our purpose was to inform conservation by providing a greater understanding of habitat-based risk factors for nest predation, for an estuarine turtle. We expected that habitat conditions at predated nests would differ from random locations at two spatial extents. We developed and validated an island-wide model for the distribution of predated Diamondback terrapin nests using locations of 198 predated nests collected during exhaustive searches at Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge, USA. We used aerial photographs to identify all areas of possible nesting habitat and searched each and surrounding environments for nests, collecting location and random-point microhabitat data. We built models for the probability of finding a predated nest using an equal number of random points and validated them with a reserve set (N = 67). Five variables in 9 a priori models were used and the best selected model (AIC weight 0.98) reflected positive associations with sand patches near marshes and roadways. Model validation had an average capture rate of predated nests of 84.14 % (26.17–97.38 %, Q1 77.53 %, median 88.07 %, Q3 95.08 %). Microhabitat selection results suggest that nests placed at the edges of sand patches adjacent to upland shrub/forest and marsh systems are vulnerable to predation. Forests and marshes provide cover and alternative resources for predators and roadways provide access; a suggestion is to focus nest protection efforts on the edges of dunes, near dense vegetation and roads.

  18. Optimal-Foraging Predator Favors Commensalistic Batesian Mimicry

    PubMed Central

    Honma, Atsushi; Takakura, Koh-ichi; Nishida, Takayoshi

    2008-01-01

    Background Mimicry, in which one prey species (the Mimic) imitates the aposematic signals of another prey (the Model) to deceive their predators, has attracted the general interest of evolutionary biologists. Predator psychology, especially how the predator learns and forgets, has recently been recognized as an important factor in a predator–prey system. This idea is supported by both theoretical and experimental evidence, but is also the source of a good deal of controversy because of its novel prediction that in a Model/Mimic relationship even a moderately unpalatable Mimic increases the risk of the Model (quasi-Batesian mimicry). Methodology/Principal Findings We developed a psychology-based Monte Carlo model simulation of mimicry that incorporates a “Pavlovian” predator that practices an optimal foraging strategy, and examined how various ecological and psychological factors affect the relationships between a Model prey species and its Mimic. The behavior of the predator in our model is consistent with that reported by experimental studies, but our simulation's predictions differed markedly from those of previous models of mimicry because a more abundant Mimic did not increase the predation risk of the Model when alternative prey were abundant. Moreover, a quasi-Batesian relationship emerges only when no or very few alternative prey items were available. Therefore, the availability of alternative prey rather than the precise method of predator learning critically determines the relationship between Model and Mimic. Moreover, the predation risk to the Model and Mimic is determined by the absolute density of the Model rather than by its density relative to that of the Mimic. Conclusions/Significance Although these predictions are counterintuitive, they can explain various kinds of data that have been offered in support of competitive theories. Our model results suggest that to understand mimicry in nature it is important to consider the likely presence of

  19. Predator swamping reduces predation risk during nocturnal migration of juvenile salmon in a high-mortality landscape.

    PubMed

    Furey, Nathan B; Hinch, Scott G; Bass, Arthur L; Middleton, Collin T; Minke-Martin, Vanessa; Lotto, Andrew G

    2016-07-01

    Animal migrations are costly and are often characterized by high predation risk for individuals. Three of the most oft-assumed mechanisms for reducing risk for migrants are swamping predators with high densities, specific timing of migrations and increased body size. Assessing the relative importance of these mechanisms in reducing predation risk particularly for migrants is generally lacking due to the difficulties in tracking the fate of individuals and population-level characteristics simultaneously. We used acoustic telemetry to track migration behaviour and survival of juvenile sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) smolts released over a wide range of conspecific outmigration densities in a river associated with poor survival. The landscape was indeed high risk; smolt survival was poor (˜68%) over 13·5 km of river examined even though migration was rapid (generally <48 h). Our results demonstrate that smolts largely employ swamping of predators to reduce predation risk. Increased densities of co-migrant conspecifics dramatically improved survival of smolts. The strong propensity for nocturnal migration resulted in smolts pausing downstream movements until the next nightfall, greatly increasing relative migration durations for smolts that could not traverse the study area in a single night. Smolt size did not appear to impact predation risk, potentially due to unique characteristics of the system or our inability to tag the entire size range of outmigrants. Movement behaviours were important in traversing this high-risk landscape and provide rare evidence for swamping to effectively reduce individual predation risk. PMID:27159553

  20. A predator-prey model with a holling type I functional response including a predator mutual interference

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seo, G.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2011-01-01

    The most widely used functional response in describing predator-prey relationships is the Holling type II functional response, where per capita predation is a smooth, increasing, and saturating function of prey density. Beddington and DeAngelis modified the Holling type II response to include interference of predators that increases with predator density. Here we introduce a predator-interference term into a Holling type I functional response. We explain the ecological rationale for the response and note that the phase plane configuration of the predator and prey isoclines differs greatly from that of the Beddington-DeAngelis response; for example, in having three possible interior equilibria rather than one. In fact, this new functional response seems to be quite unique. We used analytical and numerical methods to show that the resulting system shows a much richer dynamical behavior than the Beddington-DeAngelis response, or other typically used functional responses. For example, cyclic-fold, saddle-fold, homoclinic saddle connection, and multiple crossing bifurcations can all occur. We then use a smooth approximation to the Holling type I functional response with predator mutual interference to show that these dynamical properties do not result from the lack of smoothness, but rather from subtle differences in the functional responses. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  1. What are the consequences of ant-seed interactions on the abundance of two dry-fruited shrubs in a Mediterranean scrub?

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Rodrigo, A; Retana, J

    2011-12-01

    Strong interactions between dry-fruited shrubs and seed-harvesting ants are expected in early successional scrubs, where both groups have a major presence. We have analysed the implications of the seed characteristics of two dry-fruited shrub species (Coronilla minima and Dorycnium pentaphyllum) on seed predation and dispersal mediated by harvester ants and the consequences of these processes on spatio-temporal patterns of plant abundance in a heterogeneous environment. We found that large C. minima seeds were collected much more (39%) than small D. pentaphyllum seeds (2%). However, not all of the removed seeds of these plant species were consumed, and 12.8% of the seeds were lost along the trails, which increased dispersal distances compared with abiotic dispersal alone. Seed dropping occurred among all microhabitats of the two plant species, but especially in open microhabitats, which are the most suitable ones for plant establishment. The two plant species increased their presence in the study area during the study period: C. minima in open microhabitats and D. pentaphyllum in high vegetation. The large size of C. minima seeds probably limited the primary seed dispersal of this species, but may have allowed strong interaction with ants. Thus, seed dispersal by ants resulted in C. minima seeds reaching more suitable microhabitats by means of increasing dispersal distance and redistribution among microhabitats. In contrast, the smaller size of D. pentaphyllum seeds arguably allows abiotic seed dispersal over longer distances and colonization of all types of microhabitats, although it probably also limits their interaction with ants and, consequently, their redistribution in suitable microhabitats. We suggest that dyszoochory could contribute to the success of plant species with different seed characteristics in scrub habitats where seeds are abundantly collected by seed-harvesting ants. PMID:21643993

  2. Seed dispersal by the Florida box turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) in pine rockland forests of the lower Florida Keys, United States.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Platt, Steven G; Borg, Christopher K

    2004-03-01

    Seed dispersal by animals is one of the most important plant-animal mutualisms, but saurochory, the dispersal of seeds by reptiles, has received little attention. We investigated the role of the Florida box turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) as a seed dispersal agent in pine rockland forests of the lower Florida Keys and examined the effect of turtle digestion on seed germination. We obtained seeds of 11 species with fleshy fruits and 2 species with non-fleshy fruits (a grass and legume) from the feces of 145 box turtles collected on Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge from 1999 to 2000. We planted the seeds of nine species and germination percentage (percentage of seeds that germinated during the experiment) varied from 10% to 80%. Comparative germination experiments were conducted with Thrinax morrissii, Serenoa repens, and Byrsonima lucida. We compared the germination percentage and germination rate (number of days from planting to seedling emergence) of seeds from three treatments (seeds recovered from feces, control seeds with pulp, and control seeds without pulp) and continued these experiments for up to 2 years. Passage through the box turtle digestive tract greatly enhanced the germination percentage and germination rate of S. repens, but decreased the germination percentage of B. lucida and T. morrissii, and decreased germination rate for T. morrissii. Subsequent destructive seed viability tests revealed that many ungerminated T. morrissii seeds remained viable, suggesting long-term seed dormancy may occur, even after passage through the turtle digestive system. In addition, the proportion of ungerminated seeds which remained viable was greater for seeds recovered from turtle feces than from control seeds with pulp. Furthermore, removal of fleshy pulp either manually or by the turtle digestive system may allow T. morrissii to escape insect predation. PMID:14685845

  3. Development of a System Wide Predator Control Program: Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries, and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin; Section II: Evaluation; 1996 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Franklin R.

    1997-11-01

    Predator control fisheries aimed at reducing predation on juvenile salmonids by northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) were implemented for the seventh consecutive year in the mainstream Columbia and Snake rivers.

  4. Seed coat color and seed weight contribute differential responses of targeted metabolites in soybean seeds.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jinwook; Hwang, Young-Sun; Kim, Sun Tae; Yoon, Won-Byong; Han, Won Young; Kang, In-Kyu; Choung, Myoung-Gun

    2017-01-01

    The distribution and variation of targeted metabolites in soybean seeds are affected by genetic and environmental factors. In this study, we used 192 soybean germplasm accessions collected from two provinces of Korea to elucidate the effects of seed coat color and seeds dry weight on the metabolic variation and responses of targeted metabolites. The effects of seed coat color and seeds dry weight were present in sucrose, total oligosaccharides, total carbohydrates and all measured fatty acids. The targeted metabolites were clustered within three groups. These metabolites were not only differently related to seeds dry weight, but also responded differentially to seed coat color. The inter-relationship between the targeted metabolites was highly present in the result of correlation analysis. Overall, results revealed that the targeted metabolites were diverged in relation to seed coat color and seeds dry weight within locally collected soybean seed germplasm accessions. PMID:27507473

  5. Understanding the importance of episodic acidification on fish predator-prey interactions: does weak acidification impair predator recognition?

    PubMed

    Brown, Grant E; Elvidge, Chris K; Ferrari, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P

    2012-11-15

    The ability of prey to recognize predators is a fundamental prerequisite to avoid being eaten. Indeed, many prey animals learn to distinguish species that pose a threat from those that do not. Once the prey has learned the identity of one predator, it may generalize this recognition to similar predators with which the prey has no experience. The ability to generalize reduces the costs associated with learning and further enhances the ability of the prey to avoid relevant threats. For many aquatic organisms, recognition of predators is based on odor signatures, consequently any anthropogenic alteration in water chemistry has the potential to impair recognition and learning of predators. Here we explored whether episodic acidification could influence the ability of juvenile rainbow trout to learn to recognize an unknown predator and then generalize this recognition to a closely related predator. Trout were conditioned to recognize the odor of pumpkinseed sunfish under circumneutral (~pH 7) conditions, and then tested for recognition of pumpkinseed or longear sunfish under both neutral or weakly acidic (~pH 6) conditions. When tested for a response to pumpkinseed odor, we found no significant effect of predator odor pH: trout responded similarly regardless of pH. Moreover, under neutral conditions, trout were able to generalize their recognition to the odor of longear sunfish. However, the trout could not generalize their recognition of the longear sunfish under acidic conditions. Given the widespread occurrence of anthropogenic acidification, acid-mediated impairment of predator recognition and generalization may be a pervasive problem for freshwater salmonid populations and other aquatic organisms. PMID:23063639

  6. Seed release in serotinous lodgepole pine forests after mountain pine beetle outbreak.

    PubMed

    Teste, François P; Lieffers, Victor J; Landhausser, Simon M

    2011-01-01

    There are concerns that large-scale stand mortality due to mountain pine beetle (MPB) could greatly reduce natural regeneration of serotinous Rocky Mountain (RM) lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) because the closed cones are held in place without the fire cue for cone opening. We selected 20 stands (five stands each of live [control], 3 years since MPB [3-yr-MPB], 6 years since MPB [6-yr-MPB], and 9 years since MPB [9-yr-MPB] mortality) in north central British Columbia, Canada. The goal was to determine partial loss of serotiny due to fall of crown-stored cones via breakage of branches and in situ opening of canopy cones throughout the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons. We also quantified seed release by the opening of forest-floor cones, loss of seed from rodent predation, and cone burial. Trees killed by MPB three years earlier dropped approximately 3.5 times more cones via branch breakage compared to live stands. After six years, MPB-killed stands had released 45% of their canopy seed bank through cone opening, cone fall due to breakage, and squirrel predation. Further losses of canopy seed banks are expected with time since we found 9-yr-MPB stands had 38% more open canopy cones. This was countered by the development of a modest forest-floor seed bank (6% of the original canopy seed bank) from burial of cones; this seed bank may be ecologically important if a fire or anthropogenic disturbance reexposes these cones. If adequate levels of regeneration are to occur, disturbances to create seedbeds must occur shortly after tree mortality, before the seed banks are lost. Our findings also suggest that the sustained seed rain (over at least nine years) after MPB outbreak may be beneficial for population growth of ground-foraging vertebrates. Our study adds insight to the seed ecology of serotinous pines under a potentially continental-wide insect outbreak, threatening vast forests adapted to regeneration after fire. Key words: biotic disturbance; cone

  7. Antipredator behaviours of a spider mite in response to cues of dangerous and harmless predators.

    PubMed

    Dias, Cleide Rosa; Bernardo, Ana Maria Guimarães; Mencalha, Jussara; Freitas, Caelum Woods Carvalho; Sarmento, Renato Almeida; Pallini, Angelo; Janssen, Arne

    2016-07-01

    Prey are known to invest in costly antipredator behaviour when perceiving cues of dangerous, but not of relatively harmless predators. Whereas most studies investigate one type of antipredator behaviour, we studied several types (changes in oviposition, in escape and avoidance behaviour) in the spider mite Tetranychus evansi in response to cues from two predatory mites. The predator Phytoseiulus longipes is considered a dangerous predator for T. evansi, whereas Phytoseiulus macropilis has a low predation rate on this prey, thus is a much less dangerous predator. Spider mite females oviposited less on leaf disc halves with predator cues than on clean disc halves, independent of the predator species. On entire leaf discs, they laid fewer eggs in the presence of cues of the dangerous predator than on clean discs, but not in the presence of cues of the harmless predator. Furthermore, the spider mites escaped more often from discs with cues of the dangerous predator than from discs without predator cues, but they did not escape more from discs with cues of the harmless predator. The spider mites did not avoid plants with conspecifics and predators. We conclude that the spider mites displayed several different antipredator responses to the same predator species, and that some of these antipredator responses were stronger with cues of dangerous predators than with cues of harmless predators. PMID:27067101

  8. Predation of the Peach Aphid Myzus persicae by the mirid Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus on Sweet Peppers: Effect of Prey and Predator Density.

    PubMed

    De Backer, Lara; Wäckers, Felix L; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Pest Management strategies are widely implemented in sweet peppers. Aphid biological control on sweet pepers includes curative applications of parasitoids and generalist predators, but with limited efficiency. Macrolophus pygmaeus is a zoophytophagous predator which has been reported to predate on aphids, but has traditionally been used to control other pests, including whiteflies. In this work, we evaluate the effectiveness of M. pygmaeus in controlling Myzus persicae (Homoptera: Aphididae) by testing different combinations of aphid and predator densities in cage-experiments under greenhouse conditions. The impact of the presence of an alternative factitious prey (E. kuehniella eggs) was also investigated. Macrolophus pygmaeus, at densities of four individuals/plant, caused rapid decline of newly established aphid populations. When aphid infestations were heavy, the mirid bug reduced the aphid numbers but did not fully eradicate aphid populations. The availability of a factitious prey did not influence M. pygmaeus predation on aphids. Based on our data, preventive application of M. pygmaeus, along with a supplementary food source , is recommended to control early infestations of aphids. PMID:26463201

  9. Predation of the Peach Aphid Myzus persicae by the mirid Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus on Sweet Peppers: Effect of Prey and Predator Density

    PubMed Central

    De Backer, Lara; Wäckers, Felix L.; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J.

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Pest Management strategies are widely implemented in sweet peppers. Aphid biological control on sweet pepers includes curative applications of parasitoids and generalist predators, but with limited efficiency. Macrolophus pygmaeus is a zoophytophagous predator which has been reported to predate on aphids, but has traditionally been used to control other pests, including whiteflies. In this work, we evaluate the effectiveness of M. pygmaeus in controlling Myzus persicae (Homoptera: Aphididae) by testing different combinations of aphid and predator densities in cage-experiments under greenhouse conditions. The impact of the presence of an alternative factitious prey (E. kuehniella eggs) was also investigated. Macrolophus pygmaeus, at densities of four individuals/plant, caused rapid decline of newly established aphid populations. When aphid infestations were heavy, the mirid bug reduced the aphid numbers but did not fully eradicate aphid populations. The availability of a factitious prey did not influence M. pygmaeus predation on aphids. Based on our data, preventive application of M. pygmaeus, along with a supplementary food source , is recommended to control early infestations of aphids. PMID:26463201

  10. Context-dependent seed dispersal by a scatter-hoarding corvid.

    PubMed

    Pesendorfer, Mario B; Sillett, T Scott; Morrison, Scott A; Kamil, Alan C

    2016-05-01

    Corvids (crows, jays, magpies and nutcrackers) are important dispersers of large-seeded plants. Studies on captive or supplemented birds suggest that they flexibly adjust their scatter-hoarding behaviour to the context of social dynamics and relative seed availability. Because many corvid-dispersed trees show high annual variation in seed production, context-dependent foraging can have strong effects on natural corvid scatter-hoarding behaviour. We investigated how seed availability and social dynamics affected scatter-hoarding in the island scrub jays (Aphelocoma insularis). We quantified rates of scatter-hoarding behaviour and territorial defence of 26 colour-marked birds over a three-year period with variable acorn crops. We tested whether caching parameters were correlated with variation in annual seed production of oaks as predicted by the predator dispersal hypothesis, which states that caching rates and distances should vary with seed abundance in ways that benefit tree fitness. We also tested whether antagonistic interactions with conspecifics would affect scatter-hoarding adversely, as found in experimental studies. Caching behaviour varied with acorn availability. Caching distances correlated positively with annual acorn crop size, increasing by as much as 40% between years. Caching rates declined over time in years with small acorn crops, but increased when crops were large. Acorn foraging and caching rates were also negatively correlated with rates of territorial aggression. Overall foraging rates, however, were not associated with aggression, suggesting that reduced dispersal rates were not simply due to time constraints. Our field results support laboratory findings that caching rates and distances by scatter-hoarding corvids are context-dependent. Furthermore, our results are consistent with predictions of the predator dispersal hypothesis and suggest that large seed crops and social interactions among scatter-hoarders affect dispersal benefits for

  11. Does nonrandom nest placement imply nonrandom nest predation? - A reply

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, R.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Zenitsky, G.D.; Mullin, S.J.; Dececco, J.D.; Marshall, M.R.; Wolf, D.J.; Pomara, L.Y.

    1999-01-01

    In response to the critique by Schmidt and Whelan (Condor 101(4):916-920, 1999), we find that the relationship between nest success and tree selectivity is dependent upon inclusion or exclusion of particular tree species, whether or not years are pooled, and the selectivity index used. We question their use of point estimates of nest success with extremely high variances, defend our index, question the application of the Chesson (1983) index to our data, and explain the need to analyze years separately. Bottomland hardwood forest systems are extremely variable; hydroperiods alter the suitability of nesting substrates, availability of alternative food, and behavior of predators and their prey. Given these features, actively searching for Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) nests is seldom an efficient predator foraging strategy. Therefore, these predation events are best described as random; nests are principally encountered opportunistically by generalist predators while searching for other prey.

  12. Apparent predation by cattle at grassland bird nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nack, J.L.; Ribic, C.A.

    2005-01-01

    We document the first cases of cattle behaving as avian predators, removing nestlings and eggs from three active ground nests in continuously grazed pastures in southwestern Wisconsin, 2000-2001. Cows removed three of four Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) eggs from one nest (the fourth egg was damaged), all four Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) nestlings from another, and all three Savannah Sparrow nestlings from a third. We found only two of three missing eggs (intact) and one of seven missing nestlings (dead) near two of the nests. Cows may have eaten the egg and nestlings we were unable to account for; alternatively, the egg and nestlings may have been scavenged by predators or removed from the area by the adult birds. Without videotape documentation, we would have attributed nest failure to traditional predators and cattle would not have been implicated. We may be underestimating the impact of cattle on ground nests by not considering cattle as potential predators.

  13. Colour Polymorphism Protects Prey Individuals and Populations Against Predation

    PubMed Central

    Karpestam, Einat; Merilaita, Sami; Forsman, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Colour pattern polymorphism in animals can influence and be influenced by interactions between predators and prey. However, few studies have examined whether polymorphism is adaptive, and there is no evidence that the co-occurrence of two or more natural prey colour variants can increase survival of populations. Here we show that visual predators that exploit polymorphic prey suffer from reduced performance, and further provide rare evidence in support of the hypothesis that prey colour polymorphism may afford protection against predators for both individuals and populations. This protective effect provides a probable explanation for the longstanding, evolutionary puzzle of the existence of colour polymorphisms. We also propose that this protective effect can provide an adaptive explanation for search image formation in predators rather than search image formation explaining polymorphism. PMID:26902799

  14. Lévy Walks Suboptimal under Predation Risk.

    PubMed

    Abe, Masato S; Shimada, Masakazu

    2015-11-01

    A key challenge in movement ecology is to understand how animals move in nature. Previous studies have predicted that animals should perform a special class of random walks, called Lévy walk, to obtain more targets. However, some empirical studies did not support this hypothesis, and the relationship between search strategy and ecological factors is still unclear. We focused on ecological factors, such as predation risk, and analyzed whether Lévy walk may not be favored. It was remarkable that the ecological factors often altered an optimal search strategy from Lévy walk to Brownian walk, depending on the speed of the predator's movement, density of predators, etc. This occurred because higher target encounter rates simultaneously led searchers to higher predation risks. Our findings indicate that animals may not perform Lévy walks often, and we suggest that it is crucial to consider the ecological context for evaluating the search strategy performed by animals in the field. PMID:26544687

  15. Predation of schistosomiasis vector snails by ostracoda (crustacea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohn, I.G.; Kornicker, L.S.

    1972-01-01

    An ostracod species of Cypretta is an effective predator in laboratory experiments on 1- to 3-day-old Biomphalaria glabrata, a vector snail of the blood fluke that causes the tropical and subtropical disease schistosomiasis.

  16. Bioeconomic harvesting of a prey-predator fishery.

    PubMed

    Das, Tapasi; Mukherjee, R N; Chaudhuri, K S

    2009-09-01

    This paper deals with the problem of non-selective harvesting of a prey-predator system by using a reasonable catch-rate function instead of usual catch-per-unit-efforthypothesis. Here both the prey and the predator species obey the law of logistic growth. We have taken the predator functional response to prey density in such a form that each predator's functional response to the prey density approaches a constant as the prey population increases. Boundedness of the exploited system is examined. The existence of its steady states and their stability (local and global) are studied using Eigenvalue analysis. The existence of bionomic equilibria has been illustrated using a numerical example. The problem of determining the optimal harvesting policy is then solved by using Pontryagin's maximum principle. PMID:22880894

  17. Predator-prey systems depend on a prey refuge.

    PubMed

    Chivers, W J; Gladstone, W; Herbert, R D; Fuller, M M

    2014-11-01

    Models of near-exclusive predator-prey systems such as that of the Canadian lynx and snowshoe hare have included factors such as a second prey species, a Holling Type II predator response and climatic or seasonal effects to reproduce sub-sets of six signature patterns in the empirical data. We present an agent-based model which does not require the factors or constraints of previous models to reproduce all six patterns in persistent populations. Our parsimonious model represents a generalised predator and prey species with a small prey refuge. The lack of the constraints of previous models, considered to be important for those models, casts doubt on the current hypothesised mechanisms of exclusive predator-prey systems. The implication for management of the lynx, a protected species, is that maintenance of an heterogeneous environment offering natural refuge areas for the hare is the most important factor for the conservation of this species. PMID:25058806

  18. Titi monkey call sequences vary with predator location and type

    PubMed Central

    Cäsar, Cristiane; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Young, Robert J.; Byrne, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Animal alarm calls can encode information about a predator's category, size, distance or threat level. In non-human primates, alarm calls typically refer to broad classes of disturbances, in some instances to specific predators. Here, we present the results of a field experiment with a New World primate, the black-fronted titi monkey (Callicebus nigrifrons), designed to explore the information conveyed by their alarm call system. Adults produced sequences consisting of two main alarm call types that conveyed, in different parts of the utterance, information about a predator's type and location. In particular, sequence compositions differed depending on whether the predator was a mammalian carnivore or a raptor, and whether it was detected in a tree or on the ground. This is the first demonstration of a sequence-based alarm call system in a non-human animal that has the capacity to encode both location and type of predatory threat. PMID:24004492

  19. Seeds in space experiment results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alston, Jim A.

    1991-01-01

    Two million seeds of 120 different varieties representing 106 species, 97 genera, and 55 plant families were flown aboard the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). The seeds were housed on the space exposed experiment developed for students (SEEDS) tray in sealed canister number six and in two small vented canisters. The tray was in the F-2 position. The seeds were germinated and the germination rates and development of the resulting plants compared to the control seed that stayed in Park Seed's seed storage facility. The initial results are presented. There was a better survival rate in the sealed canister in space than in the storage facility at Park Seed. At least some of the seeds in each of the vented canisters survived the exposure to vacuum for almost six years. The number of observed apparent mutations was very low.

  20. Seed Transmission of Pseudoperonospora cubensis

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Yigal; Rubin, Avia E.; Galperin, Mariana; Ploch, Sebastian; Runge, Fabian; Thines, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Pseudoperonospora cubensis, an obligate biotrophic oomycete causing devastating foliar disease in species of the Cucurbitaceae family, was never reported in seeds or transmitted by seeds. We now show that P. cubensis occurs in fruits and seeds of downy mildew-infected plants but not in fruits or seeds of healthy plants. About 6.7% of the fruits collected during 2012–2014 have developed downy mildew when homogenized and inoculated onto detached leaves and 0.9% of the seeds collected developed downy mildew when grown to the seedling stage. This is the first report showing that P. cubensis has become seed-transmitted in cucurbits. Species-specific PCR assays showed that P. cubensis occurs in ovaries, fruit seed cavity and seed embryos of cucurbits. We propose that international trade of fruits or seeds of cucurbits might be associated with the recent global change in the population structure of P. cubensis. PMID:25329308

  1. Automated seed manipulation and planting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, Ray; Herrera, Javier; Holcomb, Scott; Kelly, Paul; Myers, Scott; Rosendo, Manny; Sivitz, Herbert; Wolsefer, Dave

    1988-01-01

    The Mechanical Division fabricated three seed separators utilizing pressure gradients to move and separate wheat seeds. These separators are called minnow buckets and use air, water, or a combination of both to generate the pressure gradient. Electrostatic fields were employed in the seed separator constructed by the Electrical Division. This separator operates by forcing a temporary electric dipole on the wheat seeds and using charged electrodes to attract and move the seeds. Seed delivery to the hydroponic growth tray is accomplished by the seed cassette. The cassette is compatible with all the seed separators, and it consists of a plastic tube threaded with millipore filter paper. During planting operations, the seeds are placed in an empty cassette. The loaded cassette is then placed in the growth tray and nutrient solution provided. The solution wets the filter paper and capillary action draws the nutrients up to feed the seeds. These seeding systems were tested and showed encouraging results. Seeds were effectively separated and the cassette can support the growth of wheat plants. Problems remaining to be investigated include improving the success of delivering the seeds to the cassette and providing adequate spacing between seeds for the electric separator.

  2. Seed Selection by the Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Coastal Sage Scrub: Interactions With Invasive Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Briggs, C M; Redak, R A

    2016-08-01

    Harvester ants can be the dominant seed predators on plants by collecting and eating seeds and are known to influence plant communities. Harvester ants are abundant in coastal sage scrub (CSS), and CSS is frequently invaded by several exotic plant species. This study used observations of foraging and cafeteria-style experiments to test for seed species selection by the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in CSS. Analysis of foraging behavior showed that P. rugosus carried seeds of exotic Erodium cicutarium (L.) and exotic Brassica tournefortii (Gouan) on 85 and 15% of return trips to the nest (respectively), and only a very few ants carried the native seeds found within the study areas. When compared with the availability of seeds in the field, P. rugosus selected exotic E. cicutarium and avoided both native Encelia farinosa (Torrey & A. Gray) and exotic B. tournefortii. Foraging by P. rugosus had no major effect on the seed bank in the field. Cafeteria-style experiments confirmed that P. rugosus selected E. cicutarium over other available seeds. Native Eriogonum fasciculatum (Bentham) seeds were even less selected than E. farinosa and B. tournefortii. PMID:27257121

  3. Nash Equilibria in Noncooperative Predator-Prey Games

    SciTech Connect

    Ramos, Angel Manuel Roubicek, Tomas

    2007-09-15

    A noncooperative game governed by a distributed-parameter predator-prey system is considered, assuming that two players control initial conditions for predator and prey, respectively. Existence of a Nash equilibrium is shown under the condition that the desired population profiles and the environmental carrying capacity for the prey are sufficiently small. A conceptual approximation algorithm is proposed and analyzed. Finally, numerical simulations are performed, too.

  4. Prey-predator model with a nonlocal consumption of prey.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, M; Volpert, V

    2016-08-01

    The prey-predator model with nonlocal consumption of prey introduced in this work extends previous studies of local reaction-diffusion models. Linear stability analysis of the homogeneous in space stationary solution and numerical simulations of nonhomogeneous solutions allow us to analyze bifurcations and dynamics of stationary solutions and of travelling waves. These solutions present some new properties in comparison with the local models. They correspond to different feeding strategies of predators observed in ecology. PMID:27586616

  5. California current system - Predators and the preyscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ainley, David G.; Adams, Peter B.; Jahncke, Jaime

    2015-06-01

    The preyscape of the California Current System (CCS), one of the most productive marine areas on Earth (Glantz and Thompson, 1981), is highly variable, as evidenced by the papers in this issue, and as such presents a challenge to Ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM), which attempts to integrate ecosystem considerations as part of fishery management and conservation decisions. Approaches to EBFM for the waters off Washington, Oregon, and California, the CCS, have been initiated (PFMC, 2007, 2013), and are continually being developed. To inform this process, a workshop was held in September 2013 to: i) gather together the existing information on forage fish and predator dynamics in the CCS; ii) consider temporal (seasonal, annual, decadal) and spatial availability of prey complexes and why these patterns of availability occur and change; iii) summarize and present that information for discussion to a large range of experts in oceanography, fish and fisheries management, seabirds, marine mammals, and ecosystem management; and, iv) synthesize this information to be useable by fishery agencies. The papers in this special Journal of Marine Systems issue address these four points. While the full results and recommendations can be found here - "http://www.pointblue.org/uploads/assets/calcurrent/REPORT_Forage_Fish_Workshop_FINAL.pdf"

  6. Predator-prey coevolution: Australian native bees avoid their spider predators.

    PubMed

    Heiling, A M; Herberstein, M E

    2004-05-01

    Australian crab spiders Thomisus spectabilis manipulate visual flower signals to lure introduced Apis mellifera. We gave Australian native bees, Austroplebia australis, the choice between two white daisies, Chrysanthemum frutescens, one of them occupied by a crab spider. The colour contrast between flowers and spiders affected the behaviour of native bees. Native bees approached spider-occupied flowers more frequently. However, native bees avoided flowers occupied by spiders and landed on vacant flowers more frequently. In contrast to honeybees that did not coevolve with T. spectabilis, Australian native bees show an anti-predatory response to avoid flowers occupied by this predator. PMID:15252982

  7. Phenotypic convergence along a gradient of predation risk.

    PubMed

    Dennis, S R; Carter, Mauricio J; Hentley, W T; Beckerman, A P

    2011-06-01

    A long-standing question in ecology is whether phenotypic plasticity, rather than selection per se, is responsible for phenotypic variation among populations. Plasticity can increase or decrease variation, but most previous studies have been limited to single populations, single traits and a small number of environments assessed using univariate reaction norms. Here, examining two genetically distinct populations of Daphnia pulex with different predation histories, we quantified predator-induced plasticity among 11 traits along a fine-scale gradient of predation risk by a predator (Chaoborus) common to both populations. We test the hypothesis that plasticity can be responsible for convergence in phenotypes among different populations by experimentally characterizing multivariate reaction norms with phenotypic trajectory analysis (PTA). Univariate analyses showed that all genotypes increased age and size at maturity, and invested in defensive spikes (neckteeth), but failed to quantitatively describe whole-organism response. In contrast, PTA quantified and qualified the phenotypic strategy the organism mobilized against the selection pressure. We demonstrate, at the whole-organism level, that the two populations occupy different areas of phenotypic space in the absence of predation but converge in phenotypic space as predation threat increases. PMID:21084350

  8. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Sloggett, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups. PMID:26466621

  9. Olfactory assessment of predation risk in the aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Wisenden, B D

    2000-09-29

    The aquatic environment is well suited for the transmission of chemical information. Aquatic animals have evolved highly sensitive receptors for detecting these cues. Here, I review behavioural evidence for the use of chemical cues by aquatic animals for the assessment of predation risk. Chemical cues are released during detection, attack, capture and ingestion of prey. The nature of the cue released depends on the stage of the predation sequence in which cues are released. Predator odours, disturbance pheromones, injury-released chemical cues and dietary cues all convey chemical information to prey Prey use these cues to minimize their probability of being taken on to the next stage of the sequence. The evolution of specialized epidermal alarm substance cells in fishes in the superorder Ostariophysi represent an amplification of this general phenomenon. These cells carry a significant metabolic cost. The cost is offset by the fitness benefit of the chemical attraction of predators. Attempts of piracy by secondary predators interrupt predation events allowing prey an opportunity for escape. In conclusion, chemical cues are widely used by aquatic prey for risk assessment and this has resulted in the evolution of specialized structures among some taxa. PMID:11079399

  10. Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders.

    PubMed

    Groenewoud, Frank; Frommen, Joachim Gerhard; Josi, Dario; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2016-04-12

    Predation risk is a major ecological factor selecting for group living. It is largely ignored, however, as an evolutionary driver of social complexity and cooperative breeding, which is attributed mainly to a combination of habitat saturation and enhanced relatedness levels. Social cichlids neither suffer from habitat saturation, nor are their groups composed primarily of relatives. This demands alternative ecological explanations for the evolution of advanced social organization. To address this question, we compared the ecology of eight populations of Neolamprologus pulcher, a cichlid fish arguably representing the pinnacle of social evolution in poikilothermic vertebrates. Results show that variation in social organization and behavior of these fish is primarily explained by predation risk and related ecological factors. Remarkably, ecology affects group structure more strongly than group size, with predation inversely affecting small and large group members. High predation and shelter limitation leads to groups containing few small but many large members, which is an effect enhanced at low population densities. Apparently, enhanced safety from predators by cooperative defense and shelter construction are the primary benefits of sociality. This finding suggests that predation risk can be fundamental for the transition toward complex social organization, which is generally undervalued. PMID:27035973

  11. Human shields mediate sexual conflict in a top predator.

    PubMed

    Steyaert, S M J G; Leclerc, M; Pelletier, F; Kindberg, J; Brunberg, S; Swenson, J E; Zedrosser, A

    2016-06-29

    Selecting the right habitat in a risky landscape is crucial for an individual's survival and reproduction. In predator-prey systems, prey often can anticipate the habitat use of their main predator and may use protective associates (i.e. typically an apex predator) as shields against predation. Although never tested, such mechanisms should also evolve in systems in which sexual conflict affects offspring survival. Here, we assessed the relationship between offspring survival and habitat selection, as well as the use of protective associates, in a system in which sexually selected infanticide (SSI), rather than interspecific predation, affects offspring survival. We used the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos) population with SSI in a human-dominated landscape as our model system. Bears, especially adult males, generally avoid humans in our study system. We used resource selection functions to contrast habitat selection of GPS-collared mothers that were successful (i.e. surviving litters, n = 19) and unsuccessful (i.e. complete litter loss, n = 11) in keeping their young during the mating season (2005-2012). Habitat selection was indeed a predictor of litter survival. Successful mothers were more likely to use humans as protective associates, whereas unsuccessful mothers avoided humans. Our results suggest that principles of predator-prey and fear ecology theory (e.g. non-consumptive and cascading effects) can also be applied to the context of sexual conflict. PMID:27335423

  12. Predator odor fear conditioning: Current perspectives and new directions

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Lorey K.; Chan, Megan M.; Pilar, Mark L.

    2008-01-01

    Predator odor fear conditioning involves the use of a natural unconditioned stimulus, as opposed to aversive electric foot-shock, to obtain novel information on the neural circuitry associated with emotional learning and memory. Researchers are beginning to identify brain sites associated with conditioned contextual fear such as the ventral anterior olfactory nucleus, dorsal premammillary nucleus, ventrolateral periaqueductal gray, cuneiform nucleus, and locus coeruleus. In addition, a few studies have reported an involvement of the basolateral and medial nucleus of the amygdala and hippocampus in fear conditioning. However, several important issues concerning the effectiveness of different predator odor unconditioned stimuli to produce fear conditioning, the precise role of brain nuclei in fear conditioning, and the general relation between the current predator odor and the traditional electric foot-shock fear conditioning procedures remain to be satisfactorily addressed. This review discusses the major behavioral results in the current predator odor fear conditioning literature and introduces two novel contextual and auditory fear conditioning models using cat odor. The new models provide critical information on the acquisition of conditioned fear behavior during training and the expression of conditioned responses in the retention test. Future studies adopting fear conditioning procedures that incorporate measures of both unconditioned and conditioned responses during training may lead to broad insights into predator odor fear conditioning and identify specific brain nuclei mediating conditioned stimulus – predator odor unconditioned stimulus associations. PMID:18577397

  13. Effects of climate and exurban development on nest predation and predator presence in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA).

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2012-08-01

    In the eastern United States, land-use and climate change have likely contributed to declines in the abundance of Neotropical migrant birds that occupy forest interiors, but the mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a nest-predation experiment in southern Appalachian Mountain forests (North Carolina, U.S.A.) during the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons to determine the effects of exurban development and temperature on predator presence and the average number of days until eggs in an artificial nest were disturbed by predators. We baited artificial nests with quail (Excalfactoria chinensi) eggs and monitored them for 18 days. We used clay eggs, track plates, and motion-triggered cameras to detect and identify nest predators. The average number of days a nest was undisturbed decreased as mean temperature increased and, to a lesser extent, as the density of buildings increased. Nests on the ground were more often depredated than those in trees, likely due to increased predation by opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and other carnivores. Raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums, corvids (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Cyanocitta cristata), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), black bears (Ursus americanus), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were the most commonly detected predators. Presence of these predators did not vary as a function of mean temperature. Domestic cats and corvids were detected more frequently in plots with high rather than low densities of buildings. Forest-interior specialists and Neotropical migrants often nest in cool, high-elevation areas with low housing density. These bird species, especially those that nest on the ground, may be most vulnerable to increased nest predation if temperature and exurban development increase at higher elevations as anticipated. PMID:22624665

  14. Magnetic-seeding filtration

    SciTech Connect

    Depaoli, D.

    1996-10-01

    This task will investigate the capabilities of magnetic-seeding filtration for the enhanced removal of magnetic and nonmagnetic particulates from liquids. This technology appies to a wide range of liquid wastes, including groundwater, process waters, and tank supernatant. Magnetic-seeding filtration can be used in several aspects of treatment, such as (1) removal of solids, particularly those in the colloidal-size range that are difficult to remove by conventional means; (2) removal of contaminants by precipitation processes; and (3) removal of contaminants by sorption processes.

  15. Relative growth rates of predator and prey dinosaurs reflect effects of predation

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Lee, Andrew H; Taper, Mark L; Horner, John R

    2008-01-01

    Hadrosaurs grew rapidly, and quantifying their growth is key to understanding life-history interactions between predators and prey during the Late Cretaceous. In this study, we longitudinally sampled a sequence of lines of arrested growth (LAGs) from an essentially full-grown hadrosaur Hypacrosaurus stebingeri (MOR 549). Spatial locations of LAGs in the femoral and tibial transverse sections of MOR 549 were measured and circumferences were calculated. For each bone, a time series of circumference data was fitted to several stochastic, discrete growth models. Our results suggest that the femur and the tibia of this specimen of Hypacrosaurus probably followed a Gompertz curve and that LAGs reportedly missing from early ontogeny were obscured by perimedullary resorption. In this specimen, death occurred at 13 years and took approximately 10–12 years to reach 95 per cent asymptotic size. The age at growth inflection, which is a proxy for reproductive maturity, occurred at approximately 2–3 years. Comparisons with several small and large predatory theropods reveal that MOR 549 grew faster and matured sooner than they did. These results suggest that Hypacrosaurus was able to partly avoid predators by outgrowing them. PMID:18682367

  16. Temperature dependence of predation depends on the relative performance of predators and prey

    PubMed Central

    Öhlund, Gunnar; Hedström, Per; Norman, Sven; Hein, Catherine L.; Englund, Göran

    2015-01-01

    The temperature dependence of predation rates is a key issue for understanding and predicting the responses of ecosystems to climate change. Using a simple mechanistic model, we demonstrate that differences in the relative performances of predator and prey can cause strong threshold effects in the temperature dependence of attack rates. Empirical data on the attack rate of northern pike (Esox lucius) feeding on brown trout (Salmo trutta) confirm this result. Attack rates fell sharply below a threshold temperature of +11°C, which corresponded to a shift in relative performance of pike and brown trout with respect to maximum attack and escape swimming speeds. The average attack speed of pike was an order of magnitude lower than the escape speed of brown trout at 5°C, but approximately equal at temperatures above 11°C. Thresholds in the temperature dependence of ecological rates can create tipping points in the responses of ecosystems to increasing temperatures. Thus, identifying thresholds is crucial when predicting future effects of climate warming. PMID:25473013

  17. Multiple seeds sensitivity using a single seed with threshold.

    PubMed

    Egidi, Lavinia; Manzini, Giovanni

    2015-08-01

    Spaced seeds are a fundamental tool for similarity search in biosequences. The best sensitivity/selectivity trade-offs are obtained using many seeds simultaneously: This is known as the multiple seed approach. Unfortunately, spaced seeds use a large amount of memory and the available RAM is a practical limit to the number of seeds one can use simultaneously. Inspired by some recent results on lossless seeds, we revisit the approach of using a single spaced seed and considering two regions homologous if the seed hits in at least t sufficiently close positions. We show that by choosing the locations of the don't care symbols in the seed using quadratic residues modulo a prime number, we derive single seeds that when used with a threshold t > 1 have competitive sensitivity/selectivity trade-offs, indeed close to the best multiple seeds known in the literature. In addition, the choice of the threshold t can be adjusted to modify sensitivity and selectivity a posteriori, thus enabling a more accurate search in the specific instance at issue. The seeds we propose also exhibit robustness and allow flexibility in usage. PMID:25747382

  18. Fiber and seed loss from seed cotton cleaning machinery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fiber and seed loss from seed cotton cleaning equipment in cotton gins occurs, but the quantity of material lost, factors affecting fiber and seed loss, and the mechanisms that cause material loss are not well understood. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of different factors on...

  19. Introduced Mammalian Predators Induce Behavioural Changes in Parental Care in an Endemic New Zealand Bird

    PubMed Central

    Massaro, Melanie; Starling-Windhof, Amanda; Briskie, James V.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2008-01-01

    The introduction of predatory mammals to oceanic islands has led to the extinction of many endemic birds. Although introduced predators should favour changes that reduce predation risk in surviving bird species, the ability of island birds to respond to such novel changes remains unstudied. We tested whether novel predation risk imposed by introduced mammalian predators has altered the parental behaviour of the endemic New Zealand bell