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Sample records for predation index predator

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. Developing a Predation Index and Evaluating Ways to Reduce Salmonid Losses to Predation in the Columbia River Basin, Final Report August 1988-September 1990.

    SciTech Connect

    Nigro, Anthony A.

    1990-12-01

    We report our results of studies to develop a predation index and evaluate ways to reduce juvenile salmonid losses to predation in the Columbia River Basin. Study objectives of each were: develop an index to estimate predation losses of juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp) in reservoirs throughout the Columbia River Basin, describe the relationships among predator-caused mortality of juvenile salmonids and physical and biological variables, examine the feasibility of developing bounty, commercial or recreational fisheries on northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) and develop a plan to evaluate the efficacy of predator control fisheries; determine the economic feasibility of developing bounty and commercial fisheries for northern squawfish, assist ODFW with evaluating the economic feasibility of recreational fisheries for northern squawfish and assess the economic feasibility of utilizing northern squawfish, carp (Cyprinus carpio) and suckers (Castostomus spp) in multispecies fisheries; evaluate commercial technology of various fishing methods for harvesting northern squawfish in Columbia River reservoirs and field test the effectiveness of selected harvesting systems, holding facilities and transportation systems; and modify the existing Columbia River Ecosystem Model (CREM) to include processes necessary to evaluate effects of removing northern squawfish on their population size structure and abundance, document the ecological processes, mathematical equations and computer (FORTRAN) programming of the revised version of CREM and conduct systematic analyses of various predator removal scenarios, using revised CREM to generate the simulations. Individual reports are indexed separately.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Sublethal effects of catch-and-release fishing: measuring capture stress, fish impairment, and predation risk using a condition index

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Matthew D.; Patino, Reynaldo; Tolan, J.M.; Strauss, R.E.; Diamond, S.

    2009-01-01

    The sublethal effects of simulated capture of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) were analysed using physiological responses, condition indexing, and performance variables. Simulated catch-and-release fishing included combinations of depth of capture and thermocline exposure reflective of environmental conditions experienced in the Gulf of Mexico. Frequency of occurrence of barotrauma and lack of reflex response exhibited considerable individual variation. When combined into a single condition or impairment index, individual variation was reduced, and impairment showed significant increases as depth increased and with the addition of thermocline exposure. Performance variables, such as burst swimming speed (BSS) and simulated predator approach distance (AD), were also significantly different by depth. BSSs and predator ADs decreased with increasing depth, were lowest immediately after release, and were affected for up to 15 min, with longer recovery times required as depth increased. The impairment score developed was positively correlated with cortisol concentration and negatively correlated with both BSS and simulated predator AD. The impairment index proved to be an efficient method to estimate the overall impairment of red snapper in the laboratory simulations of capture and shows promise for use in field conditions, to estimate release mortality and vulnerability to predation.

  11. Development of a System-Wide Program, Volume II : Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin, 1992 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, David L.; Nigro, Anthony A.; Willis, Charles F.

    1994-06-01

    The authors report their results of studies to determine the extent to which northern squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids is a problem in the Columbia River Basin, and to evaluate how effectively fisheries can be used to control northern squawfish populations and reduce juvenile salmonid losses to predation. These studies were initiated as part of a basinwide program to control northern squawfish predation and reduce mortality of juvenile salmonids on their migration to the ocean. Three papers are included in this report. They are entitled: (1) Development of a Systemwide Predator Control Program: Indexing and Fisheries Evaluation; (2) Economic, Social and Legal Feasibility of Commercial Sport, and Bounty Fisheries on Northern Squawfish; (3) Columbia River Ecosystem Model (CREM): Modeling Approach for Evaluation of Control of Northern Squawfish Populations using Fisheries Exploitation.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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, 1990 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Nigro, Anthony A.

    1990-12-01

    The papers in this document report the results of studies to develop a Columbia River basin-wide program to control northern squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids. Our studies focus on (1) determining where in the basin northern squawfish predation is a problem, (2) conducting various fisheries for northern squawfish, and (3) testing a plan to evaluate how well fisheries are controlling northern squawfish populations. These studies were initiated as part of a basin-wide effort to reduce mortality of juvenile salmonids on their journey from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River basin suggested predation by northern squawfish on juvenile salmonids may account for most of the 10 to 20 percent mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia and Snake river reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982--1988 indicated it is not necessary to eradicate northern squawfish to substantially reduce predation-caused mortality of juvenile salmonids. Instead, if northern squawfish were exploited at a 20 percent rate, reductions in their numbers and restructuring of their populations could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50 percent. We tested three fisheries in 1990, a tribal long-line fishery, a recreational-reward fishery, and a dam hook-and-line fishery.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Development of a Systemwide Program: Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin, Volume 1, 1992 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, David L.

    1994-06-01

    Results of the second year are reported of a basinwide program to harvest northern squawfish in an effort to reduce mortality due to squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids during their migration from natal streams to the ocean. Six papers are included in this report. They are entitled: feasibility investigation of a commercial longline fishery for northern squawfish in the Columbia River downstream from Bonneville dam; evaluation of the northern squawfish sport-reward fishery in the Columbia and Snake Rivers; controlled angling for northern squawfish at selected dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in 1992; evaluation of harvest technology for squawfish control in Columbia River reservoirs; effectiveness of predator-removal for protecting juvenile fall chinook salmon released from Bonneville Hatchery; and Northern squawfish sport-reward payments.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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; Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2001 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell G.; Winther, Eric C.; Fox, Lyle G.

    2003-03-01

    This report presents results for year eleven in a basin-wide program to harvest northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991--a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible.

  6. 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, 1991 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Nigro, Anthony A.; Willis, Charles F.

    1993-02-01

    We report our results from the first year of a basin-wide program to harvest northern squawfish in an effort to reduce mortality due to northern squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River basin suggested predation by northern squawfish on juvenile salmonids may account for most of the 10 to 20 percent mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia and Snake river reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated it is not necessary to eradicate northern squawfish to substantially reduce predation-caused mortality of juvenile salmonids. Instead, if northern squawfish were exploited at a 10 to 20 percent rate, reductions in their numbers and restructuring of their populations could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50 percent or more. Consequently, we designed and tested a sport reward hook-and-line fishery and a longline fishery in the John Day pool in 1990. Based on the successfulness of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a multi-pool or system wide scale in 1991: a tribal longline fishery, a sport reward fishery, and a dam angling (hook-and-line) fishery. In addition, we examined several alternative harvest techniques to determine their potential for use in system-wide test fisheries. Evaluation of the success of the three test fisheries conducted in 1991 in achieving a 20 percent exploitation rate on northern squawfish, together with information regarding the economic, social, and legal feasibility of sustaining each fishery, is presented in Section II of this report.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Report on the Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries, and Program Evaluation for the Columbia River Basin Experimental Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2008 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell .

    2009-09-10

    This report presents results for year seventeen in the basin-wide Experimental Northern Pikeminnow Management Program to harvest northern pikeminnow1 (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991 - a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible. Estimates of combined annual exploitation rates resulting from the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries remained at the low end of our target range of 10-20%. This suggested the need for additional

  10. Development of an Index to Bird Predation of Juvenile Salmonids within the Yakima River, 2000 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Grassley, James M.; Grue, Christian E.; Major, III, Walter

    2002-01-01

    Avian predation of fish is suspected to contribute to the loss of juvenile spring chinook salmon in the Yakima Basin, potentially constraining natural production. In 1997 and 1998, the Yakama/Klickitat Fisheries Project (YKFP) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)--whose goal is to increase natural production historically present within the Yakima River--initiated investigations to assess the feasibility of developing an index to avian predation of juvenile salmon within the river. This research--conducted by Dr. Steve Mathews and David Phinney of the University of Washington--confirmed that Ring-billed Gulls and Common Mergansers were the primary avian predators of juvenile salmon, and that under certain conditions could impact migrating smolt populations. Beginning in 1999, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU) was asked by the YKFP and the WDFW to continue development of avian consumption indices. Monitoring methods developed by Phinney et al. (1998) were adopted (with modifications) and monitoring of impacts to juvenile salmon along river reaches and at areas of high predator/prey concentrations (colloquially referred to as ''hotspots'') continued through 2000. In 2000, piscivorous birds were counted from river banks at hotspots and from a raft or drift boat along river reaches. Consumption by gulls at Hotspots was based on direct observations of foraging success and modeled abundance; consumption by all other piscivorous birds was estimated using published dietary requirements and modeled abundance. Further development of the avian consumption index model provided an estimation of smolt consumption for the 2000 survey season. Seasonal patterns of avian piscivore abundance were identified, diurnal patterns of gull abundance at hotspots were identified, predation indices were calculated for hotspots and spring and summer river reaches, and the efficacy of aerial surveys for estimating bird abundance within river

  11. 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; Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2002 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell G.; Winther, Eric C.; Fox, Lyle G.

    2004-01-01

    This report presents results for year twelve in a basin-wide program to harvest northern pikeminnow1 (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991--a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible. Estimates of combined annual exploitation rates resulting from the sport-reward and damangling fisheries remained at the low end of our target range of 10-20%. This suggested the need for additional effective harvest techniques. During 1991 and 1992, we developed and tested a modified

  12. Development of an Index to Bird Predation of Juvenile Salmonids within the Yakima River, 1999 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Gassley, James M.; Grue, Christian E.

    2001-10-01

    Avian predation of fish is suspected to contribute to the loss of juvenile spring chinook salmon in the Yakima Basin, potentially constraining natural production. In 1997 and 1998, the Yakama/Klickitat Fisheries Project (YKFP) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)--whose goal is to increase natural production historically present within the Yakima River--initiated investigations to assess the feasibility of developing an index to avian predation of juvenile salmon within the river. This research--conducted by Dr. Steve Mathews and David Phinney of the University of Washington--confirmed that Ring-billed Gulls and Common Mergansers were the primary avian predators of juvenile salmon, and that under certain conditions could significantly impact migrating smolt populations. Beginning in 1999, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit was asked by the YKFP and the WDFW to continue development of avian consumption indices. Monitoring methods developed by Mathews and Phinney were adopted (with modifications) and monitoring of impacts to juvenile salmon along river reaches and at areas of high predator/prey concentrations (colloquially referred to as ''hotspots'') continued. New efforts initiated in 1999 included piscivorous bird surveys at smolt acclimation sites operated by the Yakama Nation, monitoring of the North Fork Teanaway River for changes in avian piscivore abundance associated with the installation of the Jack Creek acclimation facility, and aerial surveys seeking to identify avian piscivores along the length of the Yakima River. In 1999, piscivorous birds were counted from river banks at hotspots and from a raft or drift boat along river reaches. Consumption by gulls was based on direct observations of foraging success and modeled abundance; consumption by Common Mergansers (which forage underwater) was estimated using published dietary requirements and modeled abundance. A second-order polynomial equation was used to

  13. Development of an Index to Bird Predation of Juvenile Salmonids within the Yakima River, 2001 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Major, III, Walter; Grue, Christian E.; Ryding, Kristen E.

    2002-08-01

    Avian predation of fish is suspected to contribute to the loss of out-migrating juvenile salmonids in the Yakima Basin, potentially constraining natural and artificial production. In 1997 and 1998, the Yakima/ Klickitat Fisheries Project (YKFP)--whose goal is increasing natural production within the Yakima River--initiated investigations to assess the feasibility of developing an index to avian predation of juvenile salmon within the river. This research confirmed that Ring-billed Gulls and Common Mergansers were the primary avian predators of juvenile salmon (Phinney et al. 1998), and that under certain conditions could significantly impact migrating smolt populations. Beginning in 1999, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU) was asked by the YKFP to continue development of avian consumption indices. Monitoring methods developed by Phinney et al. (1998) were adopted (with modifications) and monitoring of impacts to juvenile salmon along river reaches and at areas of high predator/prey concentrations (colloquially referred to as ''hotspots'') has continued each year through 2001. In 2001, piscivorous birds were counted from river banks at hotspots and from a raft or drift boat along river reaches. Consumption by gulls at hotspots was based on direct observations of foraging success and modeled abundance; consumption by all other piscivorous birds was estimated using published dietary requirements and modeled abundance. Seasonal patterns of avian piscivore abundance were identified, diurnal patterns of gull abundance at hotspots were identified, and predation indices were calculated for hotspots and river reaches (for both spring and summer). Changes in survey methods in 2001 included the addition of surveys in the ''Canyon'' reach during spring and altering the method of directly measuring gull feeding rates at hotspots. Primary avian predators in 2001 were ''gulls'' (California and Ring-billed) at hotspots and Common Mergansers within

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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; Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2000 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell G.; Glaser, Bryce G.; Amren, Jennifer

    2003-03-01

    This report presents results for year ten in a basin-wide program to harvest northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991--a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible. Estimates of combined annual exploitation rates resulting from the sport-reward and damangling fisheries remained at the low end of our target range of 10-20%. This suggested the need for additional effective harvest techniques. During 1991 and 1992, we developed and tested a modified

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. Toward Reliable Estimates of Abundance: Comparing Index Methods to Assess the Abundance of a Mammalian Predator

    PubMed Central

    Güthlin, Denise; Storch, Ilse; Küchenhoff, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Due to time and financial constraints indices are often used to obtain landscape-scale estimates of relative species abundance. Using two different field methods and comparing the results can help to detect possible bias or a non monotonic relationship between the index and the true abundance, providing more reliable results. We used data obtained from camera traps and feces counts to independently estimate relative abundance of red foxes in the Black Forest, a forested landscape in southern Germany. Applying negative binomial regression models, we identified landscape parameters that influence red fox abundance, which we then used to predict relative red fox abundance. We compared the estimated regression coefficients of the landscape parameters and the predicted abundance of the two methods. Further, we compared the costs and the precision of the two field methods. The predicted relative abundances were similar between the two methods, suggesting that the two indices were closely related to the true abundance of red foxes. For both methods, landscape diversity and edge density best described differences in the indices and had positive estimated effects on the relative fox abundance. In our study the costs of each method were of similar magnitude, but the sample size obtained from the feces counts (262 transects) was larger than the camera trap sample size (88 camera locations). The precision of the camera traps was lower than the precision of the feces counts. The approach we applied can be used as a framework to compare and combine the results of two or more different field methods to estimate abundance and by this enhance the reliability of the result. PMID:24743565

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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,...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lima, Steven L

    2009-08-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Analysis of the Predator Community of a Subterranean Herbivorous Insect Based on Polymerase Chain Reaction

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Using quantitative PCR and a novel pitfall trap design, we described the diel and seasonal activity patterns of the predator community in association with Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (WCR), generated a relative consumption index of WCR for the major predator operational taxonomic units (OTU), and...

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Does Predation Influence the Seasonal and Diel Timing of Moose Calving in Central Ontario, Canada?

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Brent R.; Mills, Kenneth J.; Middel, Kevin R.; Benson, John F.; Obbard, Martyn E.

    2016-01-01

    Birth synchrony is well documented among ungulates and is hypothesised to maximize neonate survival, either by minimizing the risk of predation through predator swamping or by synchronising birthing with increased seasonal food availability. We used encapsulated vaginal implant transmitters to locate and capture neonatal moose calves and document the seasonal and diel timing of parturition in two adjacent study areas with different predation pressure in central Ontario, Canada. We tested the hypothesis that predation promotes earlier and more synchronous birth of moose calves. Across both areas, proportionately more births occurred during the afternoon and fewer than expected occurred overnight. Mean date of calving averaged 1.5 days earlier and calving was also more synchronous in the study area with heavier predation pressure, despite average green-up date and peak Normalized Difference Vegetation Index date occurring 2 days later in this study area than in the area receiving lighter predation pressure. We encourage analysis of data on timing of parturition from additional study areas experiencing varying degrees of predation pressure to better clarify the influence of predation in driving seasonal and diel timing of parturition in temperate ungulates. PMID:27082234

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.…

  19. 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.

  20. Diets of introduced predators using stable isotopes and stomach contents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meckstroth, A.M.; Miles, A.K.; Chandra, S.

    2007-01-01

    In a study of predation on ground-nesting birds at South San Francisco Bay (South Bay), California, USA, we analyzed stomach contents and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to identify commonly consumed prey. We obtained the stomach contents from 206 nonnative red foxes (Vulpes vulpes regalis) collected in the South Bay area and Monterey County during 1995-2001 and from 68 feral cats (Felis silvestris) from the South Bay area during 2001-2002. We determined prey identity, biomass, and frequency, described seasonal diet trends, and derived an Index of Relative Importance. Avian species were the most frequent prey we found in the stomachs of red foxes from South Bay (61%), whereas small rodents were most frequent for red foxes from Monterey County (62%). Small rodents were the most frequent prey we found in feral cats (63%). Carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures for foxes supported stomach content findings. However, isotope results indicated that cats received a majority of their energy from a source other than rodents and outside the natural system, which differed from the stomach content analysis. We demonstrated the utility of both stable isotope and stomach content analyses to establish a more complete understanding of predators' diets. This information aids natural resource managers in planning and evaluating future predator-removal programs and increases our understanding of the impacts of nonnative foxes and cats on native species.

  1. 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.

  2. Bacteriovorax stolpii proliferation and predation without sphingophosphonolipids

    SciTech Connect

    Kaneshiro, Edna S. Hunt, Shannon M.; Watanabe, Yoko

    2008-02-29

    Bacteriovorax stolpii strain UKi2, a facultative predator-parasite of larger Gram-negative bacteria, synthesizes distinct sphingophosphonolipids. These lipids are characterized by a direct P-C bond, the novel head group 1-hydroxy-2-aminoethylphosphonate, iso-branched long chain bases and fatty acids, and fatty acids dominated by those with {alpha}-hydroxy groups. Myriocin, an inhibitor of serine:fatty acyl CoA transferase, reversibly blocked sphingophosphonolipid synthesis in B. stolpii UKi2. However, the inhibitor did not block cell proliferation indicating that these lipids are not vital for B. stolpii UKi2 viability and growth. When mixed with Escherichia coli prey cells, control predator-parasite bacteria were effective in forming large E. coli bdelloplasts and cleared the suspension of the prey cells. Although myriocin-treated cells could attack prey cells and form bdelloplasts, their locomotory behavior was altered and fewer and smaller bdelloplasts were produced. These observations open up the possibility for a role of sphingophosphonolipids in B. stolpii UKi2 complex behavior.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Diet quality in a wild grazer declines under the threat of an ambush predator

    PubMed Central

    Barnier, Florian; Valeix, Marion; Duncan, Patrick; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Barre, Philippe; Loveridge, Andrew J.; Macdonald, David W.; Fritz, Hervé

    2014-01-01

    Predators influence prey populations not only through predation itself, but also indirectly through prompting changes in prey behaviour. The behavioural adjustments of prey to predation risk may carry nutritional costs, but this has seldom been studied in the wild in large mammals. Here, we studied the effects of an ambush predator, the African lion (Panthera leo), on the diet quality of plains zebras (Equus quagga) in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. We combined information on movements of both prey and predators, using GPS data, and measurements of faecal crude protein, an index of diet quality in the prey. Zebras which had been in close proximity to lions had a lower quality diet, showing that adjustments in behaviour when lions are within short distance carry nutritional costs. The ultimate fitness cost will depend on the frequency of predator–prey encounters and on whether bottom-up or top-down forces are more important in the prey population. Our finding is the first attempt to our knowledge to assess nutritionally mediated risk effects in a large mammalian prey species under the threat of an ambush predator, and brings support to the hypothesis that the behavioural effects of predation induce important risk effects on prey populations. PMID:24789903

  6. Assessing predation risk to threatened fauna from their prevalence in predator scats: dingoes and rodents in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin L; Leung, Luke K-P

    2012-01-01

    The prevalence of threatened species in predator scats has often been used to gauge the risks that predators pose to threatened species, with the infrequent occurrence of a given species often considered indicative of negligible predation risks. In this study, data from 4087 dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) scats were assessed alongside additional information on predator and prey distribution, dingo control effort and predation rates to evaluate whether or not the observed frequency of threatened species in dingo scats warrants more detailed investigation of dingo predation risks to them. Three small rodents (dusky hopping-mice Notomys fuscus; fawn hopping-mice Notomys cervinus; plains mice Pseudomys australis) were the only threatened species detected in <8% of dingo scats from any given site, suggesting that dingoes might not threaten them. However, consideration of dingo control effort revealed that plains mice distribution has largely retracted to the area where dingoes have been most heavily subjected to lethal control. Assessing the hypothetical predation rates of dingoes on dusky hopping-mice revealed that dingo predation alone has the potential to depopulate local hopping-mice populations within a few months. It was concluded that the occurrence of a given prey species in predator scats may be indicative of what the predator ate under the prevailing conditions, but in isolation, such data can have a poor ability to inform predation risk assessments. Some populations of threatened fauna assumed to derive a benefit from the presence of dingoes may instead be susceptible to dingo-induced declines under certain conditions. PMID:22563498

  7. Assessing Predation Risk to Threatened Fauna from their Prevalence in Predator Scats: Dingoes and Rodents in Arid Australia

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Benjamin L.; Leung, Luke K.-P.

    2012-01-01

    The prevalence of threatened species in predator scats has often been used to gauge the risks that predators pose to threatened species, with the infrequent occurrence of a given species often considered indicative of negligible predation risks. In this study, data from 4087 dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) scats were assessed alongside additional information on predator and prey distribution, dingo control effort and predation rates to evaluate whether or not the observed frequency of threatened species in dingo scats warrants more detailed investigation of dingo predation risks to them. Three small rodents (dusky hopping-mice Notomys fuscus; fawn hopping-mice Notomys cervinus; plains mice Pseudomys australis) were the only threatened species detected in <8% of dingo scats from any given site, suggesting that dingoes might not threaten them. However, consideration of dingo control effort revealed that plains mice distribution has largely retracted to the area where dingoes have been most heavily subjected to lethal control. Assessing the hypothetical predation rates of dingoes on dusky hopping-mice revealed that dingo predation alone has the potential to depopulate local hopping-mice populations within a few months. It was concluded that the occurrence of a given prey species in predator scats may be indicative of what the predator ate under the prevailing conditions, but in isolation, such data can have a poor ability to inform predation risk assessments. Some populations of threatened fauna assumed to derive a benefit from the presence of dingoes may instead be susceptible to dingo-induced declines under certain conditions. PMID:22563498

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Weighing Abiotic and Biotic Influences on Weed Seed Predation Rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed seed predation is an important ecosystem service supporting weed management in low-external-input agroecosystems. Current knowledge of weed seed predation in arable systems focuses on biotic mechanisms, with less understood about the relative impact of abiotic variables on this process. In orde...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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,...

  7. 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…

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Spatial distribution of predator/prey interactions in the Scotia Sea: implications for measuring predator/fisheries overlap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Keith; Sims, Michelle; White, Richard W.; Gillon, Keith W.

    2004-06-01

    The measurement of spatial overlap between predators and fisheries exploiting a common prey source is dependent upon the measurement scale used; inappropriate scales may produce misleading results. Previous assessments of the level of overlap between predators and fisheries for Antarctic krill ( Euphausia superba) in the region of the South Shetland Islands used different measurement scales and arrived at contradictory conclusions. At-sea data from observations of krill predators during the CCAMLR 2000 Survey were used to identify the areas of potential overlap with fisheries in the Scotia Sea and to determine the scale at which such overlap should be measured. The relationship between autocorrelation and sampling distance was used to identify the characteristic scales of the distribution of predators, krill and krill fisheries, and an effort-corrected index of relative abundance as a function of distance from land was used to identify the characteristics of areas of high potential for overlap. Despite distinct differences in foraging ecology, a group of krill-dependent species including chinstrap penguin ( Pygoscelis antarctica), (Antarctic) fur seal ( Arctocephalus sp. ( gazella)) and white-chinned petrel ( Procellaria aequinoctialis) showed similar patterns of distribution; the relative abundances were highest at 60-120 km from land and decreased sharply at distances greater than 150 km from land. There were more inter-specific differences in the characteristic scales, which were of the order of 50-100 km. Antarctic krill had a characteristic scale of approximately 200 km and the relationship with distance from land showed a log-linear decline. Krill fisheries operate at a scale of 150 km and occur almost entirely within 100 km of land. The requirement of land for breeding and the biological and oceanographic conditions that produce the high concentrations of krill associated with those land areas produce a system in which the demand for Antarctic krill from

  14. Estimating cougar predation rates from GPS location clusters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, C.R., Jr.; Lindzey, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    We examined cougar (Puma concolor) predation from Global Positioning System (GPS) location clusters (???2 locations within 200 m on the same or consecutive nights) of 11 cougars during September-May, 1999-2001. Location success of GPS averaged 2.4-5.0 of 6 location attempts/night/cougar. We surveyed potential predation sites during summer-fall 2000 and summer 2001 to identify prey composition (n = 74; 3-388 days post predation) and record predation-site variables (n = 97; 3-270 days post predation). We developed a model to estimate probability that a cougar killed a large mammal from data collected at GPS location clusters where the probability of predation increased with number of nights (defined as locations at 2200, 0200, or 0500 hr) of cougar presence within a 200-m radius (P < 0.001). Mean estimated cougar predation rates for large mammals were 7.3 days/kill for subadult females (1-2.5 yr; n = 3, 90% CI: 6.3 to 9.9), 7.0 days/kill for adult females (n = 2, 90% CI: 5.8 to 10.8), 5.4 days/kill for family groups (females with young; n = 3, 90% CI: 4.5 to 8.4), 9.5 days/kill for a subadult male (1-2.5 yr; n = 1, 90% CI: 6.9 to 16.4), and 7.8 days/kill for adult males (n = 2, 90% CI: 6.8 to 10.7). We may have slightly overestimated cougar predation rates due to our inability to separate scavenging from predation. We detected 45 deer (Odocoileus spp.), 15 elk (Cervus elaphus), 6 pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), 2 livestock, 1 moose (Alces alces), and 6 small mammals at cougar predation sites. Comparisons between cougar sexes suggested that females selected mule deer and males selected elk (P < 0.001). Cougars averaged 3.0 nights on pronghorn carcasses, 3.4 nights on deer carcasses, and 6.0 nights on elk carcasses. Most cougar predation (81.7%) occurred between 1901-0500 hr and peaked from 2201-0200 hr (31.7%). Applying GPS technology to identify predation rates and prey selection will allow managers to efficiently estimate the ability of an area's prey base to

  15. Predator cannibalism can intensify negative impacts on heterospecific prey.

    PubMed

    Takatsu, Kunio; Kishida, Osamu

    2015-07-01

    Although natural populations consist of individuals with different traits, and the degree of phenotypic variation varies among populations, the impact of phenotypic variation on ecological interactions has received little attention, because traditional approaches to community ecology assume homogeneity of individuals within a population. Stage structure, which is a common way of generating size and developmental variation within predator populations, can drive cannibalistic interactions, which can affect the strength of predatory effects on the predator's heterospecific prey. Studies have shown that predator cannibalism weakens predatory effects on heterospecific prey by reducing the size of the predator population and by inducing less feeding activity of noncannibal predators. We predict, however, that predator cannibalism, by promoting rapid growth of the cannibals, can also intensify predation pressure on heterospecific prey, because large predators have large resource requirements and may utilize a wider variety of prey species. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in which we created carnivorous salamander (Hynobius retardatus) populations with different stage structures by manipulating the salamander's hatch timing (i.e., populations with large or small variation in the timing of hatching), and explored the resultant impacts on the abundance, behavior, morphology, and life history of the salamander's large heterospecific prey, Rana pirica frog tadpoles. Cannibalism was rare in salamander populations having small hatch-timing variation, but was frequent in those having large hatch-timing variation. Thus, giant salamander cannibals occurred only in the latter. We clearly showed that salamander giants exerted strong predation pressure on frog tadpoles, which induced large behavioral and morphological defenses in the tadpoles and caused them to metamorphose late at large size. Hence, predator cannibalism arising from large variation in the timing

  16. 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

  17. Managing a subsidized predator population: Reducing common raven predation on desert tortoises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boarman, W.I.

    2003-01-01

    Human communities often are an inadvertent source of food, water, and other resources to native species of wildlife. Because these resources are more stable and predictable than those in a natural environment, animals that subsist on them are able to increase in numbers and expand their range, much to the detriment of their competitors and species they prey upon. In the Mojave Desert, common ravens (Corvus corax) have benefited from human-provided resources to increase in population size precipitously in recent years. This trend has caused concern because ravens prey on juvenile desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), a federally threatened species. In this paper, I discuss management strategies to reduce raven predation on desert tortoises. The recommendations fall into three categories: (1) managing raven populations by reducing access to anthropogenic resources; (2) removing offending ravens or other birds in specially targeted tortoise management zones; and (3) continuing research on raven ecology, raven behavior, and methods of reducing raven predation on tortoises. I also recommend approaching the problem within an adaptive management framework: management efforts should first be employed as scientific experiments - with replicates and controls - to yield an unbiased assessment of their effectiveness. Furthermore, these strategies should be implemented in concert with actions that reduce other causes of desert tortoise mortality to aid the long-term recovery of their populations. Overall, the approaches outlined in this paper are widely applicable to the management of subsidized predators, particularly where they present a threat to a declining species of prey.

  18. Effects of stream predator richness on the prey community and ecosystem attributes.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Erika; Olsson, Karin; Persson, Anders; Nyström, Per; Svensson, Gustav; Nilsson, Ulf

    2008-10-01

    It is important to understand the role that different predators can have to be able to predict how changes in the predator assemblage may affect the prey community and ecosystem attributes. We tested the effects of different stream predators on macroinvertebrates and ecosystem attributes, in terms of benthic algal biomass and accumulation of detritus, in artificial stream channels. Predator richness was manipulated from zero to three predators, using two fish and one crayfish species, while density was kept equal (n = 6) in all treatments with predators. Predators differed in their foraging strategies (benthic vs. drift feeding fish and omnivorous crayfish) but had overlapping food preferences. We found effects of both predator species richness and identity, but the direction of effects differed depending on the response variable. While there was no effect on macroinvertebrate biomass, diversity of predatory macroinvertebrates decreased with increasing predator species richness, which suggests complementarity between predators for this functional feeding group. Moreover, the accumulation of detritus was affected by both predator species richness and predator identity. Increasing predator species richness decreased detritus accumulation and presence of the benthic fish resulted in the lowest amounts of detritus. Predator identity (the benthic fish), but not predator species richness had a positive effect on benthic algal biomass. Furthermore, the results indicate indirect negative effects between the two ecosystem attributes, with a negative correlation between the amount of detritus and algal biomass. Hence, interactions between different predators directly affected stream community structure, while predator identity had the strongest impact on ecosystem attributes. PMID:18597120

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. System-Wide Significance of Predation on Juvenile Salmonids in Columbia and Snake River Reservoirs and Evaluation of Predation Control Measures : Annual Report 1993.

    SciTech Connect

    Gadomski, Dena M.; Petersen, James H.; Poe, Thomas P.

    1993-12-01

    This project had three major goals. The first was to assist the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife with predation indexing as part of an effort to estimate the relative magnitude of juvenile salmonid losses to northern squawfish Ptychocheilus oregonensis in reservoirs throughout the Columbia River Basin. The second goal was to evaluate the northern squawfish control program and test critical assumptions about mid-reservoir predation processes. The final goal was to determine mechanisms underlying northern squawfish recruitment and factors affecting year-class strength.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Sublethal foot-predation on Donacidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salas, Carmen; Tirado, Cristina; Manjón-Cabeza, Maria Eugenia

    2001-08-01

    The incidence of foot nipping was studied on the Donax spp. of the littoral of Málaga (Southern Spain, 2875 specimens collected from February 1990 to January 1991) and of Ré island (French Atlantic coast, 262 specimens of Donax vittatus (Da Costa, 1778) collected in May 1996). In Málaga, Donax trunculus L., 1758 was the species most regularly nipped (18% of individuals), with peaks in summer (25% in August and 48% in September) and winter (34% in December). In Ré island, 27% of the specimens showed a nipped foot. Logistic regression shows that in D. trunculus length is the variable that most influences the probability of foot nipping, followed by weight and chlorophyll a. However, the difference in length between damaged and undamaged individuals was not significant (U-Mann-Whitney test). The size class frequency and the values of Ivlev's index show that the small size classes were avoided, while for the other size classes predation remained balanced throughout the year. Therefore, the avoidance of the small size classes makes length the most influential variable. The logistic regression indicated a coefficient B=-0.03 for weight. This implies a slightly negative influence on the probability of foot nipping. However, without the data of September, there is a positive correlation ( r=0.76, p<0.01) between the monthly percentages of predation and the flesh dry weight of a standard individual (25 mm long). The peak in September could be due to the recruitment peak of bivalves, which may have attracted more predators to the area, and/or to the recruitment of predators such as crabs to the swash zone. Logistic regression and test of comparison of percentages indicate that there was not any influence of the sex of an animal on the probability of foot nipping. Only in February was a significantly higher percentage ( p<0.05) of females nipped (44.44%) than the total of females in the sample (20.20%). The biomass (as flesh dry weight) of D. trunculus lost by foot

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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"

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Distribution and abundance of predators that affect duck production--prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Greenwood, R.J.; Sovada, M.A.; Shaffer, T.L.

    1993-01-01

    During 1983-88, the relative abundance of 18 species and species-groups of mammalian and avian predators affecting duck production in the prairie pothole region was determined in 33 widely scattered study areas ranging in size from 23-26 km2. Accounts of each studied species and species-group include habitat and history, population structure and reported densities, and information on distribution and abundance from the present study. Index values of undetected, scarce, uncommon, common, or numerous were used to rate abundance of nearly all species in each study area. Principal survey methods were livetrapping of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and Franklin's ground squirrels (Spermophilus franklinii), systematic searches for carnivore tracks in quarter sections (0.65 km2), daily records of sightings of individual predator species, and systematic searches for occupied nests of tree-nesting avian predators. Abundances of predators in individual areas were studied 1-3 years.The distribution and abundance of predator species throughout the prairie pothole region have undergone continual change since settlement of the region by Europeans in the late 1800's. Predator populations in areas we studied differed markedly from those of pristine times. The changes occurred from habitat alterations, human-inflicted mortality of predators, and interspecific relations among predator species. Indices from surveys of tracks revealed a decline in the abundance of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and an albeit less consistent decline in the abundance of raccoons (Procyon lotor) with an increase in the abundance of coyotes (Canis latrans). Records of locations of occupied nests revealed great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) tended to nest 0.5 km apart, and American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) tended to avoid nesting 0.5 km of nests of red-tailed hawks. Excluding large gulls, for which no measurements of abundance were obtained, the number of

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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 bellbird (Anthornis melanura). We examined parental behaviour of bellbirds at three woodland sites in New Zealand that differed in predation risk: 1) a mainland site with exotic predators present (high predation risk), 2) a mainland site with exotic predators experimentally removed (low risk recently) and, 3) an off-shore island where exotic predators were never introduced (low risk always). We also compared parental behaviour of bellbirds with two closely related Tasmanian honeyeaters (Phylidonyris spp.) that evolved with native nest predators (high risk always). Increased nest predation risk has been postulated to favour reduced parental activity, and we tested whether island bellbirds responded to variation in predation risk. We found that females spent more time on the nest per incubating bout with increased risk of predation, a strategy that minimised activity at the nest during incubation. Parental activity during the nestling period, measured as number of feeding visits/hr, also decreased with increasing nest predation risk across sites, and was lowest among the honeyeaters in Tasmania that evolved with native predators. These results demonstrate that some island birds are able to respond to increased risk of predation by novel predators in ways that appear adaptive. We suggest that conservation efforts may be more effective if they take advantage of the ability of island birds to respond to novel predators, especially when the elimination of exotic predators is not possible. PMID:18523640

  2. Introduced mammalian predators induce behavioural changes in parental care in an endemic New Zealand bird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Massaro, M.; Starling-Windhof, A.; Briskie, J.V.; Martin, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    The introduction of predatory mammals to oceanic islands has led to the extension of many 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 bellbird (Anthomis melanura). We examined parental behaviour of billbnirds at three woodlands sites in New Zealand that differed in predation risk: 1) a mainland site with exotic predators present (high predation risk), 2) a mainland site with exotic predators experimentally removed (low risk recently) and, 3) an off-shore island where exotic predators were never introduced (low risk always). We also compared parental behavior of bellbirds with two closely related Tasmanian honeyeaters (Phylidonyris spp) that evolved with native nest predators (high risk always). Increased nest predation risk has been postulated to favour reduced parental activity, and we tested whether island bellbirds responded to variation in predation risk. We found that females spent more time on the nest per incubating bout with increased risk of predation, a strategy that minimised activity at the nest during incubation. Parental activity during the nestling period, measured as number of feeding visits/hr, also decreased with increasing nest predation risk across sites, and was lowest among the honeyeaters in Tasmania that evolved with native predators. These results demonstrates that some island birds are able to respond to increased risk of predation by novel predators in ways that appear adaptive. We suggest that conservation efforts may be more effective if they take advantage of the ability of island birds to respond to novel predators, especially when the elimination of exotic predators is not possible.

  3. Fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders: a global pattern.

    PubMed

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders--observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens--are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2-6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the 'swimming' huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders' body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance. PMID:24940885

  4. The Effects of Predator Arrival Timing on Adaptive Radiation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borden, J.; Knope, M. L.; Fukami, T.

    2009-12-01

    Much of Earth’s biodiversity is thought to have arisen by adaptive radiation, the rapid diversification of a single ancestral species to fill a wide-variety of ecological niches. Both theory and empirical evidence have long supported competition for limited resources as a primary driver of adaptive radiation. While predation has also been postulated to be an important selective force during radiation, empirical evidence is surprisingly scant and its role remains controversial. However, two recent empirical studies suggest that predation can promote divergence during adaptive radiation. Using an experimental laboratory microcosm system, we examined how predator arrival timing affects the rate and extent of diversification during adaptive radiation. We varied the introduction timing of a protozoan predator (Tetrahymena thermophila) into populations of the bacteria Pseudomonas flourescens, which is known for its ability to undergo rapid adaptive radiation in aqueous microcosms. While our results show that predator arrival timing may have a significant impact on the rate, but not extent, of diversification, these results are tenuous and should be interpreted with caution, as the protozoan predators died early in the majority of our treatments, hampering our ability for comparison across treatments. Additionally, the abundance of newly derived bacterial genotypes was markedly lower in all treatments than observed in previous experiments utilizing this microbial experimental evolution system. To address these shortcomings, we will be repeating the experiment in the near future to further explore the impact of predator arrival timing on adaptive radiation. Smooth Morph and small-Wrinkly Spreader Pseudomonas flourescens diversification in the 96 hour treatment. Day 10, diluted to 1e-5.

  5. Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J.

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders – observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens – are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2–6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the ‘swimming’ huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders’ body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance. PMID:24940885

  6. Predator-prey role reversals, juvenile experience and adult antipredator behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Choh, Yasuyuki; Ignacio, Maira; Sabelis, Maurice W.; Janssen, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Although biologists routinely label animals as predators and prey, the ecological role of individuals is often far from clear. There are many examples of role reversals in predators and prey, where adult prey attack vulnerable young predators. This implies that juvenile prey that escape from predation and become adult can kill juvenile predators. We show that such an exposure of juvenile prey to adult predators results in behavioural changes later in life: after becoming adult, these prey killed juvenile predators at a faster rate than prey that had not been exposed. The attacks were specifically aimed at predators of the species to which they had been exposed. This suggests that prey recognize the species of predator to which they were exposed during their juvenile stage. Our results show that juvenile experience affects adult behaviour after a role reversal. PMID:23061011

  7. Habitat selection responses of parents to offspring predation risk: An experimental test

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The ability of nest predation to influence habitat settlement decisions in birds is widely debated, despite its importance in limiting fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated nest predation risk across a landscape and asked the question, do migratory birds assess and respond to variation in nest predation risk when choosing breeding habitats? We examined habitat preference by quantifying the density and settlement date of eight species of migratory passerines breeding in areas with and without intact nest predator communities. We found consistently more individuals nesting in areas with reduced nest predation than in areas with intact predator assemblages, although predation risk had no influence on settlement or breeding phenology. Additionally, those individuals occupying safer nesting habitats exhibited increased singing activity. These findings support a causal relationship between habitat choice and nest predation risk and suggest the importance of nest predation risk in shaping avian community structure and breeding activity. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

  8. Breeding Phenology of Birds: Mechanisms Underlying Seasonal Declines in the Risk of Nest Predation

    PubMed Central

    Borgmann, Kathi L.; Conway, Courtney J.; Morrison, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    Seasonal declines in avian clutch size are well documented, but seasonal variation in other reproductive parameters has received less attention. For example, the probability of complete brood mortality typically explains much of the variation in reproductive success and often varies seasonally, but we know little about the underlying cause of that variation. This oversight is surprising given that nest predation influences many other life-history traits and varies throughout the breeding season in many songbirds. To determine the underlying causes of observed seasonal decreases in risk of nest predation, we modeled nest predation of Dusky Flycatchers (Empidonax oberholseri) in northern California as a function of foliage phenology, energetic demand, developmental stage, conspecific nest density, food availability for nest predators, and nest predator abundance. Seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was not associated with seasonal changes in energetic demand, conspecific nest density, or predator abundance. Instead, seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was associated with foliage density (early, but not late, in the breeding season) and seasonal changes in food available to nest predators. Supplemental food provided to nest predators resulted in a numerical response by nest predators, increasing the risk of nest predation at nests that were near supplemental feeders. Our results suggest that seasonal changes in foliage density and factors associated with changes in food availability for nest predators are important drivers of temporal patterns in risk of avian nest predation. PMID:23776566

  9. Functional response and population dynamics for fighting predator, based on activity distribution.

    PubMed

    Garay, József; Varga, Zoltán; Gámez, Manuel; Cabello, Tomás

    2015-03-01

    The classical Holling type II functional response, describing the per capita predation as a function of prey density, was modified by Beddington and de Angelis to include interference of predators that increases with predator density and decreases the number of killed prey. In the present paper we further generalize the Beddington-de Angelis functional response, considering that all predator activities (searching and handling prey, fight and recovery) have time duration, the probabilities of predator activities depend on the encounter probabilities, and hence on the prey and predator abundance, too. Under these conditions, the aim of the study is to introduce a functional response for fighting the predator and to analyse the corresponding dynamics, when predator-predator-prey encounters also occur. From this general approach, the Holling type functional responses can also be obtained as particular cases. In terms of the activity distribution, we give biologically interpretable sufficient conditions for stable coexistence. We consider two-individual (predator-prey) and three-individual (predator-predator-prey) encounters. In the three-individual encounter model there is a relatively higher fighting rate and a lower killing rate. Using numerical simulation, we surprisingly found that when the intrinsic prey growth rate and the conversion rate are small enough, the equilibrium predator abundance is higher in the three-individual encounter case. The above means that, when the equilibrium abundance of the predator is small, coexistence appears first in the three-individual encounter model. PMID:25556688

  10. An exploitation-competition system with negative effect of prey on its predator.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi

    2015-05-01

    This paper considers an exploitation-competition system in which exploitation is the dominant interaction when the prey is at low density, while competition is dominant when the prey is at high density due to its negative effect on the predator. The two-species system is characterized by differential equations, which are the combination of Lotka-Volterra competitive and predator-prey models. Global dynamics of the model demonstrate some basic properties of exploitation-competition systems: (i) When the growth rate of prey is extremely small, the prey cannot promote the growth of predator. (ii) When the growth rate is small, an obligate predator can survive by preying on the prey, while a facultative predator can approach a high density by the predation. (iii) When the growth rate is intermediate, the predator can approach the maximal density by an intermediate predation. (iv) When the growth rate is large, the predator can persist only if it has a large density and its predation on the prey is big. (v) Intermediate predation is beneficial to the predator under certain parameter range, while over- or under-predation is not good. Extremely big/small predation would lead to extinction of species. Numerical simulations confirm and extend our results. PMID:25707917

  11. Predation, Competition, and Abiotic Disturbance: Population Dynamics of Small Mammals

    SciTech Connect

    Yunger, John A.; /Northern Illinois U. /Northern Illinois U.

    1996-01-01

    Predation and food availability have been implicated in annual non-cyclic fluctuations of vertebrate prey at mid-latitudes. The timing and magnitude of these factors are unclear due to a lack of large-scale field experiments, little attention to interactions, and a failure to closely link vertebrate predators with their prey. From October 1992 to January 1996, small mammal populations were censused on eight 0.6 ha plots at monthly intervals in a 32-ha prairie restoration at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Illinois. Terrestrial vertebrate predators were excluded after July 1993 from four of the eight plots and canid diets monitored. Both terrestrial and avian vertebrate predators were excluded in March 1994. During 1993 small mammal densities (i.e., Microtus Pennsylvanicus, Peromyscus leucopus, and P. maniculatus) were relatively high. Following peak densities in late summer, Microtus numbers wer 2-3x greater on exclusion plots relative to controls due to preferential selection of Microtus by canids, as reflected in dits. Following an ice-storm and crash in small mammal numbers (particularly Microtus), vertebrate predator exclusion had no detectable effect on P. leucopus numbers, probably due to an abundance of alternative prey (i.e., Sylvilagus floridanus). Meadow vole numbers began to increase in Fall 1995, and a numerical effect of predator exclusion, similar to that in 1993, was observed. Predator exclusion had no detectable effect on the movements and spatial patterns of Microtus during 1993. There was a significant decrease in home range and a significant increase in home range overlap for P. leucopus on the predator exclusion plots. The change in spatial behavior may be due to interspecific competition with Microtus resulting from increased densities on exclusion plots. Thus, predators had an indirect effect on P. leucopus spatial patterns mediated through M. Pennsylvanicus. The role of food limitation was studied using natural and manipulative

  12. Positive solutions of a diffusive Leslie-Gower predator-prey model with Bazykin functional response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jun

    2014-02-01

    In this paper, we consider a diffusive Leslie-Gower predator-prey model with Bazykin functional response and zero Dirichlet boundary condition. We show the existence, multiplicity and uniqueness of positive solutions when parameters are in different regions. Results are proved by using bifurcation theory, fixed point index theory, energy estimate and asymptotical behavior analysis.

  13. Role of seasonality on predator-prey-subsidy population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Levy, Dorian; Harrington, Heather A; Van Gorder, Robert A

    2016-05-01

    The role of seasonality on predator-prey interactions in the presence of a resource subsidy is examined using a system of non-autonomous ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The problem is motivated by the Arctic, inhabited by the ecological system of arctic foxes (predator), lemmings (prey), and seal carrion (subsidy). We construct two nonlinear, nonautonomous systems of ODEs named the Primary Model, and the n-Patch Model. The Primary Model considers spatial factors implicitly, and the n-Patch Model considers space explicitly as a "Stepping Stone" system. We establish the boundedness of the dynamics, as well as the necessity of sufficiently nutritional food for the survival of the predator. We investigate the importance of including the resource subsidy explicitly in the model, and the importance of accounting for predator mortality during migration. We find a variety of non-equilibrium dynamics for both systems, obtaining both limit cycles and chaotic oscillations. We were then able to discuss relevant implications for biologically interesting predator-prey systems including subsidy under seasonal effects. Notably, we can observe the extinction or persistence of a species when the corresponding autonomous system might predict the opposite. PMID:26916622

  14. Brood size matching: a novel perspective on predator dilution.

    PubMed

    Jaatinen, Kim; Öst, Markus

    2013-02-01

    A primary benefit of grouping is diluting the individual risk of attack by predators. However, the fact that groups are formed not always by solitary adults but also by subgroups (e.g., families) has been overlooked. The subgroup-specific benefit of predator dilution depends on its relative contribution to total group size. Therefore, the willingness of a subgroup to merge with others should increase the less it contributes to total group size, but the conflicting preferences of partners may result in the preferential merger of similar-sized subgroups. Here, we evaluate how the proportional contribution of subgroups to diluting risk affects group formation. We generate predictions using a bidding game over parental care and test them using data on common eiders (Somateria mollissima), in which females with variable-sized broods may form brood-rearing coalitions. The predictions (1) that size-matched subgroups should have a higher propensity to merge, (2) that predation should increase group formation propensity, and (3) that increased bargaining power, as proxied by female body condition, should increase the time needed to establish partnerships were all supported. Partners do negotiate over their relative contributions to predator dilution, accepting or rejecting partnerships on the basis of this criterion. Our results show that consideration of the size of subgroups before merger is critical in understanding the process of group formation under the threat of predation. PMID:23348772

  15. Reconciling actual and perceived rates of predation by domestic cats

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Jennifer L; Maclean, Mairead; Evans, Matthew R; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-01-01

    The predation of wildlife by domestic cats (Felis catus) is a complex problem: Cats are popular companion animals in modern society but are also acknowledged predators of birds, herpetofauna, invertebrates, and small mammals. A comprehensive understanding of this conservation issue demands an understanding of both the ecological consequence of owning a domestic cat and the attitudes of cat owners. Here, we determine whether cat owners are aware of the predatory behavior of their cats, using data collected from 86 cats in two UK villages. We examine whether the amount of prey their cat returns influences the attitudes of 45 cat owners toward the broader issue of domestic cat predation. We also contribute to the wider understanding of physiological, spatial, and behavioral drivers of prey returns among cats. We find an association between actual prey returns and owner predictions at the coarse scale of predatory/nonpredatory behavior, but no correlation between the observed and predicted prey-return rates among predatory cats. Cat owners generally disagreed with the statement that cats are harmful to wildlife, and disfavored all mitigation options apart from neutering. These attitudes were uncorrelated with the predatory behavior of their cats. Cat owners failed to perceive the magnitude of their cats’ impacts on wildlife and were not influenced by ecological information. Management options for the mitigation of cat predation appear unlikely to work if they focus on “predation awareness” campaigns or restrictions of cat freedom. PMID:26306163

  16. Impacts of Size Structure on Intraguild Predation in Pond Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crumrine, P. W.

    2005-05-01

    Size structure, the degree to which individuals in a population vary in size, can greatly influence the dynamics of intraguild predation (IGP) within ecological communities. I manipulated the degree of size structure within assemblages of IG predators and IG prey to examine impacts on the direction and intensity of IGP in communities of larval dragonflies and larval water beetles. In pond enclosure studies, Pachydiplax longipennis (IG prey) mortality was lower when exposed to size structured assemblages of Anax junius (IG predator) than when exposed to only large A. junius at the same density. Effects of size-structured assemblages of A. junius on shared prey, Ischnura verticalis, were similar to the effects each size class alone at the same density. Separate experiments with Dytiscid water beetle larvae as IG predators and size-structured assemblages of A. junius as IG prey suggest that IG prey size structure plays only a limited role in mediating shared prey survival. These experiments highlight the importance of size structure as a characteristic that may promote the coexistence of predators in IGP systems.

  17. Predator facilitation or interference: a game of vipers and owls.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Raveh, Ashael; Hoffmann, Ishai; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-04-01

    In predator-prey foraging games, the prey's reaction to one type of predator may either facilitate or hinder the success of another predator. We ask, do different predator species affect each other's patch selection? If the predators facilitate each other, they should prefer to hunt in the same patch; if they interfere, they should prefer to hunt alone. We performed an experiment in a large outdoor vivarium where we presented barn owls (Tyto alba) with a choice of hunting greater Egyptian gerbils (Gerbillus pyramidum) in patches with or without Saharan horned vipers (Cerastes cerastes). Gerbils foraged on feeding trays set under bushes or in the open. We monitored owl location, activity, and hunting attempts, viper activity and ambush site location, and the foraging behavior of the gerbils in bush and open microhabitats. Owls directed more attacks towards patches with vipers, and vipers were more active in the presence of owls. Owls and vipers facilitated each other's hunting through their combined effect on gerbil behavior, especially on full moon nights when vipers are more active. Owls forced gerbils into the bushes where vipers preferred to ambush, while viper presence chased gerbils into the open where they were exposed to owls. Owls and vipers took advantage of their indirect positive effect on each other. In the foraging game context, they improve each other's patch quality and hunting success. PMID:24481981

  18. Bagworm bags as portable armour against invertebrate predators

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Some animals have evolved the use of environmental materials as “portable armour” against natural enemies. Portable bags that bagworm larvae (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) construct using their own silk and plant parts are generally believed to play an important role as a physical barrier against natural enemies. However, no experimental studies have tested the importance of bags as portable armour against predators. To clarify the defensive function, I studied the bagworm Eumeta minuscula and a potential predator Calosoma maximoviczi (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Under laboratory conditions, all bagworm larvae were attacked by carabid adults, but successfully defended themselves against the predators’ mandibles using their own bags. The portable bags, which are composed mainly of host plant twigs, may function as a physical barrier against predator mandibles. To test this hypothesis, I removed the twig bags and replaced some with herb leaf bags; all bag-removed larvae were easily caught and predated by carabids, while all bag-replaced larvae could successfully defend themselves against carabid attacks. Therefore, various types of portable bags can protect bagworm larvae from carabid attacks. This is the first study to test the defensive function of bagworm portable bags against invertebrate predators. PMID:26893969

  19. Reconciling actual and perceived rates of predation by domestic cats.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Jennifer L; Maclean, Mairead; Evans, Matthew R; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-07-01

    The predation of wildlife by domestic cats (Felis catus) is a complex problem: Cats are popular companion animals in modern society but are also acknowledged predators of birds, herpetofauna, invertebrates, and small mammals. A comprehensive understanding of this conservation issue demands an understanding of both the ecological consequence of owning a domestic cat and the attitudes of cat owners. Here, we determine whether cat owners are aware of the predatory behavior of their cats, using data collected from 86 cats in two UK villages. We examine whether the amount of prey their cat returns influences the attitudes of 45 cat owners toward the broader issue of domestic cat predation. We also contribute to the wider understanding of physiological, spatial, and behavioral drivers of prey returns among cats. We find an association between actual prey returns and owner predictions at the coarse scale of predatory/nonpredatory behavior, but no correlation between the observed and predicted prey-return rates among predatory cats. Cat owners generally disagreed with the statement that cats are harmful to wildlife, and disfavored all mitigation options apart from neutering. These attitudes were uncorrelated with the predatory behavior of their cats. Cat owners failed to perceive the magnitude of their cats' impacts on wildlife and were not influenced by ecological information. Management options for the mitigation of cat predation appear unlikely to work if they focus on "predation awareness" campaigns or restrictions of cat freedom. PMID:26306163

  20. Body size matters for aposematic prey during predator aversion learning.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen E; Halpin, Christina G; Rowe, Candy

    2014-11-01

    Aposematic prey advertise their toxicity to predators using conspicuous warning signals, which predators learn to use to reduce their intake of toxic prey. Like other types of prey, aposematic prey often differ in body size, both within and between species. Increasing body size can increase signal size, which make larger aposematic prey more detectable but also gives them a more effective and salient deterrent. However, increasing body size also increases the nutritional value of prey, and larger aposematic prey may make a more profitable meal to predators that are trading off the costs of eating toxins with the benefits of ingesting nutrients. We tested if body size, independent of signal size, affected predation of toxic prey as predators learn to reduce their attacks on them. European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) learned to discriminate between defended (quinine-injected) and undefended (water-injected) mealworm prey (Tenebrio molitor) using visual signals. During this process, we found that birds attacked and ate more defended prey the larger they were. Body size does affect the probability that toxic prey are attacked and eaten, which has implications for the evolutionary dynamics of aposematism and mimicry (where species share the same warning pattern). PMID:25256160

  1. Indirect evolutionary rescue: prey adapts, predator avoids extinction

    PubMed Central

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have increasingly recognized evolutionary rescue (adaptive evolution that prevents extinction following environmental change) as an important process in evolutionary biology and conservation science. Researchers have concentrated on single species living in isolation, but populations in nature exist within communities of interacting species, so evolutionary rescue should also be investigated in a multispecies context. We argue that the persistence or extinction of a focal species can be determined solely by evolutionary change in an interacting species. We demonstrate that prey adaptive evolution can prevent predator extinction in two-species predator–prey models, and we derive the conditions under which this indirect evolutionary interaction is essential to prevent extinction following environmental change. A nonevolving predator can be rescued from extinction by adaptive evolution of its prey due to a trade-off for the prey between defense against predation and population growth rate. As prey typically have larger populations and shorter generations than their predators, prey evolution can be rapid and have profound effects on predator population dynamics. We suggest that this process, which we term ‘indirect evolutionary rescue’, has the potential to be critically important to the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and communities to dramatic environmental change. PMID:26366196

  2. Integrating environmental variation, predation pressure, phenotypic plasticity and locomotor performance.

    PubMed

    Fu, Shi-Jian; Cao, Zhen-Dong; Yan, Guan-Jie; Fu, Cheng; Pang, Xu

    2013-10-01

    The Wujiang River, a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, has many dams along its length. These dams alter the river's natural habitat and produce various flow regimes and degrees of predator stress. To test whether the swimming performance and external body shape of pale chub (Zacco platypus) have changed as a result of alterations in the flow regime and predator conditions, we measured the steady (U(crit)) and unsteady (fast-start) swimming performances and morphological characteristics of fish collected from different sites along the Wujiang River. We also calculated the maximum respiratory capacity and cost of transport (COT). We demonstrated significant differences in swimming performance and morphological traits among the sampling sites. Steady swimming performance was positively correlated with water velocity and negatively correlated with the abundance of predators, whereas unsteady swimming performance was negatively correlated with water velocity. The body shape was significantly correlated with both swimming performance and ecological parameters. These findings suggested that selection pressure on swimming performance results in a higher U(crit) and a more streamlined body shape in fast-flow and (or) in habitats with low predator stress and subsequently results in a lower COT. These characteristics were accompanied by a poorer fast-start performance than that of the fish from the slow-flow and (or) high-predator habitats. The divergence in U(crit) may also be due in part to variation in respiratory capacity. PMID:23463244

  3. Guppies as predators of common mosquito larvae in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Saleeza, S N R; Norma-Rashid, Y; Sofian-Azirun, M

    2014-03-01

    Observation on predation activities of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) on the larvae of three species of mosquito, namely Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus was carried out under laboratory conditions. Male and female guppies were used as predators for predation experiments on the 4th instars of mosquito larvae. The daily feeding rates comparing male and female guppies on mosquito larvae were different; the female guppies consumed more mosquito larvae than male guppies did. The daily feeding rates of female guppies were 121.3 for Ae. aegypti, 105.6 for Ae. albopictus, and 72.3 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. The daily feeding rates of male guppies were 98.6 for Ae. aegypti, 73.6 for Ae. albopictus, and 47.6 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. In terms of prey preference, there was greater preference towards mosquito larvae of Ae. aegypti, followed by Ae. albopictus, and the least preferred was Cx. quinquefasciatus. Male and female guppies consumed more mosquito larvae during lights on (day time) compared with lights off (night time). The water volume, prey species, number of fish predators available, prey densities, and prey's sex also influenced the predation activities. PMID:24968669

  4. Hydrodynamic effects on a predator approaching a group of preys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rosis, Alessandro

    2014-11-01

    A numerical approach to predict the hydrodynamics involving a predator approaching a group of 100 preys is presented. A collective behavioural model is adopted to predict the two-dimensional space-time evolution of the predator-preys system that is supposed to be immersed in a fluid. The preys manifest mutual repulsion, attraction and orientation, while the predator is idealized as an individual to be strongly repulsed. During the motion, the predator experiences a resistance induced by the encompassing fluid. Such effect is accounted for by computing the hydrodynamic force and by modifying the predator’s velocity given by the behavioural equations. A numerical campaign is carried out by varying the predator’s drag coefficient. Moreover, analyses characterized by progressively wider predator’s perception areas are performed, thus highlighting the role of the hydrodynamics over the behavioural interactions. In order to estimate the predator’s performance, an ad-hoc parameter is proposed. Moreover, findings in terms of trajectories and angular momentum of the group of preys are discussed. Present findings show that the sole collective behavioural equations are insufficient to predict the performance of a predator that is immersed in a fluid, since its motion is drastically affected by the resistance of the surrounding fluid.

  5. Invertebrate predators of zooplankton on Georges Bank, 1977 1987

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Barbara K.; Meise, Carol J.

    Chaetognaths, primarily Sagitta elegans, were the most abundant and widespread invertebrate predator on Georges Bank during 1977-1987 MARMAP surveys. They were present in 79% of samples collected, and their average abundance was nearly an order of magnitude greater than that of any other predator taxon. hydrozoan and scyphozoan medusae, euphausiid shrimp, and gammarid and hyperiid amphipods were also abundant. Diversity and abundance of predators was highest in the central, well-mixed region of the bank. In this region numbers of chaetognaths and cnidaria increased following increased abundances of Calanus finmarchicus. However, on a larger scale the density of C. finmarchicus populations was inversely correlated with number of predators because this herbivore was most abundant in deeper waters surrounding Georges Bank where predators were least numerous. Chaetognaths and cnidaria were more abundant in 1978-1979 than in other years, and there was a statistically significant decline in the abundance of chaetognaths over the 10 year period. Abundance of both these groups was inversely correlated with temperature. Average numbers of chaetognaths in summer were low following a warm winter. Abundance of cnidaria in summer decreased with increasing summer temperatures.

  6. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey.

    PubMed

    Halpin, Christina G; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2014-04-22

    Avian predators readily learn to associate the warning coloration of aposematic prey with the toxic effects of ingesting them, but they do not necessarily exclude aposematic prey from their diets. By eating aposematic prey 'educated' predators are thought to be trading-off the benefits of gaining nutrients with the costs of eating toxins. However, while we know that the toxin content of aposematic prey affects the foraging decisions made by avian predators, the extent to which the nutritional content of toxic prey affects predators' decisions to eat them remains to be tested. Here, we show that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase their intake of a toxic prey type when the nutritional content is artificially increased, and decrease their intake when nutritional enrichment is ceased. This clearly demonstrates that birds can detect the nutritional content of toxic prey by post-ingestive feedback, and use this information in their foraging decisions, raising new perspectives on the evolution of prey defences. Nutritional differences between individuals could result in equally toxic prey being unequally predated, and might explain why some species undergo ontogenetic shifts in defence strategies. Furthermore, the nutritional value of prey will likely have a significant impact on the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems. PMID:24598424

  7. Predators help protect carbon stocks in blue carbon ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwood, Trisha B.; Connolly, Rod M.; Ritchie, Euan G.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Hays, Graeme C.; Fourqurean, James W.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2015-12-01

    Predators continue to be harvested unsustainably throughout most of the Earth's ecosystems. Recent research demonstrates that the functional loss of predators could have far-reaching consequences on carbon cycling and, by implication, our ability to ameliorate climate change impacts. Yet the influence of predators on carbon accumulation and preservation in vegetated coastal habitats (that is, salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangroves) is poorly understood, despite these being some of the Earth's most vulnerable and carbon-rich ecosystems. Here we discuss potential pathways by which trophic downgrading affects carbon capture, accumulation and preservation in vegetated coastal habitats. We identify an urgent need for further research on the influence of predators on carbon cycling in vegetated coastal habitats, and ultimately the role that these systems play in climate change mitigation. There is, however, sufficient evidence to suggest that intact predator populations are critical to maintaining or growing reserves of 'blue carbon' (carbon stored in coastal or marine ecosystems), and policy and management need to be improved to reflect these realities.

  8. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey

    PubMed Central

    Halpin, Christina G.; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2014-01-01

    Avian predators readily learn to associate the warning coloration of aposematic prey with the toxic effects of ingesting them, but they do not necessarily exclude aposematic prey from their diets. By eating aposematic prey ‘educated’ predators are thought to be trading-off the benefits of gaining nutrients with the costs of eating toxins. However, while we know that the toxin content of aposematic prey affects the foraging decisions made by avian predators, the extent to which the nutritional content of toxic prey affects predators' decisions to eat them remains to be tested. Here, we show that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase their intake of a toxic prey type when the nutritional content is artificially increased, and decrease their intake when nutritional enrichment is ceased. This clearly demonstrates that birds can detect the nutritional content of toxic prey by post-ingestive feedback, and use this information in their foraging decisions, raising new perspectives on the evolution of prey defences. Nutritional differences between individuals could result in equally toxic prey being unequally predated, and might explain why some species undergo ontogenetic shifts in defence strategies. Furthermore, the nutritional value of prey will likely have a significant impact on the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems. PMID:24598424

  9. Resilience of predators to fishing pressure on coral patch reefs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, R.E.; Parrish, J.D.

    2005-01-01

    Numbers and biomass of piscivorous fish and their predation on other fish may often be high in undisturbed coral reef communities. The effects of such predation have sometimes been studied by removal of piscivores (either experimentally or by fishermen). Such perturbations have usually involved removal of large, highly vulnerable, mobile piscivores that are often actively sought in fisheries. The effects of fishing on smaller, demersal, semi-resident piscivores have been little studied. We studied such effects on the fish communities of patch reefs at Midway atoll by experimentally removing major resident, demersal, piscivorous fishes. First, four control reefs and four experimental reefs were selected, their dimensions and habitats mapped, and their visible fish communities censused repeatedly over 1 year. Census of all control and experimental reefs was continued for the following 39 months, during which known piscivores were collected repeatedly by hand spearing. Records were kept of catch and effort to calculate CPUE as an index of predator density. Spearfishing on the experimental reefs removed 2504 piscivorous fish from 12 families and 43 taxa (mostly species). The species richness of the catch did not show an overall change over the duration of the experiment. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed some unexpected positive correlations for density in numbers and biomass of major fished piscivorous groups (especially lizardfish) over the experiment. Only two relatively minor fished piscivorous taxa declined in abundance over the experiment, while the overall abundance of piscivores increased. Visual censuses of fish on the experimental reefs also failed to show reduction of total piscivores over the full experimental period. No significant trend in the abundance of lizardfish censused over the full period was apparent on any of the control reefs. The high resilience of piscivores on these experimental reefs to relatively intense fishing pressure could

  10. Effects of random habitat destruction in a predator prey model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szwabiński, Janusz; Peķalski, Andrzej

    2006-01-01

    The influence of habitat destruction on a population of predators and prey is studied. We show, via Monte Carlo simulations of a lattice model, that with growing devastation the oscillations in the densities of both species, as well as cross-correlations between the two densities diminish. As should be expected, predators are more vulnerable and disappear before the prey. Devastation of the habitat is never beneficial and the percentage of coexisting (prey and predators) states decreases with destruction. Because of the high fragmentation of the environment in the case of large devastation, animals’ populations are separated into small sub-populations living in restricted areas. Such small populations become extinct more easily. We have also shown that in the case of large habitat devastation the density of the population of prey depends on its history.

  11. Predator fitness increases with selectivity for odd prey.

    PubMed

    Rutz, Christian

    2012-05-01

    The fundamental currency of normative models of animal decision making is Darwinian fitness. In foraging ecology, empirical studies typically assess foraging strategies by recording energy intake rates rather than realized reproductive performance. This study provides a rare empirical link, in a vertebrate predator-prey system, between a predator's foraging behavior and direct measures of its reproductive fitness. Goshawks Accipiter gentilis selectively kill rare color variants of their principal prey, the feral pigeon Columba livia, presumably because targeting odd-looking birds in large uniform flocks helps them overcome confusion effects and enhances attack success. Reproductive performance of individual hawks increases significantly with their selectivity for odd-colored pigeons, even after controlling for confounding age effects. Older hawks exhibit more pronounced dietary preferences, suggesting that hunting performance improves with experience. Intriguingly, although negative frequency-dependent predation by hawks exerts strong selection against rare pigeon phenotypes, pigeon color polymorphism is maintained through negative assortative mating. PMID:22503502

  12. Enhanced susceptibility to predation in corals of compromised condition

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Caitlin M.; Miller, Margaret W.

    2015-01-01

    The marine gastropod, Coralliophila abbreviata, is an obligate corallivore that causes substantial mortality in Caribbean Acropora spp. Considering the imperiled status of Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, a better understanding of ecological interactions resulting in tissue loss may enable more effective conservation strategies. We examined differences in susceptibility of A. cervicornis to C. abbreviata predation based on coral tissue condition. Coral tissue condition was a strong determinant of snail prey choice, with snails preferring A. cervicornis fragments that were diseased or mechanically damaged over healthy fragments. In addition, snails always chose fragments undergoing active predation by another snail, while showing no preference for a non-feeding snail when compared with an undisturbed prey fragment. These results indicate that the condition of A. cervicornis prey influenced foraging behavior of C. abbreviata, creating a potential feedback that may exacerbate damage from predation in coral populations compromised by other types of disturbance. PMID:26734500

  13. Intraguild predation influences oviposition behavior of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

    PubMed

    Galindo, Luciane A; Moral, Rafael A; Moretti, Thiago C; Godoy, Wesley A C; Demétrio, Clarice G B

    2016-05-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine whether blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are able to identify larvae of an intraguild predator species in the substrate and avoid laying eggs there. Blow flies oviposited in traps with different treatments: substrate only and substrate with larvae of Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann, 1819), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794), or Chrysomya putoria (Wiedemann, 1830). Ch. megacephala, Ch. putoria, and Lucilia eximia (Wiedemann, 1819) avoided laying eggs in the trap containing Ch. albiceps larvae. Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius, 1775) did not oviposit differently in each substrate but had overall low abundance. The prevalence of species on corpses may be influenced by the ability of the species to detect the presence of other species, mainly predators. In this sense, intraguild predation may result in misinterpretations of a crime scene and should be considered when assessing the minimum postmortem interval. PMID:26888288

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

    PubMed

    Owen, M R; Lewis, M A

    2001-07-01

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

  15. Persistence in nonautonomous predator-prey systems with infinite delays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, Zhidong; Rehim, Mehbuba

    2006-12-01

    This paper studies the general nonautonomous predator-prey Lotka-Volterra systems with infinite delays. The sufficient and necessary conditions of integrable form on the permanence and persistence of species are established. A very interesting and important property of two-species predator-prey systems is discovered, that is, the permanence of species and the existence of a persistent solution are each other equivalent. Particularly, for the periodic system with delays, applying these results, the sufficient and necessary conditions on the permanence and the existence of positive periodic solutions are obtained. Some well-known results on the nondelayed periodic predator-prey Lotka-Volterra systems are strongly improved and extended to the delayed case.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Plastic Responses of a Sessile Prey to Multiple Predators: A Field and Experimental Study

    PubMed Central

    Hirsch, Philipp Emanuel; Cayon, David; Svanbäck, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Background Theory predicts that prey facing a combination of predators with different feeding modes have two options: to express a response against the feeding mode of the most dangerous predator, or to express an intermediate response. Intermediate phenotypes protect equally well against several feeding modes, rather than providing specific protection against a single predator. Anti-predator traits that protect against a common feeding mode displayed by all predators should be expressed regardless of predator combination, as there is no need for trade-offs. Principal Findings We studied phenotypic anti-predator responses of zebra mussels to predation threat from a handling-time-limited (crayfish) and a gape-size-limited (roach) predator. Both predators dislodge mussels from the substrate but diverge in their further feeding modes. Mussels increased expression of a non-specific defense trait (attachment strength) against all combinations of predators relative to a control. In response to roach alone, mussels showed a tendency to develop a weaker and more elongated shell. In response to crayfish, mussels developed a harder and rounder shell. When exposed to either a combination of predators or no predator, mussels developed an intermediate phenotype. Mussel growth rate was positively correlated with an elongated weaker shell and negatively correlated with a round strong shell, indicating a trade-off between anti-predator responses. Field observations of prey phenotypes revealed the presence of both anti-predator phenotypes and the trade-off with growth, but intra-specific population density and bottom substrate had a greater influence than predator density. Conclusions Our results show that two different predators can exert both functionally equivalent and inverse selection pressures on a single prey. Our field study suggests that abiotic factors and prey population density should be considered when attempting to explain phenotypic diversity in the wild. PMID

  18. Predation risk-mediated maternal effects in the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae.

    PubMed

    Freinschlag, Julia; Schausberger, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Predation risk is a strong selective force shaping prey morphology, physiology, life history and/or behavior. As a prime stressor, predation risk may even induce trans-generational alterations, called maternal effects. Accordingly, maternal predation risk during offspring production may influence offspring life history and anti-predator behavior. Here, we assessed whether different levels of predation risk, posed by the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, induce graded maternal effects in its prey, the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. First, we generated four types of predation risk-stressed spider mite mothers by exposing them to living predators, direct and indirect predator cue combinations or no predator cues, respectively. Then, we investigated the life history (offspring developmental time, sex) and anti-predator response (activity, position on the leaf) of their offspring on leaves with and without direct and indirect predator cues. Maternal stress, no matter of the predation risk level, prolonged the offspring developmental time, as compared to offspring from unstressed mothers. This pattern was more pronounced on leaves with than without predator cues. Offspring from stressed mothers resided more likely on the leaf blade than close to the leaf vein. Offspring sex ratio and activity were not influenced by maternal predation risk but activity was higher on leaves with than without predator cues. We argue that the prolonged developmental time is non-adaptive, yet the changed site preference is adaptive because reducing the encounter likelihood with predators. Our study represents a key example for predation risk-mediated maternal effects on developmental trajectories of offspring. PMID:26923463

  19. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities. PMID:20368418

  20. Does Predation Risk Affect Mating Behavior? An Experimental Test in Dumpling Squid (Euprymna tasmanica)

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Amanda M.; Squires, Zoe E.; Stuart-Fox, Devi

    2014-01-01

    Introduction One of the most important trade-offs for many animals is that between survival and reproduction. This is particularly apparent when mating increases the risk of predation, either by increasing conspicuousness, reducing mobility or inhibiting an individual's ability to detect predators. Individuals may mitigate the risk of predation by altering their reproductive behavior (e.g. increasing anti-predator responses to reduce conspicuousness). The degree to which individuals modulate their reproductive behavior in relation to predation risk is difficult to predict because both the optimal investment in current and future reproduction (due to life-history strategies) and level of predation risk may differ between the sexes and among species. Here, we investigate the effect of increased predation risk on the reproductive behavior of dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica). Results Females, but not males, showed a substantial increase in the number of inks (an anti-predator behavior) before mating commenced in the presence of a predator (sand flathead Platycephalus bassensis). However, predation risk did not affect copulation duration, the likelihood of mating, female anti-predator behavior during or after mating or male anti-predator behavior at any time. Conclusions Inking is a common anti-predator defense in cephalopods, thought to act like a smokescreen, decoy or distraction. Female dumpling squid are probably using this form of defense in response to the increase in predation risk prior to mating. Conversely, males were undeterred by the increase in predation risk. A lack of change in these variables may occur if the benefit of completing mating outweighs the risk of predation. Prioritizing current reproduction, even under predation risk, can occur when the chance of future reproduction is low, there is substantial energetic investment into mating, or the potential fitness payoffs of mating are high. PMID:25551378

  1. Perceptual advertisement by the prey of stalking or ambushing predators.

    PubMed

    Broom, Mark; Ruxton, Graeme D

    2012-12-21

    There has been previous theoretical explorations of the stability of signals by prey that they have detected a stalking or ambush predator, where such perceptual advertisement dissuades the predator from attacking. Here we use a game theoretical model to extend the theory to consider some empirically-motivated complexities: (i) many perceptual advertisement signals appear to have the potential to vary in intensity, (ii) higher intensity signals are likely to be most costly to produce, and (iii) some high-cost signals (such as staring directly at the predator) can only be utilised if the prey is very confident of the existence of a nearby predator (that is, there are reserved or unfakable signals). We demonstrate that these complexities still allow for stable signalling. However, we do not find solutions where prey use a range of signal intensities to signal different degrees of confidence in the proximity of a predator; with prey simply adopting a binary response of not signalling or always signalling at the same fixed level. However this fixed level will not always be the cheapest possible signal, and we predict that prey that require more certainty about proximity of a predator will use higher-cost signals. The availability of reserved signals does not prohibit the stability of signalling based on lower-cost signals, but we also find circumstances where only the reserved signal is used. We discuss the potential to empirically test our model predictions, and to develop theory further to allow perceptual advertisement to be combined with other signalling functions. PMID:22960570

  2. Predator-Induced Demographic Shifts in Coral Reef Fish Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.; Hamilton, Scott L.; Walsh, Sheila M.; Donovan, Mary K.; Friedlander, Alan; DeMartini, Edward; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. PMID:21698165

  3. Behavioral Responses Associated with a Human-Mediated Predator Shelter

    PubMed Central

    Shannon, Graeme; Cordes, Line S.; Hardy, Amanda R.; Angeloni, Lisa M.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife populations in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement and vigilance, shifts in habitat use and changes in group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that in certain situations ungulate species may actually utilize areas associated with higher levels of human presence as a potential refuge from disturbance-sensitive predators. We now use four-years of behavioral activity budget data collected from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and elk (Cervus elephus) in Grand Teton National Park, USA to test whether predictable patterns of human presence can provide a shelter from predatory risk. Daily behavioral scans were conducted along two parallel sections of road that differed in traffic volume - with the main Teton Park Road experiencing vehicle use that was approximately thirty-fold greater than the River Road. At the busier Teton Park Road, both species of ungulate engaged in higher levels of feeding (27% increase in the proportion of pronghorn feeding and 21% increase for elk), lower levels of alert behavior (18% decrease for pronghorn and 9% decrease for elk) and formed smaller groups. These responses are commonly associated with reduced predatory threat. Pronghorn also exhibited a 30% increase in the proportion of individuals moving at the River Road as would be expected under greater exposure to predation risk. Our findings concur with the ‘predator shelter hypothesis’, suggesting that ungulates in GTNP use human presence as a potential refuge from predation risk, adjusting their behavior accordingly. Human activity has the potential to alter predator-prey interactions and drive trophic-mediated effects that could ultimately impact ecosystem function and biodiversity. PMID:24718624

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

    PubMed Central

    Chanyi, Ryan M.; Koval, Susan F.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Behavioral responses associated with a human-mediated predator shelter.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Graeme; Cordes, Line S; Hardy, Amanda R; Angeloni, Lisa M; Crooks, Kevin R

    2014-01-01

    Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife populations in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement and vigilance, shifts in habitat use and changes in group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that in certain situations ungulate species may actually utilize areas associated with higher levels of human presence as a potential refuge from disturbance-sensitive predators. We now use four-years of behavioral activity budget data collected from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and elk (Cervus elephus) in Grand Teton National Park, USA to test whether predictable patterns of human presence can provide a shelter from predatory risk. Daily behavioral scans were conducted along two parallel sections of road that differed in traffic volume--with the main Teton Park Road experiencing vehicle use that was approximately thirty-fold greater than the River Road. At the busier Teton Park Road, both species of ungulate engaged in higher levels of feeding (27% increase in the proportion of pronghorn feeding and 21% increase for elk), lower levels of alert behavior (18% decrease for pronghorn and 9% decrease for elk) and formed smaller groups. These responses are commonly associated with reduced predatory threat. Pronghorn also exhibited a 30% increase in the proportion of individuals moving at the River Road as would be expected under greater exposure to predation risk. Our findings concur with the 'predator shelter hypothesis', suggesting that ungulates in GTNP use human presence as a potential refuge from predation risk, adjusting their behavior accordingly. Human activity has the potential to alter predator-prey interactions and drive trophic-mediated effects that could ultimately impact ecosystem function and biodiversity. PMID:24718624

  6. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruttenberg, B.I.; Hamilton, S.L.; Walsh, S.M.; Donovan, M.K.; Friedlander, A.; DeMartini, E.; Sala, E.; Sandin, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ~10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. ?? 2011 Ruttenberg et al.

  7. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages.

    PubMed

    Ruttenberg, Benjamin I; Hamilton, Scott L; Walsh, Sheila M; Donovan, Mary K; Friedlander, Alan; DeMartini, Edward; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. PMID:21698165

  8. Inundative Field Releases and Evaluation of Three Predators for Bemisia tabasi (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Management in Three Vegetable Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is a global pest on numerous crops, including vegetables. Weekly inundative releases of a coccinellid predator (Coccinella undecimpunctata L.), a mirid predator [Macrophillus caliginosus (Wagner)] and a neuropteran predator [Chrysoperla carnea S...

  9. Plant resistance reduces the strength of consumptive and non-consumptive effects of predators on aphids.

    PubMed

    Kersch-Becker, Mônica F; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2015-09-01

    1. The impact of predators on prey has traditionally been attributed to the act of consumption. Prey responses to the presence of the predator (non-consumptive effects), however, can be as important as predation itself. While plant defences are known to influence predator-prey interactions, their relative effects on consumptive vs. non-consumptive effects are not well understood. 2. We evaluated the consequences of plant resistance and predators (Hippodamia convergens) on the mass, number of nymphs, population growth, density and dispersal of aphids (Macrosiphum euphorbiae). We tested for the effects of plant resistance on non-consumptive and consumptive effects of predators on aphid performance and dispersal using a combination of path analysis and experimental manipulation of predation risk. 3. We manipulated plant resistance using genetically modified lines of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) that vary incrementally in the expression of the jasmonate pathway, which mediates induced resistance to insects and manipulated aphid exposure to lethal and risk predators. Predation risk predators had mandibles impaired to prevent killing. 4. Plant resistance reduced predation rate (consumptive effect) on high resistance plants. As a consequence, predators had no impact on the number of nymphs, aphid density or population growth on high resistance plants, whereas on low resistance plants, predators reduced aphid density by 35% and population growth by 86%. Path analysis and direct manipulation of predation risk showed that predation risk rather than predation rate promoted aphid dispersal and varied with host plant resistance. Aphid dispersal in response to predation risk was greater on low compared to high resistance plants. The predation risk experiment also showed that the number of aphid nymphs increased in the presence of risk predators but did not translate into increased population growth. 5. In conclusion, the consumptive and non-consumptive components of predators

  10. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Bumblebees Foraging under Predation Risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Friedrich; Ings, Thomas C.; Chittka, Lars; Chechkin, Aleksei V.; Klages, Rainer

    2012-03-01

    We analyze 3D flight paths of bumblebees searching for nectar in a laboratory experiment with and without predation risk from artificial spiders. For the flight velocities we find mixed probability distributions reflecting the access to the food sources while the threat posed by the spiders shows up only in the velocity correlations. The bumblebees thus adjust their flight patterns spatially to the environment and temporally to predation risk. Key information on response to environmental changes is contained in temporal correlation functions, as we explain by a simple emergent model.

  11. Predator-prey interactions, resource depression and patch revisitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    Generalist predators may be confronted by different types of prey in different patches: sedentary and conspicuous, cryptic (with or without refugia), conspicuous and nonsocial, or conspicuous and social. I argue that, where encounter rates with prey are of most importance, patch revisitation should be a profitable tactic where prey have short 'recovery' times (conspicuous, nonsocial prey), or where anti-predator response (e.g. shoaling) may increase conspicuousness. Predictions are made for how temporal changes in prey encounter rates should affect revisit schedules and feeding rates for the 4 different prey types.

  12. Rich Global Dynamics in a Prey-Predator Model with Allee Effect and Density Dependent Death Rate of Predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, Moitri; Banerjee, Malay

    In this work we have considered a prey-predator model with strong Allee effect in the prey growth function, Holling type-II functional response and density dependent death rate for predators. It presents a comprehensive study of the complete global dynamics for the considered system. Especially to see the effect of the density dependent death rate of predator on the system behavior, we have presented the two parametric bifurcation diagrams taking it as one of the bifurcation parameters. In course of that we have explored all possible local and global bifurcations that the system could undergo, namely the existence of transcritical bifurcation, saddle node bifurcation, cusp bifurcation, Hopf-bifurcation, Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation and Bautin bifurcation respectively.

  13. Experimental warming transforms multiple predator effects in a grassland food web.

    PubMed

    Barton, Brandon T; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2009-12-01

    This experimental study tests new theory for multiple predator effects on communities by using warming to alter predator habitat use and hence direct and indirect interactions in a grassland food web containing two dominant spider predator species, a dominant grasshopper herbivore and grass and herb plants. Experimental warming further offers insight into how climate change might alter direct and indirect effects. Under ambient environmental conditions, spiders used habitat in spatially complementary locations. Consistent with predictions, the multiple predator effect on grasshoppers and on plants was the average of the individual predator effects. Warming strengthened the single predator effects. It also caused the spider species to overlap lower in the vegetation canopy. Consistent with predictions, the system was transformed into an intraguild predation system with the consequent extinction of one spider species. The results portend climate caused loss of predator diversity with important consequences for food web structure and function. PMID:19780788

  14. Demographic parameters of the insecticide-exposed predator Podisus nigrispinus: implications for IPM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The predator Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) shows potential for Integrated Pest Management programs of defoliating caterpillars in agricultural and forestry systems. Insecticides can indirectly affect caterpillar predators through consumption of contaminated prey. We examin...

  15. To Learn Is To Grow, I: Aldo Leopold, Predator Eradication, and Games Refuges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolph, Gary E.

    1998-01-01

    Follows the evolution in the thinking of Aldo Leopold, a game manager who was initially an advocate of predator eradication but who came to see predators as playing an important role in normally functioning ecosystems. (DDR)

  16. Evidence of weaker phenotypic plasticity by prey to novel cues from non-native predators.

    PubMed

    Hollander, Johan; Bourdeau, Paul E

    2016-08-01

    A central question in evolutionary biology is how coevolutionary history between predator and prey influences their interactions. Contemporary global change and range expansion of exotic organisms impose a great challenge for prey species, which are increasingly exposed to invading non-native predators, with which they share no evolutionary history. Here, we complete a comprehensive survey of empirical studies of coevolved and naive predator-prey interactions to assess whether a shared evolutionary history with predators influences the magnitude of predator-induced defenses mounted by prey. Using marine bivalves and gastropods as model prey, we found that coevolved prey and predator-naive prey showed large discrepancies in magnitude of predator-induced phenotypic plasticity. Although naive prey, predominantly among bivalve species, did exhibit some level of plasticity - prey exposed to native predators showed significantly larger amounts of phenotypic plasticity. We discuss these results and the implications they may have for native communities and ecosystems. PMID:27551388

  17. Intense predation cannot always be detected experimentally: A case study of shorebird predation on nereid polychaetes in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalejta, B.

    The effect of predation by curlew sandpipers Calidris ferruginea L. and grey plovers Pluvialis squatarola (L.) on populations of nereid worms Ceratonereis keiskama (Day) and C. erythraeensis (Fauvel) was studied at the Berg River estuary, South Africa, by comparing observations of shorebird-foraging intensity with the results of a population study of two species of nereid worms within and outside bird exclosures. The study was carried out during the four-month period prior to northward migration of shorebirds. Population structure of the two nereid species differed considerably. Ceratonereis keiskama reproduced earlier than C. erythraeensis and only young individuals were present during the study. By contrast, old C. erythraeensis were available to the birds at the start of the experiment and young animals entered the population during the experiment. Despite selective predation on certain size classes of nereids by the birds, no significant changes in the population structure of either nereid were detected by the cage experiment. Numbers and biomass of both Ceratonereis spp. in paired controls and cages tracked each other and did not diverge as predicted. A consistent difference in the depth stratification of the two nereids may, however, have been due to predation pressure. Curlew sandpipers were calculated to remove 3112 nereids per m 2 during the three months, equivalent to 4.4. g (dry weight) per m 2. This represents 58% of the initial numbers and 77% of the initial biomass of nereids. Although predation on nereids by waders was exceptionally high at the Berg River estuary, any depletion in numbers or biomass of nereids caused by these predators was masked by the reproduction of the nereids. The fact that the predators' high energy requirements prior to northward migration coincide with the period of peak production of invertebrate prey makes the Berg River estuary an exceptionally favourable wintering area.

  18. Trade-offs of predation and foraging explain sexual segregation in African buffalo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hay, C.T.; Cross, P.C.; Funston, P.J.

    2008-01-01

    1. Many studies have investigated why males and females segregate spatially in sexually dimorphic species. These studies have focused primarily on temperate zone ungulates in areas lacking intact predator communities, and few have directly assessed predation rates in different social environments. 2. Data on the movement, social affiliation, mortality and foraging of radio-collared African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) were collected from 2001-06 in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. 3. The vast majority of mortality events were due to lion (Panthera leo) predation, and the mortality hazard associated with being an adult male buffalo in a male-only 'bachelor' group was almost four times higher than for adult females in mixed herds. The mortality rates of adult males and females within mixed herds were not statistically different. Mortality sites of male and female buffalo were in areas of low visibility similar to those used by bachelor groups, while mixed herds tended to use more open habitats. 4. Males in bachelor groups ate similar or higher quality food (as indexed by percentage faecal nitrogen), and moved almost a third less distance per day compared with mixed herds. As a result, males in bachelor groups gained more body condition than did males in breeding herds. 5. Recent comparative analyses suggest the activity-budget hypothesis as a common underlying cause of social segregation. However, our intensive study, in an area with an intact predator community showed that male and female buffalo segregated by habitat and supported the predation-risk hypothesis. Male African buffalo appear to trade increased predation risk for additional energy gains in bachelor groups, which presumably leads to increased reproductive success. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  19. Plastic hatching timing by red-eyed treefrog embryos interacts with larval predator identity and sublethal predation to affect prey morphology but not performance.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles' tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation

  20. Plastic Hatching Timing by Red-Eyed Treefrog Embryos Interacts with Larval Predator Identity and Sublethal Predation to Affect Prey Morphology but Not Performance

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Justin C.; Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles’ tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation

  1. Magnitude and Dynamics of Predation on Juvenile Salmonids in Columbia and Snake River Reservoirs, Annual Report of Research, 1989-1990.

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, J.H.

    1990-07-01

    Three aspects of predation upon juvenile salmonids in the Columbia River are addressed in this report: (1) Indexing predator consumption. During 1989--1990, two indices of northern squawfish consumption upon juvenile salmonids were developed for use throughout the Columbia River Basin. The direct Consumption Index (CI) is based upon the concept of meal turnover time and takes into account number of salmonids, temperature, total gut content weight and predator weight. A Bioenergetics Index (BI) for consumption indexing was also developed to complement the direct CI. In the BI, growth, consumption, excretion/evacuation and respiration processes are modeled to predict the consumption required to produce an observed growth increment. (2) Studies on predator-smolt dynamics. Northern squawfish consumption data were collected in the McNary Dam tailrace during nine days in July 1988 to improve our understanding of the predator-smolt functional response. (3) Selective predation by northern squawfish. Laboratory and field protocols were developed to evaluate northern squawfish selection and prey vulnerability. Results from laboratory studies suggest that northern squawfish prefer dead over live prey and that descaled prey may be more vulnerable to predation than non-descaled prey. Stressed and unstressed prey were consumed in equal proportions when predation occurred for 6 or 24 h. Physiological and behavioral effects of stress on juvenile salmon are presented. 100 refs., 13 figs., 12 tabs.

  2. Parasite predators exhibit a rapid numerical response to increased parasite abundance and reduce transmission to hosts

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Skylar R; Wyderko, Jennie A; Sheehy, Robert R; Belden, Lisa K; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2013-01-01

    Predators of parasites have recently gained attention as important parts of food webs and ecosystems. In aquatic systems, many taxa consume free-living stages of parasites, and can thus reduce parasite transmission to hosts. However, the importance of the functional and numerical responses of parasite predators to disease dynamics is not well understood. We collected host–parasite–predator cooccurrence data from the field, and then experimentally manipulated predator abundance, parasite abundance, and the presence of alternative prey to determine the consequences for parasite transmission. The parasite predator of interest was a ubiquitous symbiotic oligochaete of mollusks, Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei, which inhabits host shells and consumes larval trematode parasites. Predators exhibited a rapid numerical response, where predator populations increased or decreased by as much as 60% in just 5 days, depending on the parasite:predator ratio. Furthermore, snail infection decreased substantially with increasing parasite predator densities, where the highest predator densities reduced infection by up to 89%. Predators of parasites can play an important role in regulating parasite transmission, even when infection risk is high, and especially when predators can rapidly respond numerically to resource pulses. We suggest that these types of interactions might have cascading effects on entire disease systems, and emphasize the importance of considering disease dynamics at the community level. PMID:24340184

  3. Along Came a Spider: Using Live Arthropods in a Predator-Prey Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Matthew L.; Hari, Janice

    2011-01-01

    We developed a predator-prey activity with eighth-grade students in which they used wolf spiders ("Lycosa carolinensis"), house crickets ("Acheta domestica"), and abiotic factors to address how (1) adaptations in predators and prey shape their interaction and (2) abiotic factors modify the interaction between predators and prey. We tested student…

  4. Predation of Indianmeal moth larvae by Lyctocoris campestris(F.) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) in different stored commodities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predation rates for the anthocorid predator Lyctocoris campestris (F.) against varying densities of late-instar Plodia interpunctello (Hubner) were compared in whole corn, whole wheat, or folled oat stored commodities. More prey were attacked in corn and wheat than in oats, and female predators gene...

  5. Integration of multiple cues allows threat-sensitive anti-intraguild predator responses in predatory mites

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Intraguild (IG) prey is commonly confronted with multiple IG predator species. However, the IG predation (IGP) risk for prey is not only dependent on the predator species, but also on inherent (intraspecific) characteristics of a given IG predator such as its life-stage, sex or gravidity and the associated prey needs. Thus, IG prey should have evolved the ability to integrate multiple IG predator cues, which should allow both inter- and intraspecific threat-sensitive anti-predator responses. Using a guild of plant-inhabiting predatory mites sharing spider mites as prey, we evaluated the effects of single and combined cues (eggs and/or chemical traces left by a predator female on the substrate) of the low risk IG predator Neoseiulus californicus and the high risk IG predator Amblyseius andersoni on time, distance and path shape parameters of the larval IG prey Phytoseiulus persimilis. IG prey discriminated between traces of the low and high risk IG predator, with and without additional presence of their eggs, indicating interspecific threat-sensitivity. The behavioural changes were manifest in distance moved, activity and path shape of IG prey. The cue combination of traces and eggs of the IG predators conveyed other information than each cue alone, allowing intraspecific threat-sensitive responses by IG prey apparent in changed velocities and distances moved. We argue that graded responses to single and combined IG predator cues are adaptive due to minimization of acceptance errors in IG prey decision making. PMID:23750040

  6. Predator response to releases of American shad larvae in the Susquehanna River basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Ringler, N.H.

    1998-01-01

    Predation on American shad (Alosa sapidissima) larvae within the first two hours of release was examined from 1989 to 1992 on 31 occasions at stocking sites in the Susquehanna River basin. Twenty-two fish species consumed shad larvae; the dominant predators were spotfin shiner (Cyprinella spiloptera), mimic shiner (Notropis volucellus) and juvenile smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). The number of shad larvae found in predator stomachs ranged from 0 to 900. Mortality of shad larvae at the stocking site was usually less than 2%. The greatest mortality (9.6%) occurred at the highest stocking level (1.5 million larvae). Highly variable predation rates and release levels of shad insufficient to achieve predator satiation hindered the ability to determine a specific type of functional response of predators. Predator numbers increased with stocking density, indicating short-term aggregation at the release site. Because of practical problems associated with releasing the large numbers of larvae that would be required to satiate predators, routine stocking at these levels is probably unreasonable. Releases of 400,000 to 700,000 larvae may reduce predation by offsetting depensatory mechanisms that operate on small releases and the effects of increased predation due to predator aggregation on large releases. Night stocking may reduce predation on larval shad at the release site.

  7. Nonselective Harvesting of a Prey-Predator Fishery with Gompertz Law of Growth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purohit, D.; Chaudhuri, K. S.

    2002-01-01

    This paper develops a mathematical model for the nonselective harvesting of a prey-predator system in which both the prey and the predator obey the Gompertz law of growth and some prey avoid predation by hiding. The steady states of the system are determined, and the dynamical behaviour of both species is examined. The possibility of existence of…

  8. Predator experience overrides learned aversion to heterospecifics in stickleback species pairs

    PubMed Central

    Kozak, Genevieve M.; Boughman, Janette W.

    2015-01-01

    Predation risk can alter female mating decisions because the costs of mate searching and selecting attractive mates increase when predators are present. In response to predators, females have been found to plastically adjust mate preference within species, but little is known about how predators alter sexual isolation and hybridization among species. We tested the effects of predator exposure on sexual isolation between benthic and limnetic threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus spp.). Female discrimination against heterospecific mates was measured before and after females experienced a simulated attack by a trout predator or a control exposure to a harmless object. In the absence of predators, females showed increased aversion to heterospecifics over time. We found that predator exposure made females less discriminating and precluded this learned aversion to heterospecifics. Benthic and limnetic males differ in coloration, and predator exposure also affected sexual isolation by weakening female preferences for colourful males. Predator effects on sexual selection were also tested but predators had few effects on female choosiness among conspecific mates. Our results suggest that predation risk may disrupt the cognitive processes associated with mate choice and lead to fluctuations in the strength of sexual isolation between species. PMID:25808887

  9. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments.

    PubMed

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon

    2014-12-01

    Predator-prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator-prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator-prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey-predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator-prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator-prey interactions. PMID:25265992

  10. Contrasting effects of fish predation on benthic versus emerging prey: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Wesner, Jeff S

    2016-04-01

    Predator-prey interactions are often studied entirely within the ecosystem of the predator. However, many prey transition between ecosystems during development, expanding the effects of predators across ecosystems. Prey are often vulnerable to predation during this transition, facing a predator gauntlet as they leave their source ecosystem. As a result of predation during this transition, predators may have stronger effects on prey fluxes to the neighboring ecosystem than on prey densities in the predator's own ecosystem. I used meta-analysis of predator (fish) and prey (invertebrate) interactions in freshwater ecosystems to test the hypothesis that fish have stronger effects on prey flux to the terrestrial ecosystem, by reducing insect emergence biomass, than on prey densities in the aquatic ecosystem, by reducing benthic insect/invertebrate biomass. Fish reduced insect emergence by 39 % on average, more than twice as strong as their reductions of benthic prey (16 % reduction; averages are variance-weighted). In fact, fish effects on benthic prey were not significantly different from zero, but were significant for emergence. These results indicate that predator effects can not only cascade from one ecosystem to another but also that effects can be stronger outside than within the ecosystem of the predator. Failure to account for this may underestimate the effects of predators on prey. PMID:26747266

  11. An immunological approach for quantifying predation rates on glassy-winged sharpshooter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The gut contents of 376 individual predators were assayed for glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) remains using a multitude of ELlSAs designed to detect predation on various GWSS life stages. We found that almost 10% of the predators examined contained GWSS remains in their guts. We recorded 10, 17, a...

  12. Controllability and Optimal Harvesting of a Prey-Predator Model Incorporating a Prey Refuge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kar, Tapan Kumar

    2006-01-01

    This paper deals with a prey-predator model incorporating a prey refuge and harvesting of the predator species. A mathematical analysis shows that prey refuge plays a crucial role for the survival of the species and that the harvesting effort on the predator may be used as a control to prevent the cyclic behaviour of the system. The optimal…

  13. Temporal Dynamics of Top Predators Interactions in the Barents Sea

    PubMed Central

    Durant, Joël M.; Skern-Mauritzen, Mette; Krasnov, Yuri V.; Nikolaeva, Natalia G.; Lindstrøm, Ulf; Dolgov, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries. PMID:25365430

  14. Direct identification of predator-prey dynamics in gyrokinetic simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Kobayashi, Sumire Gürcan, Özgür D; Diamond, Patrick H.

    2015-09-15

    The interaction between spontaneously formed zonal flows and small-scale turbulence in nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations is explored in a shearless closed field line geometry. It is found that when clear limit cycle oscillations prevail, the observed turbulent dynamics can be quantitatively captured by a simple Lotka-Volterra type predator-prey model. Fitting the time traces of full gyrokinetic simulations by such a reduced model allows extraction of the model coefficients. Scanning physical plasma parameters, such as collisionality and density gradient, it was observed that the effective growth rates of turbulence (i.e., the prey) remain roughly constant, in spite of the higher and varying level of primary mode linear growth rates. The effective growth rate that was extracted corresponds roughly to the zonal-flow-modified primary mode growth rate. It was also observed that the effective damping of zonal flows (i.e., the predator) in the parameter range, where clear predator-prey dynamics is observed, (i.e., near marginal stability) agrees with the collisional damping expected in these simulations. This implies that the Kelvin-Helmholtz-like instability may be negligible in this range. The results imply that when the tertiary instability plays a role, the dynamics becomes more complex than a simple Lotka-Volterra predator prey.

  15. Antelope Predation by Nigerian Forest Baboons: Ecological and Behavioural Correlates.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Volker; Lowe, Adriana; Jesus, Gonçalo; Alberts, Nienke; Bouquet, Yaëlle; Inglis, David M; Petersdorf, Megan; van Riel, Eelco; Thompson, James; Ross, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Baboons are well studied in savannah but less so in more closed habitats. We investigated predation on mammals by olive baboons (Papio anubis) at a geographical and climatic outlier, Gashaka Gumti National Park (Nigeria), the wettest and most forested site so far studied. Despite abundant wildlife, meat eating was rare and selective. Over 16 years, baboons killed 7 bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) and 3 red-flanked duiker (Cephalophus rufilatus), mostly still-lying 'parked' infants. Taking observation time into account, this is 1 predation per group every 3.3 months - far lower than at other sites. Some features of meat eating resemble those elsewhere; predation is opportunistic, adult males monopolize most prey, a targeted killing bite is lacking and begging or active sharing is absent. Carcass owners employ evasive tactics, as meat is often competed over, but satiated owners may tolerate others taking meat. Other features are unusual; this is only the second study site with predation records for bushbuck and the only one for red-flanked duiker. The atypical prey and rarity of eating mammals probably reflects the difficulty of acquiring prey animals when vegetation cover is dense. Our data support the general prediction of the socioecological model that environments shape behavioural patterns, while acknowledging their intraspecific or intrageneric plasticity. PMID:27287424

  16. Dead zones enhance key fisheries species by providing predation refuge.

    PubMed

    Altieri, Andrew H

    2008-10-01

    Natural stress gradients can reduce predation intensity and increase prey abundances. Whether the harsh conditions of anthropogenic habitat degradation can similarly reduce predation intensity and structure community dynamics remains largely unexplored. Oxygen depletion in coastal waters (hypoxia) is a form of degradation that has recently emerged as one of the greatest threats to coastal ecosystems worldwide due to increased rates of eutrophication and climate change. I conducted field experiments and surveys to test whether relaxed predation could explain the paradoxically high abundance of clams that have sustained a fishery in a degraded estuary with chronic hypoxic conditions. Hypoxia reduced predation on all experimental species but enhanced the long-term survivorship of only sufficiently hypoxia-tolerant prey due to periodic extreme conditions. As a consequence, only the harvested quahog clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) thrived in hypoxic areas that were otherwise rendered dead zones with depauperate diversity and low abundances of other species. This suggests that enhanced populations of some key species may be part of a predictable nonlinear community response that sustains ecosystem services and masks overall downward trends of habitat degradation. PMID:18959318

  17. Effects of frequent fish predation on corals in Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayewardene, D.; Donahue, M. J.; Birkeland, C.

    2009-06-01

    The abundance of lesions from fish bites on corals was quantified at nine shallow reefs in the main Hawaiian Islands. There were on average 117 bite scars m-2 on Pocillopora meandrina tissue from the barred filefish Cantherhines dumerilii, 69 bites m-2 on Porites compressa tissue, and 4 bites m-2 on Porites lobata tissue from the spotted puffer Arothron meleagris. Across sites, the frequency of A. meleagris bites on P. compressa per unit area of living coral cover declined exponentially with increasing coral cover. P. compressa nubbins in two size classes (1-2 cm and 4-5 cm) were transplanted onto six study reefs. Nubbins in the small size class were entirely removed by bites from A. meleagris, while nubbins ≥4 cm were only partially consumed, leaving them able to recover. At sites with abundant P. compressa, predation had little effect on transplanted nubbins; at sites where P. compressa comprised less than 5% of living cover, all nubbins were preyed upon. A. meleagris bite lesions on P. compressa were monitored through time and fully recovered in 42 ± 4 days. A model of the risk of over-predation (a second predation event before the first is healed) decreased exponentially with increasing coral cover and increased linearly with increasing lesion healing time. The increased risk of over-predation at low coral cover could indicate an Allee effect limiting the recovery of coral populations if coral cover is substantially reduced by natural or anthropogenic disturbances.

  18. Aspidoscelis deppii (Black-bellied Racerunner). Predation by Great Egrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Robert P.; Whatton, James F.; Gebhard, Christina A.

    2014-01-01

    Aspidoscelis deppii) is widely distributed from Veracruz and Michoacan, Mexico to Costa Rica (Köhler et al. 2006. The Amphibians and Reptiles of El Salvador. Krieger Publishing Co., Malabar, Florida. 238 pp.). Neotropical lizards are abundant and common prey to all classes of terrestrial vertebrates, and bird predation of lizards is well known.

  19. Predation of Chaoborus punctipennis on larvae of Dorosoma

    SciTech Connect

    Dailey, N.S.; Mattice, J.S.

    1982-05-01

    Laboratory and field studies were conducted to evaluate the significance of predation of Chaoborus punctipennis on Dorosoma larvae. Only third (III) and fourth (IV) instars of Chaoborus consumed shad larvae in the laboratory studies. Predation was directly related to shad density and chaoborus size, but was not related to age (or size) of yolk-sac Dorosoma or to temperature in the range of 20 to 25/sup 0/C prevalent during shad spawning. Analysis of evening plankton samples collected in Blue Springs Cove, Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee, during the shad spawning season suggested that interactions between the two species were reduced by spatial, temporal, and seasonal separation. Shad larvae were most abundant near the water surface, particularly near the shoreline and near dawn; III and IV instar Chaoborus were most abundant at 3 or 5 meter depths below the surface and highest concentrations were in deeper water areas between 2100 and 0300. In Blue Springs Cove in 1980, densities of shad and Chaoborus were too low to expect predation to occur based on the extrapolation of predation rates derived from the laboratory studies. This conclusion received further support from the fact that no signs of shad larvae were found in the crops of narcotized Chaoborus collected in Blue Springs Cove.

  20. Does habitat fragmentation influence nest predation in the shortgrass prairie?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, M.N.; Skagen, S.K.; Kennedy, P.L.

    2001-01-01

    We examined the effects of habitat fragmentation and vegetation structure of shortgrass prairie and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands on predation rates of artificial and natural nests in northeastern Colorado. The CRP provides federal payments to landowners to take highly erodible cropland out of agricultural production. In our study area, CRP lands have been reseeded primarily with non-native grasses, and this vegetation is taller than native shortgrass prairie. We measured three indices of habitat fragmentation (patch size, degree of matrix fragmentation, and distance from edge), none of which influenced mortality rates of artificial or natural nests. Vegetation structure did influence predation rates of artificial nests; daily mortality decreased significantly with increasing vegetation height. Vegetation structure did not influence predation rates of natural nests. CRP lands and shortgrass sites did not differ with respect to mortality rates of artificial nests. Our study area is only moderately fragmented; 62% of the study area is occupied by native grassland. We conclude that the extent of habitat fragmentation in our study area does not result in increased predation in remaining patches of shortgrass prairie habitat.

  1. Using Artificial Nests to Study Nest Predation in Birds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belthoff, James R.

    2005-01-01

    A simple and effective field exercise that demonstrates factors affecting predation on bird nests is described. With instructor guidance, students in high school biology or college-level biology, ecology, animal behavior, wildlife management or ornithology laboratory courses can collaborate to design field experiments related to nest depredation.

  2. Stochastic predation events and population persistence in bighorn sheep

    PubMed Central

    Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Coulson, Tim; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Hogg, John T; Pelletier, Fanie

    2006-01-01

    Many studies have reported temporal changes in the relative importance of density-dependence and environmental stochasticity in affecting population growth rates, but they typically assume that the predominant factor limiting growth remains constant over long periods of time. Stochastic switches in limiting factors that persist for multiple time-steps have received little attention, but most wild populations may periodically experience such switches. Here, we consider the dynamics of three populations of individually marked bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) monitored for 24–28 years. Each population experienced one or two distinct cougar (Puma concolor) predation events leading to population declines. The onset and duration of predation events were stochastic and consistent with predation by specialist individuals. A realistic Markov chain model confirms that predation by specialist cougars can cause extinction of isolated populations. We suggest that such processes may be common. In such cases, predator–prey equilibria may only occur at large geographical and temporal scales, and are unlikely with increasing habitat fragmentation. PMID:16777749

  3. Predation life history responses to increased temperature variability.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Miguel; Pestana, Joao; Soares, Amadeu M V M

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of life history traits is regulated by energy expenditure, which is, in turn, governed by temperature. The forecasted increase in temperature variability is expected to impose greater stress to organisms, in turn influencing the balance of energy expenditure and consequently life history responses. Here we examine how increased temperature variability affects life history responses to predation. Individuals reared under constant temperatures responded to different levels of predation risk as appropriate: namely, by producing greater number of neonates of smaller sizes and reducing the time to first brood. In contrast, we detected no response to predation regime when temperature was more variable. In addition, population growth rate was slowest among individuals reared under variable temperatures. Increased temperature variability also affected the development of inducible defenses. The combined effects of failing to respond to predation risk, slower growth rate and the miss-match development of morphological defenses supports suggestions that increased variability in temperature poses a greater risk for species adaptation than that posed by a mean shift in temperature. PMID:25250677

  4. Predation Life History Responses to Increased Temperature Variability

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, Miguel; Pestana, Joao; Soares, Amadeu M. V. M.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of life history traits is regulated by energy expenditure, which is, in turn, governed by temperature. The forecasted increase in temperature variability is expected to impose greater stress to organisms, in turn influencing the balance of energy expenditure and consequently life history responses. Here we examine how increased temperature variability affects life history responses to predation. Individuals reared under constant temperatures responded to different levels of predation risk as appropriate: namely, by producing greater number of neonates of smaller sizes and reducing the time to first brood. In contrast, we detected no response to predation regime when temperature was more variable. In addition, population growth rate was slowest among individuals reared under variable temperatures. Increased temperature variability also affected the development of inducible defenses. The combined effects of failing to respond to predation risk, slower growth rate and the miss-match development of morphological defenses supports suggestions that increased variability in temperature poses a greater risk for species adaptation than that posed by a mean shift in temperature. PMID:25250677

  5. Small nonnative fishes as predators of larval razorback suckers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.; Mueller, G.A.

    2008-01-01

    The razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus), an endangered big-river fish of the Colorado River basin, has demonstrated no sustainable recruitment in 4 decades, despite presence of spawning adults and larvae. Lack of adequate recruitment has been attributed to several factors, including predation by nonnative fishes. Substantial funding and effort has been expended on mechanically removing nonnative game fishes, typically targeting large predators. As a result, abundance of larger predators has declined, but the abundance of small nonnative fishes has increased in some areas. We conducted laboratory experiments to determine if small nonnative fishes would consume larval razorback suckers. We tested adults of three small species (threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense; red shiner, Cyprinella lutrensis; fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas) and juveniles of six larger species (common carp, Cyprinus carpio; yellow bullhead, Ameiurus natalis; channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus; rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss; green sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus; bluegill, L. macrochirus). These nonnative fishes span a broad ecological range and are abundant within the historical range of the razorback sucker. All nine species fed on larval razorback suckers (total length, 9-16 mm). Our results suggest that predation by small nonnative fishes could be responsible for limiting recovery of this endangered species.

  6. Testing for Camouflage Using Virtual Prey and Human "Predators"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd, Peter A.

    2009-01-01

    Camouflage is a prevalent feature of the natural world and as such has a ready appeal to students; however, it is a difficult subject to study using real predators and prey. This paper focuses how one fundamental type of camouflage, disruptive colouration (bold markings that break up the outline of the organism), can be tested using paper…

  7. Temporal dynamics of top predators interactions in the Barents Sea.

    PubMed

    Durant, Joël M; Skern-Mauritzen, Mette; Krasnov, Yuri V; Nikolaeva, Natalia G; Lindstrøm, Ulf; Dolgov, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries. PMID:25365430

  8. HOW TO STUDY PREDATORS THE O’NEIL WAY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a tribute to Dr. Robert J. O’Neil, an overview of his research was presented, specifically on the ecology and modeling of the generalist predator, Podisus maculiventris. His contributions in the field of biological control were highlighted and his influence on his students who continue his legacy...

  9. Dipteran predators of Simuliid blackflies: a worldwide review.

    PubMed

    Werner, D; Pont, A C

    2003-06-01

    Haematophagous female blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) are serious biting pests and obligate vectors of vertebrate pathogens, namely filarial Dirofilaria, Mansonella, Onchocerca and protozoal Leucocytozoon. Immature stages of Simuliidae inhabit lotic waterways, the sessile larvae filter-feeding and often forming a large proportion of the benthic biomass, usually aggregated in well-oxygenated sections of streams, rivers, waterfalls and spillways. Simuliid control practices depend on larvicidal chemicals, biological products (bacteria, nematodes) and environmental modification. The potential use of predators for biological control of Simuliidae has not been exploited. Predators of Simuliidae include examples of at least 12 families of Diptera and other predaceous arthropods (Crustacea and insects: Coleoptera, Odonata, Plecoptera, Trichoptera), invertebrates (notably Turbellaria), as well as browsing fish. Diptera impacting upon simuliid populations comprise mainly Chironomidae, Empididae and Muscidae, although several other families (Asilidae, Dolichopodidae, Phoridae, Drosophilidae, Scathophagidae) play a significant role as predators. Details of predator and prey species and life stages are presented, by zoogeographical region, including the prevalence of cannibalism among Simuliidae. PMID:12823828

  10. Human shields mediate sexual conflict in a top predator

    PubMed Central

    Pelletier, F.; Kindberg, J.; Brunberg, S.; Swenson, J. E.; Zedrosser, A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Compensatory growth following transient intraguild predation risk in predatory mites

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Lepp, Natalia; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Compensatory or catch-up growth following growth impairment caused by transient environmental stress, due to adverse abiotic factors or food, is widespread in animals. Such growth strategies commonly balance retarded development and reduced growth. They depend on the type of stressor but are unknown for predation risk, a prime selective force shaping life history. Anti-predator behaviours by immature prey typically come at the cost of reduced growth rates with potential negative consequences on age and size at maturity. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that transient intraguild predation (IGP) risk induces compensatory or catch-up growth in the plant-inhabiting predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Immature P. persimilis were exposed in the larval stage to no, low or high IGP risk, and kept under benign conditions in the next developmental stage, the protonymph. High but not low IGP risk prolonged development of P. persimilis larvae, which was compensated in the protonymphal stage by increased foraging activity and accelerated development, resulting in optimal age and size at maturity. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that prey may balance developmental costs accruing from anti-predator behaviour by compensatory growth. PMID:26005221

  12. How to Protect Children from Internet Predators: A Phenomenological Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexander, Rodney T.

    2012-01-01

    Teenage Internet users are the fastest growing segment in the Internet user population. These teenagers are at risk of sexual assault from Internet predators. This phenomenological study explored teacher and counselors' perceptions of how to prevent this sexual assault. Twenty-five teacher and counselor participants were interviewed. A…

  13. Direct identification of predator-prey dynamics in gyrokinetic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Sumire; Gürcan, Özgür D.; Diamond, Patrick H.

    2015-09-01

    The interaction between spontaneously formed zonal flows and small-scale turbulence in nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations is explored in a shearless closed field line geometry. It is found that when clear limit cycle oscillations prevail, the observed turbulent dynamics can be quantitatively captured by a simple Lotka-Volterra type predator-prey model. Fitting the time traces of full gyrokinetic simulations by such a reduced model allows extraction of the model coefficients. Scanning physical plasma parameters, such as collisionality and density gradient, it was observed that the effective growth rates of turbulence (i.e., the prey) remain roughly constant, in spite of the higher and varying level of primary mode linear growth rates. The effective growth rate that was extracted corresponds roughly to the zonal-flow-modified primary mode growth rate. It was also observed that the effective damping of zonal flows (i.e., the predator) in the parameter range, where clear predator-prey dynamics is observed, (i.e., near marginal stability) agrees with the collisional damping expected in these simulations. This implies that the Kelvin-Helmholtz-like instability may be negligible in this range. The results imply that when the tertiary instability plays a role, the dynamics becomes more complex than a simple Lotka-Volterra predator prey.

  14. Killing for Girls: Predation Play and Female Empowerment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bertozzi, Elena

    2012-01-01

    Predation games--games in which the player is actively encouraged and often required to hunt and kill in order to survive--have historically been the purview of male players. Females, though now much more involved in digital games than before, generally play games that stress traditionally feminine values such as socializing with others, shopping,…

  15. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorzelak, Przemysław; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2012-05-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia.

  16. Sizing up your enemy: individual predation vulnerability predicts migratory probability.

    PubMed

    Skov, Christian; Baktoft, Henrik; Brodersen, Jakob; Brönmark, Christer; Chapman, Ben B; Hansson, Lars-Anders; Nilsson, P Anders

    2011-05-01

    Partial migration, in which a fraction of a population migrate and the rest remain resident, occurs in an extensive range of species and can have powerful ecological consequences. The question of what drives differences in individual migratory tendency is a contentious one. It has been shown that the timing of partial migration is based upon a trade-off between seasonal fluctuations in predation risk and growth potential. Phenotypic variation in either individual predation risk or growth potential should thus mediate the strength of the trade-off and ultimately predict patterns of partial migration at the individual level (i.e. which individuals migrate and which remain resident). We provide cross-population empirical support for the importance of one component of this model--individual predation risk--in predicting partial migration in wild populations of bream Abramis brama, a freshwater fish. Smaller, high-risk individuals migrate with a higher probability than larger, low-risk individuals, and we suggest that predation risk maintains size-dependent partial migration in this system. PMID:20980300

  17. Sizing up your enemy: individual predation vulnerability predicts migratory probability

    PubMed Central

    Skov, Christian; Baktoft, Henrik; Brodersen, Jakob; Brönmark, Christer; Chapman, Ben B.; Hansson, Lars-Anders; Nilsson, P. Anders

    2011-01-01

    Partial migration, in which a fraction of a population migrate and the rest remain resident, occurs in an extensive range of species and can have powerful ecological consequences. The question of what drives differences in individual migratory tendency is a contentious one. It has been shown that the timing of partial migration is based upon a trade-off between seasonal fluctuations in predation risk and growth potential. Phenotypic variation in either individual predation risk or growth potential should thus mediate the strength of the trade-off and ultimately predict patterns of partial migration at the individual level (i.e. which individuals migrate and which remain resident). We provide cross-population empirical support for the importance of one component of this model—individual predation risk—in predicting partial migration in wild populations of bream Abramis brama, a freshwater fish. Smaller, high-risk individuals migrate with a higher probability than larger, low-risk individuals, and we suggest that predation risk maintains size-dependent partial migration in this system. PMID:20980300

  18. Predation and landscape characteristics independently affect reef fish community organization.

    PubMed

    Stier, Adrian C; Hanson, Katharine M; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Brooks, Andrew J

    2014-05-01

    Trophic island biogeography theory predicts that the effects of predators on prey diversity are context dependent in heterogeneous landscapes. Specifically, models predict that the positive effect of habitat area on prey diversity should decline in the presence of predators, and that predators should modify the partitioning of alpha and beta diversity across patchy landscapes. However, experimental tests of the predicted context dependency in top-down control remain limited. Using a factorial field experiment we quantify the effects of a focal predatory fish species (grouper) and habitat characteristics (patch size, fragmentation) on the partitioning of diversity and assembly of coral reef fish communities. We found independent effects of groupers and patch characteristics on prey communities. Groupers reduced prey abundance by 50% and gamma diversity by 45%, with a disproportionate removal of rare species relative to common species (64% and 36% reduction, respectively; an oddity effect). Further, there was a 77% reduction in beta diversity. Null model analysis demonstrated that groupers increased the importance of stochastic community assembly relative to patches without groupers. With regard to patch size, larger patches contained more fishes, but a doubling of patch size led to a modest (36%) increase in prey abundance. Patch size had no effect on prey diversity; however, fragmented patches had 50% higher species richness and modified species composition relative to unfragmented patches. Our findings suggest two different pathways (i.e., habitat or predator shifts) by which natural and/or anthropogenic processes can drive variation in fish biodiversity and community assembly. PMID:25000761

  19. Predator-Prey Relationships on Apiaceae at an Organic Farm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Orius insidiosus and O. pumilio were confirmed to be sympatric in north central Florida as the major predators of the Florida flower thrips, Frankliniella bispinosa, on flowers of Queen Anne’s lace, Daucus carota and false Queen Anne’s lace, Ammi majus. F. bispinosa was the predominant thrips observ...

  20. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids

    PubMed Central

    Gorzelak, Przemysław; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2012-01-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia. PMID:22509040

  1. Parasite and predator risk assessment: nuanced use of olfactory cues.

    PubMed

    Sharp, John G; Garnick, Sarah; Elgar, Mark A; Coulson, Graeme

    2015-10-22

    Foraging herbivores face twin threats of predation and parasite infection, but the risk of predation has received much more attention. We evaluated, experimentally, the role of olfactory cues in predator and parasite risk assessment on the foraging behaviour of a population of marked, free-ranging, red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). The wallabies adjusted their behaviour according to these olfactory cues. They foraged less, were more vigilant and spent less time at feeders placed in the vicinity of faeces from dogs that had consumed wallaby or kangaroo meat compared with that of dogs feeding on sheep, rabbit or possum meat. Wallabies also showed a species-specific faecal aversion by consuming less food from feeders contaminated with wallaby faeces compared with sympatric kangaroo faeces, whose gastrointestinal parasite fauna differs from that of the wallabies. Combining both parasite and predation cues in a single field experiment revealed that these risks had an additive effect, rather than the wallabies compromising their response to one risk at the expense of the other. PMID:26468246

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. How Predation and Landscape Fragmentation Affect Vole Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Dalkvist, Trine; Sibly, Richard M.; Topping, Chris J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Microtine species in Fennoscandia display a distinct north-south gradient from regular cycles to stable populations. The gradient has often been attributed to changes in the interactions between microtines and their predators. Although the spatial structure of the environment is known to influence predator-prey dynamics of a wide range of species, it has scarcely been considered in relation to the Fennoscandian gradient. Furthermore, the length of microtine breeding season also displays a north-south gradient. However, little consideration has been given to its role in shaping or generating population cycles. Because these factors covary along the gradient it is difficult to distinguish their effects experimentally in the field. The distinction is here attempted using realistic agent-based modelling. Methodology/Principal Findings By using a spatially explicit computer simulation model based on behavioural and ecological data from the field vole (Microtus agrestis), we generated a number of repeated time series of vole densities whose mean population size and amplitude were measured. Subsequently, these time series were subjected to statistical autoregressive modelling, to investigate the effects on vole population dynamics of making predators more specialised, of altering the breeding season, and increasing the level of habitat fragmentation. We found that fragmentation as well as the presence of specialist predators are necessary for the occurrence of population cycles. Habitat fragmentation and predator assembly jointly determined cycle length and amplitude. Length of vole breeding season had little impact on the oscillations. Significance There is good agreement between our results and the experimental work from Fennoscandia, but our results allow distinction of causation that is hard to unravel in field experiments. We hope our results will help understand the reasons for cycle gradients observed in other areas. Our results clearly demonstrate the

  4. Learning rate and temperament in a high predation risk environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DePasquale, C.; Wagner, Tyler; Archard, G.A.; Ferguson, B.; Braithwaite, V.A.

    2014-01-01

    Living in challenging environments can influence the behavior of animals in a number of ways. For instance, populations of prey fish that experience frequent, nonlethal interactions with predators have a high proportion of individuals that express greater reaction to risk and increased activity and exploration—collectively known as temperament traits. Temperament traits are often correlated, such that individuals that are risk-prone also tend to be active and explore more. Spatial learning, which requires the integration of many sensory cues, has also been shown to vary in fish exposed to different levels of predation threat. Fish from areas of low predation risk learn to solve spatial tasks faster than fish from high predation areas. However, it is not yet known whether simpler forms of learning, such as learning associations between two events, are similarly influenced. Simple forms of associative learning are likely to be affected by temperament because a willingness to approach and explore novel situations could provide animals with a learning advantage. However, it is possible that routine-forming and inflexible traits associated with risk-prone and increased exploratory behavior may act in the opposite way and make risk-prone individuals poorer at learning associations. To investigate this, we measured temperament in Panamanian bishop fish (Brachyrhaphis episcopi) sampled from a site known to contain many predators. The B. episcopi were then tested with an associative learning task. Within this population, fish that explored more were faster at learning a cue that predicted access to food, indicating a link between temperament and basic learning abilities.

  5. Restricting Prey Dispersal Can Overestimate the Importance of Predation in Trophic Cascades

    PubMed Central

    Geraldi, Nathan R.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2013-01-01

    Predators can affect prey populations and, via trophic cascades, predators can indirectly impact resource populations (2 trophic levels below the predator) through consumption of prey (density-mediated indirect effects; DMIEs) and by inducing predator-avoidance behavior in prey (trait-mediated indirect effects; TMIEs). Prey often employ multiple predator-avoidance behaviors, such as dispersal or reduced foraging activity, but estimates of TMIEs are usually on individual behaviors. We assessed direct and indirect predator effects in a mesocosm experiment using a marine food chain consisting of a predator (toadfish – Opsanus tau), prey (mud crab - Panopeus herbstii) and resource (ribbed mussel – Geukensia demissa). We measured dispersal and foraging activity of prey separately by manipulating both the presence and absence of the predator, and whether prey could or could not disperse into a predator-free area. Consumption of prey was 9 times greater when prey could not disperse, probably because mesocosm boundaries increased predator capture success. Although predator presence did not significantly affect the number of crabs that emigrated, the presence of a predator decreased resource consumption by prey, which resulted in fewer resources consumed for each prey that emigrated in the presence of a predator, and reduced the overall TMIE. When prey were unable to disperse, TMIEs on mussel survival were 3 times higher than the DMIEs. When prey were allowed to disperse, the TMIEs on resource survival increased to 11-times the DMIEs. We found that restricting the ability of prey to disperse, or focusing on only one predator-avoidance behavior, may be underestimating TMIEs. Our results indicate that the relative contribution of behavior and consumption in food chain dynamics will depend on which predator-avoidance behaviors are allowed to occur and measured. PMID:23408957

  6. DEVELOPMENT OF MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES TO PEAR PSYLLA (HEMIPTERA: PSYLLIDAE) AND EVALUATION OF FIELD PREDATION BY TWO KEY PREDATORS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The pear psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola, and related psyllids are important pests of pear worldwide. To improve our understanding of the impact made by the various predators of pear psylla we developed antibodies against this pest to be used in detecting prey remains in the predator’s guts. Antibodie...

  7. 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

  8. Sight of a Predator Induces a Corticosterone Stress Response and Generates Fear in an Amphibian

    PubMed Central

    Narayan, Edward J.; Cockrem, John F.; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, like other animals, generate corticosterone or cortisol glucocorticoid responses to stimuli perceived to be threatening. It is generally assumed that the corticosterone response of animals to capture and handling reflects the corticosterone response to stimuli such as the sight of a predator that are thought to be natural stressors. Fijian ground frogs (Platymantisvitiana) are preyed upon by the introduced cane toads (Rhinellamarina), and we used ground frogs to test the hypothesis that the sight of a predator will induce a corticosterone stress response in an amphibian. Urinary corticosterone metabolite concentrations increased in male ground frogs exposed to the sight of a toad for 1, 3 or 6 h, whereas corticosterone did not change in frogs exposed to another male ground frog, a ball, or when no stimulus was present in the test compartment. The frogs exposed to a toad initially moved towards the stimulus then moved away, whereas frogs exposed to another frog moved towards the test frog and remained closer to the frog than at the start of the test. Tonic immobility (TI) was measured as an index of fearfulness immediately after the test exposure of the frogs to a stimulus. The duration of TI was longer in frogs exposed to a toad than to another frog or to a ball. The results provide novel evidence that the sight of a predator can induce a corticosterone response and lead to increased fearfulness in amphibians. In addition, they show that endemic frogs can recognise an introduced predator as a threat. PMID:24009756

  9. Sustainability of hatchery-dependent salmonine fisheries in Lake Ontario: The conflict between predator demand and predator supply

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, Michael L.; Koonce, Joseph F.; O'Gorman, Robert

    1993-01-01

    The offshore fish community of Lake Ontario is presently dominated by intensively managed, nonnative species: Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus and rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax at the planktivore level and stocked salmonines at the piscivore level. Salmonine stocking rates per unit area of Lake Ontario are the highest in the Great Lakes, and fishery managers are concerned about the sustainability of the fishery under present stocking policies, particularly with the recent collapse of the Lake Michigan fishery for chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. In this paper, we describe and present the results of a simulation model that integrates predator demand estimates derived from bioenergetics, prey and predator population dynamics, and a predation model based on the multiple-species functional response, Model reconstructions of historical alewife biomass trends and salmonine diets corresponded reasonably well with existing data for the period 1978–1992. The simulations suggest that current predator demand does not exceed the threshold beyond which alewife biomass cannot be sustained, but they indicate that the sustainability of the prey fish community is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in overwinter survival of alewife; an additional mortality of 25% in a single winter would be sufficient to cause the collapse of the alewife population. The model includes a number of assumptions and simplifications with a limited empirical basis; better estimates of salmonine survival rates, an evaluation of the importance of spatial and temporal interactions among predators and prey, and incorporation of the effects of recently observed declines in system productivity at lower trophic levels would significantly increase confidence in the model's projections.

  10. Odour cues influence predation risk at artificial bat roosts in urban bushland.

    PubMed

    Threlfall, Caragh; Law, Bradley; Banks, Peter B

    2013-06-23

    Odours that accumulate from roosting can attract predators and increase predation risk. Consequently, selection should favour strategies that allow prey to evade detection by predators, including changing roosts. Insectivorous bats that roost in tree hollows regularly switch roosts and roost in different sized groups, strategies that would alter the accumulation of roost odours and are hypothesized to reduce predation risk. We experimentally manipulated the amount and refresh rate of roosting odour cues at 90 artificial bat roosts in Sydney, Australia, to test the hypothesis that odours increase predator visitation. Predators visited roosts with bat faeces significantly more often than untreated control roosts. Roosts with small amounts of faeces mimicking sites used by solitary bats had the greatest rate of visitation. This suggests that bats roosting alone, rather than in groups, have a greater likelihood of disturbance or predation. Roost switching probably decreases the predictability of finding occupied roosts; however, we show that all roosts (those currently or recently occupied) were visited by predators, suggesting generalist urban predators readily investigate potential roosts. This is the first demonstration that bat odours are attractive to predators that use olfactory cues, showing that bats are at risk of predation in visually cryptic roosts. PMID:23637390

  11. Stress hormones mediate predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in amphibian tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Middlemis Maher, Jessica; Werner, Earl E; Denver, Robert J

    2013-05-01

    Amphibian tadpoles display extensive anti-predator phenotypic plasticity, reducing locomotory activity and, with chronic predator exposure, developing relatively smaller trunks and larger tails. In many vertebrates, predator exposure alters activity of the neuroendocrine stress axis. We investigated predator-induced effects on stress hormone production and the mechanistic link to anti-predator defences in Rana sylvatica tadpoles. Whole-body corticosterone (CORT) content was positively correlated with predator biomass in natural ponds. Exposure to caged predators in mesocosms caused a reduction in CORT by 4 hours, but increased CORT after 4 days. Tadpoles chronically exposed to exogenous CORT developed larger tails relative to their trunks, matching morphological changes induced by predator chemical cue; this predator effect was blocked by the corticosteroid biosynthesis inhibitor metyrapone. Tadpole tail explants treated in vitro with CORT increased tissue weight, suggesting that CORT acts directly on the tail. Short-term treatment of tadpoles with CORT increased predation mortality, likely due to increased locomotory activity. However, long-term CORT treatment enhanced survivorship, likely due to induced morphology. Our findings support the hypothesis that tadpole physiological and behavioural/morphological responses to predation are causally interrelated. Tadpoles initially suppress CORT and behaviour to avoid capture, but increase CORT with longer exposure, inducing adaptive phenotypic changes. PMID:23466985

  12. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, B.L.; Kus, B.E.; Deutschman, D.H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  13. Predation risk increases immune response in a larval dragonfly (Leucorrhinia intacta).

    PubMed

    Duong, Tammy M; McCauley, Shannon J

    2016-06-01

    Predators often negatively affect prey performance through indirect, non-consumptive effects. We investigated the potential relationship between predator-induced stress and prey immune response. To test this, we administered a synthetic immune challenge into dragonfly larvae (Leucorrhinia intacta) and assessed a key immune response (level of encapsulation) in the presence and absence of a caged predator (Anax junius) at two temperatures (22 degrees C and 26 degrees C). We hypothesized that immune response would be lowered when predators were present due to lowered allocation of resources to immune function and leading to reduced encapsulation of the synthetic immune challenge. Contrary to our expectations, larvae exposed to caged predators had encapsulated monofilaments significantly more than larvae not exposed to caged predators. Levels of encapsulation did not differ across temperatures, nor interact with predator exposure. Our results suggest that the previously observed increase in mortality of L. intacta exposed to caged predators is not driven by immune suppression. In situations of increased predation risk, the exposure to predator cues may induce higher levels of melanin production, which could lead to physiological damage and high energetic costs. However, the costs and risks of increased allocations to immune responses and interactions with predation stress remain unknown. PMID:27459789

  14. The effects of different predator species on antipredator behavior in the Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botham, M. S.; Kerfoot, C. J.; Louca, V.; Krause, J.

    2006-09-01

    Different types of predators often elicit different antipredator responses in a common type of prey. Alternatively, some prey species may adopt a general response, which provides limited protection from many different types of predator. The Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, is faced with a wide range of different predators throughout its range and is known to display varying levels of antipredator behavior depending on the predator assemblage. Pike cichlids, Crenicichla frenata, are regarded as the primary aquatic guppy predator in streams in the northern mountain range in Trinidad. As such, they are seen to be responsible for many of the differences in morphology, life history traits, and behavior between guppy populations from areas with few predators and those from areas with many pike cichlids. In this study we investigated how guppies responded when faced with different predator species using three common aquatic predators. We exposed shoals of ten guppies to one out of four treatments: no predator (control), pike cichlid, acara cichlid ( Aequidens pulcher), and wolf fish ( Hoplias malabaricus); and we made behavioral observations on both focal individuals and the shoal as a whole. Guppies showed significantly greater levels of predator inspection and shoaling behavior, foraged less, spent more time in the surface water, and stayed in significantly larger shoals when faced with pike cichlids than in other treatments. We discuss these results in the context of multiple predator effects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  16. Do mammalian nest predators follow human scent trails in the shortgrass prairie?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, S.K.; Stanley, T.R.; Dillon, M.B.

    1999-01-01

    Nest predation, the major cause of nest failure in passerines, has exerted a strong influence on the evolution of life history traits of birds. Because human disturbance during nest monitoring may alter predation rates, we investigated whether human scent affected the survival of artificial ground nests in shortgrass prairie. Our experiment consisted of two treatments, one in which there was no attempt to mask human scent along travel routes between artificial nests, and one in which we masked human scent with cow manure, a scent familiar to mammalian predators in the study area. We found no evidence that human scent influenced predation rates, nor that mammalian predators followed human trails between nests. We conclude that scent trails made by investigators do not result in lower nesting success of passerines of the shortgrass prairie where vegetation trampling is minimal, mammalian predators predominate, and avian predators are rare.

  17. Multicellular group formation in response to predators in the alga Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Fisher, R M; Bell, T; West, S A

    2016-03-01

    A key step in the evolution of multicellular organisms is the formation of cooperative multicellular groups. It has been suggested that predation pressure may promote multicellular group formation in some algae and bacteria, with cells forming groups to lower their chance of being eaten. We use the green alga Chlorella vulgaris and the protist Tetrahymena thermophila to test whether predation pressure can initiate the formation of colonies. We found that: (1) either predators or just predator exoproducts promote colony formation; (2) higher predator densities cause more colonies to form; and (3) colony formation in this system is facultative, with populations returning to being unicellular when the predation pressure is removed. These results provide empirical support for the hypothesis that predation pressure promotes multicellular group formation. The speed of the reversion of populations to unicellularity suggests that this response is due to phenotypic plasticity and not evolutionary change. PMID:26663204

  18. Mass enhances speed but diminishes turn capacity in terrestrial pursuit predators.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Rory P; Griffiths, Iwan W; Mills, Michael G L; Carbone, Chris; Wilson, John W; Scantlebury, David M

    2015-01-01

    The dynamics of predator-prey pursuit appears complex, making the development of a framework explaining predator and prey strategies problematic. We develop a model for terrestrial, cursorial predators to examine how animal mass modulates predator and prey trajectories and affects best strategies for both parties. We incorporated the maximum speed-mass relationship with an explanation of why larger animals should have greater turn radii; the forces needed to turn scale linearly with mass whereas the maximum forces an animal can exert scale to a 2/3 power law. This clarifies why in a meta-analysis, we found a preponderance of predator/prey mass ratios that minimized the turn radii of predators compared to their prey. It also explained why acceleration data from wild cheetahs pursuing different prey showed different cornering behaviour with prey type. The outcome of predator prey pursuits thus depends critically on mass effects and the ability of animals to time turns precisely. PMID:26252515

  19. Parent birds assess nest predation risk and adjust their reproductive strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    Avian life history theory has long assumed that nest predation plays a minor role in shaping reproductive strategies. Yet, this assumption remains conspicuously untested by broad experiments that alter environmental risk of nest predation, despite the fact that nest predation is a major source of reproductive failure. Here, we examined whether parents can assess experimentally reduced nest predation risk and alter their reproductive strategies. We experimentally reduced nest predation risk and show that in safer environments parents increased investment in young through increased egg size, clutch mass, and the rate they fed nestlings. Parents also increased investment in female condition by increasing the rates that males fed incubating females at the nest, and decreasing the time that females spent incubating. These results demonstrate that birds can assess nest predation risk at large and that nest predation plays a key role in the expression of avian reproductive strategies. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Lipid catabolism of invertebrate predator indicates widespread wetland ecosystem degradation.

    PubMed

    Anteau, Michael J; Afton, Alan D

    2011-01-01

    Animals frequently undergo periods when they accumulate lipid reserves for subsequent energetically expensive activities, such as migration or breeding. During such periods, daily lipid-reserve dynamics (DLD) of sentinel species can quantify how landscape modifications affect function, health, and resilience of ecosystems. Aythya affinis (Eyton 1838; lesser scaup; diving duck) are macroinvertebrate predators; they migrate through an agriculturally dominated landscape in spring where they select wetlands with the greatest food density to refuel and accumulate lipid reserves for subsequent reproduction. We index DLD by measuring plasma-lipid metabolites of female scaup (n = 459) that were refueling at 75 spring migration stopover areas distributed across the upper Midwest, USA. We also indexed DLD for females (n = 44) refueling on a riverine site (Pool 19) south of our upper Midwest study area. We found that mean DLD estimates were significantly (P<0.05) less than zero in all ecophysiographic regions of the upper Midwest, and the greatest negative value was in the Iowa Prairie Pothole region (-31.6). Mean DLD was 16.8 at Pool 19 and was markedly greater than in any region of the upper Midwest. Our results indicate that females catabolized rather than stored lipid reserves throughout the upper Midwest. Moreover, levels of lipid catabolism are alarming, because scaup use the best quality wetlands available within a given stopover area. Accordingly, these results provide evidence of wetland ecosystem degradation across this large agricultural landscape and document affects that are carried-up through several trophic levels. Interestingly, storing of lipids by scaup at Pool 19 likely reflects similar ecosystem perturbations as observed in the upper Midwest because wetland drainage and agricultural runoff nutrifies the riverine habitat that scaup use at Pool 19. Finally, our results underscore how using this novel technique to monitor DLD, of a carefully selected sentinel

  1. Lipid catabolism of invertebrate predator indicates widespread wetland ecosystem degradation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anteau, Michael J.; Afton, Alan D.

    2011-01-01

    Animals frequently undergo periods when they accumulate lipid reserves for subsequent energetically expensive activities, such as migration or breeding. During such periods, daily lipid-reserve dynamics (DLD) of sentinel species can quantify how landscape modifications affect function, health, and resilience of ecosystems. Aythya affinis (Eyton 1838; lesser scaup; diving duck) are macroinvertebrate predators; they migrate through an agriculturally dominated landscape in spring where they select wetlands with the greatest food density to refuel and accumulate lipid reserves for subsequent reproduction. We index DLD by measuring plasma-lipid metabolites of female scaup (n = 459) that were refueling at 75 spring migration stopover areas distributed across the upper Midwest, USA. We also indexed DLD for females (n = 44) refueling on a riverine site (Pool 19) south of our upper Midwest study area. We found that mean DLD estimates were significantly (P<0.05) less than zero in all ecophysiographic regions of the upper Midwest, and the greatest negative value was in the Iowa Prairie Pothole region (-31.6). Mean DLD was 16.8 at Pool 19 and was markedly greater than in any region of the upper Midwest. Our results indicate that females catabolized rather than stored lipid reserves throughout the upper Midwest. Moreover, levels of lipid catabolism are alarming, because scaup use the best quality wetlands available within a given stopover area. Accordingly, these results provide evidence of wetland ecosystem degradation across this large agricultural landscape and document affects that are carried-up through several trophic levels. Interestingly, storing of lipids by scaup at Pool 19 likely reflects similar ecosystem perturbations as observed in the upper Midwest because wetland drainage and agricultural runoff nutrifies the riverine habitat that scaup use at Pool 19. Finally, our results underscore how using this novel technique to monitor DLD, of a carefully selected sentinel

  2. Lake Pend Oreille Predation Research, Annual Report 2002-2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Bassista, Thomas

    2004-02-01

    During August 2002 we conducted a hydroacoustic survey to enumerate pelagic fish >406 mm in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. The purpose of this survey was to determine a collective lakewide biomass estimate of pelagic bull trout Salvelinus confluentus, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, and lake trout S. namaycush and compare it to pelagic prey (kokanee salmon O. nerka) biomass. By developing hydroacoustic techniques to determine the pelagic predator to prey ratio, we can annually monitor their balance. Hydroacoustic surveys were also performed during December 2002 and February 2003 to investigate the effectiveness of autumn and winter surveys for pelagic predators. The inherent problem associated with hydroacoustic sampling is the inability to directly identify fish species. Therefore, we utilized sonic tracking techniques to describe rainbow trout and lake trout habitat use during our winter hydroacoustic survey to help identify fish targets from the hydroacoustic echograms. During August 2002 we estimated there were 39,044 pelagic fish >406 mm in Lake Pend Oreille (1.84 f/ha). Based on temperature and depth utilization, two distinct groups of pelagic fish >406 mm were located during August; one group was located between 10 and 35 m and the other between 40 and 70 m. The biomass for pelagic fish >406 mm during August 2002 was 73 t (metric ton). This would account for a ratio of 1 kg of pelagic predator for every 2.63 kg of kokanee prey, assuming all pelagic fish >406 mm are predators. During our late fall and winter hydroacoustic surveys, pelagic fish >406 mm were observed at lake depths between 20 and 90 m. During late fall and winter, we tracked three rainbow trout (168 habitat observations) and found that they mostly occupied pelagic areas and predominantly stayed within the top 10 m of the water column. During late fall (one lake trout) and winter (four lake trout), we found that lake trout (184 habitat observations) utilized benthic-nearshore areas 65% of the time

  3. Spatial heterogeneity in the relative impacts of foliar quality and predation pressure on red oak, Quercus rubra, arthropod communities.

    PubMed

    Zehnder, Caralyn B; Stodola, Kirk W; Cooper, Robert J; Hunter, Mark D

    2010-12-01

    Predation pressure and resource availability often interact in structuring herbivore communities, with their relative influence varying in space and time. The operation of multiple ecological pressures and guild-specific herbivore responses may combine to override simple predictions of how the roles of plant quality and predation pressure vary in space. For 2 years at the Coweeta LTER in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, we conducted a bird exclosure experiment on red oak (Quercus rubra) saplings to investigate the effects of bird predation on red oak arthropod communities. We established bird exclosures at six sites along an elevational gradient and estimated variation in foliar nitrogen and bird predation pressure along this gradient. Foliar nitrogen concentrations increased with elevation while our index of bird predation pressure was variable across sites. Greater arthropod densities were detected inside exclosures; however, this result was mainly driven by the response of phloem feeders which were much more prevalent inside exclosures than on control trees. There was little evidence for an effect of bird predation on the other arthropod guilds. Consequently, there was no evidence of a trophic cascade either in terms of leaf damage or tree growth. Finally, we found more variation in arthropod density among trees within sites than variation in arthropod density among sites, indicating the importance of micro-site variation in structuring arthropod communities. PMID:20711610

  4. Landscape-moderated bird nest predation in hedges and forest edges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludwig, Martin; Schlinkert, Hella; Holzschuh, Andrea; Fischer, Christina; Scherber, Christoph; Trnka, Alfréd; Tscharntke, Teja; Batáry, Péter

    2012-11-01

    Landscape-scale agricultural intensification has caused severe declines in biodiversity. Hedges and forest remnants may mitigate biodiversity loss by enhancing landscape heterogeneity and providing habitat to a wide range of species, including birds. However, nest predation, the major cause of reproductive failure of birds, has been shown to be higher in forest edges than in forest interiors. Little is known about how spatial arrangement (configuration) of hedges affects the avian nest predation. We performed an experiment with artificial ground and elevated nests (resembling yellowhammer and whitethroat nests) baited with quail and plasticine eggs. Nests were placed in three habitat types with different degrees of isolation from forests: forest edges, hedges connected to forests and hedges isolated from forests. Nest predation was highest in forest edges, lowest in hedges connected to forests and intermediate in isolated hedges. In the early breeding season, we found similar nest predation on ground and elevated nests, but in the late breeding season nest predation was higher on ground nests than on elevated nests. Small mammals were the main predators of ground nests and appeared to be responsible for the increase in predation from early to late breeding season, whereas the elevated nests were mainly depredated by small birds and small mammals. High predation pressure at forest edges was probably caused by both forest and open-landscape predators. The influence of forest predators may be lower at hedges, leading to lower predation pressure than in forest edges. Higher predation pressure in isolated than connected hedges might be an effect of concentration of predators in these isolated habitats. We conclude that landscape configuration of hedges is important in nest predation, with connected hedges allowing higher survival than isolated hedges and forest edges.

  5. Interactions between Multiple Recruitment Drivers: Post-Settlement Predation Mortality and Flow-Mediated Recruitment

    PubMed Central

    Knights, Antony M.; Firth, Louise B.; Walters, Keith

    2012-01-01

    Background Dispersal is a primary driver in shaping the future distribution of species in both terrestrial and marine systems. Physical transport by advection can regulate the distance travelled and rate of propagule supply to a habitat but post-settlement processes such as predation can decouple supply from recruitment. The effect of flow-mediated recruitment and predation on the recruitment success of an intertidal species, the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica was evaluated in two-replicated field experiments. Two key crab species were manipulated to test predator identity effects on oyster mortality. Findings Recruitment was ∼58% higher in high flow compared to low flow, but predation masked those differences. Predation mortality was primarily attributed to the blue crab Callinectes sapidus, whilst the mud crab Panopeus herbstii had no effect on recruit mortality. Recruit mortality from predation was high when recruit densities were high, but when recruit density was low, predation effects were not seen. Under high recruitment (supply), predation determined maximum population size and in low flow environments, recruitment success is likely determined by a combination of recruitment and resource limitation but not predation. Conclusions Four processes are demonstrated: (1) Increases in flow rate positively affect recruitment success; (2) In high flow (recruitment) environments, resource availability is less important than predation; (3) predation is an important source of recruit mortality, but is dependent upon recruit density; and (4) recruitment and/or resource limitation is likely a major driver of population structure and functioning, modifying the interaction between predators and prey. Simultaneous testing of flow-mediated recruitment and predation was required to differentiate between the role of each process in determining population size. Our results reinforce the importance of propagule pressure, predation and post-settlement mortality as

  6. Effects of behavioral and morphological plasticity on risk of predation in a Neotropical tadpole

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McIntyre, P.B.; Baldwin, S.; Flecker, A.S.

    2004-01-01

    Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity is widespread among aquatic animals, however the relative contributions of behavioral and morphological shifts to reducing risk of predation remain uncertain. We tested the phenotypic plasticity of a Neotropical tadpole (Rana palmipes) in response to chemical cues from predatory Belostoma water bugs, and how phenotype affects risk of predation. Behavior, morphology, and pigmentation all were plastic, resulting in a predator-induced phenotype with lower activity, deeper tail fin and muscle, and darker pigmentation. Tadpoles in the predator cue treatment also grew more rapidly, possibly as a result of the nutrient subsidy from feeding the caged predator. For comparison to phenotypes induced in the experiment, we quantified the phenotype of tadpoles from a natural pool. Wildcaught tadpoles did not match either experimentally induced phenotype; their morphology was more similar to that produced in the control treatment, but their low swimming activity was similar to that induced by predator cues. Exposure of tadpoles from both experimental treatments and the natural pool to a free-ranging predator confirmed that predator-induced phenotypic plasticity reduces risk of predation. Risk of predation was comparable among wild-caught and predator-induced tadpoles, indicating that behavioral shifts can substantially alleviate risk in tadpoles that lack the typical suite of predator-induced morphological traits. The morphology observed in wild-caught tadpoles is associated with rapid growth and high competition in other tadpole species, suggesting that tadpoles may profitably combine a morphology suited to competition for food with behaviors that minimize risk of predation. ?? Springer-Verlag 2004.

  7. Tests of landscape influence: Nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tewksbury, J.J.; Garner, L.; Garner, S.; Lloyd, J.D.; Saab, V.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked nesting success and brood parasitism in >2500 bird nests in 38 patches of deciduous riparian woodland. Patches on both river systems were embedded in one of two local contexts (buffered from agriculture by coniferous forest, or adjacent to agriculture), but the abundance of agriculture and human habitation within 1 km of each patch was highly variable. We examined evidence for three models of landscape effects on nest predation based on (1) the relative importance of generalist agricultural nest predators, (2) predators associated with the natural habitats typically removed by agricultural development, or (3) an additive combination of these two predator communities. We found strong support for an additive predation model in which landscape features affect nest predation differently at different spatial scales. Riparian habitat with forest buffers had higher nest predation rates than sites adjacent to agriculture, but nest predation also increased with increasing agriculture in the larger landscape surrounding each site. These results suggest that predators living in remnant woodland buffers, as well as generalist nest predators associated with agriculture, affect nest predation rates, but they appear to respond at different spatial scales. Brood parasitism, in contrast, was unrelated to agricultural abundance on the landscape, but showed a strong nonlinear relationship with farm and house density, indicating a critical point at which increased human habitat causes increased brood parasitism. Accurate predictions regarding landscape effects on nest predation and brood parasitism will require an

  8. Predator-induced changes of female mating preferences: innate and experiential effects

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In many species males face a higher predation risk than females because males display elaborate traits that evolved under sexual selection, which may attract not only females but also predators. Females are, therefore, predicted to avoid such conspicuous males under predation risk. The present study was designed to investigate predator-induced changes of female mating preferences in Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana). Males of this species show a pronounced polymorphism in body size and coloration, and females prefer large, colorful males in the absence of predators. Results In dichotomous choice tests predator-naïve (lab-reared) females altered their initial preference for larger males in the presence of the cichlid Cichlasoma salvini, a natural predator of P. mexicana, and preferred small males instead. This effect was considerably weaker when females were confronted visually with the non-piscivorous cichlid Vieja bifasciata or the introduced non-piscivorous Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). In contrast, predator experienced (wild-caught) females did not respond to the same extent to the presence of a predator, most likely due to a learned ability to evaluate their predators' motivation to prey. Conclusions Our study highlights that (a) predatory fish can have a profound influence on the expression of mating preferences of their prey (thus potentially affecting the strength of sexual selection), and females may alter their mate choice behavior strategically to reduce their own exposure to predators. (b) Prey species can evolve visual predator recognition mechanisms and alter their mate choice only when a natural predator is present. (c) Finally, experiential effects can play an important role, and prey species may learn to evaluate the motivational state of their predators. PMID:21726456

  9. Preliminary Estimates of Loss of Juvenile Anadromous Salmonids to Predators in John Day Reservoir and Development of a Predation Model : Interim Report, 1986.

    SciTech Connect

    Rieman, Bruce E.

    1986-03-01

    We made preliminary estimates of the loss of juvenile salmonids to predation by walleye, Stizostedion v. vitreum, and northern squawfish, Ptychocheilus oregonensis, in John Day Reservoir in 1984 and 1985 using estimates of predator abundance and daily prey consumption rates. Preliminary estimates may be biased and may be adjusted as much as 30%, but indications are that predation could account for the majority of unexplained loss of juvenile salmonids in John Day Reservoir. Total loss was estimated at 4.1 million in 1984 and 3.3 million in 1985. Northern squawfish consumed 76% and 92% of these totals, respectively. The majority of loss occurred in mid reservoir areas, but loss in a small area, the boat-restricted zone immediately below McNary Dam, was disproportionately large. Peaks in loss in May and July corresponded with peaks in availability of salmonids. Estimated mortality from predation for April through June in 1984 and 1985 was 9% and 7% respectively, for chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, and 10% and 15% for steelhead, Salmogairdneri. Mortality was variable with time but tended to increase over the period of migration. Mortality of chinook was estimated at 26% to 55% during July and August. A model of predation in John Day Reservoir is outlined. The model includes a predation submodel that can calculate loss from predator number and consumption rate; a population submodel that can relate predator abundance and population structure to recruitment, exploitation, natural mortality and growth; and a distribution submodel that can apportion predators among areas of the reservoir over time. Applications of the model are discussed for projecting expected changes in predation over time and identifying management alternatives that might limit the impact of predation.

  10. Complex dynamics in a prey predator system with multiple delays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gakkhar, Sunita; Singh, Anuraj

    2012-02-01

    The complex dynamics is explored in a prey predator system with multiple delays. Holling type-II functional response is assumed for prey dynamics. The predator dynamics is governed by modified Leslie-Gower scheme. The existence of periodic solutions via Hopf-bifurcation with respect to both delays are established. An algorithm is developed for drawing two-parametric bifurcation diagram with respect to two delays. The domain of stability with respect to τ1 and τ2 is thus obtained. The complex dynamical behavior of the system outside the domain of stability is evident from the exhaustive numerical simulation. Direction and stability of periodic solutions are also determined using normal form theory and center manifold argument.

  11. Parrotfish predation on massive Porites on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaldo, R. M.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2011-03-01

    Parrotfish grazing scars on coral colonies were quantified across four reef zones at Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The abundance of parrotfish grazing scars was highest on reef flat and crest, with massive Porites spp . colonies having more parrotfish grazing scars than all other coral species combined. Massive Porites was the only coral type positively selected for grazing by parrotfishes in all four reef zones. The density of parrotfish grazing scars on massive Porites spp., and the rate of new scar formation, was highest on the reef crest and flat, reflecting the lower massive Porites cover and higher parrotfish abundance in these habitats. Overall, it appears that parrotfish predation pressure on corals could affect the abundance of preferred coral species, especially massive Porites spp , across the reef gradient. Parrotfish predation on corals may have a more important role on the GBR reefs than previously thought.

  12. Direct evidence of hybodont shark predation on Late Jurassic ammonites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain

    2011-06-01

    Sharks are known to have been ammonoid predators, as indicated by analysis of bite marks or coprolite contents. However, body fossil associations attesting to this predator-prey relationship have never been described so far. Here, I report a unique finding from the Late Jurassic of western France: a complete specimen of the Kimmeridgian ammonite Orthaspidoceras bearing one tooth of the hybodont shark Planohybodus. Some possible tooth puncture marks are also observed. This is the first direct evidence of such a trophic link between these two major Mesozoic groups, allowing an accurate identification of both organisms. Although Planohybodus displays a tearing-type dentition generally assumed to have been especially adapted for large unshelled prey, our discovery clearly shows that this shark was also able to attack robust ammonites such as aspidoceratids. The direct evidence presented here provides new insights into the Mesozoic marine ecosystem food webs.

  13. Female in-nest chatter song increases predation.

    PubMed

    Kleindorfer, Sonia; Evans, Christine; Mahr, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    Female song is an ancestral trait in songbirds, yet extant females generally sing less than males. Here, we examine sex differences in the predation cost of singing behaviour. The superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) is a Southern Hemisphere songbird; males and females provision the brood and produce solo song year-round. Both sexes had higher song rate during the fertile period and lower song rate during incubation and chick feeding. Females were more likely than males to sing close to or inside the nest. For this reason, female but not male song rate predicted egg and nestling predation. This study identifies a high fitness cost of song when a parent bird attends offspring inside a nest and explains gender differences in singing when there are gender differences in parental care. PMID:26763214

  14. Identification of pyridine analogs as new predator-derived kairomones

    PubMed Central

    Brechbühl, Julien; Moine, Fabian; Tosato, Monique Nenniger; Sporkert, Frank; Broillet, Marie-Christine

    2015-01-01

    In the wild, animals have developed survival strategies relying on their senses. The individual ability to identify threatening situations is crucial and leads to increase in the overall fitness of the species. Rodents, for example have developed in their nasal cavities specialized olfactory neurons implicated in the detection of volatile cues encoding for impending danger such as predator scents or alarm pheromones. In particular, the neurons of the Grueneberg ganglion (GG), an olfactory subsystem, are implicated in the detection of danger cues sharing a similar chemical signature, a heterocyclic sulfur- or nitrogen-containing motif. Here we used a “from the wild to the lab” approach to identify new molecules that are involuntarily emitted by predators and that initiate fear-related responses in the recipient animal, the putative prey. We collected urines from carnivores as sources of predator scents and first verified their impact on the blood pressure of the mice. With this approach, the urine of the mountain lion emerged as the most potent source of chemical stress. We then identified in this biological fluid, new volatile cues with characteristic GG-related fingerprints, in particular the methylated pyridine structures, 2,4-lutidine and its analogs. We finally verified their encoded danger quality and demonstrated their ability to mimic the effects of the predator urine on GG neurons, on mice blood pressure and in behavioral experiments. In summary, we were able to identify here, with the use of an integrative approach, new relevant molecules, the pyridine analogs, implicated in interspecies danger communication. PMID:26283896

  15. Golden Eagle predation on experimental Sandhill and Whooping Cranes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.; Clegg, K.R.; Lewis, J.C.; Spaulding, E.

    1999-01-01

    There are very few published records of Golden Eagles preying upon cranes, especially in North America. During our experiments to lead cranes on migration behind motorized craft in the western United States, we experienced 15 attacks (four fatal) and believe many more attacks would have occurred (and more would have been fatal) without human intervention. We recognize eagle predation as an important risk to cranes especially during migration.

  16. Factor determining prochard nest predation along a wetland gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albrecht, T.; Horak, D.; Kreisinger, J.; Weidinger, K.; Klvana, P.; Michot, T.C.

    2006-01-01

    Waterfowl management on breeding grounds focuses on improving nest success, but few studies have compared waterfowl nest success and factors affecting nest survival along a wetland gradient and simultaneously identified nest predators. We monitored nests (n = 195) of common pochards (Aythya ferina) in Trebon Basin Biosphere Reserve, Czech Republic, during 1999-2002. Daily nest survival rates (DSRs, logistic-exposure) declined from island (0.985, 95% confidence interval, 0.978-0.991) to overwater (0.962, 0.950-0.971) and terrestrial (0.844, 0.759-0.904) nests. The most parsimonious model for DSRs included habitat class (DSRs: island > overwater > terrestrial) and nest visibility. Nest survival was improved by reduced nest visibility, increased water depth, and increased distance from the nest to habitat edge in littoral habitats. On islands, nest success increased with advancing date and increased distance to open water. A model of constant nest survival best explained the data for terrestrial nests. There were no observer effects on DSRs in any habitat. In 2003, artificial nests (n = 180; 120 contained a wax-filled egg) were deployed on study plots. The model that best explained variation in DSRs for artificial nests included only 1 variable: habitat class (DSRs: island ??? overwater > terrestrial). Mammalian predation of artificial nests (by foxes [Vulpes vulpes] and martens [Martes spp.]) was more likely in terrestrial habitats than in littoral habitats or on islands. By contrast, corvids and marsh harriers (Circus aeruginosus) prevailed among predators of overwater and island nests. Our data indicate that artificial islands and wide strips of littoral vegetation may represent secure breeding habitats for waterfowl because those habitats allow nests to be placed in areas that are not accessible to, or that are avoided by, mammalian predators. Management actions should be aimed at preserving these habitats. This, along with creation of new artificial islands

  17. Reduction of a larval herring population by jellyfish predator.

    PubMed

    Möller, H

    1984-05-11

    The scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita consumes large amounts of yolk-sac herring larvae in Kiel Fjord. The decline of the larval herring population in late spring coincides with a major population growth of the jellyfish. The size of the larval herring population seems to be more significantly affected by the size of the predator stock than by the size of the parental herring stock. PMID:17838355

  18. Upland duck nesting related to land use and predator reduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duebbert, H.F.; Kantrud, H.A.

    1974-01-01

    Duck nesting was studied during 1971 in north-central South Dakota under four conditions: in idle, five or six year old fields of domestic grass-legume mixtures in an area where predators including the red fox (Vulpes fulva), raccoon (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and badger (Taxidea taxus) were (1) reduced and (2) not reduced. Nesting was also studied in tracts of active agricultural land (primarily croplands and pastures) where predators were (3) reduced, and (4) not reduced. Under condition (1), 260 nests were found on 0.87 km2 (299 nests/km2), eggs hatched in 92 percent of the nests and production was 22.0 ducklings/hectare. Under condition (2), 187 nests were found on 2.22 km2 (84 nests/km2), nest success was 68 percent and 4.7 ducklings/hectare were produced. On active agricultural land subject to predator reduction (condition 3), 64 nests were found on 5.14 km2 (12 nests/km2). Eggs in 85 percent of the nests hatched and production was 0.7 duckling/hectare. On active agricultural land not subject to predator reduction (condition 4), 58 nests were found on 4.01 km2 (14 nests/km2), nest success was 51 percent and 0.5 duckling/hectare was produced. Idle, 16 to 65-hectare (40 to 160-acre) stands of cool-season, introduced grasses in combination with legumes produced maximum numbers of upland nesting ducks.

  19. Identification of pyridine analogs as new predator-derived kairomones.

    PubMed

    Brechbühl, Julien; Moine, Fabian; Tosato, Monique Nenniger; Sporkert, Frank; Broillet, Marie-Christine

    2015-01-01

    In the wild, animals have developed survival strategies relying on their senses. The individual ability to identify threatening situations is crucial and leads to increase in the overall fitness of the species. Rodents, for example have developed in their nasal cavities specialized olfactory neurons implicated in the detection of volatile cues encoding for impending danger such as predator scents or alarm pheromones. In particular, the neurons of the Grueneberg ganglion (GG), an olfactory subsystem, are implicated in the detection of danger cues sharing a similar chemical signature, a heterocyclic sulfur- or nitrogen-containing motif. Here we used a "from the wild to the lab" approach to identify new molecules that are involuntarily emitted by predators and that initiate fear-related responses in the recipient animal, the putative prey. We collected urines from carnivores as sources of predator scents and first verified their impact on the blood pressure of the mice. With this approach, the urine of the mountain lion emerged as the most potent source of chemical stress. We then identified in this biological fluid, new volatile cues with characteristic GG-related fingerprints, in particular the methylated pyridine structures, 2,4-lutidine and its analogs. We finally verified their encoded danger quality and demonstrated their ability to mimic the effects of the predator urine on GG neurons, on mice blood pressure and in behavioral experiments. In summary, we were able to identify here, with the use of an integrative approach, new relevant molecules, the pyridine analogs, implicated in interspecies danger communication. PMID:26283896

  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. 2. EXTERIOR OF RUSIN HALL, THE ONLY STRUCTURE TO PREDATED ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. EXTERIOR OF RUSIN HALL, THE ONLY STRUCTURE TO PRE-DATED THE WORLD WAR II EXPANSION THAT LED TO THE DEMOLITION OF THE FIRST WARD OF HOMESTEAD, AN AREA KNOWN AS BELOW THE TRACKS. THE BUILDING WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT AS A FRATERNAL HALL FOR RUTHENIAN IMMIGRANTS BY THE RUSSKY-NARODNY-DOM, INC. - U.S. Steel Homestead Works, Auxiliary Buildings & Shops, Along Monongahela River, Homestead, Allegheny County, PA

  2. Taphonomic aspects of crowned hawk-eagle predation on monkeys.

    PubMed

    Sanders, William J; Trapani, Josh; Mitani, John C

    2003-01-01

    This study provides a taphonomic analysis of prey accumulations of crowned hawk-eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus) from Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, collected over 37 months from below nests of two eagle pairs. Crowned hawk-eagles are powerful predators capable of killing animals much larger than themselves, and are significant predators of cercopithecoid monkeys in forest habitats throughout sub-Saharan Africa. At Ngogo, 81% of the individuals in the kill sample are monkeys. Redtail monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius) are particularly well represented in the sample, making up 66% of monkeys identified to species. Despite an impressive killing apparatus, crowned hawk-eagles are fastidious eaters that inflict far less damage to bone than mammalian predators. Examination of skeletal material from the Ngogo kill sample reveals that crania, hindlimb elements, and scapulae survive predation better than do other bones. Crania of adults are typically complete and accompanied by mandibles, while crania of young individuals are usually dissociated from mandibles and lack basicrania and faces. Long bones are often whole or show minimal damage. Thin bones, such as crania and innominates, are marked by numerous nicks, punctures, and "can-opener" perforations. Scapular blades are heavily raked and shattered. Along with the strong preference for cercopithecoids, these distinct patterns of bone survival and damage indicate the feasibility of recognizing specific taphonomic signatures of large raptors in fossil assemblages. Berger and Clarke (1995) hypothesized that crowned hawk-eagles or similar large raptors were principally responsible for the accumulation of the late Pliocene fossil fauna from Taung, South Africa, including the type infant skull of Australopithecus africanus. The results of our study suggest that the faunal composition and type of damage to the hominid skull and other bone from Taung are consistent with the predatory activities of large raptors. More

  3. Independent hypothalamic circuits for social and predator fear.

    PubMed

    Silva, Bianca A; Mattucci, Camilla; Krzywkowski, Piotr; Murana, Emanuele; Illarionova, Anna; Grinevich, Valery; Canteras, Newton S; Ragozzino, Davide; Gross, Cornelius T

    2013-12-01

    The neural circuits mediating fear to naturalistic threats are poorly understood. We found that functionally independent populations of neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), a region that has been implicated in feeding, sex and aggression, are essential for predator and social fear in mice. Our results establish a critical role for VMH in fear and have implications for selective intervention in pathological fear in humans. PMID:24212674

  4. 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

  5. Small zooplankton sensing their environment: feeding, mating, and predator avoidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nihongi, Ai

    2004-03-01

    Since zooplankton play a significant role at the base of the food web in aquatic environments, it is important to understand their feeding behaviors, mating behaviors, and predator avoidance. First, I will present the water flow regime of Daphnia. Using a high-speed video, I filmed how water with algae particles enters and leaves Daphnia, how the water flows within Daphnia and how the appendages of Daphnia work to produce the water flow. Second, I will discuss mate-searching behaviors of freshwater calanoid copepods and Daphnia. Male and female zooplankters have to encounter each other for successful mating in 3D environment. I have observed the behaviors of freshwater calanoid copepods from Lake Michigan. As a result, they showed different behaviors from other species studied. Likewise, I have observed differences in mate-searching behaviors of D. pulex and D. magna. Last, I will show the results of predator-prey interactions in D. pulex with kairomone, a chemical cue, from predatory fish using 3-D near infrared optical system. As experimental conditions, we used the following treatments: (a) no light/ no kairomone, (b) no light/ kairomone, (c) light/ no kairomone, and (d) light/ kairomone. While it appears that light and kairomone have an interactive effect on the swimming behaviors of Daphnia, light seems to be the most influential factor. The observed frequent spinning movements of D. pulex in a darkened tank with a predatory fish, fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), were successful predator avoidance maneuvers.

  6. Electric fences to reduce mammalian predation on waterfowl nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lokemoen, J.T.; Doty, H.A.; Sharp, D.E.; Neaville, J.E.

    1982-01-01

    We evaluated electric fences as predator barriers to reduce high losses of waterfowl nests to mammalian predation at Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). The work was done in 1978-81 on 3 paired sites in central North Dakota and western Minnesota. Resident mammalian predators were trapped from inside the exclosures. All 3 fences operated during the study period with few major maintenance problems. Nest success in the exclosures was 65% in North Dakota and 55% in Minnesota vs. 45 and 12% in the respective controls. Cover inside the electric fence produced 7.8 more young/ha than cover in control plots in North Dakota during the 3 years. Cover inside the 2 electric fences in Minnesota yielded 9.5 and 4.3 more young/ha than cover in control plots during the 3 years. Using construction costs only we estimated that each additional duckling produced in cover protected by electric fencing cost $0.65 in North Dakota and $0.87 in Minnesota.

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

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shoujie; Zeng, Ling; Xu, Yijuan

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Sport Hunting, Predator Control and Conservation of Large Carnivores

    PubMed Central

    Packer, Craig; Kosmala, Margaret; Cooley, Hilary S.; Brink, Henry; Pintea, Lilian; Garshelis, David; Purchase, Gianetta; Strauss, Megan; Swanson, Alexandra; Balme, Guy; Hunter, Luke; Nowell, Kristin

    2009-01-01

    Sport hunting has provided important economic incentives for conserving large predators since the early 1970's, but wildlife managers also face substantial pressure to reduce depredation. Sport hunting is an inherently risky strategy for controlling predators as carnivore populations are difficult to monitor and some species show a propensity for infanticide that is exacerbated by removing adult males. Simulation models predict population declines from even moderate levels of hunting in infanticidal species, and harvest data suggest that African countries and U.S. states with the highest intensity of sport hunting have shown the steepest population declines in African lions and cougars over the past 25 yrs. Similar effects in African leopards may have been masked by mesopredator release owing to declines in sympatric lion populations, whereas there is no evidence of overhunting in non-infanticidal populations of American black bears. Effective conservation of these animals will require new harvest strategies and improved monitoring to counter demands for predator control by livestock producers and local communities. PMID:19536277

  9. Predator evasion by white-tailed deer fawns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grovenburg, Troy W.; Monteith, Kevin L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Jenks, Jonathan A.

    2012-01-01

    Despite their importance for understanding predator–prey interactions, factors that affect predator evasion behaviours of offspring of large ungulates are poorly understood. Our objective was to characterize the influence of selection and availability of escape cover and maternal presence on predator evasion by white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, fawns in the northern Great Plains, U.S.A. We observed 45 coyote, Canis latrans, chases of fawns, and we participated in 83 human chases of fawns during 2007–2009, of which, 19 and 42 chases, respectively, ended with capture of the fawn. Evasive techniques used by fawns were similar for human and coyote chases. Likelihood of a white-tailed deer fawn escaping capture, however, was influenced by deer group size and a number of antipredator behaviours, including aggressive defence by females, initial habitat and selection of escape cover, all of which were modified by the presence of parturient females. At the initiation of a chase, fawns in grasslands were more likely to escape, whereas fawns in forested cover, cultivated land or wheat were more likely to be captured by a coyote or human. Fawns fleeing to wetlands and grasslands also were less likely to be captured compared with those choosing forested cover, wheat and cultivated land. Increased probability of capture was associated with greater distance to wetland and grassland habitats and decreased distance to wheat. Use of wetland habitat as a successful antipredator strategy highlights the need for a greater understanding of the importance of habitat complexity in predator avoidance.

  10. Microgeographic evolution of snail shell shape and predator behavior.

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, Menno; van Til, Angelique; Salverda, Merijn; Liew, Thor-Seng; James, S Sheena; bin Elahan, Berjaya; Vermeulen, Jaap J

    2006-09-01

    Genetic divergence in geographically isolated populations is a prerequisite for allopatric speciation, one of the most common modes of speciation. In ecologically equivalent populations existing within a small, environmentally homogeneous area, an important role for environmentally neutral divergence is often found or inferred. We studied a species complex of conspicuously shaped Opisthostoma land snails on scattered limestone outcrops within a small area of lowland rainforest in Borneo. We used shell morphometrics, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences, and marks of predation to study the factors involved in allopatric divergence. We found that a striking geographic divergence exists in shell morphology, which is partly associated with neutral genetic divergence. We also found geographic differentiation in the behavior of the snails' invertebrate predator and evidence of an evolutionary interaction between aspects of shell shape and predator behavior. Our study shows that adaptation to biotic aspects of the environment may play a more important role in allopatric speciation than previously suspected, even on a geographically very small scale. PMID:17089969

  11. Lévy Walks Suboptimal under Predation Risk

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Masato S.; Shimada, Masakazu

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Maternal exposure to predator scents: offspring phenotypic adjustment and dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Bestion, Elvire; Teyssier, Aimeric; Aubret, Fabien; Clobert, Jean; Cote, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Predation is a strong selective pressure generating morphological, physiological and behavioural responses in organisms. As predation risk is often higher during juvenile stages, antipredator defences expressed early in life are paramount to survival. Maternal effects are an efficient pathway to produce such defences. We investigated whether maternal exposure to predator cues during gestation affected juvenile morphology, behaviour and dispersal in common lizards (Zootoca vivipara). We exposed 21 gravid females to saurophagous snake cues for one month while 21 females remained unexposed (i.e. control). We measured body size, preferred temperature and activity level for each neonate, and released them into semi-natural enclosures connected to corridors in order to measure dispersal. Offspring from exposed mothers grew longer tails, selected lower temperatures and dispersed thrice more than offspring from unexposed mothers. Because both tail autotomy and altered thermoregulatory behaviour are common antipredator tactics in lizards, these results suggest that mothers adjusted offspring phenotype to risky natal environments (tail length) or increased risk avoidance (dispersal). Although maternal effects can be passive consequences of maternal stress, our results strongly militate for them to be an adaptive antipredator response that may increase offspring survival prospects. PMID:25122225

  13. Step back! Niche dynamics in cave-dwelling predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mammola, Stefano; Piano, Elena; Isaia, Marco

    2016-08-01

    The geometry of the Hutchinson's hypervolume derives from multiple selective pressures defined, on one hand, by the physiological tolerance of the species, and on the other, by intra- and interspecific competition. The quantification of these evolutionary forces is essential for the understanding of the coexistence of predators in light of competitive exclusion dynamics. We address this topic by investigating the ecological niche of two medium-sized troglophile spiders (Meta menardi and Pimoa graphitica). Over one year, we surveyed several populations in four subterranean sites in the Western Italian Alps, monitoring monthly their spatial and temporal dynamics and the associated physical and ecological variables. We assessed competition between the two species by means of multi regression techniques and by evaluating the intersection between their multidimensional hypervolumes. We detected a remarkable overlap between the microclimatic and trophic niche of M. menardi and P. graphitica, however, the former -being larger in size- resulted the best competitor in proximity of the cave entrance, causing the latter to readjust its spatial niche towards the inner part, where prey availability is scarcer ("step back effect"). In parallel to the slight variations in the subterranean microclimatic condition, the niche of the two species was also found to be seasonal dependent, varying over the year. With this work, we aim at providing new insights about the relationships among predators, demonstrating that energy-poor environments such as caves maintain the potential for diversification of predators via niche differentiation and serve as useful models for theoretical ecological studies.

  14. Biomass control in waste air biotrickling filters by protozoan predation

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, H.H.J.; Deshusses, M.A.

    1999-01-20

    Two protozoan species as well as an uncharacterized protozoan consortium were added to a toluene-degrading biotrickling filter to investigate protozoan predation as a means of biomass control. Wet biomass formation in 23.6-L reactors over a 77-day period was reduced from 13.875 kg in a control biotrickling filter to 11.795 kg in a biotrickling filter enriched with protozoa. The average toluene vapor elimination capacity at 1 g/m{sup 3} toluene and 64 m{sup 3}/(m{sup 3} {center_dot} h) was 31.1 g(m{sup 3} {center_dot} h) in the control and 32.2 g(m{sup 3} {center_dot} h) in the biotrickling filter enriched with protozoa. At higher toluene inlet concentrations, toluene degradation rates increased and were slightly higher in the biotrickling filter enriched with protozoa. The lower rate of biomass accumulation after the addition of protozoa was due to an increase of carbon mineralization. Apparent biomass yield coefficients in the control and enriched trickling filter were 0.72 and 0.59 g dry biomass/g toluene, respectively. The results show that protozoan predation may be a useful tool to control biomass in biotrickling filters, however, further stimulation of predation of the biomass immobilized in the reactor is required to ensure long-term stability of biotrickling filters.

  15. Sport hunting, predator control and conservation of large carnivores.

    PubMed

    Packer, Craig; Kosmala, Margaret; Cooley, Hilary S; Brink, Henry; Pintea, Lilian; Garshelis, David; Purchase, Gianetta; Strauss, Megan; Swanson, Alexandra; Balme, Guy; Hunter, Luke; Nowell, Kristin

    2009-01-01

    Sport hunting has provided important economic incentives for conserving large predators since the early 1970's, but wildlife managers also face substantial pressure to reduce depredation. Sport hunting is an inherently risky strategy for controlling predators as carnivore populations are difficult to monitor and some species show a propensity for infanticide that is exacerbated by removing adult males. Simulation models predict population declines from even moderate levels of hunting in infanticidal species, and harvest data suggest that African countries and U.S. states with the highest intensity of sport hunting have shown the steepest population declines in African lions and cougars over the past 25 yrs. Similar effects in African leopards may have been masked by mesopredator release owing to declines in sympatric lion populations, whereas there is no evidence of overhunting in non-infanticidal populations of American black bears. Effective conservation of these animals will require new harvest strategies and improved monitoring to counter demands for predator control by livestock producers and local communities. PMID:19536277

  16. Effects of predation risk across a latitudinal temperature gradient.

    PubMed

    Matassa, Catherine M; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2015-03-01

    The nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) of predators on prey behavior and physiology can influence the structure and function of ecological communities. However, the strength of NCEs should depend on the physiological and environmental contexts in which prey must choose between food and safety. For ectotherms, temperature effects on metabolism and foraging rates may shape these choices, thereby altering NCE strength. We examined NCEs in a rocky intertidal food chain across a latitudinal sea surface temperature gradient within the Gulf of Maine. The NCEs of green crabs (Carcinus maenas) on the foraging, growth, and growth efficiency of prey snails (Nucella lapillus) were consistent across a broad (~8.5 °C) temperature range, even though snails that were transplanted south consumed twice as many mussels (Mytilus edulis) and grew twice as much as snails that were transplanted north. The positive effects of warmer temperatures in the south allowed snails under high risk to perform similarly to or better than snails under low risk at cooler temperatures. Our results suggest that for prey populations residing at temperatures below their thermal optimum, the positive effects of future warming may offset the negative effects of predation risk. Such effects may be favorable to prey populations facing increased predation rates due to warmer temperatures associated with climate change. Attention to the direct and indirect effects of temperature on species interactions should improve our ability to predict the effects of climate change on ecological communities. PMID:25433694

  17. Intraguild predation provides a selection mechanism for bacterial antagonistic compounds

    PubMed Central

    Leisner, J. J.; Haaber, J.

    2012-01-01

    Bacteriocins are bacterial proteinaceous toxins with bacteriostatic or bacteriocidal activity towards other bacteria. The current theory on their biological role concerns especially colicins, with underlying social interactions described as an example of spite. This leads to a rock–paper–scissors game between colicin producers and sensitive and resistant variants. The generality of this type of selection mechanism has previously been challenged with lactic acid bacterial (LAB) bacteriocins as an example. In the natural environment of LAB, batch cultures are the norm opposed to the natural habitats of Escherichia coli where continuous cultures are prevailing. This implies that fitness for LAB, to a large degree, is related to survival rates (bottleneck situations) rather than to growth rates. We suggest that the biological role of LAB bacteriocins is to enhance survival in the stationary growth phase by securing a supply of nutrients from lysed target cells. Thus, this social interaction is an example of selfishness rather than of spite. Specifically, it fits into an ecological model known as intraguild predation (IGP), which is a combination of competition and predation where the predator (LAB bacteriocin producer) and prey (bacteriocin susceptible bacteria) share similar and often limited resources. We hypothesize that IGP may be a common phenomenon promoting microbial production of antagonistic compounds. PMID:22951735

  18. Simulating realistic predator signatures in quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.

    2015-01-01

    Diet estimation is an important field within quantitative ecology, providing critical insights into many aspects of ecology and community dynamics. Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) is a prominent method of diet estimation, particularly for marine mammal and bird species. Investigators using QFASA commonly use computer simulation to evaluate statistical characteristics of diet estimators for the populations they study. Similar computer simulations have been used to explore and compare the performance of different variations of the original QFASA diet estimator. In both cases, computer simulations involve bootstrap sampling prey signature data to construct pseudo-predator signatures with known properties. However, bootstrap sample sizes have been selected arbitrarily and pseudo-predator signatures therefore may not have realistic properties. I develop an algorithm to objectively establish bootstrap sample sizes that generates pseudo-predator signatures with realistic properties, thereby enhancing the utility of computer simulation for assessing QFASA estimator performance. The algorithm also appears to be computationally efficient, resulting in bootstrap sample sizes that are smaller than those commonly used. I illustrate the algorithm with an example using data from Chukchi Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and their marine mammal prey. The concepts underlying the approach may have value in other areas of quantitative ecology in which bootstrap samples are post-processed prior to their use.

  19. 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

  20. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators.

    PubMed

    Della Penna, Alice; De Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; d'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels. PMID:26666350

  1. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators

    PubMed Central

    Della Penna, Alice; De Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; d’Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1–100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels. PMID:26666350

  2. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Della Penna, Alice; de Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; D'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-12-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels.

  3. Optimizing methods for PCR-based analysis of predation

    PubMed Central

    Sint, Daniela; Raso, Lorna; Kaufmann, Rüdiger; Traugott, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Molecular methods have become an important tool for studying feeding interactions under natural conditions. Despite their growing importance, many methodological aspects have not yet been evaluated but need to be considered to fully exploit the potential of this approach. Using feeding experiments with high alpine carabid beetles and lycosid spiders, we investigated how PCR annealing temperature affects prey DNA detection success and how post-PCR visualization methods differ in their sensitivity. Moreover, the replicability of prey DNA detection among individual PCR assays was tested using beetles and spiders that had digested their prey for extended times postfeeding. By screening all predators for three differently sized prey DNA fragments (range 116–612 bp), we found that only in the longest PCR product, a marked decrease in prey detection success occurred. Lowering maximum annealing temperatures by 4 °C resulted in significantly increased prey DNA detection rates in both predator taxa. Among the three post-PCR visualization methods, an eightfold difference in sensitivity was observed. Repeated screening of predators increased the total number of samples scoring positive, although the proportion of samples testing positive did not vary significantly between different PCRs. The present findings demonstrate that assay sensitivity, in combination with other methodological factors, plays a crucial role to obtain robust trophic interaction data. Future work employing molecular prey detection should thus consider and minimize the methodologically induced variation that would also allow for better cross-study comparisons. PMID:21507208

  4. The benefits of heterospecific oophagy in a top predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denoël, Mathieu; Demars, Bertrand

    2008-07-01

    Oophagy is a behavioural pattern that has been found in a large variety of predator species in the animal kingdom. In contrast to other modes of feeding, it is peculiar in that it involves the detection, capture and ingestion of immobile prey. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolutionary origin and persistence of this pattern, but they have rarely been tested. The aim of this study was to compare the benefits of a heterospecific oophagous tactic over a non-oophageous diet in terms of biomass intake. To this end, stomach contents were gathered by flushing the stomachs of male and female Alpine newts ( Mesotriton alpestris) found in forestry ruts (i.e. pools caused by traffic) during their reproductive period. Prey items were identified, classified into functional categories and their dry mass determined. Frog ( Rana temporaria) eggs are valuable prey items that give a higher biomass intake to individuals foraging on them than on those relying on invertebrates. Both sexes of newts practice oophagy but frog eggs are a transient resource that is only available during a part of their aquatic phase. Consequently, the newts adjust their diet to invertebrate predation later in the season after the peak of the frogs' breeding season. Oophagy is thus facultative and not obligate in the study species. The correlated occurrence of prey and predator, similarities between frog eggs and mobile potential prey (tadpoles), and high resource intake are all in favour of the occurrence and persistence of an oophagous feeding tactic.

  5. Natural visual cues eliciting predator avoidance in fiddler crabs

    PubMed Central

    Smolka, Jochen; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M.

    2011-01-01

    To efficiently provide an animal with relevant information, the design of its visual system should reflect the distribution of natural signals and the animal's tasks. In many behavioural contexts, however, we know comparatively little about the moment-to-moment information-processing challenges animals face in their daily lives. In predator avoidance, for instance, we lack an accurate description of the natural signal stream and its value for risk assessment throughout the prey's defensive behaviour. We characterized the visual signals generated by real, potentially predatory events by video-recording bird approaches towards an Uca vomeris colony. Using four synchronized cameras allowed us to simultaneously monitor predator avoidance responses of crabs. We reconstructed the signals generated by dangerous and non-dangerous flying animals, identified the cues that triggered escape responses and compared them with those triggering responses to dummy predators. Fiddler crabs responded to a combination of multiple visual cues (including retinal speed, elevation and visual flicker) that reflect the visual signatures of distinct bird and insect behaviours. This allowed crabs to discriminate between dangerous and non-dangerous events. The results demonstrate the importance of measuring natural sensory signatures of biologically relevant events in order to understand biological information processing and its effects on behavioural organization. PMID:21490009

  6. Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots

    PubMed Central

    De Bona, Sebastiano; Valkonen, Janne K.; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Mappes, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Large conspicuous eyespots on butterfly wings have been shown to deter predators. This has been traditionally explained by mimicry of vertebrate eyes, but recently the classic eye-mimicry hypothesis has been challenged. It is proposed that the conspicuousness of the eyespot, not mimicry, is what causes aversion due to sensory biases, neophobia or sensory overloads. We conducted an experiment to directly test whether the eye-mimicry or the conspicuousness hypothesis better explain eyespot efficacy. We used great tits (Parus major) as model predator, and tested their reaction towards animated images on a computer display. Birds were tested against images of butterflies without eyespots, with natural-looking eyespots, and manipulated spots with the same contrast but reduced resemblance to an eye, as well as images of predators (owls) with and without eyes. We found that mimetic eyespots were as effective as true eyes of owls and more efficient in eliciting an aversive response than modified, less mimetic but equally contrasting eyespots. We conclude that the eye-mimicry hypothesis explains our results better than the conspicuousness hypothesis and is thus likely to be an important mechanism behind the evolution of butterfly eyespots. PMID:25854889

  7. Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots.

    PubMed

    De Bona, Sebastiano; Valkonen, Janne K; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Mappes, Johanna

    2015-05-01

    Large conspicuous eyespots on butterfly wings have been shown to deter predators. This has been traditionally explained by mimicry of vertebrate eyes, but recently the classic eye-mimicry hypothesis has been challenged. It is proposed that the conspicuousness of the eyespot, not mimicry, is what causes aversion due to sensory biases, neophobia or sensory overloads. We conducted an experiment to directly test whether the eye-mimicry or the conspicuousness hypothesis better explain eyespot efficacy. We used great tits (Parus major) as model predator, and tested their reaction towards animated images on a computer display. Birds were tested against images of butterflies without eyespots, with natural-looking eyespots, and manipulated spots with the same contrast but reduced resemblance to an eye, as well as images of predators (owls) with and without eyes. We found that mimetic eyespots were as effective as true eyes of owls and more efficient in eliciting an aversive response than modified, less mimetic but equally contrasting eyespots. We conclude that the eye-mimicry hypothesis explains our results better than the conspicuousness hypothesis and is thus likely to be an important mechanism behind the evolution of butterfly eyespots. PMID:25854889

  8. Natural visual cues eliciting predator avoidance in fiddler crabs.

    PubMed

    Smolka, Jochen; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M

    2011-12-01

    To efficiently provide an animal with relevant information, the design of its visual system should reflect the distribution of natural signals and the animal's tasks. In many behavioural contexts, however, we know comparatively little about the moment-to-moment information-processing challenges animals face in their daily lives. In predator avoidance, for instance, we lack an accurate description of the natural signal stream and its value for risk assessment throughout the prey's defensive behaviour. We characterized the visual signals generated by real, potentially predatory events by video-recording bird approaches towards an Uca vomeris colony. Using four synchronized cameras allowed us to simultaneously monitor predator avoidance responses of crabs. We reconstructed the signals generated by dangerous and non-dangerous flying animals, identified the cues that triggered escape responses and compared them with those triggering responses to dummy predators. Fiddler crabs responded to a combination of multiple visual cues (including retinal speed, elevation and visual flicker) that reflect the visual signatures of distinct bird and insect behaviours. This allowed crabs to discriminate between dangerous and non-dangerous events. The results demonstrate the importance of measuring natural sensory signatures of biologically relevant events in order to understand biological information processing and its effects on behavioural organization. PMID:21490009

  9. Maternal exposure to predator scents: offspring phenotypic adjustment and dispersal.

    PubMed

    Bestion, Elvire; Teyssier, Aimeric; Aubret, Fabien; Clobert, Jean; Cote, Julien

    2014-10-01

    Predation is a strong selective pressure generating morphological, physiological and behavioural responses in organisms. As predation risk is often higher during juvenile stages, antipredator defences expressed early in life are paramount to survival. Maternal effects are an efficient pathway to produce such defences. We investigated whether maternal exposure to predator cues during gestation affected juvenile morphology, behaviour and dispersal in common lizards (Zootoca vivipara). We exposed 21 gravid females to saurophagous snake cues for one month while 21 females remained unexposed (i.e. control). We measured body size, preferred temperature and activity level for each neonate, and released them into semi-natural enclosures connected to corridors in order to measure dispersal. Offspring from exposed mothers grew longer tails, selected lower temperatures and dispersed thrice more than offspring from unexposed mothers. Because both tail autotomy and altered thermoregulatory behaviour are common antipredator tactics in lizards, these results suggest that mothers adjusted offspring phenotype to risky natal environments (tail length) or increased risk avoidance (dispersal). Although maternal effects can be passive consequences of maternal stress, our results strongly militate for them to be an adaptive antipredator response that may increase offspring survival prospects. PMID:25122225

  10. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kate L A; Philpot, Kate E; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  11. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kate L. A.; Philpot, Kate E.; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation. PMID:26804463

  12. The role of selective predation in harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Jordi; Garcia-Ladona, Emilio; Estrada, Marta

    2006-08-01

    A feature of marine plankton communities is the occurrence of rapid population explosions. When the blooming species are directly or indirectly noxious for humans, these proliferations are denoted as harmful algal blooms (HAB). The importance of biological interactions for the appearance of HABs, in particular when the proliferating microalgae produce toxins that affect other organisms in the food web, remains still poorly understood. Here we analyse the role of toxins produced by a microalgal species and affecting its predators, in determining the success of that species as a bloom former. A three-species predator-prey model is used to define a criterion that determines whether a toxic microalga will be able to initiate a bloom in competition against a non-toxic one with higher growth rate. Dominance of the toxic species depends on a critical parameter that defines the degree of feeding selectivity by grazers. The criterion is applied to a particular simplified model and to numerical simulations of a full marine ecosystem model. The results suggest that the release of toxic compounds affecting predators may be a plausible biological factor in allowing the development of HABs.

  13. Toward a mechanistic understanding of human-induced rapid environmental change: A case study linking energy development, avian nest predation, and predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hethcoat, Matthew G.; Chalfoun, Anna L.

    2015-01-01

    Synthesis and applications. We demonstrate one mechanism, that is the local augmentation of predators, by which human-induced rapid environmental change can influence the demography of local populations. Given the accelerating trajectory of global energy demands, an important next step will be to understand why the activity and/or abundance of rodent predators increased with surrounding habitat loss from energy development activities.

  14. Intraguild predation on Eretmocerus nr emiratus, a parasitoid of Bemisia tabaci by three generalist predators with implications for estimating the level and impact of parasitism.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intraguild predation is pervasive in many managed and unmanaged ecosystems. Both generalist predators and aphelinid parasitoids attack Bemisia tabaci on cotton in the southwestern USA. Free-choice and no-choice laboratory assays were conducted to quantify prey consumption patterns and preference by ...

  15. Landscape features influence postrelease predation on endangered black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poessel, S.A.; Breck, S.W.; Biggins, D.E.; Livieri, T.M.; Crooks, K.R.; Angeloni, L.

    2011-01-01

    Predation can be a critical factor influencing recovery of endangered species. In most recovery efforts lethal and nonlethal influences of predators are not sufficiently understood to allow prediction of predation risk, despite its importance. We investigated whether landscape features could be used to model predation risk from coyotes (Canis latrans) and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) on the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). We used location data of reintroduced ferrets from 3 sites in South Dakota to determine whether exposure to landscape features typically associated with predators affected survival of ferrets, and whether ferrets considered predation risk when choosing habitat near perches potentially used by owls or near linear features predicted to be used by coyotes. Exposure to areas near likely owl perches reduced ferret survival, but landscape features potentially associated with coyote movements had no appreciable effect on survival. Ferrets were located within 90 m of perches more than expected in 2 study sites that also had higher ferret mortality due to owl predation. Densities of potential coyote travel routes near ferret locations were no different than expected in all 3 sites. Repatriated ferrets might have selected resources based on factors other than predator avoidance. Considering an easily quantified landscape feature (i.e., owl perches) can enhance success of reintroduction efforts for ferrets. Nonetheless, development of predictive models of predation risk and management strategies to mitigate that risk is not necessarily straightforward for more generalist predators such as coyotes. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  16. Does predation select for or against avian coloniality? A comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Varela, S A M; Danchin, E; Wagner, R H

    2007-07-01

    Some studies have supported predation as a selective pressure contributing to the evolution of coloniality. However, evidence also exists that colonies attract predators, selecting against colonial breeding. Using comparative analyses, we tested the reduced predation hypothesis that individuals aggregate into colonies for protection, and the opposite hypothesis, that breeding aggregations increase predation risk. We used locational and physical characteristics of nests to estimate levels of species' vulnerability to predation. We analysed the Ciconiiformes, a large avian order with the highest prevalence of coloniality, using Pagel's general method of comparative analysis for discrete variables. A common requirement of both hypotheses, that there is correlated evolution between coloniality and vulnerability to predation, was fulfilled in our data set of 363 species. The main predictions of the reduced predation hypothesis were not supported, namely that (1) solitary/vulnerable species are more prone to become colonial than solitary/protected species and (2) colonial/protected species are more likely to evolve towards vulnerability than solitary/protected species. In contrast, the main predictions of the increased predation hypothesis were supported, namely that colonial/vulnerable species are more prone (1) to become protected than solitary/vulnerable species and/or (2) to become solitary than colonial/protected species. This suggests that the colonial/vulnerable state is especially exposed to predation as coloniality may often attract predators rather than provide safety. PMID:17584242

  17. Sensory-based niche partitioning in a multiple predator - multiple prey community.

    PubMed

    Falk, Jay J; ter Hofstede, Hannah M; Jones, Patricia L; Dixon, Marjorie M; Faure, Paul A; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Page, Rachel A

    2015-06-01

    Many predators and parasites eavesdrop on the communication signals of their prey. Eavesdropping is typically studied as dyadic predator-prey species interactions; yet in nature, most predators target multiple prey species and most prey must evade multiple predator species. The impact of predator communities on prey signal evolution is not well understood. Predators could converge in their preferences for conspicuous signal properties, generating competition among predators and natural selection on particular prey signal features. Alternatively, predator species could vary in their preferences for prey signal properties, resulting in sensory-based niche partitioning of prey resources. In the Neotropics, many substrate-gleaning bats use the mate-attraction songs of male katydids to locate them as prey. We studied mechanisms of niche partitioning in four substrate-gleaning bat species and found they are similar in morphology, echolocation signal design and prey-handling ability, but each species preferred different acoustic features of male song in 12 sympatric katydid species. This divergence in predator preference probably contributes to the coexistence of many substrate-gleaning bat species in the Neotropics, and the substantial diversity in the mate-attraction signals of katydids. Our results provide insight into how multiple eavesdropping predator species might influence prey signal evolution through sensory-based niche partitioning. PMID:25994677

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

  19. Habitat structure mediates predation risk for sedentary prey: Experimental tests of alternative hypotheses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, A.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    Predation is an important and ubiquitous selective force that can shape habitat preferences of prey species, but tests of alternative mechanistic hypotheses of habitat influences on predation risk are lacking. 2. We studied predation risk at nest sites of a passerine bird and tested two hypotheses based on theories of predator foraging behaviour. The total-foliage hypothesis predicts that predation will decline in areas of greater overall vegetation density by impeding cues for detection by predators. The potential-prey-site hypothesis predicts that predation decreases where predators must search more unoccupied potential nest sites. 3. Both observational data and results from a habitat manipulation provided clear support for the potential-prey-site hypothesis and rejection of the total-foliage hypothesis. Birds chose nest patches containing both greater total foliage and potential nest site density (which were correlated in their abundance) than at random sites, yet only potential nest site density significantly influenced nest predation risk. 4. Our results therefore provided a clear and rare example of adaptive nest site selection that would have been missed had structural complexity or total vegetation density been considered alone. 5. Our results also demonstrated that interactions between predator foraging success and habitat structure can be more complex than simple impedance or occlusion by vegetation. ?? 2008 British Ecological Society.

  20. Coral Reef Fish Rapidly Learn to Identify Multiple Unknown Predators upon Recruitment to the Reef

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Organisms often undergo shifts in habitats as their requirements change with ontogeny. Upon entering a new environment, it is vitally important to be able to rapidly assess predation risk. Predation pressure should selectively promote mechanisms that enable the rapid identification of novel predators. Here we tested the ability of a juvenile marine fish to simultaneously learn the identity of multiple previously unknown predators. Individuals were conditioned with a ‘cocktail’ of novel odours (from two predators and two non-predators) paired with either a conspecific alarm cue or a saltwater control and then tested for recognition of the four odours individually and two novel odours (one predator and one non-predator) the following day. Individuals conditioned with the ‘cocktail’ and alarm cue responded to the individual ‘cocktail’ odours with an antipredator response compared to controls. These results demonstrate that individuals acquire recognition of novel odours and that the responses were not due to innate recognition of predators or due to a generalised response to novel odours. Upon entering an unfamiliar environment prey species are able to rapidly assess the risk of predation, enhancing their chances of survival, through the assessment of chemical stimuli. PMID:21249216

  1. Crying wolf to a predator: deceptive vocal mimicry by a bird protecting young

    PubMed Central

    Igic, Branislav; McLachlan, Jessica; Lehtinen, Inkeri; Magrath, Robert D.

    2015-01-01

    Animals often mimic dangerous or toxic species to deter predators; however, mimicry of such species may not always be possible and mimicry of benign species seems unlikely to confer anti-predator benefits. We reveal a system in which a bird mimics the alarm calls of harmless species to fool a predator 40 times its size and protect its offspring against attack. Our experiments revealed that brown thornbills (Acanthiza pusilla) mimic a chorus of other species' aerial alarm calls, a cue of an Accipiter hawk in flight, when predators attack their nest. The absence of any flying predators in this context implies that these alarms convey deceptive information about the type of danger present. Experiments on the primary nest predators of thornbills, pied currawongs (Strepera graculina), revealed that the predators treat these alarms as if they themselves are threatened by flying hawks, either by scanning the sky for danger or fleeing, confirming a deceptive function. In turn, these distractions delay attack and provide thornbill nestlings with an opportunity to escape. This sophisticated defence strategy exploits the complex web of interactions among multiple species across several trophic levels, and in particular exploits a predator's ability to eavesdrop on and respond appropriately to heterospecific alarm calls. Our findings demonstrate that prey can fool predators by deceptively mimicking alarm calls of harmless species, suggesting that defensive mimicry could be more widespread because of indirect effects on predators within a web of eavesdropping. PMID:26041353

  2. Eco-evolutionary trophic dynamics: loss of top predators drives trophic evolution and ecology of prey.

    PubMed

    Palkovacs, Eric P; Wasserman, Ben A; Kinnison, Michael T

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems are being altered on a global scale by the extirpation of top predators. The ecological effects of predator removal have been investigated widely; however, predator removal can also change natural selection acting on prey, resulting in contemporary evolution. Here we tested the role of predator removal on the contemporary evolution of trophic traits in prey. We utilized a historical introduction experiment where Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) were relocated from a site with predatory fishes to a site lacking predators. To assess the trophic consequences of predator release, we linked individual morphology (cranial, jaw, and body) to foraging performance. Our results show that predator release caused an increase in guppy density and a "sharpening" of guppy trophic traits, which enhanced food consumption rates. Predator release appears to have shifted natural selection away from predator escape ability and towards resource acquisition ability. Related diet and mesocosm studies suggest that this shift enhances the impact of guppies on lower trophic levels in a fashion nuanced by the omnivorous feeding ecology of the species. We conclude that extirpation of top predators may commonly select for enhanced feeding performance in prey, with important cascading consequences for communities and ecosystems. PMID:21526156

  3. Predator-prey relationships in a Mediterranean vertebrate system: Bonelli's eagles, rabbits and partridges.

    PubMed

    Moleón, Marcos; Sánchez-Zapata, José A; Gil-Sánchez, José M; Ballesteros-Duperón, Elena; Barea-Azcón, José M; Virgós, Emilio

    2012-03-01

    How predators impact on prey population dynamics is still an unsolved issue for most wild predator-prey communities. When considering vertebrates, important concerns constrain a comprehensive understanding of the functioning of predator-prey relationships worldwide; e.g. studies simultaneously quantifying 'functional' and 'numerical responses' (i.e., the 'total response') are rare. The functional, the numerical, and the resulting total response (i.e., how the predator per capita intake, the population of predators and the total of prey eaten by the total predators vary with prey densities) are fundamental as they reveal the predator's ability to regulate prey population dynamics. Here, we used a multi-spatio-temporal scale approach to simultaneously explore the functional and numerical responses of a territorial predator (Bonelli's eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus) to its two main prey species (the rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus and the red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa) during the breeding period in a Mediterranean system of south Spain. Bonelli's eagle responded functionally, but not numerically, to rabbit/partridge density changes. Type II, non-regulatory, functional responses (typical of specialist predators) offered the best fitting models for both prey. In the absence of a numerical response, Bonelli's eagle role as a regulating factor of rabbit and partridge populations seems to be weak in our study area. Simple (prey density-dependent) functional response models may well describe the short-term variation in a territorial predator's consumption rate in complex ecosystems. PMID:21947548

  4. Are fast explorers slow reactors? Linking personality type and anti-predator behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Katherine A.; Godin, Jean-Guy J.

    2010-01-01

    Response delays to predator attack may be adaptive, suggesting that latency to respond does not always reflect predator detection time, but can be a decision based on starvation–predation risk trade-offs. In birds, some anti-predator behaviours have been shown to be correlated with personality traits such as activity level and exploration. Here, we tested for a correlation between exploration behaviour and response latency time to a simulated fish predator attack in a fish species, juvenile convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata). Individual focal fish were subjected to a standardized attack by a robotic fish predator while foraging, and separately given two repeated trials of exploration of a novel environment. We found a strong positive correlation between exploration and time taken to respond to the predator model. Fish that were fast to explore the novel environment were slower to respond to the predator. Our study therefore provides some of the first experimental evidence for a link between exploration behaviour and predator-escape behaviour. We suggest that different behavioural types may differ in how they partition their attention between foraging and anti-predator vigilance. PMID:19864291

  5. Crying wolf to a predator: deceptive vocal mimicry by a bird protecting young.

    PubMed

    Igic, Branislav; McLachlan, Jessica; Lehtinen, Inkeri; Magrath, Robert D

    2015-06-22

    Animals often mimic dangerous or toxic species to deter predators; however, mimicry of such species may not always be possible and mimicry of benign species seems unlikely to confer anti-predator benefits. We reveal a system in which a bird mimics the alarm calls of harmless species to fool a predator 40 times its size and protect its offspring against attack. Our experiments revealed that brown thornbills (Acanthiza pusilla) mimic a chorus of other species' aerial alarm calls, a cue of an Accipiter hawk in flight, when predators attack their nest. The absence of any flying predators in this context implies that these alarms convey deceptive information about the type of danger present. Experiments on the primary nest predators of thornbills, pied currawongs (Strepera graculina), revealed that the predators treat these alarms as if they themselves are threatened by flying hawks, either by scanning the sky for danger or fleeing, confirming a deceptive function. In turn, these distractions delay attack and provide thornbill nestlings with an opportunity to escape. This sophisticated defence strategy exploits the complex web of interactions among multiple species across several trophic levels, and in particular exploits a predator's ability to eavesdrop on and respond appropriately to heterospecific alarm calls. Our findings demonstrate that prey can fool predators by deceptively mimicking alarm calls of harmless species, suggesting that defensive mimicry could be more widespread because of indirect effects on predators within a web of eavesdropping. PMID:26041353

  6. Sharks modulate their escape behavior in response to predator size, speed and approach orientation.

    PubMed

    Seamone, Scott; Blaine, Tristan; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-12-01

    Escape responses are often critical for surviving predator-prey interactions. Nevertheless, little is known about how predator size, speed and approach orientation impact escape performance, especially in larger prey that are primarily viewed as predators. We used realistic shark models to examine how altering predatory behavior and morphology (size, speed and approach orientation) influences escape behavior and performance in Squalus acanthias, a shark that is preyed upon by apex marine predators. Predator models induced C-start escape responses, and increasing the size and speed of the models triggered a more intense response (increased escape turning rate and acceleration). In addition, increased predator size resulted in greater responsiveness from the sharks. Among the responses, predator approach orientation had the most significant impact on escapes, such that the head-on approach, as compared to the tail-on approach, induced greater reaction distances and increased escape turning rate, speed and acceleration. Thus, the anterior binocular vision in sharks renders them less effective at detecting predators approaching from behind. However, it appears that sharks compensate by performing high-intensity escapes, likely induced by the lateral line system, or by a sudden visual flash of the predator entering their field of view. Our study reveals key aspects of escape behavior in sharks, highlighting the modulation of performance in response to predator approach. PMID:25041843

  7. The roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems: new insights from long term ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mather, Martha E.; Matich, Philip; Nifong, James C.; Ripple, William J.; Silliman, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    During recent human history, human activities such as overhunting and habitat destruction have severely impacted many large top predator populations around the world. Studies from a variety of ecosystems show that loss or diminishment of top predator populations can have serious consequences for population and community dynamics and ecosystem stability. However, there are relatively few studies of the roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems, so that we do not yet completely understand what could happen to coastal areas if large top predators are extirpated or significantly reduced in number. This lack of knowledge is surprising given that coastal areas around the globe are highly valued and densely populated by humans, and thus coastal large top predator populations frequently come into conflict with coastal human populations. This paper reviews what is known about the ecological roles of large top predators in coastal systems and presents a synthesis of recent work from three coastal eastern US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites where long-term studies reveal what appear to be common themes relating to the roles of large top predators in coastal systems. We discuss three specific themes: (1) large top predators acting as mobile links between disparate habitats, (2) large top predators potentially affecting nutrient and biogeochemical dynamics through localized behaviors, and (3) individual specialization of large top predator behaviors. We also discuss how research within the LTER network has led to enhanced understanding of the ecological roles of coastal large top predators. Highlighting this work is intended to encourage further investigation of the roles of large top predators across diverse coastal aquatic habitats and to better inform researchers and ecosystem managers about the importance of large top predators for coastal ecosystem health and stability.

  8. Reefscapes of fear: predation risk and reef hetero-geneity interact to shape herbivore foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Catano, Laura B; Rojas, Maria C; Malossi, Ryan J; Peters, Joseph R; Heithaus, Michael R; Fourqurean, James W; Burkepile, Deron E

    2016-01-01

    Predators can exert strong direct and indirect effects on ecological communities by intimidating their prey. The nature of predation risk effects is often context dependent, but in some ecosystems these contingencies are often overlooked. Risk effects are often not uniform across landscapes or among species. Indeed, they can vary widely across gradients of habitat complexity and with different prey escape tactics. These context dependencies may be especially important for ecosystems such as coral reefs that vary widely in habitat complexity and have species-rich predator and prey communities. With field experiments using predator decoys of the black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci), we investigated how reef complexity interacts with predation risk to affect the foraging behaviour and herbivory rates of large herbivorous fishes (e.g. parrotfishes and surgeonfishes) across four coral reefs in the Florida Keys (USA). In both high and low complexity areas of the reef, we measured how herbivory changed with increasing distance from the predator decoy to examine how herbivorous fishes reconcile the conflicting demands of avoiding predation vs. foraging within a reefscape context. We show that with increasing risk, herbivorous fishes consumed dramatically less food (ca. 90%) but fed at a faster rate when they did feed (ca. 26%). Furthermore, we show that fishes foraging closest to the predator decoy were 40% smaller than those that foraged at further distances. Thus, smaller individuals showed muted response to predation risk compared to their larger counterparts, potentially due to their decreased risk to predation or lower reproductive value (i.e. the asset protection principle). Habitat heterogeneity mediated risk effects differently for different species of herbivores, with predation risk more strongly suppressing herbivore feeding in more complex areas and for individuals at higher risk of predation. Predators appear to create a reefscape of fear that changes the size

  9. Turbidity interferes with foraging success of visual but not chemosensory predators.

    PubMed

    Lunt, Jessica; Smee, Delbert L

    2015-01-01

    Predation can significantly affect prey populations and communities, but predator effects can be attenuated when abiotic conditions interfere with foraging activities. In estuarine communities, turbidity can affect species richness and abundance and is changing in many areas because of coastal development. Many fish species are less efficient foragers in turbid waters, and previous research revealed that in elevated turbidity, fish are less abundant whereas crabs and shrimp are more abundant. We hypothesized that turbidity altered predatory interactions in estuaries by interfering with visually-foraging predators and prey but not with organisms relying on chemoreception. We measured the effects of turbidity on the predation rates of two model predators: a visual predator (pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides) and a chemosensory predator (blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus) in clear and turbid water (0 and ∼100 nephelometric turbidity units). Feeding assays were conducted with two prey items, mud crabs (Panopeus spp.) that rely heavily on chemoreception to detect predators, and brown shrimp (Farfantepenaus aztecus) that use both chemical and visual cues for predator detection. Because turbidity reduced pinfish foraging on both mud crabs and shrimp, the changes in predation rates are likely driven by turbidity attenuating fish foraging ability and not by affecting prey vulnerability to fish consumers. Blue crab foraging was unaffected by turbidity, and blue crabs were able to successfully consume nearly all mud crab and shrimp prey. Turbidity can influence predator-prey interactions by reducing the feeding efficiency of visual predators, providing a competitive advantage to chemosensory predators, and altering top-down control in food webs. PMID:26401444

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Reduction in Predator Defense in the Presence of Neighbors in a Colonial Fish

    PubMed Central

    Schädelin, Franziska C.; Fischer, Stefan; Wagner, Richard H.

    2012-01-01

    Predation pressure has long been considered a leading explanation of colonies, where close neighbors may reduce predation via dilution, alarming or group predator attacks. Attacking predators may be costly in terms of energy and survival, leading to the question of how neighbors contribute to predator deterrence in relationship to each other. Two hypotheses explaining the relative efforts made by neighbors are byproduct-mutualism, which occurs when breeders inadvertently attack predators by defending their nests, and reciprocity, which occurs when breeders deliberately exchange predator defense efforts with neighbors. Most studies investigating group nest defense have been performed with birds. However, colonial fish may constitute a more practical model system for an experimental approach because of the greater ability of researchers to manipulate their environment. We investigated in the colonial fish, Neolamprologus caudopunctatus, whether prospecting pairs preferred to breed near conspecifics or solitarily, and how breeders invested in anti-predator defense in relation to neighbors. In a simple choice test, prospecting pairs selected breeding sites close to neighbors versus a solitary site. Predators were then sequentially presented to the newly established test pairs, the previously established stimulus pairs or in between the two pairs. Test pairs attacked the predator eight times more frequently when they were presented on their non-neighbor side compared to between the two breeding sites, where stimulus pairs maintained high attack rates. Thus, by joining an established pair, test pairs were able to reduce their anti-predator efforts near neighbors, at no apparent cost to the stimulus pairs. These findings are unlikely to be explained by reciprocity or byproduct-mutualism. Our results instead suggest a commensal relationship in which new pairs exploit the high anti-predator efforts of established pairs, which invest similarly with or without neighbors

  12. Marine predators and persistent prey in the southeast Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigler, Michael F.; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Ressler, Patrick H.; Friday, Nancy A.; Wilson, Christopher D.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.

    2012-06-01

    Predictable prey locations reduce search time and energetic costs of foraging; thus marine predators often exploit locations where prey concentrations persist. In our study, we examined whether this association is influenced by differences among predator species in foraging modes (travel cost, surface feeder or diver) or whether the predator species is a central place forager or not. We examined distributions of two seabird species during their nesting period, the surface-feeding black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) and the pursuit-diving thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia), and two baleen whale species, the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), in relation to two key prey, age-1 walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) and euphausiids (Euphausiidae). Prey surveys were conducted once each year during 2004 and 2006-2010. Concurrent predator surveys were conducted in 2006-2010 (seabirds) and 2008 and 2010 (whales). We compared the seabird and whale foraging locations to where age-1 pollock and euphausiids were concentrated and considered the persistence of these concentrations, where the time-scale of persistence is year (i.e., a comparison among surveys that are conducted once each year). Euphausiids were widespread and concentrations often were reliably found within specific 37 km×37 km blocks ('persistent hot spots of prey'). In contrast, age-1 pollock were more concentrated and their hot spots were persistent only on coarser scales (>37 km). Both seabird species, regardless of foraging mode, were associated with age-1 pollock but not with euphausiids, even though age-1 pollock were less persistent than euphausiids. The higher travel cost central place foragers, thick-billed murres, foraged at prey concentrations nearer their island colonies than black-legged kittiwakes, which were more widespread foragers. Humpback whales were not tied to a central place and mostly were located only where euphausiids were

  13. Pesticide-mediated displacement of a phytoseiid predator, Neoseiulus womersleyi, by another phytoseiid predator, N. californicus (Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    PubMed

    Ullah, Mohammad Shaef; Hanawa, Masumi; Gotoh, Tetsuo

    2016-08-01

    Neoseiulus womersleyi and N. californicus are two predators that are frequently used to control spider mites in fruit-tree orchards. Neoseiulus womersleyi used to be the dominant predator species in Japan, but since the 1990s in central and southwestern Japan, N. californicus populations have been increasing and have displaced populations of N. womersleyi. We previously observed the same phenomenon under laboratory conditions when these species were released at a 1:1 ratio, and attributed the displacement to asymmetrical intraguild predation. However, the ratio in fruit-tree orchards could be different from 1:1. Therefore, we hypothesized that differential susceptibilities to pesticides might accelerate species displacement of N. womersleyi by N. californicus, even if the ratio between these two species was extremely skewed in favor of N. womersleyi and no species displacement occurred otherwise. We examined the effects of 21 pesticides on egg-to-adult and adult survivorship in N. womersleyi and N. californicus. Among these pesticides, two neonicotinoids (acetamiprid and imidacloprid) had much severer effects on N. womersleyi than on N. californicus and thus could possibly account for the species displacement. When the two species were released onto leaf arenas at an N. californicus: N. womersleyi ratio of 1:9 in the absence of insecticide, no displacement was observed. However, just after acetamiprid or imidacloprid application, the proportion of N. californicus increased, causing N. californicus to displace N. womersleyi. Our results indicate that displacement in predator complexes of fruit-tree orchards could be due to different degrees of pesticide susceptibility. PMID:27207574

  14. Predator versus Prey: Locust Looming-Detector Neuron and Behavioural Responses to Stimuli Representing Attacking Bird Predators

    PubMed Central

    Santer, Roger D.; Rind, F. Claire; Simmons, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Many arthropods possess escape-triggering neural mechanisms that help them evade predators. These mechanisms are important neuroethological models, but they are rarely investigated using predator-like stimuli because there is often insufficient information on real predator attacks. Locusts possess uniquely identifiable visual neurons (the descending contralateral movement detectors, DCMDs) that are well-studied looming motion detectors. The DCMDs trigger ‘glides’ in flying locusts, which are hypothesised to be appropriate last-ditch responses to the looms of avian predators. To date it has not been possible to study glides in response to stimuli simulating bird attacks because such attacks have not been characterised. We analyse video of wild black kites attacking flying locusts, and estimate kite attack speeds of 10.8±1.4 m/s. We estimate that the loom of a kite’s thorax towards a locust at these speeds should be characterised by a relatively low ratio of half size to speed (l/|v|) in the range 4–17 ms. Peak DCMD spike rate and gliding response occurrence are known to increase as l/|v| decreases for simple looming shapes. Using simulated looming discs, we investigate these trends and show that both DCMD and behavioural responses are strong to stimuli with kite-like l/|v| ratios. Adding wings to looming discs to produce a more realistic stimulus shape did not disrupt the overall relationships of DCMD and gliding occurrence to stimulus l/|v|. However, adding wings to looming discs did slightly reduce high frequency DCMD spike rates in the final stages of object approach, and slightly delay glide initiation. Looming discs with or without wings triggered glides closer to the time of collision as l/|v| declined, and relatively infrequently before collision at very low l/|v|. However, the performance of this system is in line with expectations for a last-ditch escape response. PMID:23209660

  15. Effects of prey quality and predator body size on prey DNA detection success in a centipede predator.

    PubMed

    Eitzinger, B; Unger, E M; Traugott, M; Scheu, S

    2014-08-01

    Predator body size and prey quality are important factors driving prey choice and consumption rates. Both factors might affect prey detection success in PCR-based gut content analysis, potentially resulting in over- or underestimation of feeding rates. Experimental evidence, however, is scarce. We examined how body size and prey quality affect prey DNA detection success in centipede predators. Due to metabolic rates increasing with body size, we hypothesized that prey DNA detection intervals will be shorter in large predators than in smaller ones. Moreover, we hypothesized that prey detection intervals of high-quality prey, defined by low carbon-to-nitrogen ratio will be shorter than in low-quality prey due to faster assimilation. Small, medium and large individuals of centipedes Lithobius spp. (Lithobiidae, Chilopoda) were fed Collembola and allowed to digest prey for up to 168 h post-feeding. To test our second hypothesis, medium-sized lithobiids were fed with either Diptera or Lumbricidae. No significant differences in 50% prey DNA detection success time intervals for a 272-bp prey DNA fragment were found between the predator size groups, indicating that body size does not affect prey DNA detection success. Post-feeding detection intervals were significantly shorter in Lumbricidae and Diptera compared to Collembola prey, apparently supporting the second hypothesis. However, sensitivity of diagnostic PCR differed between prey types, and quantitative PCR revealed that concentration of targeted DNA varied significantly between prey types. This suggests that both DNA concentration and assay sensitivity need to be considered when assessing prey quality effects on prey DNA detection success. PMID:24383982

  16. Assessing native and introduced fish predation on migrating juvenile salmon in Priest Rapids and Wanapum Reservoirs, Columbia River, Washington, 2009--11

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Counihan, Timothy D.; Hardiman, Jill M.; Burgess, Dave S.; Simmons, Katrina E.; Holmberg, Glen S.; Rogala, Josh A.; Polacek, Rochelle R.

    2012-01-01

    We used the catch and diet data collected in 2009 and 2010 to estimate relative abundance, consumption, and predation indices for northern pikeminnow and smallmouth bass. Despite extensive sampling in the study area in 2009 and 2010, very few channel catfish and walleye were captured. The mean total lengths of northern pikeminnow were much lower than those observed in 1993; suggesting that efforts to remove northern pikeminnow in the study area may be shifting the population towards smaller fish. The northern pikeminnow predation index values were lower in 2009 than in the 1993 study. The reduced predation levels observed may be due to the prevalence of smaller pikeminnow in our catches than in catches reported in 1993. Predation by smallmouth bass was lower in 2009 than in 2010, and generally was greater than predation for northern pikeminnow. Predation for northern pikeminnow was concentrated in the tailrace areas of Priest Rapids, Wanapum, and Rock Island Dams; predation for smallmouth bass was concentrated in the forebay and mid-reservoir sections of the study area. Our results indicate areas where control measures for smallmouth bass could be concentrated to reduce predation in the Priest Rapids Project.

  17. Body size and the division of niche space: food and predation differentially shape the distribution of Serengeti grazers.

    PubMed

    Hopcraft, J Grant C; Anderson, T Michael; Pérez-Vila, Saleta; Mayemba, Emilian; Olff, Han

    2012-01-01

    1. Theory predicts that small grazers are regulated by the digestive quality of grass, while large grazers extract sufficient nutrients from low-quality forage and are regulated by its abundance instead. In addition, predation potentially affects populations of small grazers more than large grazers, because predators have difficulty capturing and handling large prey. 2. We analyse the spatial distribution of five grazer species of different body size in relation to gradients of food availability and predation risk. Specifically, we investigate how the quality of grass, the abundance of grass biomass and the associated risks of predation affect the habitat use of small, intermediate and large savanna grazers at a landscape level. 3. Resource selection functions of five mammalian grazer species surveyed over a 21-year period in Serengeti are calculated using logistic regressions. Variables included in the analyses are grass nitrogen, rainfall, topographic wetness index, woody cover, drainage lines, landscape curvature, water and human habitation. Structural equation modelling (SEM) is used to aggregate predictor variables into 'composites' representing food quality, food abundance and predation risk. Subsequently, SEM is used to investigate species' habitat use, defined as their recurrence in 5 × 5 km cells across repeated censuses. 4. The distribution of small grazers is constrained by predation and food quality, whereas the distribution of large grazers is relatively unconstrained. The distribution of the largest grazer (African buffalo) is primarily associated with forage abundance but not predation risk, while the distributions of the smallest grazers (Thomson's gazelle and Grant's gazelle) are associated with high grass quality and negatively with the risk of predation. The distributions of intermediate sized grazers (Coke's hartebeest and topi) suggest they optimize access to grass biomass of sufficient quality in relatively predator-safe areas. 5. The results

  18. Mechanistic understanding of the effects of natural gas development on sagebrush-obligate songbird nest predation rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hethcoat, Matthew G.

    Natural gas development has rapidly increased within sagebrush ( Artemisia spp.) dominated landscapes of the Intermountain West. Prior research in the Upper Green River Basin, Wyoming demonstrated increased nest predation of sagebrush-obligate songbirds with higher densities of natural gas wells. To better understand the mechanisms underlying this pattern, I assessed this commonly used index of oil and gas development intensity (well density) for estimating habitat transformation and predicting nest survival for songbirds breeding in energy fields during 2008- 2009 and 2011-2012. We calculated landscape metrics (habitat loss, amount of edge, patch shape complexity, and mean patch size) to identify the aspect of landscape transformation most captured by well density. Well density was most positively associated with the amount of habitat loss within 1 square kilometer. Daily nest survival was relatively invariant with respect to well density for all three species. In contrast, nest survival rates of all three species consistently decreased with increased surrounding habitat loss due to energy development. Thus, although well density and habitat loss were strongly correlated, at times they provided contrasting estimates of nest survival probability. Additionally, we tested the hypothesis that surrounding habitat loss influenced local nest predation rates via increased predator activity. During 2011- 2012, we surveyed predators and monitored songbird nests at twelve sites in western Wyoming. Nine species, representing four mammalian and three avian families, were video-recorded depredating eggs and nestlings. Approximately 75% of depredation events were caused by rodents. While chipmunk (Tamias minimus) detections were negatively associated with increased habitat loss, mice (Peromyscus maniculatus and Reithrodontomys megalotis) and ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus and Urocitellus armatus) increased with greater surrounding habitat loss. Consistent with our

  19. Polychlorinated biphenyls in a terrestrial predator, the pine marten (Martes martes L.)

    SciTech Connect

    Bremle, G.; Larsson, P.; Helldin, J.O.

    1997-09-01

    A terrestrial predator population, the pine marten (Martes martes, L.), inhabiting an area in mid-Sweden was investigated for polychlorinated biphenyls, p,p{prime}-DDE, lindane, and hexachlorobenzene. The condition of the animals, as shown by intestine fat amounts or fat content of muscle tissue, showed negative relationships with concentration of persistent pollutants. The relationship resulted in a higher concentration of pollutants as intestinal fat amounts of muscle fat content decreased and lower levels of pollutants as these indexes of condition improved. The results indicate that terrestrial predators show changes in pollutant concentration due to condition, caused by food availability and starvation. No differences in pollutant concentration were recorded between males and females and no relationship was found for levels of pollutants and age or reproduction (females). The latter results are in contrast to those found for aquatic predatory mammals.

  20. Foraging and vulnerability traits modify predator-prey body mass allometry: freshwater macroinvertebrates as a case study.

    PubMed

    Klecka, Jan; Boukal, David S

    2013-09-01

    1. Predation is often size selective, but the role of other traits of the prey and predators in their interactions is little known. This hinders our understanding of the causal links between trophic interactions and the structure of animal communities. Better knowledge of trophic traits underlying predator-prey interactions is also needed to improve models attempting to predict food web structure and dynamics from known species traits. 2. We carried out laboratory experiments with common freshwater macroinvertebrate predators (diving beetles, dragonfly and damselfly larvae and water bugs) and their prey to assess how body size and traits related to foraging (microhabitat use, feeding mode and foraging mode) and to prey vulnerability (microhabitat use, activity and escape behaviour) affect predation strength. 3. The underlying predator-prey body mass allometry characterizing mean prey size and total predation pressure was modified by feeding mode of the predators (suctorial or chewing). Suctorial predators fed upon larger prey and had ˜3 times higher mass-specific predation rate than chewing predators of the same size and may thus have stronger effect on prey abundance. 4. Strength of individual trophic links, measured as mortality of the focal prey caused by the focal predator, was determined jointly by the predator and prey body mass and their foraging and vulnerability traits. In addition to the feeding mode, interactions between prey escape behaviour (slow or fast), prey activity (sedentary or active) and predator foraging mode (searching or ambush) strongly affected prey mortality. Searching predators was ineffective in capturing fast-escape prey in comparison with the remaining predator-prey combinations, while ambush predators caused higher mortality than searching predators and the difference was larger in active prey. 5. Our results imply that the inclusion of the commonly available qualitative data on foraging traits of predators and vulnerability traits

  1. Nest predation and reproductive traits in small passerines: a comparative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanes, Miguel; Suárez, Francisco

    Nest predation can be a decisive factor in the evolution of bird reproduction strategies. This paper compares several reproductive traits in small passerines on the Iberian Peninsula (n=31) with the probability of daily nest survival from predation. We consider the phylogenetic relationships between species by means of an analysis according to three models of evolutionary change: Brownian, punctuational and GRAFEN'S arbitrary. In this comparative evolutionary scenario, clutch size, egg volume and incubation period appear not to change in relation to nest predation, while the nestling phase duration is a positively-related parameter to daily nest survival from predation. These results are consistent for all models of evolutionary change. Thus, from the perspective of nest predation, the nestling period is the most important evolutionary parameter in small passerines. A hypothetical influence of nest predation on passerine clutch and egg size should only be regarded as an indirect factor, linked to the relationship between these parameters and the duration of the nestling period.

  2. Effects of sublethal entrainment stresses on the vulnerability of juvenile bluegill sunfish to predation

    SciTech Connect

    Cada, G.F.; Solomon, J.A.; Loar, J.M.

    1981-07-01

    This report provides a review of literature concerning the effects of sublethal stresses on predator-prey interactions in aquatic systems. In addition, the results of a preliminary laboratory study of the susceptibility of entrainment-stressed juvenile bluegill to striped bass predation are presented. Juvenile bluegill were exposed to thermal and physical entrainment stresses in the ORNL Power Plant Simulator and subsequently to predation by juvenile striped bass in a susceptibility to predation experimental design. None of the entrainment stresses tested (thermal shock, physical effects of pump and condenser passage, and combination of thermal and physical shock) was found to significantly increase predation rates as compared to controls, and no significant interactions between thermal and physical stresses were detected. The validity of laboratory predator-prey studies and the application of indirect mortality information for setting protective standards and predicting environmental impacts are discussed.

  3. Absorbing phase transition in a four-state predator-prey model in one dimension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Rakesh; Mohanty, P. K.; Basu, Abhik

    2011-05-01

    The model of competition between densities of two different species, called predator and prey, is studied on a one-dimensional periodic lattice, where each site can be in one of the four states, say, empty, or occupied by a single predator, or occupied by a single prey, or by both. Along with the pairwise death of predators and growth of prey, we introduce an interaction where the predators can eat one of the neighboring prey and reproduce a new predator there instantly. The model shows a non-equilibrium phase transition into an unusual absorbing state where predators are absent and the lattice is fully occupied by prey. The critical exponents of the system are found to be different from those of the directed percolation universality class and they are robust against addition of explicit diffusion.