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Sample records for affect prey populations

  1. Predator functional response and prey survival: Direct and indirect interactions affecting a marked prey population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, David A.; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Anthony, M.

    2006-01-01

    determine the mechanisms responsible for variation in observed survival rates. The relationship between predator functional response and prey survival offers a flexible and robust method to advance our understanding of predator-prey interactions in many complex natural systems where prey populations are marked and regularly visited. ?? 2006 British Ecological Society.

  2. Indirect effects of primary prey population dynamics on alternative prey.

    PubMed

    Barraquand, Frédéric; New, Leslie F; Redpath, Stephen; Matthiopoulos, Jason

    2015-08-01

    We develop a theory of generalist predation showing how alternative prey species are affected by changes in both mean abundance and variability (coefficient of variation) of their predator's primary prey. The theory is motivated by the indirect effects of cyclic rodent populations on ground-breeding birds, and developed through progressive analytic simplifications of an empirically-based model. It applies nonetheless to many other systems where primary prey have fast life-histories and can become superabundant, thus facilitating impact on alternative prey species and generating highly asymmetric interactions. Our results suggest that predator effects on alternative prey should generally decrease with mean primary prey abundance, and increase with primary prey variability (low to high CV)-unless predators have strong aggregative responses, in which case these results can be reversed. Approximations of models including predator dynamics (general numerical response with possible delays) confirm these results but further suggest that negative temporal correlation between predator and primary prey is harmful to alternative prey. Finally, we find that measurements of predator numerical responses are crucial to predict-even qualitatively-the response of ecosystems to changes in the dynamics of outbreaking prey species. PMID:25930160

  3. Alternative prey use affects helminth parasite infections in grey wolves.

    PubMed

    Friesen, Olwyn C; Roth, James D

    2016-09-01

    Predators affect prey populations not only through direct predation, but also by acting as definitive hosts for their parasites and completing parasite life cycles. Understanding the affects of parasitism on prey population dynamics requires knowing how their predators' parasite community is affected by diet and prey availability. Ungulates, such as moose (Alces americanus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), are often important prey for wolves (Canis lupus), but wolves also consume a variety of alternative prey, including beaver (Castor canadensis) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). The use of alternative prey, which may host different or fewer parasites than ungulates, could potentially reduce overall abundance of ungulate parasites within the ecosystem, benefiting both wolves and ungulate hosts. We examined parasites in wolf carcasses from eastern Manitoba and estimated wolf diet using stable isotope analysis. Taeniidae cestodes were present in most wolves (75%), reflecting a diet primarily comprised of ungulates, but nematodes were unexpectedly rare. Cestode abundance was negatively related to the wolf's δ(13) C value, indicating diet affects parasite abundance. Wolves that consumed a higher proportion of beaver and caribou (Rangifer tarandus), estimated using Bayesian mixing models, had lower cestode abundance, suggesting the use of these alternative prey can reduce parasite loads. Long-term consumption of beavers may lower the abundance of adult parasites in wolves, eventually lowering parasite density in the region and ultimately benefiting ungulates that serve as intermediate hosts. Thus, alternative prey can affect both predator-prey and host-parasite interactions and potentially affect food web dynamics. PMID:27155132

  4. How predator functional responses and Allee effects in prey affect the paradox of enrichment and population collapses.

    PubMed

    Boukal, David S; Sabelis, Maurice W; Berec, Ludek

    2007-08-01

    In Rosenzweig-MacArthur models of predator-prey dynamics, Allee effects in prey usually destabilize interior equilibria and can suppress or enhance limit cycles typical of the paradox of enrichment. We re-evaluate these conclusions through a complete classification of a wide range of Allee effects in prey and predator's functional response shapes. We show that abrupt and deterministic system collapses not preceded by fluctuating predator-prey dynamics occur for sufficiently steep type III functional responses and strong Allee effects (with unstable lower equilibrium in prey dynamics). This phenomenon arises as type III functional responses greatly reduce cyclic dynamics and strong Allee effects promote deterministic collapses. These collapses occur with decreasing predator mortality and/or increasing susceptibility of the prey to fall below the threshold Allee density (e.g. due to increased carrying capacity or the Allee threshold itself). On the other hand, weak Allee effects (without unstable equilibrium in prey dynamics) enlarge the range of carrying capacities for which the cycles occur if predators exhibit decelerating functional responses. We discuss the results in the light of conservation strategies, eradication of alien species, and successful introduction of biocontrol agents. PMID:17296212

  5. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists. PMID:23124333

  6. Does colour polymorphism enhance survival of prey populations?

    PubMed

    Wennersten, Lena; Forsman, Anders

    2009-06-22

    That colour polymorphism may protect prey populations from predation is an old but rarely tested hypothesis. We examine whether colour polymorphic populations of prey exposed to avian predators in an ecologically valid visual context were exposed to increased extinction risk compared with monomorphic populations. We made 2976 artificial pastry prey, resembling Lepidoptera larvae, in four different colours and presented them in 124 monomorphic and 124 tetramorphic populations on tree trunks and branches such that they would be exposed to predation by free-living birds, and monitored their 'survival'. Among monomorphic populations, there was a significant effect of prey coloration on survival, confirming that coloration influenced susceptibility to visually oriented predators. Survival of polymorphic populations was inferior to that of monomorphic green populations, but did not differ significantly from monomorphic brown, yellow or red populations. Differences in survival within polymorphic populations paralleled those seen among monomorphic populations; the red morph most frequently went extinct first and the green morph most frequently survived the longest. Our findings do not support the traditional protective polymorphism hypothesis and are in conflict with those of earlier studies. As a possible explanation to our findings, we offer a competing 'giveaway cue' hypothesis: that polymorphic populations may include one morph that attracts the attention of predators and that polymorphic populations therefore may suffer increased predation compared with some monomorphic populations. PMID:19324729

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schartel, Tyler E.; Schauber, Eric M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schartel, Tyler E; Schauber, Eric M

    2016-01-01

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

  10. The Many Faces of Fear: Comparing the Pathways and Impacts of Nonconsumptive Predator Effects on Prey Populations

    PubMed Central

    Preisser, Evan L.; Bolnick, Daniel I.

    2008-01-01

    Background Most ecological models assume that predator and prey populations interact solely through consumption: predators reduce prey densities by killing and consuming individual prey. However, predators can also reduce prey densities by forcing prey to adopt costly defensive strategies. Methodology/Principal Findings We build on a simple Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model to provide a heuristic tool for distinguishing between the demographic effects of consumption (consumptive effects) and of anti-predator defenses (nonconsumptive effects), and for distinguishing among the multiple mechanisms by which anti-predator defenses might reduce prey population growth rates. We illustrate these alternative pathways for nonconsumptive effects with selected empirical examples, and use a meta-analysis of published literature to estimate the mean effect size of each pathway. Overall, predation risk tends to have a much larger impact on prey foraging behavior than measures of growth, survivorship, or fecundity. Conclusions/Significance While our model provides a concise framework for understanding the many potential NCE pathways and their relationships to each other, our results confirm empirical research showing that prey are able to partially compensate for changes in energy income, mitigating the fitness effects of defensive changes in time budgets. Distinguishing the many facets of nonconsumptive effects raises some novel questions, and will help guide both empirical and theoretical studies of how predation risk affects prey dynamics. PMID:18560575

  11. Insect prey characteristics affecting regional variation in chimpanzee tool use.

    PubMed

    Sanz, Crickette M; Deblauwe, Isra; Tagg, Nikki; Morgan, David B

    2014-06-01

    It is an ongoing interdisciplinary pursuit to identify the factors shaping the emergence and maintenance of tool technology. Field studies of several primate taxa have shown that tool using behaviors vary within and between populations. While similarity in tools over spatial and temporal scales may be the product of socially learned skills, it may also reflect adoption of convergent strategies that are tailored to specific prey features. Much has been claimed about regional variation in chimpanzee tool use, with little attention to the ecological circumstances that may have shaped such differences. This study examines chimpanzee tool use in termite gathering to evaluate the extent to which the behavior of insect prey may dictate chimpanzee technology. More specifically, we conducted a systematic comparison of chimpanzee tool use and termite prey between the Goualougo Triangle in the Republic of Congo and the La Belgique research site in southeast Cameroon. Apes at both of these sites are known to use tool sets to gather several species of termites. We collected insect specimens and measured the characteristics of their nests. Associated chimpanzee tool assemblages were documented at both sites and video recordings were conducted in the Goualougo Triangle. Although Macrotermitinae assemblages were identical, we found differences in the tools used to gather these termites. Based on measurements of the chimpanzee tools and termite nests at each site, we concluded that some characteristics of chimpanzee tools were directly related to termite nest structure. While there is a certain degree of uniformity within approaches to particular tool tasks across the species range, some aspects of regional variation in hominoid technology are likely adaptations to subtle environmental differences between populations or groups. Such microecological differences between sites do not negate the possibility of cultural transmission, as social learning may be required to transmit

  12. Population and Evolutionary Dynamics based on Predator-Prey Relationships in a 3D Physical Simulation.

    PubMed

    Ito, Takashi; Pilat, Marcin L; Suzuki, Reiji; Arita, Takaya

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have reported that population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics, occurring at different time scales, can be affected by each other. Our purpose is to explore the interaction between population and evolutionary dynamics using an artificial life approach based on a 3D physically simulated environment in the context of predator-prey and morphology-behavior coevolution. The morphologies and behaviors of virtual prey creatures are evolved using a genetic algorithm based on the predation interactions between predators and prey. Both population sizes are also changed, depending on the fitness. We observe two types of cyclic behaviors, corresponding to short-term and long-term dynamics. The former can be interpreted as a simple population dynamics of Lotka-Volterra type. It is shown that the latter cycle is based on the interaction between the changes in the prey strategy against predators and the long-term change in both population sizes, resulting partly from a tradeoff between their defensive success and the cost of defense. PMID:26934093

  13. Coexistence of structured populations with size-based prey selection.

    PubMed

    Hartvig, Martin; Andersen, Ken Haste

    2013-11-01

    Species with a large adult-offspring size ratio and a preferred predator-prey mass ratio undergo ontogenetic trophic niche shift(s) throughout life. Trophic interactions between such species vary throughout life, resulting in different species-level interaction motifs depending on the maximum adult sizes and population size distributions. We explore the assembly and potential for coexistence of small communities where all species experience ontogenetic trophic niche shifts. The life-history of each species is described by a physiologically structured model and species identity is characterised by the trait: size at maturation. We show that a single species can exist in two different states: a 'resource driven state' and a 'cannibalistic state' with a large scope for emergent Allee effects and bistable states. Two species can coexist in two different configurations: in a 'competitive coexistence' state when the ratio between sizes at maturation of the two species is less than a predator-prey mass ratio and the resource level is low to intermediate, or in a 'trophic ladder' state if the ratio of sizes at maturation is larger than the predator-prey mass ratio at all resource levels. While there is a large scope for coexistence of two species, the scope for coexistence of three species is limited and we conclude that further trait differentiation is required for coexistence of more species-rich size-structured communities. PMID:23927897

  14. The Nutritional Content of Prey Affects the Foraging of a Generalist Arthropod Predator

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Jason M.; Sebastian, Peter; Wilder, Shawn M.; Rypstra, Ann L.

    2012-01-01

    While foraging theory predicts that predatory responses should be determined by the energy content and size of prey, it is becoming increasingly clear that carnivores regulate their intake of specific nutrients. We tested the hypothesis that prey nutrient composition and predator nutritional history affects foraging intensity, consumption, and prey selection by the wolf spider, Pardosa milvina. By altering the rearing environment for fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, we produced high quality flies containing more nitrogen and protein and less lipid than low quality fruit flies. In one experiment, we quantified the proportion of flies taken and consumption across a range of densities of either high or low quality flies and, in a second experiment, we determined the prey capture and consumption of spiders that had been maintained on contrasting diets prior to testing. In both cases, the proportion of prey captured declined with increasing prey density, which characterizes the Type II functional response that is typical of wolf spiders. Spiders with similar nutritional histories killed similar numbers of each prey type but consumed more of the low quality prey. Spiders provided high quality prey in the weeks prior to testing killed more prey than those on the low quality diet but there was no effect of prior diet on consumption. In the third experiment, spiders were maintained on contrasting diets for three weeks and then allowed to select from a mixture of high and low quality prey. Interestingly, feeding history affected prey preferences: spiders that had been on a low quality diet showed no preference but those on the high quality diet selected high quality flies from the mixture. Our results suggest that, even when prey size and species identity are controlled, the nutritional experience of the predator as well as the specific content of the prey shapes predator-prey interactions. PMID:23145130

  15. Elevated CO2 Affects Predator-Prey Interactions through Altered Performance

    PubMed Central

    Allan, Bridie J. M.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown that exposure to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) affects how fishes perceive their environment, affecting behavioral and cognitive processes leading to increased prey mortality. However, it is unclear if increased mortality results from changes in the dynamics of predator-prey interactions or due to prey increasing activity levels. Here we demonstrate that ocean pCO2 projected to occur by 2100 significantly effects the interactions of a predator-prey pair of common reef fish: the planktivorous damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis and the piscivorous dottyback Pseudochromis fuscus. Prey exposed to elevated CO2 (880 µatm) or a present-day control (440 µatm) interacted with similarly exposed predators in a cross-factored design. Predators had the lowest capture success when exposed to elevated CO2 and interacting with prey exposed to present-day CO2. Prey exposed to elevated CO2 had reduced escape distances and longer reaction distances compared to prey exposed to present-day CO2 conditions, but this was dependent on whether the prey was paired with a CO2 exposed predator or not. This suggests that the dynamics of predator-prey interactions under future CO2 environments will depend on the extent to which the interacting species are affected and can adapt to the adverse effects of elevated CO2. PMID:23484032

  16. Prey size and scramble vs. contest competition in a social spider: implications for population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sharpe, Ruth V; Avilés, Leticia

    2016-09-01

    There are many benefits of group living, but also substantial costs, one of which is competition for resources. How scarce food resources are distributed among different members of a population or social group - whether via scramble or contest competition - can influence not only the variance in individual fitness, but also the stability and therefore survival of the group or population. Attributes of the food resources themselves, such as their size, may influence the type of intraspecific competition that occurs and therefore the intrinsic stability of a group or population. By experimentally manipulating the size of prey fed to artificial colonies of the social spider Anelosimus eximius, we investigated whether prey size could alter the degree of scramble vs. contest competition that takes place and, thus, potentially influence colony population dynamics. We found that large prey were shared more evenly than small prey and that individuals in poor condition were more likely to feed when prey were large than when prey were small. Additionally, we show that individuals participating in prey capture are also more likely to feed on the captured prey. We developed a simple mathematical model to explore the prey sizes that would be energetically worth defending, i.e. prey that are 'economically defendable'. The model shows that neither very small prey, nor prey above a certain size is worth monopolizing, with only intermediate size prey being 'economically defendable'. We therefore suggest the small and large prey in our experiment corresponds to our model's intermediate and large prey categories, respectively. As the size of prey captured by social spider colonies increases with colony size, our findings suggest that scramble competition may predominate in large colonies. Scramble competition, combined with the fact that prey biomass per capita declines as colonies grow beyond a certain size, would then explain why extremely large colonies of this social spider may

  17. Shedding light on microbial predator-prey population dynamics using a quantitative bioluminescence assay.

    PubMed

    Im, Hansol; Kim, Dasol; Ghim, Cheol-Min; Mitchell, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    This study assessed the dynamics of predation by Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD 100. Predation tests with two different bioluminescent strains of Escherichia coli, one expressing a heat-labile bacterial luciferase and the other a heat-stable form, showed near identical losses from both, indicating that protein expression and stability are not responsible for the "shutting-off" of the prey bioluminescence (BL). Furthermore, it was found that the loss in the prey BL was not proportional with the predator-to-prey ratio (PPR), with significantly greater losses seen as this value was increased. This suggests that other factors also play a role in lowering the prey BL. The loss in BL, however, was very consistent within nine independent experiments to the point that we were able to reliably estimate the predator numbers within only 1 h when present at a PPR of 6 or higher, Using a fluorescent prey, we found that premature lysis of the prey occurs at a significant level and was more prominent as the PPR ratio increased. Based upon the supernatant fluorescent signal, even a relatively low PPR of 10-20 led to approximately 5% of the prey population being prematurely lysed within 1 h, while a PPR of 90 led to nearly 15% lysis. Consequently, we developed a modified Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model that accounted for this lysis and is able to reliably estimate the prey and bdelloplast populations for a wide range of PPRs. PMID:24272279

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gestoso, Ignacio; Arenas, Francisco; Olabarria, Celia

    2015-03-01

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

  19. Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator–prey system

    PubMed Central

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-01-01

    Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator–prey (rotifer–algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result. PMID:25336757

  20. Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-11-11

    Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator-prey (rotifer-algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result. PMID:25336757

  1. Evolution of virulence driven by predator-prey interaction: Possible consequences for population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Morozov, A Yu; Adamson, M W

    2011-05-01

    The evolution of pathogen virulence in natural populations has conventionally been considered as a result of selection caused by the interactions of the host with its pathogen(s). The host population, however, is generally embedded in complex trophic interactions with other populations in the community, in particular, intensive predation on the infected host can increase its mortality, and this can affect the course of virulence evolution. Reciprocally, in the long run, the evolution of virulence within an infected host can affect the patterns of population dynamics of a predator consuming the host (e.g. resulting in large amplitude oscillations, causing a severe drop in the population size, etc.). Surprisingly, neither the effect of predation on the evolution of virulence within a host, nor the influence of the evolution of virulence upon the consumer's dynamics has been addressed in the literature yet. In this paper, we consider a classical S-I ecoepidemiological model in which the infected host is consumed by a predator. We are particularly interested in the evolutionarily stable virulence of the pathogen in the model and its dependence upon ecologically relevant parameters. We show that predation can prominently shift the evolutionarily stable virulence towards more severe strains as compared to the same system without predation. We demonstrate that the evolution of virulence can result in a succession of dynamical regimes and can even lead to the extinction of the predator in the long run. The presence of a predator can indirectly affect the evolution within its prey since the evolutionarily stable virulence becomes a function of the prey growth rate, which would not be the case in a predator-free system. We find that the evolutionarily stable virulence largely depends on the carrying capacity K of the prey in a non-monotonous way. The model also predicts that in an eutrophic environment the shift of virulence towards evolutionarily stable benign strains can

  2. 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

  3. Forest structure affects trophic linkages: How silvicultural disturbance impacts bats and their insect prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, L.E.; Lacki, M.J.; Britzke, E.R.; Buehler, D.A.; Keyser, P.D.; Larkin, J.L.; Rodewald, A.D.; Wigley, T.B.; Wood, P.B.; Rieske, L.K.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate insectivores such as bats are a pervasive top-down force on prey populations in forest ecosystems. Conservation focusing on forest-dwelling bats requires understanding of community-level interactions between these predators and their insect prey. Our study assessed bat activity and insect occurrence (abundance and diversity) across a gradient of forest disturbance and structure (silvicultural treatments) in the Central Appalachian region of North America. We conducted acoustic surveys of bat echolocation concurrent with insect surveys using blacklight and malaise traps over 2 years. Predator activity, prey occurrence and prey biomass varied seasonally and across the region. The number of bat echolocation pulses was positively related with forest disturbance, whereas prey demonstrated varied trends. Lepidopteran abundance was negatively related with disturbance, while dipteran abundance and diversity was positively related with disturbance. Coleoptera were unaffected. Neither bat nor insect response variables differed between plot interiors and edges. Correlations between bat activity and vegetative structure reflected differences in foraging behavior among ensembles. Activity of myotine bats was correlated with variables describing sub-canopy vegetation, whereas activity of lasiurine bats was more closely correlated with canopy-level vegetation. Lepidopteran abundance was correlated with variables describing canopy and sub-canopy vegetation, whereas coleopteran and dipteran occurrence were more closely correlated with canopy-level vegetative structure. Our study demonstrates regional variation in bat activity and prey occurrence across a forested disturbance gradient. Land management and conservation efforts should consider the importance of vegetation structure and plant species richness to sustain forest-dwelling bats and their insect prey.

  4. Role of prey and intraspecific density dependence on the population growth of an avian top predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-de-Simon, Javier; Díaz-Ruiz, Francisco; Cirilli, Francesca; Tortosa, Francisco S.; Villafuerte, Rafael; Ferreras, Pablo

    2014-10-01

    Exploring predator-prey systems in diverse ecosystems increases our knowledge about ecological processes. Predator population growth may be positive when conspecific density is low but predators also need areas with prey availability, associated with competition, which increases the risk of suffering losses but stabilises populations. We studied relationships between European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus (prey) and adult eagle owls Bubo bubo (predators) in south-western Europe. We assessed models explaining the predator population growth and stability. We estimated the abundance of rabbits and adult eagle owls during three years in eight localities of central-southern Spain. We explored models including rabbit and adult eagle owl abundance, accounting for yearly variations and including the locality as a random variable. We found that population growth of adult eagle owls was positive in situations with low conspecific abundance and tended to be negative but approaching equilibrium in situations of higher conspecific abundance. Population growth was also positively related to previous summer rabbit density when taking into account eagle owl conspecific abundance, possibly indicating that rabbits may support recruitment. Furthermore, abundance stability of adult eagle owls was positively related to previous winter-spring rabbit density, which could suggest predator population stabilisation through quick territory occupation in high-quality areas. These results exemplify the trade-off between prey availability and abundance of adult predators related to population growth and abundance stability in the eagle owl-rabbit system in south-western Europe. Despite rabbits have greatly declined during the last decades and eagle owls locally specialise on them, eagle owls currently have a favourable conservation status. As eagle owls are the only nocturnal raptor with such dependence on rabbits, this could point out that predators may overcome prey decreases in areas with

  5. The economics of protecting tiger populations: Linking household behavior to poaching and prey depletion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Damania, R.; Stringer, R.; Karanth, K.U.; Stith, B.

    2003-01-01

    The tiger (Panthera tigris) is classified as endangered and populations continue to decline. This paper presents a formal economic analysis of the two most imminent threats to the survival of wild tigers: poaching tigers and hunting their prey. A model is developed to examine interactions between tigers and farm households living in and around tiger habitats. The analysis extends the existing literature on tiger demography, incorporating predator-prey interactions and exploring the sensitivity of tiger populations to key economic parameters. The analysis aims to contribute to policy debates on how best to protect one of the world's most endangered wild cats.

  6. Reproductive responses to spatial and temporal prey availability in a coastal Arctic fox population.

    PubMed

    Eide, Nina E; Stien, Audun; Prestrud, Pål; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Fuglei, Eva

    2012-05-01

    1. Input of external subsidies in the Arctic may have substantial effects on predator populations that otherwise would have been limited by low local primary productivity. 2. We explore life-history traits, age-specific fecundity, litter sizes and survival, and the population dynamics of an Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population to explore the influence of the spatial distribution and temporal availability of its main prey; including both resident and migrating (external) prey resources. 3. This study reveals that highly predictable cross-boundary subsidies from the marine food web, acting through seasonal access to seabirds, sustain larger local Arctic fox populations. Arctic fox dens located close to the coast in Svalbard were found to have higher occupancy rates, as expected from both high availability and high temporal and spatial predictability of prey resources (temporally stable external subsidies). Whereas the occupancy rate of inland dens varied between years in relation to the abundance of reindeer carcasses (temporally varying resident prey). 4. With regard to demography, juvenile Arctic foxes in Svalbard have lower survival rates and a high age of first reproduction compared with other populations. We suggest this may be caused by a lack of unoccupied dens and a saturated population. PMID:22211323

  7. Predator-prey model for the self-organization of stochastic oscillators in dual populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moradi, Sara; Anderson, Johan; Gürcan, Ozgür D.

    2015-12-01

    A predator-prey model of dual populations with stochastic oscillators is presented. A linear cross-coupling between the two populations is introduced following the coupling between the motions of a Wilberforce pendulum in two dimensions: one in the longitudinal and the other in torsional plain. Within each population a Kuramoto-type competition between the phases is assumed. Thus, the synchronization state of the whole system is controlled by these two types of competitions. The results of the numerical simulations show that by adding the linear cross-coupling interactions predator-prey oscillations between the two populations appear, which results in self-regulation of the system by a transfer of synchrony between the two populations. The model represents several important features of the dynamical interplay between the drift wave and zonal flow turbulence in magnetically confined plasmas, and a novel interpretation of the coupled dynamics of drift wave-zonal flow turbulence using synchronization of stochastic oscillator is discussed.

  8. Familiarity affects social network structure and discovery of prey patch locations in foraging stickleback shoals

    PubMed Central

    Atton, N.; Galef, B. J.; Hoppitt, W.; Webster, M. M.; Laland, K. N.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous factors affect the fine-scale social structure of animal groups, but it is unclear how important such factors are in determining how individuals encounter resources. Familiarity affects shoal choice and structure in many social fishes. Here, we show that familiarity between shoal members of sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) affects both fine-scale social organization and the discovery of resources. Social network analysis revealed that sticklebacks remained closer to familiar than to unfamiliar individuals within the same shoal. Network-based diffusion analysis revealed that there was a strong untransmitted social effect on patch discovery, with individuals tending to discover a task sooner if a familiar individual from their group had previously done so than if an unfamiliar fish had done so. However, in contrast to the effect of familiarity, the frequency with which individuals had previously associated with one another had no effect upon the likelihood of prey patch discovery. This may have been due to the influence of fish on one another's movements; the effect of familiarity on discovery of an empty ‘control’ patch was as strong as for discovery of an actual prey patch. Our results demonstrate that factors affecting fine-scale social interactions can also influence how individuals encounter and exploit resources. PMID:25009061

  9. Do predator-prey relationships on the river bed affect fine sediment ingress?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathers, Kate; Rice, Stephen; Wood, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystem engineers are organisms that alter their physical environment and thereby influence the flow of resources through ecosystems. In rivers, several ecosystem engineers are also important geomorphological agents that modify fluvial sediment dynamics. By altering channel morphology and bed material characteristics, such modifications can affect the availability of habitats for other organisms, with implications for ecosystem health and wider community composition. In this way geomorphological and ecological systems are intimately interconnected. This paper focuses on one element of this intricate abiotic-biotic coupling: the interaction between fine sediment ingress into the river bed and the predator-prey relationships of aquatic organisms living on and in the river bed. Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) have been shown to modify fine sediment fluxes in rivers, but their effect on fine sediment ingress into riverbeds remains unclear. Many macroinvertebrate taxa have adapted avoidance strategies to avoid predation by crayfish, with one example being the freshwater shrimp (Gammarus pulex) which relies on open interstitial spaces within subsurface sediments as a refuge from crayfish predation. Fine sedimentation that fills gravelly frameworks may preclude access to those spaces, therefore leaving freshwater shrimp susceptible to predation. Ex-situ experiments were conducted which sought to examine: i) if freshwater shrimps and signal crayfish, alone and in combination, influenced fine sediment infiltration rates; and ii) whether modifications to substratum composition, specifically the introduction of fine sediment, modified predator-prey interactions. The results demonstrate that crayfish are significant geomorphic agents and that fine sediment ingress rates were significantly enhanced in their presence compared to control conditions or the presence of only freshwater shrimps. The combination of both organisms (i.e. allowing the interaction between

  10. Ecoepidemic predator-prey model with feeding satiation, prey herd behavior and abandoned infected prey.

    PubMed

    Kooi, Bob W; Venturino, Ezio

    2016-04-01

    In this paper we analyse a predator-prey model where the prey population shows group defense and the prey individuals are affected by a transmissible disease. The resulting model is of the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey type with an SI (susceptible-infected) disease in the prey. Modeling prey group defense leads to a square root dependence in the Holling type II functional for the predator-prey interaction term. The system dynamics is investigated using simulations, classical existence and asymptotic stability analysis and numerical bifurcation analysis. A number of bifurcations, such as transcritical and Hopf bifurcations which occur commonly in predator-prey systems will be found. Because of the square root interaction term there is non-uniqueness of the solution and a singularity where the prey population goes extinct in a finite time. This results in a collapse initiated by extinction of the healthy or susceptible prey and thereafter the other population(s). When also a positive attractor exists this leads to bistability similar to what is found in predator-prey models with a strong Allee effect. For the two-dimensional disease-free (i.e. the purely demographic) system the region in the parameter space where bistability occurs is marked by a global bifurcation. At this bifurcation a heteroclinic connection exists between saddle prey-only equilibrium points where a stable limit cycle together with its basin of attraction, are destructed. In a companion paper (Gimmelli et al., 2015) the same model was formulated and analysed in which the disease was not in the prey but in the predator. There we also observed this phenomenon. Here we extend its analysis using a phase portrait analysis. For the three-dimensional ecoepidemic predator-prey system where the prey is affected by the disease, also tangent bifurcations including a cusp bifurcation and a torus bifurcation of limit cycles occur. This leads to new complex dynamics. Continuation by varying one parameter

  11. Climatic amplification of the numerical response of a predator population to its prey.

    PubMed

    Bowler, Berlinda; Krebs, Charles; O'Donoghue, Mark; Hone, Jim

    2014-05-01

    We evaluated evidence of an effect of climate on the numerical response of a coyote (Canis latrans) population to their keystone prey, snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), in a Canadian boreal forest. Six a priori hypotheses of the coyote numerical response were developed that postulated linear, nonlinear, additive, and interactive effects of prey and climate. Model selection procedures showed the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) had the strongest effect on the coyote numerical response via its interaction with snowshoe hare density, while other large-scale climate indices had very weak effects. For a given snowshoe hare density, a negative value of the NAO amplified the abundance of coyote and a positive NAO decreased coyote abundance. We hypothesize that the coyote numerical response is ultimately determined by the coyote functional response influenced by winter conditions determined by the NAO. PMID:25000747

  12. Predator-prey model for the self-organization of stochastic oscillators in dual populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moradi, Sara; Anderson, Johan; Gürcan, Ozgur D.

    A predator-prey model of dual populations with stochastic oscillators is presented. A linear cross-coupling between the two populations is introduced that follows the coupling between the motions of a Wilberforce pendulum in two dimensions: one in the longitudinal and the other in torsional plain. Within each population a Kuramoto type competition between the phases is assumed. Thus, the synchronization state of the whole system is controlled by these two types of competitions. The results of the numerical simulations show that by adding the linear cross-coupling interactions predator-prey oscillations between the two populations appear which results in self-regulation of the system by a transfer of synchrony between the two populations. The model represents several important features of the dynamical interplay between the drift wave and zonal flow turbulence in magnetically confined plasmas, and a novel interpretation of the coupled dynamics of drift wave-zonal flow turbulence using synchronization of stochastic oscillator is discussed. Sara Moradi has benefited from a mobility grant funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office and the MSCA of the European Commission (FP7-PEOPLE-COFUND-2008 nº 246540).

  13. Predator-prey model for the self-organization of stochastic oscillators in dual populations.

    PubMed

    Moradi, Sara; Anderson, Johan; Gürcan, Ozgür D

    2015-12-01

    A predator-prey model of dual populations with stochastic oscillators is presented. A linear cross-coupling between the two populations is introduced following the coupling between the motions of a Wilberforce pendulum in two dimensions: one in the longitudinal and the other in torsional plain. Within each population a Kuramoto-type competition between the phases is assumed. Thus, the synchronization state of the whole system is controlled by these two types of competitions. The results of the numerical simulations show that by adding the linear cross-coupling interactions predator-prey oscillations between the two populations appear, which results in self-regulation of the system by a transfer of synchrony between the two populations. The model represents several important features of the dynamical interplay between the drift wave and zonal flow turbulence in magnetically confined plasmas, and a novel interpretation of the coupled dynamics of drift wave-zonal flow turbulence using synchronization of stochastic oscillator is discussed. PMID:26764797

  14. Dampening prey cycle overrides the impact of climate change on predator population dynamics: a long-term demographic study on tawny owls

    PubMed Central

    Millon, Alexandre; Petty, Steve J; Little, Brian; Gimenez, Olivier; Cornulier, Thomas; Lambin, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Predicting the dynamics of animal populations with different life histories requires careful understanding of demographic responses to multifaceted aspects of global changes, such as climate and trophic interactions. Continent-scale dampening of vole population cycles, keystone herbivores in many ecosystems, has been recently documented across Europe. However, its impact on guilds of vole-eating predators remains unknown. To quantify this impact, we used a 27-year study of an avian predator (tawny owl) and its main prey (field vole) collected in Kielder Forest (UK) where vole dynamics shifted from a high- to a low-amplitude fluctuation regime in the mid-1990s. We measured the functional responses of four demographic rates to changes in prey dynamics and winter climate, characterized by wintertime North Atlantic Oscillation (wNAO). First-year and adult survival were positively affected by vole density in autumn but relatively insensitive to wNAO. The probability of breeding and number of fledglings were higher in years with high spring vole densities and negative wNAO (i.e. colder and drier winters). These functional responses were incorporated into a stochastic population model. The size of the predator population was projected under scenarios combining prey dynamics and winter climate to test whether climate buffers or alternatively magnifies the impact of changes in prey dynamics. We found the observed dampening vole cycles, characterized by low spring densities, drastically reduced the breeding probability of predators. Our results illustrate that (i) change in trophic interactions can override direct climate change effect; and (ii) the demographic resilience entailed by longevity and the occurrence of a floater stage may be insufficient to buffer hypothesized environmental changes. Ultimately, dampened prey cycles would drive our owl local population towards extinction, with winter climate regimes only altering persistence time. These results suggest that other

  15. Prey community structure affects how predators select for Müllerian mimicry

    PubMed Central

    Ihalainen, Eira; Rowland, Hannah M.; Speed, Michael P.; Ruxton, Graeme D.; Mappes, Johanna

    2012-01-01

    Müllerian mimicry describes the close resemblance between aposematic prey species; it is thought to be beneficial because sharing a warning signal decreases the mortality caused by sampling by inexperienced predators learning to avoid the signal. It has been hypothesized that selection for mimicry is strongest in multi-species prey communities where predators are more prone to misidentify the prey than in simple communities. In this study, wild great tits (Parus major) foraged from either simple (few prey appearances) or complex (several prey appearances) artificial prey communities where a specific model prey was always present. Owing to slower learning, the model did suffer higher mortality in complex communities when the birds were inexperienced. However, in a subsequent generalization test to potential mimics of the model prey (a continuum of signal accuracy), only birds that had foraged from simple communities selected against inaccurate mimics. Therefore, accurate mimicry is more likely to evolve in simple communities even though predator avoidance learning is slower in complex communities. For mimicry to evolve, prey species must have a common predator; the effective community consists of the predator's diet. In diverse environments, the limited diets of specialist predators could create ‘simple community pockets’ where accurate mimicry is selected for. PMID:22237908

  16. Factors Affecting Growth of Tengmalm’s Owl (Aegolius funereus) Nestlings: Prey Abundance, Sex and Hatching Order

    PubMed Central

    Zárybnická, Markéta; Riegert, Jan; Brejšková, Lucie; Šindelář, Jiří; Kouba, Marek; Hanel, Jan; Popelková, Alena; Menclová, Petra; Tomášek, Václav; Šťastný, Karel

    2015-01-01

    In altricial birds, energy supply during growth is a major predictor of the physical condition and survival prospects of fledglings. A number of experimental studies have shown that nestling body mass and wing length can vary with particular extrinsic factors, but between-year observational data on this topic are scarce. Based on a seven-year observational study in a central European Tengmalm’s owl population we examine the effect of year, brood size, hatching order, and sex on nestling body mass and wing length, as well as the effect of prey abundance on parameters of growth curve. We found that nestling body mass varied among years, and parameters of growth curve, i.e. growth rate and inflection point in particular, increased with increasing abundance of the owl’s main prey (Apodemus mice, Microtus voles), and pooled prey abundance (Apodemus mice, Microtus voles, and Sorex shrews). Furthermore, nestling body mass varied with hatching order and between sexes being larger for females and for the first-hatched brood mates. Brood size had no effect on nestling body mass. Simultaneously, we found no effect of year, brood size, hatching order, or sex on the wing length of nestlings. Our findings suggest that in this temperate owl population, nestling body mass is more sensitive to prey abundance than is wing length. The latter is probably more limited by the physiology of the species. PMID:26444564

  17. Distinguishing the Impacts of Inadequate Prey and Vessel Traffic on an Endangered Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Population

    PubMed Central

    Ayres, Katherine L.; Booth, Rebecca K.; Hempelmann, Jennifer A.; Koski, Kari L.; Emmons, Candice K.; Baird, Robin W.; Balcomb-Bartok, Kelley; Hanson, M. Bradley; Ford, Michael J.; Wasser, Samuel K.

    2012-01-01

    Managing endangered species often involves evaluating the relative impacts of multiple anthropogenic and ecological pressures. This challenge is particularly formidable for cetaceans, which spend the majority of their time underwater. Noninvasive physiological approaches can be especially informative in this regard. We used a combination of fecal thyroid (T3) and glucocorticoid (GC) hormone measures to assess two threats influencing the endangered southern resident killer whales (SRKW; Orcinus orca) that frequent the inland waters of British Columbia, Canada and Washington, U.S.A. Glucocorticoids increase in response to nutritional and psychological stress, whereas thyroid hormone declines in response to nutritional stress but is unaffected by psychological stress. The inadequate prey hypothesis argues that the killer whales have become prey limited due to reductions of their dominant prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The vessel impact hypothesis argues that high numbers of vessels in close proximity to the whales cause disturbance via psychological stress and/or impaired foraging ability. The GC and T3 measures supported the inadequate prey hypothesis. In particular, GC concentrations were negatively correlated with short-term changes in prey availability. Whereas, T3 concentrations varied by date and year in a manner that corresponded with more long-term prey availability. Physiological correlations with prey overshadowed any impacts of vessels since GCs were lowest during the peak in vessel abundance, which also coincided with the peak in salmon availability. Our results suggest that identification and recovery of strategic salmon populations in the SRKW diet are important to effectively promote SRKW recovery. PMID:22701560

  18. Distinguishing the impacts of inadequate prey and vessel traffic on an endangered killer whale (Orcinus orca) population.

    PubMed

    Ayres, Katherine L; Booth, Rebecca K; Hempelmann, Jennifer A; Koski, Kari L; Emmons, Candice K; Baird, Robin W; Balcomb-Bartok, Kelley; Hanson, M Bradley; Ford, Michael J; Wasser, Samuel K

    2012-01-01

    Managing endangered species often involves evaluating the relative impacts of multiple anthropogenic and ecological pressures. This challenge is particularly formidable for cetaceans, which spend the majority of their time underwater. Noninvasive physiological approaches can be especially informative in this regard. We used a combination of fecal thyroid (T3) and glucocorticoid (GC) hormone measures to assess two threats influencing the endangered southern resident killer whales (SRKW; Orcinus orca) that frequent the inland waters of British Columbia, Canada and Washington, U.S.A. Glucocorticoids increase in response to nutritional and psychological stress, whereas thyroid hormone declines in response to nutritional stress but is unaffected by psychological stress. The inadequate prey hypothesis argues that the killer whales have become prey limited due to reductions of their dominant prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The vessel impact hypothesis argues that high numbers of vessels in close proximity to the whales cause disturbance via psychological stress and/or impaired foraging ability. The GC and T3 measures supported the inadequate prey hypothesis. In particular, GC concentrations were negatively correlated with short-term changes in prey availability. Whereas, T3 concentrations varied by date and year in a manner that corresponded with more long-term prey availability. Physiological correlations with prey overshadowed any impacts of vessels since GCs were lowest during the peak in vessel abundance, which also coincided with the peak in salmon availability. Our results suggest that identification and recovery of strategic salmon populations in the SRKW diet are important to effectively promote SRKW recovery. PMID:22701560

  19. Effects of the prey refuge distribution on a predator-prey system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hee; Kwon, Ohsung; Song, Hark-Soo

    2016-03-01

    The existence of prey refuges in a predator-prey system is known to be strongly related to the ecosystem's stability. In this study, we explored how the prey refuge distribution affects the predator-prey system. To do so, we constructed a spatial lattice model to simulate an integrative predator (wolf) - prey (rabbit) - plant (grass) relationship. When a wolf (rabbit) encountered a rabbit (grass), the wolf (rabbit) tended to move to the rabbit (grass) for foraging while the rabbit tended to escape from the wolf. These behaviors were mathematically described by the degrees of willingness for hunting ( H) and escaping ( E). Initially, n refuges for prey were heterogeneously distributed in the lattice space. The heterogeneity was characterized as variable A. Higher values of A equate to higher aggregation in the refuge. We investigated the mean population density for different values of H, E, and A. To simply characterize the refuge distribution effect, we built an H-E grid map containing the population density for each species. Then, we counted the number of grids, N, with a population density ≥ 0.25. Simulation results showed that an appropriate value of A positively affected prey survival while values of A were too high had a negative effect on prey survival. The results were explained by using the trade-off between the staying time of the prey in the refuge and the cluster size of the refuge.

  20. A shift from exploitation to interference competition with increasing density affects population and community dynamics.

    PubMed

    Holdridge, Erica M; Cuellar-Gempeler, Catalina; terHorst, Casey P

    2016-08-01

    Intraspecific competition influences population and community dynamics and occurs via two mechanisms. Exploitative competition is an indirect effect that occurs through use of a shared resource and depends on resource availability. Interference competition occurs by obstructing access to a resource and may not depend on resource availability. Our study tested whether the strength of interference competition changes with protozoa population density. We grew experimental microcosms of protozoa and bacteria under different combinations of protozoan density and basal resource availability. We then solved a dynamic predator-prey model for parameters of the functional response using population growth rates measured in our experiment. As population density increased, competition shifted from exploitation to interference, and competition was less dependent on resource levels. Surprisingly, the effect of resources was weakest when competition was the most intense. We found that at low population densities, competition was largely exploitative and resource availability had a large effect on population growth rates, but the effect of resources was much weaker at high densities. This shift in competitive mechanism could have implications for interspecific competition, trophic interactions, community diversity, and natural selection. We also tested whether this shift in the mechanism of competition with protozoa density affected the structure of the bacterial prey community. We found that both resources and protozoa density affected the structure of the bacterial prey community, suggesting that competitive mechanism may also affect trophic interactions. PMID:27551386

  1. Ecoepidemics with Two Strains: Diseased Prey.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elena, Elisa; Grammauro, Maria; Venturino, Ezio

    2011-09-01

    In this work we present a minimal model for an ecoepidemic situation with two diseases affecting the prey population. The main assumptions are the following ones. The predators recognize and hunt only the healthy prey. An infected prey of one strain becomes immune to the other one. The major finding shows that the two strains cannot simultaneously thrive in the system, contrary to the standard assumptions in epidemiology. But this rather unexpected and remarkable result, paralleling another one when the epidemics affects the predators, is most likely due to the assumptions made.

  2. Maternal effects mechanism of population cycling: a formidable competitor to the traditional predator–prey view

    PubMed Central

    Inchausti, Pablo; Ginzburg, Lev R.

    2009-01-01

    In the language of mathematics, one needs minimally two interacting variables (two dimensions) to describe repeatable periodic behaviour, and in the language of density dependence, one needs delayed, not immediate, density dependence to produce cyclicity. Neither language specifies the causal mechanism. There are two major potential mechanisms: exogenous mechanisms involving species interactions as in predator–prey or host–parasite, and endogenous mechanisms such as maternal effects where population growth results from the cross-generational transmission of individual quality. The species interactions view stemming from a major observation of Elton and a simultaneous independent theory by Lotka and Volterra is currently dominant. Most ecologists, when faced with cyclic phenomena, automatically look for an interacting species one step below or above in a food chain in order to find an explanation. Maternal effects hypothesis, verbally suggested in the 1950s, had only found its theoretical implementation in the 1990s. In a relatively short time, the degree of acceptance of this view grew to the level of a ‘minority opinion’ as evidenced by the widely used textbook of Begon et al. This short review attempts to describe the arguments for and against this internal two-dimensional approach. PMID:19324616

  3. Predators with multiple ontogenetic niche shifts have limited potential for population growth and top-down control of their prey.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Anieke; Huss, Magnus; Gårdmark, Anna; Casini, Michele; Vitale, Francesca; Hjelm, Joakim; Persson, Lennart; de Roos, André M

    2013-07-01

    Catastrophic collapses of top predators have revealed trophic cascades and community structuring by top-down control. When populations fail to recover after a collapse, this may indicate alternative stable states in the system. Overfishing has caused several of the most compelling cases of these dynamics, and in particular Atlantic cod stocks exemplify such lack of recovery. Often, competition between prey species and juvenile predators is hypothesized to explain the lack of recovery of predator populations. The predator is then considered to compete with its prey for one resource when small and to subsequently shift to piscivory. Yet predator life history is often more complex than that, including multiple ontogenetic diet shifts. Here we show that no alternative stable states occur when predators in an intermediate life stage feed on an additional resource (exclusive to the predator) before switching to piscivory, because predation and competition between prey and predator do not simultaneously structure community dynamics. We find top-down control by the predator only when there is no feedback from predator foraging on the additional resource. Otherwise, the predator population dynamics are governed by a bottleneck in individual growth occurring in the intermediate life stage. Therefore, additional resources for predators may be beneficial or detrimental for predator population growth and strongly influence the potential for top-down community control. PMID:23778226

  4. Waves affect predator-prey interactions between fish and benthic invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Friederike; Stoll, Stefan; Fischer, Philipp; Pusch, Martin T; Garcia, Xavier-François

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about the effects of waves on predator-prey interactions in the littoral zones of freshwaters. We conducted a set of mesocosm experiments to study the differential effects of ship- and wind-induced waves on the foraging success of littoral fish on benthic invertebrates. Experiments were conducted in a wave tank with amphipods (Gammarus roeseli) as prey, and age-0 bream (Abramis brama, B0), age-0 and age-1 dace (Leuciscus leuciscus, D0 and D1) as predators. The number of gammarids suspended in the water column was higher in the wave treatments compared to a no-wave control treatment, especially during pulse waves mimicking ship-induced waves in comparison to continuous waves mimicking wind-induced waves. The resulting higher prey accessibility in the water column was differently exploited by the three types of predatory fish. D0 and D1 showed significantly higher foraging success in the pulse wave treatment than in the continuous and control treatments. The foraging success of D0 appears to be achieved more easily, since significantly higher swimming activity and more foraging attempts were recorded only for D1 under the wave treatments. In contrast, B0 consumed significantly fewer gammarids in both wave treatments than in the control. Hence, waves influenced predator-prey interactions differently depending on wave type and fish type. It is expected that regular exposure to ship-induced waves can alter littoral invertebrate and fish assemblages by increasing the predation risk for benthic invertebrates that are suspended in the water column, and by shifting fish community compositions towards species that benefit from waves. PMID:21104276

  5. Eight pairs of descending visual neurons in the dragonfly give wing motor centers accurate population vector of prey direction

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Bellido, Paloma T.; Peng, Hanchuan; Yang, Jinzhu; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P.; Olberg, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Intercepting a moving object requires prediction of its future location. This complex task has been solved by dragonflies, who intercept their prey in midair with a 95% success rate. In this study, we show that a group of 16 neurons, called target-selective descending neurons (TSDNs), code a population vector that reflects the direction of the target with high accuracy and reliability across 360°. The TSDN spatial (receptive field) and temporal (latency) properties matched the area of the retina where the prey is focused and the reaction time, respectively, during predatory flights. The directional tuning curves and morphological traits (3D tracings) for each TSDN type were consistent among animals, but spike rates were not. Our results emphasize that a successful neural circuit for target tracking and interception can be achieved with few neurons and that in dragonflies this information is relayed from the brain to the wing motor centers in population vector form. PMID:23213224

  6. Prey composition and ontogenetic shift in coastal populations of longnose gar Lepisosteus osseus.

    PubMed

    Smylie, M; Shervette, V; McDonough, C

    2015-10-01

    Longnose gar Lepisosteus osseus were collected from May 2012 to July 2013 in the Charleston Harbor and Winyah Bay estuaries (SC, U.S.A.). This study examined trends in stomach fullness, described major prey components and their importance in the diet of L. osseus, compared stomach content-based trophic level estimates with the stable-isotope-based proxy: δ(15) N and tested for the occurrence of an ontogenetic diet shift using stomach content analysis and stable C and N isotopes (δ(13) C and δ(15) N). Dominant prey families were Clupeidae, Sciaenidae, Penaeidae, Fundulidae and Mugilidae, with the highest consumption rates in autumn. Trophic levels calculated using stomach contents did not correspond to δ(15) N (P > 0·05). Stomach contents and stable-isotope signatures indicate ontogenetic prey composition shifts from low trophic level benthic prey (fundulids) to higher trophic level pelagic prey (clupeids) as the fish grow between 400 and 600 mm in standard length. Due to their biomass, abundance and top predator status, L. osseus play a significant ecological role in the estuarine community composition, although this effect has often been overlooked by past researchers and should be considered in future estuarine community studies. PMID:26299941

  7. Interactive effects of prey and p,p'-DDE on burrowing owl population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Gervais, Jennifer A; Hunter, Christine M; Anthony, Robert G

    2006-04-01

    We used population models to explore the effects of the organochlorine contaminant p,p'-DDE and fluctuations in vole availability on the population dynamics of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia). Previous work indicated an interaction between low biomass of voles in the diet and moderate levels of p,p'-DDE in Burrowing Owl eggs that led to reproductive impairment. We constructed periodic and stochastic matrix models that incorporated three vole population states observed in the field: average, peak, and crash years. We modeled varying frequencies of vole crash years and a range of impairment of owl demographic rates in vole crash years. Vole availability had a greater impact on owl population growth rate than did reproductive impairment if vole populations peaked and crashed frequently. However, this difference disappeared as the frequency of vole crash years declined to once per decade. Fecundity, the demographic rate most affected by p,p'-DDE, had less impact on population growth rate than adult or juvenile survival. A life table response experiment of time-invariant matrices for average, peak, and crash vole conditions showed that low population growth under vole crash conditions was due to low adult and juvenile survival rates, whereas the extremely high population growth under vole peak conditions was due to increased fecundity. Our results suggest that even simple models can provide useful insights into complex ecological interactions. This is particularly valuable when temporal or spatial scales preclude manipulative experimental work in the field or laboratory. PMID:16711053

  8. Population dynamics, production, and prey consumption of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in prairie wetlands: A bioenergetics approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duffy, W.G.

    1998-01-01

    I assessed the population dynamics of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in prairie wetlands and developed a bioenergetics model to estimate their production and prey consumption. I sampled populations in four wetlands weekly from late May through June and biweekly during July and August using a Kushlan 1-m2 throw trap. I imposed commercial harvest on two populations; the other two populations served as controls. Weekly population density estimates ranged from 52 000 to 356 000??ha-1 during early June and from 5400 to 19 700??ha-1 in late August. Simulated commercial harvest did not influence population density, mortality rates, or size of fathead minnows. Standing stock biomass differed among wetlands sampled, ranging from 144 to 482 kg??ha-1 in early June and from 1 to 33 kg??ha-1 during late August. However, differences were attributed to differential predation pressure rather than harvest pressure. Net production during the period ranged from 71.5 to 202.7 kg??ha-1. Daily net production was greatest in early June (2.6-13.5 kg??ha-1??day-1) and then declined during July and August (0.1-1.2 kg??ha-1??day-1). Total mass of prey consumed by fathead minnows ranged from 332.7-1104.8 kg??ha-1 among wetlands.

  9. Wind speed affects prey-catching behaviour in an orb web spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Joe; Vollrath, Fritz; Hesselberg, Thomas

    2011-12-01

    Wind has previously been shown to influence the location and orientation of spider web sites and also the geometry and material composition of constructed orb webs. We now show that wind also influences components of prey-catching behaviour within the web. A small wind tunnel was used to generate different wind speeds. Araneus diadematus ran more slowly towards entangled Drosophila melanogaster in windy conditions, which took less time to escape the web. This indicates a lower capture probability and a diminished overall predation efficiency for spiders at higher wind speeds. We conclude that spiders' behaviour of taking down their webs as wind speed increases may therefore not be a response only to possible web damage.

  10. Skin toxins in coral-associated Gobiodon species (Teleostei: Gobiidae) affect predator preference and prey survival

    PubMed Central

    Gratzer, Barbara; Millesi, Eva; Walzl, Manfred; Herler, Juergen

    2015-01-01

    Predation risk is high for the many small coral reef fishes, requiring successful sheltering or other predator defence mechanisms. Coral-dwelling gobies of the genus Gobiodon live in close association with scleractinian corals of the genus Acropora. Earlier studies indicated that the low movement frequency of adult fishes and the development of skin toxins (crinotoxicity) are predation avoidance mechanisms. Although past experiments showed that predators refuse food prepared with goby skin mucus, direct predator–prey interactions have not been studied. The present study compares the toxicity levels of two crinotoxic coral gobies – Gobiodon histrio, representative of a conspicuously coloured species, and Gobiodon sp.3 with cryptic coloration – using a standard bioassay method. The results show that toxin levels of both species differ significantly shortly after mucus release but become similar over time. Predator preferences were tested experimentally in an aquarium in which the two gobies and a juvenile damselfish Chromis viridis were exposed to the small grouper Epinephelus fasciatus. Video-analysis revealed that although coral gobies are potential prey, E. fasciatus clearly preferred the non-toxic control fish (C. viridis) over Gobiodon. When targeting a goby, the predator did not prefer one species over the other. Contrary to our expectations that toxic gobies are generally avoided, gobies were often captured, but they were expelled quickly, repeatedly and alive. This unusual post-capture avoidance confirms that these gobies have a very good chance of surviving attacks in the field due to their skin toxins. Nonetheless, some gobies were consumed: the coral shelter may therefore also provide additional protection, with toxins protecting them mainly during movement between corals. In summary, chemical deterrence by crinotoxic fishes seems to be far more efficient in predation avoidance than in physical deterrence involving body squamation and/or strong fin

  11. Spatial arrangement of prey affects the shape of ratio-dependent functional response in strongly antagonistic predators.

    PubMed

    Hossie, Thomas J; Murray, Dennis L

    2016-04-01

    Predators play a key role in shaping natural ecosystems, and understanding the factors that influence a predator's kill rate is central to predicting predator-prey dynamics. While prey density has a well-established effect on predation, it is increasingly apparent that predator density also can critically influence predator kill rates. The effects of both prey and predator density on the functional response will, however, be determined in part by their distribution on the landscape. To examine this complex relationship we experimentally manipulated prey density, predator density, and prey distribution using a tadpole (prey)-dragonfly nymph (predator) system. Predation was strongly ratio-dependent irrespective of prey distribution, but the shape of the functional response changed from hyperbolic to sigmoidal when prey were clumped in space. This sigmoidal functional response reflected a relatively strong negative effect of predator interference on kill rates at low prey: predator ratios when prey were clumped. Prey aggregation also appeared to promote stabilizing density-dependent intraguild predation in our system. We conclude that systems with highly antagonistic predators and patchily distributed prey are more likely to experience stable dynamics, and that our understanding of the functional response will be improved by research that examines directly the mechanisms generating interference. PMID:27220200

  12. Why are some animal populations unaffected or positively affected by roads?

    PubMed

    Rytwinski, Trina; Fahrig, Lenore

    2013-11-01

    In reviews on effects of roads on animal population abundance we found that most effects are negative; however, there are also many neutral and positive responses [Fahrig and Rytwinski (Ecol Soc 14:21, 2009; Rytwinski and Fahrig (Biol Conserv 147:87-98, 2012)]. Here we use an individual-based simulation model to: (1) confirm predictions from the existing literature of the combinations of species traits and behavioural responses to roads that lead to negative effects of roads on animal population abundance, and (2) improve prediction of the combinations of species traits and behavioural responses to roads that lead to neutral and positive effects of roads on animal population abundance. Simulations represented a typical situation in which road mitigation is contemplated, i.e. rural landscapes containing a relatively low density (up to 1.86 km/km(2)) of high-traffic roads, with continuous habitat between the roads. In these landscapes, the simulations predict that populations of species with small territories and movement ranges, and high reproductive rates, i.e. many small mammals and birds, should not be reduced by roads. Contrary to previous suggestions, the results also predict that populations of species that obtain a resource from roads (e.g. vultures) do not increase with increasing road density. In addition, our simulations support the predation release hypothesis for positive road effects on prey (both small- and large-bodied prey), whereby abundance of a prey species increased with increasing road density due to reduced predation by generalist road-affected predators. The simulations also predict an optimal road density for the large-bodied prey species if it avoids roads or traffic emissions. Overall, the simulation results suggest that in rural landscapes containing high-traffic roads, there are many species for which road mitigation may not be necessary; mitigation efforts should be tailored to the species that show negative population responses to roads

  13. Comparative Growth and Development of Spiders Reared on Live and Dead Prey

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yu; Zhang, Fan; Gui, Shaolan; Qiao, Huping; Hose, Grant C.

    2013-01-01

    Scavenging (feeding on dead prey) has been demonstrated across a number of spider families, yet the implications of feeding on dead prey for the growth and development of individuals and population is unknown. In this study we compare the growth, development, and predatory activity of two species of spiders that were fed on live and dead prey. Pardosa astrigera (Lycosidae) and Hylyphantes graminicola (Lyniphiidae) were fed live or dead fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. The survival of P. astrigera and H. graminicola was not affected by prey type. The duration of late instars of P. astrigera fed dead prey were longer and mature spiders had less protein content than those fed live prey, whereas there were no differences in the rate of H. graminicola development, but the mass of mature spiders fed dead prey was greater than those fed live prey. Predation rates by P. astrigera did not differ between the two prey types, but H. graminicola had a higher rate of predation on dead than alive prey, presumably because the dead flies were easier to catch and handle. Overall, the growth, development and reproduction of H. graminicola reared with dead flies was better than those reared on live flies, yet for the larger P. astrigera, dead prey may suit smaller instars but mature spiders may be best maintained with live prey. We have clearly demonstrated that dead prey may be suitable for rearing spiders, although the success of the spiders fed such prey appears size- and species specific. PMID:24386248

  14. Population divergence in venom bioactivities of elapid snake Pseudonaja textilis: role of procoagulant proteins in rapid rodent prey incapacitation.

    PubMed

    Skejić, Jure; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2013-01-01

    This study looked at how toxic proteins in venoms of adult Australian eastern Brown snakes Pseudonaja textilis from South Australian and Queensland populations interact with physiological functions of the lab SD rat Rattus norvegicus. Circulatory collapse and incoagulable blood occurred instantly after injection of venom under the dorsal skin of anaesthetised and mechanically ventilated rats in an imitation of a P. textilis bite. Intravenous injection of purified P. textilis (Mackay, QLD) venom prothrombin activator proteins caused instant failure of circulation, testifying of high toxicity of these proteins and suggesting their role in rapid incapacitation of rodent prey. The hypothesis is further supported by circulatory collapse occurring instantly despite artificial respiration in envenomed rats and the finding of extremely high venom procoagulant potency in rat plasma. LC-MS and physiology assays revealed divergent venom composition and biological activity of South Australian (Barossa locality) and Queensland (Mackay locality) populations, which may be driven by selection for different prey. The Queensland venom of P. textilis was found to be more procoagulant and to exhibit predominately presynaptic neurotoxicity, while the South Australian venom contained diverse postsynaptic type II and III α-neurotoxins in addition to the presynaptic neurotoxins and caused significantly faster onset of neuromuscular blockade in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation. LC-MS analysis found evidence of multiple coagulation factor X-like proteins in P. textilis venoms, including a match to P. textilis coagulation factor X isoform 2, previously known to be expressed only in the liver. PMID:23691135

  15. L-shaped prey isocline in the Gause predator-prey experiments with a prey refuge.

    PubMed

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Priyadarshi, Anupam

    2015-04-01

    Predator and prey isoclines are estimated from data on yeast-protist population dynamics (Gause et al., 1936). Regression analysis shows that the prey isocline is best fitted by an L-shaped function that has a vertical and a horizontal part. The predator isocline is vertical. This shape of isoclines corresponds with the Lotka-Volterra and the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey models that assume a prey refuge. These results further support the idea that a prey refuge changes the prey isocline of predator-prey models from a horizontal to an L-shaped curve. Such a shape of the prey isocline effectively bounds amplitude of predator-prey oscillations, thus promotes species coexistence. PMID:25644756

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Ozone degrades common herbivore-induced plant volatiles: does this affect herbivore prey location by predators and parasitoids?

    PubMed

    Pinto, Delia M; Blande, James D; Nykänen, Riikka; Dong, Wen-Xia; Nerg, Anne-Marja; Holopainen, Jarmo K

    2007-04-01

    Inducible terpenes and lipoxygenase pathway products, e.g., green-leaf volatiles (GLVs), are emitted by plants in response to herbivory. They are used by carnivorous arthropods to locate prey. These compounds are highly reactive with atmospheric pollutants. We hypothesized that elevated ozone (O(3)) may affect chemical communication between plants and natural enemies of herbivores by degrading signal compounds. In this study, we have used two tritrophic systems (Brassica oleracea-Plutella xylostella-Cotesia plutellae and Phaseolus lunatus-Tetranychus urticae-Phytoseiulus persimilis) to show that exposure of plants to moderately enhanced atmospheric O(3) levels (60 and 120 nl l(-1)) results in complete degradation of most herbivore-induced terpenes and GLVs, which is congruent with our hypothesis. However, orientation behavior of natural enemies was not disrupted by O(3) exposure in either tritrophic system. Other herbivore-induced volatiles, such as benzyl cyanide, a nitrile in cabbage, and methyl salicylate in lima bean, were not significantly reduced in reactions with O(3). We suggest that more atmospherically stable herbivore-induced volatile compounds can provide important long-distance plant-carnivore signals and may be used by natural enemies of herbivores to orientate in O(3)-polluted environments. PMID:17333375

  18. Comparing isotope signatures of prey fish: does gut removal affect δ13C or δ15N?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chipps, Steven R.; Fincel, Mark J.; VanDeHey, Justin A.; Wuestewald, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Stable isotope analysis is a quick and inexpensive method to monitor the effects of food web changes on aquatic communities. Traditionally, whole specimens have been used when determining isotope composition of prey fish or age-0 recreational fishes. However, gut contents of prey fish could potentially alter isotope composition of the specimen, especially when recent foraging has taken place or when the gut contains non-assimilated material that would normally pass through fishes undigested. To assess the impacts of gut content on prey fish isotope signatures, we examined the differences in isotopic variation of five prey fish species using whole fish, whole fish with the gut contents removed, and dorsal muscle only. We found significant differences in both δ15N and δ13C between the three tissue treatments. In most cases, muscle tissue was enriched compared to whole specimens or gut-removed specimens. Moreover, differences in mean δ15N within a species were up to 2‰ among treatments. This would result in a change of over half a trophic position (TP) based on a 3.4‰ increase per trophic level. However, there were no apparent relationships between tissue isotope values in fish with increased gut fullness (more prey tissue present). We suggest that muscle tissue should be used as the standard tissue for determining isotope composition of prey fish or age-0 recreational fishes, especially when determining enrichment for mixing models, calculating TP, or constructing aquatic food webs.

  19. Long-term prairie falcon population changes in relation to prey abundance, weather, land uses, and habitat conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Lehman, Robert N.

    1999-01-01

    We studied a nesting population of Prairie Falcons( Falco mexicanus) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1974-1997 to identify factors that influence abundance and reproduction. Our sampling period included two major droughts and associated crashes in Townsenda??s ground squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii) populations. The number of Prairie Falcon pairs found on long-term survey segments declined significantly from 1976-1997. Early declines were most severe at the eastern end of the NCA, where fires and agriculture have changed native shrubsteppe habitat. More recent declines occurred in the portion of canyon near the Orchard Training Area (OTA), where the Idaho Army National Guard conducts artillery firing and tank maneuvers. Overall Prairie Falcon reproductive rates were tied closely to annual indexes of ground squirrel abundance, but precipitation before and during the breeding season was related inversely to some measures of reproduction. Most reproductive parameters showed no significant trends over time, but during the 199Os, nesting success and productivity were lower in the stretch of canyon near the OTA than in adjacent areas. Extensive shrub loss, by itself, did not explain the pattern of declines in abundance and reproduction that we observed. Recent military training activities likely have interacted with fire and livestock grazing to create less than favorable foraging opportunities for Prairie Falcons in a large part of the NCA. To maintain Prairie Falcon populations in the NCA, managers should suppress wildfires, restore native plant communities, and regulate potentially incompatible land uses.

  20. Long-term Prairie Falcon population changes in relation to prey abundance, weather, land uses, and habitat conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenhof, K.; Kochert, M.N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Lehman, R.N.

    1999-01-01

    We studied a nesting population of Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1974-1997 to identify factors that influence abundance and reproduction. Our sampling period included two major droughts and associated crashes in Townsend's ground squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii) populations. The number of Prairie Falcon pairs found on long-term survey segments declined significantly from 1976-1997. Early declines were most severe at the eastern end of the NCA, where fires and agriculture have changed native shrubsteppe habitat. More recent declines occurred in the portion of canyon near the Orchard Training Area (OTA), where the Idaho Army National Guard conducts artillery firing and tank maneuvers. Overall Prairie Falcon reproductive rates were tied closely to annual indexes of ground squirrel abundance, but precipitation before and during the breeding season was related inversely to some measures of reproduction. Most reproductive parameters showed no significant trends over time, but during the 1990s, nesting success and productivity were lower in the stretch of canyon near the OTA than in adjacent areas. Extensive shrub loss, by itself, did not explain the pattern of declines in abundance and reproduction that we observed. Recent military training activities likely have interacted with fire and livestock grazing to create less than favorable foraging opportunities for Prairie Falcons in a large part of the NCA. To maintain Prairie Falcon populations in the NCA, managers should suppress wildfires, restore native plant communities, and regulate potentially incompatible land uses.

  1. Individual and Population Level Resource Selection Patterns of Mountain Lions Preying on Mule Deer along an Urban-Wildland Gradient.

    PubMed

    Benson, John F; Sikich, Jeff A; Riley, Seth P D

    2016-01-01

    Understanding population and individual-level behavioral responses of large carnivores to human disturbance is important for conserving top predators in fragmented landscapes. However, previous research has not investigated resource selection at predation sites of mountain lions in highly urbanized areas. We quantified selection of natural and anthropogenic landscape features by mountain lions at sites where they consumed their primary prey, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), in and adjacent to urban, suburban, and rural areas in greater Los Angeles. We documented intersexual and individual-level variation in the environmental conditions present at mule deer feeding sites relative to their availability across home ranges. Males selected riparian woodlands and areas closer to water more than females, whereas females selected developed areas marginally more than males. Females fed on mule deer closer to developed areas and farther from riparian woodlands than expected based on the availability of these features across their home ranges. We suggest that mortality risk for females and their offspring associated with encounters with males may have influenced the different resource selection patterns between sexes. Males appeared to select mule deer feeding sites mainly in response to natural landscape features, while females may have made kills closer to developed areas in part because these are alternative sites where deer are abundant. Individual mountain lions of both sexes selected developed areas more strongly within home ranges where development occurred less frequently. Thus, areas near development may represent a trade-off for mountain lions such that they may benefit from foraging near development because of abundant prey, but as the landscape becomes highly urbanized these benefits may be outweighed by human disturbance. PMID:27411098

  2. Individual and Population Level Resource Selection Patterns of Mountain Lions Preying on Mule Deer along an Urban-Wildland Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Benson, John F.; Sikich, Jeff A.; Riley, Seth P. D.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding population and individual-level behavioral responses of large carnivores to human disturbance is important for conserving top predators in fragmented landscapes. However, previous research has not investigated resource selection at predation sites of mountain lions in highly urbanized areas. We quantified selection of natural and anthropogenic landscape features by mountain lions at sites where they consumed their primary prey, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), in and adjacent to urban, suburban, and rural areas in greater Los Angeles. We documented intersexual and individual-level variation in the environmental conditions present at mule deer feeding sites relative to their availability across home ranges. Males selected riparian woodlands and areas closer to water more than females, whereas females selected developed areas marginally more than males. Females fed on mule deer closer to developed areas and farther from riparian woodlands than expected based on the availability of these features across their home ranges. We suggest that mortality risk for females and their offspring associated with encounters with males may have influenced the different resource selection patterns between sexes. Males appeared to select mule deer feeding sites mainly in response to natural landscape features, while females may have made kills closer to developed areas in part because these are alternative sites where deer are abundant. Individual mountain lions of both sexes selected developed areas more strongly within home ranges where development occurred less frequently. Thus, areas near development may represent a trade-off for mountain lions such that they may benefit from foraging near development because of abundant prey, but as the landscape becomes highly urbanized these benefits may be outweighed by human disturbance. PMID:27411098

  3. 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

  4. Phylogeographic Triangulation: Using Predator-Prey-Parasite Interactions to Infer Population History from Partial Genetic Information

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, A. Márcia; Thode, Guillermo; Real, Raimundo; Feliu, Carlos; Vargas, J. Mario

    2012-01-01

    Phylogeographic studies, which infer population history and dispersal movements from intra-specific spatial genetic variation, require expensive and time-consuming analyses that are not always feasible, especially in the case of rare or endangered species. On the other hand, comparative phylogeography of species involved in close biotic interactions may show congruent patterns depending on the specificity of the relationship. Consequently, the phylogeography of a parasite that needs two hosts to complete its life cycle should reflect population history traits of both hosts. Population movements evidenced by the parasite’s phylogeography that are not reflected in the phylogeography of one of these hosts may thus be attributed to the other host. Using the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and a parasitic tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis) as an example, we propose comparing the phylogeography of easily available organisms such as game species and their specific heteroxenous parasites to infer population movements of definitive host/predator species, independently of performing genetic analyses on the latter. This may be an interesting approach for indirectly studying the history of species whose phylogeography is difficult to analyse directly. PMID:23209834

  5. Using predator-prey theory to predict outcomes of broadscale experiments to reduce apparent competition.

    PubMed

    Serrouya, Robert; Wittmann, Meike J; McLellan, Bruce N; Wittmer, Heiko U; Boutin, Stan

    2015-05-01

    Apparent competition is an important process influencing many ecological communities. We used predator-prey theory to predict outcomes of ecosystem experiments aimed at mitigating apparent competition by reducing primary prey. Simulations predicted declines in secondary prey following reductions in primary prey because predators consumed more secondary prey until predator numbers responded to reduced prey densities. Losses were exacerbated by a higher carrying capacity of primary prey and a longer lag time of the predator's numerical response, but a gradual reduction in primary prey was less detrimental to the secondary prey. We compared predictions against two field experiments where endangered woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) were victims of apparent competition. First, when deer (Odocoileus sp.) declined suddenly following a severe winter, cougar (Puma concolor) declined with a 1-2-year lag, yet in the interim more caribou were killed by cougars, and caribou populations declined by 40%. Second, when moose (Alces alces) were gradually reduced using a management experiment, wolf (Canis lupus) populations declined but did not shift consumption to caribou, and the largest caribou subpopulation stabilized. The observed contrasting outcomes of sudden versus gradual declines in primary prey supported theoretical predictions. Combining theory with field studies clarified how to manage communities to mitigate endangerment caused by apparent competition that affects many taxa. PMID:25905509

  6. Between-Population Outbreeding Affects Plant Defence

    PubMed Central

    Leimu, Roosa; Fischer, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Between-population crosses may replenish genetic variation of populations, but may also result in outbreeding depression. Apart from direct effects on plant fitness, these outbreeding effects can also alter plant-herbivore interactions by influencing plant tolerance and resistance to herbivory. We investigated effects of experimental within- and between-population outbreeding on herbivore resistance, tolerance and plant fitness using plants from 13 to 19 Lychnis flos-cuculi populations. We found no evidence for outbreeding depression in resistance reflected by the amount of leaf area consumed. However, herbivore performance was greater when fed on plants from between-population compared to within-population crosses. This can reflect outbreeding depression in resistance and/or outbreeding effects on plant quality for the herbivores. The effects of type of cross on the relationship between herbivore damage and plant fitness varied among populations. This demonstrates how between-population outbreeding effects on tolerance range from outbreeding depression to outbreeding benefits among plant populations. Finally, herbivore damage strengthened the observed outbreeding effects on plant fitness in several populations. These results raise novel considerations on the impact of outbreeding on the joint evolution of resistance and tolerance, and on the evolution of multiple defence strategies. PMID:20838662

  7. 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.

  8. How Population Growth Affects Linkage Disequilibrium

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Alan R.

    2014-01-01

    The “LD curve” relates the linkage disequilibrium (LD) between pairs of nucleotide sites to the distance that separates them along the chromosome. The shape of this curve reflects natural selection, admixture between populations, and the history of population size. This article derives new results about the last of these effects. When a population expands in size, the LD curve grows steeper, and this effect is especially pronounced following a bottleneck in population size. When a population shrinks, the LD curve rises but remains relatively flat. As LD converges toward a new equilibrium, its time path may not be monotonic. Following an episode of growth, for example, it declines to a low value before rising toward the new equilibrium. These changes happen at different rates for different LD statistics. They are especially slow for estimates of σd2, which therefore allow inferences about ancient population history. For the human population of Europe, these results suggest a history of population growth. PMID:24907258

  9. How Resource Phenology Affects Consumer Population Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Bewick, Sharon; Cantrell, R Stephen; Cosner, Chris; Fagan, William F

    2016-02-01

    Climate change drives uneven phenology shifts across taxa, and this can result in changes to the phenological match between interacting species. Shifts in the relative phenology of partner species are well documented, but few studies have addressed the effects of such changes on population dynamics. To explore this, we develop a phenologically explicit model describing consumer-resource interactions. Focusing on scenarios for univoltine insects, we show how changes in resource phenology can be reinterpreted as transformations in the year-to-year recursion relationships defining consumer population dynamics. This perspective provides a straightforward path for interpreting the long-term population consequences of phenology change. Specifically, by relating the outcome of phenological shifts to species traits governing recursion relationships (e.g., consumer fecundity or competitive scenario), we demonstrate how changes in relative phenology can force systems into different dynamical regimes, with major implications for resource management, conservation, and other areas of applied dynamics. PMID:26807744

  10. Advantage of specialism: reproductive output is related to prey choice in a small raptor.

    PubMed

    Otterbeck, Andreas; Lindén, Andreas; Roualet, Éric

    2015-09-01

    Predatory species' usage of different prey types is affected by both prey availability and selectivity. The diet during the breeding season may affect the reproductive success of individual pairs. We studied the prey use of a small reversed size-dimorphic raptor, the Eurasian sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, with respect to prey weight on two organizational levels. Using 13 years of data from southern Norway, we related reproductive output of individual breeding events to prey size taken. Further, we assessed the regional variation in prey usage between five Fennoscandian populations. This was done by fitting optimum-type functions to the prey species' numbers or relative predation risks. Pairs that successfully completed the season with more fledglings displayed less variation in prey size, suggesting a possible adaptive benefit of diet specialism, or possibly a correlative effect due to higher prey availability or lower female hunting effort. This finding contrasts with earlier raptor studies, which have suggested benefits of dietary (and hence nutritional) diversity. Indeed, our results might be limited to nutritionally substitutable prey items. We also found a tendency suggesting that older females raised more fledglings than 1-year-old females. In the population-level analysis, we found that optimum-type functions with constant width and spatially variable average best described the relationship between relative predation risk and log weight. This can reflect local conditions, such as prey availability. Our findings and new methodological tools could apply to a broader spectrum of predators. They also highlight the role of viewing usage or choice of prey at several spatial scales. PMID:25943192

  11. How Colored Environmental Noise Affects Population Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamenev, Alex; Meerson, Baruch; Shklovskii, Boris

    2008-12-01

    Environmental noise can cause an exponential reduction in the mean time to extinction (MTE) of an isolated population. We study this effect on an example of a stochastic birth-death process with rates modulated by a colored (that is, correlated) Gaussian noise. A path integral formulation yields a transparent way of evaluating the MTE and finding the optimal realization of the environmental noise that determines the most probable path to extinction. The population-size dependence of the MTE changes from exponential in the absence of the environmental noise to a power law for a short-correlated noise and to no dependence for long-correlated noise. We also establish the validity domains of the white-noise limit and adiabatic limit.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Goshawk prey have more bacteria than non-prey.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Peralta-Sánchez, J M; Nielsen, J T; López-Hernández, E; Soler, J J

    2012-03-01

    1. Predators often prey on individuals that are sick or otherwise weakened. Although previous studies have shown higher abundance of parasites in prey, whether prey have elevated loads of micro-organisms remains to be determined. 2. We quantified the abundance of bacteria and fungi on feathers of woodpigeons Columba palumbus L., jays Garrulus glandarius L. and blackbirds Turdus merula L. that either fell prey to goshawks Accipiter gentilis L. or were not depredated. 3. We found an almost three-fold increase in bacterial load of prey compared with non-prey, while there was no significant difference between prey and non-prey in level of fungal infection of the plumage. 4. The results were not confounded by differences in size or mass of feathers, date of collection of feathers, or date of analysis of feathers for micro-organisms. 5. These findings suggest a previously unknown contribution of bacteria to risk of predation, with important implications for behaviour, population ecology and community ecology. PMID:22039986

  18. Predator size, prey size and threshold food densities of diving ducks: does a common prey base support fewer large animals?

    PubMed

    Richman, Samantha E; Lovvorn, James R

    2009-09-01

    1. Allometry predicts that a given habitat area or common prey biomass supports fewer numbers of larger than smaller predators; however, birds from related taxa or the same feeding guild often deviate from this pattern. In particular, foraging costs of birds may differ among locomotor modes, while intake rates vary with accessibility, handling times and energy content of different-sized prey. Such mechanisms might affect threshold prey densities needed for energy balance, and thus relative numbers of different-sized predators in habitats with varying prey patches. 2. We compared the foraging profitability (energy gain minus cost) of two diving ducks: smaller lesser scaup (Aythya affinis, 450-1090 g) and larger white-winged scoters (Melanitta fusca, 950-1800 g). Calculations were based on past measurements of dive costs with respirometry, and of intake rates of a common bivalve prey ranging in size, energy content and burial depth in sediments. 3. For scaup feeding on small prey <12 mm long, all clams buried deeper than 5 cm were unprofitable at realistic prey densities. For clams buried in the top 5 cm, the profitability threshold decreased from 216 to 34 clams m(-2) as energy content increased from 50 to 300 J clam(-1). 4. For larger scoters feeding on larger prey 18-24 mm long, foraging was profitable for clams buried deeper than 5 cm, with a threshold density of 147 m(-2) for clams containing 380 J clam(-1). For clams <5 cm deep, the threshold density decreased from 86 to 36 clams m(-2) as energy content increased from 380 to 850 J clam(-1). If scoters decreased dive costs by swimming with wings as well as feet (not an option for scaup), threshold prey densities were 11-12% lower. 5. Our results show that threshold densities of total prey numbers for different-sized ducks depend on prey size structure and depth in the sediments. Thus, heterogeneity in disturbance regimes and prey population dynamics can create a mosaic of patches favouring large or small

  19. 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

  20. How will the greening of the Arctic affect an important prey species and disturbance agent? Vegetation effects on arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, H C; Chipperfield, J D; Roland, C; Svenning, J-C

    2015-07-01

    Increases in terrestrial primary productivity across the Arctic and northern alpine ecosystems are leading to altered vegetation composition and stature. Changes in vegetation stature may affect predator-prey interactions via changes in the prey's ability to detect predators, changes in predation pressure, predator identity and predator foraging strategy. Changes in productivity and vegetation composition may also affect herbivores via effects on forage availability and quality. We investigated if height-dependent effects of forage and non-forage vegetation determine burrowing extent and activity of arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). We collected data on burrow networks and activity of arctic ground squirrels across long-term vegetation monitoring sites in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The implications of height-specific cover of potential forage and non-forage vegetation on burrowing behaviour and habitat suitability for arctic ground squirrels were investigated using hierarchical Bayesian modelling. Increased cover of forbs was associated with more burrows and burrow systems, and higher activity of systems, for all forb heights. No other potential forage functional group was related to burrow distribution and activity. In contrast, height-dependent negative effects of non-forage vegetation were observed, with cover over 50-cm height negatively affecting the number of burrows, systems and system activity. Our results demonstrate that increases in vegetation productivity have dual, potentially counteracting effects on arctic ground squirrels via changes in forage and vegetation stature. Importantly, increases in tall-growing woody vegetation (shrubs and trees) have clear negative effects, whereas increases in forb should benefit arctic ground squirrels. PMID:25666700

  1. Resveratrol Does Not Affect Health, Longevity in Population Study

    MedlinePlus

    ... You are here Home Resveratrol does not affect health, longevity in population study May 16, 2014 Resveratrol, ... disease. Researchers have found it to improve the health (and in some cases, longevity) of animals, including ...

  2. Kestrel-Prey Dynamic in a Mediterranean Region: The Effect of Generalist Predation and Climatic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Fargallo, Juan A.; Martínez-Padilla, Jesús; Viñuela, Javier; Blanco, Guillermo; Torre, Ignasi; Vergara, Pablo; De Neve, Liesbeth

    2009-01-01

    Background Most hypotheses on population limitation of small mammals and their predators come from studies carried out in northern latitudes, mainly in boreal ecosystems. In such regions, many predators specialize on voles and predator-prey systems are simpler compared to southern ecosystems where predator communities are made up mostly of generalists and predator-prey systems are more complex. Determining food limitation in generalist predators is difficult due to their capacity to switch to alternative prey when the basic prey becomes scarce. Methodology We monitored the population density of a generalist raptor, the Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus over 15 years in a mountainous Mediterranean area. In addition, we have recorded over 11 years the inter-annual variation in the abundance of two main prey species of kestrels, the common vole Microtus arvalis and the eyed lizard Lacerta lepida and a third species scarcely represented in kestrel diet, the great white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula. We estimated the per capita growth rate (PCGR) to analyse population dynamics of kestrel and predator species. Principal Findings Multimodel inference determined that the PCGR of kestrels was better explained by a model containing the population density of only one prey species (the common vole) than a model using a combination of the densities of the three prey species. The PCGR of voles was explained by kestrel abundance in combination with annual rainfall and mean annual temperature. In the case of shrews, growth rate was also affected by kestrel abundance and temperature. Finally, we did not find any correlation between kestrel and lizard abundances. Significance Our study showed for the first time vertebrate predator-prey relationships at southern latitudes and determined that only one prey species has the capacity to modulate population dynamics of generalist predators and reveals the importance of climatic factors in the dynamics of micromammal species and lizards

  3. Does small-scale vertical distribution of juvenile schooling fish affect prey availability to surface-feeding seabirds in the Wadden Sea?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dänhardt, Andreas; Becker, Peter H.

    2011-02-01

    Food availability is a key variable influencing breeding performance and demography of marine top predators. Due to methodological problems, proportionality between fish abundance and availability is often assumed without being explicitly tested. More specifically, better breeding performance of surface-feeding seabirds at times of large prey stocks suggests that prey availability is also a function of prey abundance. Using vertically resolved stow net sampling we tested whether local abundance and length composition of pelagic fish are reliable predictors of the availability of these fish to surface-feeding Common Terns ( Sterna hirundo) breeding in the German Wadden Sea. Prey fish were found to concentrate below the maximum diving depth of the terns. Individuals caught close to the surface were in most cases smaller than conspecifics caught at greater depth. Correlations between fish abundance within and out of reach of the terns appeared to be both species- and site-specific rather than driven by overall fish abundance. Vertical distribution patterns of the terns' main prey fish could be explained as anti-predator behavior, reducing prey availability to the terns. In 2007, when breeding performance was much better than in 2006, herring and whiting were much more abundant, suggesting that overall prey abundance may also increase prey availability in habitats other than those represented by the stow net sampling.

  4. Density-dependent prey mortality is determined by the spatial scale of predator foraging.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Erin K; White, J Wilson

    2016-02-01

    Foraging theory predicts which prey patches predators should target. However, in most habitats, what constitutes a 'patch' and how prey density is calculated are subjective concepts and depend on the spatial scale at which the predator (or scientist) is observing. Moreover, the predator's 'foraging scale' affects prey population dynamics: predators should produce directly density-dependent (DDD) prey mortality at the foraging scale, but inversely density-dependent (IDD) mortality (safety-in-numbers) at smaller scales. We performed the first experimental test of these predictions using behavioral assays with guppies (Poecilia reticulata) feeding on bloodworm 'prey' patches. The guppy's foraging scale had already been estimated in a prior study. Our experimental results confirmed theoretical predictions: predation was IDD when prey were aggregated at a scale smaller than the foraging scale, but not when prey were aggregated at larger scales. These results could be used to predict outcomes of predator-prey interactions in continuous, non-discrete habitats in the field. PMID:26116266

  5. Predicting when climate-driven phenotypic change affects population dynamics.

    PubMed

    McLean, Nina; Lawson, Callum R; Leech, Dave I; van de Pol, Martijn

    2016-06-01

    Species' responses to climate change are variable and diverse, yet our understanding of how different responses (e.g. physiological, behavioural, demographic) relate and how they affect the parameters most relevant for conservation (e.g. population persistence) is lacking. Despite this, studies that observe changes in one type of response typically assume that effects on population dynamics will occur, perhaps fallaciously. We use a hierarchical framework to explain and test when impacts of climate on traits (e.g. phenology) affect demographic rates (e.g. reproduction) and in turn population dynamics. Using this conceptual framework, we distinguish four mechanisms that can prevent lower-level responses from impacting population dynamics. Testable hypotheses were identified from the literature that suggest life-history and ecological characteristics which could predict when these mechanisms are likely to be important. A quantitative example on birds illustrates how, even with limited data and without fully-parameterized population models, new insights can be gained; differences among species in the impacts of climate-driven phenological changes on population growth were not explained by the number of broods or density dependence. Our approach helps to predict the types of species in which climate sensitivities of phenotypic traits have strong demographic and population consequences, which is crucial for conservation prioritization of data-deficient species. PMID:27062059

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Rate of language evolution is affected by population size.

    PubMed

    Bromham, Lindell; Hua, Xia; Fitzpatrick, Thomas G; Greenhill, Simon J

    2015-02-17

    The effect of population size on patterns and rates of language evolution is controversial. Do languages with larger speaker populations change faster due to a greater capacity for innovation, or do smaller populations change faster due to more efficient diffusion of innovations? Do smaller populations suffer greater loss of language elements through founder effects or drift, or do languages with more speakers lose features due to a process of simplification? Revealing the influence of population size on the tempo and mode of language evolution not only will clarify underlying mechanisms of language change but also has practical implications for the way that language data are used to reconstruct the history of human cultures. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical, statistically robust test of the influence of population size on rates of language evolution, controlling for the evolutionary history of the populations and formally comparing the fit of different models of language evolution. We compare rates of gain and loss of cognate words for basic vocabulary in Polynesian languages, an ideal test case with a well-defined history. We demonstrate that larger populations have higher rates of gain of new words whereas smaller populations have higher rates of word loss. These results show that demographic factors can influence rates of language evolution and that rates of gain and loss are affected differently. These findings are strikingly consistent with general predictions of evolutionary models. PMID:25646448

  9. Rate of language evolution is affected by population size

    PubMed Central

    Bromham, Lindell; Hua, Xia; Fitzpatrick, Thomas G.; Greenhill, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of population size on patterns and rates of language evolution is controversial. Do languages with larger speaker populations change faster due to a greater capacity for innovation, or do smaller populations change faster due to more efficient diffusion of innovations? Do smaller populations suffer greater loss of language elements through founder effects or drift, or do languages with more speakers lose features due to a process of simplification? Revealing the influence of population size on the tempo and mode of language evolution not only will clarify underlying mechanisms of language change but also has practical implications for the way that language data are used to reconstruct the history of human cultures. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical, statistically robust test of the influence of population size on rates of language evolution, controlling for the evolutionary history of the populations and formally comparing the fit of different models of language evolution. We compare rates of gain and loss of cognate words for basic vocabulary in Polynesian languages, an ideal test case with a well-defined history. We demonstrate that larger populations have higher rates of gain of new words whereas smaller populations have higher rates of word loss. These results show that demographic factors can influence rates of language evolution and that rates of gain and loss are affected differently. These findings are strikingly consistent with general predictions of evolutionary models. PMID:25646448

  10. Linking biomechanics and ecology through predator-prey interactions: flight performance of dragonflies and their prey.

    PubMed

    Combes, S A; Rundle, D E; Iwasaki, J M; Crall, J D

    2012-03-15

    Aerial predation is a highly complex, three-dimensional flight behavior that affects the individual fitness and population dynamics of both predator and prey. Most studies of predation adopt either an ecological approach in which capture or survival rates are quantified, or a biomechanical approach in which the physical interaction is studied in detail. In the present study, we show that combining these two approaches provides insight into the interaction between hunting dragonflies (Libellula cyanea) and their prey (Drosophila melanogaster) that neither type of study can provide on its own. We performed >2500 predation trials on nine dragonflies housed in an outdoor artificial habitat to identify sources of variability in capture success, and analyzed simultaneous predator-prey flight kinematics from 50 high-speed videos. The ecological approach revealed that capture success is affected by light intensity in some individuals but that prey density explains most of the variability in success rate. The biomechanical approach revealed that fruit flies rarely respond to approaching dragonflies with evasive maneuvers, and are rarely successful when they do. However, flies perform random turns during flight, whose characteristics differ between individuals, and these routine, erratic turns are responsible for more failed predation attempts than evasive maneuvers. By combining the two approaches, we were able to determine that the flies pursued by dragonflies when prey density is low fly more erratically, and that dragonflies are less successful at capturing them. This highlights the importance of considering the behavior of both participants, as well as their biomechanics and ecology, in developing a more integrative understanding of organismal interactions. PMID:22357584

  11. FACTORS ADVERSELY AFFECTING AMPHIBIAN POPULATIONS IN THE US

    EPA Science Inventory

    Factors known or suspected to be adversely affecting native amphibian populations in the US were identified using information from species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors in a forthcoming book. Specific adverse factors were identified for 53 (58%) of...

  12. Top-down and bottom-up factors affecting seabird population trends in the California current system (1985-2006)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ainley, David G.; David Hyrenbach, K.

    2010-03-01

    To characterize the environmental factors affecting seabird population trends in the central portion of the California current system (CCS), we analyzed standardized vessel-based surveys collected during the late spring (May-June) upwelling season over 22 yr (1985-2006). We tested the working hypothesis that population trends are related to species-specific foraging ecology, and predicted that temporal variation in population size should be most extreme in diving species with higher energy expenditure during foraging. We related variation in individual species abundance (number km -2) to seasonally lagged (late winter, early spring, late spring) and concurrent ocean conditions, and to long-term trends (using a proxy variable: year) during a multi-decadal period of major fluctuations in the El Niño-Southern oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). We considered both remote (Multivariate ENSO Index, PDO) and local (coastal upwelling indices and sea-surface temperature) environmental variables as proxies for ocean productivity and prey availability. We also related seabird trends to those of potentially major trophic competitors, humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae) and blue ( Balaenoptera musculus) whales, which increased in number 4-5-fold midway during our study. Cyclical oscillations in seabird abundance were apparent in the black-footed albatross ( Phoebastria nigripes), and decreasing trends were documented for ashy storm-petrel ( Oceanodroma homochroa), pigeon guillemot ( Cepphus columbus), rhinoceros auklet ( Cerorhinca monocerata), Cassin’s auklet ( Ptychoramphus aleuticus), and western gull ( Larus occidentalis); the sooty shearwater ( Puffinus griseus), exhibited a marked decline before signs of recovery at the end of the study period. The abundance of nine other focal species varied with ocean conditions, but without decadal or long-term trends. Six of these species have the largest global populations in the CCS, and four are highly

  13. Predator Cue and Prey Density Interactively Influence Indirect Effects on Basal Resources in Intertidal Oyster Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, A. Randall; Rooker, Kelly; Murdock, Meagan; Kimbro, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Predators can influence prey abundance and traits by direct consumption, as well as by non-consumptive effects of visual, olfactory, or tactile cues. The strength of these non-consumptive effects (NCEs) can be influenced by a variety of factors, including predator foraging mode, temporal variation in predator cues, and the density of competing prey. Testing the relative importance of these factors for determining NCEs is critical to our understanding of predator-prey interactions in a variety of settings. We addressed this knowledge gap by conducting two mesocosm experiments in a tri-trophic intertidal oyster reef food web. More specifically, we tested how a predatory fish (hardhead catfish, Ariopsis felis) directly influenced their prey (mud crabs, Panopeus spp.) and indirectly affected basal resources (juvenile oysters, Crassostrea virginica), as well as whether these direct and indirect effects changed across a density gradient of competing prey. Per capita crab foraging rates were inversely influenced by crab density, but they were not affected by water-borne predator cues. As a result, direct consumptive effects on prey foraging rates were stronger than non-consumptive effects. In contrast, predator cue and crab density interactively influenced indirect predator effects on oyster mortality in two experiments, with trait-mediated and density-mediated effects of similar magnitude operating to enhance oyster abundance. Consistent differences between a variable predator cue environment and other predator cue treatments (no cue and constant cue) suggests that an understanding of the natural risk environment experienced by prey is critical to testing and interpreting trait-mediated indirect interactions. Further, the prey response to the risk environment may be highly dependent on prey density, particularly in prey populations with strong intra-specific interactions. PMID:22970316

  14. Predator-prey relationships in a changing environment: the case of the sparrowhawk and its avian prey community in a rural area.

    PubMed

    Millon, Alexandre; Nielsen, Jan Tøttrup; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Møller, Anders Pape

    2009-09-01

    1. Changes in community composition are expected to entail cascading effects at different trophic levels within a food web. However, empirical evidence on the impact of changes in prey communities on the population dynamics of generalist predators, and on the extent of possible feedback processes, remains scarce. 2. We analysed the dynamics of a generalist predator, the European sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus L., in a rural area of Northern Denmark. Over a 20-year period, the diet of the predator has been thoroughly assessed (>30,000 identified prey items) and quantitative information about its avian prey community, based on standard breeding bird surveys, has revealed significant trends for several passerine species, although the overall prey biomass available remained stable. 3. The growth rate of the sparrowhawk breeding population was negatively related to the previous sparrowhawk density and to winter temperature, but was positively related to available prey biomass. Contrary to expectations for a generalist predator, sparrowhawks seemed to be predominantly sensitive to changes in the cumulative abundance of their two main prey species, the skylark Alauda arvensis L. and the blackbird Turdus merula L., but less so to changes in the wider prey community. 4. In demographic terms, the two-phase sparrowhawk dynamic recorded here (a recovery following an initial decrease) was mainly driven by recruitment of yearling females into the breeding population rather than by variation in the apparent survival of breeding females. 5. Our findings emphasize that changes in the composition of a prey community, affected by environmental changes, impacted population dynamics of a generalist predator. Finally, we found conditions that might enable apparent competition between blackbirds and song thrushes Turdus philomelos L. to occur. High blackbird abundance, maintaining sparrowhawks at a relatively high density may, in turn, push song thrushes into a predator pit. PMID:19558613

  15. 75 FR 51273 - Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-19

    ... (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and... Affected Populations''. Additional funding from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been... (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations'' to make awards to state and county...

  16. Can coyotes affect deer populations in Southeastern North America?

    SciTech Connect

    Kilgo, J., C.; Ray, H., Scott; Ruth, Charles; Miller, Karl, V.

    2010-07-01

    ABSTRACT The coyote (Canis latrans) is a recent addition to the fauna of eastern North America, and in many areas coyote populations have been established for only a decade or two. Although coyotes are known predators of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in their historic range, effects this new predator may have on eastern deer populations have received little attention. We speculated that in the southeastern United States, coyotes may be affecting deer recruitment, and we present 5 lines of evidence that suggest this possibility. First, the statewide deer population in South Carolina has declined coincident with the establishment and increase in the coyote population. Second, data sets from the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina indicate a new mortality source affecting the deer population concurrent with the increase in coyotes. Third, an index of deer recruitment at SRS declined during the period of increase in coyotes. Fourth, food habits data from SRS indicate that fawns are an important food item for coyotes during summer. Finally, recent research from Alabama documented significant coyote predation on fawns there. Although this evidence does not establish cause and effect between coyotes and observed declines in deer recruitment, we argue that additional research should proactively address this topic in the region. We identified several important questions on the nature of the deer–coyote relationship in the East.

  17. Competing Conservation Objectives for Predators and Prey: Estimating Killer Whale Prey Requirements for Chinook Salmon

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Rob; Krkošek, Martin; Ashe, Erin; Branch, Trevor A.; Clark, Steve; Hammond, Philip S.; Hoyt, Erich; Noren, Dawn P.; Rosen, David; Winship, Arliss

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada–US) ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years) implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of conflict

  18. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    PubMed

    Williams, Rob; Krkošek, Martin; Ashe, Erin; Branch, Trevor A; Clark, Steve; Hammond, Philip S; Hoyt, Erich; Noren, Dawn P; Rosen, David; Winship, Arliss

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US) ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years) implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of conflict

  19. When Optimal Strategy Matters to Prey Fish

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Alberto; Stewart, William J.; McHenry, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Predator–prey interactions are commonly studied with an interest in determining the optimal strategy for prey. However, the implications of deviating from optimal strategy are often unclear. The present study considered these consequences by studying how the direction of an escape response affects the strategy of prey fish. We simulated these interactions with numerical and analytical mathematics and compared our predictions with measurements in zebrafish larvae (Danio rerio), which are preyed upon by adults of the same species. Consistent with existing theory, we treated the minimum distance between predator and prey as the strategic payoff that prey aim to maximize. We found that these interactions may be characterized by three strategic domains that are defined by the speed of predator relative to the prey. The “fast predator” domain occurs when the predator is more than an order of magnitude faster than the prey. The escape direction of the prey had only a small effect on the minimum distance under these conditions. For the “slow predator” domain, when the prey is faster than the predator, we found that differences in direction had no effect on the minimum distance for a broad range of escape angles. This was the regime in which zebrafish were found to operate. In contrast, the optimal escape angle offers a large benefit to the minimum distance in the intermediate strategic domain. Therefore, optimal strategy is most meaningful to prey fish when predators are faster than prey by less than a factor of 10. This demonstrates that the strategy of a prey animal does not matter under certain conditions that are created by the behavior of the predator. PMID:25964496

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Restructuring fundamental predator-prey models by recognising prey-dependent conversion efficiency and mortality rates.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiqiu; Montagnes, David J S

    2015-05-01

    Incorporating protozoa into population models (from simple predator-prey explorations to complex food web simulations) is of conceptual, ecological, and economic importance. From theoretical and empirical perspectives, we expose unappreciated complexity in the traditional predator-prey model structure and provide a parsimonious solution, especially for protistologists. We focus on how prey abundance alters two key components of models: predator conversion efficiency (e, the proportion of prey converted to predator, before mortality loss) and predator mortality (δ, the portion of the population lost though death). Using a well-established model system (Paramecium and Didinium), we collect data to parameterize a range of existing and novel population models that differ in the functional forms of e and δ. We then compare model simulations to an empirically obtained time-series of predator-prey population dynamics. The analysis indicates that prey-dependent e and δ should be considered when structuring population models and that both prey and predator biomass also vary with prey abundance. Both of these impact the ability of the model to predict population dynamics and, therefore, should be included in theoretical model evaluations and assessment of ecosystem dynamics associated with biomass flux. PMID:25819465

  5. 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

  6. Coevolution can reverse predator–prey cycles

    PubMed Central

    Cortez, Michael H.; Weitz, Joshua S.

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Cyanobacteria Affect Fitness and Genetic Structure of Experimental Daphnia Populations.

    PubMed

    Drugă, Bogdan; Turko, Patrick; Spaak, Piet; Pomati, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Zooplankton communities can be strongly affected by cyanobacterial blooms, especially species of genus Daphnia, which are key-species in lake ecosystems. Here, we explored the effect of microcystin/nonmicrocystin (MC/non-MC) producing cyanobacteria in the diet of experimental Daphnia galeata populations composed of eight genotypes. We used D. galeata clones hatched from ephippia 10 to 60 years old, which were first tested in monocultures, and then exposed for 10 weeks as mixed populations to three food treatments consisting of green algae combined with cyanobacteria able/unable of producing MC. We measured the expression of nine genes potentially involved in Daphnia acclimation to cyanobacteria: six protease genes, one ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme gene, and two rRNA genes, and then we tracked the dynamics of the genotypes in mixed populations. The expression pattern of one protease and the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme genes was positively correlated with the increased fitness of competing clones in the presence of cyanobacteria, suggesting physiological plasticity. The genotype dynamics in mixed populations was only partially related to the growth rates of clones in monocultures and varied strongly with the food. Our results revealed strong intraspecific differences in the tolerance of D. galeata clones to MC/non-MC-producing cyanobacteria in their diet, suggesting microevolutionary effects. PMID:26943751

  8. Relative importance of evolutionary dynamics depends on the composition of microbial predator-prey community.

    PubMed

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Dupont, Alessandra; Bass, David; Murrell, David J; Bell, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Community dynamics are often studied in subsets of pairwise interactions. Scaling pairwise interactions back to the community level is, however, problematic because one given interaction might not reflect ecological and evolutionary outcomes of other functionally similar species interactions or capture the emergent eco-evolutionary dynamics arising only in more complex communities. Here we studied this experimentally by exposing Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 prey bacterium to four different protist predators (Tetrahymena pyriformis, Tetrahymena vorax, Chilomonas paramecium and Acanthamoeba polyphaga) in all possible single-predator, two-predator and four-predator communities for hundreds of prey generations covering both ecological and evolutionary timescales. We found that only T. pyriformis selected for prey defence in single-predator communities. Although T. pyriformis selection was constrained in the presence of the intraguild predator, T. vorax, T. pyriformis selection led to evolution of specialised prey defence strategies in the presence of C. paramecium or A. polyphaga. At the ecological level, adapted prey populations were phenotypically more diverse, less stable and less productive compared with non-adapted prey populations. These results suggest that predator community composition affects the relative importance of ecological and evolutionary processes and can crucially determine when rapid evolution has the potential to change ecological properties of microbial communities. PMID:26684728

  9. The model of fungal population dynamics affected by nystatin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voychuk, Sergei I.; Gromozova, Elena N.; Sadovskiy, Mikhail G.

    Fungal diseases are acute problems of the up-to-day medicine. Significant increase of resistance of microorganisms to the medically used antibiotics and a lack of new effective drugs follows in a growth of dosage of existing chemicals to solve the problem. Quite often such approach results in side effects on humans. Detailed study of fungi-antibiotic dynamics can identify new mechanisms and bring new ideas to overcome the microbial resistance with a lower dosage of antibiotics. In this study, the dynamics of the microbial population under antibiotic treatment was investigated. The effects of nystatin on the population of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts were used as a model system. Nystatin effects were investigated both in liquid and solid media by viability tests. Dependence of nystatin action on osmotic gradient was evaluated in NaCl solutions. Influences of glucose and yeast extract were additionally analyzed. A "stepwise" pattern of the cell death caused by nystatin was the most intriguing. This pattern manifested in periodical changes of the stages of cell death against stages of resistance to the antibiotic. The mathematical model was proposed to describe cell-antibiotic interactions and nystatin viability effects in the liquid medium. The model implies that antibiotic ability to cause a cells death is significantly affected by the intracellular compounds, which came out of cells after their osmotic barriers were damaged

  10. Subjective quality of life in war-affected populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Exposure to traumatic war events may lead to a reduction in quality of life for many years. Research suggests that these impairments may be associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms; however, wars also have a profound impact on social conditions. Systematic studies utilising subjective quality of life (SQOL) measures are particularly rare and research in post-conflict settings is scarce. Whether social factors independently affect SQOL after war in addition to symptoms has not been explored in large scale studies. Method War-affected community samples were recruited through a random-walk technique in five Balkan countries and through registers and networking in three Western European countries. The interviews were carried out on average 8 years after the war in the Balkans. SQOL was assessed on Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life - MANSA. We explored the impact of war events, posttraumatic stress symptoms and post-war environment on SQOL. Results We interviewed 3313 Balkan residents and 854 refugees in Western Europe. The MANSA mean score was 4.8 (SD = 0.9) for the Balkan sample and 4.7 (SD = 0.9) for refugees. In both samples participants were explicitly dissatisfied with their employment and financial situation. Posttraumatic stress symptoms had a strong negative impact on SQOL. Traumatic war events were directly linked with lower SQOL in Balkan residents. The post-war environment influenced SQOL in both groups: unemployment was associated with lower SQOL and recent contacts with friends with higher SQOL. Experiencing more migration-related stressors was linked to poorer SQOL in refugees. Conclusion Both posttraumatic stress symptoms and aspects of the post-war environment independently influence SQOL in war-affected populations. Aid programmes to improve wellbeing following the traumatic war events should include both treatment of posttraumatic symptoms and social interventions. PMID:23819629

  11. 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

  12. COULD ETHINYL ESTRADIOL AFFECT THE POPULATION BIOLOGY OF CUNNER, TAUTOGOLABRUS ADSPERSUS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment may disturb the population dynamics of wildlife by affecting reproductive output and embryonic development of organisms. This study used a population model to evaluate whether ethinyl estradiol (EE2 could affect cunner Tautogolabr...

  13. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karanth, K.U.; Nichols, J.D.; Kumar, N.S.; Link, W.A.; Hines, J.E.

    2004-01-01

    The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the density of the focal species at these locations. In practice, however, development of functional relationships between abundances of species and their resources has proven extremely difficult, and examples of such predictive ability are very rare. Ecological studies of prey requirements of tigers Panthera tigris led us to develop a simple mechanistic model for predicting tiger density as a function of prey density. We tested our model using data from a landscape-scale long-term (1995-2003) field study that estimated tiger and prey densities in 11 ecologically diverse sites across India. We used field techniques and analytical methods that specifically addressed sampling and detectability, two issues that frequently present problems in macroecological studies of animal populations. Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per km2. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 km2) were reasonably consistent with model predictions. The results provide evidence of a functional relationship between abundances of large carnivores and their prey under a wide range of ecological conditions. In addition to generating important insights into carnivore ecology and conservation, the study provides a potentially useful model for the rigorous conduct of macroecological science.

  14. Visual illusions in predator-prey interactions: birds find moving patterned prey harder to catch.

    PubMed

    Hämäläinen, Liisa; Valkonen, Janne; Mappes, Johanna; Rojas, Bibiana

    2015-09-01

    Several antipredator strategies are related to prey colouration. Some colour patterns can create visual illusions during movement (such as motion dazzle), making it difficult for a predator to capture moving prey successfully. Experimental evidence about motion dazzle, however, is still very scarce and comes only from studies using human predators capturing moving prey items in computer games. We tested a motion dazzle effect using for the first time natural predators (wild great tits, Parus major). We used artificial prey items bearing three different colour patterns: uniform brown (control), black with elongated yellow pattern and black with interrupted yellow pattern. The last two resembled colour patterns of the aposematic, polymorphic dart-poison frog Dendrobates tinctorius. We specifically tested whether an elongated colour pattern could create visual illusions when combined with straight movement. Our results, however, do not support this hypothesis. We found no differences in the number of successful attacks towards prey items with different patterns (elongated/interrupted) moving linearly. Nevertheless, both prey types were significantly more difficult to catch compared to the uniform brown prey, indicating that both colour patterns could provide some benefit for a moving individual. Surprisingly, no effect of background (complex vs. plain) was found. This is the first experiment with moving prey showing that some colour patterns can affect avian predators' ability to capture moving prey, but the mechanisms lowering the capture rate are still poorly understood. PMID:25947086

  15. Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) population dynamics and bamboo (subfamily Bambusoideae) life history: a structured population approach to examining carrying capacity when the prey are semelparous

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, J.; Ackleh, A.S.; Leonard, B.P.; Wang, Hongfang

    1999-01-01

    The giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, is a highly specialized Ursid whose diet consists almost entirely of various species of bamboo. Bamboo (Bambusoideae) is a grass subfamily whose species often exhibit a synchronous semelparity. Synchronous semelparity can create local drops in carrying capacity for the panda. We modeled the interaction of pandas and their bamboo food resources with an age structured panda population model linked to a natural history model of bamboo biomass dynamics based on literature values of bamboo biomass, and giant panda life history dynamics. This paper reports the results of our examination of the interaction between pandas and their bamboo food resource and its implications for panda conservation. In the model all panda populations were well below the carrying capacity of the habitat. The giant panda populations growth was most sensitive to changes in birth rates and removal of reproductive aged individuals. Periodic starvation that has been documented in conjunction with bamboo die-offs is probably related to the inability to move to other areas within the region where bamboo is still available. Based on the results of this model, giant panda conservation should concentrate on keeping breeding individuals in the wild, keep corridors to different bamboo species open to pandas, and to concentrate research on bamboo life history.

  16. Variable wind, pack ice, and prey dispersion affect the long-term adequacy of protected areas for an Arctic sea duck.

    PubMed

    Lovvorn, James R; Anderson, Eric M; Rocha, Aariel R; Larned, William W; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M; Cooper, Lee W; Kolts, Jason M; North, Christopher A

    2014-03-01

    With changing climate, delineation of protected areas for sensitive species must account for long-term variability and geographic shifts of key habitat elements. Projecting the future adequacy of protected areas requires knowing major factors that drive such changes, and how readily the animals adjust to altered resources. In the Arctic, the viability of habitats for marine birds and mammals often depends on sea ice to dissipate storm waves and provide platforms for resting. However, some wind conditions (including weak winds during extreme cold) can consolidate pack ice into cover so dense that air-breathing divers are excluded from the better feeding areas. Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) winter among leads (openings) in pack ice in areas where densities of their bivalve prey are quite high. During winter 2009, however, prevailing winds created a large region of continuous ice with inadequate leads to allow access to areas of dense preferred prey. Stable isotope and fatty acid biomarkers indicated that, under these conditions, the eiders did not diversify their diet to include abundant non-bivalve taxa but did add a smaller, less preferred, bivalve species. Consistent with a computer model of eider energy balance, the body fat of adult eiders in 2009 was 33-35% lower than on the same date (19 March) in 2001 when ice conditions allowed access to higher bivalve densities. Ice cover data suggest that the eiders were mostly excluded from areas of high bivalve density from January to March in about 30% of 14 winters from 1998 to 2011. Thus, even without change in total extent of ice, shifts in prevailing winds can alter the areal density of ice to reduce access to important habitats. Because changes in wind-driven currents can also rearrange the dispersion of prey, the potential for altered wind patterns should be an important concern in projecting effects of climate change on the adequacy of marine protected areas for diving endotherms in the Arctic. PMID

  17. Disentangling taste and toxicity in aposematic prey.

    PubMed

    Holen, Øistein Haugsten

    2013-02-22

    Many predators quickly learn to avoid attacking aposematic prey. If the prey vary in toxicity, the predators may alternatively learn to capture and taste-sample prey carefully before ingesting or rejecting them (go-slow behaviour). An increase in prey toxicity is generally thought to decrease predation on prey populations. However, while prey with a higher toxin load are more harmful to ingest, they may also be easier to recognize and reject owing to greater distastefulness, which can facilitate a taste-sampling foraging strategy. Here, the classic diet model is used to study the separate effects of taste and toxicity on predator preferences. The taste-sampling process is modelled using signal detection theory. The model is applicable to automimicry and batesian mimicry. It shows that when the defensive toxin is sufficiently distasteful, a mimicry complex may be less profitable to the predator and better protected against predation if the models are moderately toxic than if they are highly toxic. Moreover, taste mimicry can reduce the profitability of the mimicry complex and increase protection against predation. The results are discussed in relation to the selection pressures acting on prey defences and the evolution of mimicry. PMID:23256198

  18. 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

  19. Factors affecting outdoor exposure in winter: population-based study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mäkinen, Tiina M.; Raatikka, Veli-Pekka; Rytkönen, Mika; Jokelainen, Jari; Rintamäki, Hannu; Ruuhela, Reija; Näyhä, Simo; Hassi, Juhani

    2006-09-01

    The extent of outdoor exposure during winter and factors affecting it were examined in a cross-sectional population study in Finland. Men and women aged 25-74 years from the National FINRISK 2002 sub-study ( n=6,591) were queried about their average weekly occupational, leisure-time and total cold exposure during the past winter. The effects of gender, age, area of residence, occupation, ambient temperature, self-rated health, physical activity and education on cold exposure were analysed. The self-reported median total cold exposure time was 7 h/week (8 h men, 6 h women),<1 h/week (2 h men, 0 h women) at work, 4 h/week (5 h men, 4 h women) during leisure time and 1 h/week (1 h men, 1.5 h women) while commuting to work. Factors associated with increased occupational cold exposure among men were: being employed in agriculture, forestry and industry/mining/construction or related occupations, being less educated and being aged 55-64 years. Factors associated with increased leisure-time cold exposure among men were: employment in industry/mining/construction or related occupations, being a pensioner or unemployed, reporting at least average health, being physically active and having college or vocational education. Among women, being a housewife, pensioner or unemployed and engaged in physical activity increased leisure-time cold exposure, and young women were more exposed than older ones. Self-rated health was positively associated with leisure time cold exposure in men and only to a minor extent in women. In conclusion, the subjects reported spending 4% of their total time under cold exposure, most of it (71%) during leisure time. Both occupational and leisure-time cold exposure is greater among men than women.

  20. Functional response of wolves preying on barren-ground caribou in a multiple-prey ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dale, B.W.; Adams, Layne G.; Bowyer, R.T.

    1994-01-01

    1. We investigated the functional response of wolves (Canis lupus) to varying abundance of ungulate prey to test the hypothesis that switching from alternate prey to preferred prey results in regulation of a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) population at low densities. 2. We determined prey selection, kill rates, and prey abundance for four wolf packs during three 30-day periods in March 1989, March 1990, November 1990, and created a simple discrete model to evaluate the potential for the expected numerical and observed functional responses of wolves to regulate caribou populations. 3. We observed a quickly decelerating type II functional response that, in the absence of numerical response, implicates an anti-regulatory effect of wolf predation on barren-ground caribou dynamics. 4. There was little potential for regulation caused by the multiplicative effect of increasing functional and numerical responses because of presence of alternative prey. This resulted in high wolf:caribou ratios at low prey densities which precluded the effects of an increasing functional response. 5. Inversely density-dependent predation by other predators, such as bears, reduces the potential for predators to regulate caribou populations at low densities, and small reductions in predation by one predator may have disproportionately large effects on the total predation rate.

  1. Earthworm ecology affects the population structure of their Verminephrobacter symbionts.

    PubMed

    Viana, Flávia; Jensen, Christopher Erik; Macey, Michael; Schramm, Andreas; Lund, Marie Braad

    2016-05-01

    Earthworms carry species-specific Verminephrobacter symbionts in their nephridia (excretory organs). The symbionts are vertically transmitted via the cocoon, can only colonize the host during early embryonic development, and have co-speciated with their host for about 100 million years. Although several studies have addressed Verminephrobacter diversity between worm species, the intra-species diversity of the symbiont population has never been investigated. In this study, symbiont population structure was examined by using a multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) approach on Verminephrobacter isolated from two contrasting ecological types of earthworm hosts: the high population density, fast reproducing compost worms, Eisenia andrei and Eisenia fetida, and the low-density, slow reproducing Aporrectodea tuberculata, commonly found in garden soils. Three distinct populations were investigated for both types and, according to MLST analysis of 193 Verminephrobacter isolates, the symbiont community in each worm individual was very homogeneous. The more solitary A. tuberculata carried unique symbiont populations in 9 out of 10 host individuals, whereas the symbiont populations in the social compost worms were homogeneous across host individuals from the same population. These data suggested that host ecology shaped the population structure of Verminephrobacter symbionts. The homogeneous symbiont populations in the compost worms led to the hypothesis that Verminephrobacter could be transferred bi-parentally or via leaky horizontal transmission in high-density, frequently mating worm populations. PMID:27040820

  2. Diet, prey delivery rates, and prey biomass of Northern Goshawks in East-Central Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, A.S.; DeStefano, S.; Ingraldi, M.F.

    2006-01-01

    Recent concern over persistence of Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) populations in Arizona has stemmed from two long-term demography studies that report substantial yearly fluctuations in productivity and evidence of a declining population. Although many factors could be involved in changes in productivity and population declines, availability of food is one such factor. As part of a demography study on the Sitgreaves portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona, we used remote cameras to assess diets of goshawks. Northern Goshawks preyed upon 22 species during two nesting seasons. Adult pairs tended to specialize on particular species of prey. Prey delivery rates decreased throughout the nesting season with a corresponding increase in biomass in the latter stages of the nestling and fledgling periods. Adults appeared to take larger prey as nestlings increased in age.

  3. Predator prey interactions of Procambarus clarkii with aquatic macroinvertebrates in single and multiple prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, Alexandra Marçal; Bandeira, Nuno; Anastácio, Pedro Manuel

    2005-11-01

    Understanding the interspecific interactions of Procambarus clarkii with other aquatic macroinvertebrates will help to unveil the mechanisms and processes underlying biological invasiveness. The purpose of this study was to investigate predator-prey interactions of two ontogenic phases of P. clarkii with native and exotic species of aquatic macroinvertebrates at a single and multiple prey level. We performed laboratory experiments to determine the consumption and the behavioral responses of Chironomus riparius, Physa acuta and Corbicula fluminea to P. clarkii. The presence of P. clarkii significantly affected the abundance of C. riparius and P. acuta, but not of C. fluminea whether prey species were provided singly or simultaneously. The consumption of C. riparius by P. clarkii was higher than P. acuta for both crayfish sizes and situations (single/multiple prey systems) and C. fluminea was never consumed. Physa acuta was the only species that exhibited an anti-predator behavior to P. clarkii. Our results show that P. clarkii can have strong consumptive and trait effects on aquatic macroinvertebrate prey at a single and multiple prey level, resulting in differential impacts on different prey species. This study clarifies some aspects of the predator-prey interactions between P. clarkii and native as well as other exotic macroinvertebrate species that have invaded freshwater biocenosis worldwide.

  4. 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

  5. Maximizing the benefits of antiretroviral therapy for key affected populations

    PubMed Central

    Grubb, Ian R; Beckham, Sarah W; Kazatchkine, Michel; Thomas, Ruth M; Albers, Eliot R; Cabral, Mauro; Lange, Joep; Vella, Stefano; Kurian, Manoj; Beyrer, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Scientific research has demonstrated the clinical benefits of earlier initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART), and that ART can markedly reduce HIV transmission to sexual partners. Ensuring universal access to ART for those who need it has long been a core principle of the HIV response, and extending the benefits of ART to key populations is critical to increasing the impact of ART and the overall effectiveness of the HIV response. However, this can only be achieved through coordinated efforts to address political, social, legal and economic barriers that key populations face in accessing HIV services. Discussion Recent analyses show that HIV prevalence levels among key populations are far higher than among the general population, and they experience a range of biological and behavioural factors, and social, legal and economic barriers that increase their vulnerability to HIV and have resulted in alarmingly low ART coverage. World Health Organization 2014 consolidated guidance on HIV among key populations offers the potential for increased access to ART by key populations, following the same principles as for the general adult population. However, it should not be assumed that key populations will achieve greater access to ART unless stigma, discrimination and punitive laws, policies and practices that limit access to ART and other HIV interventions in many countries are addressed. Conclusions Rights-based approaches and investments in critical enablers, such as supportive legal and policy environments, are essential to enable wider access to ART and other HIV interventions for key populations. The primary objective of ART should always be to treat the person living with HIV; prevention is an important, additional benefit. ART should be provided only with informed consent. The preventive benefits of treatment must not be used as a pretext for failure to provide other necessary HIV programming for key populations, including comprehensive harm

  6. 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.

  7. Factors affecting levels of genetic diversity in natural populations.

    PubMed Central

    Amos, W; Harwood, J

    1998-01-01

    Genetic variability is the clay of evolution, providing the base material on which adaptation and speciation depend. It is often assumed that most interspecific differences in variability are due primarily to population size effects, with bottlenecked populations carrying less variability than those of stable size. However, we show that population bottlenecks are unlikely to be the only factor, even in classic case studies such as the northern elephant seal and the cheetah, where genetic polymorphism is virtually absent. Instead, we suggest that the low levels of variability observed in endangered populations are more likely to result from a combination of publication biases, which tend to inflate the level of variability which is considered 'normal', and inbreeding effects, which may hasten loss of variability due to drift. To account for species with large population sizes but low variability we advance three hypotheses. First, it is known that certain metapopulation structures can result in effective population sizes far below the census size. Second, there is increasing evidence that heterozygous sites mutate more frequently than equivalent homozygous sites, plausibly because mismatch repair between homologous chromosomes during meiosis provides extra opportunities to mutate. Such a mechanism would undermine the simple relationship between heterozygosity and effective population size. Third, the fact that related species that differ greatly in variability implies that large amounts of variability can be gained or lost rapidly. We argue that such cases are best explained by rapid loss through a genome-wide selective sweep, and suggest a mechanism by which this could come about, based on forced changes to a control gene inducing coevolution in the genes it controls. Our model, based on meiotic drive in mammals, but easily extended to other systems, would tend to facilitate population isolation by generating molecular incompatabilities. Circumstances can even be

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. How a trend towards a stationary population affects consumer demand.

    PubMed

    Espenshade, T J

    1978-03-01

    Abstract During the great depression of the 1930seconomists in both the United States and Europe tried to analyse the economic consequences of declining rates of population growth. Not only were birth rates in many industrial countries at the lowest levels ever, but they coincided with high rates of unemployment. Of the many economists who held that demographic trends were partly responsible for the adverse economic conditions, a prominent example was John Maynard Keynes. According to his so-called stagnation thesis, population growth stimulates investment demand in two ways: more people need more goods and services and, hence, more investment in factories and machinery; and with population growing, businessmen are more likely to regard their investment misallocations as less serious than when the growth is slow or nil.(1)A minority of writers were more optimistic about the economic consequences of slower rates of population growth. For example, Thompson argued that with a lower ratio of consumers to producers the population would enjoy a higher standard of living and the education of children should improve.(2). PMID:22091937

  11. Predators and Prey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1975-01-01

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

  12. Theory of Arachnid Prey Localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stürzl, W.; Kempter, R.; van Hemmen, J. L.

    2000-06-01

    Sand scorpions and many other arachnids locate their prey through highly sensitive slit sensilla at the tips (tarsi) of their eight legs. This sensor array responds to vibrations with stimulus-locked action potentials encoding the target direction. We present a neuronal model to account for stimulus angle determination using a population of second-order neurons, each receiving excitatory input from one tarsus and inhibition from a triad opposite to it. The input opens a time window whose width determines a neuron's firing probability. Stochastic optimization is realized through tuning the balance between excitation and inhibition. The agreement with experiments on the sand scorpion is excellent.

  13. Temperament Affects Sympathetic Nervous Function in a Normal Population

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Bora; Lee, Jae-Hon; Kang, Eun-Ho

    2012-01-01

    Objective Although specific temperaments have been known to be related to autonomic nervous function in some psychiatric disorders, there are few studies that have examined the relationship between temperaments and autonomic nervous function in a normal population. In this study, we examined the effect of temperament on the sympathetic nervous function in a normal population. Methods Sixty eight healthy subjects participated in the present study. Temperament was assessed using the Korean version of the Cloninger Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Autonomic nervous function was determined by measuring skin temperature in a resting state, which was recorded for 5 minutes from the palmar surface of the left 5th digit using a thermistor secured with a Velcro® band. Pearson's correlation analysis and multiple linear regression were used to examine the relationship between temperament and skin temperature. Results A higher harm avoidance score was correlated with a lower skin temperature (i.e. an increased sympathetic tone; r=-0.343, p=0.004) whereas a higher persistence score was correlated with a higher skin temperature (r=0.433, p=0.001). Hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed that harm avoidance was able to predict the variance of skin temperature independently, with a variance of 7.1% after controlling for sex, blood pressure and state anxiety and persistence was the factor predicting the variance of skin temperature with a variance of 5.0%. Conclusion These results suggest that high harm avoidance is related to an increased sympathetic nervous function whereas high persistence is related to decreased sympathetic nervous function in a normal population. PMID:22993530

  14. An island-wide predator manipulation reveals immediate and long-lasting matching of risk by prey

    PubMed Central

    Orrock, John L.; Fletcher, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    Anti-predator behaviour affects prey population dynamics, mediates cascading effects in food webs and influences the likelihood of rapid extinctions. Predator manipulations in natural settings provide a rare opportunity to understand how prey anti-predator behaviour is affected by large-scale changes in predators. Here, we couple a long-term, island-wide manipulation of an important rodent predator, the island fox (Urocyon littoralis), with nearly 6 years of measurements on foraging by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) to provide unequivocal evidence that prey closely match their foraging behaviour to the number of fox predators present on the island. Peromyscus maniculatus foraging among exposed and sheltered microhabitats (a measure of aversion to predation risk) closely tracked fox density, but the nature of this effect depended upon nightly environmental conditions known to affect rodent susceptibility to predators. These effects could not be explained by changes in density of deer mice over time. Our work reveals that prey in natural settings are cognizant of the dynamic nature of their predators over timescales that span many years, and that predator removals spanning many generations of prey do not result in a loss of anti-predator behaviour. PMID:24759863

  15. Is climate change affecting wolf populations in the high Arctic?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2004-01-01

    Global climate change may affect wolves in Canada's High Arctic (80DG N) acting through three trophic levels (vegetation, herbivores, and wolves). A wolf pack dependent on muskoxen and arctic hares in the Eureka area of Ellesmere Island denned and produced pups most years from at least 1986 through 1997. However when summer snow covered vegetation in 1997 and 2000 for the first time since records were kept, halving the herbivore nutrition-replenishment period, muskox and hare numbers dropped drastically, and the area stopped supporting denning wolves through 2003. The unusual weather triggering these events was consistent with global-climate-change phenomena.

  16. Is climate change affecting wolf populations in the high Arctic?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2004-01-01

    Gobal climate change may affect wolves in Canada's High Arctic (80?? N) acting through three trophic levels (vegetation, herbivores, and wolves). A wolf pack dependent on muskoxen and arctic hares in the Eureka area of Ellesmere Island denned and produced pups most years from at least 1986 through 1997. However, when summer snow covered vegetation in 1997 and 2000 for the first time since records were kept, halving the herbivore nutrition-replenishment period, muskox and hare numbers dropped drastically, and the area stopped supporting denning wolves through 2003. The unusual weather triggering these events was consistent with global-climate-change phenomena. ?? 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  17. Latin America: native populations affected by early onset periodontal disease.

    PubMed

    Nowzari, Hessam; Botero, Javier Enrique

    2011-06-01

    Millions of individuals are affected by early onset periodontal disease in Latin America, a continent that includes more than 20 countries. The decision-makers claim that the disease is not commonly encountered. In 2009, 280,919 authorized immigrants were registered in the United States versus 5,460,000 unauthorized (2,600,000 in California). The objective of the present article is to raise awareness about the high prevalence of the disease among Latin Americans and the good prognosis of preventive measures associated with minimal financial cost. PMID:21823496

  18. Do predators control prey species abundance? An experimental test with brown treesnakes on Guam

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Earl W., III; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Fritts, Thomas H.; Rodda, Gordon H.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of predators on the abundance of prey species is a topic of ongoing debate in ecology; the effect of snake predators on their prey has been less debated, as there exists a general consensus that snakes do not negatively influence the abundance of their prey. However, this viewpoint has not been adequately tested. We quantified the effect of brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) predation on the abundance and size of lizards on Guam by contrasting lizards in two 1-ha treatment plots of secondary forest from which snakes had been removed and excluded vs. two 1-ha control plots in which snakes were monitored but not removed or excluded. We removed resident snakes from the treatment plots with snake traps and hand capture, and snake immigration into these plots was precluded by electrified snake barriers. Lizards were sampled in all plots quarterly for a year following snake elimination in the treatment plots. Following the completion of this experiment, we used total removal sampling to census lizards on a 100-m2 subsample of each plot. Results of systematic lizard population monitoring before and after snake removal suggest that the abundance of the skink, Carlia ailanpalai, increased substantially and the abundance of two species of gekkonids, Lepidodactylus lugubris and Hemidactylus frenatus, also increased on snake-free plots. No treatment effect was observed for the skink Emoia caeruleocauda. Mean snout–vent length of all lizard species only increased following snake removal in the treatment plots. The general increase in prey density and mean size was unexpected in light of the literature consensus that snakes do not control the abundance of their prey species. Our findings show that, at least where alternate predators are lacking, snakes may indeed affect prey populations.

  19. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  20. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  1. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  2. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  3. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  4. Factors affecting minority population proximity to hazardous facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Nieves, L.A.; Nieves, A.L. |

    1995-04-01

    Disproportionate exposure of minority groups to environmental hazards has been attributed to ``environmental racism`` by some authors, without systematic investigation of the factors underlying this exposure pattern. This study examines regional differences in the proximity of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and non-Hispanic Whites to a broad range of facility types and explores the effects of urban and income factors. A statistically significant inverse relationship is found between the percentage of non-Hispanic Whites and virtually all facility categories in all regions. Except for Hispanics in the South, all such associations for minority groups show a direct relationship, though some are nonsignificant. The geographic concentration of facilities is more closely tied to urbanization than to economic factors. Controlling for both urban and economic factors, minority population concentration is still a significant explanatory variable for some facility types in some regions. This finding is most consistent for African-Americans.

  5. 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.

  6. Source population characteristics affect heterosis following genetic rescue of fragmented plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Pickup, M.; Field, D. L.; Rowell, D. M.; Young, A. G.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the relative importance of heterosis and outbreeding depression over multiple generations is a key question in evolutionary biology and is essential for identifying appropriate genetic sources for population and ecosystem restoration. Here we use 2455 experimental crosses between 12 population pairs of the rare perennial plant Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Asteraceae) to investigate the multi-generational (F1, F2, F3) fitness outcomes of inter-population hybridization. We detected no evidence of outbreeding depression, with inter-population hybrids and backcrosses showing either similar fitness or significant heterosis for fitness components across the three generations. Variation in heterosis among population pairs was best explained by characteristics of the foreign source or home population, and was greatest when the source population was large, with high genetic diversity and low inbreeding, and the home population was small and inbred. Our results indicate that the primary consideration for maximizing progeny fitness following population augmentation or restoration is the use of seed from large, genetically diverse populations. PMID:23173202

  7. Presence-absence surveys of prey and their use in predicting leopard (Panthera pardus) densities: a case study from Armenia.

    PubMed

    Khorozyan, Igor G; Malkhasyan, Alexander G; Abramov, Alexei V

    2008-12-01

    It is important to predict how many individuals of a predator species can survive in a given area on the basis of prey sufficiency and to compare predictive estimates with actual numbers to understand whether or not key threats are related to prey availability. Rugged terrain and low detection probabilities do not allow for the use of traditional prey count techniques in mountain areas. We used presence-absence occupancy modeling and camera-trapping to estimate the abundance and densities of prey species and regression analysis to predict leopard (Panthera pardus) densities from estimated prey biomass in the mountains of the Nuvadi area, Meghri Ridge, southern Armenia. The prey densities were 12.94 ± 2.18 individuals km(-2) for the bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus), 6.88 ± 1.56 for the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and 0.44 ± 0.20 for the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). The detection probability of the prey was a strong function of the activity patterns, and was highest in diurnal bezoar goats (0.59 ± 0.09). Based on robust regression, the estimated total ungulate prey biomass (720.37 ± 142.72 kg km(-2) ) can support a leopard density of 7. 18 ± 3.06 individuals 100 km(-2) . The actual leopard density is only 0.34 individuals 100 km(-2) (i.e. one subadult male recorded over the 296.9 km(2) ), estimated from tracking and camera-trapping. The most plausible explanation for this discrepancy between predicted and actual leopard density is that poaching and disturbance caused by livestock breeding, plant gathering, deforestation and human-induced wild fires are affecting the leopard population in Armenia. PMID:21396082

  8. Predator population depending on lemming cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  9. Climate-ecosystem change off southern California: Time-dependent seabird predator-prey numerical responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Santora, Jarrod A.; Koslow, J. Anthony; Goericke, Ralf; Ohman, Mark D.

    2015-02-01

    Climate change may increase both stratification and upwelling in marine ecosystems, but these processes may affect productivity in opposing or complementary ways. For the Southern California region of the California Current Ecosystem (CCE), we hypothesized that changes in stratification and upwelling have affected marine bird populations indirectly through changes in prey availability. To test this hypothesis, we derived trends and associations between stratification and upwelling, the relative abundance of potential prey including krill and forage fish, and seabirds based on the long-term, multi-disciplinary CalCOFI/CCE-LTER program. Over the period 1987 through 2011, spring and summer seabird density (all species combined) declined by ~2% per year, mostly in the northern sector of the study region. Krill showed variable trends with two species increasing and one deceasing, resulting in community reorganization. Nearshore forage fish, dominated by northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) as well as offshore mesopelagic species, show declines in relative abundance over this period. The unidirectional decline in springtime seabird density is largely explained by declining nearshore fish abundance in the previous season (winter). Interannual variability in seabird density, especially in the 2000s, is explained by variability in krill abundance. Changes in the numerical responses of seabirds to prey abundance correspond to a putative ecosystem shift in 1998-1999 and support aspects of optimal foraging (diet) theory. Predator-prey interactions and numerical responses clearly explain aspects of the upper trophic level patterns of change in the pelagic ecosystem off southern California.

  10. Prey size selection and cannibalistic behaviour of juvenile barramundi Lates calcarifer.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, F F; Qin, J G

    2015-05-01

    This study assessed the cannibalistic behaviour of juvenile barramundi Lates calcarifer and examined the relationship between prey size selection and energy gain of cannibals. Prey handling time and capture success by cannibals were used to estimate the ratio of energy gain to energy cost in prey selection. Cannibals selected smaller prey despite its capability of ingesting larger prey individuals. In behavioural analysis, prey handling time significantly increased with prey size, but it was not significantly affected by cannibal size. Conversely, capture success significantly decreased with the increase of both prey and cannibal sizes. The profitability indices showed that the smaller prey provides the most energy return for cannibals of all size classes. These results indicate that L. calcarifer cannibals select smaller prey for more profitable return. The behavioural analysis, however, indicates that L. calcarifer cannibals attack prey of all size at a similar rate but ingest smaller prey more often, suggesting that prey size selection is passively orientated rather than at the predator's choice. The increase of prey escape ability and morphological constraint contribute to the reduction of intracohort cannibalism as fish grow larger. This study contributes to the understanding of intracohort cannibalism and development of strategies to reduce fish cannibalistic mortalities. PMID:25801794

  11. 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

  12. Stability analysis and numerical simulation of 1 prey - 2 predator system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savitri, D.; Abadi

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we study an ecological system that consists of 1 prey and 2 predators populations. The prey population grows logistically while Holling type II functional response is applied for both predators . The first predator preys on the prey and the second predator preys on the first one. The study starts with the stability analysis of critical points of the systems. Then, by using normal form and centre manifold method the information about other nontrivial solutions due to bifurcation including possible limit cycles appearance is obtained. The results are confirmed by numerical simulation using MatCont and biological interpretation of the results is also presented.

  13. Location of odor sources and the affected population in Imperial County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, J.L.

    1981-08-01

    This report is divided into four sections. The first two sections contain general background information on Imperial County. The third section is a general discussion of odor sources in Imperial County, and the fourth maps the specific odor sources, the expected areas of perception, and the affected populations. this mapping is done for the Imperial Valley and each of the four Imperial County KGRA's (Known Geothermal Resource Areas) where odor from the development of the geothermal energy may affect population.

  14. 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

  15. The Allometry of Prey Preferences

    PubMed Central

    Kalinkat, Gregor; Rall, Björn Christian; Vucic-Pestic, Olivera; Brose, Ulrich

    2011-01-01

    The distribution of weak and strong non-linear feeding interactions (i.e., functional responses) across the links of complex food webs is critically important for their stability. While empirical advances have unravelled constraints on single-prey functional responses, their validity in the context of complex food webs where most predators have multiple prey remain uncertain. In this study, we present conceptual evidence for the invalidity of strictly density-dependent consumption as the null model in multi-prey experiments. Instead, we employ two-prey functional responses parameterised with allometric scaling relationships of the functional response parameters that were derived from a previous single-prey functional response study as novel null models. Our experiments included predators of different sizes from two taxonomical groups (wolf spiders and ground beetles) simultaneously preying on one small and one large prey species. We define compliance with the null model predictions (based on two independent single-prey functional responses) as passive preferences or passive switching, and deviations from the null model as active preferences or active switching. Our results indicate active and passive preferences for the larger prey by predators that are at least twice the size of the larger prey. Moreover, our approach revealed that active preferences increased significantly with the predator-prey body-mass ratio. Together with prior allometric scaling relationships of functional response parameters, this preference allometry may allow estimating the distribution of functional response parameters across the myriads of interactions in natural ecosystems. PMID:21998724

  16. Maternal effects on offspring consumption can stabilize fluctuating predator-prey systems.

    PubMed

    Garbutt, Jennie S; Little, Tom J; Hoyle, Andy

    2015-12-01

    Maternal effects, where the conditions experienced by mothers affect the phenotype of their offspring, are widespread in nature and have the potential to influence population dynamics. However, they are very rarely included in models of population dynamics. Here, we investigate a recently discovered maternal effect, where maternal food availability affects the feeding rate of offspring so that well-fed mothers produce fast-feeding offspring. To understand how this maternal effect influences population dynamics, we explore novel predator-prey models where the consumption rate of predators is modified by changes in maternal prey availability. We address the 'paradox of enrichment', a theoretical prediction that nutrient enrichment destabilizes populations, leading to cycling behaviour and an increased risk of extinction, which has proved difficult to confirm in the wild. Our models show that enriched populations can be stabilized by maternal effects on feeding rate, thus presenting an intriguing potential explanation for the general absence of 'paradox of enrichment' behaviour in natural populations. This stabilizing influence should also reduce a population's risk of extinction and vulnerability to harvesting. PMID:26631563

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Innate defensive behaviour and panic-like reactions evoked by rodents during aggressive encounters with Brazilian constrictor snakes in a complex labyrinth: behavioural validation of a new model to study affective and agonistic reactions in a prey versus predator paradigm.

    PubMed

    Guimarães-Costa, Raquel; Guimarães-Costa, Maria Beatriz; Pippa-Gadioli, Leonardo; Weltson, Alfredo; Ubiali, Walter Adriano; Paschoalin-Maurin, Tatiana; Felippotti, Tatiana Tocchini; Elias-Filho, Daoud Hibrahim; Laure, Carlos Júlio; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2007-09-15

    Defensive behaviour has been extensively studied, and non-invasive methodologies may be interesting approaches to analyzing the limbic system function as a whole. Using experimental models of animals in the state of anxiety has been fundamental in the search for new anxiolytic and antipanic compounds. The aim of this present work is to examine a new model for the study of affective behaviour, using a complex labyrinth consisting of an arena and galleries forming a maze. Furthermore, it aims to compare the defensive behaviour of Wistar rats, Mongolian gerbils and golden hamsters in a complex labyrinth, as well as the defensive behaviour of Meriones unguiculatus in aggressive encounters with either Epicrates cenchria assisi or Boa constrictor amarali in this same model. Among species presently studied, the Mongolian gerbils showed better performance in the exploration of both arena and galleries of the labyrinth, also demonstrating less latency in finding exits of the galleries. This increases the possibility of survival, as well as optimizes the events of encounter with the predator. The duration of alertness and freezing increased during confrontation with living Epicrates, as well as the duration of exploratory behaviour in the labyrinth. There was an increase in the number of freezing and alertness behaviours, as well as in duration of alertness during confrontations involving E.c. assisi, compared with behavioural reactions elicited by jirds in presence of B.c. amarali. Interestingly, the aggressive behaviour of Mongolian gerbils was more prominent against B.c. amarali compared with the other Boidae snake. E.c. assisi elicited more offensive attacks and exhibited a greater time period of body movement than B.c. amarali, which spent more time in the arena and in defensive immobility than the E.c. assisi. Considering that jirds evoked more fear-like reaction in contact with E.c. assisi, a fixed E.c. assisi kept in a hermetically closed acrylic box was used as

  20. 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

  1. Prey availability, consumption, and quality contribute to variation in growth of subyearling Chinook Salmon rearing in riverine and reservoir habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Erhardt, John M.; St. John, Scott J.

    2014-01-01

    We examined prey availability, prey consumed, and diet energy content as sources of variation in growth of natural fall Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha subyearlings rearing in riverine and reservoir habitats in the Snake River. Subyearlings in riverine habitat primarily consumed aquatic insects (e.g., Diptera, Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera), of which a high proportion was represented by adult, terrestrial forms. In the reservoir, subyearlings also consumed aquatic insects but also preyed heavily at times on nonnative lentic amphipods Corophium spp. and the mysid Neomysis mercedis, which were absent in riverine habitats. The availability of prey was typically much higher in the reservoir due to N. mercedis often composing over 90% of the biomass, but when this taxon was removed from consideration, biomass estimates were more often higher in the riverine habitat. Subyearling diets during 2009–2011 were generally 17–40% higher in energy in the riverine habitat than in the reservoir. Observed growth in both length and weight were significantly higher in the riverine habitat than in the reservoir. Little is known about how temporal and spatial changes in the food web in large river landscapes influence populations of native anadromous fishes. Our results provide a glimpse of how the spread and establishment of nonnative prey species can reduce juvenile salmon growth in a large river impoundment, which in turn can affect migration timing and survival.

  2. 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.

  3. Factors Affecting the Distribution Pattern of Wild Plants with Extremely Small Populations in Hainan Island, China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yukai; Yang, Xiaobo; Yang, Qi; Li, Donghai; Long, Wenxing; Luo, Wenqi

    2014-01-01

    Understanding which factors affect the distribution pattern of extremely small populations is essential to the protection and propagation of rare and endangered plant species. In this study, we established 108 plots covering the entire Hainan Island, and measured the appearance frequency and species richness of plant species with extremely small populations, as well as the ecological environments and human disturbances during 2012–2013. We explored how the ecological environments and human activities affected the distribution pattern of these extremely small populations. Results showed that the extremely small populations underwent human disturbances and threats, and they were often found in fragmental habitats. The leading factors changing the appearance frequency of extremely small populations differed among plant species, and the direct factors making them susceptible to extinction were human disturbances. The peak richness of extremely small populations always occurred at the medium level across environmental gradients, and their species richness always decreased with increasing human disturbances. However, the appearance frequencies of three orchid species increased with the increasing human disturbances. Our study thus indicate that knowledge on how the external factors, such as the ecological environment, land use type, roads, human activity, etc., affect the distribution of the extremely small populations should be taken for the better protecting them in the future. PMID:24830683

  4. Factors affecting the distribution pattern of wild plants with extremely small populations in Hainan Island, China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yukai; Yang, Xiaobo; Yang, Qi; Li, Donghai; Long, Wenxing; Luo, Wenqi

    2014-01-01

    Understanding which factors affect the distribution pattern of extremely small populations is essential to the protection and propagation of rare and endangered plant species. In this study, we established 108 plots covering the entire Hainan Island, and measured the appearance frequency and species richness of plant species with extremely small populations, as well as the ecological environments and human disturbances during 2012-2013. We explored how the ecological environments and human activities affected the distribution pattern of these extremely small populations. Results showed that the extremely small populations underwent human disturbances and threats, and they were often found in fragmental habitats. The leading factors changing the appearance frequency of extremely small populations differed among plant species, and the direct factors making them susceptible to extinction were human disturbances. The peak richness of extremely small populations always occurred at the medium level across environmental gradients, and their species richness always decreased with increasing human disturbances. However, the appearance frequencies of three orchid species increased with the increasing human disturbances. Our study thus indicate that knowledge on how the external factors, such as the ecological environment, land use type, roads, human activity, etc., affect the distribution of the extremely small populations should be taken for the better protecting them in the future. PMID:24830683

  5. Predatory Bacteriovorax Communities Ordered by Various Prey Species

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Huan; Young, Shanterial; Berhane, Timkhite-Kulu; Williams, Henry N.

    2012-01-01

    The role of predation in altering microbial communities has been studied for decades but few examples are known for bacterial predators. Bacteriovorax are halophilic prokaryotes that prey on susceptible Gram-negative bacteria. We recently reported novel observations on the differential selection of Bacteriovorax phylotypes by two different prey, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus. However, the conclusion is restricted by the limited number of prey tested. In this study, we have conducted two independent investigations involving eight species of prey bacteria while using V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolytics as reference strains. Water samples collected from Dry Bar, Apalachicola Bay were used to establish microcosms which were respectively spiked with prey strains Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli or Pseudomonas putida to examine the response of native Bacteriovorax to freshwater bacteria. Indigenous Vibrio sp., Pseudoalteromonas sp., Photobacterium sp. and a clinical strain of V. vulnificus were also tested for the impact of saltwater prey on the Bacteriovorax community. At 24 hour intervals, optical density of the microcosm samples and the abundance of Bacteriovorax were measured over five days. The predominant Bacteriovorax plaques were selected and analyzed by 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequencing. In addition, the impacts of prey on predator population and bacterial community composition were investigated using culture independent denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Strikingly, Cluster IV was found consistently as the predominant phylotype produced by the freshwater prey. For all saltwater prey, subgroups of Bacteriovorax phylotype IX were the major predators recovered. The results suggest that prey is an important factor along with temperature, salinity and other environmental parameters in shaping Bacteriovorax communities in aquatic systems. PMID:22461907

  6. Predatory Bacteriovorax communities ordered by various prey species.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huan; Young, Shanterial; Berhane, Timkhite-Kulu; Williams, Henry N

    2012-01-01

    The role of predation in altering microbial communities has been studied for decades but few examples are known for bacterial predators. Bacteriovorax are halophilic prokaryotes that prey on susceptible gram-negative bacteria. We recently reported novel observations on the differential selection of Bacteriovorax phylotypes by two different prey, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus. However, the conclusion is restricted by the limited number of prey tested. In this study, we have conducted two independent investigations involving eight species of prey bacteria while using V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolytics as reference strains. Water samples collected from Dry Bar, Apalachicola Bay were used to establish microcosms which were respectively spiked with prey strains Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli or Pseudomonas putida to examine the response of native Bacteriovorax to freshwater bacteria. Indigenous Vibrio sp., Pseudoalteromonas sp., Photobacterium sp. and a clinical strain of V. vulnificus were also tested for the impact of saltwater prey on the Bacteriovorax community. At 24 hour intervals, optical density of the microcosm samples and the abundance of Bacteriovorax were measured over five days. The predominant Bacteriovorax plaques were selected and analyzed by 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequencing. In addition, the impacts of prey on predator population and bacterial community composition were investigated using culture independent denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Strikingly, Cluster IV was found consistently as the predominant phylotype produced by the freshwater prey. For all saltwater prey, subgroups of Bacteriovorax phylotype IX were the major predators recovered. The results suggest that prey is an important factor along with temperature, salinity and other environmental parameters in shaping Bacteriovorax communities in aquatic systems. PMID:22461907

  7. Seasonal patterns of predation for gray wolves in the multi-prey system of Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    Metz, Matthew C; Smith, Douglas W; Vucetich, John A; Stahler, Daniel R; Peterson, Rolf O

    2012-05-01

    predation because of changes in prey vulnerability. Patterns of wolf predation were influenced by the nutritional condition of adult elk and the availability of smaller prey (i.e. elk calves, deer). We discuss how these patterns affect our overall understanding of predator and prey population dynamics. PMID:22260633

  8. Genetic diversity affects the strength of population regulation in a marine fish.

    PubMed

    Johnson, D W; Freiwald, J; Bernardi, G

    2016-03-01

    Variation is an essential feature of biological populations, yet much of ecological theory treats individuals as though they are identical. This simplifying assumption is often justified by the perception that variation among individuals does not have significant effects on the dynamics of whole populations. However, this perception may be skewed by a historic focus on studying single populations. A true evaluation of the extent to which among-individual variation affects the dynamics of populations requires the study of multiple populations. In this study, we examined variation in the dynamics of populations of a live-bearing, marine fish (black surfperch; Embiotoca jacksoni). In collaboration with an organization of citizen scientists (Reef Check California), we were able to examine the dynamics of eight populations that were distributed throughout approximately 700 km of coastline, a distance that encompasses much of this species' range. We hypothesized that genetic variation within a local population would be related to the intensity of competition and to the strength of population regulation. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether genetic diversity (measured by the diversity of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes) was related to the strength of population regulation. Low-diversity populations experienced strong density dependence in population growth rates and population sizes were regulated much more tightly than they were in high-diversity populations. Mechanisms that contributed to this pattern include links between genetic diversity, habitat use, and spatial crowding. On average, low-diversity populations used less of the available habitat and exhibited greater spatial clustering (and more intense competition) for a given level of density (measured at the scale of the reef). Although the populations we studied also varied with respect to exogenous characteristics (habitat complexity, densities of predators, and interspecific competitors), none of these

  9. Predicting predation through prey ontogeny using size-dependent functional response models.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Michael W; Bolker, Benjamin M; Warkentin, Karen M; Vonesh, James R

    2011-06-01

    The functional response is a critical link between consumer and resource dynamics, describing how a consumer's feeding rate varies with prey density. Functional response models often assume homogenous prey size and size-independent feeding rates. However, variation in prey size due to ontogeny and competition is ubiquitous, and predation rates are often size dependent. Thus, functional responses that ignore prey size may not effectively predict predation rates through ontogeny or in heterogeneous populations. Here, we use short-term response-surface experiments and statistical modeling to develop and test prey size-dependent functional responses for water bugs and dragonfly larvae feeding on red-eyed treefrog tadpoles. We then extend these models through simulations to predict mortality through time for growing prey. Both conventional and size-dependent functional response models predicted average overall mortality in short-term mixed-cohort experiments, but only the size-dependent models accurately captured how mortality was spread across sizes. As a result, simulations that extrapolated these results through prey ontogeny showed that differences in size-specific mortality are compounded as prey grow, causing predictions from conventional and size-dependent functional response models to diverge dramatically through time. Our results highlight the importance of incorporating prey size when modeling consumer-prey dynamics in size-structured, growing prey populations. PMID:21597252

  10. Dynamics and pattern formation in a diffusive predator-prey system with strong Allee effect in prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinfeng; Shi, Junping; Wei, Junjie

    The dynamics of a reaction-diffusion predator-prey system with strong Allee effect in the prey population is considered. Nonexistence of nonconstant positive steady state solutions are shown to identify the ranges of parameters of spatial pattern formation. Bifurcations of spatially homogeneous and nonhomogeneous periodic solutions as well as nonconstant steady state solutions are studied. These results show that the impact of the Allee effect essentially increases the system spatiotemporal complexity.

  11. Consumption demand of juvenile pink salmon in Prince William Sound and the coastal Gulf of Alaska in relation to prey biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cross, Alison D.; Beauchamp, David A.; Armstrong, Janet L.; Blikshteyn, Mikhail; Boldt, Jennifer L.; Davis, Nancy D.; Haldorson, Lewis J.; Moss, Jamal H.; Myers, Katherine W.; Walker, Robert V.

    2005-01-01

    Prince William Sound hatcheries release over 600 million pink salmon ( Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) fry each year. The effect of the additional consumption demand by hatchery fish on prey biomass in Prince William Sound and the coastal Gulf of Alaska is unknown. The objectives of this study were to: (1) use bioenergetics models to compare spatial and temporal variation in the consumption demand and growth efficiency of hatchery and wild juvenile pink salmon in Prince William Sound and the coastal Gulf of Alaska between May and October 2001; and (2) compare localized population-level consumption in each region to the standing stock biomass of coexisting prey. In order to achieve observed growth, juvenile pink salmon consumed at 64-107% of their theoretical maximum consumption rate. Individual juvenile pink salmon consumed an average of 366.5 g of prey from marine entry through October of their first growing season. Growth efficiency ranged from 18.9% to 33.8% over the model simulation period. Juvenile salmon that migrated to the Gulf of Alaska grew more efficiently than those that remained in Prince William Sound until August, but after August juvenile salmon in Prince William Sound grew more efficiently than those in the Gulf of Alaska due to differences in prey quality between regions. Temperatures did not vary much between regions; thus differences in the thermal experience of juvenile pink salmon did not affect growth, consumption, and growth efficiency as much as the effects of different prey quality. Consumption demand by juvenile pink salmon exceeded the average standing stock biomass of key prey (large copepods, pteropods, hyperiid amphipods, and larvaceans) during some months. Our results are consistent with advection and production of these prey replenishing the forage base, or the reliance of individual pink salmon on high-density prey patches that occur at finer temporal scales than we were capable of sampling.

  12. How Archiving by Freezing Affects the Genome-Scale Diversity of Escherichia coli Populations.

    PubMed

    Sprouffske, Kathleen; Aguilar-Rodríguez, José; Wagner, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    In the experimental evolution of microbes such as Escherichia coli, many replicate populations are evolved from a common ancestor. Freezing a population sample supplemented with the cryoprotectant glycerol permits later analysis or restarting of an evolution experiment. Typically, each evolving population, and thus each sample archived in this way, consists of many unique genotypes and phenotypes. The effect of archiving on such a heterogeneous population is unknown. Here, we identified optimal archiving conditions for E. coli. We also used genome sequencing of archived samples to study the effects that archiving has on genomic population diversity. We observed no allele substitutions and mostly small changes in allele frequency. Nevertheless, principal component analysis of genome-scale allelic diversity shows that archiving affects diversity across many loci. We showed that this change in diversity is due to selection rather than drift. In addition, ∼1% of rare alleles that occurred at low frequencies were lost after treatment. Our observations imply that archived populations may be used to conduct fitness or other phenotypic assays of populations, in which the loss of a rare allele may have negligible effects. However, caution is appropriate when sequencing populations restarted from glycerol stocks, as well as when using glycerol stocks to restart or replay evolution. This is because the loss of rare alleles can alter the future evolutionary trajectory of a population if the lost alleles were strongly beneficial. PMID:26988250

  13. How Archiving by Freezing Affects the Genome-Scale Diversity of Escherichia coli Populations

    PubMed Central

    Sprouffske, Kathleen; Aguilar-Rodríguez, José; Wagner, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    In the experimental evolution of microbes such as Escherichia coli, many replicate populations are evolved from a common ancestor. Freezing a population sample supplemented with the cryoprotectant glycerol permits later analysis or restarting of an evolution experiment. Typically, each evolving population, and thus each sample archived in this way, consists of many unique genotypes and phenotypes. The effect of archiving on such a heterogeneous population is unknown. Here, we identified optimal archiving conditions for E. coli. We also used genome sequencing of archived samples to study the effects that archiving has on genomic population diversity. We observed no allele substitutions and mostly small changes in allele frequency. Nevertheless, principal component analysis of genome-scale allelic diversity shows that archiving affects diversity across many loci. We showed that this change in diversity is due to selection rather than drift. In addition, ∼1% of rare alleles that occurred at low frequencies were lost after treatment. Our observations imply that archived populations may be used to conduct fitness or other phenotypic assays of populations, in which the loss of a rare allele may have negligible effects. However, caution is appropriate when sequencing populations restarted from glycerol stocks, as well as when using glycerol stocks to restart or replay evolution. This is because the loss of rare alleles can alter the future evolutionary trajectory of a population if the lost alleles were strongly beneficial. PMID:26988250

  14. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes’ dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  15. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness.

    PubMed

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes' dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  16. Effects of the heterogeneous landscape on a predator-prey system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hee

    2010-01-01

    In order to understand how a heterogeneous landscape affects a predator-prey system, a spatially explicit lattice model consisting of predators, prey, grass, and landscape was constructed. The predators and preys randomly move on the lattice space and the grass grows in its neighboring site according to its growth probability. When predators and preys meet at the same site at the same time, a number of prey, equal to the number of predators are eaten. This rule was also applied to the relationship between the prey and grass. The predator (prey) could give birth to an offspring when it ate prey (grass), with a birth probability. When a predator or prey animal was initially introduced, or newly born, its health state was set at a given high value. This health state decreased by one with every time step. When the state of an animal decreased to less than zero, the animal died and was removed from the system. The heterogeneous landscape was characterized by parameter H, which controlled the heterogeneity according to the neutral model. The simulation results showed that H positively or negatively affected a predator’s survival, while its effect on prey and grass was less pronounced. The results can be understood by the disturbance of the balance between the prey and predator densities in the areas where the animals aggregated.

  17. Network analysis reveals contrasting effects of intraspecific competition on individual vs. population diets.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Márcio S; Guimarães, Paulo R; Svanbäck, Richard; Pinheiro, Aluisio; Guimarães, Paulo; Dos Reis, Sérgio F; Bolnick, Daniel I

    2008-07-01

    Optimal foraging theory predicts that individuals should become more opportunistic when intraspecific competition is high and preferred resources are scarce. This density-dependent diet shift should result in increased diet breadth for individuals as they add previously unused prey to their repertoire. As a result, the niche breadth of the population as a whole should increase. In a recent study, R. Svanbäck and D. I. Bolnick confirmed that intraspecific competition led to increased population diet breadth in threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). However, individual diet breadth did not expand as resource levels declined. Here, we present a new method based on complex network theory that moves beyond a simple measure of diet breadth, and we use the method to reexamine the stickleback experiment. This method reveals that the population as a whole added new types of prey as stickleback density was increased. However, whereas foraging theory predicts that niche expansion is achieved by individuals accepting new prey in addition to previously preferred prey, we found that a subset of individuals ceased to use their previously preferred prey, even though other members of their population continued to specialize on the original prey types. As a result, populations were subdivided into groups of ecologically similar individuals, with diet variation among groups reflecting phenotype-dependent changes in foraging behavior as prey density declined. These results are consistent with foraging theory if we assume that quantitative trait variation among consumers affects prey preferences, and if cognitive constraints prevent individuals from continuing to use their formerly preferred prey while adding new prey. PMID:18705384

  18. Birds of Prey of Wisconsin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamerstrom, Frances

    This copiously illustrated document is designed to be a field quide to birds of prey that are common to Wisconsin, as well as to some that enter the state occasionally. An introduction discusses birds of prey with regard to migration patterns, the relationship between common names and the attitudes of people toward certain birds, and natural signs…

  19. Spatial and spatiotemporal variation in metapopulation structure affects population dynamics in a passively dispersing arthropod.

    PubMed

    De Roissart, Annelies; Wang, Shaopeng; Bonte, Dries

    2015-11-01

    The spatial and temporal variation in the availability of suitable habitat within metapopulations determines colonization-extinction events, regulates local population sizes and eventually affects local population and metapopulation stability. Insights into the impact of such a spatiotemporal variation on the local population and metapopulation dynamics are principally derived from classical metapopulation theory and have not been experimentally validated. By manipulating spatial structure in artificial metapopulations of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, we test to which degree spatial (mainland-island metapopulations) and spatiotemporal variation (classical metapopulations) in habitat availability affects the dynamics of the metapopulations relative to systems where habitat is constantly available in time and space (patchy metapopulations). Our experiment demonstrates that (i) spatial variation in habitat availability decreases variance in metapopulation size and decreases density-dependent dispersal at the metapopulation level, while (ii) spatiotemporal variation in habitat availability increases patch extinction rates, decreases local population and metapopulation sizes and decreases density dependence in population growth rates. We found dispersal to be negatively density dependent and overall low in the spatial variable mainland-island metapopulation. This demographic variation subsequently impacts local and regional population dynamics and determines patterns of metapopulation stability. Both local and metapopulation-level variabilities are minimized in mainland-island metapopulations relative to classical and patchy ones. PMID:25988264

  20. Lake Michigan's capacity to support lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and other salmonines: an estimate based on the status of prey populations in the 1970s

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eck, Gary W.; Brown, Edward H.

    1985-01-01

    We used a mass balance equation relating total mortality of age II and older alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) to their removals by predatory fish and other sources of mortality as the basis for estimating that the forage base in Lake Michigan could support an additional 13 000 to 21 000 t of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) or a total lake trout biomass between 15 000 and 23 000 t. This biomass estimate is projected with biomasses of other trout and salmon held at 1979 levels. Major premises of this approach are that (1) the sustained availability of age II and older alewives to salmonines will ultimately limit the expansion of salmonine stocks, (2) the alewife population was oscillating without trend during 1973–80, and (3) additional limited predation on alewives would be compensated by a reduction in natural mortality caused by physiological stress and disease.

  1. Multiplicative and Additive Modulation of Neuronal Tuning with Population Activity Affects Encoded Information.

    PubMed

    Arandia-Romero, Iñigo; Tanabe, Seiji; Drugowitsch, Jan; Kohn, Adam; Moreno-Bote, Rubén

    2016-03-16

    Numerous studies have shown that neuronal responses are modulated by stimulus properties and also by the state of the local network. However, little is known about how activity fluctuations of neuronal populations modulate the sensory tuning of cells and affect their encoded information. We found that fluctuations in ongoing and stimulus-evoked population activity in primate visual cortex modulate the tuning of neurons in a multiplicative and additive manner. While distributed on a continuum, neurons with stronger multiplicative effects tended to have less additive modulation and vice versa. The information encoded by multiplicatively modulated neurons increased with greater population activity, while that of additively modulated neurons decreased. These effects offset each other so that population activity had little effect on total information. Our results thus suggest that intrinsic activity fluctuations may act as a "traffic light" that determines which subset of neurons is most informative. PMID:26924437

  2. 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

  3. Population size and relatedness affect fitness of a self-incompatible invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Elam, Diane R; Ridley, Caroline E; Goodell, Karen; Ellstrand, Norman C

    2007-01-01

    One of the lingering paradoxes in invasion biology is how founder populations of an introduced species are able to overcome the limitations of small size and, in a "reversal of fortune," proliferate in a new habitat. The transition from colonist to invader is especially enigmatic for self-incompatible species, which must find a mate to reproduce. In small populations, the inability to find a mate can result in the Allee effect, a positive relationship between individual fitness and population size or density. Theoretically, the Allee effect should be common in founder populations of self-incompatible colonizing species and may account for the high rate of failed introductions, but little supporting evidence exists. We created a field experiment to test whether the Allee effect affects the maternal fitness of a self-incompatible invasive species, wild radish (Raphanus sativus). We created populations of varying size and relatedness. We measured maternal fitness in terms of both fruit set per flower and seed number per fruit. We found that both population size and the level of genetic relatedness among individuals influence maternal reproductive success. Our results explicitly define an ecological genetic obstacle faced by populations of an exotic species on its way to becoming invasive. Such a mechanistic understanding of the invasions of species that require a mate can and should be exploited for both controlling current outbreaks and reducing their frequency in the future. PMID:17197422

  4. Bacterial predator-prey dynamics in microscale patchy landscapes.

    PubMed

    Hol, Felix J H; Rotem, Or; Jurkevitch, Edouard; Dekker, Cees; Koster, Daniel A

    2016-02-10

    Soil is a microenvironment with a fragmented (patchy) spatial structure in which many bacterial species interact. Here, we explore the interaction between the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and its prey Escherichia coli in microfabricated landscapes. We ask how fragmentation influences the prey dynamics at the microscale and compare two landscape geometries: a patchy landscape and a continuous landscape. By following the dynamics of prey populations with high spatial and temporal resolution for many generations, we found that the variation in predation rates was twice as large in the patchy landscape and the dynamics was correlated over shorter length scales. We also found that while the prey population in the continuous landscape was almost entirely driven to extinction, a significant part of the prey population in the fragmented landscape persisted over time. We observed significant surface-associated growth, especially in the fragmented landscape and we surmise that this sub-population is more resistant to predation. Our results thus show that microscale fragmentation can significantly influence bacterial interactions. PMID:26865299

  5. 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

  6. Stochasticity and Determinism: How Density-Independent and Density-Dependent Processes Affect Population Variability

    PubMed Central

    Ohlberger, Jan; Rogers, Lauren A.; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2014-01-01

    A persistent debate in population ecology concerns the relative importance of environmental stochasticity and density dependence in determining variability in adult year-class strength, which contributes to future reproduction as well as potential yield in exploited populations. Apart from the strength of the processes, the timing of density regulation may affect how stochastic variation, for instance through climate, translates into changes in adult abundance. In this study, we develop a life-cycle model for the population dynamics of a large marine fish population, Northeast Arctic cod, to disentangle the effects of density-independent and density-dependent processes on early life-stages, and to quantify the strength of compensatory density dependence in the population. The model incorporates information from scientific surveys and commercial harvest, and dynamically links multiple effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on all life-stages, from eggs to spawners. Using a state-space approach we account for observation error and stochasticity in the population dynamics. Our findings highlight the importance of density-dependent survival in juveniles, indicating that this period of the life cycle largely determines the compensatory capacity of the population. Density regulation at the juvenile life-stage dampens the impact of stochastic processes operating earlier in life such as environmental impacts on the production of eggs and climate-dependent survival of larvae. The timing of stochastic versus regulatory processes thus plays a crucial role in determining variability in adult abundance. Quantifying the contribution of environmental stochasticity and compensatory mechanisms in determining population abundance is essential for assessing population responses to climate change and exploitation by humans. PMID:24893001

  7. Stochasticity and determinism: how density-independent and density-dependent processes affect population variability.

    PubMed

    Ohlberger, Jan; Rogers, Lauren A; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2014-01-01

    A persistent debate in population ecology concerns the relative importance of environmental stochasticity and density dependence in determining variability in adult year-class strength, which contributes to future reproduction as well as potential yield in exploited populations. Apart from the strength of the processes, the timing of density regulation may affect how stochastic variation, for instance through climate, translates into changes in adult abundance. In this study, we develop a life-cycle model for the population dynamics of a large marine fish population, Northeast Arctic cod, to disentangle the effects of density-independent and density-dependent processes on early life-stages, and to quantify the strength of compensatory density dependence in the population. The model incorporates information from scientific surveys and commercial harvest, and dynamically links multiple effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on all life-stages, from eggs to spawners. Using a state-space approach we account for observation error and stochasticity in the population dynamics. Our findings highlight the importance of density-dependent survival in juveniles, indicating that this period of the life cycle largely determines the compensatory capacity of the population. Density regulation at the juvenile life-stage dampens the impact of stochastic processes operating earlier in life such as environmental impacts on the production of eggs and climate-dependent survival of larvae. The timing of stochastic versus regulatory processes thus plays a crucial role in determining variability in adult abundance. Quantifying the contribution of environmental stochasticity and compensatory mechanisms in determining population abundance is essential for assessing population responses to climate change and exploitation by humans. PMID:24893001

  8. 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.

  9. Ecological context and metapopulation dynamics affect sex-ratio variation among dioecious plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Field, David L.; Pickup, Melinda; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Populations of dioecious flowering plants commonly exhibit heterogeneity in sex ratios and deviations from the equilibrium expectation of equal numbers of females and males. Yet the role of ecological and demographic factors in contributing towards biased sex ratios is currently not well understood. Methods Species-level studies from the literature were analysed to investigate ecological correlates of among-population sex-ratio variation and metapopulation models and empirical data were used to explore the influence of demography and non-equilibrium conditions on flowering sex ratios. Key Results The survey revealed significant among-population heterogeneity in sex ratios and this was related to the degree of sampling effort. For some species, sex-ratio bias was associated with the proportion of non-reproductive individuals, with greater male bias in populations with a lower proportion of individuals that were flowering. Male-biased ratios were also found at higher altitudes and latitudes, and in more xeric sites. Simulations and empirical data indicated that clonal species exhibited greater heterogeneity in sex ratios than non-clonal species as a result of their slower approach to equilibrium. The simulations also indicated the importance of interactions between reproductive mode and founder effects, with greater departures from equilibrium in clonal populations with fewer founding individuals. Conclusions The results indicate that sex-based differences in costs of reproduction and non-equilibrium conditions can each play important roles in affecting flowering sex ratios in populations of dioecious plants. PMID:23444124

  10. Population structure of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) is strongly affected by the landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Funk, W.C.; Blouin, M.S.; Corn, P.S.; Maxell, B.A.; Pilliod, D.S.; Amish, S.; Allendorf, F.W.

    2005-01-01

    Landscape features such as mountains, rivers, and ecological gradients may strongly affect patterns of dispersal and gene flow among populations and thereby shape population dynamics and evolutionary trajectories. The landscape may have a particularly strong effect on patterns of dispersal and gene flow in amphibians because amphibians are thought to have poor dispersal abilities. We examined genetic variation at six microsatellite loci in Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) from 28 breeding ponds in western Montana and Idaho, USA, in order to investigate the effects of landscape structure on patterns of gene flow. We were particularly interested in addressing three questions: (i) do ridges act as barriers to gene flow? (ii) is gene flow restricted between low and high elevation ponds? (iii) does a pond equal a 'randomly mating population' (a deme)? We found that mountain ridges and elevational differences were associated with increased genetic differentiation among sites, suggesting that gene flow is restricted by ridges and elevation in this species. We also found that populations of Columbia spotted frogs generally include more than a single pond except for very isolated ponds. There was also evidence for surprisingly high levels of gene flow among low elevation sites separated by large distances. Moreover, genetic variation within populations was strongly negatively correlated with elevation, suggesting effective population sizes are much smaller at high elevation than at low elevation. Our results show that landscape features have a profound effect on patterns of genetic variation in Columbia spotted frogs.

  11. 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

  12. Effects of stochastic population fluctuations in two models of biological macroevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murase, Yohsuke; Shimada, Takashi; Ito, Nobuyasu; Rikvold, Per Arne

    Two mathematical models of macroevolution are studied. These models have population dynamics at the species level, and mutations and extinction of species are also included. The population dynamics are updated by difference equations with stochastic noise terms that characterize population fluctuations. The effects of the stochastic population fluctuations on diversity and total population sizes on evolutionary time scales are studied. In one model, species can make either predator-prey, mutualistic, or competitive interactions, while the other model allows only predator-prey interactions. When the noise in the population dynamics is strong enough, both models show intermittent behavior and their power spectral densities show approximate 1/f fluctuations. In the noiseless limit, the two models have different power spectral densities. For the predator-prey model, 1/f2 fluctuations appears, indicating random-walk like behavior, while the other model still shows 1/f noise. These results indicate that stochastic population fluctuations may significantly affect long-time evolutionary dynamics.

  13. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities. PMID:26481794

  14. Famine-affected, refugee, and displaced populations: recommendations for public health issues.

    PubMed

    1992-07-24

    During the past three decades, the most common emergencies affecting the health of large populations in developing countries have involved famine and forced migrations. The public health consequences of mass population displacement have been extensively documented. On some occasions, these migrations have resulted in extremely high rates of mortality, morbidity, and malnutrition. The most severe consequences of population displacement have occurred during the acute emergency phase, when relief efforts are in the early stage. During this phase, deaths--in some cases--were 60 times the crude mortality rate (CMR) among non-refugee populations in the country of origin (1). Although the quality of international disaster response efforts has steadily improved, the human cost of forced migration remains high. Since the early 1960s, most emergencies involving refugees and displaced persons have taken place in less developed countries where local resources have been insufficient for providing prompt and adequate assistance. The international community's response to the health needs of these populations has been at times inappropriate, relying on teams of foreign medical personnel with little or no training. Hospitals, clinics, and feeding centers have been set up without assessment of preliminary needs, and essential prevention programs have been neglected. More recent relief programs, however, emphasize a primary health care (PHC) approach, focusing on preventive programs such as immunization and oral rehydration therapy (ORT), promoting involvement by the refugee community in the provision of health services, and stressing more effective coordination and information gathering. The PHC approach offers long-term advantages, not only for the directly affected population, but also for the country hosting the refugees. A PHC strategy is sustainable and strengthens the national health development program. PMID:1326713

  15. Trophic relay and prey switching - A stomach contents and calorimetric investigation of an ambassid fish and their saltmarsh prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPhee, Jack J.; Platell, Margaret E.; Schreider, Maria J.

    2015-12-01

    Trophic relay is an ecological model that involves the movement of biomass and energy from vegetation, such as saltmarshes, within estuaries to the open sea via a series of predator-prey relationships. Any potential for trophic relay is therefore affected by water movements within an estuary and by the ability of a predator to "switch" prey in response to fluctuating abundances of those prey. Saltmarsh-dwelling grapsid crabs, which feed on saltmarsh-derived detritus and microphytobenthos, release zoeae into ebbing tides that inundate saltmarshes during spring-tide cycles within tidally-dominated estuaries, such as Brisbane Water Estuary, therefore providing an opportunity to examine whether prey-switching and/or trophic relay may occur in fish that feed on those zoeae (such as the highly abundant estuarine ambassid, Ambassis jacksoniensis). This model was examined by sampling A. jacksoniensis near saltmarshes in a large, temperate south-eastern Australian estuary during flood and ebb tides on days of saltmarsh inundation and non-inundation over four spring-tide events in 2012. Stomach fullnesses of A. jacksoniensis were generally highest during ebb tides on days of saltmarsh inundation, implying that feeding was most marked at these times. Caridean decapods dominated diets during flood tides and on days of no saltmarsh inundation, while crab zoeae dominated diets during ebb tides and on days of inundation, suggesting that, when saltmarsh-derived zoeae became abundant, A. jacksoniensis switched to feeding on those prey. Three potential zooplankton prey (calanoid copepods, caridean decapods and crab zoeae) did not differ calorimetrically, indicating that switching of prey by A. jacksoniensis is not directly related to their preying on energetically greater prey, but reflects opportunistic feeding on more abundant and/or less elusive prey. As A. jacksoniensis is able to switch prey from estuarine caridean decapods to saltmarsh-derived crab zoeae, this very abundant

  16. Chimpanzees prey on army ants with specialized tool set.

    PubMed

    Sanz, Crickette M; Schöning, Caspar; Morgan, David B

    2010-01-01

    Several populations of chimpanzees have been reported to prey upon Dorylus army ants. The most common tool-using technique to gather these ants is with "dipping" probes, which vary in length with regard to aggressiveness and lifestyle of the prey species. We report the use of a tool set in army ant predation by chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. We recovered 1,060 tools used in this context and collected 25 video recordings of chimpanzee tool-using behavior at ant nests. Two different types of tools were distinguished based on their form and function. The chimpanzees use a woody sapling to perforate the ant nest, and then a herb stem as a dipping tool to harvest the ants. All of the species of ants preyed upon in Goualougo are present and consumed by chimpanzees at other sites, but there are no other reports of such a regular or widespread use of more than one type of tool to prey upon Dorylus ants. Furthermore, this tool set differs from other types of tool combinations used by chimpanzees at this site for preying upon termites or gathering honey. Therefore, we conclude that these chimpanzees have developed a specialized method for preying upon army ants, which involves the use of an additional tool for opening nests. Further research is needed to determine which specific ecological and social factors may have shaped the emergence and maintenance of this technology. PMID:19731231

  17. Analysis of Prey-Predator Three Species Fishery Model with Harvesting Including Prey Refuge and Migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Sankar Kumar; Roy, Banani

    In this article, a prey-predator system with Holling type II functional response for the predator population including prey refuge region has been analyzed. Also a harvesting effort has been considered for the predator population. The density-dependent mortality rate for the prey, predator and super predator has been considered. The equilibria of the proposed system have been determined. Local and global stabilities for the system have been discussed. We have used the analytic approach to derive the global asymptotic stabilities of the system. The maximal predator per capita consumption rate has been considered as a bifurcation parameter to evaluate Hopf bifurcation in the neighborhood of interior equilibrium point. Also, we have used fishing effort to harvest predator population of the system as a control to develop a dynamic framework to investigate the optimal utilization of the resource, sustainability properties of the stock and the resource rent is earned from the resource. Finally, we have presented some numerical simulations to verify the analytic results and the system has been analyzed through graphical illustrations.

  18. The Challenges and Recommendations of Accessing to Affected Population for Humanitarian Assistance: A Narrative Review

    PubMed Central

    Moslehi, Shandiz; Fatemi, Farin; Mahboubi, Mohammad; Mozafarsaadati, Hossein; Karami, Shirzad

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Access to affected people pays an important role in United Nation Organization for Coordination and Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The aim of this article is to identify the main obstacles of humanitarian access and the humanitarian organization responses to these obstacles and finally suggest some recommendations and strategies. Methods: In this narrative study the researchers searched in different databases. This study focused on the data from five countries in the following areas: access challenges and constraints to affected population and response strategies selected for operations in the affected countries by humanitarian organizations. Results: Three main issues were studied: security threats, bureaucratic restrictions and indirect constraint, which each of them divided to three subcategories. Finally, nine related subcategories emerged from this analysis. Conclusion: Most of these constraints relate to political issues. Changes in policy structures, negotiations and advocacy can be recommended to solve most of the problems in access issues. PMID:25948440

  19. Beyond trauma-focused psychiatric epidemiology: bridging research and practice with war-affected populations.

    PubMed

    Miller, Kenneth E; Kulkarni, Madhur; Kushner, Hallie

    2006-10-01

    This article examines the centrality of trauma-focused psychiatric epidemiology (TFPE) in research with war-affected populations. The authors question the utility of the dominant focus on posttraumatic stress disorder and other disorders of Western psychiatry, and they identify a set of critical research foci related to mental health work with communities affected by political violence. Core assumptions of TFPE and its roots in logical positivism and the biomedical model of contemporary psychiatry are explored. The authors suggest that an alternative framework--social constructivism--can serve as a bridge between researchers and practitioners by helping to refocus research efforts in ways that are conceptually and methodologically more attuned to the needs of war-affected communities and those working to address their mental health needs. PMID:17209709

  20. A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Tollenaere, C; Pernechele, B; Mäkinen, H S; Parratt, S R; Németh, M Z; Kovács, G M; Kiss, L; Tack, A J M; Laine, A-L

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host's population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts' population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the Åland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the prevalence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics. PMID:25204419

  1. A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen.

    PubMed

    Tollenaere, C; Pernechele, B; Mäkinen, H S; Parratt, S R; Németh, M Z; Kovács, G M; Kiss, L; Tack, A J M; Laine, A-L

    2014-12-01

    Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host's population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts' population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the Åland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the prevalence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics. PMID:25204419

  2. Population sex-ratio affecting behavior and physiology of overwintering bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Sipari, Saana; Haapakoski, Marko; Klemme, Ines; Palme, Rupert; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2016-05-15

    Many boreal rodents are territorial during the breeding season but during winter become social and aggregate for more energy efficient thermoregulation. Communal winter nesting and social interactions are considered to play an important role for the winter survival of these species, yet the topic is relatively little explored. Females are suggested to be the initiators of winter aggregations and sometimes reported to survive better than males. This could be due to the higher social tolerance observed in overwintering females than males. Hormonal status could also affect winter behavior and survival. For instance, chronic stress can have a negative effect on survival, whereas high gonadal hormone levels, such as testosterone, often induce aggressive behavior. To test if the winter survival of females in a boreal rodent is better than that of males, and to assess the role of females in the winter aggregations, we generated bank vole (Myodes glareolus) populations of three different sex ratios (male-biased, female-biased and even density) under semi-natural conditions. We monitored survival, spatial behavior and hormonal status (stress and testosterone) during two winter months. We observed no significant differences in survival between the sexes or among populations with differing sex-ratios. The degree of movement area overlap was used as an indicator of social tolerance and potential communal nesting. Individuals in male biased populations showed a tendency to be solitary, whereas in female biased populations there was an indication of winter aggregation. Females living in male-biased populations had higher stress levels than the females from the other populations. The female-biased sex-ratio induced winter breeding and elevated testosterone levels in males. Thus, our results suggest that the sex-ratio of the overwintering population can lead to divergent overwintering strategies in bank voles. PMID:26976741

  3. Stochastic eco-evolutionary model of a prey-predator community.

    PubMed

    Costa, Manon; Hauzy, Céline; Loeuille, Nicolas; Méléard, Sylvie

    2016-02-01

    We are interested in the impact of natural selection in a prey-predator community. We introduce an individual-based model of the community that takes into account both prey and predator phenotypes. Our aim is to understand the phenotypic coevolution of prey and predators. The community evolves as a multi-type birth and death process with mutations. We first consider the infinite particle approximation of the process without mutation. In this limit, the process can be approximated by a system of differential equations. We prove the existence of a unique globally asymptotically stable equilibrium under specific conditions on the interaction among prey individuals. When mutations are rare, the community evolves on the mutational scale according to a Markovian jump process. This process describes the successive equilibria of the prey-predator community and extends the polymorphic evolutionary sequence to a coevolutionary framework. We then assume that mutations have a small impact on phenotypes and consider the evolution of monomorphic prey and predator populations. The limit of small mutation steps leads to a system of two differential equations which is a version of the canonical equation of adaptive dynamics for the prey-predator coevolution. We illustrate these different limits with an example of prey-predator community that takes into account different prey defense mechanisms. We observe through simulations how these various prey strategies impact the community. PMID:26001744

  4. Predators' decisions to eat defended prey depend on the size of undefended prey☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Predators that have learned to associate warning coloration with toxicity often continue to include aposematic prey in their diet in order to gain the nutrients and energy that they contain. As body size is widely reported to correlate with energetic content, we predicted that prey size would affect predators' decisions to eat aposematic prey. We used a well-established system of wild-caught European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, foraging on mealworms, Tenebrio molitor, to test how the size of undefended (water-injected) and defended (quinine-injected) prey, on different coloured backgrounds, affected birds’ decisions to eat defended prey. We found that birds ate fewer defended prey, and less quinine, when undefended prey were large compared with when they were small, but that the size of the defended prey had no effect on the numbers eaten. Consequently, we found no evidence that the mass of the defended prey or the overall mass of prey ingested affected the amount of toxin that a predator was willing to ingest, and instead the mass of undefended prey eaten was more important. This is a surprising finding, challenging the assumptions of state-dependent models of aposematism and mimicry, and highlighting the need to understand better the mechanisms of predator decision making. In addition, the birds did not learn to discriminate visually between defended and undefended prey based on size, but only on the basis of colour. This suggests that colour signals may be more salient to predators than size differences, allowing Batesian mimics to benefit from aposematic models even when they differ in size. PMID:23814280

  5. [Factors affecting access to health care institutions by the internally displaced population in Colombia].

    PubMed

    Mogollón-Pérez, Amparo Susana; Vázquez, María Luisa

    2008-04-01

    In Colombia, the on-going armed conflict causes displacement of thousands of persons that suffer its economic, social, and health consequences. Despite government regulatory efforts, displaced people still experience serious problems in securing access to health care. In order to analyze the institutional factors that affect access to health care by the internally displaced population, a qualitative, exploratory, and descriptive study was carried out by means of semi-structured individual interviews with a criterion sample of stakeholders (81). A narrative content analysis was performed, with mixed generation of categories and segmentation of data by themes and informants. Inadequate funding, providers' problems with reimbursement by insurers, and lack of clear definition as to coverage under the Social Security System in Health pose barriers to access to health care by the internally displaced population. Bureaucratic procedures, limited inter- and intra-sector coordination, and scarce available resources for public health service providers also affect access. Effective government action is required to ensure the right to health care for this population. PMID:18392351

  6. Reproductive interference between Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria affects reproductive success in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Hettyey, Attila; Vági, Balázs; Kovács, Tibor; Ujszegi, János; Katona, Patrik; Szederkényi, Márk; Pearman, Peter B; Griggio, Matteo; Hoi, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics. PMID:25138258

  7. Haemoglobin polymorphisms affect the oxygen-binding properties in Atlantic cod populations

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, Øivind; Wetten, Ola Frang; De Rosa, Maria Cristina; Andre, Carl; Carelli Alinovi, Cristiana; Colafranceschi, Mauro; Brix, Ole; Colosimo, Alfredo

    2008-01-01

    A major challenge in evolutionary biology is to identify the genes underlying adaptation. The oxygen-transporting haemoglobins directly link external conditions with metabolic needs and therefore represent a unique system for studying environmental effects on molecular evolution. We have discovered two haemoglobin polymorphisms in Atlantic cod populations inhabiting varying temperature and oxygen regimes in the North Atlantic. Three-dimensional modelling of the tetrameric haemoglobin structure demonstrated that the two amino acid replacements Met55β1Val and Lys62β1Ala are located at crucial positions of the α1β1 subunit interface and haem pocket, respectively. The replacements are proposed to affect the oxygen-binding properties by modifying the haemoglobin quaternary structure and electrostatic feature. Intriguingly, the same molecular mechanism for facilitating oxygen binding is found in avian species adapted to high altitudes, illustrating convergent evolution in water- and air-breathing vertebrates to reduction in environmental oxygen availability. Cod populations inhabiting the cold Arctic waters and the low-oxygen Baltic Sea seem well adapted to these conditions by possessing the high oxygen affinity Val55–Ala62 haplotype, while the temperature-insensitive Met55–Lys62 haplotype predominates in the southern populations. The distinct distributions of the functionally different haemoglobin variants indicate that the present biogeography of this ecologically and economically important species might be seriously affected by global warming. PMID:19033139

  8. Prey size structure diminishes cascading effects by increasing interference competition and predation among prey.

    PubMed

    Geraldii, Nathan R

    2015-09-01

    The size of an organism can change by orders of magnitude during its lifespan. Size can determine whether an individual consumes, is consumed, competes, or avoids individuals of the same or different species. Two complementary mesocosm experiments with a tri-trophic food chain (top predator, toadfish, Opsanus tau; intermediate prey, mud crab, family Xanthidae; basal resource, oyster, Crassostrea virginica) were conducted to measure how the size of both the top predator and the intermediate prey affects consumptive and behavioral interactions in trophic cascades. In the first experiment, I systematically varied the sizes of predators and prey, respectively. The amount of crab biomass consumed was dependent on crab size and not toadfish size, but the effect of crab size did not cascade to alter oyster survival. Increased oyster survival from crab interference competition in the absence of toadfish was similar to oyster survival,from predator-avoidance behavior in the presence of a toadfish. When all crab size classes were present, crab mortality was similar in the presence and absence of toadfish, highlighting the importance of intraguild predation in food-web dynamics. The second experiment separated crab mortality by other crabs from crab mortality by predatory toadfish and found that crab mortality generally switched from intra- to interguild predation when a toadfish was present. In addition, field surveys indicated mud crab abundance and size was primarily influenced by mud crab recruitment, but not by toadfish abundance, which supports our experimental results that interactions among mud crabs have similar effects to predator-prey interactions. These findings indicate that changes in size or abundance of intermediate prey may be comparable to changes in top predator abundance in terms of trophic interactions and their transmission to lower levels, which suggests that certain types of relatively simple food chains can be resilient to the loss of higher trophic

  9. Sensing the strike of a predator fish depends on the specific gravity of a prey fish.

    PubMed

    Stewart, William J; McHenry, Matthew J

    2010-11-15

    The ability of a predator fish to capture a prey fish depends on the hydrodynamics of the prey and its behavioral response to the predator's strike. Despite the importance of this predator-prey interaction to the ecology and evolution of a diversity of fish, it is unclear what factors dictate a fish's ability to evade capture. The present study evaluated how the specific gravity of a prey fish's body affects the kinematics of prey capture and the signals detected by the lateral line system of the prey during the strike of a suction-feeding predator. The specific gravity of zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae was measured with high precision from recordings of terminal velocity in solutions of varying density. This novel method found that specific gravity decreased by ∼5% (from 1.063, N=8, to 1.011, N=35) when the swim bladder inflates. To examine the functional consequences of this change, we developed a mathematical model of the hydrodynamics of prey in the flow field created by a suction-feeding predator. This model found that the observed decrease in specific gravity due to swim bladder inflation causes an 80% reduction of the flow velocity around the prey's body. Therefore, swim bladder inflation causes a substantial reduction in the flow signal that may be sensed by the lateral line system to evade capture. These findings demonstrate that the ability of a prey fish to sense a predator depends crucially on the specific gravity of the prey. PMID:21037055

  10. Subsidies to predators, apparent competition and the phylogenetic structure of prey communities.

    PubMed

    Helmus, Matthew R; Mercado-Silva, Norman; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2013-11-01

    Ecosystems are fragmented by natural and anthropogenic processes that affect organism movement and ecosystem dynamics. When a fragmentation restricts predator but not prey movement, then the prey produced on one side of an ecosystem edge can subsidize predators on the other side. When prey flux is high, predator density on the receiving side increases above that possible by in situ prey productivity, and when low, the formerly subsidized predators can impose strong top-down control of in situ prey--in situ prey experience apparent competition from the subsidy. If predators feed on some evolutionary clades of in situ prey over others, then subsidy-derived apparent competition will induce phylogenetic structure in prey composition. Dams fragment the serial nature of river ecosystems by prohibiting movement of organisms and restricting flowing water. In the river tailwater just below a large central Mexican dam, fish density was high and fish gorged on reservoir-derived zooplankton. When the dam was closed, water flow and the zooplankton subsidy ceased, densely packed pools of fish formed, fish switched to feed on in situ prey, and the tailwater macroinvertebrate community was phylogenetic structured. We derived expectations of structure from trait-based community assembly models based on macroinvertebrate body size, tolerance to anthropogenic disturbance, and fish-diet selectivity. The diet-selectivity model best fit the observed tailwater phylogenetic structure. Thus, apparent competition from subsidies phylogenetically structures prey communities, and serial variation in phylogenetic community structure can be indicative of fragmentation in formerly continuous ecosystems. PMID:23649751

  11. Seasonal foraging ecology of non-migratory cougars in a system with migrating prey.

    PubMed

    Elbroch, L Mark; Lendrum, Patrick E; Newby, Jesse; Quigley, Howard; Craighead, Derek

    2013-01-01

    We tested for seasonal differences in cougar (Puma concolor) foraging behaviors in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, a multi-prey system in which ungulate prey migrate, and cougars do not. We recorded 411 winter prey and 239 summer prey killed by 28 female and 10 male cougars, and an additional 37 prey items by unmarked cougars. Deer composed 42.4% of summer cougar diets but only 7.2% of winter diets. Males and females, however, selected different proportions of different prey; male cougars selected more elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) than females, while females killed greater proportions of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and small prey than males. Kill rates did not vary by season or between males and females. In winter, cougars were more likely to kill prey on the landscape as: 1) elevation decreased, 2) distance to edge habitat decreased, 3) distance to large bodies of water decreased, and 4) steepness increased, whereas in summer, cougars were more likely to kill in areas as: 1) elevation decreased, 2) distance to edge habitat decreased, and 3) distance from large bodies of water increased. Our work highlighted that seasonal prey selection exhibited by stationary carnivores in systems with migratory prey is not only driven by changing prey vulnerability, but also by changing prey abundances. Elk and deer migrations may also be sustaining stationary cougar populations and creating apparent competition scenarios that result in higher predation rates on migratory bighorn sheep in winter and pronghorn in summer. Nevertheless, cougar predation on rare ungulates also appeared to be influenced by individual prey selection. PMID:24349498

  12. Seasonal Foraging Ecology of Non-Migratory Cougars in a System with Migrating Prey

    PubMed Central

    Elbroch, L. Mark; Lendrum, Patrick E.; Newby, Jesse; Quigley, Howard; Craighead, Derek

    2013-01-01

    We tested for seasonal differences in cougar (Puma concolor) foraging behaviors in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, a multi-prey system in which ungulate prey migrate, and cougars do not. We recorded 411 winter prey and 239 summer prey killed by 28 female and 10 male cougars, and an additional 37 prey items by unmarked cougars. Deer composed 42.4% of summer cougar diets but only 7.2% of winter diets. Males and females, however, selected different proportions of different prey; male cougars selected more elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) than females, while females killed greater proportions of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and small prey than males. Kill rates did not vary by season or between males and females. In winter, cougars were more likely to kill prey on the landscape as: 1) elevation decreased, 2) distance to edge habitat decreased, 3) distance to large bodies of water decreased, and 4) steepness increased, whereas in summer, cougars were more likely to kill in areas as: 1) elevation decreased, 2) distance to edge habitat decreased, and 3) distance from large bodies of water increased. Our work highlighted that seasonal prey selection exhibited by stationary carnivores in systems with migratory prey is not only driven by changing prey vulnerability, but also by changing prey abundances. Elk and deer migrations may also be sustaining stationary cougar populations and creating apparent competition scenarios that result in higher predation rates on migratory bighorn sheep in winter and pronghorn in summer. Nevertheless, cougar predation on rare ungulates also appeared to be influenced by individual prey selection. PMID:24349498

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

    PubMed

    Kooi, B W

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Availability and abundance of prey for the red-cockaded woodpecker.

    SciTech Connect

    Hanula, James, L.; Horn, Scott.

    2004-12-31

    Red-cockaded woodpecker; Road to Recovery. Proceedings of the 4th Red-cockaded woodpecker Symposium. Ralph Costa and Susan J. Daniels, eds. Savannah, Georgia. January, 2003. Chapter 11. Prey, Fire, and Community Ecology. Pp 633-645. Abstract: Over a 10-year period we investigated red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) prey use, sources of prey, prey distribution within trees and stands, and how forest management decisions affect prey abundance in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Cameras were operated at 31 nest cavities to record nest visits with prey in 4 locations that ranged in foraging habitat from pine stands established in old fields to an old-growth stand in South Georgia. Examination of nearly 12,000 photographs recorded over 5 years revealed that, although red-cockaded woodpeckers used over 40 arthropods for food, the majority of the nestling diet is comprised of a relatively small number of common arthropods.

  15. Optimal Harvesting in an Age-Structured Predator-Prey Model

    SciTech Connect

    Fister, K. Renee Lenhart, Suzanne

    2006-06-15

    We investigate optimal harvesting control in a predator-prey model in which the prey population is represented by a first-order partial differential equation with age-structure and the predator population is represented by an ordinary differential equation in time. The controls are the proportions of the populations to be harvested, and the objective functional represents the profit from harvesting. The existence and uniqueness of the optimal control pair are established.

  16. Thermoregulatory behaviour affects prevalence of chytrid fungal infection in a wild population of Panamanian golden frogs.

    PubMed

    Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L

    2010-02-22

    Predicting how climate change will affect disease dynamics requires an understanding of how the environment affects host-pathogen interactions. For amphibians, global declines and extinctions have been linked to a pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Using a combination of body temperature measurements and disease assays conducted before and after the arrival of B. dendrobatidis, this study tested the hypothesis that body temperature affects the prevalence of infection in a wild population of Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki). The timing of first detection of the fungus was consistent with that of a wave of epidemic infections spreading south and eastward through Central America. During the epidemic, many golden frogs modified their thermoregulatory behaviour, raising body temperatures above their normal set point. Odds of infection decreased with increasing body temperature, demonstrating that even slight environmental or behavioural changes have the potential to affect an individual's vulnerability to infection. The thermal dependency of the relationship between B. dendrobatidis and its amphibian hosts demonstrates how the progression of an epidemic can be influenced by complex interactions between host and pathogen phenotypes and the environments in which they are found. PMID:19864287

  17. Population dynamics of dechlorinators and factors affecting the level and products of PCB dechlorination in sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, J.S.; Sokol, R.C.; Liu, X.; Bethoney, C.M.; Rhee, G.Y.

    1996-12-31

    Microbial dechlorination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) often stops although a significant number of removable chlorines remain. To determine the reason for the cessation, we investigated the limitation of organic carbon, PCB bioavailability, and inhibition by metabolic products. Enrichment with carbon sources did not induce additional chlorination, indicating the plateau was not due to depletion of organic carbon. The bioavailability was not limiting, since a subcritical micelle concentration of the surfactant, which enhanced desorption without inhibiting dechlorinating microorganisms, failed to lower the plateau. Neither was it due to accumulation of metabolites, since no additional dechlorination was detected when plateau sediments were incubated with fresh medium. Similarly, dechlorination was not inhibited in freshly spiked sediment slurries. Dechlorination ended up at the same level with nearly identical congener profiles, regardless of treatment. These results indicate that cessation of dechlorination was due to the accumulation of daughter congeners, which cannot be used as electron acceptors by microbes. To determine whether the decreasing availability affected the microorganisms, we determined the population dynamics of dechlorinators using the most probable number technique. The growth dynamics of the dechlorinators mirrored the time course of dechlorination. It started when the population increased by two orders of magnitude. Once dechlorination stopped the dechlorinating population also began to decrease. When dechlorinators were inoculated into PCB-free sediments, the population decreased over time. The decrease of the population as dechlorination ceased confirms that the diminishing availability of congeners was the reason for the incomplete dechlorination. Recent findings have shown that a second phase of dechlorination of certain congeners can occur after a long lag. 45 refs., 8 figs.

  18. Feeding by the newly described mixotrophic dinoflagellate Paragymnodinium shiwhaense: feeding mechanism, prey species, and effect of prey concentration.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Yeong Du; Jeong, Hae Jin; Kang, Nam Seon; Song, Jae Yoon; Kim, Kwang Young; Lee, Gitack; Kim, Juhyoung

    2010-01-01

    To investigate the feeding by the newly described mixotrophic dinoflagellate Paragymnodinium shiwhaense (GenBank accession number=AM408889), we explored the feeding process and the kinds of prey species that P. shiwhaense is able to feed on using several different types of microscopes, including a transmission electron microscope and high-resolution video-microscopy. In addition, we measured the growth and ingestion rates of P. shiwhaense on its optimal algal prey Amphidinium carterae as a function of prey concentration. We also measured these parameters for edible prey at a single concentration at which the growth and ingestion rates of P. shiwhaense on A. carterae were saturated. Paragymnodinium shiwhaense feed on algal prey using a peduncle after anchoring the prey by a tow filament. Among the algal prey offered, P. shiwhaense ingested small algal species that had equivalent spherical diameters (ESDs) < or =11 microm (e.g. the prymnesiophyte Isochrysis galbana, the cryptophytes Teleaulax sp. and Rhodomonas salina, the raphidophyte Heterosigma akashiwo, and the dinoflagellates Heterocapsa rotundata and A. carterae). However, it did not feed on larger algal species that had ESDs > or =12 microm (e.g. the dinoflagellates Prorocentrum minimum, Heterocapsa triquetra, Scrippsiella trochoidea, Alexandrium tamarense, Prorocentrum micans, Gymnodinium catenatum, Akashiwo sanguinea, and Lingulodinium polyedrum) or the small diatom Skeletonema costatum. The specific growth rates for P. shiwhaense feeding upon A. carterae increased rapidly with increasing mean prey concentration before saturating at concentrations of ca. 350 ng C/ml (5,000 cells/ml). The maximum specific growth rate (i.e. mixotrophic growth) of P. shiwhaense on A. carterae was 1.097/d at 20 degrees C under a 14:10 h light-dark cycle of 20 microE/m(2)/s, while its growth rate (i.e. phototrophic growth) under the same light conditions without added prey was -0.224/d. The maximum ingestion and clearance rates

  19. Interactive effects of prey and weather on golden eagle reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; McDonald, T.L.

    1997-01-01

    The reproduction of the golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos was studied in southwestern Idaho for 23 years, and the relationship between eagle reproduction and jackrabbit Lepus californicus abundance, weather factors, and their interactions, was modelled using general linear models. Backward elimination procedures were used to arrive at parsimonious models. 2. The number of golden eagle pairs occupying nesting territories each year showed a significant decline through time that was unrelated to either annual rabbit abundance or winter severity. However, eagle hatching dates were significantly related to both winter severity and jackrabbit abundance. Eagles hatched earlier when jackrabbits were abundant, and they hatched later after severe winters. 3. Jackrabbit abundance influenced the proportion of pairs that laid eggs, the proportion of pairs that were successful, mean brood size at fledging, and the number of young fledged per pair. Weather interacted with prey to influence eagle reproductive rates. 4. Both jackrabbit abundance and winter severity were important in predicting the percentage of eagle pairs that laid eggs. Percentage laying was related positively to jackrabbit abundance and inversely related to winter severity. 5. The variables most useful in predicting percentage of laying pairs successful were rabbit abundance and the number of extremely hot days during brood-rearing. The number of hot days and rabbit abundance were also significant in a model predicting eagle brood size at fledging. Both success and brood size were positively related to jackrabbit abundance and inversely related to the frequency of hot days in spring. 6. Eagle reproduction was limited by rabbit abundance during approximately twothirds of the years studied. Weather influenced how severely eagle reproduction declined in those years. 7. This study demonstrates that prey and weather can interact to limit a large raptor population's productivity. Smaller raptors could be affected more

  20. Oral impacts affecting daily performance in a low dental disease Thai population.

    PubMed

    Adulyanon, S; Vourapukjaru, J; Sheiham, A

    1996-12-01

    The aim of the study was to measure incidence of oral impacts on daily performances and their related features in a low dental disease population. 501 people aged 35-44 years in 16 rural villages in Ban Phang district, Khon Kaen, Thailand, were interviewed about oral impacts on nine physical, psychological and social aspects of performance during the past 6 months, and then had an oral examination. The clinical and behavioural data showed that the sample had low caries (DMFT = 2.7) and a low utilization of dental services. 73.6% of all subjects had at least one daily performance affected by an oral impact. The highest incidence of performances affected were Eating (49.7%), Emotional stability (46.5%) and Smiling (26.1%). Eating, Emotional stability and Cleaning teeth performances had a high frequency or long duration of impacts, but a low severity. The low frequency performances; Physical activities, Major role activity and Sleeping were rated as high severity. Pain and discomfort were mainly perceived as the causes of impacts (40.1%) for almost every performance except Smiling. Toothache was the major causal oral condition (32.7%) of almost all aspects of performance. It was concluded that this low caries people have as high an incidence of oral impacts as industrialized, high dental disease populations. Frequency and severity presented the paradoxical effect on different performances and should both be taken into account for overall estimation of impacts. PMID:9007354

  1. 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

  2. An indication of major genes affecting hip and elbow dysplasia in four Finnish dog populations.

    PubMed

    Mäki, K; Janss, L L G; Groen, A F; Liinamo, A-E; Ojala, M

    2004-05-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the possible existence of major genes influencing hip and elbow dysplasia in four dog populations. A Bayesian segregation analysis was performed separately on each population. In total, 34 140 dogs were included in the data set. Data were analysed with both a polygenic and a mixed inheritance model. Polygenic models included fixed and random environmental effects and additive genetic effects. To apply mixed inheritance models, the effect of a major gene was added to the polygenic models. The major gene was modelled as an autosomal biallelic locus with Mendelian transmission probabilities. Gibbs sampling and a Monte Carlo Markov Chain algorithm were used. The goodness-of-fit of the different models were compared using the residual sum-of-squares. The existence of a major gene was considered likely for hip dysplasia in all the breeds and for elbow dysplasia in one breed. Several procedures were followed to exclude the possible false detection of major genes based on non-normality of data: permuted datasets were analysed, data-transformations were applied, and residuals were judged for normality. Allelic effects at the major gene locus showed nearly to complete dominance, with a recessive, unfavourable allele in both traits. Relatively high estimates of the frequencies of unfavourable alleles in each breed suggest that considerable genetic progress would be possible by selection against major genes. However, the major genes that are possibly affecting hip and elbow dysplasia in these populations will require further study. PMID:14997179

  3. Histopathology of growth anomaly affecting the coral, Montipora capitata: implications on biological functions and population viability.

    PubMed

    Burns, John H R; Takabayashi, Misaki

    2011-01-01

    Growth anomalies (GAs) affect the coral, Montipora capitata, at Wai'ōpae, southeast Hawai'i Island. Our histopathological analysis of this disease revealed that the GA tissue undergoes changes which compromise anatomical machinery for biological functions such as defense, feeding, digestion, and reproduction. GA tissue exhibited significant reductions in density of ova (66.1-93.7%), symbiotic dinoflagellates (38.8-67.5%), mesenterial filaments (11.2-29.0%), and nematocytes (28.8-46.0%). Hyperplasia of the basal body wall but no abnormal levels of necrosis and algal or fungal invasion was found in GA tissue. Skeletal density along the basal body wall was significantly reduced in GAs compared to healthy or unaffected sections. The reductions in density of the above histological features in GA tissue were collated with disease severity data to quantify the impact of this disease at the colony and population level. Resulting calculations showed this disease reduces the fecundity of M. capitata colonies at Wai'ōpae by 0.7-49.6%, depending on GA severity, and the overall population fecundity by 2.41±0.29%. In sum, GA in this M. capitata population reduces the coral's critical biological functions and increases susceptibility to erosion, clearly defining itself as a disease and an ecological threat. PMID:22205976

  4. Local divergence of thermal reaction norms among amphibian populations is affected by pond temperature variation.

    PubMed

    Richter-Boix, Alex; Katzenberger, Marco; Duarte, Helder; Quintela, María; Tejedo, Miguel; Laurila, Anssi

    2015-08-01

    Although temperature variation is known to cause large-scale adaptive divergence, its potential role as a selective factor over microgeographic scales is less well-understood. Here, we investigated how variation in breeding pond temperature affects divergence in multiple physiological (thermal performance curve and critical thermal maximum [CTmax]) and life-history (thermal developmental reaction norms) traits in a network of Rana arvalis populations. The results supported adaptive responses to face two main constraints limiting the evolution of thermal adaptation. First, we found support for the faster-slower model, indicating an adaptive response to compensate for the thermodynamic constraint of low temperatures in colder environments. Second, we found evidence for the generalist-specialist trade-off with populations from colder and less thermally variable environments exhibiting a specialist phenotype performing at higher rates but over a narrower range of temperatures. By contrast, the local optimal temperature for locomotor performance and CTmax did not match either mean or maximum pond temperatures. These results highlight the complexity of the adaptive multiple-trait thermal responses in natural populations, and the role of local thermal variation as a selective force driving diversity in life-history and physiological traits in the presence of gene flow. PMID:26118477

  5. Retrospective analysis of lung function abnormalities of Bhopal gas tragedy affected population

    PubMed Central

    De, Sajal

    2012-01-01

    Background & objectives: A large numbers of subjects were exposed to the aerosol of methyl isocyanate (MIC) during Bhopal gas disaster and lung was one of the most commonly affected organs. The aim of the present study was to analyze retrospectively the lung function abnormalities among the surviving MIC exposed population (gas victims) and to compare it with the non-MIC exposed (non gas exposed) population. Methods: The spirometry data of both gas victims and non gas exposed population who attended the Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre for evaluation of their respiratory complaints from August 2001 to December 2009, were retrospectively evaluated and compared. Results: A total 4782 gas victims and 1190 non gas exposed individuals performed spirometry during the study period. Among the gas victims, obstructive pattern was the commonest (50.8%) spirometric abnormality followed by restrictive pattern (13.3%). The increased relative risk of developing restrictive abnormality among gas victims was observed in 20-29 yr age group only (adjusted relative risk: 2.94, P<0.001). Male gas victims were more affected by severe airflow obstruction than females and the overall increased relative risk (1.33 to 1.45, P<0.001) of developing obstructive pattern among gas victims was observed. Interpretation & conclusions: The present study showed that the relative risk for pulmonary function abnormalities in gas victims was significantly more among those who were young at the time of disaster. Increased smoking habit among gas victims might have played an additive effect on predominance of obstructive pattern in spirometry. PMID:22446861

  6. 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.

  7. Have historical climate changes affected Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) populations in Antarctica?

    PubMed

    Peña M, Fabiola; Poulin, Elie; Dantas, Gisele P M; González-Acuña, Daniel; Petry, Maria Virginia; Vianna, Juliana A

    2014-01-01

    The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) has been suffering an increase in its atmospheric temperature during the last 50 years, mainly associated with global warming. This increment of temperature trend associated with changes in sea-ice dynamics has an impact on organisms, affecting their phenology, physiology and distribution range. For instance, rapid demographic changes in Pygoscelis penguins have been reported over the last 50 years in WAP, resulting in population expansion of sub-Antarctic Gentoo penguin (P. papua) and retreat of Antarctic Adelie penguin (P. adeliae). Current global warming has been mainly associated with human activities; however these climate trends are framed in a historical context of climate changes, particularly during the Pleistocene, characterized by an alternation between glacial and interglacial periods. During the last maximal glacial (LGM∼21,000 BP) the ice sheet cover reached its maximum extension on the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), causing local extinction of Antarctic taxa, migration to lower latitudes and/or survival in glacial refugia. We studied the HRVI of mtDNA and the nuclear intron βfibint7 of 150 individuals of the WAP to understand the demographic history and population structure of P. papua. We found high genetic diversity, reduced population genetic structure and a signature of population expansion estimated around 13,000 BP, much before the first paleocolony fossil records (∼1,100 BP). Our results suggest that the species may have survived in peri-Antarctic refugia such as South Georgia and North Sandwich islands and recolonized the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands after the ice sheet retreat. PMID:24759777

  8. Have Historical Climate Changes Affected Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) Populations in Antarctica?

    PubMed Central

    Peña M., Fabiola; Poulin, Elie; Dantas, Gisele P. M.; González-Acuña, Daniel; Petry, Maria Virginia; Vianna, Juliana A.

    2014-01-01

    The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) has been suffering an increase in its atmospheric temperature during the last 50 years, mainly associated with global warming. This increment of temperature trend associated with changes in sea-ice dynamics has an impact on organisms, affecting their phenology, physiology and distribution range. For instance, rapid demographic changes in Pygoscelis penguins have been reported over the last 50 years in WAP, resulting in population expansion of sub-Antarctic Gentoo penguin (P. papua) and retreat of Antarctic Adelie penguin (P. adeliae). Current global warming has been mainly associated with human activities; however these climate trends are framed in a historical context of climate changes, particularly during the Pleistocene, characterized by an alternation between glacial and interglacial periods. During the last maximal glacial (LGM∼21,000 BP) the ice sheet cover reached its maximum extension on the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), causing local extinction of Antarctic taxa, migration to lower latitudes and/or survival in glacial refugia. We studied the HRVI of mtDNA and the nuclear intron βfibint7 of 150 individuals of the WAP to understand the demographic history and population structure of P. papua. We found high genetic diversity, reduced population genetic structure and a signature of population expansion estimated around 13,000 BP, much before the first paleocolony fossil records (∼1,100 BP). Our results suggest that the species may have survived in peri-Antarctic refugia such as South Georgia and North Sandwich islands and recolonized the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands after the ice sheet retreat. PMID:24759777

  9. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    PubMed

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. PMID:22380551

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  11. Identification and synthetic modeling of factors affecting American black duck populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conroy, Michael J.; Miller, Mark W.; Hines, James E.

    2002-01-01

    We reviewed the literature on factors potentially affecting the population status of American black ducks (Anas rupribes). Our review suggests that there is some support for the influence of 4 major, continental-scope factors in limiting or regulating black duck populations: 1) loss in the quantity or quality of breeding habitats; 2) loss in the quantity or quality of wintering habitats; 3) harvest, and 4) interactions (competition, hybridization) with mallards (Anas platyrhychos) during the breeding and/or wintering periods. These factors were used as the basis of an annual life cycle model in which reproduction rates and survival rates were modeled as functions of the above factors, with parameters of the model describing the strength of these relationships. Variation in the model parameter values allows for consideration of scientific uncertainty as to the degree each of these factors may be contributing to declines in black duck populations, and thus allows for the investigation of the possible effects of management (e.g., habitat improvement, harvest reductions) under different assumptions. We then used available, historical data on black duck populations (abundance, annual reproduction rates, and survival rates) and possible driving factors (trends in breeding and wintering habitats, harvest rates, and abundance of mallards) to estimate model parameters. Our estimated reproduction submodel included parameters describing negative density feedback of black ducks, positive influence of breeding habitat, and negative influence of mallard densities; our survival submodel included terms for positive influence of winter habitat on reproduction rates, and negative influences of black duck density (i.e., compensation to harvest mortality). Individual models within each group (reproduction, survival) involved various combinations of these factors, and each was given an information theoretic weight for use in subsequent prediction. The reproduction model with highest

  12. New Mexico and the southwestern US are affected by a unique population of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) strains.

    PubMed

    French, J M; Goldberg, N P; Randall, J J; Hanson, S F

    2016-04-01

    Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is an important pathogen of many ornamental, greenhouse and agronomic crops worldwide. TSWV also causes sporadic problems in a number of crops in New Mexico (NM). Nucleocapsid gene sequences obtained from six different crop species across the state over four different years were used to characterize the NM TSWV population. This analysis shows that NM is affected by a unique TSWV population that is part of larger independent population present in the southwestern US. This population likely arose due to geographic isolation and is related to other TSWV populations from the US, Spain, and Italy. PMID:26721573

  13. The protective function of personal growth initiative among a genocide-affected population in Rwanda.

    PubMed

    Blackie, Laura E R; Jayawickreme, Eranda; Forgeard, Marie J C; Jayawickreme, Nuwan

    2015-07-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the extent to which individual differences in personal growth initiative (PGI) were associated with lower reports of functional impairment of daily activities among a genocide-affected population in Rwanda. PGI measures an individual's motivation to develop as a person and the extent to which he or she is active in setting goals that work toward achieving self-improvement. We found that PGI was negatively associated with functional impairment when controlling for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other demographic factors. Our results suggest that PGI may constitute an important mindset for facilitating adaptive functioning in the aftermath of adversity and in the midst of psychological distress, and as such they might have practical applications for the development of intervention programs. PMID:26147518

  14. Innate prey preference overridden by familiarisation with detrimental prey in a specialised myrmecophagous predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pekár, Stano; Cárdenas, Manuel

    2015-02-01

    Prey-specialised spiders often do not have brood care and may not deposit eggs in the proximity of the preferred prey. Thus, naïve spiderlings are left to their own to find their focal prey. Our aim was to reveal whether the choice of a specific prey is innate and whether familiarisation with a certain prey will condition prey choice. We used the myrmecophagous spider Euryopis episinoides, which specialises on Messor ants. It finds ants using chemical cues deposited on the substrate. Naïve spiderlings were offered chemical cues from Messor and Myrmica ants and Drosophila flies. They chose significantly more chemical cues from Messor ants than those from Drosophila flies. Then spiderlings were assigned to three prey treatments: fed with Messor ants only (optimal prey), fed with Myrmica ants only (suboptimal prey) or fed with Drosophila flies only (detrimental prey) until adulthood. Every 2 weeks, all spiders from all treatments were offered chemical cues from the three prey types and the frequency of choice and latency to assuming a posture were recorded. Experienced spiderlings preferred chemical cues from the prey in which they were raised. They suffered high mortality on Drosophila flies and attained largest size on the optimal prey. We show here that majority of spiderlings are born with an innate preference to their focal prey, which can be altered by familiarisation with alternative prey, irrespective of whether such a prey is beneficial.

  15. Ontogenetic shifts in plant interactions vary with environmental severity and affect population structure.

    PubMed

    le Roux, Peter C; Shaw, Justine D; Chown, Steven L

    2013-10-01

    Environmental conditions and plant size may both alter the outcome of inter-specific plant-plant interactions, with seedlings generally facilitated more strongly than larger individuals in stressful habitats. However, the combined impact of plant size and environmental severity on interactions is poorly understood. Here, we tested explicitly for the first time the hypothesis that ontogenetic shifts in interactions are delayed under increasingly severe conditions by examining the interaction between a grass, Agrostis magellanica, and a cushion plant, Azorella selago, along two severity gradients. The impact of A. selago on A. magellanica abundance, but not reproductive effort, was related to A. magellanica size, with a trend for delayed shifts towards more negative interactions under greater environmental severity. Intermediate-sized individuals were most strongly facilitated, leading to differences in the size-class distribution of A. magellanica on the soil and on A. selago. The A. magellanica size-class distribution was more strongly affected by A. selago than by environmental severity, demonstrating that the plant-plant interaction impacts A. magellanica population structure more strongly than habitat conditions. As ontogenetic shifts in plant-plant interactions cannot be assumed to be constant across severity gradients and may impact species population structure, studies examining the outcome of interactions need to consider the potential for size- or age-related variation in competition and facilitation. PMID:23738758

  16. Ovarian Stimulation Affects the Population of Mouse Uterine NK Cells at Early Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Dorfeshan, Parvin; Moazzeni, Seyed Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the influence of ovarian stimulation on endometrial mouse NK cell population. For superovulation, the female adult NMRI mice were injected i.p. with 10 IU of the pregnant mare serum gonadotropin followed 48 h later by an i.p. injection of 10 IU human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. Ovarian stimulated and nonstimulated mice were mated with fertile male. The presence of vaginal plug proved natural pregnancy, and this day was considered as day one of pregnancy. Tissue samples were prepared from the uterine horn and spleen of both groups of study on 7th day of pregnancy. Serum estradiol-17β and progesterone were measured at the same time. The tissue cryosections were prepared and double stained for CD 161 and CD3 markers, and NK cells population was analyzed. Relative frequency of NK cells was significantly lower in stroma and myometrium in hyperstimulated mice compared with the control group. However, no difference was seen in percentage of NK cells in spleen. The ovarian stimulation influences the proportion of uterine NK cells and may affect the embryo implantation. PMID:24350248

  17. Factors Enabling Access to HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing for Key Affected Populations in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Thepthien, Bang-on; Srivanichakorn, Supattra; Apipornchaisakul, Kanya

    2015-10-01

    The objective was to study the factors that enabled persons at risk of HIV to obtain voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) in Thailand. This research was a cross-sectional study and data were collected during May to July 2013 in 8, purposively selected provinces. The method for selecting respondents used time-location quota sampling to achieve a total sample of 751 persons. The proportion who had VCT in the year prior to the survey was 56%.The significant enabling factors associated with VCT were having someone encourage them to go for testing and receiving information about VCT In addition, other significant factors for female sex workers were self-assessed risk for HIV and having had risk behavior, and for men who have sex with men the factors were awareness of eligibility for VCT. Thus, in order to achieve the VCT target for higher risk populations by 2016, there should be special mechanisms to inform the different groups, along with improvements in outreach services to make VCT more convenient for key affected populations. PMID:26069165

  18. [Comparative chromosomal analysis of populations of phytophilous chironomidae Glyptotendipes glaucus (Mg.) from Chernobyl-affected territory].

    PubMed

    Belianina, S I

    2014-09-01

    The karyopools of the phytophilous chiromomid species of Glyptotendipes glaucus (Mg.) were studied. Chironomids originated from a number of reservoirs located in the Novozybkovsky rayon of the Bryansk region, which was affected by the Chernobyl radioactive release, and two reservoirs located in the Saratov region. Differences in the inversion spectrum and frequencies, both among Bryansk and between Bryansk and Saratov populations, were found. There were no new inversions in the Novozybkovsky populations; however, structurally small rearrangements in long chromosomes were noted. Typical abnormalities included mosaicism of the chromosome morphotypes in cells of the same saline gland, which was especially distinctive in the larvae from the forbidden zone; decondensation of the telomere regions of chromosomes; and mosaic asynapsis of the chromosome IV homologs (up to complete disjunction). Also, several larvae were polyploids. Other species of Glyptotendipes inhabiting the Novozybkovsky reservoirs were represented by the single species of G. paripes (near the Korchy settlement). The karyotypes of its several larvae were represented by an unorganized chromosomal substance. The other Glyptotendipes species seem to have lower adaptive abilities under the conditions in question and were eliminated from precatastrophe biotopes, while G. glaucus succeeded in adaptating to the new environment. PMID:25735132

  19. Degraded environments alter prey risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Lönnstedt, Oona M; McCormick, Mark I; Chivers, Douglas P

    2012-01-01

    Elevated water temperatures, a decrease in ocean pH, and an increasing prevalence of severe storms have lead to bleaching and death of the hard corals that underpin coral reef ecosystems. As coral cover declines, fish diversity and abundance declines. How degradation of coral reefs affects behavior of reef inhabitants is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that risk assessment behaviors of prey are severely affected by coral degradation. Juvenile damselfish were exposed to visual and olfactory indicators of predation risk in healthy live, thermally bleached, and dead coral in a series of laboratory and field experiments. While fish still responded to visual cues in all habitats, they did not respond to olfactory indicators of risk in dead coral habitats, likely as a result of alteration or degradation of chemical cues. These cues are critical for learning and avoiding predators, and a failure to respond can have dramatic repercussions for survival and recruitment. PMID:23403754

  20. Soil microbes and plant invasions—how soil-borne pathogens regulate plant populations and affect plant invasions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plant invaders are a major global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Here I present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that soil microbial communities affect the population growth rates of Prunus serotina in its native range and affect its invasiveness abroad. Research often ...

  1. Historical and anthropogenic factors affecting the population genetic structure of Ontario's inland lake populations of Walleye (Sander vitreus).

    PubMed

    Walter, Ryan P; Cena, Christopher J; Morgan, George E; Heath, Daniel D

    2012-01-01

    Populations existing in formerly glaciated areas often display composite historical and contemporary patterns of genetic structure. For Canadian freshwater fishes, population genetic structure is largely reflective of dispersal from glacial refugia and isolation within drainage basins across a range of scales. Enhancement of sport fisheries via hatchery stocking programs and other means has the potential to alter signatures of natural evolutionary processes. Using 11 microsatellite loci genotyped from 2182 individuals, we analyzed the genetic structure of 46 inland lake walleye (Sander vitreus) populations spanning five major drainage basins within the province of Ontario, Canada. Population genetic analyses coupled with genotype assignment allowed us to: 1) characterize broad- and fine-scale genetic structure among Ontario walleye populations; and 2) determine if the observed population divergence is primarily due to natural or historical processes, or recent anthropogenic events. The partitioning of genetic variation revealed higher genetic divergence among lakes than among drainage basins or proposed ancestries-indicative of relatively high isolation among lakes, study-wide. Walleye genotypes were clustered into three major groups, likely reflective of Missourian, Mississippian, and Atlantic glacial refugial ancestry. Despite detectable genetic signatures indicative of anthropogenic influences, province-wide spatial genetic structure remains consistent with the hypothesis of dispersal from distinct glacial refugia and subsequent isolation of lakes within primary drainage basins. Our results provide a novel example of minimal impacts from fishery enhancement to the broad-scale genetic structure of inland fish populations. PMID:23125407

  2. Impacts of Human Disturbance on Large Prey Species: Do Behavioral Reactions Translate to Fitness Consequences?

    PubMed Central

    Leblond, Mathieu; Dussault, Christian; Ouellet, Jean-Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances have been demonstrated to affect animal behavior, distribution, and abundance, but assessment of their impacts on fitness-related traits has received little attention. We hypothesized that human activities and infrastructure cause a decrease in the individual performance of preys because of anthropogenically enhanced predation risk. We evaluated the impacts of commercial logging and road networks on the fitness of a large herbivore known to be sensitive to human disturbance: the forest-dwelling woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). For 8 consecutive years (2004–2011) we monitored 59 individuals using GPS telemetry in the Charlevoix region of Québec, Canada. We also used Very High Frequency telemetry locations collected on 28 individuals from 1999–2000. We related habitat selection of adult caribou at various spatio-temporal scales to their probability of dying from predation, and to indices of their reproductive success and energy expenditure. The probability that adult caribou died from predation increased with the proportion of recent disturbances (including cutblocks ≤5 years old) in their annual home range. The respective effects of increasing paved and forestry road densities depended upon the overall road density within the home range of caribou. At a finer scale of 10 to 15 days before their death, caribou that were killed by a predator selected for recent disturbances more than individuals that survived, and avoided old mature conifer stands. The home range area of caribou increased with road density. Finally, the composition of the home range of females had no effect on their reproductive success. We show that human activities and infrastructure may influence the individual performance of large prey species in highly managed regions. We outline the need to consider the full set of impacts that human development may have on threatened animal populations, with particular emphasis on predator-prey relationships and

  3. Effects of prey size and mobility on prey-capture kinematics in leopard sharks triakis semifasciata

    PubMed

    Ferry-Graham

    1998-08-01

    Recent work on teleosts suggests that attack behaviors or kinematics may be modified by a predator on the basis of the size of the prey or the ability of the prey to sense predators and escape capture (elusivity). Sharks are generally presumed to be highly visual predators; thus, it is reasonable to expect that they might also be capable of such behavioral modulation. In this study, I investigated the effect of prey item size and type on prey-capture behavior in leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) that had been acclimated to feeding in the laboratory. Using high-speed video, sharks were filmed feeding on two sizes of the same prey item (thawed shrimp pieces) and two potentially more elusive prey items (live earthworms and live mud shrimp). In leopard sharks, little effect of prey elusivity was found for kinematic variables during prey capture. However, the large proportion of successful captures of the live prey suggests that they did not prove to be truly elusive prey items for the leopard shark. There were significant size effects on prey-capture kinematics, with the larger non-elusive items inducing greater head expansion during prey capture. Ram-suction index values also indicated that strikes on large, non-elusive prey had a significantly larger suction component than strikes on similar small prey items. This finding is interesting given that the two sizes of non-elusive prey item offered no differential challenge in terms of a performance consequence (reduced capture success). PMID:9679105

  4. 'Take-away' foraging spatially uncouples predator and prey-attack distributions.

    PubMed

    Smallegange, Isabel M; van der Meer, Jaap; Sabelis, Maurice W

    2010-07-01

    1. Ideal-free distribution theory assumes that in a patchy environment foragers maximize fitness and hence their feeding rate by balancing gains from more food against losses from more competition. Ultimately, individuals cannot increase their feeding rate by moving to another patch and they distribute themselves over patches in proportion to prey density per patch. 2. In our experiments with shore crabs Carcinus maenas foraging on two adjacent patches with mussels Mytilus edulis, the implicit assumption of ideal-free distribution theory that catch should match time spent in a prey patch is not met, however. Despite aggregating their attack where it is most profitable shore crabs distributed themselves homogeneously across mussel patches: they 'take away' the prey caught and consume it elsewhere to reduce interference. 3. Thus, predator distributions can be quite different from prey-attack distributions. This is important because the latter is shown to be decisive for persistence of predator and prey populations in ecological models. PMID:20443987

  5. Adult Prey Neutralizes Predator Nonconsumptive Limitation of Prey Recruitment.

    PubMed

    Ellrich, Julius A; Scrosati, Ricardo A; Romoth, Katharina; Molis, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that predator chemical cues can limit prey demographic rates such as recruitment. For instance, barnacle pelagic larvae reduce settlement where predatory dogwhelk cues are detected, thereby limiting benthic recruitment. However, adult barnacles attract conspecific larvae through chemical and visual cues, aiding larvae to find suitable habitat for development. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of adult barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) can neutralize dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) nonconsumptive effects on barnacle recruitment. We did a field experiment in Atlantic Canada during the 2012 and 2013 barnacle recruitment seasons (May-June). We manipulated the presence of dogwhelks (without allowing them to physically contact barnacles) and adult barnacles in cages established in rocky intertidal habitats. At the end of both recruitment seasons, we measured barnacle recruit density on tiles kept inside the cages. Without adult barnacles, the nearby presence of dogwhelks limited barnacle recruitment by 51%. However, the presence of adult barnacles increased barnacle recruitment by 44% and neutralized dogwhelk nonconsumptive effects on barnacle recruitment, as recruit density was unaffected by dogwhelk presence. For species from several invertebrate phyla, benthic adult organisms attract conspecific pelagic larvae. Thus, adult prey might commonly constitute a key factor preventing negative predator nonconsumptive effects on prey recruitment. PMID:27123994

  6. Adult Prey Neutralizes Predator Nonconsumptive Limitation of Prey Recruitment

    PubMed Central

    Scrosati, Ricardo A.; Romoth, Katharina; Molis, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that predator chemical cues can limit prey demographic rates such as recruitment. For instance, barnacle pelagic larvae reduce settlement where predatory dogwhelk cues are detected, thereby limiting benthic recruitment. However, adult barnacles attract conspecific larvae through chemical and visual cues, aiding larvae to find suitable habitat for development. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of adult barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) can neutralize dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) nonconsumptive effects on barnacle recruitment. We did a field experiment in Atlantic Canada during the 2012 and 2013 barnacle recruitment seasons (May–June). We manipulated the presence of dogwhelks (without allowing them to physically contact barnacles) and adult barnacles in cages established in rocky intertidal habitats. At the end of both recruitment seasons, we measured barnacle recruit density on tiles kept inside the cages. Without adult barnacles, the nearby presence of dogwhelks limited barnacle recruitment by 51%. However, the presence of adult barnacles increased barnacle recruitment by 44% and neutralized dogwhelk nonconsumptive effects on barnacle recruitment, as recruit density was unaffected by dogwhelk presence. For species from several invertebrate phyla, benthic adult organisms attract conspecific pelagic larvae. Thus, adult prey might commonly constitute a key factor preventing negative predator nonconsumptive effects on prey recruitment. PMID:27123994

  7. 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.

  8. Relative availability of natural prey versus livestock predicts landscape suitability for cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Botswana

    PubMed Central

    Winterbach, Christiaan W.; Boast, Lorraine K.; Klein, Rebecca; Somers, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Prey availability and human-carnivore conflict are strong determinants that govern the spatial distribution and abundance of large carnivore species and determine the suitability of areas for their conservation. For wide-ranging large carnivores such as cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), additional conservation areas beyond protected area boundaries are crucial to effectively conserve them both inside and outside protected areas. Although cheetahs prefer preying on wild prey, they also cause conflict with people by predating on especially small livestock. We investigated whether the distribution of cheetahs’ preferred prey and small livestock biomass could be used to explore the potential suitability of agricultural areas in Botswana for the long-term persistence of its cheetah population. We found it gave a good point of departure for identifying priority areas for land management, the threat to connectivity between cheetah populations, and areas where the reduction and mitigation of human-cheetah conflict is critical. Our analysis showed the existence of a wide prey base for cheetahs across large parts of Botswana’s agricultural areas, which provide additional large areas with high conservation potential. Twenty percent of wild prey biomass appears to be the critical point to distinguish between high and low probable levels of human-cheetah conflict. We identified focal areas in the agricultural zones where restoring wild prey numbers in concurrence with effective human-cheetah conflict mitigation efforts are the most immediate conservation strategies needed to maintain Botswana’s still large and contiguous cheetah population. PMID:26213646

  9. Relative availability of natural prey versus livestock predicts landscape suitability for cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Botswana.

    PubMed

    Winterbach, Hanlie E K; Winterbach, Christiaan W; Boast, Lorraine K; Klein, Rebecca; Somers, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Prey availability and human-carnivore conflict are strong determinants that govern the spatial distribution and abundance of large carnivore species and determine the suitability of areas for their conservation. For wide-ranging large carnivores such as cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), additional conservation areas beyond protected area boundaries are crucial to effectively conserve them both inside and outside protected areas. Although cheetahs prefer preying on wild prey, they also cause conflict with people by predating on especially small livestock. We investigated whether the distribution of cheetahs' preferred prey and small livestock biomass could be used to explore the potential suitability of agricultural areas in Botswana for the long-term persistence of its cheetah population. We found it gave a good point of departure for identifying priority areas for land management, the threat to connectivity between cheetah populations, and areas where the reduction and mitigation of human-cheetah conflict is critical. Our analysis showed the existence of a wide prey base for cheetahs across large parts of Botswana's agricultural areas, which provide additional large areas with high conservation potential. Twenty percent of wild prey biomass appears to be the critical point to distinguish between high and low probable levels of human-cheetah conflict. We identified focal areas in the agricultural zones where restoring wild prey numbers in concurrence with effective human-cheetah conflict mitigation efforts are the most immediate conservation strategies needed to maintain Botswana's still large and contiguous cheetah population. PMID:26213646

  10. Density but not climate affects the population growth rate of guanacos ( Lama guanicoe) (Artiodactyla, Camelidae).

    PubMed

    Zubillaga, María; Skewes, Oscar; Soto, Nicolás; Rabinovich, Jorge E

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed the effects of population density and climatic variables on the rate of population growth in the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe), a wild camelid species in South America. We used a time series of 36 years (1977-2012) of population sampling in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Individuals were grouped in three age-classes: newborns, juveniles, and adults; for each year a female population transition matrix was constructed, and the population growth rate (λ) was estimated for each year as the matrix highest positive eigenvalue. We applied a regression analysis with finite population growth rate (λ) as dependent variable, and total guanaco population, sheep population, annual mean precipitation, and winter mean temperature as independent variables, with and without time lags. The effect of guanaco population size was statistically significant, but the effects of the sheep population and the climatic variables on guanaco population growth rate were not statistically significant. PMID:25187878

  11. Density but not climate affects the population growth rate of guanacos ( Lama guanicoe) (Artiodactyla, Camelidae)

    PubMed Central

    Zubillaga, María; Skewes, Oscar; Soto, Nicolás; Rabinovich, Jorge E

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed the effects of population density and climatic variables on the rate of population growth in the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe), a wild camelid species in South America. We used a time series of 36 years (1977-2012) of population sampling in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Individuals were grouped in three age-classes: newborns, juveniles, and adults; for each year a female population transition matrix was constructed, and the population growth rate (λ) was estimated for each year as the matrix highest positive eigenvalue. We applied a regression analysis with finite population growth rate (λ) as dependent variable, and total guanaco population, sheep population, annual mean precipitation, and winter mean temperature as independent variables, with and without time lags. The effect of guanaco population size was statistically significant, but the effects of the sheep population and the climatic variables on guanaco population growth rate were not statistically significant. PMID:25187878

  12. Use of epidemiological data and direct bioassay for prioritization of affected populations in a large-scale radiation emergency.

    PubMed

    Miller, Charles W; Ansari, Armin; Martin, Colleen; Chang, Art; Buzzell, Jennifer; Whitcomb, Robert C

    2011-08-01

    Following a radiation emergency, evacuated, sheltered or other members of the public would require monitoring for external and/or internal contamination and, if indicated, decontamination. In addition, the potentially-impacted population would be identified for biodosimetry/bioassay or needed medical treatment (chelation therapy, cytokine treatment, etc.) and prioritized for follow-up. Expeditious implementation of these activities presents many challenges, especially when a large population is affected. Furthermore, experience from previous radiation incidents has demonstrated that the number of people seeking monitoring for radioactive contamination (both external and internal) could be much higher than the actual number of contaminated individuals. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services is the lead agency to coordinate federal support for population monitoring activities. Population monitoring includes (1) monitoring people for external contamination; (2) monitoring people for internal contamination; (3) population decontamination; (4) collecting epidemiologic data regarding potentially exposed and/or contaminated individuals to prioritize the affected population for limited medical resources; (5) administering available pharmaceuticals for internal decontamination as deemed necessary by appropriate health officials; (6) performing dose reconstruction; and (7) establishing a registry to conduct long-term monitoring of this population for potential long-term health effects. This paper will focus on screening for internal contamination and will describe the use of early epidemiologic data as well as direct bioassay techniques to rapidly identify and prioritize the affected population for further analysis and medical attention. PMID:21709510

  13. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno; Azémar, Frédéric; Carpenter, James M.

    2012-07-01

    Because group-hunting arboreal ants spread-eagle insect prey for a long time before retrieving them, these prey can be coveted by predatory flying insects. Yet, attempting to rob these prey is risky if the ant species is also an effective predator. Here, we show that trying to rob prey from Azteca andreae workers is a fatal error as 268 out of 276 potential cleptobionts (97.1 %) were captured in turn. The ant workers hunt in a group and use the "Velcro®" principle to cling firmly to the leaves of their host tree, permitting them to capture very large prey. Exceptions were one social wasp, plus some Trigona spp. workers and flies that landed directly on the prey and were able to take off immediately when attacked. We conclude that in this situation, previously captured prey attract potential cleptobionts that are captured in turn in most of the cases.

  14. The curse of the prey: Sarcoptes mite molecular analysis reveals potential prey-to-predator parasitic infestation in wild animals from Masai Mara, Kenya

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Recently, there have been attempts to understand the molecular epidemiology of Sarcoptes scabiei, to evaluate the gene flow between isolates of S. scabiei from different hosts and geographic regions. However, to our knowledge, a molecular study has not been carried out to assess the molecular diversity and gene flow of Sarcoptes mite in a predator/prey ecosystem. Results Our study revealed an absence of gene flow between the two herbivore (Thomson's gazelle and wildebeest)- and between the two carnivore (lion and cheetah)-derived Sarcoptes populations from Masai Mara (Kenya), which is in discrepancy with the host-taxon law described for wild animals in Europe. Lion- and wildebeest-derived Sarcoptes mite populations were similar yet different from the Thomson's gazelle-derived Sarcoptes population. This could be attributed to Sarcoptes cross-infestation from wildebeest ("favourite prey") of the lion, but not from Thomson's gazelle. The cheetah-derived Sarcoptes population had different subpopulations: one is cheetah-private, one similar to the wildebeest- and lion-derived Sarcoptes populations, and another similar to the Thomson's gazelle-derived Sarcoptes mite population, where both wildebeest and Thomson's gazelle are "favourite preys" for the cheetah. Conclusions In a predator/prey ecosystem, like Masai Mara in Kenya, it seems that Sarcoptes infestation in wild animals is prey-to-predator-wise, depending on the predator's "favourite prey". More studies on the lion and cheetah diet and behaviour could be of great help to clarify the addressed hypotheses. This study could have further ramification in the epidemiological studies and the monitoring protocols of the neglected Sarcoptes mite in predator/prey ecosystems. PMID:21978557

  15. Prey Preference and Life Table of Amblyseius orientalis on Bemisia tabaci and Tetranychus cinnabarinus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoxiao; Lv, Jiale; Hu, Yue; Wang, Boming; Chen, Xi; Xu, Xuenong; Wang, Endong

    2015-01-01

    Amblyseius orientalis (Ehara) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a native predatory mite species in China. It used to be considered as a specialist predator of spider mites. However, recent studies show it also preys on other small arthropod pests, such as Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Experiments were conducted to investigate (1) prey preference of A. orientalis between Tetranychus cinnabarinus (Boisd.) (Acari: Tetranychidae) and B. tabaci, and (2) development, consumption and life table parameters of A. orientalis when reared on T. cinnabarinus, B. tabaci or a mix of both prey species. When preying on different stages of T. cinnabarinus, A. orientalis preferred protonymphs, whereas when preying on different stages of B. tabaci, A. orientalis preferred eggs. When these two most preferred stages were provided together (T. cinnabarinus protonymphs and B. tabaci eggs), A. orientalis randomly selected its prey. Amblyseius orientalis was able to complete its life cycle on B. tabaci eggs, T. cinnabarinus protonymphs, or a mix of both prey. However, its developmental duration was 53.9% and 30.0% longer when reared on B. tabaci eggs than on T. cinnabarinus and a mix of both prey, respectively. In addition, it produced only a few eggs and its intrinsic rate of increase was negative when reared on B. tabaci eggs, which indicates that B. tabaci is not sufficient to maintain A. orientalis population. The intrinsic rates of increase were 0.16 and 0.23 when A. orientalis was fed on the prey mix and T. cinnabarinus, respectively. These results suggest that although B. tabaci is a poor food resource for A. orientalis in comparison to T. cinnabarinus, A. orientalis is able to sustain its population on a mix of both prey. This predatory mite may thus be a potential biological control agent of B. tabaci when this pest co-occurs with the alternative minor pest T. cinnabarinus. PMID:26436422

  16. Interspecific variation in prey capture behavior by co-occurring Nepenthes pitcher plants

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Lijin; Chung, Arthur YC; Clarke, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes capture a wide range of arthropod prey for nutritional benefit, using complex combinations of visual and olfactory signals and gravity-driven pitfall trapping mechanisms. In many localities throughout Southeast Asia, several Nepenthes different species occur in mixed populations. Often, the species present at any given location have strongly divergent trap structures and preliminary surveys indicate that different species trap different combinations of arthropod prey, even when growing at the same locality. On this basis, it has been proposed that co-existing Nepenthes species may be engaged in niche segregation with regards to arthropod prey, avoiding direct competition with congeners by deploying traps that have modifications that enable them to target specific prey types. We examined prey capture among 3 multi-species Nepenthes populations in Borneo, finding that co-existing Nepenthes species do capture different combinations of prey, but that significant interspecific variations in arthropod prey combinations can often be detected only at sub-ordinal taxonomic ranks. In all lowland Nepenthes species examined, the dominant prey taxon is Formicidae, but montane Nepenthes trap few (or no) ants and 2 of the 3 species studied have evolved to target alternative sources of nutrition, such as tree shrew feces. Using similarity and null model analyses, we detected evidence for niche segregation with regards to formicid prey among 5 lowland, sympatric Nepenthes species in Sarawak. However, we were unable to determine whether these results provide support for the niche segregation hypothesis, or whether they simply reflect unquantified variation in heterogeneous habitats and/or ant communities in the study sites. These findings are used to propose improvements to the design of field experiments that seek to test hypotheses about targeted prey capture patterns in Nepenthes. PMID:24481246

  17. Prey Preference and Life Table of Amblyseius orientalis on Bemisia tabaci and Tetranychus cinnabarinus

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yue; Wang, Boming; Chen, Xi; Xu, Xuenong; Wang, Endong

    2015-01-01

    Amblyseius orientalis (Ehara) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a native predatory mite species in China. It used to be considered as a specialist predator of spider mites. However, recent studies show it also preys on other small arthropod pests, such as Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Experiments were conducted to investigate (1) prey preference of A. orientalis between Tetranychus cinnabarinus (Boisd.) (Acari: Tetranychidae) and B. tabaci, and (2) development, consumption and life table parameters of A. orientalis when reared on T. cinnabarinus, B. tabaci or a mix of both prey species. When preying on different stages of T. cinnabarinus, A. orientalis preferred protonymphs, whereas when preying on different stages of B. tabaci, A. orientalis preferred eggs. When these two most preferred stages were provided together (T. cinnabarinus protonymphs and B. tabaci eggs), A. orientalis randomly selected its prey. Amblyseius orientalis was able to complete its life cycle on B. tabaci eggs, T. cinnabarinus protonymphs, or a mix of both prey. However, its developmental duration was 53.9% and 30.0% longer when reared on B. tabaci eggs than on T. cinnabarinus and a mix of both prey, respectively. In addition, it produced only a few eggs and its intrinsic rate of increase was negative when reared on B. tabaci eggs, which indicates that B. tabaci is not sufficient to maintain A. orientalis population. The intrinsic rates of increase were 0.16 and 0.23 when A. orientalis was fed on the prey mix and T. cinnabarinus, respectively. These results suggest that although B. tabaci is a poor food resource for A. orientalis in comparison to T. cinnabarinus, A. orientalis is able to sustain its population on a mix of both prey. This predatory mite may thus be a potential biological control agent of B. tabaci when this pest co-occurs with the alternative minor pest T. cinnabarinus. PMID:26436422

  18. Toxicity tests based on predator-prey and competitive interactions between freshwater macroinvertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, E.J.; Blockwell, S.J.; Pascoe, D.

    1994-12-31

    Simple multi-species toxicity tests based on the predation of Daphnia magna Straus by Hydra oligactis (Pallas) and competition between Gammarus pulex (L.) and Asellus aquaticus (L.) were used to determine the effects of three reference chemicals. Criteria examined included functional responses; time to first captures; handling times (predator/prey systems) and co-existence and growth. The tests which proved most practicable and sensitive (lowest observed effects 0.1, 21, and 80 {micro}g/l for lindane, copper and 3,4 dichloroaniline, respectively) were: (1) predator-prey tests: determining changes in the size-structure of predated D. magna populations and (2) competition tests: measuring the feeding rate of G. pulex competing with A. aquaticus, using a bioassay based on the time-response analysis of the consumption of Artemia salina eggs. The concentration of a chemical which affected particular response criteria was fond to depend on the test system employed. Results of the tests indicated that effects were often not dose-related and that a given criterion could be variously affected by different test concentrations. The complex pattern of responses may be explained in terms of the differential sensitivity of the interacting species and perhaps subtle alteration in strategies. The sensitivity of the bioassay endpoints is compared to those of a range of single species tests, and their value for predicting the impact pollutants may have upon natural freshwater ecosystems is discussed.

  19. Web Intervention for Adolescents Affected by Disaster: Population-Based Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Ruggiero, Kenneth J.; Price, Matthew; Adams, Zachary; Stauffacher, Kirstin; McCauley, Jenna; Danielson, Carla Kmett; Knapp, Rebecca; Hanson, Rochelle F.; Davidson, Tatiana M.; Amstadter, Ananda B.; Carpenter, Matthew J.; Saunders, Benjamin E.; Kilpatrick, Dean G.; Resnick, Heidi S.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To assess the efficacy of Bounce Back Now (BBN), a modular, web-based intervention for disaster-affected adolescents and their parents. Method A population-based randomized controlled trial used address-based sampling to enroll 2,000 adolescents and parents from communities affected by tornadoes in Joplin, MO, and Alabama. Data collection via baseline and follow-up semi-structured telephone interviews was completed between September 2011 and August 2013. All families were invited to access the BBN study web portal irrespective of mental health status at baseline. Families who accessed the web portal were assigned randomly to 3 groups: (1) BBN, which featured modules for adolescents and parents targeting adolescents’ mental health symptoms; (2) BBN plus additional modules targeting parents’ mental health symptoms; or (3) assessment only. The primary outcomes were adolescent symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Results Nearly 50% of families accessed the web portal. Intent-to-treat analyses revealed time × condition interactions for PTSD symptoms (B=−0.24, SE=0.08, p<.01) and depressive symptoms (B=−0.23, SE=0.09, p<.01). Post-hoc comparisons revealed fewer PTSD and depressive symptoms for adolescents in the experimental vs. control conditions at 12-month follow-up (PTSD: B=−0.36, SE=0.19, p=.06; depressive symptoms: B=−0.42, SE=0.19, p=0.03). A time × condition interaction also was found favoring the BBN vs. BBN + parent self-help condition for PTSD symptoms (B=0.30, SE=0.12, p=.02), but not depressive symptoms (B=0.12, SE=0.12, p=.33). Conclusion Results supported the feasibility and initial efficacy of BBN as a scalable disaster mental health intervention for adolescents. Technology-based solutions have tremendous potential value if found to reduce the mental health burden of disasters. PMID:26299292

  20. Gene expression in the mixotrophic prymnesiophyte, Prymnesium parvum, responds to prey availability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhenfeng; Jones, Adriane C; Campbell, Victoria; Hambright, K David; Heidelberg, Karla B; Caron, David A

    2015-01-01

    The mixotrophic prymnesiophyte, Prymnesium parvum, is a widely distributed alga with significant ecological importance. It produces toxins and can form ecosystem disruptive blooms that result in fish kills and changes in planktonic food web structure. However, the relationship between P. parvum and its prey on the molecular level is poorly understood. In this study, we used RNA-Seq technology to study changes in gene transcription of P. parvum in three treatments with different microbial populations available as potential prey: axenic P. parvum (no prey), bacterized P. paruvm, and axenic P. parvum with ciliates added as prey. Thousands of genes were differentially expressed among the three treatments. Most notably, transcriptome data indicated that P. parvum obtained organic carbon, including fatty acids, from both bacteria and ciliate prey for energy and cellular building blocks. The data also suggested that different prey provided P. parvum with macro- and micro-nutrients, namely organic nitrogen in the form of amino acids from ciliates, and iron from bacteria. However, both transcriptomic data and growth experiments indicated that P. parvum did not grow faster in the presence of prey despite the gains in nutrients, although algal abundances attained in culture were slightly greater in the presence of prey. The relationship between phototrophy, heterotrophy and growth of P. parvum is discussed. PMID:25941521

  1. Gene expression in the mixotrophic prymnesiophyte, Prymnesium parvum, responds to prey availability

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhenfeng; Jones, Adriane C.; Campbell, Victoria; Hambright, K. David; Heidelberg, Karla B.; Caron, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The mixotrophic prymnesiophyte, Prymnesium parvum, is a widely distributed alga with significant ecological importance. It produces toxins and can form ecosystem disruptive blooms that result in fish kills and changes in planktonic food web structure. However, the relationship between P. parvum and its prey on the molecular level is poorly understood. In this study, we used RNA-Seq technology to study changes in gene transcription of P. parvum in three treatments with different microbial populations available as potential prey: axenic P. parvum (no prey), bacterized P. paruvm, and axenic P. parvum with ciliates added as prey. Thousands of genes were differentially expressed among the three treatments. Most notably, transcriptome data indicated that P. parvum obtained organic carbon, including fatty acids, from both bacteria and ciliate prey for energy and cellular building blocks. The data also suggested that different prey provided P. parvum with macro- and micro-nutrients, namely organic nitrogen in the form of amino acids from ciliates, and iron from bacteria. However, both transcriptomic data and growth experiments indicated that P. parvum did not grow faster in the presence of prey despite the gains in nutrients, although algal abundances attained in culture were slightly greater in the presence of prey. The relationship between phototrophy, heterotrophy and growth of P. parvum is discussed. PMID:25941521

  2. Consequences of a refuge for the predator-prey dynamics of a wolf-elk system in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Joshua F; Hebblewhite, Mark; Bardsley, John

    2014-01-01

    Refugia can affect predator-prey dynamics via movements between refuge and non-refuge areas. We examine the influence of a refuge on population dynamics in a large mammal predator-prey system. Wolves (Canis lupus) have recolonized much of their former range in North America, and as a result, ungulate prey have exploited refugia to reduce predation risk with unknown impacts on wolf-prey dynamics. We examined the influence of a refuge on elk (Cervus elaphus) and wolf population dynamics in Banff National Park. Elk occupy the Banff townsite with little predation, whereas elk in the adjoining Bow Valley experience higher wolf predation. The Banff refuge may influence Bow Valley predator-prey dynamics through source-sink movements. To test this hypothesis, we used 26 years of wolf and elk population counts and the Delayed Rejection Adaptive Metropolis Markov chain Monte Carlo method to fit five predator-prey models: 1) with no source-sink movements, 2) with elk density-dependent dispersal from the refuge to the non-refuge, 3) with elk predation risk avoidance movements from the non-refuge to the refuge, 4) with differential movement rates between refuge and non-refuge, and 5) with short-term, source-sink wolf movements. Model 1 provided the best fit of the data, as measured by Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). In the top model, Banff and Bow Valley elk had median growth rates of 0.08 and 0.03 (95% credibility intervals [CIs]: 0.027-0.186 and 0.001-0.143), respectively, Banff had a median carrying capacity of 630 elk (95% CI: 471.9-2676.9), Bow Valley elk had a median wolf encounter rate of 0.02 (95% CI: 0.013-0.030), and wolves had a median death rate of 0.23 (95% CI: 0.146-0.335) and a median conversion efficiency of 0.07 (95% CI: 0.031-0.124). We found little evidence for potential source-sink movements influencing the predator-prey dynamics of this system. This result suggests that the refuge was isolated from the non-refuge. PMID:24670632

  3. Consequences of a Refuge for the Predator-Prey Dynamics of a Wolf-Elk System in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Joshua F.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Bardsley, John

    2014-01-01

    Refugia can affect predator-prey dynamics via movements between refuge and non-refuge areas. We examine the influence of a refuge on population dynamics in a large mammal predator-prey system. Wolves (Canis lupus) have recolonized much of their former range in North America, and as a result, ungulate prey have exploited refugia to reduce predation risk with unknown impacts on wolf-prey dynamics. We examined the influence of a refuge on elk (Cervus elaphus) and wolf population dynamics in Banff National Park. Elk occupy the Banff townsite with little predation, whereas elk in the adjoining Bow Valley experience higher wolf predation. The Banff refuge may influence Bow Valley predator-prey dynamics through source-sink movements. To test this hypothesis, we used 26 years of wolf and elk population counts and the Delayed Rejection Adaptive Metropolis Markov chain Monte Carlo method to fit five predator-prey models: 1) with no source-sink movements, 2) with elk density-dependent dispersal from the refuge to the non-refuge, 3) with elk predation risk avoidance movements from the non-refuge to the refuge, 4) with differential movement rates between refuge and non-refuge, and 5) with short-term, source-sink wolf movements. Model 1 provided the best fit of the data, as measured by Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). In the top model, Banff and Bow Valley elk had median growth rates of 0.08 and 0.03 (95% credibility intervals [CIs]: 0.027–0.186 and 0.001–0.143), respectively, Banff had a median carrying capacity of 630 elk (95% CI: 471.9–2676.9), Bow Valley elk had a median wolf encounter rate of 0.02 (95% CI: 0.013–0.030), and wolves had a median death rate of 0.23 (95% CI: 0.146–0.335) and a median conversion efficiency of 0.07 (95% CI: 0.031–0.124). We found little evidence for potential source-sink movements influencing the predator-prey dynamics of this system. This result suggests that the refuge was isolated from the non-refuge. PMID:24670632

  4. Recombination affects accumulation of damaging and disease-associated mutations in human populations.

    PubMed

    Hussin, Julie G; Hodgkinson, Alan; Idaghdour, Youssef; Grenier, Jean-Christophe; Goulet, Jean-Philippe; Gbeha, Elias; Hip-Ki, Elodie; Awadalla, Philip

    2015-04-01

    Many decades of theory have demonstrated that, in non-recombining systems, slightly deleterious mutations accumulate non-reversibly, potentially driving the extinction of many asexual species. Non-recombining chromosomes in sexual organisms are thought to have degenerated in a similar fashion; however, it is not clear the extent to which damaging mutations accumulate along chromosomes with highly variable rates of crossing over. Using high-coverage sequencing data from over 1,400 individuals in the 1000 Genomes and CARTaGENE projects, we show that recombination rate modulates the distribution of putatively deleterious variants across the entire human genome. Exons in regions of low recombination are significantly enriched for deleterious and disease-associated variants, a signature varying in strength across worldwide human populations with different demographic histories. Regions with low recombination rates are enriched for highly conserved genes with essential cellular functions and show an excess of mutations with demonstrated effects on health, a phenomenon likely affecting disease susceptibility in humans. PMID:25685891

  5. The burden of acute respiratory infections in crisis-affected populations: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Crises due to armed conflict, forced displacement and natural disasters result in excess morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases. Historically, acute respiratory infections (ARIs) have received relatively little attention in the humanitarian sector. We performed a systematic review to generate evidence on the burden of ARI in crises, and inform prioritisation of relief interventions. We identified 36 studies published since 1980 reporting data on the burden (incidence, prevalence, proportional morbidity or mortality, case-fatality, attributable mortality rate) of ARI, as defined by the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 and as diagnosed by a clinician, in populations who at the time of the study were affected by natural disasters, armed conflict, forced displacement, and nutritional emergencies. We described studies and stratified data by age group, but did not do pooled analyses due to heterogeneity in case definitions. The published evidence, mainly from refugee camps and surveillance or patient record review studies, suggests very high excess morbidity and mortality (20-35% proportional mortality) and case-fatality (up to 30-35%) due to ARI. However, ARI disease burden comparisons with non-crisis settings are difficult because of non-comparability of data. Better epidemiological studies with clearer case definitions are needed to provide the evidence base for priority setting and programme impact assessments. Humanitarian agencies should include ARI prevention and control among infants, children and adults as priority activities in crises. Improved data collection, case management and vaccine strategies will help to reduce disease burden. PMID:20181220

  6. Long-Term Changes in the Diet of Gymnogobius isaza from Lake Biwa, Japan: Effects of Body Size and Environmental Prey Availability

    PubMed Central

    Nakazawa, Takefumi; Sakai, Yoichiro; Papa, Rey Donne S.; Hsieh, Chih-hao; Okuda, Noboru

    2012-01-01

    Body size and environmental prey availability are both key factors determining feeding habits of gape-limited fish predators. However, our understanding of their interactive or relative effects is still limited. In this study, we performed quantitative dietary analysis of different body sizes of goby (Gymnogobius isaza) specimens collected from Lake Biwa between 1962 and 2004. First, we report that the diet was composed mainly of zooplankton (cladocerans and copepods) before the 1980s, and thereafter, shifted to zoobenthos (gammarids). This foraging shift coincided with, and thus can be linked to, known historical events in the lake at that time: decrease in zooplankton abundance with the alleviation of eutrophication, increase in fish body size resulting from fish population collapse, and increase in gammarid abundance due to reduced fish predation pressure. Supporting this view, our data analyses revealed how the long-term changes in the diet composition would be co-mediated by changes in fish body size and environmental prey availability. Specifically, while zoobenthos abundance strongly affected the fish diet composition, larger (smaller) fish preferred zoobenthos (zooplankton). Furthermore, the body size effects were stronger than those of prey availability. These results provide the best long-term evidence that fish feeding habits vary over decades with its body size and prey community due to anthropogenic disturbances. PMID:23285262

  7. Both population size and patch quality affect local extinctions and colonizations.

    PubMed

    Franzén, Markus; Nilsson, Sven G

    2010-01-01

    Currently, the habitat of many species is fragmented, resulting in small local populations with individuals occasionally dispersing between the remaining habitat patches. In a solitary bee metapopulation, extinction probability was related to both local bee population sizes and pollen resources measured as host plant population size. Patch size, on the other hand, had no additional predictive power. The turnover rate of local bee populations in 63 habitat patches over 4 years was high, with 72 extinction events and 31 colonization events, but the pollen plant population was stable with no extinctions or colonizations. Both pollen resources and bee populations had strong and independent effects on extinction probability, but connectivity was not of importance. Colonizations occurred more frequently within larger host plant populations. For metapopulation survival of the bee, large pollen plant populations are essential, independent of current bee population size. PMID:19793747

  8. Dynamics of prey moving through a predator field: a model of migrating juvenile salmon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petersen, J.H.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    The migration of a patch of prey through a field of relatively stationary predators is a situation that occurs frequently in nature. Making quantitative predictions concerning such phenomena may be difficult, however, because factors such as the number of the prey in the patch, the spatial length and velocity of the patch, and the feeding rate and satiation of the predators all interact in a complex way. However, such problems are of great practical importance in many management situations; e.g., calculating the mortality of juvenile salmon (smolts) swimming down a river or reservoir containing many predators. Salmon smolts often move downstream in patches short compared with the length of the reservoir. To take into account the spatial dependence of the interaction, we used a spatially-explicit, individual-based modeling approach. We found that the mortality of prey depends strongly on the number of prey in the patch, the downstream velocity of prey in the patch, and the dispersion or spread of the patch in size through time. Some counterintuitive phenomena are predicted, such as predators downstrean capturing more prey per predator than those upstream, even though the number of prey may be greatly depleted by the time the prey patch reaches the downstream predators. Individual-based models may be necessary for complex spatial situations, such as salmonid migration, where processes such as schooling occur at fine scales and affect system predictions. We compare some results to predictions from other salmonid models. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

  9. Hunting strategies in wild common marmosets are prey and age dependent.

    PubMed

    Schiel, Nicola; Souto, Antonio; Huber, Ludwig; Bezerra, Bruna M

    2010-12-01

    We investigated the hunting strategies of wild common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) to determine whether the strategies differed among animals of different age classes and/or prey type. The study was conducted in a fragment of Atlantic Rain Forest, situated 40 km from Recife (PE/Brazil). Twenty-seven individuals from four social groups were observed. Captured prey items were divided into three categories. The hunting strategies of the common marmosets were ranked into four categories. The acquisition of larger prey (items more than 2.0 cm) involved the appropriate body movements and postures that concealed the approaching marmosets, whereas the acquisition of smaller prey (items under 2.0 cm) involved less concealing behaviors. Furthermore, adults and juveniles (age ≥ 5 months) were more capable of capturing larger prey than were younger (1-2 months) or older infants (3-4 months). Although older infants were successful in capturing certain prey, they often failed when they attempted to capture larger prey that jumped and/or used flight to escape. The results suggest that both the experience of the monkeys and escape behavior of the prey affect predation efficiency in wild common marmosets. PMID:20623501

  10. Time series analysis of fine particulate matter and asthma reliever dispensations in populations affected by forest fires

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Several studies have evaluated the association between forest fire smoke and acute exacerbations of respiratory diseases, but few have examined effects on pharmaceutical dispensations. We examine the associations between daily fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and pharmaceutical dispensations for salbutamol in forest fire-affected and non-fire-affected populations in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Methods We estimated PM2.5 exposure for populations in administrative health areas using measurements from central monitors. Remote sensing data on fires were used to classify the populations as fire-affected or non-fire-affected, and to identify extreme fire days. Daily counts of salbutamol dispensations between 2003 and 2010 were extracted from the BC PharmaNet database. We estimated rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each population during all fire seasons and on extreme fire days, adjusted for temperature, humidity, and temporal trends. Overall effects for fire-affected and non-fire-affected populations were estimated via meta-regression. Results Fire season PM2.5 was positively associated with salbutamol dispensations in all fire-affected populations, with a meta-regression RR (95% CI) of 1.06 (1.04-1.07) for a 10 ug/m3 increase. Fire season PM2.5 was not significantly associated with salbutamol dispensations in non-fire-affected populations, with a meta-regression RR of 1.00 (0.98-1.01). On extreme fire days PM2.5 was positively associated with salbutamol dispensations in both population types, with a global meta-regression RR of 1.07 (1.04 - 1.09). Conclusions Salbutamol dispensations were clearly associated with fire-related PM2.5. Significant associations were observed in smaller populations (range: 8,000 to 170,000 persons, median: 26,000) than those reported previously, suggesting that salbutamol dispensations may be a valuable outcome for public health surveillance during fire events. PMID:23356966

  11. Examining the Prey Mass of Terrestrial and Aquatic Carnivorous Mammals: Minimum, Maximum and Range

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Marlee A.; Rogers, Tracey L.

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea). We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial) and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems. PMID:25162695

  12. Examining the prey mass of terrestrial and aquatic carnivorous mammals: minimum, maximum and range.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea). We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial) and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems. PMID:25162695

  13. Further assessment of environmental contaminants in avian prey of the peregrine falcon in big bend National Park, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mora, M.A.; Skiles, R.S.; Paredes, M.

    2007-01-01

    A small resident population of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum) in the Big Bend region of Texas has suffered reproductive failures since 1990. To continue our assessment of the effects of environmental contaminants on the peregrine falcon, we collected representative avian prey species during 2001 at Mariscal Canyon, Big Bend National Park. The avian carcasses were analyzed for inorganic and organochlorine contaminants. Concentrations of Se and Hg were present at high levels (up to 11 and 2.2 ??g/g dry weight, respectively) in some avian prey and could be implicated in reproductive failures of the peregrine falcon in Big Bend National Park. All other inorganic elements were below concentrations known to affect reproduction or to be associated with other deleterious effects in birds. Of all the organochlorines analyzed, only DDE and total PCBs were present above detection limits in all species, although at low concentrations. Our study provides further support to the hypothesis that contaminants in potential avian prey of the peregrine falcon in the Big Bend region are implicated in the productivity failures observed in this species since 1990.

  14. Does population size affect genetic diversity? A test with sympatric lizard species.

    PubMed

    Hague, M T J; Routman, E J

    2016-01-01

    Genetic diversity is a fundamental requirement for evolution and adaptation. Nonetheless, the forces that maintain patterns of genetic variation in wild populations are not completely understood. Neutral theory posits that genetic diversity will increase with a larger effective population size and the decreasing effects of drift. However, the lack of compelling evidence for a relationship between genetic diversity and population size in comparative studies has generated some skepticism over the degree that neutral sequence evolution drives overall patterns of diversity. The goal of this study was to measure genetic diversity among sympatric populations of related lizard species that differ in population size and other ecological factors. By sampling related species from a single geographic location, we aimed to reduce nuisance variance in genetic diversity owing to species differences, for example, in mutation rates or historical biogeography. We compared populations of zebra-tailed lizards and western banded geckos, which are abundant and short-lived, to chuckwallas and desert iguanas, which are less common and long-lived. We assessed population genetic diversity at three protein-coding loci for each species. Our results were consistent with the predictions of neutral theory, as the abundant species almost always had higher levels of haplotype diversity than the less common species. Higher population genetic diversity in the abundant species is likely due to a combination of demographic factors, including larger local population sizes (and presumably effective population sizes), faster generation times and high rates of gene flow with other populations. PMID:26306730

  15. Local Cattle and Badger Populations Affect the Risk of Confirmed Tuberculosis in British Cattle Herds

    PubMed Central

    Vial, Flavie; Johnston, W. Thomas; Donnelly, Christl A.

    2011-01-01

    Background The control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remains a priority on the public health agenda in Great Britain, after launching in 1998 the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of badger (Meles meles) culling as a control strategy. Our study complements previous analyses of the RBCT data (focusing on treatment effects) by presenting analyses of herd-level risks factors associated with the probability of a confirmed bTB breakdown in herds within each treatment: repeated widespread proactive culling, localized reactive culling and no culling (survey-only). Methodology/Principal Findings New cases of bTB breakdowns were monitored inside the RBCT areas from the end of the first proactive badger cull to one year after the last proactive cull. The risk of a herd bTB breakdown was modeled using logistic regression and proportional hazard models adjusting for local farm-level risk factors. Inside survey-only and reactive areas, increased numbers of active badger setts and cattle herds within 1500 m of a farm were associated with an increased bTB risk. Inside proactive areas, the number of M. bovis positive badgers initially culled within 1500 m of a farm was the strongest predictor of the risk of a confirmed bTB breakdown. Conclusions/Significance The use of herd-based models provide insights into how local cattle and badger populations affect the bTB breakdown risks of individual cattle herds in the absence of and in the presence of badger culling. These measures of local bTB risks could be integrated into a risk-based herd testing programme to improve the targeting of interventions aimed at reducing the risks of bTB transmission. PMID:21464920

  16. How Much Is Too Much? Assessment of Prey Consumption by Magellanic Penguins in Patagonian Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Sala, Juan E.; Wilson, Rory P.; Quintana, Flavio

    2012-01-01

    Penguins are major consumers in the southern oceans although quantification of this has been problematic. One suggestion proposes the use of points of inflection in diving profiles (‘wiggles’) for this, a method that has been validated for the estimation of prey consumption by Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) by Simeone and Wilson (2003). Following them, we used wiggles from 31 depth logger-equipped Magellanic penguins foraging from four Patagonian colonies; Punta Norte (PN), Bahía Bustamente (BB), Puerto Deseado (PD) and Puerto San Julián (PSJ), all located in Argentina between 42–49° S, to estimate the prey captured and calculate the catch per unit time (CPUT) for birds foraging during the early chick-rearing period. Numbers of prey caught and CPUT were significantly different between colonies. Birds from PD caught the highest number of prey per foraging trip, with CPUT values of 68±19 prey per hour underwater (almost two times greater than for the three remaining colonies). We modeled consumption from these data and calculate that the world Magellanic penguin population consumes about 2 million tons of prey per year. Possible errors in this calculation are discussed. Despite this, the analysis of wiggles seems a powerful and simple tool to begin to quantify prey consumption by Magellanic penguins, allowing comparison between different breeding sites. The total number of wiggles and/or CPUT do not reflect, by themselves, the availability of food for each colony, as the number of prey consumed by foraging trip is strongly associated with the energy content and wet mass of each colony-specific ‘prey type’. Individuals consuming more profitable prey could be optimizing the time spent underwater, thereby optimizing the energy expenditure associated with the dives. PMID:23251554

  17. How much is too much? Assessment of prey consumption by Magellanic penguins in Patagonian colonies.

    PubMed

    Sala, Juan E; Wilson, Rory P; Quintana, Flavio

    2012-01-01

    Penguins are major consumers in the southern oceans although quantification of this has been problematic. One suggestion proposes the use of points of inflection in diving profiles ('wiggles') for this, a method that has been validated for the estimation of prey consumption by Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) by Simeone and Wilson (2003). Following them, we used wiggles from 31 depth logger-equipped Magellanic penguins foraging from four Patagonian colonies; Punta Norte (PN), Bahía Bustamente (BB), Puerto Deseado (PD) and Puerto San Julián (PSJ), all located in Argentina between 42-49° S, to estimate the prey captured and calculate the catch per unit time (CPUT) for birds foraging during the early chick-rearing period. Numbers of prey caught and CPUT were significantly different between colonies. Birds from PD caught the highest number of prey per foraging trip, with CPUT values of 68±19 prey per hour underwater (almost two times greater than for the three remaining colonies). We modeled consumption from these data and calculate that the world Magellanic penguin population consumes about 2 million tons of prey per year. Possible errors in this calculation are discussed. Despite this, the analysis of wiggles seems a powerful and simple tool to begin to quantify prey consumption by Magellanic penguins, allowing comparison between different breeding sites. The total number of wiggles and/or CPUT do not reflect, by themselves, the availability of food for each colony, as the number of prey consumed by foraging trip is strongly associated with the energy content and wet mass of each colony-specific 'prey type'. Individuals consuming more profitable prey could be optimizing the time spent underwater, thereby optimizing the energy expenditure associated with the dives. PMID:23251554

  18. Warming reinforces nonconsumptive predator effects on prey growth, physiology, and body stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Janssens, Lizanne; Van Dievel, Marie; Stoks, Robby

    2015-12-01

    While nonconsumptive effects of predators may strongly affect prey populations, little is known how future warming will modulate these effects. Such information would be especially relevant with regard to prey physiology and resulting changes in prey stoichiometry. We investigated in Enallagma cyathigerum damselfly larvae the effects of a 4°C warming (20°C vs. 24°C) and predation risk on growth rate, physiology and body stoichiometry, for the first time including all key mechanisms suggested by the general stress paradigm (GSP) on how stressors shape changes in body stoichiometry. Growth rate and energy storage were higher at 24°C. Based on thermodynamic principles and the growth rate hypothesis, we could demonstrate predictable reductions in body C:P under warming and link these to the increase in P-rich RNA; the associated warming-induced decrease in C:N may be explained by the increased synthesis of N-rich proteins. Yet, under predation risk, growth rate instead decreased with warming and the warming-induced decreases in C:N and C:P disappeared. As predicted by the GSP, larvae increased body C:N and C:P at 24°C under predation risk. Notably, we did not detect the assumed GSP-mechanisms driving these changes: despite an increased metabolic rate there was neither an increase of C-rich biomolecules (instead fat and sugar contents decreased under predation risk), nor a decrease of N-rich proteins. We hypothesize that the higher C:N and N:P under predation risk are caused by a higher investment in morphological defense. This may also explain the stronger predator-induced increase in C:N under warming. The expected higher C:P under predation risk was only present under warming and matched the observed growth reduction and associated reduction in P-rich RNA. Our integrated mechanistic approach unraveled novel pathways of how warming and predation risk shape body stoichiometry. Key findings that (1) warming effects on elemental stoichiometry were predictable and

  19. 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.

  20. The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yongbo; Stewart, C Neal; Li, Junsheng; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xitao

    2015-12-01

    The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure. PMID:26338267

  1. Medium-sized exotic prey create novel food webs: the case of predators and scavengers consuming lagomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Hiraldo, Fernando; Lambertucci, Sergio A.

    2016-01-01

    Food web interactions are key to community structure. The introduction of species can be seen as an uncontrolled experiment of the addition of species. Introduced species lead to multiple changes, frequently threatening the native biodiversity. However, little is known about their direct effect on the upper level of the food web. In this study we review empirical data on the predator–prey relationship between the introduced lagomorphs and their consumers, and use meta-analytical tools to quantify the strength of their interactions. We expect that exotic lagomorphs will destabilize food webs, affect ecological processes and compromise the conservation of the invaded regions. We found 156 studies on the diet of 43 species of predators that consume lagomorphs as exotic preys in South America and Oceania. We found an average exotic lagomorphs-predator link of 20% which indicates a strong interaction, given that the average for the strongest links with native prey (when lagomorphs are not included in the predator diet) is about 24%. Additionally, this last link decreases to 17% when lagomorphs are present. When lagomorphs arrive in a new environment they may become the most important resource for predators, producing an unstable equilibrium in the novel food web. Any disruption of this interaction could have catastrophic consequences for the native diversity by directly impacting predators or indirectly impacting native preys by apparent competition. Eradication or any change in their abundances should be carefully considered in conservation actions since those will have great impacts on predator populations and ultimately in the whole communities. PMID:27547575

  2. Medium-sized exotic prey create novel food webs: the case of predators and scavengers consuming lagomorphs.

    PubMed

    Barbar, Facundo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Lambertucci, Sergio A

    2016-01-01

    Food web interactions are key to community structure. The introduction of species can be seen as an uncontrolled experiment of the addition of species. Introduced species lead to multiple changes, frequently threatening the native biodiversity. However, little is known about their direct effect on the upper level of the food web. In this study we review empirical data on the predator-prey relationship between the introduced lagomorphs and their consumers, and use meta-analytical tools to quantify the strength of their interactions. We expect that exotic lagomorphs will destabilize food webs, affect ecological processes and compromise the conservation of the invaded regions. We found 156 studies on the diet of 43 species of predators that consume lagomorphs as exotic preys in South America and Oceania. We found an average exotic lagomorphs-predator link of 20% which indicates a strong interaction, given that the average for the strongest links with native prey (when lagomorphs are not included in the predator diet) is about 24%. Additionally, this last link decreases to 17% when lagomorphs are present. When lagomorphs arrive in a new environment they may become the most important resource for predators, producing an unstable equilibrium in the novel food web. Any disruption of this interaction could have catastrophic consequences for the native diversity by directly impacting predators or indirectly impacting native preys by apparent competition. Eradication or any change in their abundances should be carefully considered in conservation actions since those will have great impacts on predator populations and ultimately in the whole communities. PMID:27547575

  3. Falling Victim to Wasps in the Air: A Fate Driven by Prey Flight Morphology?

    PubMed Central

    Ballesteros, Yolanda; Polidori, Carlo; Tormos, José; Baños-Picón, Laura; Asís, Josep D.

    2016-01-01

    In prey-predator systems where the interacting individuals are both fliers, the flight performance of both participants heavily influences the probability of success of the predator (the prey is captured) and of the prey (the predator is avoided). While the flight morphology (an estimate of flight performance) of predatory wasps has rarely been addressed as a factor that may contribute to explain prey use, how the flight morphology of potential prey influences the output of predator-prey encounters has not been studied. Here, we hypothesized that flight morphology associated with flight ability (flight muscle mass to body mass ratio (FMR) and body mass to wing area ratio (wing loading, WL)) of Diptera affect their probability of being captured by specialized Diptera-hunting wasps (Bembix merceti and B. zonata), predicting a better manoeuvrability and acceleration capacity achieved by higher FMR and lower WL, and flight speed achieved by higher WL. In addition, wasp species with better flight morphology should be less limited by an advantageous Diptera flight morphology. Overall, the abundance of dipterans in the environment explained an important part of the observed variance in prey capture rate. However, it was not the only factor shaping prey capture. First, higher prey abundance was associated with greater capture rate for one species (B. merceti), although not for the other one. Second, the interaction observed between the environmental dipteran availability and dipteran WL for B. zonata suggests that greater dipteran WL (this probably meaning high cruising speed) decreased the probability of being captured, as long as fly abundance was high in the environment. Third, greater dipteran FMR (which likely means high manoeuvrability and acceleration capacity) helped to reduce predation by B. merceti if, again, dipterans were abundant in the environment. Wasp WL only varied with body mass but not between species, thereby hardly accounting for inter

  4. Falling Victim to Wasps in the Air: A Fate Driven by Prey Flight Morphology?

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Yolanda; Polidori, Carlo; Tormos, José; Baños-Picón, Laura; Asís, Josep D

    2016-01-01

    In prey-predator systems where the interacting individuals are both fliers, the flight performance of both participants heavily influences the probability of success of the predator (the prey is captured) and of the prey (the predator is avoided). While the flight morphology (an estimate of flight performance) of predatory wasps has rarely been addressed as a factor that may contribute to explain prey use, how the flight morphology of potential prey influences the output of predator-prey encounters has not been studied. Here, we hypothesized that flight morphology associated with flight ability (flight muscle mass to body mass ratio (FMR) and body mass to wing area ratio (wing loading, WL)) of Diptera affect their probability of being captured by specialized Diptera-hunting wasps (Bembix merceti and B. zonata), predicting a better manoeuvrability and acceleration capacity achieved by higher FMR and lower WL, and flight speed achieved by higher WL. In addition, wasp species with better flight morphology should be less limited by an advantageous Diptera flight morphology. Overall, the abundance of dipterans in the environment explained an important part of the observed variance in prey capture rate. However, it was not the only factor shaping prey capture. First, higher prey abundance was associated with greater capture rate for one species (B. merceti), although not for the other one. Second, the interaction observed between the environmental dipteran availability and dipteran WL for B. zonata suggests that greater dipteran WL (this probably meaning high cruising speed) decreased the probability of being captured, as long as fly abundance was high in the environment. Third, greater dipteran FMR (which likely means high manoeuvrability and acceleration capacity) helped to reduce predation by B. merceti if, again, dipterans were abundant in the environment. Wasp WL only varied with body mass but not between species, thereby hardly accounting for inter

  5. Piscivory in juvenile walleyes: Relative importance of prey species, timing of spawning of prey fish, and density on growth and survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolar, C.S.; Wahl, David H.; Hooe, M.L.

    2003-01-01

    We examined the effect of the timing of spawning by prey fish and the species of prey fish on the growth and survival of juvenile walleye Stizostedion vitreum. We expected that age-0 walleyes would grow more in ponds when stocked about the same time as the spawning of gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum than when stocked about 6 weeks after spawning. We found, however, that the timing of larval gizzard shad presence did not affect walleye growth or survival. Also contrary to our expectations, walleyes from ponds with bluegill Lepomis macrochirus grew more (by 9% in total length and 38% in mass) than those from ponds with gizzard shad. However, the density of gizzard shad was lower than that of bluegills, particularly after the first few weeks of the experiment. Bluegills remained within the gape limits of walleyes throughout the experiment, whereas gizzard shad outgrew their vulnerability to predation. Late-spawned gizzard shad remained vulnerable to walleye predation only slightly longer than did those from early spawned ponds. The survival of age-0 walleyes was unaffected by water temperature, the timing of spawning by prey fish, prey species, or density. Our results suggest that even though walleyes typically grow faster in systems with gizzard shad as prey than in those with bluegills, juvenile walleyes can still grow well in bluegill-dominated systems. In some systems, high densities of a less beneficial prey (e.g., abundant bluegills rather than less abundant gizzard shad) may overcome the growth differences of juvenile walleyes that would be expected based on the differences in prey species alone. A wide variation in individual walleye growth in our ponds, even within prey treatments, indicated the complexity of interactions among the factors affecting juvenile walleye growth.

  6. Selection pressure, cropping system and rhizosphere proximity affect atrazine degrader populations and activity in s-triazine adapted soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Atrazine degrader populations and activity in s-triazine adapted soils are likely affected by interactions among and (or) between s-triazine application frequency, crop production system, and proximity to the rhizosphere. A field study was conducted on an s-triazine adapted soil to determine the ef...

  7. Deterministic and Stochastic Analysis of a Prey-Dependent Predator-Prey System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maiti, Alakes; Samanta, G. P.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reports on studies of the deterministic and stochastic behaviours of a predator-prey system with prey-dependent response function. The first part of the paper deals with the deterministic analysis of uniform boundedness, permanence, stability and bifurcation. In the second part the reproductive and mortality factors of the prey and…

  8. "Prey Play": Learning about Predators and Prey through an Interactive, Role-Play Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deaton, Cynthia C. M.; Dodd, Kristen; Drennon, Katherine; Nagle, Jack

    2012-01-01

    "Prey Play" is an interactive role-play activity that provides fifth-grade students with opportunities to examine predator-prey interactions. This four-part, role-play activity allows students to take on the role of a predator and prey as they reflect on the behaviors animals exhibit as they collect food and interact with one another, as well as…

  9. 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…

  10. FUNGAL POPULATIONS ASSOCIATED TO NETTING TISSUE OF GALIA MELONS AFFECTING QUALITY DURING STORAGE.

    PubMed

    Parra, M A; Aguilar, F W; Martínez, J A

    2015-01-01

    Galia melons are produced in southeast Spain and exported to other European countries. The main problem of melons during transport and storage consists of the development of epiphytic populations of fungi living inside the netting areas located on fruit surface. These areas are natural wounds which are covered by local suberin and lignin secretion induced by the plant in response to the natural skin wounds which occurs during fruit growing. These fungi are growing from the scarce organic matter and nutrients that are either deposited or segregated from the fruit. Several genera of fungi have commonly been associated to those areas such as some species of Fusarium, Cladosporium sp. and Alternaria sp. and a few others. All microorganisms were living in an ecological equilibrium. However, when water was present inside the netting areas, the growth of Cladosporium sp. was exacerbated and then, the ecological equilibrium was broken, therefore these grey areas turned to green-dark colour due to hyphal development of this fungus. This process deteriorated visual quality of fruits, therefore the increase of losses during transport and storage were noticeable. A relative humidity very high, round 100% or a thinner layer of water condensed in these areas were sufficient to increase epiphytic development of Cladosporium without causing decay, even at refrigeration temperature. However, when relative humidity was lower than about 98%, no growth of aerial hyphae of Cladosporium was observed. In contrast, some brown stains round netting areas were developed due to the growth of the fungus through skin layers causing severe decay after 32 days of storage at 7 degrees C. When the affected fruits were transferred at ambient temperature, aerial mycelium of Cladosporium emerged from those brown skin areas exacerbating the losses. In conclusion, water condensation should be avoided to prevent epiphytic development of Cladosporium. If washing treatment of fruits is carried out during

  11. Historical contingency affects signaling strategies and competitive abilities in evolving populations of simulated robots.

    PubMed

    Wischmann, Steffen; Floreano, Dario; Keller, Laurent

    2012-01-17

    One of the key innovations during the evolution of life on earth has been the emergence of efficient communication systems, yet little is known about the causes and consequences of the great diversity within and between species. By conducting experimental evolution in 20 independently evolving populations of cooperatively foraging simulated robots, we found that historical contingency in the occurrence order of novel phenotypic traits resulted in the emergence of two distinct communication strategies. The more complex foraging strategy was less efficient than the simpler strategy. However, when the 20 populations were placed in competition with each other, the populations with the more complex strategy outperformed the populations with the less complex strategy. These results demonstrate a tradeoff between communication efficiency and robustness and suggest that stochastic events have important effects on signal evolution and the outcome of competition between distinct populations. PMID:22215591

  12. Top carnivores increase their kill rates on prey as a response to human-induced fear.

    PubMed

    Smith, Justine A; Wang, Yiwei; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2015-03-01

    The fear induced by predators on their prey is well known to cause behavioural adjustments by prey that can ripple through food webs. Little is known, however, about the analogous impacts of humans as perceived top predators on the foraging behaviour of carnivores. Here, we investigate the influence of human-induced fear on puma foraging behaviour using location and prey consumption data from 30 tagged individuals living along a gradient of human development. We observed strong behavioural responses by female pumas to human development, whereby their fidelity to kill sites and overall consumption time of prey declined with increasing housing density by 36 and 42%, respectively. Females responded to this decline in prey consumption time by increasing the number of deer they killed in high housing density areas by 36% over what they killed in areas with little residential development. The loss of food from declines in prey consumption time paired with increases in energetic costs associated with killing more prey may have consequences for puma populations, particularly with regard to reproductive success. In addition, greater carcass availability is likely to alter community dynamics by augmenting food resources for scavengers. In light of the extensive and growing impact of habitat modification, our study emphasizes that knowledge of the indirect effects of human activity on animal behaviour is a necessary component in understanding anthropogenic impacts on community dynamics and food web function. PMID:25608884

  13. Top carnivores increase their kill rates on prey as a response to human-induced fear

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Justine A.; Wang, Yiwei; Wilmers, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    The fear induced by predators on their prey is well known to cause behavioural adjustments by prey that can ripple through food webs. Little is known, however, about the analogous impacts of humans as perceived top predators on the foraging behaviour of carnivores. Here, we investigate the influence of human-induced fear on puma foraging behaviour using location and prey consumption data from 30 tagged individuals living along a gradient of human development. We observed strong behavioural responses by female pumas to human development, whereby their fidelity to kill sites and overall consumption time of prey declined with increasing housing density by 36 and 42%, respectively. Females responded to this decline in prey consumption time by increasing the number of deer they killed in high housing density areas by 36% over what they killed in areas with little residential development. The loss of food from declines in prey consumption time paired with increases in energetic costs associated with killing more prey may have consequences for puma populations, particularly with regard to reproductive success. In addition, greater carcass availability is likely to alter community dynamics by augmenting food resources for scavengers. In light of the extensive and growing impact of habitat modification, our study emphasizes that knowledge of the indirect effects of human activity on animal behaviour is a necessary component in understanding anthropogenic impacts on community dynamics and food web function. PMID:25608884

  14. Multimodal cues improve prey localization under complex environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Rhebergen, F; Taylor, R C; Ryan, M J; Page, R A; Halfwerk, W

    2015-09-01

    Predators often eavesdrop on sexual displays of their prey. These displays can provide multimodal cues that aid predators, but the benefits in attending to them should depend on the environmental sensory conditions under which they forage. We assessed whether bats hunting for frogs use multimodal cues to locate their prey and whether their use varies with ambient conditions. We used a robotic set-up mimicking the sexual display of a male túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) to test prey assessment by fringe-lipped bats (Trachops cirrhosus). These predatory bats primarily use sound of the frog's call to find their prey, but the bats also use echolocation cues returning from the frog's dynamically moving vocal sac. In the first experiment, we show that multimodal cues affect attack behaviour: bats made narrower flank attack angles on multimodal trials compared with unimodal trials during which they could only rely on the sound of the frog. In the second experiment, we explored the bat's use of prey cues in an acoustically more complex environment. Túngara frogs often form mixed-species choruses with other frogs, including the hourglass frog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus). Using a multi-speaker set-up, we tested bat approaches and attacks on the robofrog under three different levels of acoustic complexity: no calling D. ebraccatus males, two calling D. ebraccatus males and five D. ebraccatus males. We found that bats are more directional in their approach to the robofrog when more D. ebraccatus males were calling. Thus, bats seemed to benefit more from multimodal cues when confronted with increased levels of acoustic complexity in their foraging environments. Our data have important consequences for our understanding of the evolution of multimodal sexual displays as they reveal how environmental conditions can alter the natural selection pressures acting on them. PMID:26336176

  15. Multimodal cues improve prey localization under complex environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Rhebergen, F.; Taylor, R. C.; Ryan, M. J.; Page, R. A.; Halfwerk, W.

    2015-01-01

    Predators often eavesdrop on sexual displays of their prey. These displays can provide multimodal cues that aid predators, but the benefits in attending to them should depend on the environmental sensory conditions under which they forage. We assessed whether bats hunting for frogs use multimodal cues to locate their prey and whether their use varies with ambient conditions. We used a robotic set-up mimicking the sexual display of a male túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) to test prey assessment by fringe-lipped bats (Trachops cirrhosus). These predatory bats primarily use sound of the frog's call to find their prey, but the bats also use echolocation cues returning from the frog's dynamically moving vocal sac. In the first experiment, we show that multimodal cues affect attack behaviour: bats made narrower flank attack angles on multimodal trials compared with unimodal trials during which they could only rely on the sound of the frog. In the second experiment, we explored the bat's use of prey cues in an acoustically more complex environment. Túngara frogs often form mixed-species choruses with other frogs, including the hourglass frog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus). Using a multi-speaker set-up, we tested bat approaches and attacks on the robofrog under three different levels of acoustic complexity: no calling D. ebraccatus males, two calling D. ebraccatus males and five D. ebraccatus males. We found that bats are more directional in their approach to the robofrog when more D. ebraccatus males were calling. Thus, bats seemed to benefit more from multimodal cues when confronted with increased levels of acoustic complexity in their foraging environments. Our data have important consequences for our understanding of the evolution of multimodal sexual displays as they reveal how environmental conditions can alter the natural selection pressures acting on them. PMID:26336176

  16. 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

    concentrated, and further, often in locations where these concentrations were persistent. Fin whales were associated with locations where age-1 pollock were more likely, similar to black-legged kittiwakes and thick-billed murres, but their association with euphausiids was unclear. Our results suggest that a predator's foraging mode and their restrictions during breeding affect their response to prey persistence.

  17. Feeling the heat: the effect of acute temperature changes on predator–prey interactions in coral reef fish

    PubMed Central

    Allan, Bridie J. M.; Domenici, Paolo; Munday, Phillip L.; McCormick, Mark I.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate that the elevated temperatures predicted to occur by the end of the century can affect the physiological performance and behaviour of larval and juvenile fishes; however, little is known of the effect of these temperatures on ecological processes, such as predator–prey interactions. Here, we show that exposure to elevated temperatures significantly affected the predator–prey interactions of a pair of common reef fish, the planktivorous damselfish (Pomacentrus wardi) and the piscivorous dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus). When predators exposed to elevated temperatures interacted with prey exposed in a similar manner, maximal attack speeds increased. This effect coupled with decreasing prey escape speeds and escape distances led to increased predation rates. Prey exposed to elevated temperatures also had decreased reaction distances and increased apparent looming threshold, suggesting that their sensory performance was affected. This occurred despite the increase in maximal attack speeds, which in other species has been shown to increase reaction distances. These results suggest that the escape performance of prey is sensitive to short-term increases in ambient temperature. As marine environments become more thermally variable in the future, our results demonstrate that some predators may become more successful, suggesting that there will be strong selection for the maintenance of maximal escape performance in prey. In the present era of rapid climate change, understanding how changes to individual performance influence the relationships between predators and their prey will be increasingly important in predicting the effects of climate change within ecosystems. PMID:27293696

  18. Global warming alters sound transmission: differential impact on the prey detection ability of echolocating bats

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jinhong; Koselj, Klemen; Zsebők, Sándor; Siemers, Björn M.; Goerlitz, Holger R.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change impacts the biogeography and phenology of plants and animals, yet the underlying mechanisms are little known. Here, we present a functional link between rising temperature and the prey detection ability of echolocating bats. The maximum distance for echo-based prey detection is physically determined by sound attenuation. Attenuation is more pronounced for high-frequency sound, such as echolocation, and is a nonlinear function of both call frequency and ambient temperature. Hence, the prey detection ability, and thus possibly the foraging efficiency, of echolocating bats and susceptible to rising temperatures through climate change. Using present-day climate data and projected temperature rises, we modelled this effect for the entire range of bat call frequencies and climate zones around the globe. We show that depending on call frequency, the prey detection volume of bats will either decrease or increase: species calling above a crossover frequency will lose and species emitting lower frequencies will gain prey detection volume, with crossover frequency and magnitude depending on the local climatic conditions. Within local species assemblages, this may cause a change in community composition. Global warming can thus directly affect the prey detection ability of individual bats and indirectly their interspecific interactions with competitors and prey. PMID:24335559

  19. Global warming alters sound transmission: differential impact on the prey detection ability of echolocating bats.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jinhong; Koselj, Klemen; Zsebok, Sándor; Siemers, Björn M; Goerlitz, Holger R

    2014-02-01

    Climate change impacts the biogeography and phenology of plants and animals, yet the underlying mechanisms are little known. Here, we present a functional link between rising temperature and the prey detection ability of echolocating bats. The maximum distance for echo-based prey detection is physically determined by sound attenuation. Attenuation is more pronounced for high-frequency sound, such as echolocation, and is a nonlinear function of both call frequency and ambient temperature. Hence, the prey detection ability, and thus possibly the foraging efficiency, of echolocating bats and susceptible to rising temperatures through climate change. Using present-day climate data and projected temperature rises, we modelled this effect for the entire range of bat call frequencies and climate zones around the globe. We show that depending on call frequency, the prey detection volume of bats will either decrease or increase: species calling above a crossover frequency will lose and species emitting lower frequencies will gain prey detection volume, with crossover frequency and magnitude depending on the local climatic conditions. Within local species assemblages, this may cause a change in community composition. Global warming can thus directly affect the prey detection ability of individual bats and indirectly their interspecific interactions with competitors and prey. PMID:24335559

  20. Memory and obesity affect the population dynamics of asexual freshwater planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunkel, Jörn; Talbot, Jared; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-04-01

    Asexual reproduction in multicellular organisms is a complex biophysical process that is not yet well understood quantitatively. Here, we report a detailed population study for the asexual freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, which can reproduce via transverse fission due to a large stem cell contingent. Our long-term observations of isolated non-interacting planarian populations reveal that the characteristic fission waiting time distributions for head and tail fragments differ significantly from each other. The stochastic fission dynamics of tail fragments exhibits non-negligible memory effects, implying that an accurate mathematical description of future data should be based on non-Markovian tree models. By comparing the effective growth of non-interacting planarian populations with those of self-interacting populations, we are able to quantify the influence of interactions between flatworms and physical conditions on the population growth. A surprising result is the non-monotonic relationship between effective population growth rate and nutrient supply: planarians exhibit a tendency to become 'obese' if the feeding frequency exceeds a critical level, resulting in a decreased reproduction activity. This suggests that these flatworms, which possess many genes homologous to those of humans, could become a new model system for studying dietary effects on reproduction and regeneration in multicellular organisms.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Innate and Learned Prey-Searching Behavior in a Generalist Predator.

    PubMed

    Ardanuy, Agnès; Albajes, Ramon; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-06-01

    Early colonization by Zyginidia scutellaris leafhoppers might be a key factor in the attraction and settling of generalist predators, such as Orius spp., in maize fields. In this paper, we aimed to determine whether our observations of early season increases in field populations of Orius spp. reflect a specific attraction to Z. scutellaris-induced maize volatiles, and how the responses of Orius predators to herbivore-induced volatiles (HIPVs) might be affected by previous experiences on plants infested by herbivorous prey. Therefore, we examined the innate and learned preferences of Orius majusculus toward volatiles from maize plants attacked by three potential herbivores with different feeding strategies: the leafhopper Z. scutellaris (mesophyll feeder), the lepidopteran Spodoptera littoralis (chewer), and another leafhopper Dalbulus maidis (phloem feeder). In addition, we examined the volatile profiles emitted by maize plants infested by the three herbivores. Our results show that predators exhibit a strong innate attraction to volatiles from maize plants infested with Z. scutellaris or S. littoralis. Previous predation experience in the presence of HIPVs influences the predator's odor preferences. The innate preference for plants with cell or tissue damage may be explained by these plants releasing far more volatiles than plants infested by the phloem-sucking D. maidis. However, a predation experience on D. maidis-infested plants increased the preference for D. maidis-induced maize volatiles. After O. majusculus experienced L3-L4 larvae (too large to serve as prey) on S. littoralis-infested plants, they showed reduced attraction toward these plants and an increased attraction toward D. maidis-infested plants. When offered young larvae of S. littoralis, which are more suitable prey, preference toward HIPVs was similar to that of naive individuals. The HIPVs from plants infested by herbivores with distinctly different feeding strategies showed distinguishable

  4. Continuous and discrete extreme climatic events affecting the dynamics of a high-arctic reindeer population.

    PubMed

    Chan, Kung-Sik; Mysterud, Atle; Øritsland, Nils Are; Severinsen, Torbjørn; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2005-10-01

    Climate at northern latitudes are currently changing both with regard to the mean and the temporal variability at any given site, increasing the frequency of extreme events such as cold and warm spells. Here we use a conceptually new modelling approach with two different dynamic terms of the climatic effects on a Svalbard reindeer population (the Brøggerhalvøya population) which underwent an extreme icing event ("locked pastures") with 80% reduction in population size during one winter (1993/94). One term captures the continuous and linear effect depending upon the Arctic Oscillation and another the discrete (rare) "event" process. The introduction of an "event" parameter describing the discrete extreme winter resulted in a more parsimonious model. Such an approach may be useful in strongly age-structured ungulate populations, with young and very old individuals being particularly prone to mortality factors during adverse conditions (resulting in a population structure that differs before and after extreme climatic events). A simulation study demonstrates that our approach is able to properly detect the ecological effects of such extreme climate events. PMID:16010537

  5. Individual-based model of young-of-the-year striped bass population dynamics. II. Factors affecting recruitment in the Potomac River, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, J.H. ); Rose, K.A. ); Rutherford, E.S.; Houde, E.D. )

    1993-05-01

    An individual-based model of the population dynamics of young-of-the-year striped bass Morone saxatilis in the Potomac River, Maryland, was used to test the hypothesis that historically high recruitment variability can be explained by changes in environmental and biological factors that result in relatively small changes in growth and mortality rates of striped bass larvae. The four factors examined were (1) size distribution of female parents, (2) zooplankton prey density during the development of striped bass larvae, (3) density of completing larval white perch M. americana, and (4) temperature during larval development. Simulation results suggest that variations in female size and in prey for larvae alone could cause 10-fold variability in recruitment. But no single factor alone caused changes in vital rates of age-0 fish that could account for the 145-fold variability in the Potomac River index of juvenile recruitment. However, combined positive or negative effects of two or more factors resulted in more than a 150-fold simulated recruitment variability, suggesting that combinations of factors can account for the high observed annual variability in striped bass recruitment success. Higher cumulative mortality of feeding larvae and younger life stages than of juveniles was common to all simulations. supporting the contention that striped bass year-class strength is determined prior to metamorphosis. 76 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs.

  6. Estimating the Size of HIV Key Affected Populations in Chongqing, China, Using the Network Scale-Up Method

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Wen; Wu, Guohui; Zhang, Wei; Hladik, Wolfgang; Abdul-Quader, Abu; Bulterys, Marc; Fuller, Serena; Wang, Lu

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To estimate the average social network size in the general population and the size of HIV key affected populations (KAPs) in Chongqing municipality using the network scale-up method (NSUM). Methods A general population survey was conducted in 2011 through a multistage random sampling method. Participants aged between 18 and 60 years were recruited. The average social network size (c) was estimated and adjusted by known population method. The size of HIV KAP in Chongqing municipality was estimated using the adjusted c value with adjustment for the transmission effect using the scaled respect factor. Results 3,026 inhabitants of Chongqing agreed to the survey, and 2,957 (97.7%) completed the questionnaire. The adjusted c value was 310. The estimated size of KAP was 28,418(95% Confidence Interval (CI):26,636∼30,201) for female sex workers (FSW), 163,199(95%CI:156,490∼169,908) for clients of FSW, 37,959(95%CI: 34,888∼41,030) for drug users (DU), 14,975(95%CI:13,047∼16,904) for injecting drug users (IDU) and 16,767(95%CI:14,602∼18,932) for men who have sex with men (MSM). The ratio of clients to FSW was 5.74∶1, and IDU accounted for 39.5% of the DU population. The estimates suggest that FSW account for 0.37% of the female population aged 15–49 years in Chongqing, and clients of FSW and MSM represent 2.09% and 0.21% of the male population aged 15–49 years in the city, respectively. Conclusion NSUM provides reasonable population size estimates for FSW, their clients, DU and IDU in Chongqing. However, it is likely to underestimate the population size of MSM even after adjusting for the transmission effect. PMID:23967246

  7. Wolf population dynamics in the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains are affected by recruitment and human-caused mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gude, J.A.; Mitchell, M.S.; Russell, R.E.; Sime, C.A.; Bangs, E.E.; Mech, L.D.; Ream, R.R.

    2012-01-01

    Reliable analyses can help wildlife managers make good decisions, which are particularly critical for controversial decisions such as wolf (Canis lupus) harvest. Creel and Rotella (2010) recently predicted substantial population declines in Montana wolf populations due to harvest, in contrast to predictions made by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP). We replicated their analyses considering only those years in which field monitoring was consistent, and we considered the effect of annual variation in recruitment on wolf population growth. Rather than assuming constant rates, we used model selection methods to evaluate and incorporate models of factors driving recruitment and human-caused mortality rates in wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Using data from 27 area-years of intensive wolf monitoring, we show that variation in both recruitment and human-caused mortality affect annual wolf population growth rates and that human-caused mortality rates have increased with the sizes of wolf populations. We document that recruitment rates have decreased over time, and we speculate that rates have decreased with increasing population sizes and/or that the ability of current field resources to document recruitment rates has recently become less successful as the number of wolves in the region has increased. Estimates of positive wolf population growth in Montana from our top models are consistent with field observations and estimates previously made by MFWP for 2008-2010, whereas the predictions for declining wolf populations of Creel and Rotella (2010) are not. Familiarity with limitations of raw data, obtained first-hand or through consultation with scientists who collected the data, helps generate more reliable inferences and conclusions in analyses of publicly available datasets. Additionally, development of efficient monitoring methods for wolves is a pressing need, so that analyses such as ours will be possible in future years when fewer resources

  8. Dynamics of a predator-prey model with Allee effect and prey group defense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saleh, Khairul

    2015-02-01

    Dynamical properties of a Gauss type of planar predator-prey system with Allee effect and non-monotonic response function are discussed. We are interested in persistent features lying in the first quadrant, which amount to structurally stable phase portraits. We show that all positive solutions are uniformly bounded. It is also proved that the system has at most two equilibria in the interior of the first quadrant and can exhibit interesting bifurcation phenomena, including Bogdanov-Takens, Hopf, transcritical and saddle-node bifurcations. The system may have a stable periodic orbit, or a homoclinic loop, or a heteroclinic connection, a saddle point, or a stable focus, depending on parameter values. Biologically, both populations may survive for certain values of parameters. Computer simulations are also given in support of the conclusions.

  9. Genetic changes from artificial propagation of Pacific salmon affect the productivity and viability of supplemented populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reisenbichler, R.R.; Rubin, S.P.

    1999-01-01

    Although several studies have shown genetic differences between hatchery and wild anadromous Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), none has provided compelling evidence that artificial propagation poses a genetic threat to conservation of naturally spawning populations. When the published studies and three studies in progress are considered collectively, however, they provide strong evidence that the fitness for natural spawning and rearing can be rapidly and substantially reduced by artificial propagation. This issue takes on great importance in the Pacific Northwest where supplementation of wild salmon populations with hatchery fish has been identified as an important tool for restoring these populations. Recognition of negative aspects may lead to restricted use of supplementation, and better conservation, better evaluation, and greater benefits when supplementation is used.

  10. Country of birth affects blood pressure in the French hypertensive diabetic population

    PubMed Central

    Aoun Bahous, Sola; Thomas, Frédérique; Pannier, Bruno; Danchin, Nicolas; Safar, Michel E.

    2015-01-01

    In a population of 56,242 individuals living in France, we showed that individuals born in France have significantly different levels of blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular (CV) risk factors than African and Asian populations born in their own country but living long-term in France (average duration of stay, 5–10 years). The objective of our study was to investigate the impact of country of birth on BP and CV risk factors in a subpopulation of 9245 patients selected solely on the diagnosis of hypertension, either alone or with simultaneous type 2 diabetes. In the subgroup of individuals with hypertension alone, brachial systolic, diastolic, mean and pulse pressure (PP), heart rate (HR), augmentation index and PP amplification were significantly higher in African-born than French- and Asian-born populations. In the subgroup of individuals with both hypertension and diabetes, only augmentation index, PP amplification and brachial and central PP, but not brachial systolic, diastolic, mean BP, and HR, were elevated when the African-born subgroup was compared to the French- and Asian-born populations. Increased body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), and deprivation scores, but not increased plasma lipids or glycemia, were consistently associated with the African-born population. The combination of diabetes and hypertension in African populations was associated with increased aortic stiffness and PP, together with greater body weight and WHR. In individuals with increased PP and hence systolic hypertension, increased PP requires systolic BP to be reduced whereas notable reductions in diastolic BP may have deleterious consequences. PMID:26388785

  11. Prey detection by great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) in clear and in turbid water.

    PubMed

    Strod, Tamir; Izhaki, Ido; Arad, Zeev; Katzir, Gadi

    2008-03-01

    The scattering and absorption of light by water molecules and by suspended and dissolved matter (turbidity) degrade image transmission and, thus, underwater perception. We tested the effects on visual detection of prey size and distance (affecting apparent prey size) and of low-level water turbidity in hand-reared great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) diving for natural prey (fish) in a forced-choice situation. The cormorants' detection of underwater prey relied on vision. The minimal tested subtending visual angle of the prey at detection ranged between approximately 34.2' (prey size constant; distance varied) and 9.5' (distance constant; prey size varied). For all tested distances (0.8-3.1 m) the mean detection success was significantly higher than the chance level. The probability of a correct choice declined significantly with increased distance, with Detection success=-0.034D+1.021 (where D is distance, r(2)=0.5, N=70, P<0.001). The combined effect of turbidity and distance on the probability of detection success was significant, with both variables having a negative effect: Detection success=-0.286D-0.224Tu+1.691 (where Tu is turbidity, r(2)=0.68, N=144, P<0.001). At prey detection threshold, the relationship between distance and turbidity was: D=3.79e(-4.55Tu). It is concluded that (i) the subtending angle of natural prey at detection was lower than that of resolution of square-wave, high-contrast grating and (ii) turbidity, at levels significantly lower than commonly used in behavioural experiments, had a pronounced effect on visually mediated behaviour patterns. PMID:18310112

  12. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia.

    PubMed

    Millett, J; Foot, G W; Svensson, B M

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant-prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. PMID:25655989

  13. The village/commune safety policy and HIV prevention efforts among key affected populations in Cambodia: finding a balance

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The Village/Commune Safety Policy was launched by the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia in 2010 and, due to a priority focus on “cleaning the streets”, has created difficulties for HIV prevention programs attempting to implement programs that work with key affected populations including female sex workers and people who inject drugs. The implementation of the policy has forced HIV program implementers, the UN and various government counterparts to explore and develop collaborative ways of delivering HIV prevention services within this difficult environment. The following case study explores some of these efforts and highlights the promising development of a Police Community Partnership Initiative that it is hoped will find a meaningful balance between the Village/Commune Safety Policy and HIV prevention efforts with key affected populations in Cambodia. PMID:22770267

  14. The village/commune safety policy and HIV prevention efforts among key affected populations in Cambodia: finding a balance.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Nick; Leang, Supheap; Chheng, Kannarath; Weissman, Amy; Shaw, Graham; Crofts, Nick

    2012-01-01

    The Village/Commune Safety Policy was launched by the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia in 2010 and, due to a priority focus on "cleaning the streets", has created difficulties for HIV prevention programs attempting to implement programs that work with key affected populations including female sex workers and people who inject drugs. The implementation of the policy has forced HIV program implementers, the UN and various government counterparts to explore and develop collaborative ways of delivering HIV prevention services within this difficult environment. The following case study explores some of these efforts and highlights the promising development of a Police Community Partnership Initiative that it is hoped will find a meaningful balance between the Village/Commune Safety Policy and HIV prevention efforts with key affected populations in Cambodia. PMID:22770267

  15. Mussels of a marginal population affect the patterns of ambient macrofauna: A case study from the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Lauringson, Velda; Kotta, Jonne

    2016-05-01

    In contemporary ecosystems, organisms are increasingly confronted with suboptimal living conditions. We aimed to understand the role of ecosystem engineering species in suboptimal habitats from a population inhabiting the species range margin in naturally stressful conditions. We determined the impact of 2-4 cm sized patches of dwarfed mussels Mytilus trossulus close to its lower salinity limit in the North-Eastern Baltic Sea, on epibenthic community patterns. Mussels affected total macrofaunal abundance and biomass and the taxonomic and functional community structure based on abundances, as well as the species composition of macrofauna. Mussels did not affect ephemeral algae or sediment chlorophyll content, but increased the abundance, biomass, richness, and diversity of grazers, within a radius approximately twelve times the size of mussel patches. We can expect marginal populations of ecosystem engineers in suboptimal habitats to contribute to spatial heterogeneity in biotic patterns and eventual ecosystem stability. PMID:26970684

  16. Reconsidering the importance of the past in predator–prey models: both numerical and functional responses depend on delayed prey densities

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiqiu; Fenton, Andy; Kettley, Lee; Roberts, Phillip; Montagnes, David J. S.

    2013-01-01

    We propose that delayed predator–prey models may provide superficially acceptable predictions for spurious reasons. Through experimentation and modelling, we offer a new approach: using a model experimental predator–prey system (the ciliates Didinium and Paramecium), we determine the influence of past-prey abundance at a fixed delay (approx. one generation) on both functional and numerical responses (i.e. the influence of present : past-prey abundance on ingestion and growth, respectively). We reveal a nonlinear influence of past-prey abundance on both responses, with the two responding differently. Including these responses in a model indicated that delay in the numerical response drives population oscillations, supporting the accepted (but untested) notion that reproduction, not feeding, is highly dependent on the past. We next indicate how delays impact short- and long-term population dynamics. Critically, we show that although superficially the standard (parsimonious) approach to modelling can reasonably fit independently obtained time-series data, it does so by relying on biologically unrealistic parameter values. By contrast, including our fully parametrized delayed density dependence provides a better fit, offering insights into underlying mechanisms. We therefore present a new approach to explore time-series data and a revised framework for further theoretical studies. PMID:23926152

  17. Planting geometry and plant population affect dryland maize grain yield and harvest index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water for dryland grain production in the Texas panhandle is limited. Agronomic practices such as reduction in plant population or change in sowing time may help increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield potential. Tiller formation under dryland conditions leads to more vegetative growth and reduced yield....

  18. Widespread seed limitation affects plant density but not population trajectory in the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant populations, the availability of seeds strongly regulates recruitment. However, a scarcity of germination microsites, granivory or density dependent mortality can reduce the number of plants that germinate or survive to flowering. The relative strength of these controls is unknown for ...

  19. Social and Demographic Factors Affecting Psychopathology and Substance Abuse in a Spanish Family Clinic Population.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ladner, Robert A.

    This report presents findings on the social and demographic factors associated with drug abuse, alcoholism, and major psychological impairment in a population of Cuban American patients presenting at the Spanish Family Guidance Clinic (Miami, Florida) in 1974-75. The analysis indicates a number of factors operating to increase the likelihood of…

  20. Prey vulnerability to peacock cichlids and largemouth bass based on predator gape and prey body depth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, Jeffrey E.; Nico, Leo G.; Cichra, Charles E.; Gilbert, Carter R.

    2005-01-01

    The interaction of prey fish body depth and predator gape size may produce prey assemblages dominated by invulnerable prey and excessive prey-to-predator biomass ratios. Peacock cichlids (Cichla ocellaris) were stocked into southeast Florida canals to consume excess prey fish biomass, particularly spotted tilapia (Tilapia mariae). The ecomorphologically similar largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) was already present in the canals. We present relations of length-specific gape size for peacock cichlids and largemouth bass. Both predators have broadly overlapping gape size, but largemouth bass ?126 mm total length have slightly larger gape sizes than peacock cichlids of the same length. Also, we experimentally tested the predictions of maximum prey size for peacock cichlids and determined that a simple method of measuring gape size used for largemouth bass also is appropriate for peacock cichlids. Lastly, we determined relations of body depth and length of prey species to investigate relative vulnerability. Using a simple predator-prey model and length frequencies of predators and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus), and spotted tilapia prey, we documented that much of the prey biomass in southeast Florida canals is unavailable for largemouth bass and peacock cichlid predation.

  1. Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in Plantago coronopus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, C F; García, M B; Ehlers, B K

    2013-05-01

    Investment in reproduction and growth represent a classic tradeoff with implication for life history evolution. The local environment can play a major role in the magnitude and evolutionary consequences of such a tradeoff. Here, we examined the investment in reproductive and vegetative tissue in 40 maternal half-sib families from four different populations of the herb Plantago coronopus growing in either a dry or wet greenhouse environment. Plants originated from populations with an annual or a perennial life form, with annuals prevailing in drier habitats with greater seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. We found that water availability affected the expression of the tradeoff (both phenotypic and genetic) between reproduction and growth, being most accentuated under dry condition. However, populations responded very differently to water treatments. Plants from annual populations showed a similar response to drought condition with little variation among maternal families, suggesting a history of selection favouring genotypes with high allocation to reproduction when water availability is low. Plants from annual populations also expressed the highest level of plasticity. For the perennial populations, one showed a large variation among maternal families in resource allocation and expressed significant negative genetic correlations between reproductive and vegetative biomass under drought. The other perennial population showed less variation in response to treatment and had trait values similar to those of the annuals, although it was significantly less plastic. We stress the importance of considering intraspecific variation in response to environmental change such as drought, as conspecific plants exhibited very different abilities and strategies to respond to high versus low water availability even among geographically close populations. PMID:23621367

  2. Fluorescent prey traps in carnivorous plants.

    PubMed

    Kurup, R; Johnson, A J; Sankar, S; Hussain, A A; Sathish Kumar, C; Sabulal, B

    2013-05-01

    Carnivorous plants acquire most of their nutrients by capturing ants, insects and other arthropods through their leaf-evolved biological traps. So far, the best-known attractants in carnivorous prey traps are nectar, colour and olfactory cues. Here, fresh prey traps of 14 Nepenthes, five Sarracenia, five Drosera, two Pinguicula species/hybrids, Dionaea muscipula and Utricularia stellaris were scanned at UV 366 nm. Fluorescence emissions of major isolates of fresh Nepenthes khasiana pitcher peristomes were recorded at an excitation wavelength of 366 nm. N. khasiana field pitcher peristomes were masked by its slippery zone extract, and prey capture rates were compared with control pitchers. We found the existence of distinct blue fluorescence emissions at the capture spots of Nepenthes, Sarracenia and Dionaea prey traps at UV 366 nm. These alluring blue emissions gradually developed with the growth of the prey traps and diminished towards their death. On excitation at 366 nm, N. khasiana peristome 3:1 CHCl3–MeOH extract and its two major blue bands showed strong fluorescence emissions at 430–480 nm. Masking of blue emissions on peristomes drastically reduced prey capture in N. khasiana pitchers. We propose these molecular emissions as a critical factor attracting arthropods and other visitors to these carnivorous traps. Drosera, Pinguicula and Utricularia prey traps showed only red chlorophyll emissions at 366 nm. PMID:23696970

  3. Population Validity for Educational Data Mining Models: A Case Study in Affect Detection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ocumpaugh, Jaclyn; Baker, Ryan; Gowda, Sujith; Heffernan, Neil; Heffernan, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Information and communication technology (ICT)-enhanced research methods such as educational data mining (EDM) have allowed researchers to effectively model a broad range of constructs pertaining to the student, moving from traditional assessments of knowledge to assessment of engagement, meta-cognition, strategy and affect. The automated…

  4. QTL affecting stress response to crowding in a rainbow trout broodstock population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background Genomic analyses have the potential to impact selective breeding programs by identifying markers that serve as proxies for traits which are expensive or difficult to measure. Also, identifying genes affecting traits of interest enhances our understanding of their underlying biochemical ...

  5. Wolbachia infections in natural Anopheles populations affect egg laying and negatively correlate with Plasmodium development.

    PubMed

    Shaw, W Robert; Marcenac, Perrine; Childs, Lauren M; Buckee, Caroline O; Baldini, Francesco; Sawadogo, Simon P; Dabiré, Roch K; Diabaté, Abdoulaye; Catteruccia, Flaminia

    2016-01-01

    The maternally inherited alpha-proteobacterium Wolbachia has been proposed as a tool to block transmission of devastating mosquito-borne infectious diseases like dengue and malaria. Here we study the reproductive manipulations induced by a recently identified Wolbachia strain that stably infects natural mosquito populations of a major malaria vector, Anopheles coluzzii, in Burkina Faso. We determine that these infections significantly accelerate egg laying but do not induce cytoplasmic incompatibility or sex-ratio distortion, two parasitic reproductive phenotypes that facilitate the spread of other Wolbachia strains within insect hosts. Analysis of 221 blood-fed A. coluzzii females collected from houses shows a negative correlation between the presence of Plasmodium parasites and Wolbachia infection. A mathematical model incorporating these results predicts that infection with these endosymbionts may reduce malaria prevalence in human populations. These data suggest that Wolbachia may be an important player in malaria transmission dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:27243367

  6. Wolbachia infections in natural Anopheles populations affect egg laying and negatively correlate with Plasmodium development

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, W. Robert; Marcenac, Perrine; Childs, Lauren M.; Buckee, Caroline O.; Baldini, Francesco; Sawadogo, Simon P.; Dabiré, Roch K.; Diabaté, Abdoulaye; Catteruccia, Flaminia

    2016-01-01

    The maternally inherited alpha-proteobacterium Wolbachia has been proposed as a tool to block transmission of devastating mosquito-borne infectious diseases like dengue and malaria. Here we study the reproductive manipulations induced by a recently identified Wolbachia strain that stably infects natural mosquito populations of a major malaria vector, Anopheles coluzzii, in Burkina Faso. We determine that these infections significantly accelerate egg laying but do not induce cytoplasmic incompatibility or sex-ratio distortion, two parasitic reproductive phenotypes that facilitate the spread of other Wolbachia strains within insect hosts. Analysis of 221 blood-fed A. coluzzii females collected from houses shows a negative correlation between the presence of Plasmodium parasites and Wolbachia infection. A mathematical model incorporating these results predicts that infection with these endosymbionts may reduce malaria prevalence in human populations. These data suggest that Wolbachia may be an important player in malaria transmission dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:27243367

  7. Sharp gene pool transition in a population affected by phenotype-based selective hunting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigatti, E.; Sá Martins, J. S.; Roditi, I.

    2005-06-01

    We use a microscopic model of population dynamics, a modified version of the well known Penna model, to study some aspects of microevolution. This research is motivated by recent reports on the effect of selective hunting on the gene pool of bighorn sheep living in the Ram Mountain region, in Canada. Our model finds a sharp transition in the structure of the gene pool as some threshold for the number of animals hunted is reached.

  8. Does cannibalism of larvae by adults affect settlement and connectivity of mussel populations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porri, Francesca; Jordaan, Tembisa; McQuaid, Christopher D.

    2008-09-01

    Intertidal population dynamics are driven by a complex series of processes, including larval supply and the possibility of larval predation by benthic animals such as filter-feeders. We hypothesised that cannibalism by adults could play a major role in the population connectivity of mussel populations by removing larvae as they attempt to settle in the adult habitat. Specifically, we tested hypotheses that consumption of mussel larvae by adults removes a significant proportion of potential settlers and is influenced by both settlement intensity and tidal state (flooding or ebbing). Predation of mussel larvae by adult mussels was investigated on incoming and ebbing tides during four spring tides by analysing the gut contents of adult Perna perna and Mytilus galloprovincialis collected from the low intertidal mussel zone between October 2005 and January 2006. Consumption rates were then compared with estimates of successful settler densities on natural beds. The results showed that mortality of competent mussel larvae through adult ingestion removes up to 77% a of potential settlers. Rates of larval consumption were highest during months of intense settlement, suggesting that mussels feed opportunistically, filtering a relatively fixed volume of water and removing particles, including larvae, in proportion to their densities in the water. Rates of larviphagy were also higher during receding than incoming tides. We suggest that this is due to changes in larval density or, more probably, in adult filtration efficiency that are related to the state of the tide. Despite significant effects of both tidal state and settlement intensity on rates of larval ingestion, neither had a significant effect on the proportion of potential settlers removed. During settlement more than half of all potential settlers are lost through cannibalism, with potentially serious consequences for population maintenance. The results highlight the paradoxical nature of the evolution of settlement

  9. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  10. Modeling the behavior of the northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax, as a schooling predator exploiting patchy prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nonacs, Peter; Smith, Paul E.; Bouskila, Amos; Luttbeg, Barney

    Extensive data sets on the bioenergetics of the northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax, and the patchy food distribution in its natural habitat allow its foraging dynamics to be inferred by modeling using techniques from population biology and behavioral ecology. The behavioral model consistently predicts that E. mordax grows much more slowly than would be expected with a pure, net-energy intake rate maximization strategy. The reduced growth rates could result from the fish avoiding zooplankton patches, where they are under increased predation risk, by swimming slowly in the waters between zooplankton patches. The combinations of growth rates and daily instantaneous mortality rates generated by the behavioral model are internally consistent with a Lefkovitch matrix population model, which includes an early juvenile stage of a stable and stationary population. Several novel and testable predictions are made by the behavioral model, including: (1) anchovies swim very slowly between zooplankton patch encounters; (2) within a patch fish swim very rapidly while searching for prey; and (3) fish often leave zooplankton patches before totally filling their stomachs. Given these encouraging initial results, the behavioral modeling approach appears to be a valuable technique for examining how potential habitat changes due to global warming may affect fish behavior and populations. Several such scenarios are proposed and discussed.

  11. Surgical Care Required for Populations Affected by Climate-related Natural Disasters: A Global Estimation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Eugenia E.; Stewart, Barclay; Zha, Yuanting A.; Groen, Thomas A.; Burkle, Frederick M.; Kushner, Adam L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Climate extremes will increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters worldwide.  Climate-related natural disasters were anticipated to affect 375 million people in 2015, more than 50% greater than the yearly average in the previous decade. To inform surgical assistance preparedness, we estimated the number of surgical procedures needed.   Methods: The numbers of people affected by climate-related disasters from 2004 to 2014 were obtained from the Centre for Research of the Epidemiology of Disasters database. Using 5,000 procedures per 100,000 persons as the minimum, baseline estimates were calculated. A linear regression of the number of surgical procedures performed annually and the estimated number of surgical procedures required for climate-related natural disasters was performed. Results: Approximately 140 million people were affected by climate-related natural disasters annually requiring 7.0 million surgical procedures. The greatest need for surgical care was in the People’s Republic of China, India, and the Philippines. Linear regression demonstrated a poor relationship between national surgical capacity and estimated need for surgical care resulting from natural disaster, but countries with the least surgical capacity will have the greatest need for surgical care for persons affected by climate-related natural disasters. Conclusion: As climate extremes increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters, millions will need surgical care beyond baseline needs. Countries with insufficient surgical capacity will have the most need for surgical care for persons affected by climate-related natural disasters. Estimates of surgical are particularly important for countries least equipped to meet surgical care demands given critical human and physical resource deficiencies. PMID:27617165

  12. Evaluating HIV prevention strategies for populations in key affected groups: The example of Cabo Verde

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro, João Filipe G.; Galea, Sandro; Flanigan, Timothy; Monteiro, Maria de Lourdes; Friedman, Samuel R.; Marshall, Brandon DL

    2015-01-01

    Objectives We used an individual-based model to evaluate the effects of hypothetical prevention interventions on HIV incidence trajectories in a concentrated, mixed epidemic setting from 2011 to 2021, and using Cabo Verde as an example. Methods Simulations were conducted to evaluate the extent to which early HIV treatment and optimization of care, HIV testing, condom distribution, and substance abuse treatment could eliminate new infections (i.e., reduce incidence to less than 10 cases per 10,000 person-years) among non-drug users, female sex workers (FSW), and people who use drugs (PWUD). Results Scaling up all four interventions resulted in the largest decreases in HIV, with estimates ranging from 1.4 (95%CI:1.36–1.44) per 10,000 person-years among non-drug users to 8.2 (95%CI:7.8–8.6) per 10,000 person-years among PWUD in 2021. Intervention scenarios targeting FWS and PWUD also resulted in HIV incidence estimates at or below 10 per 10,000 person-years by 2021 for all population sub-groups. Conclusions Our results suggest that scaling up multiple interventions among entire population is necessary to achieve elimination. However, prioritizing key populations with this combination prevention strategy may also result in a substantial decrease in total incidence. PMID:25838121

  13. Sunlight, season, snowmelt, storm, and source affect E. coli populations in an artificially ponded stream.

    PubMed

    Whitman, Richard L; Przybyla-Kelly, Katarzyna; Shively, Dawn A; Nevers, Meredith B; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N

    2008-02-15

    Reducing fecal indicator bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), in streams is important for many downstream areas. E. coli concentrations within streams may be reduced by intervening ponds or wetlands through a number of physical and biological means. A section of Dunes Creek, a small coastal stream of southern Lake Michigan, was impounded and studied for 30 months from pre-through post-construction of the experimental pond. E. coli reduction became more predictable and effective with pond age. E. coli followed the hydrograph and increased several-fold during both rainfall and snowmelt events. Seasonally, the pond was more effective at reducing E. coli during summer than winter. Late summer, non-solar reduction or inactivation of E. coli in the pond was estimated at 72% and solar inactivation at 26%. E. coli DNA fingerprinting demonstrated that the winter population was genetically more homogeneous than the summer population. Detection of FRNA coliphages suggests that there was fecal contamination during heavy rain events. An understanding of how environmental factors interact with E. coli populations is important for assessing anticipated contaminant loading and the reduction of indicator bacteria in downstream reaches. PMID:18031792

  14. Dietary sodium intake deleteriously affects blood pressure in a normotensive population.

    PubMed

    Chateau-Degat, M L; Ferland, A; Déry, S; Dewailly, E

    2012-04-01

    Western dietary pattern, and particularly high dietary sodium intake (DSI), is recognized for its detrimental impact on blood pressure (BP). This paper examined the association of DSI with BP in Nunavik Inuit (Québec), a population known to have an optimal BP on average. In a population-based study, we recruited 421 normotensive participants aged 18-74 years from 14 coastal villages, situated north of the 55th parallel. BP, biochemistry and anthropometry were obtained. DSI was assessed by a 24-h dietary recall. Mean (s.e.) DSI was higher in men than in women (2358 (101) vs. 1702 (100) mg/d, P<0.0001). Similar gender difference was found in systolic BP (118 (0.7) vs. 111 (0.6) mm Hg; P<0.0001). After adjustment for confounders, we found a positive association between BP and DSI (all P<0.05). In a normotensive population, BP shows a linear relationship with DSI. Our results emphasize the potent deleterious impact of DSI on BP. PMID:22333870

  15. Recruitment and post-recruit immigration affect the local population size of coral reef fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, A. R.

    1997-07-01

    This study quantifies the contributions of larval recruitment and post-recruit (juvenile and adult) immigration to net increases in population size for 150 species of fishes found on ten isolated coral patches or `bommies' (108-267 m2) within a typical reef of the Great Barrier Reef system. At least one third of the total number of recruits and immigrants to all bommies were post-recruit fishes, and movement between bommies in 136 species was detected at some time during the 22 month sampling period. The relative numbers of recruits and post-recruit immigrants per species varied widely within the assemblage, and between the replicate bommies. Populations of 95 species received both types of immigrants, 41 species had only post-recruit immigrants, and 14 species received only larval recruitment. In most species, recruitment occurred over the austral summer between October and February, while post-recruit movements occurred in both summer and winter. Rates of post-recruit immigration varied temporally within bommies, and pulses of post-recruits were less temporally concordant between bommies than pulses of recruits. This study is further evidence that post-settlement processes can have a significant effect on the local population size of reef fishes.

  16. Sunlight, season, snowmelt, storm, and source affect E. coli populations in an artificially ponded stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitman, R.L.; Przybyla-Kelly, K.; Shively, D.A.; Nevers, M.B.; Byappanahalli, M.N.

    2008-01-01

    Reducing fecal indicator bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), in streams is important for many downstream areas. E. coli concentrations within streams may be reduced by intervening ponds or wetlands through a number of physical and biological means. A section of Dunes Creek, a small coastal stream of southern Lake Michigan, was impounded and studied for 30??months from pre-through post-construction of the experimental pond. E. coli reduction became more predictable and effective with pond age. E. coli followed the hydrograph and increased several-fold during both rainfall and snowmelt events. Seasonally, the pond was more effective at reducing E. coli during summer than winter. Late summer, non-solar reduction or inactivation of E. coli in the pond was estimated at 72% and solar inactivation at 26%. E. coli DNA fingerprinting demonstrated that the winter population was genetically more homogeneous than the summer population. Detection of FRNA coliphages suggests that there was fecal contamination during heavy rain events. An understanding of how environmental factors interact with E. coli populations is important for assessing anticipated contaminant loading and the reduction of indicator bacteria in downstream reaches. ?? 2007.

  17. Juvenile dispersal affects straying behaviors of adults in a migratory population.

    PubMed

    Hamann, Ellen J; Kennedy, Brian P

    2012-04-01

    The resilience of organisms to large-scale environmental and climatic change depends, in part, upon the ability to colonize and occupy new habitats. While previous efforts to describe homing, or natal site fidelity, of migratory organisms have been hindered by the confounding effects of fragmented landscapes and management practices, realistic conservation efforts must include considerations of the behavioral diversity represented by animal movements and dispersal. Herein, we quantify straying away from natal origins by adult chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in a wild population that inhabits a pristine wilderness basin. Using natural isotopic signatures (7Sr/86Sr) to reconstruct the migratory behaviors of unhandled individuals over their entire life cycle, we identified ecological and behavioral factors influencing the propensity to stray. Our results indicate that natal site fidelity is scale dependent, ranging from 55% at -1-km distances to 87% at longer (> 10-km scale) distances, and juvenile dispersal and sex highly influence straying occurrence. These findings lend support for the conservation of behavioral diversity for population persistence, and we propose straying as a mechanism for maintaining genetic diversity at low population densities. PMID:22690624

  18. Red-shouldered hawk broadcast surveys: Factors affecting detection of responses and population trends

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLeod, M.A.; Andersen, D.E.

    1998-01-01

    Forest-nesting raptors are often difficult to detect and monitor because they can be secretive, and their nests can be difficult to locate. Some species, however, respond to broadcasts of taped calls, and these responses may be useful both in monitoring population trends and in locating nests. We conducted broadcast surveys on roads and at active red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) nests in northcentral Minnesota to determine effects of type of call (conspecific or great horned owl [Bubo virginianus]), time of day, and phase of the breeding cycle on red-shouldered hawk response behavior and to evaluate usefulness of broadcasts as a population monitoring tool using area occupied-probability-of-detection techniques. During the breeding seasons of 1994 and 1995, we surveyed 4 10-station road transects 59 times and conducted 76 surveys at 24 active nests. Results of these surveys indicated conspecific calls broadcast prior to hatch and early in the day were the most effective method of detecting red-shouldered hawks. Probability of detection via conspecific calls averaged 0.25, and area occupied was 100%. Computer simulations using these field data indicated broadcast surveys have the potential to be used as a population monitoring tool.

  19. Population-related variation in plant defense more strongly affects survival of an herbivore than its solitary parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta

    2011-10-01

    The performance of natural enemies, such as parasitoid wasps, is affected by differences in the quality of the host's diet, frequently mediated by species or population-related differences in plant allelochemistry. Here, we compared survival, development time, and body mass in a generalist herbivore, the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae, and its solitary endoparasitoid, Microplitis mediator, when reared on two cultivated (CYR and STH) and three wild (KIM, OH, and WIN) populations of cabbage, Brassica oleracea. Plants either were undamaged or induced by feeding of larvae of the cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae. Development and biomass of M. brassicae and Mi. mediator were similar on both cultivated and one wild cabbage population (KIM), intermediate on the OH population, and significantly lower on the WIN population. Moreover, development was prolonged and biomass was reduced on herbivore-induced plants. However, only the survival of parasitized hosts (and not that of healthy larvae) was affected by induction. Analysis of glucosinolates in leaves of the cabbages revealed higher levels in the wild populations than cultivars, with the highest concentrations in WIN plants. Multivariate statistics revealed a negative correlation between insect performance and total levels of glucosinolates (GS) and levels of 3-butenyl GS. However, GS chemistry could not explain the reduced performance on induced plants since only indole GS concentrations increased in response to herbivory, which did not affect insect performance based on multivariate statistics. This result suggests that, in addition to aliphatic GS, other non-GS chemicals are responsible for the decline in insect performance, and that these chemicals affect the parasitoid more strongly than the host. Remarkably, when developing on WIN plants, the survival of Mi. mediator to adult eclosion was much higher than in its host, M. brassicae. This may be due to the fact that hosts parasitized by Mi. mediator pass through fewer

  20. Median Urinary Iodine Concentrations Are Indicative of Adequate Iodine Status among Women of Reproductive Age in Prey Veng, Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Karakochuk, Crystal D.; Michaux, Kristina D.; Chai, Tze L.; Chan, Benny B.; Whitfield, Kyly C.; Barr, Susan I.; McLean, Judy; Talukder, Aminuzzaman; Hou, Kroeun; Ly, Sokhoing; Green, Tim J.

    2016-01-01

    Iodine deficiency disorders are estimated to affect over 1.9 million people worldwide. Iodine deficiency is especially serious for women during pregnancy and lactation because of the negative consequences for both mother and infant. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) as a population-level indicator of iodine status among rural women farmers of reproductive age (18–45 years) in the province of Prey Veng, Cambodia. A total of 450 women provided a spot morning urine sample in 2012. Of those women, 93% (n = 420) were non-pregnant and 7% (n = 30) were pregnant at the time of collection. UIC was quantified using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction with modifications. The median UIC of non-pregnant (139 μg/L) and pregnant women (157 μg/L) were indicative of adequate iodine status using the WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD epidemiological criteria for both groups (median UIC between 100–199 and 150–249 μg/L, respectively). We conclude that non-pregnant and pregnant women in rural Prey Veng, Cambodia had adequate iodine status based on single spot morning urine samples collected in 2012. More research is warranted to investigate iodine status among larger and more representative populations of women in Cambodia, especially in light of recent policy changes to the national program for universal salt iodization. PMID:26950151

  1. Median Urinary Iodine Concentrations Are Indicative of Adequate Iodine Status among Women of Reproductive Age in Prey Veng, Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Karakochuk, Crystal D; Michaux, Kristina D; Chai, Tze L; Chan, Benny B; Whitfield, Kyly C; Barr, Susan I; McLean, Judy; Talukder, Aminuzzaman; Hou, Kroeun; Ly, Sokhoing; Green, Tim J

    2016-03-01

    Iodine deficiency disorders are estimated to affect over 1.9 million people worldwide. Iodine deficiency is especially serious for women during pregnancy and lactation because of the negative consequences for both mother and infant. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) as a population-level indicator of iodine status among rural women farmers of reproductive age (18-45 years) in the province of Prey Veng, Cambodia. A total of 450 women provided a spot morning urine sample in 2012. Of those women, 93% (n = 420) were non-pregnant and 7% (n = 30) were pregnant at the time of collection. UIC was quantified using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction with modifications. The median UIC of non-pregnant (139 μg/L) and pregnant women (157 μg/L) were indicative of adequate iodine status using the WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD epidemiological criteria for both groups (median UIC between 100-199 and 150-249 μg/L, respectively). We conclude that non-pregnant and pregnant women in rural Prey Veng, Cambodia had adequate iodine status based on single spot morning urine samples collected in 2012. More research is warranted to investigate iodine status among larger and more representative populations of women in Cambodia, especially in light of recent policy changes to the national program for universal salt iodization. PMID:26950151

  2. Electroreceptive Prey-Location Coding by the Juvenile Paddlefish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2003-03-01

    The long rostrum of the paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), a Mississippi river inhabitant, supports an extensive array of ampullary electroreceptors that are used to locate its favorite prey, water fleas, in dark and muddy water. Neuronal coding of such real-world events is often considered to be optimal in the sense of minimizing a mean-square reconstruction error or maximizing likelihood. Implementation of these theoretically motivated optimality criteria is, however, computationally very costly. For the juvenile paddlefish we exhibit [1] a computationally cheap and geometrically simple algorithm with the neuronal activity νn of its electroreceptors 1<= n <= N as input and evaluating the turning direction \\varphi required to catch the prey through the so-called population-vector code \\varphi^estimate = arg [sumn νn exp(i \\varphi_n)]. This explains experimentally found prey-detection statistics more convincingly than minimization of the mean-square reconstruction error. The only assumption concerns the neuronal time scale of the sensory organs. [1] C. Leibold, K.B. Reuter, L. Voigts, W. Wojtenek, and J.L. van Hemmen, manuscript in preparation.

  3. Experimental and observational evidence reveals that predators in natural environments do not regulate their prey: They are passengers, not drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, T. C. R.

    2013-11-01

    Among both ecologists and the wider community there is a tacit assumption that predators regulate populations of their prey. But there is evidence from a wide taxonomic and geographic range of studies that predators that are adapted to co-evolved prey generally do not regulate their prey. This is because predators either cannot reproduce as fast as their prey and/or are inefficient hunters unable to catch enough prey to sustain maximum reproduction. The greater capacity of herbivores to breed successfully is, however, normally restricted by a lack of enough food of sufficient quality to support reproduction. But whenever this shortage is alleviated by a large pulse of food, herbivores increase their numbers to outbreak levels. Their predators are unable to contain this increase, but their numbers, too, surge in response to this increase in food. Eventually both their populations will crash once the food supply runs out, first for the herbivores and then for the predators. Then an “over-run” of predators will further depress the already declining prey population, appearing to be controlling its abundance. This latter phenomenon has led many ecologists to conclude that predators are regulating the numbers of their prey. However, it is the same process that is revealed during outbreaks that limits populations of both predator and prey in “normal” times, although this is usually not readily apparent. Nevertheless, as all the diverse cases discussed here attest, the abundance of predators and their co-evolved prey are both limited by their food: the predators are passengers, not drivers.

  4. Atrazine does not affect algal biomass or snail populations in microcosm communities at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Leilan R; Moore, Dana L; Sibley, Paul K; Solomon, Keith R; Hanson, Mark L

    2011-07-01

    The herbicide atrazine is a photosynthetic inhibitor used around the world in agricultural applications. Contamination of surface waters adjacent to treated areas can directly reduce growth of nontarget aquatic autotrophs, but the severity of impacts is highly dependent on species sensitivity and exposure concentration. Secondary effects resulting from macrophyte or phytoplankton decline may include an expansion of the more tolerant periphyton community. Recently, this shift in the autotrophic community has been proposed as a mechanism for increased rates of parasite infections in amphibians via augmented populations of aquatic snails which act as intermediate hosts to larval trematodes. To further clarify this relationship, an outdoor microcosm study was conducted to examine the effects of atrazine on primary production and snail populations over a range of environmentally relevant concentrations. In July 2009, 15 experimental ponds were treated to achieve initial concentrations of 0, 1, 10, 30, and 100 µg/L atrazine. Over a period of 73 d, measures were taken of macrophyte, phytoplankton, and periphyton biomass, growth, and fecundity of caged snails (Physella spp. and Stagnicola elodes) and free-living snails (Physella spp.). Except for declines in macrophyte biomass at the highest treatment level, no consistent relationships were found between atrazine concentration and any measured parameter. Comparison of these results with previous findings highlights the variability of responses to atrazine exposure between similarly constructed freshwater communities, even at concentrations up to 20 times higher than sustained environmental levels. PMID:21567448

  5. Factors affecting population of filamentous bacteria in wastewater treatment plants with nutrients removal.

    PubMed

    Miłobędzka, Aleksandra; Witeska, Anna; Muszyński, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Filamentous population in activated sludge and key operational parameters of full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with bulking problems representative for Poland were investigated with quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization. Statistical analyses revealed few relationships between operational parameters and biovolume of filamentous bacteria. Sludge age was not only positively correlated with abundance of Chloroflexi (parametric correlation and principal component analysis (PCA)), but also differentiated Microthrix population (analysis of variance (ANOVA)). Phylum Chloroflexi and pH presented a negative relation during the study (PCA). ANOVA showed that pH of influent and sludge volume index (SVI) differentiated abundance of types 0803 and 1851 of Chloroflexi and candidate division TM7. SVI increased along with higher abundance of Microthrix (positive parametric and non-parametric correlations and positive relation in PCA). Biovolumes of morphotypes 0803 and 1851 of Chloroflexi were differentiated by organic matter in influent, also by nutrients in the case of Chloroflexi type 1851. Chemical and biological oxygen demands (COD and BOD5, respectively) were negatively correlated with Microthrix. COD also differentiated the abundance of Haliscomenobacter hydrossis. Results of the study can be used to prevent WWTPs from excessive proliferation of filamentous bacteria and operational problems caused by them--bulking and foaming of activated sludge. PMID:26901721

  6. Seasonal timing of first rain storms affects rare plant population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levine, J.M.; McEachern, A.K.; Cowan, C.

    2011-01-01

    A major challenge in forecasting the ecological consequences of climate change is understanding the relative importance of changes to mean conditions vs. changes to discrete climatic events, such as storms, frosts, or droughts. Here we show that the first major storm of the growing season strongly influences the population dynamics of three rare and endangered annual plant species in a coastal California (USA) ecosystem. In a field experiment we used moisture barriers and water addition to manipulate the timing and temperature associated with first major rains of the season. The three focal species showed two- to fivefold variation in per capita population growth rates between the different storm treatments, comparable to variation found in a prior experiment imposing eightfold differences in season-long precipitation. Variation in germination was a major demographic driver of how two of three species responded to the first rains. For one of these species, the timing of the storm was the most critical determinant of its germination, while the other showed enhanced germination with colder storm temperatures. The role of temperature was further supported by laboratory trials showing enhanced germination in cooler treatments. Our work suggests that, because of species-specific cues for demographic transitions such as germination, changes to discrete climate events may be as, if not more, important than changes to season-long variables.

  7. Biomedical research, a tool to address the health issues that affect African populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Traditionally, biomedical research endeavors in low to middle resources countries have focused on communicable diseases. However, data collected over the past 20 years by the World Health Organization (WHO) show a significant increase in the number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer and pulmonary diseases). Within the coming years, WHO predicts significant decreases in communicable diseases while non-communicable diseases are expected to double in low and middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The predicted increase in the non-communicable diseases population could be economically burdensome for the basic healthcare infrastructure of countries that lack resources to address this emerging disease burden. Biomedical research could stimulate development of healthcare and biomedical infrastructure. If this development is sustainable, it provides an opportunity to alleviate the burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases through diagnosis, prevention and treatment. In this paper, we discuss how research using biomedical technology, especially genomics, has produced data that enhances the understanding and treatment of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. We further discuss how scientific development can provide opportunities to pursue research areas responsive to the African populations. We limit our discussion to biomedical research in the areas of genomics due to its substantial impact on the scientific community in recent years however, we also recognize that targeted investments in other scientific disciplines could also foster further development in African countries. PMID:24143865

  8. Assessment of Competition between Fisheries and Steller Sea Lions in Alaska Based on Estimated Prey Biomass, Fisheries Removals and Predator Foraging Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Hui, Tabitha C Y; Gryba, Rowenna; Gregr, Edward J; Trites, Andrew W

    2015-01-01

    A leading hypothesis to explain the dramatic decline of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in western Alaska during the latter part of the 20th century is a change in prey availability due to commercial fisheries. We tested this hypothesis by exploring the relationships between sea lion population trends, fishery catches, and the prey biomass accessible to sea lions around 33 rookeries between 2000 and 2008. We focused on three commercially important species that have dominated the sea lion diet during the population decline: walleye pollock, Pacific cod and Atka mackerel. We estimated available prey biomass by removing fishery catches from predicted prey biomass distributions in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska; and modelled the likelihood of sea lions foraging at different distances from rookeries (accessibility) using satellite telemetry locations of tracked animals. We combined this accessibility model with the prey distributions to estimate the prey biomass accessible to sea lions by rookery. For each rookery, we compared sea lion population change to accessible prey biomass. Of 304 comparisons, we found 3 statistically significant relationships, all suggesting that sea lion populations increased with increasing prey accessibility. Given that the majority of comparisons showed no significant effect, it seems unlikely that the availability of pollock, cod or Atka mackerel was limiting sea lion populations in the 2000s. PMID:25950178

  9. Assessment of Competition between Fisheries and Steller Sea Lions in Alaska Based on Estimated Prey Biomass, Fisheries Removals and Predator Foraging Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Hui, Tabitha C. Y.; Gryba, Rowenna; Gregr, Edward J.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2015-01-01

    A leading hypothesis to explain the dramatic decline of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in western Alaska during the latter part of the 20th century is a change in prey availability due to commercial fisheries. We tested this hypothesis by exploring the relationships between sea lion population trends, fishery catches, and the prey biomass accessible to sea lions around 33 rookeries between 2000 and 2008. We focused on three commercially important species that have dominated the sea lion diet during the population decline: walleye pollock, Pacific cod and Atka mackerel. We estimated available prey biomass by removing fishery catches from predicted prey biomass distributions in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska; and modelled the likelihood of sea lions foraging at different distances from rookeries (accessibility) using satellite telemetry locations of tracked animals. We combined this accessibility model with the prey distributions to estimate the prey biomass accessible to sea lions by rookery. For each rookery, we compared sea lion population change to accessible prey biomass. Of 304 comparisons, we found 3 statistically significant relationships, all suggesting that sea lion populations increased with increasing prey accessibility. Given that the majority of comparisons showed no significant effect, it seems unlikely that the availability of pollock, cod or Atka mackerel was limiting sea lion populations in the 2000s. PMID:25950178

  10. Slow and fast development in two aphidophagous ladybirds on scarce and abundant prey supply.

    PubMed

    Singh, N; Mishra, G; Omkar

    2016-06-01

    Developmental rates are highly variable, both within and between genotypes and populations. But the rationale for two differential (slow and fast) developmental rates within same cohort under varying prey supply has yet not been explored. For this purpose, we investigated the effect of scarce and abundant prey supply on slow and fast development at 27°C in two aphidophagous ladybirds, Menochilus sexmaculatus (Fabricius) and Propylea dissecta (Mulsant) and its effect on their body mass and reproductive attributes. The ladybirds were provided with scarce and abundant supply of Aphis craccivora Koch under standardized abiotic conditions in the laboratory. A clear bimodal (two peaks, where the first peak represented the fast developing individuals and the second peak slow developing individuals) pattern of distribution for both prey supplies was obtained, which got skewed with change in prey supply. On abundant prey supply, more fast developing individuals (139 M. sexmaculatus and 123 P. dissecta) were found and less (46 M. sexmaculatus and 36 P. dissecta) on scarce prey supply. Slow developing individuals had female biased sex ratio, higher longevity and lower body mass. Fast developing females laid higher number of eggs with higher egg viability. Results of the study are indicative of occurrence and constancy of the slow and fast developing individuals in the egg batch. PMID:26898500

  11. Harnessing natural selection to tackle the problem of prey naïveté.

    PubMed

    Moseby, Katherine E; Blumstein, Daniel T; Letnic, Mike

    2016-02-01

    Many populations are threatened or endangered because of excessive predation resulting from individuals' inability to recognize, avoid, or escape alien predators. Such prey naïveté is often attributed to the absence of prior experience and co-evolution between native prey and introduced predators. Many reintroduction programs focus on reducing predation rate by excluding introduced predators, a focus which ignores, and indeed exacerbates, the problem of prey naïveté. We argue for a new paradigm in reintroduction biology that expands the focus from predator control to kick-starting learning and evolutionary processes between alien predators and reintroduced prey. By exposing reintroduced prey to carefully controlled levels of alien predators, in situ predation could enhance reintroduction success by facilitating acquisition of learned antipredator responses and through natural selection for appropriate antipredator traits. This in situ predator exposure should be viewed as a long-term process but is likely to be the most efficient and expedient way to improve prey responses and assist in broadscale recovery of threatened species. PMID:26834826

  12. Are classical predator-prey models relevant to the real world?

    PubMed

    Dostálková, Iva; Kindlmann, Pavel; Dixon, Anthony F G

    2002-10-01

    Mathematical models of predator-prey population dynamics are widely used for predicting the effect of predators as biocontrol agents, but the assumptions of the models are more relevant to parasite-host systems. Predator-prey systems, at least in insects, substantially differ from what is assumed by these models. The main differences are: (i) Juveniles and adults have to be considered as two different entities, as the former stay within a patch and do not reproduce, while the latter move between patches of prey and reproduce there. (ii) Because of their high mobility, food availability is likely to be less restrictive for adults than juveniles, which are confined to one patch. Therefore, a functional response to prey abundance may not be important for adults. (iii) Egg and larval cannibalism are common in insect predators. Therefore, the quality of patches of prey for their larvae determines the reproductive strategy of adult predators more than the availability of food for the adults. Here we develop a new model, based on the above considerations, which is suitable for modelling these interactions. We show that selection should favour mechanisms that enable predators to avoid reproducing in patches with insufficient prey and those already occupied by predators. PMID:12381433

  13. Naïve prey exhibit reduced antipredator behavior and survivorship

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Prey naiveté has been hypothesized to be one of the major driving forces behind population declines following the introduction of novel predators or release of inexperienced prey into predator rich environments. In these cases, naïve prey may lack sufficient antipredator behavior and, as a result, suffer increased mortality. Despite this, some evidence suggests that many prey utilize a generalized response to predators. Here, the naiveté hypothesis is tested using a predator–prey pair sharing an evolutionary history: the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii Girard, 1852) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides Lacépède, 1802). Using farm-reared, naïve crayfish and wild-caught, experienced individuals, laboratory experiments demonstrated that naïve, farmed crayfish lack behavioral responses to chemical cues from bass, both in terms of movement and use of structural refuge. In contrast, experienced crayfish responded strongly to the same cues. In a subsequent field tethering experiment, these naïve individuals suffered a three-fold increase in predation rate. Based on these results, recognition of predators may not be innate in all prey, and previous experience and learning likely play a key role in the development of antipredator behavior. PMID:25392763

  14. Effect of a protection zone in the diffusive Leslie predator-prey model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Yihong; Peng, Rui; Wang, Mingxin

    In this paper, we consider the diffusive Leslie predator-prey model with large intrinsic predator growth rate, and investigate the change of behavior of the model when a simple protection zone Ω for the prey is introduced. As in earlier work [Y. Du, J. Shi, A diffusive predator-prey model with a protection zone, J. Differential Equations 229 (2006) 63-91; Y. Du, X. Liang, A diffusive competition model with a protection zone, J. Differential Equations 244 (2008) 61-86] we show the existence of a critical patch size of the protection zone, determined by the first Dirichlet eigenvalue of the Laplacian over Ω and the intrinsic growth rate of the prey, so that there is fundamental change of the dynamical behavior of the model only when Ω is above the critical patch size. However, our research here reveals significant difference of the model's behavior from the predator-prey model studied in [Y. Du, J. Shi, A diffusive predator-prey model with a protection zone, J. Differential Equations 229 (2006) 63-91] with the same kind of protection zone. We show that the asymptotic profile of the population distribution of the Leslie model is governed by a standard boundary blow-up problem, and classical or degenerate logistic equations.

  15. Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Predation on Animal Prey Abundance: Evidence from UK Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Alison R.; Davies, Zoe G.; Tyler, Claire; Staddon, Samantha

    2008-01-01

    Background Controlling vertebrate predators is one of the most widespread forms of wildlife management and it continues to cause conflict between stakeholders worldwide. It is important for managers and policy-makers to make decisions on this issue that are based on the best available scientific evidence. Therefore, it is first important to understand if there is indeed an impact of vertebrate predators on prey, and then to quantify this impact. Methodology/Principal Findings Using the UK as a case study, we use a meta-analytical approach to review the available evidence to assess the effect of vertebrate predation on animal prey abundance. We find a significant effect of predators on prey abundance across our studies. On average, there is a 1.6 fold increase in prey abundance in the absence of predation. However, we show significant heterogeneity in effect sizes, and discuss how the method of predator control, whether the predator is native or non-native, and aspects of study design, may be potential causes. Conclusions/Significance Our results allow some cautious policy recommendations to be made regarding the management of predator and prey populations. Meta-analysis is an important tool for understanding general patterns in the effect of predators on prey abundance across studies. Such an approach is especially valuable where management decisions need to be made in the absence of site-specific information. PMID:18545690

  16. Prey transport in "palatine-erecting" elapid snakes.

    PubMed

    Deufel, Alexandra; Cundall, David

    2003-12-01

    Cobras and mambas are members of a group of elapid snakes supposedly united by the morphology and inferred behavior of their palatine bone during prey transport (palatine erectors). The palatine erectors investigated (Dendroaspis polylepis, Naja pallida, Ophiophagus hannah, Aspidelaps scutatus, A. lubricus) show differences in the morphology of their feeding apparatus that do not affect the overall behavior of the system. We delineated the structures directly involved in producing palatine erection during prey transport. Palatine erection can be achieved by a colubroid muscle contraction pattern acting on a palato-pterygoid bar with a movable palato-pterygoid joint and a palatine that is stabilized against the snout. The palatine characters originally proposed to cause palatine erection are not required to produce the behavior and actually impede it in Naja pallida. Palatine-erecting elapids share a fundamental design of the palato-maxillary apparatus with all higher snakes. A set of plesiomorphic core characters is functionally integrated to function in prey transport using the pterygoid walk. Variant characters are either part of a structural periphery unrelated to the core structures that define function or patterns of variation are subordinate character sets operating within functional thresholds of a single system. PMID:14584037

  17. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Zimmer, Walter M X; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-01-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m.This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them. PMID:15801582

  18. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Zimmer, Walter M X; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-12-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m. This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them. PMID:15801582

  19. 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.

  20. Predator hunting mode influences patterns of prey use from grazing and epigeic food webs.

    PubMed

    Wimp, Gina M; Murphy, Shannon M; Lewis, Danny; Douglas, Margaret R; Ambikapathi, Ramya; Van-Tull, Lie'Ann; Gratton, Claudio; Denno, Robert F

    2013-02-01

    Multichannel omnivory by generalist predators, especially the use of both grazing and epigeic prey, has the potential to increase predator abundance and decrease herbivore populations. However, predator use of the epigeic web (soil surface detritus/microbe/algae consumers) varies considerably for reasons that are poorly understood. We therefore used a stable isotope approach to determine whether prey availability and predator hunting style (active hunting vs. passive web-building) impacted the degree of multichannel omnivory by the two most abundant predators on an intertidal salt marsh, both spiders. We found that carbon isotopic values of herbivores remained constant during the growing season, while values for epigeic feeders became dramatically more enriched such that values for the two webs converged in August. Carbon isotopic values for both spider species remained midway between the two webs as values for epigeic feeders shifted, indicating substantial use of prey from both food webs by both spider species. As the season progressed, prey abundance in the grazing food web increased while prey abundance in the epigeic web remained constant or declined. In response, prey consumption by the web-building spider shifted toward the grazing web to a much greater extent than did consumption by the hunting spider, possibly because passive web-capture is more responsive to changes in prey availability. Although both generalist predator species engaged in multichannel omnivory, hunting mode influenced the extent to which these predators used prey from the grazing and epigeic food webs, and could thereby influence the strength of trophic cascades in both food webs. PMID:22926724

  1. Climate change affects key nitrogen-fixing bacterial populations on coral reefs

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Henrique F; Carmo, Flávia L; Duarte, Gustavo; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Castro, Clovis B; Rosado, Alexandre S; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Peixoto, Raquel S

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are at serious risk due to events associated with global climate change. Elevated ocean temperatures have unpredictable consequences for the ocean's biogeochemical cycles. The nitrogen cycle is driven by complex microbial transformations, including nitrogen fixation. This study investigated the effects of increased seawater temperature on bacteria able to fix nitrogen (diazotrophs) that live in association with the mussid coral Mussismilia harttii. Consistent increases in diazotroph abundances and diversities were found at increased temperatures. Moreover, gradual shifts in the dominance of particular diazotroph populations occurred as temperature increased, indicating a potential future scenario of climate change. The temperature-sensitive diazotrophs may provide useful bioindicators of the effects of thermal stress on coral reef health, allowing the impact of thermal anomalies to be monitored. In addition, our findings support the development of research on different strategies to improve the fitness of corals during events of thermal stress, such as augmentation with specific diazotrophs. PMID:24830827

  2. Water and sediment quality factors affecting unionid mussel populations in the Clinch River, Virginia, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Hassel, J.H Van; Cherry, D.S.; Yeager, M.M.; Farris, J.L.

    1995-12-31

    The Clinch River contains a very diverse unionid mussel fauna of 45 species, including 21 endemics and 11 federally listed endangered species. Recent surveys indicate that the mussel fauna is in decline in several areas of the river. To study this problem, differences in unionid mussel species-distribution, density, size demography, physiological condition, and contaminant body burden were quantified at sixteen sites encompassing 200 miles of the Clinch River in Virginia. These differences were associated with corresponding site differences in physical habitat and water and sediment contamination attributable to point (STPS, small industries) and nonpoint (abandoned mine lands, agriculture) discharge sources. Some of the documented impacts have been severe enough to prevent successful recruitment into local populations of several unionid species for several years. Validation of these sources of impact will allow evaluation of specific watershed management options for the protection and enhancement of unionid mussel resources of the Clinch River.

  3. Genetic Diversity Affects the Daily Transcriptional Oscillations of Marine Microbial Populations

    PubMed Central

    Shilova, Irina N.; Robidart, Julie C.; DeLong, Edward F.; Zehr, Jonathan P.

    2016-01-01

    Marine microbial communities are genetically diverse but have robust synchronized daily transcriptional patterns at the genus level that are similar across a wide variety of oceanic regions. We developed a microarray-inspired gene-centric approach to resolve transcription of closely-related but distinct strains/ecotypes in high-throughput sequence data. Applying this approach to the existing metatranscriptomics datasets collected from two different oceanic regions, we found unique and variable patterns of transcription by individual taxa within the abundant picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, the alpha Proteobacterium Pelagibacter and the eukaryotic picophytoplankton Ostreococcus. The results demonstrate that marine microbial taxa respond differentially to variability in space and time in the ocean. These intra-genus individual transcriptional patterns underlie whole microbial community responses, and the approach developed here facilitates deeper insights into microbial population dynamics. PMID:26751368

  4. Age and Gender Affect the Composition of Fungal Population of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract.

    PubMed

    Strati, Francesco; Di Paola, Monica; Stefanini, Irene; Albanese, Davide; Rizzetto, Lisa; Lionetti, Paolo; Calabrò, Antonio; Jousson, Olivier; Donati, Claudio; Cavalieri, Duccio; De Filippo, Carlotta

    2016-01-01

    The fungal component of the human gut microbiota has been neglected for long time due to the low relative abundance of fungi with respect to bacteria, and only recently few reports have explored its composition and dynamics in health or disease. The application of metagenomics methods to the full understanding of fungal communities is currently limited by the under representation of fungal DNA with respect to the bacterial one, as well as by the limited ability to discriminate passengers from colonizers. Here, we investigated the gut mycobiota of a cohort of healthy subjects in order to reduce the gap of knowledge concerning fungal intestinal communities in the healthy status further screening for phenotypical traits that could reflect fungi adaptation to the host. We studied the fecal fungal populations of 111 healthy subjects by means of cultivation on fungal selective media and by amplicon-based ITS1 metagenomics analysis on a subset of 57 individuals. We then characterized the isolated fungi for their tolerance to gastrointestinal (GI) tract-like challenges and their susceptibility to antifungals. A total of 34 different fungal species were isolated showing several phenotypic characteristics associated with intestinal environment such as tolerance to body temperature (37°C), to acidic and oxidative stress, and to bile salts exposure. We found a high frequency of azoles resistance in fungal isolates, with potential and significant clinical impact. Analyses of fungal communities revealed that the human gut mycobiota differs in function of individuals' life stage in a gender-related fashion. The combination of metagenomics and fungal cultivation allowed an in-depth understanding of the fungal intestinal community structure associated to the healthy status and the commensalism-related traits of isolated fungi. We further discussed comparatively the results of sequencing and cultivation to critically evaluate the application of metagenomics-based approaches to

  5. Age and Gender Affect the Composition of Fungal Population of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract

    PubMed Central

    Strati, Francesco; Di Paola, Monica; Stefanini, Irene; Albanese, Davide; Rizzetto, Lisa; Lionetti, Paolo; Calabrò, Antonio; Jousson, Olivier; Donati, Claudio; Cavalieri, Duccio; De Filippo, Carlotta

    2016-01-01

    The fungal component of the human gut microbiota has been neglected for long time due to the low relative abundance of fungi with respect to bacteria, and only recently few reports have explored its composition and dynamics in health or disease. The application of metagenomics methods to the full understanding of fungal communities is currently limited by the under representation of fungal DNA with respect to the bacterial one, as well as by the limited ability to discriminate passengers from colonizers. Here, we investigated the gut mycobiota of a cohort of healthy subjects in order to reduce the gap of knowledge concerning fungal intestinal communities in the healthy status further screening for phenotypical traits that could reflect fungi adaptation to the host. We studied the fecal fungal populations of 111 healthy subjects by means of cultivation on fungal selective media and by amplicon-based ITS1 metagenomics analysis on a subset of 57 individuals. We then characterized the isolated fungi for their tolerance to gastrointestinal (GI) tract-like challenges and their susceptibility to antifungals. A total of 34 different fungal species were isolated showing several phenotypic characteristics associated with intestinal environment such as tolerance to body temperature (37°C), to acidic and oxidative stress, and to bile salts exposure. We found a high frequency of azoles resistance in fungal isolates, with potential and significant clinical impact. Analyses of fungal communities revealed that the human gut mycobiota differs in function of individuals' life stage in a gender-related fashion. The combination of metagenomics and fungal cultivation allowed an in-depth understanding of the fungal intestinal community structure associated to the healthy status and the commensalism-related traits of isolated fungi. We further discussed comparatively the results of sequencing and cultivation to critically evaluate the application of metagenomics-based approaches to

  6. Herbivory by an introduced Asian weevil negatively affects population growth of an invasive Brazilian shrub in Florida.

    PubMed

    Stricker, Kerry Bohl; Stiling, Peter

    2012-08-01

    The enemy release hypothesis (ERH) is often cited to explain why some plants successfully invade natural communities while others do not. This hypothesis maintains that plant populations are regulated by coevolved enemies in their native range but are relieved of this pressure where their enemies have not been co-introduced. Some studies have shown that invasive plants sustain lower levels of herbivore damage when compared to native species, but how damage affects fitness and population dynamics remains unclear. We used a system of co-occurring native and invasive Eugenia congeners in south Florida (USA) to experimentally test the ERH, addressing deficiencies in our understanding of the role of natural enemies in plant invasion at the population level. Insecticide was used to experimentally exclude insect herbivores from invasive Eugenia uniflora and its native co-occurring congeners in the field for two years. Herbivore damage, plant growth, survival, and population growth rates for the three species were then compared for control and insecticide-treated plants. Our results contradict the ERH, indicating that E. uniflora sustains more herbivore damage than its native congeners and that this damage negatively impacts stem height, survival, and population growth. In addition, most damage to E. uniflora, a native of Brazil, is carried out by Myllocerus undatus, a recently introduced weevil from Sri Lanka, and M. undatus attacks a significantly greater proportion of E. uniflora leaves than those of its native congeners. This interaction is particularly interesting because M. undatus and E. uniflora share no coevolutionary history, having arisen on two separate continents and come into contact on a third. Our study is the first to document negative population-level effects for an invasive plant as a result of the introduction of a novel herbivore. Such inhibitory interactions are likely to become more prevalent as suites of previously noninteracting species continue to

  7. Native and Non-Native Plants Provide Similar Refuge to Invertebrate Prey, but Less than Artificial Plants

    PubMed Central

    Grutters, Bart M. C.; Pollux, Bart J. A.; Verberk, Wilco C. E. P.; Bakker, Elisabeth S.

    2015-01-01

    Non-native species introductions are widespread and can affect ecosystem functioning by altering the structure of food webs. Invading plants often modify habitat structure, which may affect the suitability of vegetation as refuge and could thus impact predator-prey dynamics. Yet little is known about how the replacement of native by non-native vegetation affects predator-prey dynamics. We hypothesize that plant refuge provisioning depends on (1) the plant’s native status, (2) plant structural complexity and morphology, (3) predator identity, and (4) prey identity, as well as that (5) structurally similar living and artificial plants provide similar refuge. We used aquatic communities as a model system and compared the refuge provided by plants to macroinvertebrates (Daphnia pulex, Gammarus pulex and damselfly larvae) in three short-term laboratory predation experiments. Plant refuge provisioning differed between plant species, but was generally similar for native (Myriophyllum spicatum, Ceratophyllum demersum, Potamogeton perfoliatus) and non-native plants (Vallisneria spiralis, Myriophyllum heterophyllum, Cabomba caroliniana). However, plant refuge provisioning to macroinvertebrate prey depended primarily on predator (mirror carp: Cyprinus carpio carpio and dragonfly larvae: Anax imperator) and prey identity, while the effects of plant structural complexity were only minor. Contrary to living plants, artificial plant analogues did improve prey survival, particularly with increasing structural complexity and shoot density. As such, plant rigidity, which was high for artificial plants and one of the living plant species evaluated in this study (Ceratophyllum demersum), may interact with structural complexity to play a key role in refuge provisioning to specific prey (Gammarus pulex). Our results demonstrate that replacement of native by structurally similar non-native vegetation is unlikely to greatly affect predator-prey dynamics. We propose that modification of

  8. Effects of prey assemblage on mercury bioaccumulation in a piscivorous sport fish.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Brett M; Lepak, Jesse M; Wolff, Brian A

    2015-02-15

    Mercury (Hg) is a persistent global contaminant that biomagnifies, often reaching maximum levels in apex predators. Mercury contamination in piscivorous fish is a serious health risk for anglers and other fish consumers. We used data collected from a reservoir in Colorado to develop bioenergetics-based simulations of Hg bioaccumulation to estimate Hg concentrations in walleye (Sander vitreus), a popular sport fish. We evaluated how changes in the prey available to walleye might affect walleye Hg concentrations. Our simulations showed that such changes could result in almost a 10-fold range in walleye Hg concentration. Walleye consuming invertebrates had low growth, low growth efficiency, and high Hg concentrations. Conversely, when walleye diet contained only fish prey their growth and growth efficiency were higher and Hg concentrations were about 85% lower. These predictions were consistent with independent measurements in the study system observed under two different prey regimes in 2008 and 2013. Because prey assemblages in freshwaters can exhibit high natural and anthropogenic variability, understanding variation in predator Hg and providing accurate fish consumption advice to anglers and their families will require frequent monitoring of both predator and prey species. Further, manipulation of prey assemblages is a routine fishery management strategy that could be applied to reduce Hg contamination in piscivorous fishes. PMID:25460967

  9. A density dependent delayed predator-prey model with Beddington-DeAngelis type function response incorporating a prey refuge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripathi, Jai Prakash; Abbas, Syed; Thakur, Manoj

    2015-05-01

    This paper describes a predator-prey model incorporating a prey refuge. The feeding rate of consumers (predators) per consumer (i.e. functional response) is considered to be of Beddington-DeAngelis type. The Beddington-DeAngelis functional response is similar to the Holling-type II functional response but contains an extra term describing mutual interference by predators. We investigate the role of prey refuge and degree of mutual interference among predators in the dynamics of system. The dynamics of the system is discussed mainly from the point of view of permanence and stability. We obtain conditions that affect the persistence of the system. Local and global asymptotic stability of various equilibrium solutions is explored to understand the dynamics of the model system. The global asymptotic stability of positive interior equilibrium solution is established using suitable Lyapunov functional. The dynamical behaviour of the delayed system is further analyzed through incorporating discrete type gestation delay of predator. It is found that Hopf bifurcation occurs when the delay parameter τ crosses some critical value. The analytical results found in the paper are illustrated with the help of numerical examples.

  10. The virus's tooth: cyanophages affect an African flamingo population in a bottom-up cascade

    PubMed Central

    Peduzzi, Peter; Gruber, Martin; Gruber, Michael; Schagerl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Trophic cascade effects occur when a food web is disrupted by loss or significant reduction of one or more of its members. In East African Rift Valley lakes, the Lesser Flamingo is on top of a short food chain. At irregular intervals, the dominance of their most important food source, the cyanobacterium Arthrospira fusiformis, is interrupted. Bacteriophages are known as potentially controlling photoautotrophic bacterioplankton. In Lake Nakuru (Kenya), we found the highest abundance of suspended viruses ever recorded in a natural aquatic system. We document that cyanophage infection and the related breakdown of A. fusiformis biomass led to a dramatic reduction in flamingo abundance. This documents that virus infection at the very base of a food chain can affect, in a bottom-up cascade, the distribution of end consumers. We anticipate this as an important example for virus-mediated cascading effects, potentially occurring also in various other aquatic food webs. PMID:24430484

  11. Bacterial population succession and adaptation affected by insecticide application and soil spraying history

    PubMed Central

    Itoh, Hideomi; Navarro, Ronald; Takeshita, Kazutaka; Tago, Kanako; Hayatsu, Masahito; Hori, Tomoyuki; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo

    2014-01-01

    Although microbial communities have varying degrees of exposure to environmental stresses such as chemical pollution, little is known on how these communities respond to environmental disturbances and how past disturbance history affects these community-level responses. To comprehensively understand the effect of organophosphorus insecticide application on microbiota in soils with or without insecticide-spraying history, we investigated the microbial succession in response to the addition of fenitrothion [O,O-dimethyl O-(3-methyl-p-nitrophenyl) phosphorothioate, abbreviated as MEP] by culture-dependent experiments and deep sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Despite similar microbial composition at the initial stage, microbial response to MEP application was remarkably different between soils with and without MEP-spraying history. MEP-degrading microbes more rapidly increased in the soils with MEP-spraying history, suggesting that MEP-degrading bacteria might already exist at a certain level and could quickly respond to MEP re-treatment in the soil. Culture-dependent and -independent evaluations revealed that MEP-degrading Burkholderia bacteria are predominant in soils after MEP application, limited members of which might play a pivotal role in MEP-degradation in soils. Notably, deep sequencing also revealed that some methylotrophs dramatically increased after MEP application, strongly suggesting that these bacteria play a role in the consumption and removal of methanol, a harmful derivative from MEP-degradation, for better growth of MEP-degrading bacteria. This comprehensive study demonstrated the succession and adaptation processes of microbial communities under MEP application, which were critically affected by past experience of insecticide-spraying. PMID:25221549

  12. From facilitation to competition: temperature-driven shift in dominant plant interactions affects population dynamics in seminatural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Siri L; Töpper, Joachim P; Skarpaas, Olav; Vandvik, Vigdis; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-05-01

    Biotic interactions are often ignored in assessments of climate change impacts. However, climate-related changes in species interactions, often mediated through increased dominance of certain species or functional groups, may have important implications for how species respond to climate warming and altered precipitation patterns. We examined how a dominant plant functional group affected the population dynamics of four co-occurring forb species by experimentally removing graminoids in seminatural grasslands. Specifically, we explored how the interaction between dominants and subordinates varied with climate by replicating the removal experiment across a climate grid consisting of 12 field sites spanning broad-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in southern Norway. Biotic interactions affected population growth rates of all study species, and the net outcome of interactions between dominants and subordinates switched from facilitation to competition with increasing temperature along the temperature gradient. The impacts of competitive interactions on subordinates in the warmer sites could primarily be attributed to reduced plant survival. Whereas the response to dominant removal varied with temperature, there was no overall effect of precipitation on the balance between competition and facilitation. Our findings suggest that global warming may increase the relative importance of competitive interactions in seminatural grasslands across a wide range of precipitation levels, thereby favouring highly competitive dominant species over subordinate species. As a result, seminatural grasslands may become increasingly dependent on disturbance (i.e. traditional management such as grazing and mowing) to maintain viable populations of subordinate species and thereby biodiversity under future climates. Our study highlights the importance of population-level studies replicated under different climatic conditions for understanding the underlying mechanisms of climate

  13. Population.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Pat; Landahl, John

    This pamphlet has been prepared in response to a new problem, a rapidly increasing population, and a new need, population education. It is designed to help teachers provide their students with some basic population concepts with stress placed on the elements of decision making. In the first section of the pamphlet, some of the basic concepts of…

  14. Persistence of black-tailed prairie-dog populations affected by plague in northern Colorado, USA.

    PubMed

    George, Dylan B; Webb, Colleen T; Pepin, Kim M; Savage, Lisa T; Antolini, Michael F

    2013-07-01

    The spatial distribution of prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in North America has changed from large, contiguous populations to small, isolated colonies in metapopulations. One factor responsible for this drastic change in prairie-dog population structure is plague (caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis). We fit stochastic patch occupancy models to 20 years of prairie-dog colony occupancy data from two discrete metapopulations (west and east) in the Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado, USA, that differ in connectivity among suitable habitat patches. We conducted model selection between two hypothesized modes of plague movement: independent of prairie-dog dispersal (colony-area) vs. plague movement consistent with prairie-dog dispersal (connectivity to extinct colonies). The best model, which fit the data well (area under the curve [AUC]: 0.94 west area; 0.79 east area), revealed that over time the proportion of extant colonies was better explained by colony size than by connectivity to extinct (plagued) colonies. The idea that prairie dogs are not likely to be the main vector that spreads Y. pestis across the landscape is supported by the observation that colony extinctions are primarily caused by plague, prairie-dog dispersal is short range, and connectivity to extinct colonies was not selected as a factor in the models. We also conducted simulations with the best model to examine long-term patterns of colony occupancy and persistence of prairie-dog metapopulations. In the case where the metapopulations persist, our model predicted that the western metapopulation would have a colony occupancy rate approximately 2.5 times higher than that of the eastern metapopulation (-50% occupied colonies vs. 20%) in 50 years, but that the western metapopulation has -80% chance of extinction in 100 years while the eastern metapopulation has a less than 25% chance. Extinction probability of individual colonies depended on the frequency with which colonies of the

  15. Violence Affects Physical and Mental Health Differently: The General Population Based Tromsø Study.

    PubMed

    Friborg, Oddgeir; Emaus, Nina; Rosenvinge, Jan H; Bilden, Unni; Olsen, Jan Abel; Pettersen, Gunn

    2015-01-01

    This general population-based study examined associations between violence and mental health, musculoskeletal pain, and early disability pension. The prevalence and consequences of good vs. poor adjustment (resilience vs. vulnerability) following encounters with violence were also examined. Data were based on the sixth wave of the "Tromsø Study" (N = 12,981; 65.7% response rate, 53.4% women, M-age = 57.5 years, SD-age = 12.7 years). Self-reported data on psychological (threats) and physical violence (beaten/kicked), mental health (anxiety/depression), musculoskeletal pain (MSP), and granting of disability pension (DP) were collected. Men suffered more violent events during childhood than women did, and vice versa during adulthood. Psychological violence implied poorer mental health and slightly more MSP than physical violence. The risk of MSP was highest for violence occurring during childhood in women and during the last year for men. A dose-response relationship between an increasing number of violent encounters and poorer health was observed. About 58% of individuals reported no negative impact of violence (hence, resilience group), whereas 42% considered themselves as more vulnerable following encounters with violence. Regression analyses indicated comparable mental health but slightly more MSP in the resilience group compared to the unexposed group, whereas the vulnerable group had significantly worse health overall and a higher risk of early granting of DP. Resilience is not an all-or-nothing matter, as physical ailments may characterize individuals adapting well following encounters with violence. PMID:26317970

  16. Porpoises: From predators to prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leopold, Mardik F.; Begeman, Lineke; Heße, Eileen; van der Hiele, Jaap; Hiemstra, Sjoukje; Keijl, Guido; Meesters, Erik H.; Mielke, Lara; Verheyen, Dorien; Gröne, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    Along the Dutch shores hundreds of harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena are stranded each year. A recurrent phenomenon in the Netherlands is a surge of strandings in late winter and early spring of severely mutilated porpoises, that are mostly in good nutritional body condition (thick blubber layer). These mutilated porpoises have parts of the skin and blubber, and sometimes of the muscle tissue missing. By reviewing photographs of stranded animals taken at the stranding sites as well as autopsy results we found 273 mutilated animals from 2005 to 2012. Mutilations could be classified into several categories, but wounds had been mostly inflicted to the sides of these animals, in a zigzag fashion, or to the throat/cheek region. The stomach contents of 31 zigzags, 12 throats/cheeks and 31 control animals that were not mutilated, from the same age and blubber thickness categories were compared; all these animals had stranded between December and April, 2006-2012. The diet of individuals with zigzag lesions to their sides consisted for a large part of gobies, while animals that had wounds at the throat/cheek had been feeding predominately on clupeids. In comparison, animals without mutilations had a more varied diet, including gobies and clupeids, but also a large proportion of sandeels and gadoids. The finding that the type of mutilation corresponds to a certain diet suggests that porpoises that were feeding on different prey, or in different micro-habitats, were hit in different ways. Animals feeding at the sea floor (on gobies) apparently run a risk of being hit from the side, while animals supposedly feeding higher in the water column (on schooling clupeids), were predominantly hit from below, in the throat region. The wider variation in the diets of non-mutilated porpoises is suggestive of them using a larger variety of micro-habitats.

  17. Linking killer whale survival and prey abundance: food limitation in the oceans' apex predator?

    PubMed

    Ford, John K B; Ellis, Graeme M; Olesiuk, Peter F; Balcomb, Kenneth C

    2010-02-23

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are large predators that occupy the top trophic position in the world's oceans and as such may have important roles in marine ecosystem dynamics. Although the possible top-down effects of killer whale predation on populations of their prey have received much recent attention, little is known of how the abundance of these predators may be limited by bottom-up processes. Here we show, using 25 years of demographic data from two populations of fish-eating killer whales in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, that population trends are driven largely by changes in survival, and that survival rates are strongly correlated with the availability of their principal prey species, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Our results suggest that, although these killer whales may consume a variety of fish species, they are highly specialized and dependent on this single salmonid species to an extent that it is a limiting factor in their population dynamics. Other ecologically specialized killer whale populations may be similarly constrained to a narrow range of prey species by culturally inherited foraging strategies, and thus are limited in their ability to adapt rapidly to changing prey availability. PMID:19755531

  18. Violence Affects Physical and Mental Health Differently: The General Population Based Tromsø Study

    PubMed Central

    Friborg, Oddgeir; Emaus, Nina; Rosenvinge, Jan H.; Bilden, Unni; Olsen, Jan Abel; Pettersen, Gunn

    2015-01-01

    This general population-based study examined associations between violence and mental health, musculoskeletal pain, and early disability pension. The prevalence and consequences of good vs. poor adjustment (resilience vs. vulnerability) following encounters with violence were also examined. Data were based on the sixth wave of the “Tromsø Study” (N = 12,981; 65.7% response rate, 53.4% women, M-age = 57.5 years, SD-age = 12.7 years). Self-reported data on psychological (threats) and physical violence (beaten/kicked), mental health (anxiety/depression), musculoskeletal pain (MSP), and granting of disability pension (DP) were collected. Men suffered more violent events during childhood than women did, and vice versa during adulthood. Psychological violence implied poorer mental health and slightly more MSP than physical violence. The risk of MSP was highest for violence occurring during childhood in women and during the last year for men. A dose-response relationship between an increasing number of violent encounters and poorer health was observed. About 58% of individuals reported no negative impact of violence (hence, resilience group), whereas 42% considered themselves as more vulnerable following encounters with violence. Regression analyses indicated comparable mental health but slightly more MSP in the resilience group compared to the unexposed group, whereas the vulnerable group had significantly worse health overall and a higher risk of early granting of DP. Resilience is not an all-or-nothing matter, as physical ailments may characterize individuals adapting well following encounters with violence. PMID:26317970

  19. Polymorphism of Nitric Oxide Synthase 1 Affects the Clinical Phenotypes of Ischemic Stroke in Korean Population

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung Don; Yun, Dong Hwan; Kim, Hee-Sang; Kim, Su Kang; Kim, Dong Hwan; Chon, Jinmann; Je, Goun; Kim, Yoon-Seong; Chung, Joo-Ho; Chung, Seung Joon; Yeo, Jin Ah

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2293054 [Ile734Ile], rs1047735 [His902His], rs2293044 [Val1353Val], rs2682826 (3'UTR) of nitric oxide synthase 1 (NOS1) are associated with the development and clinical phenotypes of ischemic stroke. Methods We enrolled 120 ischemic stroke patients and 314 control subjects. Ischemic stroke patients were divided into subgroups according to the scores of the National Institutes of Health Stroke Survey (NIHSS, <6 and ≥6) and Modified Barthel Index (MBI, <60 and ≥60). SNPStats, SNPAnalyzer, and HelixTree programs were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and p-values. Multiple logistic regression models were performed to analyze genetic data. Results No SNPs of the NOS1 gene were found to be associated with ischemic stroke. However, in an analysis of clinical phenotypes, we found that rs2293054 was associated with the NIHSS scores of ischemic stroke patients in codominant (p=0.019), dominant (p=0.007), overdominant (p=0.033), and log-additive (p=0.0048) models. Also, rs2682826 revealed a significant association in the recessive model (p=0.034). In allele frequency analysis, we also found that the T alleles of rs2293054 were associated with lower NIHSS scores (p=0.007). Respectively, rs2293054 had a significant association in the MBI scores of ischemic stroke in codominant (p=0.038), dominant (p=0.031), overdominant (p=0.045), and log-additive (p=0.04) models. Conclusion These results suggest that NOS1 may be related to the clinical phenotypes of ischemic stroke in Korean population. PMID:26949676

  20. Floral display size, conspecific density and florivory affect fruit set in natural populations of Phlox hirsuta, an endangered species

    PubMed Central

    Ruane, Lauren G.; Rotzin, Andrew T.; Congleton, Philip H.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Natural variation in fruit and seed set may be explained by factors that affect the composition of pollen grains on stigmas. Self-incompatible species require compatible outcross pollen grains to produce seeds. The siring success of outcross pollen grains, however, can be hindered if self (or other incompatible) pollen grains co-occur on stigmas. This study identifies factors that determine fruit set in Phlox hirsuta, a self-sterile endangered species that is prone to self-pollination, and its associated fitness costs. Methods Multiple linear regressions were used to identify factors that explain variation in percentage fruit set within three of the five known populations of this endangered species. Florivorous beetle density, petal colour, floral display size, local conspecific density and pre-dispersal seed predation were quantified and their effects on the ability of flowers to produce fruits were assessed. Key Results In all three populations, percentage fruit set decreased as florivorous beetle density increased and as floral display size increased. The effect of floral display size on fruit set, however, often depended on the density of nearby conspecific plants. High local conspecific densities offset – even reversed – the negative effects of floral display size on percentage fruit set. Seed predation by mammals decreased fruit set in one population. Conclusions The results indicate that seed production in P. hirsuta can be maximized by selectively augmenting populations in areas containing isolated large plants, by reducing the population sizes of florivorous beetles and by excluding mammals that consume unripe fruits. PMID:24557879

  1. How the Magnitude of Prey Genetic Variation Alters Predator-Prey Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H

    2016-09-01

    Evolution can alter the stability and dynamics of ecological communities; for example, prey evolution can drive cyclic dynamics in predator-prey systems that are not possible in the absence of evolution. However, it is unclear how the magnitude of additive genetic variation in the evolving species mediates those effects. In this study, I explore how the magnitude of prey additive genetic variation determines what effects prey evolution has on the dynamics and stability of predator-prey systems. I use linear stability analysis to decompose the stability of a general eco-evolutionary predator-prey model into components representing the stabilities of the ecological and evolutionary subsystems as well as the interactions between those subsystems. My results show that with low genetic variation, the cyclic dynamics and stability of the system are determined by the ecological subsystem. With increased genetic variation, disruptive selection always destabilizes stable communities, stabilizing selection can stabilize or destabilize communities, and prey evolution can alter predator-prey phase lags. Stability changes occur approximately when the magnitude of genetic variation balances the (in)stabilities of the ecological and evolutionary subsystems. I discuss the connections between my stability results and prior results from the theory of adaptive dynamics. PMID:27501090

  2. Intimate Partner Violence and Its Health Impact on Disproportionately Affected Populations, Including Minorities and Impoverished Groups

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Hitomi; Campbell, Jacquelyn C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In the United States, intimate partner violence (IPV) against women disproportionately affects ethnic minorities. Further, disparities related to socioeconomic and foreign-born status impact the adverse physical and mental health outcomes as a result of IPV, further exacerbating these health consequences. This article reviews 36 U.S. studies on the physical (e.g., multiple injuries, disordered eating patterns), mental (e.g., depression, post-traumatic stress disorder), and sexual and reproductive health conditions (e.g., HIV/STIs, unintended pregnancy) resulting from IPV victimization among ethnic minority (i.e., Black/African American, Hispanic/Latina, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American) women, some of whom are immigrants. Most studies either did not have a sufficient sample size of ethnic minority women or did not use adequate statistical techniques to examine differences among different racial/ethnic groups. Few studies focused on Native American/Alaska Native and immigrant ethnic minority women and many of the intra-ethnic group studies have confounded race/ethnicity with income and other social determinants of health. Nonetheless, of the available data, there is evidence of health inequities associated with both minority ethnicity and IPV. To appropriately respond to the health needs of these groups of women, it is necessary to consider social, cultural, structural, and political barriers (e.g., medical mistrust, historical racism and trauma, perceived discrimination, immigration status) to patient–provider communication and help-seeking behaviors related to IPV, which can influence health outcomes. This comprehensive approach will mitigate the racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities related to IPV and associated health outcomes and behaviors. PMID:25551432

  3. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals' Visitation to Water.

    PubMed

    Harris, Grant; Sanderson, James G; Erz, Jon; Lehnen, Sarah E; Butler, Matthew J

    2015-01-01

    Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation) and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence) predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014) using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella) and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature) and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits) predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus) visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans) visitation. Puma (Puma concolor) visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx). Most ungulate visitation peaked during May and

  4. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals’ Visitation to Water

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Grant; Sanderson, James G.; Erz, Jon; Lehnen, Sarah E.; Butler, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation) and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence) predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014) using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella) and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature) and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits) predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus) visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans) visitation. Puma (Puma concolor) visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx). Most ungulate visitation peaked during May and

  5. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population

    PubMed Central

    Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M.; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were ‘good’ prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  6. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population.

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were 'good' prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  7. Prey distribution, physical habitat features, and guild traits interact to produce contrasting shorebird assemblages among foraging patches.

    PubMed

    VanDusen, Beth M; Fegley, Stephen R; Peterson, Charles H

    2012-01-01

    Worldwide declines in shorebird populations, driven largely by habitat loss and degradation, motivate environmental managers to preserve and restore the critical coastal habitats on which these birds depend. Effective habitat management requires an understanding of the factors that determine habitat use and value to shorebirds, extending from individuals to the entire community. While investigating the factors that influenced shorebird foraging distributions among neighboring intertidal sand flats, we built upon species-level understandings of individual-based, small-scale foraging decisions to develop more comprehensive guild- and community-level insights. We found that densities and community composition of foraging shorebirds varied substantially among elevations within some tidal flats and among five flats despite their proximity (all located within a 400-m stretch of natural, unmodified inlet shoreline). Non-dimensional multivariate analyses revealed that the changing composition of the shorebird community among flats and tidal elevations correlated significantly (ρ(s) = 0.56) with the spatial structure of the benthic invertebrate prey community. Sediment grain-sizes affected shorebird community spatial patterns indirectly by influencing benthic macroinvertebrate community compositions. Furthermore, combining sediment and macroinvertebrate information produced a 27% increase in correlation (ρ(s) = 0.71) with shorebird assemblage patterns over the correlation of the bird community with the macroinvertebrate community alone. Beyond its indirect effects acting through prey distributions, granulometry of the flats influenced shorebird foraging directly by modifying prey availability. Our study highlights the importance of habitat heterogeneity, showing that no single patch type was ideal for the entire shorebird community. Generally, shorebird density and diversity were greatest at lower elevations on flats when they became exposed; these areas are at

  8. Can We Predict Foraging Success in a Marine Predator from Dive Patterns Only? Validation with Prey Capture Attempt Data

    PubMed Central

    Viviant, Morgane; Monestiez, Pascal; Guinet, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Predicting how climatic variations will affect marine predator populations relies on our ability to assess foraging success, but evaluating foraging success in a marine predator at sea is particularly difficult. Dive metrics are commonly available for marine mammals, diving birds and some species of fish. Bottom duration or dive duration are usually used as proxies for foraging success. However, few studies have tried to validate these assumptions and identify the set of behavioral variables that best predict foraging success at a given time scale. The objective of this study was to assess if foraging success in Antarctic fur seals could be accurately predicted from dive parameters only, at different temporal scales. For this study, 11 individuals were equipped with either Hall sensors or accelerometers to record dive profiles and detect mouth-opening events, which were considered prey capture attempts. The number of prey capture attempts was best predicted by descent and ascent rates at the dive scale; bottom duration and descent rates at 30-min, 1-h, and 2-h scales; and ascent rates and maximum dive depths at the all-night scale. Model performances increased with temporal scales, but rank and sign of the factors varied according to the time scale considered, suggesting that behavioral adjustment in response to prey distribution could occur at certain scales only. The models predicted the foraging intensity of new individuals with good accuracy despite high inter-individual differences. Dive metrics that predict foraging success depend on the species and the scale considered, as verified by the literature and this study. The methodology used in our study is easy to implement, enables an assessment of model performance, and could be applied to any other marine predator. PMID:24603534

  9. Prey Distribution, Physical Habitat Features, and Guild Traits Interact to Produce Contrasting Shorebird Assemblages among Foraging Patches

    PubMed Central

    VanDusen, Beth M.; Fegley, Stephen R.; Peterson, Charles H.

    2012-01-01

    Worldwide declines in shorebird populations, driven largely by habitat loss and degradation, motivate environmental managers to preserve and restore the critical coastal habitats on which these birds depend. Effective habitat management requires an understanding of the factors that determine habitat use and value to shorebirds, extending from individuals to the entire community. While investigating the factors that influenced shorebird foraging distributions among neighboring intertidal sand flats, we built upon species-level understandings of individual-based, small-scale foraging decisions to develop more comprehensive guild- and community-level insights. We found that densities and community composition of foraging shorebirds varied substantially among elevations within some tidal flats and among five flats despite their proximity (all located within a 400-m stretch of natural, unmodified inlet shoreline). Non-dimensional multivariate analyses revealed that the changing composition of the shorebird community among flats and tidal elevations correlated significantly (ρs = 0.56) with the spatial structure of the benthic invertebrate prey community. Sediment grain-sizes affected shorebird community spatial patterns indirectly by influencing benthic macroinvertebrate community compositions. Furthermore, combining sediment and macroinvertebrate information produced a 27% increase in correlation (ρs = 0.71) with shorebird assemblage patterns over the correlation of the bird community with the macroinvertebrate community alone. Beyond its indirect effects acting through prey distributions, granulometry of the flats influenced shorebird foraging directly by modifying prey availability. Our study highlights the importance of habitat heterogeneity, showing that no single patch type was ideal for the entire shorebird community. Generally, shorebird density and diversity were greatest at lower elevations on flats when they became exposed; these areas are at risk

  10. Child acute malnutrition and mortality in populations affected by displacement in the Horn of Africa, 1997-2009.

    PubMed

    Mason, John B; White, Jessica M; Heron, Linda; Carter, Jennifer; Wilkinson, Caroline; Spiegel, Paul

    2012-03-01

    Drought and conflict in the Horn of Africa are causing population displacement, increasing risks of child mortality and malnutrition. Humanitarian agencies are trying to mitigate the impact, with limited resources. Data from previous years may help guide decisions. Trends in different populations affected by displacement (1997-2009) were analyzed to investigate: (1) how elevated malnutrition and mortality were among displaced compared to host populations; (2) whether the mortality/malnutrition relation changed through time; and (3) how useful is malnutrition in identifying high mortality situations. Under-five mortality rates (usually from 90-day recall, as deaths/10,000/day: U5MR) and global acute malnutrition (wasting prevalences, < -2SDs of references plus edema: GAM) were extracted from reports of 1,175 surveys carried out between 1997-2009 in the Horn of Africa; these outcome indicators were analyzed by livelihood (pastoral, agricultural) and by displacement status (refugee/internally displaced, local resident/host population, mixed); associations between these indicators were examined, stratifying by status. Patterns of GAM and U5MR plotted over time by country and livelihood clarified trends and showed substantial correspondence. Over the period GAM was steady but U5MR generally fell by nearly half. Average U5MR was similar overall between displaced and local residents. GAM was double on average for pastoralists compared with agriculturalists (17% vs. 8%), but was not different between displaced and local populations. Agricultural populations showed increased U5MR when displaced, in contrast to pastoralist. U5MR rose sharply with increasing GAM, at different GAM thresholds depending on livelihood. Higher GAM cut-points for pastoralists than agriculturalists would better predict elevated U5MR (1/10,000/day) or emergency levels (2/10,000/day) in the Horn of Africa; cut-points of 20-25% GAM in pastoral populations and 10-15% GAM in agriculturalists are

  11. Genetic fitness and selection intensity in a population affected with high-incidence spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.

    PubMed

    Platonov, Fedor A; Tyryshkin, Kathrin; Tikhonov, Dmitriy G; Neustroyeva, Tatyana S; Sivtseva, Tatyana M; Yakovleva, Natalya V; Nikolaev, Valerian P; Sidorova, Oksana G; Kononova, Sardana K; Goldfarb, Lev G; Renwick, Neil M

    2016-07-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is the major and likely the only type of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia in the Sakha (Yakut) people of Eastern Siberia. The prevalence rate of SCA1 has doubled over the past 21 years peaking at 46 cases per 100,000 rural population. The age at death correlates closely with the number of CAG triplet repeats in the mutant ATXN1 gene (r = -0.81); most patients with low-medium (39-55) repeat numbers survived until the end of reproductive age. The number of CAG repeats expands in meiosis, particularly in paternal transmissions; the average total increase in intergenerational transmissions in our cohort was estimated at 1.6 CAG repeats. The fertility rates of heterozygous carriers of 39-55 CAG repeats in women were no different from those of the general Sakha population. Overall, the survival of mutation carriers through reproductive age, unaltered fertility rates, low childhood mortality in SCA1-affected families, and intergenerational transmission of increasing numbers of CAG repeats in the ATXN1 gene indicate that SCA1 in the Sakha population will be maintained at high prevalence levels. The low (0.19) Crow's index of total selection intensity in our SCA1 cohort implies that this mutation is unlikely to be eliminated through natural selection alone. PMID:27106293

  12. G6PD Deficiency Prevalence and Estimates of Affected Populations in Malaria Endemic Countries: A Geostatistical Model-Based Map

    PubMed Central

    Howes, Rosalind E.; Piel, Frédéric B.; Patil, Anand P.; Nyangiri, Oscar A.; Gething, Peter W.; Dewi, Mewahyu; Hogg, Mariana M.; Battle, Katherine E.; Padilla, Carmencita D.; Baird, J. Kevin; Hay, Simon I.

    2012-01-01

    Background Primaquine is a key drug for malaria elimination. In addition to being the only drug active against the dormant relapsing forms of Plasmodium vivax, primaquine is the sole effective treatment of infectious P. falciparum gametocytes, and may interrupt transmission and help contain the spread of artemisinin resistance. However, primaquine can trigger haemolysis in patients with a deficiency in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDd). Poor information is available about the distribution of individuals at risk of primaquine-induced haemolysis. We present a continuous evidence-based prevalence map of G6PDd and estimates of affected populations, together with a national index of relative haemolytic risk. Methods and Findings Representative community surveys of phenotypic G6PDd prevalence were identified for 1,734 spatially unique sites. These surveys formed the evidence-base for a Bayesian geostatistical model adapted to the gene's X-linked inheritance, which predicted a G6PDd allele frequency map across malaria endemic countries (MECs) and generated population-weighted estimates of affected populations. Highest median prevalence (peaking at 32.5%) was predicted across sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Although G6PDd prevalence was generally lower across central and southeast Asia, rarely exceeding 20%, the majority of G6PDd individuals (67.5% median estimate) were from Asian countries. We estimated a G6PDd allele frequency of 8.0% (interquartile range: 7.4–8.8) across MECs, and 5.3% (4.4–6.7) within malaria-eliminating countries. The reliability of the map is contingent on the underlying data informing the model; population heterogeneity can only be represented by the available surveys, and important weaknesses exist in the map across data-sparse regions. Uncertainty metrics are used to quantify some aspects of these limitations in the map. Finally, we assembled a database of G6PDd variant occurrences to inform a national-level index of

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

    PubMed

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

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

  14. How Is Emotional Awareness Related to Emotion Regulation Strategies and Self-Reported Negative Affect in the General Population?

    PubMed Central

    Subic-Wrana, Claudia; Beutel, Manfred E.; Brähler, Elmar; Stöbel-Richter, Yve; Knebel, Achim; Lane, Richard D.; Wiltink, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    Objective The Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) as a performance task discriminates between implicit or subconscious and explicit or conscious levels of emotional awareness. An impaired awareness of one's feeling states may influence emotion regulation strategies and self-reports of negative emotions. To determine this influence, we applied the LEAS and self-report measures for emotion regulation strategies and negative affect in a representative sample of the German general population. Sample and Methods A short version of the LEAS, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), assessing reappraisal and suppression as emotion regulation strategies, were presented to N = 2524 participants of a representative German community study. The questionnaire data were analyzed with regard to the level of emotional awareness. Results LEAS scores were independent from depression, but related to self-reported anxiety. Although of small or medium effect size, different correlational patters between emotion regulation strategies and negative affectivity were related to implict and explict levels of emotional awareness. In participants with implicit emotional awareness, suppression was related to higher anxiety and depression, whereas in participants with explicit emotional awareness, in addition to a positive relationship of suppression and depression, we found a negative relationship of reappraisal to depression. These findings were independent of age. In women high use of suppression and little use of reappraisal were more strongly related to negative affect than in men. Discussion Our first findings suggest that conscious awareness of emotions may be a precondition for the use of reappraisal as an adaptive emotion regulation strategy. They encourage further research in the relation between subconsious and conscious emotional awareness and the prefarance of adaptive or maladaptive emotion regulation strategies The

  15. Thermal acclimation of interactions: differential responses to temperature change alter predator–prey relationship

    PubMed Central

    Grigaltchik, Veronica S.; Ward, Ashley J. W.; Seebacher, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Different species respond differently to environmental change so that species interactions cannot be predicted from single-species performance curves. We tested the hypothesis that interspecific difference in the capacity for thermal acclimation modulates predator–prey interactions. Acclimation of locomotor performance in a predator (Australian bass, Macquaria novemaculeata) was qualitatively different to that of its prey (eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki). Warm (25°C) acclimated bass made more attacks than cold (15°C) acclimated fish regardless of acute test temperatures (10–30°C), and greater frequency of attacks was associated with increased prey capture success. However, the number of attacks declined at the highest test temperature (30°C). Interestingly, escape speeds of mosquitofish during predation trials were greater than burst speeds measured in a swimming arena, whereas attack speeds of bass were lower than burst speeds. As a result, escape speeds of mosquitofish were greater at warm temperatures (25°C and 30°C) than attack speeds of bass. The decline in the number of attacks and the increase in escape speed of prey means that predation pressure decreases at high temperatures. We show that differential thermal responses affect species interactions even at temperatures that are within thermal tolerance ranges. This thermal sensitivity of predator–prey interactions can be a mechanism by which global warming affects ecological communities. PMID:22859598

  16. Nematode population densities and yield of sweet potato and onion as affected by nematicides and time of application.

    PubMed

    Hall, M R; Johnson, A W; Smittle, D A

    1988-10-01

    Nematode population densities and yield of sweet potato and onion as affected by nematicides and time of application were determined in a 3-year test. Population densities of Meloidogyne incognita race 1 in untreated plots of sweet potato increased each year, but Helicotylenchus dihystera and Criconemella ornata did not. Ethoprop (6.8 kg a.i./ha) incorporated broadcast in the top 15-cm soil layer each spring before planting sweet potato reduced population densities of nematodes in the soil and increased marketable yield in 1982, but not in 1983 and 1984. When DD, fenamiphos, and aldicarb were applied just before planting either sweet potato or onion, nematode population densities at harvest were lower in treated than in untreated plots. No additional benefits resulted when the nematicides were applied immediately before planting both sweet potato and onion. Correlation coefficients (P

  17. Socio-economic factors affect mortality in 47,XYY syndrome-A comparison with the background population and Klinefelter syndrome.

    PubMed

    Stochholm, Kirstine; Juul, Svend; Gravholt, Claus Højbjerg

    2012-10-01

    Mortality among males with 47,XYY is increased due to a host of conditions and diseases. Clinical studies have suggested a poorer educational level and social adaptation among 47,XYY persons. We wanted to study the socio-economic profile in 47,XYY persons and the impact on mortality. We conducted a register study using several Danish nationwide registries. 206 47,XYY men and 20,078 controls from the background population and 1,049 controls with Klinefelter syndrome were included. Information concerning marital status, fatherhood, education, income, and retirement were obtained. Compared to the background population, 47,XYY men had fewer partnerships, were less likely to become fathers, had lower income and educational level, and retired at an earlier age. The mortality among 47,XYY men was significantly increased with a hazard ratio (HR) of 3.6 (95% confidence interval: 2.6-5.1). Adjusting for marital and educational status reduced this HR to 2.7. Compared to Klinefelter syndrome, 47,XYY had significantly fewer partnerships, were more likely to become fathers, but had lower income. Mortality among 47,XYY men was increased compared with Klinefelter syndrome with a HR of 1.36. The results show a severely inferior outcome in all investigated socio-economic parameters compared to the background population and an affected profile compared with Klinefelter syndrome, even though the population in Denmark has equal and free access to health care and education. We conclude that 47,XYY is often associated with a poorer socio-economic profile, which partly explains the increased mortality. PMID:22893477

  18. Phenotypic plasticity in growth and fecundity induced by strong population fluctuations affects reproductive traits of female fish.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, Juha; Urpanen, Olli; Keskinen, Tapio; Huuskonen, Hannu; Sarvala, Jouko; Valkeajärvi, Pentti; Marjomäki, Timo J

    2016-02-01

    Fish are known for their high phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits in relation to environmental variability, and this is particularly pronounced among salmonids in the Northern Hemisphere. Resource limitation leads to trade-offs in phenotypic plasticity between life-history traits related to the reproduction, growth, and survival of individual fish, which have consequences for the age and size distributions of populations, as well as their dynamics and productivity. We studied the effect of plasticity in growth and fecundity of vendace females on their reproductive traits using a series of long-term incubation experiments. The wild parental fish originated from four separate populations with markedly different densities, and hence naturally induced differences in their growth and fecundity. The energy allocation to somatic tissues and eggs prior to spawning served as a proxy for total resource availability to individual females, and its effects on offspring survival and growth were analyzed. Vendace females allocated a rather constant proportion of available energy to eggs (per body mass) despite different growth patterns depending on the total resources in the different lakes; investment into eggs thus dictated the share remaining for growth. The energy allocation to eggs per mass was higher in young than in old spawners and the egg size and the relative fecundity differed between them: Young females produced more and smaller eggs and larvae than old spawners. In contrast to earlier observations of salmonids, a shortage of maternal food resources did not increase offspring size and survival. Vendace females in sparse populations with ample resources and high growth produced larger eggs and larvae. Vendace accommodate strong population fluctuations by their high plasticity in growth and fecundity, which affect their offspring size and consequently their recruitment and productivity, and account for their persistence and resilience in the face of high

  19. Estimating HIV incidence among key affected populations in China from serial cross-sectional surveys in 2010–2014

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yan; Guo, Wei; Li, Dongmin; Wang, Liyan; Shi, Cynthia X; Brookmeyer, Ron; Detels, Roger; Ge, Lin; Ding, Zhengwei; Wu, Zunyou

    2016-01-01

    Introduction HIV incidence is an important measure for monitoring the development of the epidemic, but it is difficult to ascertain. We combined serial HIV prevalence and mortality data to estimate HIV incidence among key affected populations (KAPs) in China. Methods Serial cross-sectional surveys were conducted among KAPs from 2010 to 2014. Trends in HIV prevalence were assessed by the Cochran-Armitage test, adjusted by risk group. HIV incidence was estimated from a mathematical model that describes the relationship between changes in HIV incidence with HIV prevalence and mortality. Results The crude HIV prevalence for the survey samples remained stable at 1.1 to 1.2% from 2010 to 2014. Among drug users (DUs), HIV prevalence declined from 4.48 to 3.29% (p<0.0001), and among men who have sex with men (MSM), HIV prevalence increased from 5.73 to 7.75% (p<0.0001). Changes in HIV prevalence among female sex workers (FSWs) and male patients of sexually transmitted disease clinics were more modest but remained statistically significant (all p<0.0001). The MSM population had the highest incidence estimates at 0.74% in 2011, 0.59% in 2012, 0.57% in 2013 and 0.53% in 2014. Estimates of the annual incidence for DUs and FSWs were very low and may not be reliable. Conclusions Serial cross-sectional prevalence data from representative samples may be another approach to construct approximate estimates of national HIV incidence among key populations. We observed that the MSM population had the highest incidence for HIV among high-risk groups in China, and we suggest that interventions targeting MSM are urgently needed to curb the growing HIV epidemic. PMID:26989062

  20. Increased micronucleus frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes contributes to cancer risk in the methyl isocyanate-affected population of Bhopal.

    PubMed

    Senthilkumar, Chinnu Sugavanam; Akhter, Sameena; Malla, Tahir Mohiuddin; Sah, Nand Kishore; Ganesh, Narayanan

    2015-01-01

    The Bhopal gas tragedy involving methyl isocyanate (MIC) is one of the most horrific industrial accidents in recent decades. We investigated the genotoxic effects of MIC in long-term survivors and their offspring born after the 1984 occurrence. There are a few cytogenetic reports showing genetic damage in the MIC-exposed survivors, but there is no information about the associated cancer risk. The same is true about offspring. For the first time, we here assessed the micronucleus (MN) frequency using cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus (CBMN) assay to predict cancer risk in the MIC-affected population of Bhopal. A total of 92 healthy volunteers (46 MIC- affected and 46 controls) from Bhopal and various regions of India were studied taking gender and age into consideration. Binucleated lymphocytes with micronuclei (BNMN), total number of micronuclei in lymphocytes (MNL), and nuclear division index (NDI) frequencies and their relationship to age, gender and several lifestyle variabilities (smoking, alcohol consumption and tobacco-chewing) were investigated. Our observations showed relatively higher BNMN and MNL (P<0.05) in the MIC-affected than in the controls. Exposed females (EF) exhibited significantly higher BNMN and MNL (P<0.01) than their unexposed counterparts. Similarly, female offspring of the exposed (FOE) also suffered higher BNMN and MNL (P<0.05) than in controls. A significant reduction in NDI (P<0.05) was found only in EF. The affected group of non-smokers and non-alcoholics featured a higher frequency of BNMN and MNL than the control group of non-smokers and non-alcoholics (P<0.01). Similarly, the affected group of tobacco chewers showed significantly higher BNMN and MNL (P<0.001) than the non-chewers. Amongst the affected, smoking and alcohol consumption were not associated with statistically significant differences in BNMN, MNL and NDI. Nevertheless, tobacco-chewing had a preponderant effect with respect to MNL. A reasonable correlation between MNL and

  1. Testing predator-prey theory using broad-scale manipulations and independent validation.

    PubMed

    Serrouya, Robert; McLellan, Bruce N; Boutin, Stan

    2015-11-01

    A robust test of ecological theory is to gauge the predictive accuracy of general relationships parameterized from multiple systems but applied to a new area. To address this goal, we used an ecosystem-level experiment to test predator-prey theory by manipulating prey abundance to determine whether predation was density dependent, density independent, compensatory or depensatory (inversely density dependent) on prey populations. Understanding the nature of predation is of primary importance in community ecology because it establishes whether predation has little effect on prey abundance (compensatory), whether it promotes coexistence (density dependent) and reduces the equilibrium of prey (density independent) or whether it can be destabilizing (depensatory). We used theoretical predictions consisting of functional and numerical equations parameterized independently from meta-analyses on wolves (Canis lupus) and moose (Alces alces), but applied to our specific wolf-moose system. Predictions were tested by experimentally reducing moose abundance across 6500 km(2) as a novel way of evaluating the nature of predation. Depensatory predation of wolves on moose was the best explanation of the population dynamic - a mechanism that has been hypothesized to occur but has rarely been evaluated. Adding locally obtained kill rates and numerical estimates to the independent data provided no benefit to model predictions, suggesting that the theory was robust to local variation. These findings have critical implications for any organism that is preyed upon but that also has, or will be, subject to increased human exploitation or perturbations from environmental change. If depensatory predation is not accounted for in harvest models, predicted yields will be excessive and lead to further population decline. PMID:26101058

  2. Environmental contaminants in prey and tissues of the peregrine falcon in the Big Bend Region, Texas, USA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mora, M.; Skiles, R.; McKinney, B.; Paredes, M.; Buckler, D.; Papoulias, D.; Klein, D.

    2002-01-01

    Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) have been recorded nesting in Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA and other areas of the Chihuahuan Desert since the early 1900s. From 1993 to 1996, peregrine falcon productivity rates were very low and coincided with periods of low rainfall. However, low productivity also was suspected to be caused by environmental contaminants. To evaluate potential impacts of contaminants on peregrine falcon populations, likely avian and bat prey species were collected during 1994 and 1997 breeding seasons in selected regions of western Texas, primarily in Big Bend National Park. Tissues of three peregrine falcons found injured or dead and feathers of one live fledgling also were analyzed. Overall, mean concentrations of DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene], a metabolite of DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane], were low in all prey species except for northern rough-winged swallows (Stelgidopteryx serripennis, mean = 5.1 microg/g ww). Concentrations of mercury and selenium were elevated in some species, up to 2.5 microg/g dw, and 15 microg/g dw, respectively, which upon consumption could seriously affect reproduction of top predators. DDE levels near 5 microg/g ww were detected in carcass of one peregrine falcon found dead but the cause of death was unknown. Mercury, selenium, and DDE to some extent, may be contributing to low reproductive rates of peregrine falcons in the Big Bend region.

  3. Prey-stage preferences and functional and numerical responses of Amblyseius largoensis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) to Raoiella indica (Acari: Tenuipalpidae).

    PubMed

    Carrillo, Daniel; Peña, Jorge E

    2012-08-01

    Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) is a phytophagous mite that recently invaded the Western Hemisphere. This mite is a multivoltine and gregarious species that can reach very high population densities and cause significant damage to various palm species (Arecaceae). The predatory mite Amblyseius largoensis (Muma) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) has been found associated with R. indica in Florida. This study evaluated A. largoensis for potential to control R. indica by (1) determining predator preferences among developmental stages of R. indica, and (2) estimating predator functional and numerical responses to varying densities of its most preferred prey-stage. Under no-choice conditions A. largoensis consumed significantly more eggs than other stages of R. indica. In choice tests A. largoensis showed a significant preference for R. indica eggs over all other prey stages. Amblyseius largoensis displayed a type II functional response showing an increase in number of prey killed with an increase in prey population density. Consumption of prey stabilized at approximately 45 eggs/day, the level at which oviposition by the predator was maximized (2.36 ± 0.11 eggs/day; mean ± SEM). Results of this study suggest that A. largoensis can play a role in controlling R. indica populations, particularly when prey densities are low. PMID:21915681

  4. DOES PREY PREFERENCE AFFECT HABITAT CHOICE IN ANTARCTIC SEABIRDS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Diet composition of 2 seabird species assemblages in the Scotia-Weddell Confluence region, Antarctica, was investigated during 3 seasons/years: spring 1983, autumn 1986, and winter 1988. ne assemblage frequented the pack ice and the other was present in adjacent open waters. ost ...

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Effect of light, prey density, and prey type on the feeding rates of Hemimysis anomala

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halpin, Kathleen E.; Boscarino, Brent T.; Rudstam, Lars G.; Walsh, Mureen G.; Lantry, Brian F.

    2013-01-01

    Hemimysis anomala is a near-shore mysid native to the Ponto-Caspian region that was discovered to have invaded Great Lakes ecosystems in 2006. We investigated feeding rates and prey preferences of adult and juvenile Hemimysis in laboratory experiments to gain insight on the potential for Hemimysis to disrupt food webs. For both age groups (AGs), we measured feeding rates as a function of prey abundance (Bosmina longirostris as prey), prey type (B. longirostris, Daphnia pulex, and Mesocyclops sp.), and light levels (no light and dim light). Mean feeding rates on Bosmina increased with prey density and reached 23 ind. (2 h)−1 for adults and 17 ind. (2 h)−1 for juveniles. Dim light had little effect on prey selection or feeding rate compared to complete darkness. When feeding rates on alternate prey were compared, both AGs fed at higher rates on Bosmina than Daphnia, but only juveniles fed at significantly higher rates on Bosmina relative to Mesocyclops. No significant differences were observed between feeding rates on Mesocyclops and on Daphnia. Hemimysis feeding rates were on the order of 30–60% of their body weight per day, similar to predatory cladocerans that have been implicated in zooplankton declines in Lakes Huron and Ontario.

  9. Effects of grazer presence on genetic structure of a phenotypically diverse diatom population.

    PubMed

    Sjöqvist, C; Kremp, A; Lindehoff, E; Båmstedt, U; Egardt, J; Gross, S; Jönsson, M; Larsson, H; Pohnert, G; Richter, H; Selander, E; Godhe, A

    2014-01-01

    Studies of predator-prey systems in both aquatic and terrestrial environments have shown that grazers structure the intraspecific diversity of prey species, given that the prey populations are phenotypically variable. Populations of phytoplankton have traditionally considered comprising only low intraspecific variation, hence selective grazing as a potentially structuring factor of both genetic and phenotypic diversity has not been comprehensively studied. In this study, we compared strain specific growth rates, production of polyunsaturated aldehydes, and chain length of the marine diatom Skeletonema marinoi in both grazer and non-grazer conditions by conducting monoclonal experiments. Additionally, a mesocosm experiment was performed with multiclonal experimental S. marinoi populations exposed to grazers at different levels of copepod concentration to test effects of grazer presence on diatom diversity in close to natural conditions. Our results show that distinct genotypes of a geographically restricted population exhibit variable phenotypic traits relevant to grazing interactions such as chain length and growth rates. Grazer presence affected clonal richness and evenness of multiclonal Skeletonema populations in the mesocosms, likely in conjunction with intrinsic interactions among the diatom strains. Only the production of polyunsaturated aldehydes was not affected by grazer presence. Our findings suggest that grazing can be an important factor structuring diatom population diversity in the sea and emphasize the importance of considering clonal differences when characterizing species and their role in nature. PMID:24272280

  10. Internet-based intervention for mental health and substance use problems in disaster-affected populations: a pilot feasibility study.

    PubMed

    Ruggiero, Kenneth J; Resnick, Heidi S; Acierno, Ron; Coffey, Scott F; Carpenter, Matthew J; Ruscio, Ayelet Meron; Stephens, Robert S; Kilpatrick, Dean G; Stasiewicz, Paul R; Roffman, Roger A; Bucuvalas, Michael; Galea, Sandro

    2006-06-01

    Early interventions that reduce the societal burden of mental health problems in the aftermath of disasters and mass violence have the potential to be enormously valuable. Internet-based interventions can be delivered widely, efficiently, and at low cost and as such are of particular interest. We describe the development and feasibility analysis of an Internet-delivered intervention designed to address mental health and substance-related reactions in disaster-affected populations. Participants (n = 285) were recruited from a cohort of New York City-area residents that had been followed longitudinally in epidemiological research initiated 6 months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The intervention consisted of 7 modules: posttraumatic stress/panic, depression, generalized anxiety, alcohol use, marijuana use, drug use, and cigarette use. Feasibility data were promising and suggest the need for further evaluation. PMID:16942971

  11. Nonadditive impacts of temperature and basal resource availability on predator-prey interactions and phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Costa, Zacharia J; Kishida, Osamu

    2015-08-01

    Predicting the impacts of climate change on communities requires understanding how temperature affects predator-prey interactions under different biotic conditions. In cases of size-specific predation, environmental influences on the growth rate of one or both species can determine predation rates. For example, warming increases top-down control of food webs, although this depends on resource availability for prey, as increased resources may allow prey to reach a size refuge. Moreover, because the magnitude of inducible defenses depends on predation rates and resource availability for prey, temperature and resource levels also affect phenotypic plasticity. To examine these issues, we manipulated the presence/absence of predatory Hynobius retardatus salamander larvae and herbivorous Rana pirica tadpoles at two temperatures and three basal resource levels. and measured their morphology, behavior, growth and survival. Prior work has shown that both species express antagonistic plasticity against one another in which salamanders enlarge their gape width and tadpoles increase their body width to reach a size-refuge. We found that increased temperatures increased predation rates, although this was counteracted by high basal resource availability, which further decreased salamander growth. Surprisingly, salamanders caused tadpoles to grow larger and express more extreme defensive phenotypes as resource levels decreased under warming, most likely due to their increased risk of predation. Thus, temperature and resources influenced defensive phenotype expression and its impacts on predator and prey growth by affecting their interaction strength. Our results indicate that basal resource levels can modify the impacts of increased temperatures on predator-prey interactions and its consequences for food webs. PMID:25820751

  12. Genotype and allele frequencies of drug-metabolizing enzymes and drug transporter genes affecting immunosuppressants in the Spanish white population.

    PubMed

    Bosó, Virginia; Herrero, María J; Buso, Enrique; Galán, Juan; Almenar, Luis; Sánchez-Lázaro, Ignacio; Sánchez-Plumed, Jaime; Bea, Sergio; Prieto, Martín; García, María; Pastor, Amparo; Sole, Amparo; Poveda, José Luis; Aliño, Salvador F

    2014-04-01

    Interpatient variability in drug response can be widely explained by genetically determined differences in metabolizing enzymes, drug transporters, and drug targets, leading to different pharmacokinetic and/or pharmacodynamic behaviors of drugs. Genetic variations affect or do not affect drug responses depending on their influence on protein activity and the relevance of such proteins in the pathway of the drug. Also, the frequency of such genetic variations differs among populations, so the clinical relevance of a specific variation is not the same in all of them. In this study, a panel of 33 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 14 different genes (ABCB1, ABCC2, ABCG2, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, MTHFR, NOD2/CARD15, SLCO1A2, SLCO1B1, TPMT, and UGT1A9), encoding for the most relevant metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters relating to immunosuppressant agents, was analyzed to determine the genotype profile and allele frequencies in comparison with HapMap data. A total of 570 Spanish white recipients and donors of solid organ transplants were included. In 24 single nucleotide polymorphisms, statistically significant differences in allele frequency were observed. The largest differences (>100%) occurred in ABCB1 rs2229109, ABCG2 rs2231137, CYP3A5 rs776746, NOD2/CARD15 rs2066844, TPMT rs1800462, and UGT1A9 rs72551330. In conclusion, differences were recorded between the Spanish and other white populations in terms of allele frequency and genotypic distribution. Such differences may have implications in relation to dose requirements and drug-induced toxicity. These data are important for further research to help explain interindividual pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic variability in response to drug therapy. PMID:24232128

  13. Plant population size and isolation affect herbivory of Silene latifolia by the specialist herbivore Hadena bicruris and parasitism of the herbivore by parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Elzinga, Jelmer A; Turin, Hans; van Damme, Jos M M; Biere, Arjen

    2005-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation can affect levels of herbivory in plant populations if plants and herbivores are differentially affected by fragmentation. Moreover, if herbivores are top-down controlled by predators or parasitoids, herbivory may also be affected by differential effects of fragmentation on herbivores and their natural enemies. We used natural Silene latifolia populations to examine the effects of plant population size and isolation on the level of herbivory by the seed predating noctuid Hadena bicruris and the rate of parasitism of the herbivore by its parasitoids. In addition, we examined oviposition rate, herbivory and parasitism in differently sized experimental populations. In natural populations, the level of herbivory increased and the rate of parasitism decreased with decreasing plant population size and increasing degree of isolation. The number of parasitoid species also declined with decreasing plant population size. In the experimental populations, the level of herbivory was also higher in smaller populations, in accordance with higher oviposition rates, but was not accompanied by lower rates of parasitism. Similarly, oviposition rate and herbivory, but not parasitism rate, increased near the edges of populations. These results suggests that in this system with the well dispersing herbivore H. bicruris, habitat fragmentation increases herbivory of the plant through a behavioural response of the moth that leads to higher oviposition rates in fragmented populations with a reduced population size, increased isolation and higher edge-to-interior ratio. Although the rate of parasitism and the number of parasitoid species declined with decreasing population size in the natural populations, we argue that in this system it is unlikely that this decline made a major contribution to increased herbivory. PMID:15891816

  14. What do predators really want? The role of gerbil energetic state in determining prey choice by Barn Owls.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Mukherjee, Shomen; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-02-01

    In predator-prey foraging games, predators should respond to variations in prey state. The value of energy for the prey changes depending on season. Prey in a low energetic state and/or in a reproductive state should invest more in foraging and tolerate higher predation risk. This should make the prey more catchable, and thereby, more preferable to predators. We ask, can predators respond to prey state? How does season and state affect the foraging game from the predator's perspective? By letting owls choose between gerbils whose states we experimentally manipulated, we could demonstrate predator sensitivity to prey state and predator selectivity that otherwise may be obscured by the foraging game. During spring, owls invested more time and attacks in the patch with well-fed gerbils. During summer, owls attacked both patches equally, yet allocated more time to the patch with hungry gerbils. Energetic state per se does not seem to be the basis of owl choice. The owls strongly responded to these subtle differences. In summer, gerbils managed their behavior primarily for survival, and the owls equalized capture opportunities by attacking both patches equally. PMID:24669722

  15. Detecting frogs as prey in the diets of introduced mammals: a comparison between morphological and DNA-based diet analyses.

    PubMed

    Egeter, Bastian; Bishop, Phillip J; Robertson, Bruce C

    2015-03-01

    Amphibians are currently the most threatened group of vertebrates worldwide, and introduced fauna play a major role in their decline. The control of introduced predators to protect endangered species is often based on predation rates derived from diet studies of predators, but prey detection probabilities using different techniques are variable. We measured the detectability of frogs as prey, using morphological and DNA-based diet analyses, in the stomachs and faeces of four mammal species that have been introduced to many areas of the world. Frogs (Litoria raniformis) were fed to rats (Rattus norvegicus and R. rattus), mice (Mus musculus) and hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus). DNA-based analysis outperformed morphological analysis, increasing the prey detection rate from 2% to 70% in stomachs and from 0% to 53% in faeces. In most cases, utilizing either stomachs or faeces did not affect the success of prey DNA detection; however, using faeces extended the detectability half-life from 7 to 21 h. This study is the first to measure prey DNA detection periods in mammalian stomachs, and the first to compare prey DNA detection periods in the stomachs and faeces of vertebrates. The results indicate that DNA-based diet analysis provides a more reliable approach for detecting amphibians as prey and has the potential to be used to estimate the rate of predation by introduced mammals on endangered amphibians. PMID:25052066

  16. HIV-1 Adaptation to Antigen Processing Results in Population-Level Immune Evasion and Affects Subtype Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Tenzer, Stefan; Crawford, Hayley; Pymm, Phillip; Gifford, Robert; Sreenu, Vattipally B.; Weimershaus, Mirjana; de Oliveira, Tulio; Burgevin, Anne; Gerstoft, Jan; Akkad, Nadja; Lunn, Daniel; Fugger, Lars; Bell, John; Schild, Hansjörg; van Endert, Peter; Iversen, Astrid K.N.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The recent HIV-1 vaccine failures highlight the need to better understand virus-host interactions. One key question is why CD8+ T cell responses to two HIV-Gag regions are uniquely associated with delayed disease progression only in patients expressing a few rare HLA class I variants when these regions encode epitopes presented by ∼30 more common HLA variants. By combining epitope processing and computational analyses of the two HIV subtypes responsible for ∼60% of worldwide infections, we identified a hitherto unrecognized adaptation to the antigen-processing machinery through substitutions at subtype-specific motifs. Multiple HLA variants presenting epitopes situated next to a given subtype-specific motif drive selection at this subtype-specific position, and epitope abundances correlate inversely with the HLA frequency distribution in affected populations. This adaptation reflects the sum of intrapatient adaptations, is predictable, facilitates viral subtype diversification, and increases global HIV diversity. Because low epitope abundance is associated with infrequent and weak T cell responses, this most likely results in both population-level immune evasion and inadequate responses in most people vaccinated with natural HIV-1 sequence constructs. Our results suggest that artificial sequence modifications at subtype-specific positions in vitro could refocus and reverse the poor immunogenicity of HIV proteins. PMID:24726370

  17. Coevolution of venom function and venom resistance in a rattlesnake predator and its squirrel prey.

    PubMed

    Holding, Matthew L; Biardi, James E; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-04-27

    Measuring local adaptation can provide insights into how coevolution occurs between predators and prey. Specifically, theory predicts that local adaptation in functionally matched traits of predators and prey will not be detected when coevolution is governed by escalating arms races, whereas it will be present when coevolution occurs through an alternate mechanism of phenotype matching. Here, we analyse local adaptation in venom activity and prey resistance across 12 populations of Northern Pacific rattlesnakes and California ground squirrels, an interaction that has often been described as an arms race. Assays of venom function and squirrel resistance show substantial geographical variation (influenced by site elevation) in both venom metalloproteinase activity and resistance factor effectiveness. We demonstrate local adaptation in the effectiveness of rattlesnake venom to overcoming present squirrel resistance, suggesting that phenotype matching plays a role in the coevolution of these molecular traits. Further, the predator was the locally adapted antagonist in this interaction, arguing that rattlesnakes are evolutionarily ahead of their squirrel prey. Phenotype matching needs to be considered as an important mechanism influencing coevolution between venomous animals and resistant prey. PMID:27122552

  18. Development of a generalist predator, Podisus maculiventris, on glucosinolate sequestering and nonsequestering prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Geem, Moniek; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Gols, Rieta

    2014-09-01

    Insect herbivores exhibit various strategies to counter the toxic effects of plant chemical defenses. These strategies include the detoxification, excretion, and sequestration of plant secondary metabolites. The latter strategy is often considered to provide an additional benefit in that it provides herbivores with protection against natural enemies such as predators. Profiles of sequestered chemicals are influenced by the food plants from which these chemicals are derived. We compared the effects of sequestration and nonsequestration of plant secondary metabolites in two specialist herbivores on the development of a generalist predator, Podisus maculiventris. Profiles of glucosinolates, secondary metabolites characteristic for the Brassicaceae, are known to differ considerably both inter- and intraspecifically. Throughout their immature (=nymphal) development, the predator was fed on larval stages of either sequestering (turnip sawfly, Athalia rosae) or nonsequestering (small cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae) prey that in turn had been feeding on plants originating from three wild cabbage ( Brassica oleracea) populations that have previously been shown to differ in their glucosinolate profiles. We compared survival, development time, and adult body mass as parameters for bug performance. Our results show that sequestration of glucosinolates by A. rosae only marginally affected the development of P. maculiventris. The effects of plant population on predator performance were variable. We suggest that sequestration of glucosinolates by A. rosae functions not only as a defensive mechanism against some predators, but may also be an alternative way of harmlessly dealing with plant allelochemicals.

  19. Development of a generalist predator, Podisus maculiventris, on glucosinolate sequestering and nonsequestering prey.

    PubMed

    van Geem, Moniek; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta

    2014-09-01

    Insect herbivores exhibit various strategies to counter the toxic effects of plant chemical defenses. These strategies include the detoxification, excretion, and sequestration of plant secondary metabolites. The latter strategy is often considered to provide an additional benefit in that it provides herbivores with protection against natural enemies such as predators. Profiles of sequestered chemicals are influenced by the food plants from which these chemicals are derived. We compared the effects of sequestration and nonsequestration of plant secondary metabolites in two specialist herbivores on the development of a generalist predator, Podisus maculiventris. Profiles of glucosinolates, secondary metabolites characteristic for the Brassicaceae, are known to differ considerably both inter- and intraspecifically. Throughout their immature (=nymphal) development, the predator was fed on larval stages of either sequestering (turnip sawfly, Athalia rosae) or nonsequestering (small cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae) prey that in turn had been feeding on plants originating from three wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea) populations that have previously been shown to differ in their glucosinolate profiles. We compared survival, development time, and adult body mass as parameters for bug performance. Our results show that sequestration of glucosinolates by A. rosae only marginally affected the development of P. maculiventris. The effects of plant population on predator performance were variable. We suggest that sequestration of glucosinolates by A. rosae functions not only as a defensive mechanism against some predators, but may also be an alternative way of harmlessly dealing with plant allelochemicals. PMID:25008387

  20. Prey escaping wolves, Canis lupus, despite close proximity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, M.E.; Mech, L.D.

    1993-01-01

    We describe attacks by wolf (Canis lupus) packs in Minnesota on a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and a moose (Alces alces) in which wolves were within contact distance of the prey but in which the prey escaped.

  1. Prey size and availability limits maximum size of rainbow trout in a large tailwater: insights from a drift-foraging bioenergetics model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodrill, Michael J.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Kennedy, Theodore A.; Haye, John W

    2016-01-01

    The cold and clear water conditions present below many large dams create ideal conditions for the development of economically important salmonid fisheries. Many of these tailwater fisheries have experienced declines in the abundance and condition of large trout species, yet the causes of these declines remain uncertain. Here, we develop, assess, and apply a drift-foraging bioenergetics model to identify the factors limiting rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) growth in a large tailwater. We explored the relative importance of temperature, prey quantity, and prey size by constructing scenarios where these variables, both singly and in combination, were altered. Predicted growth matched empirical mass-at-age estimates, particularly for younger ages, demonstrating that the model accurately describes how current temperature and prey conditions interact to determine rainbow trout growth. Modeling scenarios that artificially inflated prey size and abundance demonstrate that rainbow trout growth is limited by the scarcity of large prey items and overall prey availability. For example, shifting 10% of the prey biomass to the 13 mm (large) length class, without increasing overall prey biomass, increased lifetime maximum mass of rainbow trout by 88%. Additionally, warmer temperatures resulted in lower predicted growth at current and lower levels of prey availability; however, growth was similar across all temperatures at higher levels of prey availability. Climate change will likely alter flow and temperature regimes in large rivers with corresponding changes to invertebrate prey resources used by fish. Broader application of drift-foraging bioenergetics models to build a mechanistic understanding of how changes to habitat conditions and prey resources affect growth of salmonids will benefit management of tailwater fisheries.

  2. Assessing breeding potential of peregrine falcons based on chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations in prey.

    PubMed

    Elliott, J E; Miller, M J; Wilson, L K

    2005-03-01

    Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) now breed successfully in most areas of North America from which they were previously extirpated. The loss during the mid-part of the last century of many of the world's peregrine populations was largely a consequence of impaired reproduction caused by the effects of DDE on eggshell quality and embryo hatchability. Population recovery has been attributed to re-introduction efforts, coupled with regulatory restrictions on the use of organochlorine pesticides. Peregrines have not returned to breed in some areas, such as the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. That region has been extensively planted in fruit orchards which were treated annually with DDT during the early 1950s to the 1970s. Ongoing contamination of avian species, including potential peregrine prey, inhabiting orchards has been documented. In response to an initiative to release peregrines around the city of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, we collected potential peregrine prey species and analyzed whole bodies for chlorinated hydrocarbon residues. We used a simple bioaccumulation model to predict concentrations of DDE in peregrine eggs using concentrations in prey and estimates of dietary makeup as input. Peregrines would be expected to breed successfully only if they fed on a diet primarily of doves. Feeding on as little as 10% of other species such as starlings, robins, gulls and magpies would produce DDE concentrations in peregrine eggs greater than the threshold of 15 mg/kg. We also estimated the critical concentration of DDE in total prey to be about 0.5 mg/kg, one half of the previous most conservative criterion for peregrine prey. Concentrations of dieldrin and PCBs in peregrine prey are less than suggested critical levels. PMID:15589662

  3. A single predator charging a herd of prey: effects of self volume and predator–prey decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarzl, Maria; Godec, Aljaz; Oshanin, Gleb; Metzler, Ralf

    2016-06-01

    We study the degree of success of a single predator hunting a herd of prey on a two-dimensional square lattice landscape. We explicitly consider the self volume of the prey restraining their dynamics on the lattice. The movement of both predator and prey is chosen to include an intelligent, decision making step based on their respective sighting ranges, the radius in which they can detect the other species (prey cannot recognise each other besides the self volume interaction): after spotting each other the motion of prey and predator turns from a nearest neighbour random walk into directed escape or chase, respectively. We consider a large range of prey densities and sighting ranges and compute the mean first passage time for a predator to catch a prey as well as characterise the effective dynamics of the hunted prey. We find that the prey's sighting range dominates their life expectancy and the predator profits more from a bad eyesight of the prey than from his own good eye sight. We characterise the dynamics in terms of the mean distance between the predator and the nearest prey. It turns out that effectively the dynamics of this distance coordinate can be captured in terms of a simple Ornstein–Uhlenbeck picture. Reducing the many-body problem to a simple two-body problem by imagining predator and nearest prey to be connected by an effective Hookean bond, all features of the model such as prey density and sighting ranges merge into the effective binding constant.

  4. Seasonal variation in affective and other clinical symptoms among high-risk families for bipolar disorders in an Arctic population

    PubMed Central

    Pirkola, Sami; Eriksen, Heidi A.; Partonen, Timo; Kieseppä, Tuula; Veijola, Juha; Jääskeläinen, Erika; Mylläri-Figuerola, Eeva-Maija; Salo, Paula M.; Paunio, Tiina

    2015-01-01

    Background In bipolar disorder (BD), seasonality of symptoms is common and disturbances in circadian rhythms have been reported. Objectives We identified high-penetrance families in a geographically restricted area in Northern Fennoscandia and studied the seasonal variation of clinical symptoms among BD subjects and their healthy relatives. Design We explored the clinical characteristics of subjects living in Northern Fennoscandia, with extreme annual variation in daylight. Among known indigenous high-risk families for BD, we compared the affected ones (N=16) with their healthy relatives (N=15), and also included 18 healthy non-related controls from the same geographical area. Seasonal fluctuation in clinical measures was followed up at the 4 most demarcated photoperiodic time points of the annual cycle: around the summer solstice and autumn equinox in 2013, the winter solstice in 2013/2014, and the spring equinox in 2014. In the baseline, lifetime manic symptoms [Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ)] and morningness–eveningness questionnaire type (MEQ) were registered, whereas in the follow-up, depressive [Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)] and distress [General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12)] symptoms and alcohol consumption and sleep were recorded. Results Possibly indicative or statistically significant differences in symptoms between the affected subjects and their healthy relatives were the BDI winter (13.3 vs. 2.6, t=−2.51, p=0.022) and spring scores (12.6 vs. 3.2, t=−1.97, p=0.063) and GHQ winter (4.2 vs. 0.82, t=−2.08, p=0.052) and spring scores (3.8 vs. 0.82, t=−1.97, p=0.063). Scores were higher among the affected subjects, exceeding a possibly diagnostic threshold (10 and 3) at all the time points, and without the notable seasonality which was observed among the healthy relatives. In the overall population, MDQ and MEQ scores had an inverse correlation (−0.384, significant at 0.016), indicating increased lifetime manic behaviour among “the night

  5. Effects of pyrethroid insecticides in urban runoff on Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and their invertebrate prey.

    PubMed

    Weston, Donald P; Schlenk, Daniel; Riar, Navneet; Lydy, Michael J; Brooks, Marjorie L

    2015-03-01

    Pyrethroid insecticides can affect salmonids either indirectly through toxicity to their prey or directly by toxicity to the fish themselves. In support of a study on pyrethroid impacts to Chinook salmon and steelhead trout in the American River (Sacramento, California, USA), 96-h median effective concentration (EC50) and median lethal concentration (LC50) values for the pyrethroid bifenthrin were determined for taxa not traditionally used for toxicity testing but of interest as salmonid prey, including a chironomid, caddisflies, mayflies, and stoneflies. A laboratory was constructed on the banks of the American River to expose macroinvertebrates, Chinook salmon, and steelhead trout to flow-through river water containing urban runoff during storm events. Bifenthrin from urban runoff was found in river water following 5 rain events, reaching 14.6 ng/L. Mortality to the exposed salmonids was not observed, and sublethal effects were not seen in vitellogenin or sex steroid levels. Indirect effects via toxicity to salmonid prey are possible. Mortality to Hyalella azteca, a potential prey, was observed in every event tested, and peak bifenthrin concentrations were comparable to the 96-h EC50 of the caddisfly, Hydropsyche sp., the most important prey species on a biomass basis for American River Chinook salmon. The other invertebrates tested had EC50s exceeding bifenthrin concentrations seen in the American River, though could potentially be at risk at concentrations previously reported in smaller urban tributaries. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;34:649-657. © 2014 SETAC. PMID:25545717

  6. Unintended facilitation between marine consumers generates enhanced mortality for their shared prey.

    PubMed

    Fodrie, F Joel; Kenworthy, Matthew D; Powers, Sean P

    2008-12-01

    We manipulated predator densities and prey vulnerability to explore how interactions between two predators affect overall mortality of their shared prey. Our three-member study system included eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and two of its major consumers: southern oyster drills (Stramonita haemastoma) and stone crabs (Menippe adina). Field experiments demonstrated that drills and crabs foraging together generated higher than expected oyster mortality based on each species operating independently, even though crabs also killed some drills. In subsequent laboratory trials, we experimentally mimicked the handling of oysters by foraging crabs and confirmed that crabs facilitated drills by breeching oyster valves, thereby granting easy access for drills to their prey. Facilitation between co-occurring predators is uncommon and typically occurs because the behavior or habitat selection of a prey species is altered by the presence of one predator, consequently making the prey more susceptible to another predator. Whereas oysters are sedentary regardless of the predator field, we observed an entirely different mechanism that resulted in predator facilitation. This involved direct attacks on the physical defenses of oysters by one predator that ultimately increased the overall consumption rate of foraging species. These dynamics significantly enhanced mortality risk for a foundation species within an estuarine ecosystem. PMID:19137933

  7. Energetic Conditions Promoting Top-Down Control of Prey by Predators

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kristin N.; Essington, Timothy E.

    2011-01-01

    Humans remove large amounts of biomass from natural ecosystems, and large bodied high trophic level animals are especially sensitive and vulnerable to exploitation. The effects of removing top-predators on food webs are often difficult to predict because of limited information on species interaction strengths. Here we used a three species predator-prey model to explore relationships between energetic properties of trophodynamic linkages and interaction strengths to provide heuristic rules that indicate observable energetic conditions that are most likely to lead to stable and strong top-down control of prey by predator species. We found that strong top-down interaction strengths resulted from low levels of energy flow from prey to predators. Strong interactions are more stable when they are a consequence of low per capita predation and when predators are subsidized by recruitment. Diet composition also affects stability, but the relationship depends on the form of the functional response. Our results imply that for generalist satiating predators, strong top-down control on prey is most likely for prey items that occupy a small portion of the diet and when density dependent recruitment is moderately high. PMID:22216348

  8. Linking anti-predator behaviour to prey demography reveals limited risk effects of an actively hunting large carnivore.

    PubMed

    Middleton, Arthur D; Kauffman, Matthew J; McWhirter, Douglas E; Jimenez, Michael D; Cook, Rachel C; Cook, John G; Albeke, Shannon E; Sawyer, Hall; White, P J

    2013-08-01

    Ecological theory predicts that the diffuse risk cues generated by wide-ranging, active predators should induce prey behavioural responses but not major, population- or community-level consequences. We evaluated the non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of an active predator, the grey wolf (Canis lupus), by simultaneously tracking wolves and the behaviour, body fat, and pregnancy of elk (Cervus elaphus), their primary prey in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. When wolves approached within 1 km, elk increased their rates of movement, displacement and vigilance. Even in high-risk areas, however, these encounters occurred only once every 9 days. Ultimately, despite 20-fold variation in the frequency of encounters between wolves and individual elk, the risk of predation was not associated with elk body fat or pregnancy. Our findings suggest that the ecological consequences of actively hunting large carnivores, such as the wolf, are more likely transmitted by consumptive effects on prey survival than NCEs on prey behaviour. PMID:23750905

  9. Linking anti-predator behaviour to prey demography reveals limited risk effects of an actively hunting large carnivore

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Middleton, Arthur D.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; McWhirter, Douglas E.; Jimenez, Michael D.; Cook, Rachel C.; Cook, John G.; Albeke, Shannon E.; Sawyer, Hall; White, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that the diffuse risk cues generated by wide-ranging, active predators should induce prey behavioural responses but not major, population- or community-level consequences. We evaluated the non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of an active predator, the grey wolf (Canis lupus), by simultaneously tracking wolves and the behaviour, body fat, and pregnancy of elk (Cervus elaphus), their primary prey in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. When wolves approached within 1 km, elk increased their rates of movement, displacement and vigilance. Even in high-risk areas, however, these encounters occurred only once every 9 days. Ultimately, despite 20-fold variation in the frequency of encounters between wolves and individual elk, the risk of predation was not associated with elk body fat or pregnancy. Our findings suggest that the ecological consequences of actively hunting large carnivores, such as the wolf, are more likely transmitted by consumptive effects on prey survival than NCEs on prey behaviour.

  10. Tadpoles of three common anuran species from Thailand do not prey on mosquito larvae.

    PubMed

    Weterings, Robbie

    2015-12-01

    Tadpoles are often considered to be predators of mosquito larvae and are therefore beneficial for the control of certain disease vectors. Nevertheless, only a few species have actually been recorded to prey on mosquito larvae. The mosquito larvae predation rates of tadpoles of three common Thai anuran species (Bufo melanostictus, Kaloula pulchra and Hylarana raniceps) were experimentally tested. Tadpoles in varying developmental stages were used to assess a size/age effect on the predation rate. In addition, different instars of Culex quinquefasciatus were used in order to assess a prey size effect on the predation rates. All three species failed to show any evidence of mosquito larvae predation. Neither small nor large tadpoles fed on mosquito larvae. Prey size also did not affect predation. Although tadpoles do not feed on mosquito larvae, there may be other direct or indirect inter-specific interactions that adversely impact the development of larvae in shared habitats with tadpoles. PMID:26611955

  11. Genetic Analysis Identifies DDR2 as a Novel Gene Affecting Bone Mineral Density and Osteoporotic Fractures in Chinese Population

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yan; Yang, Tie-Lin; Dong, Shan-Shan; Yan, Han; Hao, Ruo-Han; Chen, Xiao-Feng; Chen, Jia-Bin; Tian, Qing; Li, Jian; Shen, Hui; Deng, Hong-Wen

    2015-01-01

    DDR2 gene, playing an essential role in regulating osteoblast differentiation and chondrocyte maturation, may influence bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis, but the genetic variations actually leading to the association remain to be elucidated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether the genetic variants in DDR2 are associated with BMD and fracture risk. This study was performed in three samples from two ethnicities, including 1,300 Chinese Han subjects, 700 Chinese Han subjects (350 with osteoporotic hip fractures and 350 healthy controls) and 2,286 US white subjects. Twenty-eight SNPs in DDR2 were genotyped and tested for associations with hip BMD and fractures. We identified 3 SNPs in DDR2 significantly associated with hip BMD in the Chinese population after multiple testing adjustments, which were rs7521233 (P = 1.06×10−4, β: −0.018 for allele C), rs7553831 (P = 1.30×10−4, β: −0.018 for allele T), and rs6697469 (P = 1.59×10−3, β: −0.015 for allele C), separately. These three SNPs were in high linkage disequilibrium. Haplotype analyses detected two significantly associated haplotypes, including one haplotype in block 2 (P = 9.54×10−4, β: −0.016) where these three SNPs located. SNP rs6697469 was also associated with hip fractures (P = 0.043, OR: 1.42) in the Chinese population. The effect on fracture risk was consistent with its association with lower BMD. However, in the white population, we didn’t observe significant associations with hip BMD. eQTL analyses revealed that SNPs associated with BMD also affected DDR2 mRNA expression levels in Chinese. Our findings, together with the prior biological evidence, suggest that DDR2 could be a new candidate for osteoporosis in Chinese population. Our results also reveal an ethnic difference, which highlights the need for further genetic studies in each ethnic group. PMID:25658585

  12. The smell of success: the amount of prey consumed by predators determines the strength and range of cascading non-consumptive effects

    PubMed Central

    Beauvais, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether chemically mediated risk perception by prey and the effects of changes in prey behavior on basal resources vary as a function of the amount of prey biomass consumed by the predator. We studied these issues using a tritrophic system composed of blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus (top predator), mud crabs Panopeus herbstii (intermediate prey), and oysters Crassostrea virginica (basal resource). Working in a well characterized field environment where experiments preserve natural patterns of water flow, we found that biomass consumed by a predator determines the range, intensity and nature of prey aversive responses. Predators that consume large amounts of prey flesh more strongly diminish consumption of basal resources by prey and exert effects over a larger range (in space and time) compared to predators that have eaten less. Less well-fed predators produce weaker effects, with the consequence that behaviorally mediated cascades preferentially occur in refuge habitats. Well-fed predators affected prey behavior and increased basal resources up to distances of 1–1.5 m, whereas predators fed restricted diet evoked changes in prey only when they were extremely close, typically 50 cm or less. Thus, consumptive and non-consumptive effects may be coupled; predators that have a greater degree of predatory success will affect prey traits more strongly and non-consumptive and consumptive effects may fluctuate in tandem, with some lag. Moreover, differences among predators in their degree of prey capture will create spatial and temporal variance in risk cue availability in the absence of underlying environmental effects. PMID:26618090

  13. Evaluation of organochlorine compounds in peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and their main prey (Columba livia) inhabiting central Spain.

    PubMed

    Merino, Rubén; Bordajandi, Luisa R; Abad, Esteban; Rivera, Josep; Jiménez, Begoña

    2005-08-01

    The population of peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus sbs. brookei) inhabiting the Regional Park of southeastern Madrid (RPSM), Spain, has experienced an increase of unsuccessful pairs (from 15% among a total of 20 pairs in 1995 to 55% among a total of 18 pairs in 2001). Traditionally, this area has been known to be contaminated with organochlorine compounds and toxic metals, which are known to be deleterious to the reproductive system of birds. During the breeding seasons of 2000 and 2001, contaminant residues were measured in unhatched eggs of peregrine falcons and liver of their main prey, to determine if they could be affecting the survival of the population. The most abundant contaminants were ortho-polychlorinated biphenyls (ortho-PCBs), ranging from 202.56 to 3,335.16 ng/g (wet wt) in falcon eggs and from 10.25 to 53.51 ng/g (wet wt) in pigeon livers. In all samples, the 2,3,7,8-substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were detected, although these levels never exceeded 20 pg/g (wet wt). The major contributor to total toxic equivalent quantities (TEQs) were non-ortho-PCBs. Organochlorine levels found in this study may contribute to the entire suite of stressors that are negatively affecting the peregrine population. PMID:16152983

  14. Alterations in prey capture and induction of metallothioneins in grass shrimp fed cadmium-contaminated prey

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, W.G.; Hoexum Brouwer, T.M.; Brouwer, M.; Lopez, G.R.

    2000-04-01

    The aquatic oligochaete Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri from a Cd-contaminated cove on the Hudson River, Foundry Cove, New York, USA, has evolved Cd resistance. Past studies have focused on how the mode of detoxification of Cd by these Cd-resistant worms influences Cd trophic transfer to the grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio. In the present study, the authors investigate reductions in prey capture in grass shrimp fed Cd-contaminated prey. They also investigate the induction of metal-binding proteins, metallothioneins, in these Cd-exposed shrimp. Grass shrimp were fed field-exposed Cd-contaminated Foundry Cove oligochaetes or laboratory-exposed Cd-contaminated Artemia salina. Following these exposures, the ability of Cd- dosed and control shrimp to capture live A. salina was compared. Results show that shrimp fed laboratory-exposed Cd-contaminated A. salina for 2 weeks exhibit significant reductions in their ability to successfully capture prey (live A. salina). Reductions in prey capture were also apparent, though not as dramatic in shrimp fed for 1 week on field-exposed Cd-contained Foundry Cove oligochaetes. Shrimp were further investigated for their subcellular distribution of Cd to examine if alterations in prey capture could be linked to saturation of Cd-metallothionein. Cd-dosed shrimp produced a low molecular weight CD-binding metallothionein protein in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Most importantly, successful prey capture decreased with increased Cd body burdens and increased Cd concentration bound to high molecular weight proteins.

  15. Antipredator responses by native mosquitofish to non-native cichlids: An examination of the role of prey naiveté

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rehage, Jennifer S.; Dunlop, Katherine L.; Loftus, William F.

    2009-01-01

    The strong impact of non-native predators in aquatic systems is thought to relate to the evolutionary naiveté of prey. Due to isolation and limited dispersal, this naiveté may be relatively high in freshwater systems. In this study, we tested this notion by examining the antipredator response of native mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, to two non-native predators found in the Everglades, the African jewelfish,Hemichromis letourneuxi, and the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus. We manipulated prey naiveté by using two mosquitofish populations that varied in their experience with the recent invader, the African jewelfish, but had similar levels of experience with the longer-established Mayan cichlid. Specifically, we tested these predictions: (1) predator hunting modes differed between the two predators, (2) predation rates would be higher by the novel jewelfish predator, (3) particularly on the naive population living where jewelfish have not invaded yet, (4) antipredator responses would be stronger to Mayan cichlids due to greater experience and weaker and/or ineffective to jewelfish, and (5) especially weakest by the naive population. We assayed prey and predator behavior, and prey mortality in lab aquaria where both predators and prey were free-ranging. Predator hunting modes and habitat domains differed, with jewelfish being more active search predators that used slightly higher parts of the water column and less of the habitat structure relative to Mayan cichlids. In disagreement with our predictions, predation rates were similar between the two predators, antipredator responses were stronger to African jewelfish (except for predator inspections), and there was no difference in response between jewelfish-savvy and jewelfish-naive populations. These results suggest that despite the novelty of introduced predators, prey may be able to respond appropriately if non-native predator archetypes are similar enough to those of native predators, if prey rely

  16. Prey synchronize their vigilant behaviour with other group members

    PubMed Central

    Pays, Olivier; Renaud, Pierre-Cyril; Loisel, Patrice; Petit, Maud; Gerard, Jean-François; Jarman, Peter J

    2007-01-01

    It is generally assumed that an individual of a prey species can benefit from an increase in the number of its group's members by reducing its own investment in vigilance. But what behaviour should group members adopt in relation to both the risk of being preyed upon and the individual investment in vigilance? Most models assume that individuals scan independently of one another. It is generally argued that it is more profitable for each group member owing to the cost that coordination of individual scans in non-overlapping bouts of vigilance would require. We studied the relationships between both individual and collective vigilance and group size in Defassa waterbuck, Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa, in a population living under a predation risk. Our results confirmed that the proportion of time an individual spent in vigilance decreased with group size. However, the time during which at least one individual in the group scanned the environment (collective vigilance) increased. Analyses showed that individuals neither coordinated their scanning in an asynchronous way nor scanned independently of one another. On the contrary, scanning and non-scanning bouts were synchronized between group members, producing waves of collective vigilance. We claim that these waves are triggered by allelomimetic effects i.e. they are a phenomenon produced by an individual copying its neighbour's behaviour. PMID:17341457

  17. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Walls, Susan C.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Searle, Catherine L.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.

    2010-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.

  18. Inconstancy in predator/prey ratios in Quaternary large mammal communities of Italy, with an appraisal of mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raia, Pasquale; Meloro, Carlo; Barbera, Carmela

    2007-03-01

    Constancy in predator/prey ratio (PPR) is a controversial issue in ecological research. Published reports support both constancy and inconstancy of the ratio in animal communities. Only a few studies, however, specifically address its course through time. Here we study the course of predator/prey ratio in communities of large Plio-Pleistocene mammals in Italy. After controlling for taphonomic biases, we find strong support for PPR inconstancy through time. Extinction, dispersal events, and differences in body size trends between predators and their prey were found to affect the ratio, which was distributed almost bimodally. We suggest that this stepwise dynamic in PPR indicates changes in ecosystem functioning. Prey richness was controlled by predation when PPR was high and by resources when PPR was low.

  19. Essential oils affect populations of some rumen bacteria in vitro as revealed by microarray (RumenBactArray) analysis

    PubMed Central

    Patra, Amlan K.; Yu, Zhongtang

    2015-01-01

    In a previous study origanum oil (ORO), garlic oil (GAO), and peppermint oil (PEO) were shown to effectively lower methane production, decrease abundance of methanogens, and change abundances of several bacterial populations important to feed digestion in vitro. In this study, the impact of these essential oils (EOs, at 0.50 g/L) on the rumen bacterial community composition and population was further examined using the recently developed RumenBactArray. Species richness (expressed as number of operational taxonomic units, OTUs) in the phylum Firmicutes, especially those in the class Clostridia, was decreased by ORO and GAO, but increased by PEO, while that in the phylum Bacteroidetes was increased by ORO and PEO. Species richness in the genus Butyrivibrio was lowered by all the EOs. Increases of Bacteroidetes OTUs mainly resulted from increases of Prevotella OTUs. Overall, 67 individual OTUs showed significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in relative abundance across the EO treatments. The predominant OTUs affected by EOs were diverse, including those related to Syntrophococcus sucromutans, Succiniclasticum ruminis, and Lachnobacterium bovis, and those classified to Prevotella, Clostridium, Roseburia, Pseudobutyrivibrio, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, Prevotellaceae, Bacteroidales, and Clostridiales. In total, 60 OTUs were found significantly (P ≤ 0.05) correlated with feed degradability, ammonia concentration, and molar percentage of volatile fatty acids. Taken together, this study demonstrated extensive impact of EOs on rumen bacterial communities in an EO type-dependent manner, especially those in the predominant families Prevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae. The information from this study may aid in understanding the effect of EOs on feed digestion and fermentation by rumen bacteria. PMID:25914694

  20. Essential oils affect populations of some rumen bacteria in vitro as revealed by microarray (RumenBactArray) analysis.

    PubMed

    Patra, Amlan K; Yu, Zhongtang

    2015-01-01

    In a previous study origanum oil (ORO), garlic oil (GAO), and peppermint oil (PEO) were shown to effectively lower methane production, decrease abundance of methanogens, and change abundances of several bacterial populations important to feed digestion in vitro. In this study, the impact of these essential oils (EOs, at 0.50 g/L) on the rumen bacterial community composition and population was further examined using the recently developed RumenBactArray. Species richness (expressed as number of operational taxonomic units, OTUs) in the phylum Firmicutes, especially those in the class Clostridia, was decreased by ORO and GAO, but increased by PEO, while that in the phylum Bacteroidetes was increased by ORO and PEO. Species richness in the genus Butyrivibrio was lowered by all the EOs. Increases of Bacteroidetes OTUs mainly resulted from increases of Prevotella OTUs. Overall, 67 individual OTUs showed significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in relative abundance across the EO treatments. The predominant OTUs affected by EOs were diverse, including those related to Syntrophococcus sucromutans, Succiniclasticum ruminis, and Lachnobacterium bovis, and those classified to Prevotella, Clostridium, Roseburia, Pseudobutyrivibrio, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, Prevotellaceae, Bacteroidales, and Clostridiales. In total, 60 OTUs were found significantly (P ≤ 0.05) correlated with feed degradability, ammonia concentration, and molar percentage of volatile fatty acids. Taken together, this study demonstrated extensive impact of EOs on rumen bacterial communities in an EO type-dependent manner, especially those in the predominant families Prevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae. The information from this study may aid in understanding the effect of EOs on feed digestion and fermentation by rumen bacteria. PMID:25914694

  1. Potential ungulate prey for Gray Wolves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, Francis J.; Mack, John A.

    1993-01-01

    Data were gathered for six ungulate species that reside in or near Yellowstone National Park. If gray wolves (Canis lupus) are reintroduced into the Yellowstone area, their avoidance of human activities or their management by human may determine their range. Therefore, the area of wolf occupation cannot be predicted now. We restricted our analysis to Yellowstone National Park and to the adjacent national forest wilderness areas. We included mostly ungulate herds that summer inside or adjacent to the park and that would probably be affected by wolves. Our wolf study area includes Yellowstone National Park and adjacent wilderness areas most likely to be occupied by wolves. We reviewed publications, park records, survey reports, and state fish and game surveys and reports for statistics on ungulate populations. These data [provide an overview of ungulate populations and harvests. Each ungulate herd is described in detail. We restricted our analysis to 1980-89, because population surveys were more complete during that period and because population estimates of most ungulate populations had increased by the 1980's. We feel the higher estimates of the 1980's reflect more up-to-date techniques and are most representative of the situation into which the wolves would be reintroduced.

  2. 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.

  3. Infections and parasitic diseases of the gray wolf and their potential effects on wolf populations in North America.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, C.J.; Pybus, M.J.; Ballard, W.B.; Peterson, R.O.

    1995-01-01

    Numerous infections and parasitic diseases have been reported for the gray wolf, including more than 10 viral, bacterial, and mycotic disease and more than 70 species of helminths and ectoparasites. However, few studies have documented the role of diseases in population dynamics. Disease can affect wolf populations directly by causing mortality or indirectly by affecting physiological and homeostatic processes, thriftiness, reproduction, behavior, or social structure. In addition, wolves are hosts to diseases that can affect prey species, thus affecting wolf populations indirectly by reducing prey abundance or increasing vulnerability to predation. Diseases such as canine distemper and infectious canine hepatitis are enzootic in wolf populations, whereas rabies occurs in wolves primarily as a result of transmission from other species such as artic and red foxes. Contact between wolves and domestic pets and livestock may affect the composition of diseases in wolves and their effects on wolf populations. Dogs were suspected of introducing lice and canine parovirus to several wolf populations. THe potential for disease to affect wolf populations and other wild and domestic animals should be considered in wolf management plans, particularly in plans for reintroduction of wolves to area within their former range.

  4. Climate and Demography Dictate the Strength of Predator-Prey Overlap in a Subarctic Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hunsicker, Mary E.; Ciannelli, Lorenzo; Bailey, Kevin M.; Zador, Stephani; Stige, Leif Christian

    2013-01-01

    There is growing evidence that climate and anthropogenic influences on marine ecosystems are largely manifested by changes in species spatial dynamics. However, less is known about how shifts in species distributions might alter predator-prey overlap and the dynamics of prey populations. We developed a general approach to quantify species spatial overlap and identify the biotic and abiotic variables that dictate the strength of overlap. We used this method to test the hypothesis that population abundance and temperature have a synergistic effect on the spatial overlap of arrowtooth flounder (predator) and juvenile Alaska walleye pollock (prey, age-1) in the eastern Bering Sea. Our analyses indicate that (1) flounder abundance and temperature are key variables dictating the strength of flounder and pollock overlap, (2) changes in the magnitude of overlap may be largely driven by density-dependent habitat selection of flounder, and (3) species overlap is negatively correlated to juvenile pollock recruitment when flounder biomass is high. Overall, our findings suggest that continued increases in flounder abundance coupled with the predicted long-term warming of ocean temperatures could have important implications for the predator-prey dynamics of arrowtooth flounder and juvenile pollock. The approach used in this study is valuable for identifying potential consequences of climate variability and exploitation on species spatial dynamics and interactions in many marine ecosystems. PMID:23824707

  5. Predator-prey trophic relationships in response to organic management practices.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Jason M; Barney, Sarah K; Williams, Mark A; Bessin, Ricardo T; Coolong, Timothy W; Harwood, James D

    2014-08-01

    A broad range of environmental conditions likely regulate predator-prey population dynamics and impact the structure of these communities. Central to understanding the interplay between predator and prey populations and their importance is characterizing the corresponding trophic interactions. Here, we use a well-documented molecular approach to examine the structure of the community of natural enemies preying upon the squash bug, Anasa tristis, a herbivorous cucurbit pest that severely hinders organic squash and pumpkin production in the United States. Primer pairs were designed to examine the effects of organic management practices on the strength of these trophic connections and link this metric to measures of the arthropod predator complex density and diversity within an experimental open-field context. Replicated plots of butternut squash were randomly assigned to three treatments and were sampled throughout a growing season. Row-cover treatments had significant negative effects on squash bug and predator communities. In total, 640 predators were tested for squash bug molecular gut-content, of which 11% were found to have preyed on squash bugs, but predation varied over the season between predator groups (coccinellids, geocorids, nabids, web-building spiders and hunting spiders). Through the linking of molecular gut-content analysis to changes in diversity and abundance, these data delineate the complexity of interaction pathways on a pest that limits the profitability of organic squash production. PMID:24673741

  6. Environmental vs. demographic variability in stochastic lattice predator-prey models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tauber, Uwe C.

    2014-03-01

    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. 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.

  7. Access and completion of a Web-based treatment in a population-based sample of tornado-affected adolescents.

    PubMed

    Price, Matthew; Yuen, Erica K; Davidson, Tatiana M; Hubel, Grace; Ruggiero, Kenneth J

    2015-08-01

    Although Web-based treatments have significant potential to assess and treat difficult-to-reach populations, such as trauma-exposed adolescents, the extent that such treatments are accessed and used is unclear. The present study evaluated the proportion of adolescents who accessed and completed a Web-based treatment for postdisaster mental health symptoms. Correlates of access and completion were examined. A sample of 2,000 adolescents living in tornado-affected communities was assessed via structured telephone interview and invited to a Web-based treatment. The modular treatment addressed symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and alcohol and tobacco use. Participants were randomized to experimental or control conditions after accessing the site. Overall access for the intervention was 35.8%. Module completion for those who accessed ranged from 52.8% to 85.6%. Adolescents with parents who used the Internet to obtain health-related information were more likely to access the treatment. Adolescent males were less likely to access the treatment. Future work is needed to identify strategies to further increase the reach of Web-based treatments to provide clinical services in a postdisaster context. PMID:25622071

  8. Access and Completion of a Web-Based Treatment in a Population-Based Sample of Tornado-Affected Adolescents

    PubMed Central