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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.

    PubMed

    Miller, David A; Grand, James B; Fondell, Thomas F; Anthony, Michael

    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.

  2. 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.

  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.

  4. 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

  5. Patterns of prey capture and prey availability among populations of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) along an environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2003-09-01

    In this study we explored the effect of the physical environment and the availability of prey (biomass and taxonomic composition) on the patterns of prey capture and reproduction on five populations of Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) in areas ranging from pine-oak forests to desert scrublands. Environmental variation was summarized using principal factor analysis. Prey availability and prey capture increased toward the shadiest, most humid, and fertile population. The probability of reproduction and average bud production per population did not follow the same tendency because both fitness components peaked at the middle of the environmental gradient. These results suggest that the benefits derived from carnivory are maximized at sites fulfilling a trade-off between light, moisture, and prey availability. We also found that the taxonomic composition of both the available prey and that of the prey captured by plants varied among populations. The results also indicated that the prey captured by plants are not a random sample of prey available within populations. Overall, the results from this study revealed a marked amount of heterogeneity in the physical and biotic environment among the populations of P. moranensis, which has the potential to affect the outcome of the interaction between this carnivorous species and its prey.

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Population and behavioural responses of native prey to alien predation.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Eszter Krasznai; Crowther, Mathew S; Webb, Jonathan K; Dickman, Christopher R

    2012-04-01

    The introduction of invasive alien predators often has catastrophic effects on populations of naïve native prey, but in situations where prey survive the initial impact a predator may act as a strong selective agent for prey that can discriminate and avoid it. Using two common species of Australian small mammals that have persisted in the presence of an alien predator, the European red fox Vulpes vulpes, for over a century, we hypothesised that populations of both would perform better where the activity of the predator was low than where it was high and that prey individuals would avoid signs of the predator's presence. We found no difference in prey abundance in sites with high and low fox activity, but survival of one species-the bush rat Rattus fuscipes-was almost twofold higher where fox activity was low. Juvenile, but not adult rats, avoided fox odour on traps, as did individuals of the second prey species, the brown antechinus, Antechinus stuartii. Both species also showed reduced activity at foraging trays bearing fox odour in giving-up density (GUD) experiments, although GUDs and avoidance of fox odour declined over time. Young rats avoided fox odour more strongly where fox activity was high than where it was low, but neither adult R. fuscipes nor A. stuartii responded differently to different levels of fox activity. Conservation managers often attempt to eliminate alien predators or to protect predator-naïve prey in protected reserves. Our results suggest that, if predator pressure can be reduced, otherwise susceptible prey may survive the initial impact of an alien predator, and experience selection to discriminate cues to its presence and avoid it over the longer term. Although predator reduction is often feasible, identifying the level of reduction that will conserve prey and allow selection for avoidance remains an important challenge. PMID:22042524

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Effects of a disease affecting a predator on the dynamics of a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Auger, Pierre; McHich, Rachid; Chowdhury, Tanmay; Sallet, Gauthier; Tchuente, Maurice; Chattopadhyay, Joydev

    2009-06-01

    We study the effects of a disease affecting a predator on the dynamics of a predator-prey system. We couple an SIRS model applied to the predator population, to a Lotka-Volterra model. The SIRS model describes the spread of the disease in a predator population subdivided into susceptible, infected and removed individuals. The Lotka-Volterra model describes the predator-prey interactions. We consider two time scales, a fast one for the disease and a comparatively slow one for predator-prey interactions and for predator mortality. We use the classical "aggregation method" in order to obtain a reduced equivalent model. We show that there are two possible asymptotic behaviors: either the predator population dies out and the prey tends to its carrying capacity, or the predator and prey coexist. In this latter case, the predator population tends either to a "disease-free" or to a "disease-endemic" state. Moreover, the total predator density in the disease-endemic state is greater than the predator density in the "disease-free" equilibrium (DFE).

  14. Inducible offences affect predator-prey interactions and life-history plasticity in both predators and prey.

    PubMed

    Kishida, Osamu; Costa, Zacharia; Tezuka, Ayumi; Michimae, Hirofumi

    2014-07-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can have strong impacts on predator-prey interactions. Although much work has examined the effects of inducible defences, less understood is how inducible offences in predators affect predator-prey interactions and predator and prey phenotypes. Here, we examine the impacts of an inducible offence on the interactions and life histories of a cohort of predatory Hynobius retardatus salamander larvae and their prey, Rana pirica tadpoles. We examined larval (duration, survival) and post-metamorphic (size) traits of both species after manipulating the presence/absence of tadpoles and salamanders with offensive (broadened gape width) or non-offensive phenotypes in pond enclosures. Offensive phenotype salamanders reduced tadpole survival and metamorph emergence by 58% compared to tadpole-only treatments, and by over 30% compared to non-offensive phenotypes. Average time to metamorphosis of frogs was delayed by 30% in the presence of salamanders, although this was independent of salamander phenotype. Thus, offensive phenotype salamanders reduced the number of tadpoles remaining in the pond over time by reducing tadpole survival, not by altering patterns of metamorph emergence. Offensive phenotypes also caused tadpoles to metamorphose 19% larger than no salamander treatments and 6% larger than non-offensive phenotype treatments. Pooled across salamander treatments, tadpoles caused salamanders to reach metamorphosis faster and larger. Moreover, in the presence of tadpoles, offensive phenotype salamanders metamorphosed 25% faster and 5% larger than non-offensive phenotype salamanders, but in their absence, neither their size nor larval period differed from non-offensive phenotype individuals. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate that inducible offences in predators can have strong impacts on predator and prey phenotypes across multiple life stages. Since early metamorphosis at a larger size has potential fitness advantages, the impacts

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Forest type affects prey foraging of saddleback tamarins, Saguinus nigrifrons.

    PubMed

    Kupsch, Denis; Waltert, Matthias; Heymann, Eckhard W

    2014-07-01

    Callitrichids can persist in secondary forests where they may benefit from elevated prey abundance. However, how tamarins forage for prey in secondary forest compared to primary forest has not been examined. Using scan and focal sampling, we compared prey foraging and capture success of two groups of Saguinus nigrifrons in north-eastern Peru: one ranging in primary forest, the other with access to a 10-year-old anthropogenic secondary forest. There was a trend for more prey search in the secondary forest, but prey feeding, capture success and size were lower compared to the primary forest. Tamarins avoided the forest floor, used vertical supports less often and searched on a lower variety of substrates in the secondary forest. In the secondary forest, tamarins did not capture flushed prey, which make up a substantial part of the total prey captures biomass in primary forests. Reduced prey capture success is unlikely to reflect reduced prey availability, since more Orthoptera were found in secondary forest through ultrasonic surveys. Therefore, the prey search activity of S. nigrifrons in young secondary forests seemed rather opportunistic, presumably influenced by altered predation patterns, vegetation structure, as well as prey diversity.

  20. 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

  1. Prey community structure affects how predators select for Mullerian mimicry.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    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.

  2. Reciprocity in predator-prey interactions: exposure to defended prey and predation risk affects intermediate predator life history and morphology.

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2010-05-01

    A vast body of literature exists documenting the morphological, behavioural and life history changes that predators induce in prey. However, little attention has been paid to how these induced changes feed back and affect the predators' life history and morphology. Larvae of the phantom midge Chaoborus flavicans are intermediate predators in a food web with Daphnia pulex as the basal resource and planktivorous fish as the top predator. C. flavicans prey on D. pulex and are themselves prey for fish; as D. pulex induce morphological defences in the presence of C. flavicans this is an ideal system in which to evaluate the effects of defended prey and top predators on an intermediate consumer. We assessed the impact on C. flavicans life history and morphology of foraging on defended prey while also being exposed to the non-lethal presence of a top fish predator. We tested the basic hypothesis that the effects of defended prey will depend on the presence or absence of top predator predation risk. Feeding rate was significantly reduced and time to pupation was significantly increased by defended morph prey. Gut size, development time, fecundity, egg size and reproductive effort respond to fish chemical cues directly or significantly alter the relationship between a trait and body size. We found no significant interactions between prey morph and the non-lethal presence of a top predator, suggesting that the effects of these two biological factors were additive or singularly independent. Overall it appears that C. flavicans is able to substantially modify several aspects of its biology, and while some changes appear mere consequences of resource limitation others appear facultative in nature. PMID:19936795

  3. The nutritional content of prey affects the foraging of a generalist arthropod predator.

    PubMed

    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

  4. The nutritional content of prey affects the foraging of a generalist arthropod predator.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Predicting prey population dynamics from kill rate, predation rate and predator-prey ratios in three wolf-ungulate systems.

    PubMed

    Vucetich, John A; Hebblewhite, Mark; Smith, Douglas W; Peterson, Rolf O

    2011-11-01

    1. Predation rate (PR) and kill rate are both fundamental statistics for understanding predation. However, relatively little is known about how these statistics relate to one another and how they relate to prey population dynamics. We assess these relationships across three systems where wolf-prey dynamics have been observed for 41 years (Isle Royale), 19 years (Banff) and 12 years (Yellowstone). 2. To provide context for this empirical assessment, we developed theoretical predictions of the relationship between kill rate and PR under a broad range of predator-prey models including predator-dependent, ratio-dependent and Lotka-Volterra dynamics. 3. The theoretical predictions indicate that kill rate can be related to PR in a variety of diverse ways (e.g. positive, negative, unrelated) that depend on the nature of predator-prey dynamics (e.g. structure of the functional response). These simulations also suggested that the ratio of predator-to-prey is a good predictor of prey growth rate. That result motivated us to assess the empirical relationship between the ratio and prey growth rate for each of the three study sites. 4. The empirical relationships indicate that PR is not well predicted by kill rate, but is better predicted by the ratio of predator-to-prey. Kill rate is also a poor predictor of prey growth rate. However, PR and ratio of predator-to-prey each explained significant portions of variation in prey growth rate for two of the three study sites. 5. Our analyses offer two general insights. First, Isle Royale, Banff and Yellowstone are similar insomuch as they all include wolves preying on large ungulates. However, they also differ in species diversity of predator and prey communities, exploitation by humans and the role of dispersal. Even with the benefit of our analysis, it remains difficult to judge whether to be more impressed by the similarities or differences. This difficulty nicely illustrates a fundamental property of ecological

  6. Predicting prey population dynamics from kill rate, predation rate and predator-prey ratios in three wolf-ungulate systems.

    PubMed

    Vucetich, John A; Hebblewhite, Mark; Smith, Douglas W; Peterson, Rolf O

    2011-11-01

    1. Predation rate (PR) and kill rate are both fundamental statistics for understanding predation. However, relatively little is known about how these statistics relate to one another and how they relate to prey population dynamics. We assess these relationships across three systems where wolf-prey dynamics have been observed for 41 years (Isle Royale), 19 years (Banff) and 12 years (Yellowstone). 2. To provide context for this empirical assessment, we developed theoretical predictions of the relationship between kill rate and PR under a broad range of predator-prey models including predator-dependent, ratio-dependent and Lotka-Volterra dynamics. 3. The theoretical predictions indicate that kill rate can be related to PR in a variety of diverse ways (e.g. positive, negative, unrelated) that depend on the nature of predator-prey dynamics (e.g. structure of the functional response). These simulations also suggested that the ratio of predator-to-prey is a good predictor of prey growth rate. That result motivated us to assess the empirical relationship between the ratio and prey growth rate for each of the three study sites. 4. The empirical relationships indicate that PR is not well predicted by kill rate, but is better predicted by the ratio of predator-to-prey. Kill rate is also a poor predictor of prey growth rate. However, PR and ratio of predator-to-prey each explained significant portions of variation in prey growth rate for two of the three study sites. 5. Our analyses offer two general insights. First, Isle Royale, Banff and Yellowstone are similar insomuch as they all include wolves preying on large ungulates. However, they also differ in species diversity of predator and prey communities, exploitation by humans and the role of dispersal. Even with the benefit of our analysis, it remains difficult to judge whether to be more impressed by the similarities or differences. This difficulty nicely illustrates a fundamental property of ecological

  7. Short-term sublethal hypoxia affects a predator-prey system in northern Adriatic transitional waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munari, Cristina; Mistri, Michele

    2012-01-01

    Predation intensity depends on factors that affect both the predator's ability to locate prey as well as defensive responses by prey to approaching predators. The interactive effects of short-term hypoxia and predation were tested on the survival of two bivalves ( Tapes philippinarum and Musculista senhousia) through laboratory experiments using the crab Carcinus aestuarii as predator. We found M. senhousia to be a focal prey of C. aestuarii but, after non-lethal hypoxia, the crabs' preference for the focal prey was influenced by the presence of the other prey, T. philippinarum. We observed an environmentally-mediated, non-reciprocal indirect interaction between the two prey species, probably caused by differences in specific traits. Identifying the influence of short-term disturbance on predator-prey relationships is critical for predicting the effects of changes in water quality on trophic interactions and food web dynamics in transitional systems.

  8. 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

  9. Interactions between benthic predators and zooplanktonic prey are affected by turbulent waves.

    PubMed

    Robinson, H E; Finelli, C M; Koehl, M A R

    2013-11-01

    Predators capture prey in complex and variable environments. In the ocean, bottom-dwelling (benthic) organisms are subjected to water currents, waves, and turbulent eddies. For benthic predators that feed on small animals carried in the water (zooplankton), flow not only delivers prey, but can also shape predator-prey interactions. Benthic passive suspension feeders collect prey delivered by movement of ambient water onto capture-surfaces, whereas motile benthic predators, such as burrow-dwelling fish, dart out to catch passing zooplankton. How does the flow of ambient water affect these contrasting modes of predation by benthic zooplanktivores? We studied the effects of turbulent, wavy flow on the encounter, capture, and retention of motile zooplanktonic prey (copepods, Acartia spp.) by passive benthic suspension feeders (sea anemones, Anthopleura elegantissima). Predator-prey interactions were video-recorded in a wave-generating flume under two regimes of oscillating flow with different peak wave velocities and levels of turbulent kinetic energy ("weak" and "strong" waves). Rates of encounter (number of prey passing through a sea anemone's capture zone per time), capture (prey contacting and sticking to tentacles per time), and retention (prey retained on tentacles, without struggling free or washing off, per time) were measured at both strengths of waves. Strong waves enhanced encounter rates both for dead copepods and for actively swimming copepods, but there was so much variability in the behavior of the live prey that the effect of wave strength on encounter rates was not significant. Trapping efficiency (number of prey retained per number encountered) was the same in both flow regimes because, although fewer prey executed maneuvers to escape capture in strong waves, more of the captured prey was washed off the predators' tentacles. Although peak water velocities and turbulence of waves did not affect feeding rates of passive suspension-feeding sea anemones

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of methylmercury on ontogeny of prey capture ability and growth in three populations of larval Fundulus heteroclitus.

    PubMed

    Zhou, T; Scali, R; Weis, J S

    2001-07-01

    We used three populations of mummichogs (Fundulus heteroclitus), one from a polluted site (Piles Creek [PC], New Jersey) and two from cleaner sites (Tuckerton [TK], New Jersey, and East Hampton [EH], New York), to study (1) whether embryonic, embryonic plus larval, or larval exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) altered larval prey capture ability and growth; and (2) whether there were differences in tolerance to MeHg-induced behavioral changes among the three populations. Eggs and sperm were obtained from mummichogs captured in the field, and their embryos and larvae were kept in clean sea water or MeHg solution (5, 10 microg/L). Larvae were then tested regularly for prey capture rates and prey capture efficiencies, and their lengths were measured. Embryonic exposure to MeHg induced transitory and recoverable impairments in larval prey capture ability, whereas larval exposure alone was relatively ineffective. When both embryos and larvae were treated, larval prey capture ability was affected at a lower concentration and a wider range of larval ages. In terms of growth and prey capture ability, response of larvae to embryonic or larval or exposure to both stages to MeHg varied with populations. TK fish were the most tolerant with respect to behavioral changes but were the most sensitive to MeHg in reduction of growth. EH fish were the most sensitive whenever embryos were treated, and PC fish were the most vulnerable after larval exposure. The population differences in response to MeHg intoxication may be due to pollution related factors or differences in behavioral-related genetic factors. PMID:11385589

  16. Does prey community composition affect the way different behavioral types interact with their environment?

    PubMed

    Nannini, Michael A; Wahl, David H

    2016-10-01

    We examined how different exploratory behavioral types of largemouth bass responded to differing prey communities by determining effects on growth, survival and diet in experimental ponds. We found evidence that non-explorer largemouth bass target young-of-year bluegill early on in life, but bluegill were not an important diet item by late summer. The presence of young-of-year bluegill as prey does appear to affect the foraging strategy of the two exploring types differently. In the absence of small bluegill, both behavioral types feed primarily on benthic invertebrates and zooplankton. When small bluegill were present, we saw a shift away from zooplankton as prey for largemouth bass. However, that shift was toward more benthic invertebrates for non-exploring behavioral types and toward terrestrial insects for exploring behavioral types. Thus, it appears that prey community composition can have important effects on the way in which different behavioral types interact with their environment. PMID:27334870

  17. Does prey community composition affect the way different behavioral types interact with their environment?

    PubMed

    Nannini, Michael A; Wahl, David H

    2016-10-01

    We examined how different exploratory behavioral types of largemouth bass responded to differing prey communities by determining effects on growth, survival and diet in experimental ponds. We found evidence that non-explorer largemouth bass target young-of-year bluegill early on in life, but bluegill were not an important diet item by late summer. The presence of young-of-year bluegill as prey does appear to affect the foraging strategy of the two exploring types differently. In the absence of small bluegill, both behavioral types feed primarily on benthic invertebrates and zooplankton. When small bluegill were present, we saw a shift away from zooplankton as prey for largemouth bass. However, that shift was toward more benthic invertebrates for non-exploring behavioral types and toward terrestrial insects for exploring behavioral types. Thus, it appears that prey community composition can have important effects on the way in which different behavioral types interact with their environment.

  18. Foraging patterns and prey selection in an increasing and expanding sea otter population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laidre, K.L.; Jameson, R.J.

    2006-01-01

    Focal observations of sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) foraging patterns and prey selection were collected in coastal Washington between 1993 and 1999. Records consisted of 13,847 individual dives from 841 feeding bouts ranging from 1 min to >4 h. Average dive time was 55 s ?? 0.9 SE and average surface time was 45 s ?? 2.3 SE, irrespective of dive success. At least 77% of all dives (n = 10,636) were successful prey captures (dives in low light or of undetermined success were excluded). Prey capture success was significantly lower for subadults (63% ?? 5 SE) than adults (82% ?? 1 SE; P 60% red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus), with only 2 other prey species comprising >10% of their diet. Prey size and prey category were dominant predictor variables in generalized linear models of dive duration and postdive surface duration on successful dives. Significant increases in areal extent of surface canopy of giant kelp (Macrocystis integrifolia) and bull kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) were found both in the outer coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca (0.4-0.5 km2 per year, P < 0.05) and suggest increasing suitable habitat for a growing population. The growth and expansion of a small and isolated sea otter population provides a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between dietary diversity and population status and explore similarities and differences between trophic paradigms established for sea otter populations at other localities. ?? 2006 American Society of Mammalogists.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  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. Factors affecting preference responses of the freshwater ciliate Uronema nigricans to bacterial prey.

    PubMed

    Ayo, Begoña; Latatu, Ainhoa; Artolozaga, Itxaso; Jürgens, Klaus; Iriberri, Juan

    2009-01-01

    To enhance our understanding of the factors affecting feeding selectivity of bacterivorous protists in aquatic systems, we examined the preference responses of the freshwater ciliate Uronema nigricans towards three bacterial prey taxa, Pseudomonas luteola, Serratia rubidaea, and Aeromonas hydrophila. Potential factors influencing the predator-prey contact rate included the previous feeding history of the ciliate and physiological state of bacteria. Preference indexes were obtained from multiple-choice mazes in which ciliates moved preferentially towards alternative bacteria or the prey species on which they had been feeding. Uronema nigricans showed differential attraction towards the offered prey types, and these preferences varied as a function of the ciliate feeding history: U. nigricans growing on P. luteola showed lower preference responses towards the offered bacteria than U. nigricans growing on S. rubidaea. The bacteria in stationary phase elicited a higher degree of attraction than bacteria in exponential phase, probably due to a higher concentration of carbohydrates in the former. Therefore, this protist will preferentially swim towards bacteria in stationary growth phase, although the degree of this response will be affected by the recent feeding history of the ciliate.

  7. 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

  8. Birds of prey as limiting factors of gamebird populations in Europe: a review.

    PubMed

    Valkama, Jari; Korpimäki, Erkki; Arroyo, Beatriz; Beja, Pedro; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Bro, Elisabeth; Kenward, Robert; Mañosa, Santi; Redpath, Stephen M; Thirgood, Simon; Viñuela, Javier

    2005-05-01

    Whether predators can limit their prey has been a topic of scientific debate for decades. Traditionally it was believed that predators take only wounded, sick, old or otherwise low-quality individuals, and thus have little impact on prey populations. However, there is increasing evidence that, at least under certain circumstances, vertebrate predators may indeed limit prey numbers. This potential role of predators as limiting factors of prey populations has created conflicts between predators and human hunters, because the hunters may see predators as competitors for the same resources. A particularly acute conflict has emerged over the past few decades between gamebird hunters and birds of prey in Europe. As a part of a European-wide research project, we reviewed literature on the relationships between birds of prey and gamebirds. We start by analysing available data on the diets of 52 European raptor and owl species. There are some 32 species, mostly specialist predators feeding on small mammals, small passerine birds or insects, which never or very rarely include game animals (e.g. hares, rabbits, gamebirds) in their diet. A second group (20 species) consists of medium-sized and large raptors which prey on game, but for which the proportion in the diet varies temporally and spatially. Only three raptor species can have rather large proportions of gamebirds in their diet, and another seven species may utilise gamebirds locally to a great extent. We point out that the percentage of a given prey species in the diet of an avian predator does not necessarily reflect the impact of that predator on densities of prey populations. Next, we summarise available data on the numerical responses of avian predators to changing gamebird numbers. In half of these studies, no numerical response was found, while in the remainder a response was detected such that either raptor density or breeding success increased with density of gamebirds. Data on the functional responses of

  9. Birds of prey as limiting factors of gamebird populations in Europe: a review.

    PubMed

    Valkama, Jari; Korpimäki, Erkki; Arroyo, Beatriz; Beja, Pedro; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Bro, Elisabeth; Kenward, Robert; Mañosa, Santi; Redpath, Stephen M; Thirgood, Simon; Viñuela, Javier

    2005-05-01

    Whether predators can limit their prey has been a topic of scientific debate for decades. Traditionally it was believed that predators take only wounded, sick, old or otherwise low-quality individuals, and thus have little impact on prey populations. However, there is increasing evidence that, at least under certain circumstances, vertebrate predators may indeed limit prey numbers. This potential role of predators as limiting factors of prey populations has created conflicts between predators and human hunters, because the hunters may see predators as competitors for the same resources. A particularly acute conflict has emerged over the past few decades between gamebird hunters and birds of prey in Europe. As a part of a European-wide research project, we reviewed literature on the relationships between birds of prey and gamebirds. We start by analysing available data on the diets of 52 European raptor and owl species. There are some 32 species, mostly specialist predators feeding on small mammals, small passerine birds or insects, which never or very rarely include game animals (e.g. hares, rabbits, gamebirds) in their diet. A second group (20 species) consists of medium-sized and large raptors which prey on game, but for which the proportion in the diet varies temporally and spatially. Only three raptor species can have rather large proportions of gamebirds in their diet, and another seven species may utilise gamebirds locally to a great extent. We point out that the percentage of a given prey species in the diet of an avian predator does not necessarily reflect the impact of that predator on densities of prey populations. Next, we summarise available data on the numerical responses of avian predators to changing gamebird numbers. In half of these studies, no numerical response was found, while in the remainder a response was detected such that either raptor density or breeding success increased with density of gamebirds. Data on the functional responses of

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular sexing of prey remains permits a test of sex-biased predation in a wintering population of western sandpipers.

    PubMed Central

    Nebel, Silke; Cloutier, Alison; Thompson, Graham J

    2004-01-01

    Population sex ratios in monogamous birds are often male biased. One factor that can affect population sex ratios is sex-biased predation. However, most estimates of sex-biased predation in birds have focused on species with obvious sexual colour dimorphism or body size dimorphism. Data on sexually monomorphic birds are generally lacking. In the present study, we adopt a PCR-based sexing procedure to help test for sex-biased predation in a wintering population of western sandpipers (Calidris mauri), a shorebird that shows only subtle sexual size dimorphism. Specifically, by comparing the a priori determined sex ratio of live birds wintering at a site in western Mexico to the molecular estimate obtained from depredated birds at this same site, we were able to perform a population-specific test for sex bias in predator-induced mortality. The proportion of females estimated from living (ca. 25%) versus dead (ca. 24%) individuals was in fact not significantly different, indicating that the strong male bias in this population is not due to differential predation. However, molecular sexing of prey remains is a hitherto unexploited test of sex-biased predation in birds, and is potentially applicable to any species for which prey remains can be gathered. We discuss our results in the context of alternate ecological hypotheses for population sex biases. PMID:15504006

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Competition and Facilitation between a Disease and a Predator in a Stunted Prey Population

    PubMed Central

    Boerlijst, Maarten C.; de Roos, André M.

    2015-01-01

    The role of diseases and parasites has received relatively little attention in modelling ecological dynamics despite mounting evidence of their importance in structuring communities. In contrast to predators, parasites do not necessarily kill their host but instead they may change host life history. Here, we study the impact of a parasite that selectively infects juvenile prey individuals and prevents them from maturing into adults. The model is inspired by the Ligula intestinalis tape worm and its cyprinid fish host Rutilis rutilis. We demonstrate that the parasite can promote as well as demote the so-called stunting in its host population, that is, the accumulation of juvenile prey, which leads to strong exploitation competition and consequently to a bottleneck in maturation. If competition between infected and uninfected individuals is strong, stunting will be enhanced and bistability between a stunted and non-stunted prey population occurs. In this case, the disease competes with the predator of its host species, possibly leading to predator extinction. In contrast, if the competition between infected and uninfected individuals is weak, the stunting is relieved, and epi-zoonotic cycles will occur, with recurrent epidemic outbreaks. Here, the disease facilitates the predator, and predator density will be substantially increased. We discuss the implications of our results for the dynamics and structure of the natural Ligula-Roach system. PMID:26147293

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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).

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Interactions between size-structured predator and prey populations: Experimental test and model comparison

    SciTech Connect

    Rice, J.A.; Crowder, L.B. ); Rose, K.A. )

    1993-05-01

    Because predation mortality is often size-dependent, the survival and size structure of prey populations may vary substantially depending on the size structure of the predator assemblage. We tested this hypothesis in a replicated pond experiment in which a bimodal size distribution of young-of-year spot Leiostomus xanthurus was exposed to two sizes of southern flounder Paralichthys lethostigma, each predator size-group present alone or together, at densities providing equal predation pressure. After 3 weeks, we examined cohort survival and size distributions of remaining spot. In the non-predator controls, spot size-frequency distributions were essentially unchanged, and survival of the large- and small-spot cohorts was similar. However, the size distribution of survivors, and the relative survival of large- and small-spot cohorts, differed markedly with the size structure of the predator assemblage. In the presence of small southern flounders, the large-spot cohort survived 4 times better than the small-spot cohort. In the large-flounder-only treatment, small spot survived 2.4 times better than large spot. When both large and small southern flounders were present, large spot had a net advantage, exceeding small spot survival by 2.4 times. We developed an individual-based model of the flounder-spot size-dependent predation interaction based on data from independent laboratory observations on size-based prey profit-ability, and used it to simulate the results of our experimental treatments. Model predictions of spot survival and size distributions agreed well with the pond experimental results when encounter rates were assumed to scale with spot size and density and with southern flounder density. 37 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Study of a tri-trophic prey-dependent food chain model of interacting populations.

    PubMed

    Haque, Mainul; Ali, Nijamuddin; Chakravarty, Santabrata

    2013-11-01

    The current paper accounts for the influence of intra-specific competition among predators in a prey dependent tri-trophic food chain model of interacting populations. We offer a detailed mathematical analysis of the proposed food chain model to illustrate some of the significant results that has arisen from the interplay of deterministic ecological phenomena and processes. Biologically feasible equilibria of the system are observed and the behaviours of the system around each of them are described. In particular, persistence, stability (local and global) and bifurcation (saddle-node, transcritical, Hopf-Andronov) analysis of this model are obtained. Relevant results from previous well known food chain models are compared with the current findings. Global stability analysis is also carried out by constructing appropriate Lyapunov functions. Numerical simulations show that the present system is capable enough to produce chaotic dynamics when the rate of self-interaction is very low. On the other hand such chaotic behaviour disappears for a certain value of the rate of self interaction. In addition, numerical simulations with experimented parameters values confirm the analytical results and shows that intra-specific competitions bears a potential role in controlling the chaotic dynamics of the system; and thus the role of self interactions in food chain model is illustrated first time. Finally, a discussion of the ecological applications of the analytical and numerical findings concludes the paper.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Population properties affect inbreeding avoidance in moose.

    PubMed

    Herfindal, Ivar; Haanes, Hallvard; Røed, Knut H; Solberg, Erling J; Markussen, Stine S; Heim, Morten; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2014-12-01

    Mechanisms reducing inbreeding are thought to have evolved owing to fitness costs of breeding with close relatives. In small and isolated populations, or populations with skewed age- or sex distributions, mate choice becomes limited, and inbreeding avoidance mechanisms ineffective. We used a unique individual-based dataset on moose from a small island in Norway to assess whether inbreeding avoidance was related to population structure and size, expecting inbreeding avoidance to be greater in years with larger populations and even adult sex ratios. The probability that a potential mating event was realized was negatively related to the inbreeding coefficient of the potential offspring, with a stronger relationship in years with a higher proportion or number of males in the population. Thus, adult sex ratio and population size affect the degree of inbreeding avoidance. Consequently, conservation managers should aim for sex ratios that facilitate inbreeding avoidance, especially in small and isolated populations.

  16. Consumptive and nonconsumptive effects of predators on metacommunities of competing prey.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Pantel, Jelena H; Peacor, Scott D; Peckarsky, Barbara L; Sih, Andrew; Werner, Earl E

    2008-09-01

    Although predators affect prey both via consumption and by changing prey migration behavior, the interplay between these two effects is rarely incorporated into spatial models of predator-prey dynamics and competition among prey. We develop a model where generalist predators have consumptive effects (i.e., altering the likelihood of local prey extinction) as well as nonconsumptive effects (altering the likelihood of colonization) on spatially separated prey populations (metapopulations). We then extend this model to explore the effects of predators on competition among prey. We find that generalist predators can promote persistence of prey metapopulations by promoting prey colonization, but predators can also hasten system-wide extinction by either increasing local extinction or reducing prey migration. By altering rates of prey migration, predators in one location can exert remote control over prey dynamics in another location via predator-mediated changes in prey flux. Thus, the effect of predators may extend well beyond the proportion of patches they visit. In the context of prey metacommunities, predator-mediated shifts in prey migration and mortality can shift the competition-colonization trade-off among competing prey, leading to changes in the prey community as well as changes in the susceptibility of prey species to habitat loss. Consequently, native prey communities may be susceptible to invasion not only by exotic prey species that experience reduced amounts of mortality from resident predators, but also by exotic prey species that exhibit strong dispersal in response to generalist native predators. Ultimately, our work suggests that the consumptive and nonconsumptive effects of generalist predators may have strong, yet potentially cryptic, effects on competing prey capable of mediating coexistence, fostering invasion, and interacting with anthropogenic habitat alteration.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Antarctic sea ice thickness affects algae populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2013-01-01

    In the waters off Antarctica, algae grow and live in the sea ice that surrounds the southern continent—a floating habitat sure to change as the planet warms. As with most aquatic ecosystems, microscopic algae form the base of the Southern Ocean food web. Distinct algae populations reside in the sea ice surface layers, on the ice's underside, and within the floating ice itself. The algae that reside on the floating ice's underside are particularly important for the region's krill population, while those on the interior or surface layers are less accessible. Understanding how changing sea ice properties will affect the regional biology, then, depends on understanding how algae populations interact with the ice.

  7. Patterns formations in a diffusive ratio-dependent predator-prey model of interacting populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camara, B. I.; Haque, M.; Mokrani, H.

    2016-11-01

    The present investigation deals with the analysis of the spatial pattern formation of a diffusive predator-prey system with ratio-dependent functional response involving the influence of intra-species competition among predators within two-dimensional space. The appropriate condition of Turing instability around the interior equilibrium point of the present model has been determined. The emergence of complex patterns in the diffusive predator-prey model is illustrated through numerical simulations. These results are based on the existence of bifurcations of higher codimension such as Turing-Hopf, Turing-Saddle-node, Turing-Transcritical bifurcation, and the codimension- 3 ​Turing-Takens-Bogdanov bifurcation. The paper concludes with discussions of our results in ecology.

  8. The influence of predator--prey population dynamics on the long-term evolution of food web structure.

    PubMed

    Drossel, B; Higgs, P G; McKane, A J

    2001-01-01

    We develop a set of equations to describe the population dynamics of many interacting species in food webs. Predator-prey interactions are nonlinear, and are based on ratio-dependent functional responses. The equations account for competition for resources between members of the same species, and between members of different species. Predators divide their total hunting/foraging effort between the available prey species according to an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS). The ESS foraging behaviour does not correspond to the predictions of optimal foraging theory. We use the population dynamics equations in simulations of the Webworld model of evolving ecosystems. New species are added to an existing food web due to speciation events, whilst species become extinct due to coevolution and competition. We study the dynamics of species-diversity in Webworld on a macro-evolutionary time-scale. Coevolutionary interactions are strong enough to cause continuous overturn of species, in contrast to our previous Webworld simulations with simpler population dynamics. Although there are significant fluctuations in species diversity because of speciation and extinction, very large-scale extinction avalanches appear to be absent from the dynamics, and we find no evidence for self-organized criticality.

  9. 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

  10. Comparative growth and development of spiders reared on live and dead prey.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Population Divergence in Venom Bioactivities of Elapid Snake Pseudonaja textilis: Role of Procoagulant Proteins in Rapid Rodent Prey Incapacitation

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. 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.

  13. Influence of density dependence on predator-prey seabird interactions at large spatio-temporal scales.

    PubMed

    Oro, Daniel; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Paracuellos, Mariano; Nevado, Juan Carlos; Genovart, Meritxell

    2006-02-01

    Theoretical investigations of competitive dynamics have noted that numbers of predator and prey influence each other. However, few empirical studies have demonstrated how a life-history trait of the prey (such as fecundity) can be affected simultaneously by its own density and the density of predators. For instance, density dependence can reduce fecundity with increasing number of prey, while inverse density dependence or Allee effects may occur especially when the prey is a social organism. Here we analysed an intraguild predator-prey system of two seabird species at a large spatio-temporal scale. As expected, we found that fecundity of prey was negatively affected by predator density. Nevertheless, fecundity of prey also increased nonlinearly with its own density and strikingly with the prey-predator ratio. Small groups of prey were probably not able to defend their nests especially against large number of predators. At the highest prey densities (i.e. when anti-predator strategies should be most efficient), prey fecundity also lowered, suggesting the appearance of density dependence mediated by food competition. Allee effects and density dependence occurred across a broad range of population sizes of both the prey and the predator at several local populations facing different ecological environments. PMID:16543182

  14. 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.

  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.

  16. 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

  17. Influence of density dependence on predator–prey seabird interactions at large spatio-temporal scales

    PubMed Central

    Oro, Daniel; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Paracuellos, Mariano; Nevado, Juan Carlos; Genovart, Meritxell

    2005-01-01

    Theoretical investigations of competitive dynamics have noted that numbers of predator and prey influence each other. However, few empirical studies have demonstrated how a life-history trait of the prey (such as fecundity) can be affected simultaneously by its own density and the density of predators. For instance, density dependence can reduce fecundity with increasing number of prey, while inverse density dependence or Allee effects may occur especially when the prey is a social organism. Here we analysed an intraguild predator–prey system of two seabird species at a large spatio-temporal scale. As expected, we found that fecundity of prey was negatively affected by predator density. Nevertheless, fecundity of prey also increased nonlinearly with its own density and strikingly with the prey–predator ratio. Small groups of prey were probably not able to defend their nests especially against large number of predators. At the highest prey densities (i.e. when anti-predator strategies should be most efficient), prey fecundity also lowered, suggesting the appearance of density dependence mediated by food competition. Allee effects and density dependence occurred across a broad range of population sizes of both the prey and the predator at several local populations facing different ecological environments. PMID:16543182

  18. 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

  19. Preference and Prey Switching in a Generalist Predator Attacking Local and Invasive Alien Pests

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. How population growth affects linkage disequilibrium.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Alan R

    2014-08-01

    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 [Formula: see text], which therefore allow inferences about ancient population history. For the human population of Europe, these results suggest a history of population growth.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Different feeding behaviors in a single predatory mite species. 1. Comparative life histories of three populations of Phytoseiulus longipes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) depending on prey species and plant substrate.

    PubMed

    Ferrero, M; Tixier, M S; Kreiter, S

    2014-03-01

    The spider mites Tetranychus evansi and T. urticae are key pests of tomato crops, for which no sustainable practical control strategy is available yet. A Brazilian (B) and an Argentinean (A) population of a phytoseiid predatory mite species, Phytoseiulus longipes, are able to develop and reproduce on T. evansi on tomato, whereas a Chilean (C) population is not. In order to better characterize the two distinct feeding behaviours of these three populations, life table data were assessed when the predator was offered T. evansi or T. urticae as prey on bean or tomato leaves. No effect of the prey offered nor the plant substrate was demonstrated on development durations of the three populations. However, immature mortality was low for the Argentinean and the Brazilian populations whatever the prey or plant substrate, whereas 89 % of P. longipes from Chile died before reaching adulthood when fed T. evansi on tomato. No difference in effect on female longevity was detected among the three populations. Finally, the demographic parameters of all populations were lower in presence of tomato compared to beans. Possible explanations for these results are discussed.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Tooth reorientation affects tooth function during prey processing and tooth ontogeny in the lesser electric ray, Narcine brasiliensis.

    PubMed

    Dean, Mason N; Ramsay, Jason B; Schaefer, Justin T

    2008-01-01

    The dental anatomy of elasmobranch fishes (sharks, rays and relatives) creates a functional system that is more dynamic than that of mammalian dentition. Continuous dental replacement (where new teeth are moved rostrally to replace older ones) and indirect fibrous attachment of the dentition to the jaw allow teeth to reorient relative to the jaw over both long- and short-term scales, respectively. In this study, we examine the processing behavior and dental anatomy of the lesser electric ray Narcine brasiliensis (Olfers, 1831) to illustrate that the freedom of movement of elasmobranch dentition allows a functional flexibility that can be important for complex prey processing behaviors. From static manipulations of dissected jaws and observations of feeding events in live animals, we show that the teeth rotate during jaw protrusion, resulting in a secondary grasping mechanism that likely serves to hold prey while the buccal cavity is flushed free of sediment. The function of teeth is not always readily apparent from morphology; in addition to short-term reorientation, the long-term dental reorientation during replacement allows a given tooth to serve multiple functions during tooth ontogeny. Unlike teeth inside the mouth, the cusps of external teeth (on the portion of the tooth pad that extends past the occlusal plane) lay flat, such that the labial faces act as a functional battering surface, protecting the jaws during prey excavation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. The impact of environmental toxins on predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qihua; Wang, Hao; Lewis, Mark A

    2015-08-01

    Predators and prey may be simultaneously exposed to environmental toxins, but one may be more susceptible than the other. To study the effects of environmental toxins on food web dynamics, we develop a toxin-dependent predator-prey model that combines both direct and indirect toxic effects on two trophic levels. The direct effects of toxins typically reduce organism abundance by increasing mortality or reducing fecundity. Such direct effects, therefore, alter both bottom-up food availability and top-down predatory ability. However, the indirect effects, when mediated through predator-prey interactions, may lead to counterintuitive effects. This study investigates how the balance of the classical predator-prey dynamics changes as a function of environmental toxin levels. While high toxin concentrations are shown to be harmful to both species, possibly leading to extirpation of both species, intermediate toxin concentrations may affect predators disproportionately through biomagnification, leading to reduced abundance of predators and increased abundance of the prey. This counterintuitive effect significantly increases biomass at the lower trophic level. Environmental toxins may also reduce population variability by preventing populations from fluctuating around a coexistence equilibrium. Finally, environmental toxins may induce bistable dynamics, in which different initial population levels produce different long-term outcomes. Since our toxin-dependent predator-prey model is general, the theory developed here not only provides a sound foundation for population or community effects of toxicity, but also could be used to help develop management strategies to preserve and restore the integrity of contaminated habitats.

  18. Great lakes prey fish populations: a cross-basin overview of status and trends based on bottom trawl surveys, 1978-2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gorman, Owen T.

    2012-01-01

    The assessment of prey fish stocks in the Great Lakes have been conducted annually with bottom trawls since the 1970s by the Great Lakes Science Center, sometimes assisted by partner agencies. These stock assessments provide data on the status and trends of prey fish that are consumed by important commercial and recreational fishes. Although all these annual surveys are conducted using bottom trawls, they differ among the lakes in the proportion of the lake covered, seasonal timing, bottom trawl gear used, and the manner in which the trawl is towed (across or along bottom contours). Because each assessment is unique in one or more important aspects, direct comparison of prey fish catches among lakes is not straightforward. However, all of the assessments produce indices of abundance or biomass that can be standardized to facilitate comparisons of status and trends across all the Great Lakes. In this report, population indices were standardized to the highest value for a time series within each lake for the following principal prey species: cisco (Coregonus artedi), bloater (C. hoyi), rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), and alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). Indices were also provided for round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), an invasive fish that has proliferated throughout the basin over the past 18 years. These standardized indices represent the best available long-term indices of relative abundance for these fishes across all of the Great Lakes. In this report, standardized indices are presented in graphical form along with synopses to provide a short, informal cross-basin summary of the status and trends of principal prey fishes. In keeping with this intent, tables, references, and a detailed discussion were omitted.

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

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Phylogenetic signal in predator-prey body-size relationships.

    PubMed

    Naisbit, Russell E; Kehrli, Patrik; Rohr, Rudolf P; Bersier, Louis-Félix

    2011-12-01

    Body mass is a fundamental characteristic that affects metabolism, life history, and population abundance and frequently sets bounds on who eats whom in food webs. Based on a collection of topological food webs, Ulrich Brose and colleagues presented a general relationship between the body mass of predators and their prey and analyzed how mean predator-prey body-mass ratios differed among habitats and predator metabolic categories. Here we show that the general body-mass relationship conceals significant variation associated with both predator and prey phylogeny. Major-axis regressions between the log body mass of predators and prey differed among taxonomic groups. The global pattern for Kingdom Animalia had slope > 1, but phyla and classes varied, and several had slopes significantly < 1. The predator-prey body-mass ratio can therefore decrease or increase with increasing body mass, depending on the taxon considered. We also found a significant phylogenetic signal in analyses of prey body-mass range for predators and predator body-mass range for prey, with stronger signal in the former. Besides providing insights into how characteristics of trophic interactions evolve, our results emphasize the need to integrate phylogeny to improve models of community structure and dynamics or to achieve a metabolic theory of food-web ecology.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The bigger they come, the harder they fall: body size and prey abundance influence predator–prey ratios

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Chris; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Stephens, Philip A.

    2011-01-01

    Large carnivores are highly threatened, yet the processes underlying their population declines are still poorly understood and widely debated. We explored how body mass and prey abundance influence carnivore density using data on 199 populations obtained across multiple sites for 11 carnivore species. We found that relative decreases in prey abundance resulted in a five- to sixfold greater decrease in the largest carnivores compared with the smallest species. We discuss a number of possible causes for this inherent vulnerability, but also explore a possible mechanistic link between predator size, energetics and population processes. Our results have important implications for carnivore ecology and conservation, demonstrating that larger species are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic threats to their environment, especially those which have an adverse affect on the abundance of their prey. PMID:21106569

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The effect of alternative prey on the dynamics of imperfect Batesian and Müllerian mimicries.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Leena; Alatalo, Rauno V; Lyytinen, Anne; Mappes, Johanna

    2004-06-01

    Both Batesian and Müllerian mimicries are considered classical evidence of natural selection where predation pressure has, at times, created a striking similarity between unrelated prey species. Batesian mimicry, in which palatable mimics resemble unpalatable aposematic species, is parasitic and only beneficial to the mimics. By contrast, in classical Müllerian mimicry the cost of predators' avoidance learning is shared between similar unpalatable co-mimics, and therefore mimicry benefits all parties. Recent studies using mathematical modeling have questioned the dynamics of Müllerian mimicry, suggesting that fitness benefits should be calculated in a way similar to Batesian mimicry; that is, according to the relative unpalatability difference between co-mimics. Batesian mimicry is very sensitive to the availability of alternative prey, but the effects of alternative prey for Müllerian dynamics are not known and experiments are rare. We designed two experiments to test the effect of alternative prey on imperfect Batesian and Müllerian mimicry complexes. When alternative prey were scarce, imperfect Batesian mimics were selected out from the population, but abundantly available alternative prey relaxed selection against imperfect mimics. Birds learned to avoid both Müllerian models and mimics irrespective of the availability of alternative prey. However, the rate of avoidance learning of models increased when alternative prey were abundant. This experiment suggests that the availability of alternative prey affects the dynamics of both Müllerian and Batesian mimicry, but in different ways.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Disease-mediated bottom-up regulation: An emergent virus affects a keystone prey, and alters the dynamics of trophic webs

    PubMed Central

    Monterroso, Pedro; Garrote, Germán; Serronha, Ana; Santos, Emídio; Delibes-Mateos, Miguel; Abrantes, Joana; Perez de Ayala, Ramón; Silvestre, Fernando; Carvalho, João; Vasco, Inês; Lopes, Ana M.; Maio, Elisa; Magalhães, Maria J.; Mills, L. Scott; Esteves, Pedro J.; Simón, Miguel Ángel; Alves, Paulo C.

    2016-01-01

    Emergent diseases may alter the structure and functioning of ecosystems by creating new biotic interactions and modifying existing ones, producing cascading processes along trophic webs. Recently, a new variant of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV2 or RHDVb) arguably caused widespread declines in a keystone prey in Mediterranean ecosystems - the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). We quantitatively assess the impact of RHDV2 on natural rabbit populations and in two endangered apex predator populations: the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) and the Spanish Imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti). We found 60–70% declines in rabbit populations, followed by decreases of 65.7% in Iberian lynx and 45.5% in Spanish Imperial eagle fecundities. A revision of the web of trophic interactions among rabbits and their dependent predators suggests that RHDV2 acts as a keystone species, and may steer Mediterranean ecosystems to management-dependent alternative states, dominated by simplified mesopredator communities. This model system stresses the importance of diseases as functional players in the dynamics of trophic webs. PMID:27796353

  18. 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...

  19. Quantifying the Effects of Predator and Prey Body Size on Sea Star Feeding Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Gooding, Rebecca A; Harley, Christopher D G

    2015-06-01

    Body size plays a crucial role in determining the strength of species interactions, population dynamics, and community structure. We measured how changes in body size affect the trophic relationship between the sea star Pisaster ochraceus and its prey, the mussel Mytilus trossulus. We tested the effects of a wide range of predator and prey sizes on sea stars' prey-size preference, feeding rate, and prey tissue consumption. We found that preferred prey size increased with sea star size. Pisaster consumption rate (mussels consumed per day) and tissue intake rate (grams of tissue consumed per day) also increased with sea star size. Pisaster consumption rate, but not tissue intake rate, decreased with increasing mussel size. Juvenile sea stars preferred the most profitable prey sizes-that is, those that maximized tissue consumed per unit handling time. When adult sea stars were offered larger, more profitable mussels, tissue intake rates (grams per day) tended to increase, although this relationship was not statistically significant. Our results indicate that the Pisaster-Mytilus interaction depends on the sizes of both predator and prey, that predation rates are sensitive to even small changes in body size, and that shifts in size distributions may affect predator energetics and prey numbers differently depending on the factors that limit tissue consumption rates.

  20. Prey Carrying Capacity Modulates the Effect of Predation on Prey Diversity.

    PubMed

    Socolar, Jacob; Washburne, Alex

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the role of predation in regulating prey diversity is a major goal in ecology, with profound consequences for community dynamics, ecosystem structure, and conservation practice. Deterministic differential equation models predict that some predation regimes, such as prey-switching predation, should promote prey coexistence and increase prey diversity. However, such models do not capture stochastic population fluctuations that are ubiquitous in empirical study sites and nature reserves. In this article, we examine the effects of prey-switching predation on the species richness of prey communities with demographic noise. We show that in finite, discrete prey populations, the ability of prey-switching predation to promote diversity depends on the carrying capacity of the prey community and the richness of the source pool for prey. Identical predation regimes may have opposite effects on prey diversity depending on the size and productivity of the habitat or the metacommunity richness. Statistical properties of the fluctuations of prey populations determine the effect of stabilizing mechanisms on species richness. We discuss the implications of this result for empirical studies of predation in small study areas and for the management of small nature reserves.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Population coding of affect across stimuli, modalities and individuals

    PubMed Central

    Chikazoe, Junichi; Lee, Daniel H.; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Anderson, Adam K.

    2014-01-01

    It remains unclear how the brain represents external objective sensory events alongside our internal subjective impressions of them—affect. Representational mapping of population level activity evoked by complex scenes and basic tastes uncovered a neural code supporting a continuous axis of pleasant-to-unpleasant valence. This valence code was distinct from low-level physical and high-level object properties. While ventral temporal and anterior insular cortices supported valence codes specific to vision and taste, both the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortices (OFC), maintained a valence code independent of sensory origin. Further only the OFC code could classify experienced affect across participants. The entire valence spectrum is represented as a collective pattern in regional neural activity as sensory-specific and abstract codes, whereby the subjective quality of affect can be objectively quantified across stimuli, modalities, and people. PMID:24952643

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Great Lakes prey fish populations: a cross-basin overview of status and trends based on bottom trawl surveys, 1978-2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gorman, Owen T.; Weidel, Brian C.

    2014-01-01

    The assessment of Great Lakes prey fish stocks have been conducted annually with bottom trawls since the 1970s by the Great Lakes Science Center, sometimes assisted by partner agencies. These stock assessments provide data on the status and trends of prey fish that are consumed by important commercial and recreational fishes. Although all these annual surveys are conducted using bottom trawls, they differ among the lakes in the proportion of the lake covered, seasonal timing, trawl gear used, and the manner in which the trawl is towed (across or along bottom contours). Because each assessment is unique, population indices were standardized to the highest value for a time series within each lake for the following prey species: Cisco (Coregonus artedi), Bloater (C. hoyi), Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax), Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), and Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus). In this report, standardized indices are presented in graphical form along with synopses to provide a short, informal cross-basin summary of the status and trends of principal prey fishes. There was basin-wide agreement in the trends of age-1 and older biomass for all prey species, with the highest concordance occurring for coregonids and Rainbow Smelt, and weaker concordance for Alewife. For coregonids, the highest biomass occurred from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. Rainbow Smelt biomass declined slowly and erratically during the last quarter century. Alewife biomass was generally higher from the early 1980s through 1990s across the Great Lakes, but since the early 1990s, trends have been divergent across the lakes, though there has been a downward trend in all lakes since 2005. Recently, Lake Huron has shown resurgence in biomass of Bloater, achieving 75% of its maximum record in 2012 due to recruitment of a succession of strong and moderate year classes that appeared in 2005-2011. Also, strong recruitment of the 2010 year class of Alewife has led to a sharp increase in biomass of Alewife in

  10. 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

  11. How should environmental stress affect the population dynamics of disease?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Holt, Robert D.

    2003-01-01

    We modelled how stress affects the population dynamics of infectious disease. We were specifically concerned with stress that increased susceptibility of uninfected hosts when exposed to infection. If such stresses also reduced resources, fecundity and/or survivorship, there was a reduction in the host carrying capacity. This lowered the contact between infected and uninfected hosts, thereby decreasing transmission. In addition, stress that increased parasite mortality decreased disease. The opposing effects of stress on disease dynamics made it difficult to predict the response of disease to environmental stress. We found analytical solutions with negative, positive, convex and concave associations between disease and stress. Numerical simulations with randomly generated parameter values suggested that the impact of host-specific diseases generally declined with stress while the impact of non-specific (or open) diseases increased with stress. These results help clarify predictions about the interaction between environmental stress and disease in natural populations.

  12. Within and between Population Variation in Epidermal Club Cell Investment in a Freshwater Prey Fish: A Cautionary Tale for Evolutionary Ecologists

    PubMed Central

    Manek, Aditya K.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Pollock, Robyn J.; Vicente, Daniel; Weber, Lynn P.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2013-01-01

    Many prey fishes possess large club cells in their epidermis. The role of these cells has garnered considerable attention from evolutionary ecologists. These cells likely form part of the innate immune system of fishes, however, they also have an alarm function, releasing chemical cues that serve to warn nearby conspecifics of danger. Experiments aimed at understanding the selection pressures leading to the evolution of these cells have been hampered by a surprisingly large intraspecific variation in epidermal club cell (ECC) investment. The goal of our current work was to explore the magnitude and nature of this variation in ECC investment. In a field survey, we documented large differences in ECC investment both within and between several populations of minnows. We then tested whether we could experimentally reduce variation in mean ECC number by raising fish under standard laboratory conditions for 4 weeks. Fish from different populations responded very differently to being held under standard laboratory conditions; some populations showed an increase in ECC investment while others remained unchanged. More importantly, we found some evidence that we could reduce within population variation in ECC investment through time, but could not reduce among-population variation in mean ECC investment. Given the large variation we observed in wild fish and our limited ability to converge mean cell number by holding the fish under standard conditions, we caution that future studies may be hard pressed to find subtle effects of various experimental manipulations; this will make elucidating the selection pressures leading to the evolution of the cells challenging. PMID:23469175

  13. Within and between population variation in epidermal club cell investment in a freshwater prey fish: a cautionary tale for evolutionary ecologists.

    PubMed

    Manek, Aditya K; Ferrari, Maud C O; Pollock, Robyn J; Vicente, Daniel; Weber, Lynn P; Chivers, Douglas P

    2013-01-01

    Many prey fishes possess large club cells in their epidermis. The role of these cells has garnered considerable attention from evolutionary ecologists. These cells likely form part of the innate immune system of fishes, however, they also have an alarm function, releasing chemical cues that serve to warn nearby conspecifics of danger. Experiments aimed at understanding the selection pressures leading to the evolution of these cells have been hampered by a surprisingly large intraspecific variation in epidermal club cell (ECC) investment. The goal of our current work was to explore the magnitude and nature of this variation in ECC investment. In a field survey, we documented large differences in ECC investment both within and between several populations of minnows. We then tested whether we could experimentally reduce variation in mean ECC number by raising fish under standard laboratory conditions for 4 weeks. Fish from different populations responded very differently to being held under standard laboratory conditions; some populations showed an increase in ECC investment while others remained unchanged. More importantly, we found some evidence that we could reduce within population variation in ECC investment through time, but could not reduce among-population variation in mean ECC investment. Given the large variation we observed in wild fish and our limited ability to converge mean cell number by holding the fish under standard conditions, we caution that future studies may be hard pressed to find subtle effects of various experimental manipulations; this will make elucidating the selection pressures leading to the evolution of the cells challenging. PMID:23469175

  14. May organic pollutants affect fish populations in the North Sea?

    PubMed

    Hylland, Ketil; Beyer, Jonny; Berntssen, Marc; Klungsøyr, Jarle; Lang, Thomas; Balk, Lennart

    2006-01-01

    The North Sea is a highly productive area with large fish populations that have been extensively harvested over the past century. North Sea fisheries remain important to the surrounding countries despite declining fish stocks over the past decades. The main reason for declining fish stocks is nearly certainly overfishing, but other environmental pressures also affect fish populations, such as eutrophication, climate change, and exposure to metals and organic pollutants, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylphenols, and organochlorine compounds. There are three main sources of organic pollutants in the North Sea: atmospheric, land-based sources, and inputs from offshore gas and oil installations. All three sources contribute to elevated concentrations of organic pollutants in the North Sea compared to the Norwegian Sea. There is evidence that chlorinated organic contaminants were present in sufficiently high concentrations in the southern North Sea two decades ago, to alter embryonal development in fish. The results from extensive, long-term monitoring programs show that some diseases decreased whereas other increased in the southern North Sea and that, among other factors, contaminants may play a role in the temporal changes recorded in disease prevalence. Recent studies demonstrated that components in offshore effluents may affect fish reproduction and that tissues of fish near oil rigs are structurally different to tissues of fish from reference areas. Data on effluents from offshore activities have recently become available through an international workshop (BECPELAG) and follow-up studies.

  15. Environmental pollution affects genetic diversity in wild bird populations.

    PubMed

    Eeva, Tapio; Belskii, Eugen; Kuranov, Boris

    2006-09-19

    Many common environmental pollutants, together with nuclear radiation, are recognized as genotoxic. There is, however, very little information on pollution-related genetic effects on free-living animal populations, especially in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated whether genetic diversity in two small insectivorous passerines, the great tit (Parus major) and the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), was changed near point sources of heavy metals (two copper smelters) or radioactive isotopes (nuclear material reprocessing plant). We measured concentration of heavy metals and nucleotide diversity in mitochondrial DNA in feather samples taken from nestlings in multiple polluted areas and at control sites. In both species, heavy metal concentrations - especially of arsenic - were increased in feathers collected at smelter sites. The P. major population living near a smelter showed significantly higher nucleotide diversity than a control population in an unpolluted site, suggesting increased mutation rates in a polluted environment. On the contrary, F. hypoleuca showed reduced nucleotide diversity at both smelter sites but increased nucleotide diversity near the source of radioactivity. Our results show that heavy metal pollution and low level nuclear radiation affect the nucleotide diversity in two free-living insectivorous passerines. We suggest that the different response in these two species may be due to their different ability to handle toxic compounds in the body. PMID:16807076

  16. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Antagonistic evolution in an aposematic predator-prey signaling system.

    PubMed

    Speed, Michael P; Franks, Daniel W

    2014-10-01

    Warning signals within species, such as the bright colors of chemically defended animals, are usually considered mutualistic, monomorphic traits. Such a view is however increasingly at odds with the growing empirical literature, showing nontrivial levels of signal variation within prey populations. Key to understanding this variation, we argue, could be a recognition that toxicity levels frequently vary within populations because of environmental heterogeneity. Inequalities in defense may undermine mutualistic monomorphic signaling, causing evolutionary antagonism between loci that determine appearance of less well-defended and better defended prey forms within species. In this article, we apply a stochastic model of evolved phenotypic plasticity to the evolution of prey signals. We show that when toxicity levels vary, then antagonistic interactions can lead to evolutionary conflict between alleles at different signaling loci, causing signal evolution, "red queen-like" evolutionary chase, and one or more forms of signaling equilibria. A key prediction is that variation in the way that predators use information about toxicity levels in their attack behaviors profoundly affects the evolutionary characteristics of the prey signaling systems. Environmental variation is known to cause variation in many qualities that organisms signal; our approach may therefore have application to other signaling systems.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Prey responses to predator chemical cues: disentangling the importance of the number and biomass of prey consumed.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Michael W; Touchon, Justin C; Landberg, Tobias; Warkentin, Karen M; Vonesh, James R

    2012-01-01

    To effectively balance investment in predator defenses versus other traits, organisms must accurately assess predation risk. Chemical cues caused by predation events are indicators of risk for prey in a wide variety of systems, but the relationship between how prey perceive risk in relation to the amount of prey consumed by predators is poorly understood. While per capita predation rate is often used as the metric of relative risk, studies aimed at quantifying predator-induced defenses commonly control biomass of prey consumed as the metric of risk. However, biomass consumed can change by altering either the number or size of prey consumed. In this study we determine whether phenotypic plasticity to predator chemical cues depends upon prey biomass consumed, prey number consumed, or both. We examine the growth response of red-eyed treefrog tadpoles (Agalychnis callidryas) to cues from a larval dragonfly (Anax amazili). Biomass consumed was manipulated by either increasing the number of prey while holding individual prey size constant, or by holding the number of prey constant and varying individual prey size. We address two questions. (i) Do prey reduce growth rate in response to chemical cues in a dose dependent manner? (ii) Does the magnitude of the response depend on whether prey consumption increases via number or size of prey? We find that the phenotypic response of prey is an asymptotic function of prey biomass consumed. However, the asymptotic response is higher when more prey are consumed. Our findings have important implications for evaluating past studies and how future experiments should be designed. A stronger response to predation cues generated by more individual prey deaths is consistent with models that predict prey sensitivity to per capita risk, providing a more direct link between empirical and theoretical studies which are often focused on changes in population sizes not individual biomass.

  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. Variation in predator foraging behavior changes predator-prey spatio-temporal dynamics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Foraging underlies the ability of all animals to acquire essential resources and, thus, provides a critical link to understanding population dynamics. A key issue is how variation in foraging behavior affects foraging efficiency and predator-prey interactions in spatially-heterogeneous environmen...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Environmental colour affects aspects of single-species population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Petchey, O L

    2000-04-22

    Single-species populations of ciliates (Colpidium and Paramecium) experienced constant temperature or white or reddened temperature fluctuations in aquatic microcosms in order to test three hypotheses about how environmental colour influences population dynamics. (i) Models predict that the colour of population dynamics is tinged by the colour of the environmental variability. However, environmental colour had no effect on the colour of population dynamics. All population dynamics in this experiment were reddened, regardless of environmental colour. (ii) Models predict that populations will track reddened environmental variability more closely than white environmental variability and that populations with a higher intrinsic growth rate (r) will track environmental variability more closely than populations with a low r. The experimental populations behaved as predicted. (iii) Models predict that population variability is determined by interaction between r and the environmental variability. The experimental populations behaved as predicted. These results show that (i) reddened population dynamics may need no special explanation, such as reddened environments, spatial subdivision or interspecific interactions, and (ii) and (iii) that population dynamics are sensitive to environmental colour, in agreement with population models. Correct specification of the colour of the environmental variability in models is required for accurate predictions. Further work is needed to study the effects of environmental colour on communities and ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Grandparents Affected by Parental Divorce: A Population at Risk?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Jane E.; Perrin, Novella

    1993-01-01

    When parents divorce, grandparents who have bonded with children may be affected, especially when denied visitation. Grandparenting roles and styles, family dynamics affecting grandparenthood, and other factors affecting the grandparent-grandchild bond are examined. Legal and ethical issues are discussed. Implications for counselors and human…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Amos, W; Harwood, J

    1998-02-28

    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. Transient dynamics and the destabilizing effects of prey heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Christopher F; Klausmeier, Christopher A; Litchman, Elena

    2012-03-01

    The presence of prey heterogeneity and weakly interacting prey species is frequently viewed as a stabilizer of predator-prey dynamics, countering the destabilizing effects of enrichment and reducing the amplitude of population cycles. However, prior model explorations have largely focused on long-term, dynamic attractors rather than transient dynamics. Recent theoretical work shows that the presence of prey that are defended from predation can have strongly divergent effects on dynamics depending on time scale: prey heterogeneity can counteract the destabilizing effects of enrichment on predator-prey dynamics at long time scales but strongly destabilize systems during transient phases by creating long periods of low predator/prey abundance and increasing extinction probability (an effect that is amplified with increasing enrichment). We tested these general predictions using a planktonic system composed of a zooplankton predator and multiple algal prey. We first parameterized a model of our system to generate predictions and tested these experimentally. Our results qualitatively supported several model predictions. During transient phases, presence of defended algal prey increased predator extinctions at low and high enrichment levels compared to systems with only a single edible prey. This destabilizing effect was moderated at higher dilution rates, as predicted by our model. When examining dynamics beyond initial oscillations, presence of the defended prey increased predator-prey temporal variability at high nutrient enrichment but had no effect at low nutrient levels. Our results highlight the importance of considering transient dynamics when assessing the role of stabilizing factors on the dynamics of food webs.

  9. 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.

  10. Prey-mediated avoidance of an intraguild predator by its intraguild prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, R.R.; Blankenship, T.L.; Hooten, M.B.; Shivik, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    Intraguild (IG) predation is an important factor influencing community structure, yet factors allowing coexistence of IG predator and IG prey are not well understood. The existence of spatial refuges for IG prey has recently been noted for their importance in allowing coexistence. However, reduction in basal prey availability might lead IG prey to leave spatial refuges for greater access to prey, leading to increased IG predation and fewer opportunities for coexistence. We determined how the availability of prey affected space-use patterns of bobcats (Lynx rufus, IG prey) in relation to coyote space-use patterns (Canis latrans, IG predators). We located animals from fall 2007 to spring 2009 and estimated bobcat home ranges and core areas seasonally. For each bobcat relocation, we determined intensity of coyote use, distance to water, small mammal biomass, and mean small mammal biomass of the home range during the season the location was collected. We built generalized linear mixed models and used Akaike Information Criteria to determine which factors best predicted bobcat space use. Coyote intensity was a primary determinant of bobcat core area location. In bobcat home ranges with abundant prey, core areas occurred where coyote use was low, but shifted to areas intensively used by coyotes when prey declined. High spatial variability in basal prey abundance allowed some bobcats to avoid coyotes while at the same time others were forced into more risky areas. Our results suggest that multiple behavioral strategies associated with spatial variation in basal prey abundance likely allow IG prey and IG predators to coexist. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Ascertainment Biases in SNP Chips Affect Measures of Population Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Albrechtsen, Anders; Nielsen, Finn Cilius; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2010-01-01

    Chip-based high-throughput genotyping has facilitated genome-wide studies of genetic diversity. Many studies have utilized these large data sets to make inferences about the demographic history of human populations using measures of genetic differentiation such as FST or principal component analyses. However, the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip data suffer from ascertainment biases caused by the SNP discovery process in which a small number of individuals from selected populations are used as discovery panels. In this study, we investigate the effect of the ascertainment bias on inferences regarding genetic differentiation among populations in one of the common genome-wide genotyping platforms. We generate SNP genotyping data for individuals that previously have been subject to partial genome-wide Sanger sequencing and compare inferences based on genotyping data to inferences based on direct sequencing. In addition, we also analyze publicly available genome-wide data. We demonstrate that the ascertainment biases will distort measures of human diversity and possibly change conclusions drawn from these measures in some times unexpected ways. We also show that details of the genotyping calling algorithms can have a surprisingly large effect on population genetic inferences. We not only present a correction of the spectrum for the widely used Affymetrix SNP chips but also show that such corrections are difficult to generalize among studies. PMID:20558595

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Demographic differences in diet breadth of Canada lynx during a fluctuation in prey availability.

    PubMed

    Burstahler, Christa M; Roth, James D; Gau, Robert J; Murray, Dennis L

    2016-09-01

    Population dynamics of specialist carnivores are closely linked to prey availability, but the extent of variability in diet breadth of individual carnivores relative to natural variability in the abundance of their primary prey is not well understood. Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) specialize on snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and exhibit cyclic fluctuations in abundance that lag 1-2 years behind those of snowshoe hares. Declining hare densities spur demographic changes in lynx, but it is unclear whether a corresponding increase in diet breadth occurs: (1) broadly across a lynx population; (2) only among individuals who are able to effectively switch to alternative prey; or (3) only among individuals who cannot capture sufficient primary prey. We measured stable isotope ratios of lynx muscle tissue spanning a cyclic increase and decline in hare density (1998-2001) in Fort Providence, NT, Canada. We found that lynx cohorts responded differently to hare population change, with yearling animals having broader diets at low hare densities, while adults and dependent juveniles maintained a constant diet through the initial decline in hare density. This result was consistent irrespective of lynx sex and indicates that yearling lynx likely are forced to adopt a broader diet when primary prey densities decline. Our results imply that select cohorts of specialist carnivores can exhibit high dietary plasticity in response to changes in primary prey abundance, prompting the need to determine whether increased diet breadth in young lynx is a successful strategy for surviving through periods of snowshoe hare scarcity. In this way, cohort-specific niche expansion could strongly affect the dynamics of organisms exhibiting population cycles. PMID:27648249

  18. Demographic differences in diet breadth of Canada lynx during a fluctuation in prey availability.

    PubMed

    Burstahler, Christa M; Roth, James D; Gau, Robert J; Murray, Dennis L

    2016-09-01

    Population dynamics of specialist carnivores are closely linked to prey availability, but the extent of variability in diet breadth of individual carnivores relative to natural variability in the abundance of their primary prey is not well understood. Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) specialize on snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and exhibit cyclic fluctuations in abundance that lag 1-2 years behind those of snowshoe hares. Declining hare densities spur demographic changes in lynx, but it is unclear whether a corresponding increase in diet breadth occurs: (1) broadly across a lynx population; (2) only among individuals who are able to effectively switch to alternative prey; or (3) only among individuals who cannot capture sufficient primary prey. We measured stable isotope ratios of lynx muscle tissue spanning a cyclic increase and decline in hare density (1998-2001) in Fort Providence, NT, Canada. We found that lynx cohorts responded differently to hare population change, with yearling animals having broader diets at low hare densities, while adults and dependent juveniles maintained a constant diet through the initial decline in hare density. This result was consistent irrespective of lynx sex and indicates that yearling lynx likely are forced to adopt a broader diet when primary prey densities decline. Our results imply that select cohorts of specialist carnivores can exhibit high dietary plasticity in response to changes in primary prey abundance, prompting the need to determine whether increased diet breadth in young lynx is a successful strategy for surviving through periods of snowshoe hare scarcity. In this way, cohort-specific niche expansion could strongly affect the dynamics of organisms exhibiting population cycles.

  19. Glyphosate-based herbicide has contrasting effects on prey capture by two co-occurring wolf spider species.

    PubMed

    Rittman, Sandra; Wrinn, Kerri M; Evans, Samuel C; Webb, Alex W; Rypstra, Ann L

    2013-10-01

    Anthropogenic substances have the potential to affect animal behavior either because they present a novel stimulus or because they interfere with natural chemical communication pathways. Such shifts can alter the dynamic between predators and potential prey, which might affect population success as well as the strength of food web linkages. We examined the foraging of two wolf spiders, Tigrosa helluo and Pardosa milvina (Araneae, Lycosidae), that are abundant in agroecosystems where they are routinely exposed to herbicides. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of a commercial formulation of a glyphosate-based herbicide would affect the prey capture behavior of these two wolf spiders. We tested the larger Tigrosa foraging on Pardosa or crickets (Acheta domesticus) and the smaller Pardosa foraging on crickets. Tigrosa subdued crickets more quickly and with fewer lunges than it took them to capture Pardosa. The presence of herbicide allowed Tigrosa to orient toward and capture both prey species more quickly but it did not affect the number of lunges required to subdue either prey. Herbicide did not affect the timing of prey capture for Pardosa but it did cause them to use more lunges in the process. Thus, herbicide had contrasting effects on foraging behavior of these two agrobiont predators, which means that it could shift the direction and strength of food web linkages in complex ways. PMID:24122113

  20. Glyphosate-based herbicide has contrasting effects on prey capture by two co-occurring wolf spider species.

    PubMed

    Rittman, Sandra; Wrinn, Kerri M; Evans, Samuel C; Webb, Alex W; Rypstra, Ann L

    2013-10-01

    Anthropogenic substances have the potential to affect animal behavior either because they present a novel stimulus or because they interfere with natural chemical communication pathways. Such shifts can alter the dynamic between predators and potential prey, which might affect population success as well as the strength of food web linkages. We examined the foraging of two wolf spiders, Tigrosa helluo and Pardosa milvina (Araneae, Lycosidae), that are abundant in agroecosystems where they are routinely exposed to herbicides. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of a commercial formulation of a glyphosate-based herbicide would affect the prey capture behavior of these two wolf spiders. We tested the larger Tigrosa foraging on Pardosa or crickets (Acheta domesticus) and the smaller Pardosa foraging on crickets. Tigrosa subdued crickets more quickly and with fewer lunges than it took them to capture Pardosa. The presence of herbicide allowed Tigrosa to orient toward and capture both prey species more quickly but it did not affect the number of lunges required to subdue either prey. Herbicide did not affect the timing of prey capture for Pardosa but it did cause them to use more lunges in the process. Thus, herbicide had contrasting effects on foraging behavior of these two agrobiont predators, which means that it could shift the direction and strength of food web linkages in complex ways.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Community-based therapeutic care in HIV-affected populations.

    PubMed

    Sadler, Kate; Bahwere, Paluku; Guerrero, Saul; Collins, Steve

    2006-01-01

    Community-based therapeutic care (CTC) is a community-based model for delivering care to malnourished people. CTC aims to treat the majority of severely malnourished people at home, rather than in therapeutic feeding centres. This paper describes the potential of the CTC approach to provide effective care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). CTC includes many of the components of a home-based care model for PLWHA. It provides outpatient treatment for common complications of HIV and AIDS, such as acute malnutrition and simple infections, and an energy-dense ready-to-use food that could be made with the appropriate balance of micronutrients for the HIV-infected patient. Through the de-centralisation of outpatient treatment sites, CTC improves accessibility by moving treatment closer to people's homes and helps to promote the sustainability of care by building on the capacity of existing health infrastructure and staff. The CTC model contains many features that are appropriate for the care and support of HIV-affected people and, in its present form, can provide effective physical care for many HIV-affected individuals. We are currently working to adapt the CTC model to make it more suitable for the support of PLWHA in the longer term. PMID:16216293

  6. 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.

  7. Environmental fluctuations restrict eco-evolutionary dynamics in predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Hiltunen, Teppo; Ayan, Gökçe B; Becks, Lutz

    2015-06-01

    Environmental fluctuations, species interactions and rapid evolution are all predicted to affect community structure and their temporal dynamics. Although the effects of the abiotic environment and prey evolution on ecological community dynamics have been studied separately, these factors can also have interactive effects. Here we used bacteria-ciliate microcosm experiments to test for eco-evolutionary dynamics in fluctuating environments. Specifically, we followed population dynamics and a prey defence trait over time when populations were exposed to regular changes of bottom-up or top-down stressors, or combinations of these. We found that the rate of evolution of a defence trait was significantly lower in fluctuating compared with stable environments, and that the defence trait evolved to lower levels when two environmental stressors changed recurrently. The latter suggests that top-down and bottom-up changes can have additive effects constraining evolutionary response within populations. The differences in evolutionary trajectories are explained by fluctuations in population sizes of the prey and the predator, which continuously alter the supply of mutations in the prey and strength of selection through predation. Thus, it may be necessary to adopt an eco-evolutionary perspective on studies concerning the evolution of traits mediating species interactions.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. A single predator multiple prey model with prey mutation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullan, Rory; Abernethy, Gavin M.; Glass, David H.; McCartney, Mark

    2016-11-01

    A multiple species predator-prey model is expanded with the introduction of a coupled map lattice for the prey, allowing the prey to mutate discretely into other prey species. The model is examined in its single predator, multiple mutating prey form. Two unimodal maps are used for the underlying dynamics of the prey species, with different predation strategies being used. Conclusions are drawn on how varying the control parameters of the model governs the overall behaviour and survival of the species. It is observed that in such a complex system, with multiple mutating prey, a large range of non-linear dynamics is possible.

  16. Temperature Affects Species Distribution in Symbiotic Populations of Vibrio spp.

    PubMed Central

    Nishiguchi, Michele K.

    2000-01-01

    The genus Sepiola (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae) contains 10 known species that occur in the Mediterranean Sea today. All Sepiola species have a light organ that contains at least one of two species of luminous bacteria, Vibrio fischeri and Vibrio logei. The two Vibrio species coexist in at least four Sepiola species (S. affinis, S. intermedia, S. ligulata, and S. robusta), and their concentrations in the light organ depend on changes in certain abiotic factors, including temperature. Strains of V. fischeri grew faster in vitro and in Sepiola juveniles when they were incubated at 26°C. In contrast, strains of V. logei grew faster at 18°C in culture and in Sepiola juveniles. When aposymbiotic S. affinis or S. ligulata juveniles were inoculated with one Vibrio species, all strains of V. fischeri and V. logei were capable of infecting both squid species at the optimum growth temperatures, regardless of the squid host from which the bacteria were initially isolated. However, when two different strains of V. fischeri and V. logei were placed in direct competition with each other at either 18 or 26°C, strains of V. fischeri were present in sepiolid light organs in greater concentrations at 26°C, whereas strains of V. logei were present in greater concentrations at 18°C. In addition to the competition experiments, the ratios of the two bacterial species in adult Sepiola specimens caught throughout the season at various depths differed, and these differences were correlated with the temperature in the surrounding environment. My findings contribute additional data concerning the ecological and environmental factors that affect host-symbiont recognition and may provide insight into the evolution of animal-bacterium specificity. PMID:10919820

  17. 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)

  18. Environmental chemical cues associated with prey and subsequent prey preference in the wolf spider Hogna carolinensis Hentz (Araneae, Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Punzo, F; Preshkar, C

    2002-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if environmental chemical cues associated with prey can affect subsequent prey choice in wolf spiderlings (Hogna carolinensis). After emergence from the egg sac, three groups of 10 spiderlings were each fed for one-week on one of three naturally-occurring prey species: group 1 fed on nymphs of the field cricket Gryllus pennsylvanicus; group 2 (house cricket, Acheta domesticus); group 3 (mole cricket, Gryllotalpa hexadactyla). They were then tested for subsequent prey preference in choice tests conducted in a plastic arena. Each spiderlings was presented simultaneously with one individual of each prey species in a randomized design. Spiderlings exhibited a significant first preference for the original diet. Thus, experience with certain foods (environmental chemical cues) encountered by newly hatched spiderlings can affect subsequent prey preference in this species.

  19. Examining the potential for nutritional stress in young Steller sea lions: physiological effects of prey composition.

    PubMed

    Rosen, David A S; Trites, Andrew W

    2005-05-01

    The effects of high- and low-lipid prey on the body mass, body condition, and metabolic rates of young captive Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) were examined to better understand how changes in prey composition might impact the physiology and health of wild sea lions and contribute to their population decline. Results of three feeding experiments suggest that prey lipid content did not significantly affect body mass or relative body condition (lipid mass as a percent of total mass) when sea lions could consume sufficient prey to meet their energy needs. However, when energy intake was insufficient to meet daily requirements, sea lions lost more lipid mass (9.16+/-1.80 kg+/-SE) consuming low-lipid prey compared with eating high-lipid prey (6.52+/-1.65 kg). Similarly, the sea lions lost 2.7+/-0.9 kg of lipid mass while consuming oil-supplemented pollock at maintenance energy levels but gained 5.2+/-2.7 kg lipid mass while consuming identical energetic levels of herring. Contrary to expectations, there was a 9.7+/-1.8% increase in metabolism during mass loss on submaintenance diets. Relative body condition decreased only 3.7+/-3.8% during periods of imposed nutritional stress, despite a 10.4+/-4.8% decrease in body mass. These findings raise questions regarding the efficacy of measures of relative body condition to detect such changes in nutritional status among wild animals. The results of these three experiments suggest that prey composition can have additional effects on sea lion energy stores beyond the direct effects of insufficient energy intake. PMID:15900507

  20. A dinoflagellate exploits toxins to immobilize prey prior to ingestion.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Jian; Malkiel, Edwin; Katz, Joseph; Adolf, Jason E; Place, Allen R

    2010-02-01

    Toxins produced by the harmful algal bloom (HAB) forming, mixotrophic dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum have long been associated with fish kills. To date, the perceived ecological role for toxins has been relief from grazing pressures. Here, we demonstrate that karlotoxins also serve as a predation instrument. Using high-speed holographic microscopy, we measure the swimming behavior of several toxic and nontoxic strains of K. veneficum and their prey, Storeatula major, within dense suspensions. The selected strains produce toxins with varying potency and dosages, including a nontoxic one. Results clearly show that mixing the prey with the predatory, toxic strains causes prey immobilization at rates that are consistent with the karlotoxins' potency and dosage. Even prey cells that continue swimming slow down after exposure to toxic predators. The swimming characteristics of predators vary substantially in pure suspensions, as quantified by their velocity, radii of helical trajectories, and direction of helical rotation. When mixed with prey, all toxic strains that are involved in predation slow down. Furthermore, they substantially reduced their predominantly vertical migration, presumably to remain in the vicinity of their prey. Conversely, the nontoxic control strain does not alter its swimming and does not affect prey behavior. In separate experiments, we show that exposing prey to exogenous toxins also causes prey immobilization at rates consistent with potency. Clearly, the toxic predatory strains use karlotoxins as a means of stunning their prey, before ingesting it. These findings add a substantiated critical understanding for why some HAB species produce such complex toxin molecules.

  1. Is there such thing as a parasite free lunch? The direct and indirect consequences of eating invasive prey.

    PubMed

    Bulté, Grégory; Robinson, Stacey A; Forbes, Mark R; Marcogliese, David J

    2012-03-01

    As the number of invasive species increases globally, more and more native predators are reported to shift their diet toward invasive prey. The consequences of such diet shifts for the health of populations of native predators are poorly studied, but diet shifts are expected to have important parasitological and immunological consequences, ultimately affecting predator fitness. We reviewed evidence that diet shifts from native to invasive prey can alter parasite exposure directly and also indirectly affect immune functions via changes in condition and contaminant exposure. We highlight relevant conceptual and methodological tools that should be used for the design of experiments aimed at exploring important links between invasive prey and parasitism, contaminants and fitness of their native predators.

  2. Is there such thing as a parasite free lunch? The direct and indirect consequences of eating invasive prey.

    PubMed

    Bulté, Grégory; Robinson, Stacey A; Forbes, Mark R; Marcogliese, David J

    2012-03-01

    As the number of invasive species increases globally, more and more native predators are reported to shift their diet toward invasive prey. The consequences of such diet shifts for the health of populations of native predators are poorly studied, but diet shifts are expected to have important parasitological and immunological consequences, ultimately affecting predator fitness. We reviewed evidence that diet shifts from native to invasive prey can alter parasite exposure directly and also indirectly affect immune functions via changes in condition and contaminant exposure. We highlight relevant conceptual and methodological tools that should be used for the design of experiments aimed at exploring important links between invasive prey and parasitism, contaminants and fitness of their native predators. PMID:22451166

  3. 75 FR 51273 - Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-19

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and... funding available to make awards under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Funding...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Fletcher, Robert J

    2014-06-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Earl W.; 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.

  9. Conservation strategies for species affected by apparent competition.

    PubMed

    Wittmer, Heiko U; Serrouya, Robert; Elbroch, L Mark; Marshall, Andrew J

    2013-04-01

    Apparent competition is an indirect interaction between 2 or more prey species through a shared predator, and it is increasingly recognized as a mechanism of the decline and extinction of many species. Through case studies, we evaluated the effectiveness of 4 management strategies for species affected by apparent competition: predator control, reduction in the abundances of alternate prey, simultaneous control of predators and alternate prey, and no active management of predators or alternate prey. Solely reducing predator abundances rapidly increased abundances of alternate and rare prey, but observed increases are likely short-lived due to fast increases in predator abundance following the cessation of control efforts. Substantial reductions of an abundant alternate prey resulted in increased predation on endangered huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) deer in Chilean Patagonia, which highlights potential risks associated with solely reducing alternate prey species. Simultaneous removal of predators and alternate prey increased survival of island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) in California (U.S.A.) above a threshold required for population recovery. In the absence of active management, populations of rare woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) continued to decline in British Columbia, Canada. On the basis of the cases we examined, we suggest the simultaneous control of predators and alternate prey is the management strategy most likely to increase abundances and probabilities of persistence of rare prey over the long term. Knowing the mechanisms driving changes in species' abundances before implementing any management intervention is critical. We suggest scientists can best contribute to the conservation of species affected by apparent competition by clearly communicating the biological and demographic forces at play to policy makers responsible for the implementation of proposed management actions. PMID:23282104

  10. Predator population depending on lemming cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Predation risk increases dispersal distance in prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsuki, Hatsune; Yano, Shuichi

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the ecological factors that affect dispersal distances allows us to predict the consequences of dispersal. Although predator avoidance is an important cause of prey dispersal, its effects on dispersal distance have not been investigated. We used simple experimental setups to test dispersal distances of the ambulatory dispersing spider mite ( Tetranychus kanzawai) in the presence or absence of a predator ( Neoseiulus womersleyi). In the absence of predators, most spider mites settled in adjacent patches, whereas the majority of those dispersing in the presence of predators passed through adjacent patches and settled in distant ones. This is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that predators induce greater dispersal distance in prey.

  14. Why are predator urines aversive to prey?

    PubMed

    Nolte, D L; Mason, J R; Epple, G; Aronov, E; Campbell, D L

    1994-07-01

    Predator odors often repel prey species. In the present experiments, we investigated whether changes in the diet of a predator, the coyote (Canis latrans) would affect the repellency of its urine. Furthermore, because predator odors have a high sulfur content, reflecting large amounts of meat in the diet, we investigated the contribution of sulfurous odors to repellency. Our results were consistent with the hypothesis that diet composition and sulfurous metabolites of meat digestion are important for the repellency of predator odors to potential prey.

  15. Piscivore-Prey Fish Interactions: Mechanisms behind Diurnal Patterns in Prey Selectivity in Brown and Clear Water

    PubMed Central

    Ranåker, Lynn; Persson, Jens; Jönsson, Mikael; Nilsson, P. Anders; Brönmark, Christer

    2014-01-01

    Environmental change may affect predator-prey interactions in lakes through deterioration of visual conditions affecting foraging success of visually oriented predators. Environmental change in lakes includes an increase in humic matter causing browner water and reduced visibility, affecting the behavioural performance of both piscivores and prey. We studied diurnal patterns of prey selection in piscivorous pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) in both field and laboratory investigations. In the field we estimated prey selectivity and prey availability during day and night in a clear and a brown water lake. Further, prey selectivity during day and night conditions was studied in the laboratory where we manipulated optical conditions (humic matter content) of the water. Here, we also studied the behaviours of piscivores and prey, focusing on foraging-cycle stages such as number of interests and attacks by the pikeperch as well as the escape distance of the prey fish species. Analyses of gut contents from the field study showed that pikeperch selected perch (Perca fluviatilis) over roach (Rutilus rutilus) prey in both lakes during the day, but changed selectivity towards roach in both lakes at night. These results were corroborated in the selectivity experiments along a brown-water gradient in day and night light conditions. However, a change in selectivity from perch to roach was observed when the optical condition was heavily degraded, from either brown-stained water or light intensity. At longer visual ranges, roach initiated escape at distances greater than pikeperch attack distances, whereas perch stayed inactive making pikeperch approach and attack at the closest range possible. Roach anti-predatory behaviour decreased in deteriorated visual conditions, altering selectivity patterns. Our results highlight the importance of investigating both predator and prey responses to visibility conditions in order to understand the effects of degrading optical conditions on

  16. Factors Affecting Population Trends of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes on Rangeland Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, G. D.; Asay, K. H.; Horton, W. H.

    1996-01-01

    The effects of environmental conditions on population trends of plant-parasitic nematodes were studied in experimental plots of five wheatgrasses in the western Utah desert. In a 3-year (1984-86) field study, soil water and temperature affected the population trends of the ectoparasites, Tylenchorhynchus acutoides and Xiphinema americanum, and the migratory endoparasite, Pratylenchus neglectus, on Fairway crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum; 'Hycrest' crested wheatgrass, A. cristatum X A. desertorura; 'Rosana' western wheatgrass, Pascopyrum smithii; 'Oahe' intermediate wheatgrass, Thinopyrum intermedium; and RS-1 hybrid (Elytrigia repens X Pseudoroegneria spicata). The largest soil populations of these nematode species were collected in 1984 under good plant-growth conditions. A reduction in nematode populations occurred in 1985 and 1986, possibly because of low soil-water conditions. There was a positive relationship between high soil water and maximum population densities of T. acutoides in the spring and fall of 1984, and between low soil water and minimum population densities of the nematode in 1985 and 1986. Pratylenchus neglectus populations were affected by soil water, although to a lesser degree than the ectoparasitic nematodes. Population densities of the three nematode species were significantly lower in the drier years of 1985 and 1986 than in 1984. Nematode populations were greater at the lower soil depths in the fall than in the spring or summer. PMID:19277352

  17. Prey bacteria shape the community structure of their predators.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huan; Athar, Rana; Zheng, Guili; Williams, Henry N

    2011-08-01

    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.

  18. Mating system affects population performance and extinction risk under environmental challenge.

    PubMed

    Plesnar-Bielak, Agata; Skrzynecka, Anna M; Prokop, Zofia M; Radwan, Jacek

    2012-11-22

    Failure of organisms to adapt to sudden environmental changes may lead to extinction. The type of mating system, by affecting fertility and the strength of sexual selection, may have a major impact on a population's chances to adapt and survive. Here, we use experimental evolution in bulb mites (Rhizoglyphus robini) to examine the effects of the mating system on population performance under environmental change. We demonstrate that populations in which monogamy was enforced suffered a dramatic fitness decline when evolving at an increased temperature, whereas the negative effects of change in a thermal environment were alleviated in polygamous populations. Strikingly, within 17 generations, all monogamous populations experiencing higher temperature went extinct, whereas all polygamous populations survived. Our results show that the mating system may have dramatic effects on the risk of extinction under environmental change.

  19. Predators and Resources Influence Phosphorus Transfer along an Invertebrate Food Web through Changes in Prey Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Calizza, Edoardo; Rossi, Loreto; Costantini, Maria Letizia

    2013-01-01

    Predators play a fundamental role in prey trophic behaviour, with indirect consequences for species coexistence and ecosystem functioning. Resource quality and availability also influence prey trophic behaviour, with potential effects on predator-prey dynamics. Although many studies have addressed these topics, little attention has been paid to the combined effects of predators and resources on prey species coexistence and nutrient transfer along food chains, especially in detritus-based systems. To determine the influence of predators and resource quality on the movement and P uptake of detritivores, we carried out a field experiment on the River Kelvin (Scotland) using 32P to test the hypothesis of reduced prey vagility among resource patches as a strategy to avoid predation. Thirty leaf sacks containing alder leaves and two detritivore prey populations (Asellus aquaticus and Lymnaea peregra) were placed in cages, half of them with two predator species (Dendrocoelum lacteum and Erpobdella octoculata) and the other half without predators. Five alder leaf bags, each individually inoculated with a different fungus strain to simulate a patchy habitat, were placed inside each leaf sack. One bag in each sack was labelled with 32P, in order to assess the proportion of detritivores using it as food and thus their movement among the five resource patches. Three replicates for each labelled fungus and each predation treatment (i.e. with and without predators) were left on the riverbed for 7 days. The presence of predators had negligible effects on the number of detritivores in the leaf bags, but it did reduce the proportion of 32P-labelled detritivores and their P uptake. The most strongly affected species was A. aquaticus, whose vagility, trophic overlap with L. peregra and P uptake were all reduced. The results confirm the importance of bottom-up and top-down forces acting simultaneously to regulate nutrient transfer along food chains in patchy habitats. PMID:23750242

  20. Mammalian predator-prey interaction in a fragmented landscape: weasels and voles.

    PubMed

    Haapakoski, Marko; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2013-12-01

    The relationship between predators and prey is thought to change due to habitat loss and fragmentation, but patterns regarding the direction of the effect are lacking. The common prediction is that specialized predators, often more dependent on a certain habitat type, should be more vulnerable to habitat loss compared to generalist predators, but actual fragmentation effects are unknown. If a predator is small and vulnerable to predation by other larger predators through intra-guild predation, habitat fragmentation will similarly affect both the prey and the small predator. In this case, the predator is predicted to behave similarly to the prey and avoid open and risky areas. We studied a specialist predator's, the least weasel, Mustela nivalis nivalis, spacing behavior and hunting efficiency on bank voles, Myodes glareolus, in an experimentally fragmented habitat. The habitat consisted of either one large habitat patch (non-fragmented) or four small habitat patches (fragmented) with the same total area. The study was replicated in summer and autumn during a year with high avian predation risk for both voles and weasels. As predicted, weasels under radio-surveillance killed more voles in the non-fragmented habitat which also provided cover from avian predators during their prey search. However, this was only during autumn, when the killing rate was also generally high due to cold weather. The movement areas were the same for both sexes and both fragmentation treatments, but weasels of both sexes were more prone to take risks in crossing the open matrix in the fragmented treatment. Our results support the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation may increase the persistence of specialist predator and prey populations if predators are limited in the same habitat as their prey and they share the same risk from avian predation. PMID:23728797

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Molecular-level variation affects population growth in a butterfly metapopulation.

    PubMed

    Hanski, Ilkka; Saccheri, Ilik

    2006-05-01

    The dynamics of natural populations are thought to be dominated by demographic and environmental processes with little influence of intraspecific genetic variation and natural selection, apart from inbreeding depression possibly reducing population growth in small populations. Here we analyse hundreds of well-characterised local populations in a large metapopulation of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia), which persists in a balance between stochastic local extinctions and recolonisations in a network of 4,000 discrete habitat patches. We show that the allelic composition of the glycolytic enzyme phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) has a significant effect on the growth of local populations, consistent with previously reported effects of allelic variation on flight metabolic performance and fecundity in the Glanville fritillary and Colias butterflies. The strength and the sign of the molecular effect on population growth are sensitive to the ecological context (the area and spatial connectivity of the habitat patches), which affects genotype-specific gene flow and the influence of migration on the dynamics of local populations. The biological significance of the results for Pgi is underscored by lack of any association between population growth and allelic variation at six other loci typed in the same material. In demonstrating, to our knowledge for the first time, that molecular variation in a candidate gene affects population growth, this study challenges the perception that differential performance of individual genotypes, leading to differential fitness, is irrelevant to population dynamics. These results also demonstrate that the spatial configuration of habitat and spatial dynamics of populations contribute to maintenance of Pgi polymorphism in this species.

  4. Bioeconomic harvesting of a prey-predator fishery.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Bird population trends are linearly affected by climate change along species thermal ranges.

    PubMed

    Jiguet, Frédéric; Devictor, Vincent; Ottvall, Richard; Van Turnhout, Chris; Van der Jeugd, Henk; Lindström, Ake

    2010-12-01

    Beyond the effects of temperature increase on local population trends and on species distribution shifts, how populations of a given species are affected by climate change along a species range is still unclear. We tested whether and how species responses to climate change are related to the populations locations within the species thermal range. We compared the average 20 year growth rates of 62 terrestrial breeding birds in three European countries along the latitudinal gradient of the species ranges. After controlling for factors already reported to affect bird population trends (habitat specialization, migration distance and body mass), we found that populations breeding close to the species thermal maximum have lower growth rates than those in other parts of the thermal range, while those breeding close to the species thermal minimum have higher growth rates. These results were maintained even after having controlled for the effect of latitude per se. Therefore, the results cannot solely be explained by latitudinal clines linked to the geographical structure in local spring warming. Indeed, we found that populations are not just responding to changes in temperature at the hottest and coolest parts of the species range, but that they show a linear graded response across their European thermal range. We thus provide insights into how populations respond to climate changes. We suggest that projections of future species distributions, and also management options and conservation assessments, cannot be based on the assumption of a uniform response to climate change across a species range or at range edges only.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-09-01

    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.

  11. Can ocean acidification affect population dynamics of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides at its southern range edge?

    PubMed

    Findlay, Helen S; Burrows, Michael T; Kendall, Michael A; Spicer, John I; Widdicombe, Stephen

    2010-10-01

    The global ocean and atmosphere are warming. There is increasing evidence suggesting that, in addition to other environmental factors, climate change is affecting species distributions and local population dynamics. Additionally, as a consequence of the growing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), the oceans are taking up increasing amounts of this CO2, causing ocean pH to decrease (ocean acidification). The relative impacts of ocean acidification on population dynamics have yet to be investigated, despite many studies indicating that there will be at least a sublethal impact on many marine organisms, particularly key calcifying organisms. Using empirical data, we forced a barnacle (Semibalanus balanoides) population model to investigate the relative influence of sea surface temperature (SST) and ocean acidification on a population nearing the southern limit of its geographic distribution. Hindcast models were compared to observational data from Cellar Beach (southwestern United Kingdom). Results indicate that a declining pH trend (-0.0017 unit/yr), indicative of ocean acidification over the past 50 years, does not cause an observable impact on the population abundance relative to changes caused by fluctuations in temperature. Below the critical temperature (here T(crit) = 13.1 degrees C), pH has a more significant affect on population dynamics at this southern range edge. However, above this value, SST has the overriding influence. At lower SST, a decrease in pH (according to the National Bureau of Standards, pHNBs) from 8.2 to 7.8 can significantly decrease the population abundance. The lethal impacts of ocean acidification observed in experiments on early life stages reduce cumulative survival by approximately 25%, which again will significantly alter the population level at this southern limit. Furthermore, forecast predictions from this model suggest that combined acidification and warming cause this local population to die out 10 years earlier than

  12. 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

  13. Density-dependent effects of prey defenses and predator offenses.

    PubMed

    Jeschke, Jonathan M

    2006-10-21

    Defenses protect prey, while offenses arm predators. Some defenses and offenses are constitutive (e.g. tortoise shells), while others are phenotypically plastic and not always expressed (e.g. neckteeth in water fleas). All of them are costly and only adaptive at certain prey densities. Here, I analyse such density-dependent effects, applying a functional response model to categorize defenses and offenses and qualitatively predict at which prey densities each category should evolve (if it is constitutive) or be expressed (if it is phenotypically plastic). The categories refer to the step of the predation cycle that a defense or offense affects: (1) search, (2) encounter, (3) detection, (4) attack, or (5) meal. For example, prey warning signals such as red coloration prevent predator attacks and are hence step 4 defenses, while sharp predator eyes enhance detection and are step 3 offenses. My theoretical analyses predict that step 1 defenses, which prevent predators from searching for their next meal (e.g. toxic substances), evolve or are expressed at intermediate prey densities. Other defenses, however, should be most beneficial at low prey densities. Regarding predators, step 1 offenses (e.g. immunity against prey toxins) are predicted to evolve or be expressed at high prey densities, other offenses at intermediate densities. I provide evidence from the literature that supports these predictions.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Prey morphology constrains the feeding ecology of an aquatic generalist predator.

    PubMed

    Willson, John D; Hopkins, William A

    2011-03-01

    Resource availability and accessibility are primary factors guiding the distribution and abundance of organisms. For generalists, prey availability reflects both prey abundance and differences in quality among prey taxa. Although some aspects of prey quality, such as nutritional composition, are well studied, our understanding of how prey morphology contributes to overall prey quality is limited. Because snakes cannot reduce prey size by mastication, many aspects of their feeding ecology (e.g., maximum prey size, feeding performance, and the degree of postprandial locomotor impairment) may be affected by prey shape. We conducted a uniquely comprehensive comparison of prey quality for a generalist species, the banded watersnake (Nerodia fasciata), using prey that were similar in mass and presumably similar in nutritional composition but different in shape and habitat association. Specifically, we compared nutritional composition and shape of paedomorphic salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum) and sunfish (Lepomis MARGINATUS) and used a series of repeated-measures experiments to examine feeding performance (number of prey consumed, maximum prey size, and intra-oral transport time), digestive metabolism (specific dynamic action, SDA), and postprandial locomotor performance of snakes fed Ambystoma and Lepomis. Cost of digestion was similar between the prey types, likely reflecting their similar nutritional composition. However, snakes consumed larger Ambystoma than Lepomis and intra-oral transport time was much shorter for Ambystoma. Snakes fed Lepomis also suffered greater reduction in crawling speed than those fed Ambystoma. These differences highlight the need for behaviorally integrated approaches to understanding prey quality and support field observations of the importance of amphibian prey for juvenile watersnakes.

  4. Dynamics and patterns of a diffusive Leslie-Gower prey-predator model with strong Allee effect in prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Wenjie; Wang, Mingxin

    2016-10-01

    This paper is devoted to study the dynamical properties and stationary patterns of a diffusive Leslie-Gower prey-predator model with strong Allee effect in the prey population. We first analyze the nonnegative constant equilibrium solutions and their stabilities, and then study the dynamical properties of time-dependent solutions. Moreover, we investigate the stationary patterns induced by diffusions (Turing pattern). Our results show that the impact of the strong Allee effect essentially increases the system spatiotemporal complexity.

  5. Socioeconomic factors affecting marriage, divorce and birth rates in a Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Uchida, E; Araki, S; Murata, K

    1993-10-01

    The effects of low income, urbanisation and young age population on age-adjusted rates of first marriage, divorce and live birth among the Japanese population in 46 prefectures were analysed by stepwise regression for 1970 and for 1975. During this period, Japanese society experienced a drastic change from long-lasting economic growth to serious recession in 1973. In both 1970 and 1975, the first marriage rate for females was inversely related to low income and the divorce rates for both males and females were positively related to low income. The live birth rate was significantly related to low income, urbanisation and young age population only in 1975. The first marriage rate for females and the divorce rates for both sexes increased significantly but the first marriage rate for males and live birth rate significantly decreased between 1970 and 1975. These findings suggest that low income was the essential factor affecting first marriage for females and divorce for males and females.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Phenological mismatch strongly affects individual fitness but not population demography in a woodland passerine.

    PubMed

    Reed, Thomas E; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Visser, Marcel E

    2013-01-01

    Populations are shifting their phenology in response to climate change, but these shifts are often asynchronous among interacting species. Resulting phenological mismatches can drive simultaneous changes in natural selection and population demography, but the links between these interacting processes are poorly understood. Here we analyse 37 years of data from an individual-based study of great tits (Parus major) in the Netherlands and use mixed-effects models to separate the within- and across-year effects of phenological mismatch between great tits and caterpillars (a key food source for developing nestlings) on components of fitness at the individual and population levels. Several components of individual fitness were affected by individual mismatch (i.e. late breeding relative to the caterpillar food peak date), including the probability of double-brooding, fledgling success, offspring recruitment probability and the number of recruits. Together these effects contributed to an overall negative relationship between relative fitness and laying dates, that is, selection for earlier laying on average. Directional selection for earlier laying was stronger in years where birds bred on average later than the food peak, but was weak or absent in years where the phenology of birds and caterpillars matched (i.e. no population mismatch). The mean number of fledglings per female was lower in years when population mismatch was high, in part because fewer second broods were produced. Population mismatch had a weak effect on the mean number of recruits per female, and no effect on mean adult survival, after controlling for the effects of breeding density and the quality of the autumnal beech (Fagus sylvatica) crop. These findings illustrate how climate change-induced mismatch can have strong effects on the relative fitness of phenotypes within years, but weak effects on mean demographic rates across years. We discuss various general mechanisms that influence the extent of

  9. Temporal behaviour profiles of Mus musculus in nature are affected by population activity.

    PubMed

    Robbers, Yuri; Koster, Eva A S; Krijbolder, Doortje I; Ruijs, Amanda; van Berloo, Sander; Meijer, Johanna H

    2015-02-01

    Animals have circadian clocks that govern their activity pattern, resulting in 24h rhythms in physiology and behaviour. Under laboratory conditions, light is the major external signal that affects temporal patterns in behaviour, and Mus musculus is strictly nocturnal in its behaviour. In the present study we questioned whether under natural conditions, environmental factors other than light affect the temporal profile of mice. In order to test this, we investigated the activity patterns of free-ranging M. musculus in a natural habitat, using sensors and a camera integrated into a recording unit that the mice could freely enter and leave. Our data show that mice have seasonal fluctuations in activity duration (6.7±0.82 h in summer, 11.3±1.80 h in winter). Furthermore, although primarily nocturnal, wild mice also exhibit daytime activity from spring until late autumn. A multivariate analysis revealed that the major factor correlating with increased daytime activity was population activity, defined as the number of visits to the recording site. Day length had a small but significant effect. Further analysis revealed that the relative population activity (compared to the past couple of days) is a better predictor of daytime activity than absolute population activity. Light intensity and temperature did not have a significant effect on daytime activity. The amount of variance explained by external factors is 51.9%, leaving surprisingly little unexplained variance that might be attributed to the internal clock. Our data further indicate that mice determine population activity by comparing a given night with the preceding 2-7 nights, a time frame suggesting a role for olfactory cues. We conclude that relative population activity is a major factor controlling the temporal activity patterns of M. musculus in an unrestricted natural population.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Irreversible prey diapause as an optimal strategy of a physiologically extended Lotka-Volterra model.

    PubMed

    Staňková, Kateřina; Abate, Alessandro; Sabelis, Maurice W

    2013-03-01

    We propose an optimal control framework to describe intra-seasonal predator-prey interactions, which are characterized by a continuous-time dynamical model comprising predator and prey density, as well as the energy budget of the prey over the length of a season. The model includes a time-dependent decision variable for the prey, representing the portion of the prey population in time that is active, as opposed to diapausing (a state of physiological rest). The predator follows autonomous dynamics and accordingly it remains active during the season. The proposed model is a generalization of the classical Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model towards non-autonomous dynamics that furthermore includes the effect of an energy variable. The model has been inspired by a specific biological system of predatory mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae) and prey mites (so-called fruit-tree red spider mites) (Acari: Tetranychidae) that feed on leaves of apple trees--its parameters have been instantiated based on laboratory and field studies. The goal of the work is to understand the decisions of the prey mites to enter diapause (a state of physiological rest) given the dynamics of the predatory mites: this is achieved by solving an optimization problem hinging on the maximization of the prey population contribution to the next season. The main features of the optimal strategy for the prey are shown to be that (1) once in diapause, the prey does not become active again within the same season and hence diapause is an irreversible process; (2) for the vast majority of parameter space, the portion of prey individuals entering diapause within the season does not decrease in time; (3) with an increased number of predators, the optimal population strategy for the prey is to start diapause earlier and to enter diapause more gradually. This optimal population strategy will be studied for its ESS properties in a sequel to the work presented in this article.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. Factors Affecting Population Dynamics of Maternally Transmitted Endosymbionts in Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Huipeng; Li, Xianchun; Ge, Daqing; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Xie, Wen; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Chu, Dong; Liu, Baiming; Xu, Baoyun; Zhang, Youjun

    2012-01-01

    While every individual of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) harbors the primary symbiont (P-symbiont) Portiera, the infection frequencies of the six secondary symbionts (S-symbionts) including Hamiltonella, Arsenophonus, Cardinium, Wolbachia, Rickettsia and Fritschea vary greatly among different populations. To characterize the factors influencing the infection dynamics of the six S-symbionts in B. tabaci, gene-specific PCR were conducted to screen for the presence of the P-symbiont Portiera and the six S-symbionts in 61 (17 B and 44 Q biotypes) field populations collected from different plant species and locations in China. All individuals of the 61 populations hosted the P-symbiont Portiera, but none of them harbored Arsenophonus and Fritschea. The presence and infection rates of Hamiltonella, Cardinium, Rickettsia, Wolbachia and their co-infections Rickettsia + Hamiltonella (RH), Rickettsia + Cardinium (RC), Hamiltonella + Cardinium (HC) and Rickettsia + Hamiltonella + Cardinium (RHC) varied significantly among the 61 field populations; and the observed variations can be explained by biotypes, sexes, host plants and geographical locations of these field populations. Taken together, at least three factors including biotype, host plant and geographical location affect the infection dynamics of S-symbionts in B. tabaci. PMID:22383972

  17. Factors affecting population dynamics of maternally transmitted endosymbionts in Bemisia tabaci.

    PubMed

    Pan, Huipeng; Li, Xianchun; Ge, Daqing; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Xie, Wen; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Chu, Dong; Liu, Baiming; Xu, Baoyun; Zhang, Youjun

    2012-01-01

    While every individual of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) harbors the primary symbiont (P-symbiont) Portiera, the infection frequencies of the six secondary symbionts (S-symbionts) including Hamiltonella, Arsenophonus, Cardinium, Wolbachia, Rickettsia and Fritschea vary greatly among different populations. To characterize the factors influencing the infection dynamics of the six S-symbionts in B. tabaci, gene-specific PCR were conducted to screen for the presence of the P-symbiont Portiera and the six S-symbionts in 61 (17 B and 44 Q biotypes) field populations collected from different plant species and locations in China. All individuals of the 61 populations hosted the P-symbiont Portiera, but none of them harbored Arsenophonus and Fritschea. The presence and infection rates of Hamiltonella, Cardinium, Rickettsia, Wolbachia and their co-infections Rickettsia + Hamiltonella (RH), Rickettsia + Cardinium (RC), Hamiltonella + Cardinium (HC) and Rickettsia + Hamiltonella + Cardinium (RHC) varied significantly among the 61 field populations; and the observed variations can be explained by biotypes, sexes, host plants and geographical locations of these field populations. Taken together, at least three factors including biotype, host plant and geographical location affect the infection dynamics of S-symbionts in B. tabaci.

  18. Tactile experience shapes prey-capture behavior in Etruscan shrews.

    PubMed

    Anjum, Farzana; Brecht, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A crucial role of tactile experience for the maturation of neural response properties in the somatosensory system is well established, but little is known about the role of tactile experience in the development of tactile behaviors. Here we study how tactile experience affects prey capture behavior in Etruscan shrews, Suncus etruscus. Prey capture in adult shrews is a high-speed behavior that relies on precise attacks guided by tactile Gestalt cues. We studied the role of tactile experience by three different approaches. First, we analyzed the hunting skills of young shrews' right after weaning. We found that prey capture in young animals in most, but not all, aspects is similar to that of adults. Second, we performed whisker trimming for 3-4 weeks after birth. Such deprivation resulted in a lasting disruption of prey capture even after whisker re-growth: attacks lacked precise targeting and had a lower success rate. Third, we presented adult shrews with an entirely novel prey species, the giant cockroach. The shape of this roach is very different from the shrew's normal (cricket) prey and the thorax-the preferred point of attack in crickets-is protected by a heavy cuticle. Initially shrews attacked giant roaches the same way they attack crickets and targeted the thoracic region. With progressive experience, however, shrews adopted a new attack strategy targeting legs and underside of the roaches while avoiding other body parts. Speed and efficiency of attacks improved. These data suggest that tactile experience shapes prey capture behavior. PMID:22701408

  19. Let's go beyond taxonomy in diet description: testing a trait-based approach to prey-predator relationships.

    PubMed

    Spitz, Jérôme; Ridoux, Vincent; Brind'Amour, Anik

    2014-09-01

    Understanding 'Why a prey is a prey for a given predator?' can be facilitated through trait-based approaches that identify linkages between prey and predator morphological and ecological characteristics and highlight key functions involved in prey selection. Enhanced understanding of the functional relationships between predators and their prey is now essential to go beyond the traditional taxonomic framework of dietary studies and to improve our knowledge of ecosystem functioning for wildlife conservation and management. We test the relevance of a three-matrix approach in foraging ecology among a marine mammal community in the northeast Atlantic to identify the key functional traits shaping prey selection processes regardless of the taxonomy of both the predators and prey. Our study reveals that prey found in the diet of marine mammals possess functional traits which are directly and significantly linked to predator characteristics, allowing the establishment of a functional typology of marine mammal-prey relationships. We found prey selection of marine mammals was primarily shaped by physiological and morphological traits of both predators and prey, confirming that energetic costs of foraging strategies and muscular performance are major drivers of prey selection in marine mammals. We demonstrate that trait-based approaches can provide a new definition of the resource needs of predators. This framework can be used to anticipate bottom-up effects on marine predator population dynamics and to identify predators which are sensitive to the loss of key prey functional traits when prey availability is reduced.

  20. Effects of vole fluctuations on the population dynamics of the barn owl Tyto alba.

    PubMed

    Klok, Chris; de Roos, Andre M

    2007-01-01

    Many predator species feed on prey that fluctuates in abundance from year to year. Birds of prey can face large fluctuations in food abundance i.e. small mammals, especially voles. These annual changes in prey abundance strongly affect the reproductive success and mortality of the individual predators and thus can be expected to influence their population dynamics and persistence. The barn owl, for example, shows large fluctuations in breeding success that correlate with the dynamics in voles, their main prey species. Analysis of the impact of fluctuations in vole abundance (their amplitude, peaks and lows, cycle length and regularity) with a simple predator prey model parameterized with literature data indicates population persistence is especially affected by years with low vole abundance. In these years the population can decline to low owl numbers such that the ensuing peak vole years cannot be exploited. This result is independent of the length and regularity of vole fluctuations. The relevance of this result for conservation of the barn owl and other birds of prey that show a numerical response to fluctuating prey species is discussed. PMID:17594062

  1. 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

  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. Oral E2 prostaglandins affect endocrine cell populations in the gastric antrum of the rat.

    PubMed

    Uribe, A; Grimelius, L; Theodorsson, L E; Riis-Angelo, L; Johansson, C

    1989-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate antral endocrine cell populations and tissue and circulating hormone levels following a 4-week oral regimen with prostaglandin E2 (25, 250 and 5000 micrograms/kg-1 b.i.d.) or a stable methyl analogue (5 and 50 micrograms kg-1 b.i.d.). Epithelial hyperplasia of the gastric antrum was observed with the highest dose of prostaglandin E2 and both doses of the analogue, as evaluated by stereological methods and conventional cell count. The treatments significantly affected the endocrine cell population. Somatostatin-immunoreactive cells were increased in proportion to the increased epithelial cellularity and plasma levels of somatostatin were increased in parallel. The tissue content of somatostatin-like immunoreactivity differed according to the extraction procedure used, and was significantly higher than controls in specimens extracted in neutral water. In the neutral extracts an immunoreactive somatostatin of unidentified molecular structure dominated quantitatively over somatostatin 14 and 28, which were the major components in acetic acid extracts. The serotonin-immunoreactive cell population was also significantly increased by natural prostaglandin E2 and the analogue but the gastrin cell population was not significantly affected by treatments. Accordingly, no significant changes were observed in tissue or plasma gastrin levels. It is concluded that the epithelial hyperplasia of the antral epithelia produced by E2 prostaglandins is associated with selective changes of endocrine cell populations. The changes were proportional to the increases of epithelial cellularity and required quantitative determination of the total antral volume to be detected.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  4. Spatiotemporal dynamics of the epidemic transmission in a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Su, Min; Hui, Cang; Zhang, Yanyu; Li, Zizhen

    2008-11-01

    Epidemic transmission is one of the critical density-dependent mechanisms that affect species viability and dynamics. In a predator-prey system, epidemic transmission can strongly affect the success probability of hunting, especially for social animals. Predators, therefore, will suffer from the positive density-dependence, i.e., Allee effect, due to epidemic transmission in the population. The rate of species contacting the epidemic, especially for those endangered or invasive, has largely increased due to the habitat destruction caused by anthropogenic disturbance. Using ordinary differential equations and cellular automata, we here explored the epidemic transmission in a predator-prey system. Results show that a moderate Allee effect will destabilize the dynamics, but it is not true for the extreme Allee effect (weak or strong). The predator-prey dynamics amazingly stabilize by the extreme Allee effect. Predators suffer the most from the epidemic disease at moderate transmission probability. Counter-intuitively, habitat destruction will benefit the control of the epidemic disease. The demographic stochasticity dramatically influences the spatial distribution of the system. The spatial distribution changes from oil-bubble-like (due to local interaction) to aggregated spatially scattered points (due to local interaction and demographic stochasticity). It indicates the possibility of using human disturbance in habitat as a potential epidemic-control method in conservation. PMID:18696164

  5. Interactive effects of predation risk and conspecific density on the nutrient stoichiometry of prey.

    PubMed

    Guariento, Rafael D; Carneiro, Luciana S; Jorge, Jaqueiuto S; Borges, Angélica N; Esteves, Francisco A; Caliman, Adriano

    2015-11-01

    The mere presence of predators (i.e., predation risk) can alter consumer physiology by restricting food intake and inducing stress, which can ultimately affect prey-mediated ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling. However, many environmental factors, including conspecific density, can mediate the perception of risk by prey. Prey conspecific density has been defined as a fundamental feature that modulates perceived risk. In this study, we tested the effects of predation risk on prey nutrient stoichiometry (body and excretion). Using a constant predation risk, we also tested the effects of varying conspecific densities on prey responses to predation risk. To answer these questions, we conducted a mesocosm experiment using caged predators (Belostoma sp.), and small bullfrog tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus) as prey. We found that L. catesbeianus tadpoles adjust their body nutrient stoichiometry in response to predation risk, which is affected by conspecific density. We also found that the prey exhibited strong morphological responses to predation risk (i.e., an increase in tail muscle mass), which were positively correlated to body nitrogen content. Thus, we pose the notion that in risky situations, adaptive phenotypic responses rather than behavioral ones might partially explain why prey might have a higher nitrogen content under predation risk. In addition, the interactive roles of conspecific density and predation risk, which might result in reduced perceived risk and physiological restrictions in prey, also affected how prey stoichiometry responded to the fear of predation.

  6. Nonlinearity in the predation risk of prey mobility.

    PubMed Central

    Banks, P B; Norrdahl, K; Korpimäki, E

    2000-01-01

    Odorous waste products such as urine and faeces are unavoidable for most animals and are widely exploited by predators and their prey. Consequently, waste accumulations can be risky and prey which increase their mobility in order to disperse and dilute their waste should avoid a high predation risk until this benefit is balanced by the increasing risks of random predator encounter. This hypothesis was tested for voles (Microtus spp.) in Finland which are vulnerable to predation due to the scent and ultraviolet attractiveness of their urine. The mortality and mobility of radio-collared voles showed a U-shaped relationship, regardless of vole sex, species or population cycle phase. The low risks for prey making intermediate movements suggest that predation risk can exert strong selective pressures on prey such that they have little respite from the risk of being killed. PMID:11467424

  7. Dynamics of Predator-Prey Metapopulations with Allee Effects.

    PubMed

    Fan, Meng; Wu, Ping; Feng, Zhilan; Swihart, Robert K

    2016-08-01

    Allee effects increasingly are recognized as influential determinants of population dynamics, especially in disturbed landscapes. We developed a predator-prey metapopulation model to study the impact of an Allee effect on predator-prey. The model incorporates habitat destruction and predators with imperfect information about prey distribution. Criteria are established for the existence and stability of equilibria, and the possible existence of a limit cycle is discussed. Numerical bifurcation analysis of the model is carried out to examine the impact of Allee effects as well as other key processes on trophic dynamics. Inclusion of Allee effects produces a richer array of dynamics than earlier models in which it was absent. When prey interacts with generalist predators, Allee effects operate synergistically to depress prey populations. Allee effects are more likely to depress occupancy levels when destruction of habitat patches is moderate; at severe levels of destruction, Allee effects are swamped by demographic effects of habitat loss. Stronger Allee effects correspond to lower thresholds of predator colonization rates at which prey become extinct. We discuss implications of our model for conservation of rare species as well as pest management via biocontrol.

  8. Dynamics of Predator-Prey Metapopulations with Allee Effects.

    PubMed

    Fan, Meng; Wu, Ping; Feng, Zhilan; Swihart, Robert K

    2016-08-01

    Allee effects increasingly are recognized as influential determinants of population dynamics, especially in disturbed landscapes. We developed a predator-prey metapopulation model to study the impact of an Allee effect on predator-prey. The model incorporates habitat destruction and predators with imperfect information about prey distribution. Criteria are established for the existence and stability of equilibria, and the possible existence of a limit cycle is discussed. Numerical bifurcation analysis of the model is carried out to examine the impact of Allee effects as well as other key processes on trophic dynamics. Inclusion of Allee effects produces a richer array of dynamics than earlier models in which it was absent. When prey interacts with generalist predators, Allee effects operate synergistically to depress prey populations. Allee effects are more likely to depress occupancy levels when destruction of habitat patches is moderate; at severe levels of destruction, Allee effects are swamped by demographic effects of habitat loss. Stronger Allee effects correspond to lower thresholds of predator colonization rates at which prey become extinct. We discuss implications of our model for conservation of rare species as well as pest management via biocontrol. PMID:27543248

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

    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 Met55beta1Val and Lys62beta1Ala are located at crucial positions of the alpha1beta1 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. Coupling in goshawk and grouse population dynamics in Finland.

    PubMed

    Tornberg, Risto; Lindén, Andreas; Byholm, Patrik; Ranta, Esa; Valkama, Jari; Helle, Pekka; Lindén, Harto

    2013-04-01

    Different prey species can vary in their significance to a particular predator. In the simplest case, the total available density or biomass of a guild of several prey species might be most relevant to the predator, but behavioural and ecological traits of different prey species can alter the picture. We studied the population dynamics of a predator-prey setting in Finland by fitting first-order log-linear vector autoregressive models to long-term count data from active breeding sites of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis; 1986-2009), and to three of its main prey species (1983-2010): hazel grouse (Bonasa bonasia), black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and capercaillie (T. urogallus), which belong to the same forest grouse guild and show synchronous fluctuations. Our focus was on modelling the relative significance of prey species and estimating the tightness of predator-prey coupling in order to explain the observed population dynamics, simultaneously accounting for effects of density dependence, winter severity and spatial correlation. We established nine competing candidate models, where different combinations of grouse species affect goshawk dynamics with lags of 1-3 years. Effects of goshawk on grouse were investigated using one model for each grouse species. The most parsimonious model for goshawk indicated separate density effects of hazel grouse and black grouse, and different effects with lags of 1 and 3 years. Capercaillie showed no effects on goshawk populations, while the effect of goshawk on grouse was clearly negative only in capercaillie. Winter severity had significant adverse effects on goshawk and hazel grouse populations. In combination, large-scale goshawk-grouse population dynamics are coupled, but there are no clear mutual effects for any of the individual guild members. In a broader context, our study suggests that pooling data on closely related, synchronously fluctuating prey species can result in the loss of relevant information, rather than

  14. Imbalance of predator and prey armament: geographic clines in phenotypic interface and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2006-01-01

    The escalation of defensive/offensive arms is ubiquitous in prey-predator evolutionary interactions. However, there may be a geographically varying imbalance in the armaments of participating species that affects the outcome of local interactions. In a system involving the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and its obligate seed predator, the camellia weevil (Curculio camelliae), we investigated the geographic variation in physical defensive/offensive traits and that in natural selection on the plant's defense among 17 populations over a 700-km-wide area in Japan. The sizes of the plant defensive apparatus (pericarp thickness) and the weevil offensive apparatus (rostrum length) clearly correlated with each other across populations. Nevertheless, the balance in armaments between the two species was geographically structured. In the populations for which the balance was relatively advantageous for the plant's defense, natural selection on the trait was stronger because in the other populations, most plant individuals were too vulnerable to resist the attacks of the weevil, and their seeds were infested independent of pericarp thickness. We also found that the imbalance between the defensive/offensive armaments and the intensity of natural selection showed clear latitudinal clines. Overall, our results suggest that the imbalance of armament between sympatric prey and predator could determine the strength of local selection and that climatic conditions could affect the local and overall trajectory of coevolutionary arms races. PMID:16475103

  15. The Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model with foraging-predation risk trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Krivan, Vlastimil

    2007-11-01

    This article studies the effects of adaptive changes in predator and/or prey activities on the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey population dynamics. The model assumes the classical foraging-predation risk trade-offs: increased activity increases population growth rate, but it also increases mortality rate. The model considers three scenarios: prey only are adaptive, predators only are adaptive, and both species are adaptive. Under all these scenarios, the neutral stability of the classical Lotka-Volterra model is partially lost because the amplitude of maximum oscillation in species numbers is bounded, and the bound is independent of the initial population numbers. Moreover, if both prey and predators behave adaptively, the neutral stability can be completely lost, and a globally stable equilibrium would appear. This is because prey and/or predator switching leads to a piecewise constant prey (predator) isocline with a vertical (horizontal) part that limits the amplitude of oscillations in prey and predator numbers, exactly as suggested by Rosenzweig and MacArthur in their seminal work on graphical stability analysis of predator-prey systems. Prey and predator activities in a long-term run are calculated explicitly. This article shows that predictions based on short-term behavioral experiments may not correspond to long-term predictions when population dynamics are considered.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Interactive influence of biotic and abiotic cues on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures in a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Smolinský, Radovan; Gvoždík, Lumír

    2012-09-01

    The ability to modify phenotypes in response to heterogeneity of the thermal environment represents an important component of an ectotherm's non-genetic adaptive capacity. Despite considerable attention being dedicated to the study of thermally-induced developmental plasticity, whether or not interspecific interactions shape the plastic response in both a predator and its prey remains unknown. We tested several predictions about the joint influence of predator/prey scents and thermal conditions on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures (T (p)) in both actors of this interaction, using a dragonfly nymphs-newt larvae system. Dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna cyanea) and newt eggs (Ichthyosaura alpestris) were subjected to fluctuating cold and warm thermal regimes (7-12 and 12-22°C, respectively) and the presence/absence of a predator or prey chemical cues. Preferred body temperatures were measured in an aquatic thermal gradient (5-33°C) over a 24-h period. Newt T (p) increased with developmental temperature irrespective of the presence/absence of predator cues. In dragonflies, thermal reaction norms for T (p) were affected by the interaction between temperature and prey cues. Specifically, the presence of newt scents in cold regime lowered dragonfly T (p). We concluded that predator-prey interactions influenced thermally-induced plasticity of T (p) but not in a reciprocal fashion. The occurrence of frequency-dependent thermal plasticity may have broad implications for predator-prey population dynamics, the evolution of thermal biology traits, and the consequences of sustaining climate change within ecological communities.

  20. Genomewide Scan for Affective Disorder Susceptibility Loci in Families of a Northern Swedish Isolated Population

    PubMed Central

    Venken, Tine; Claes, Stephan; Sluijs, Samuël; Paterson, Andrew D.; van Duijn, Cornelia; Adolfsson, Rolf; Del-Favero, Jurgen; Van Broeckhoven, Christine

    2005-01-01

    We analyzed nine multigenerational families with ascertained affective spectrum disorders in northern Sweden's geographically isolated population of Västerbotten. This northern Swedish population, which originated from a limited number of early settlers ∼8,000 years ago, is genetically more homogeneous than outbred populations. In a genomewide linkage analysis, we identified three chromosomal loci with multipoint LOD scores (MPLOD) ⩾2 at 9q31.1-q34.1 (MPLOD 3.24), 6q22.2-q24.2 (MPLOD 2.48), and 2q33-q36 (MPLOD 2.26) under a recessive affected-only model. Follow-up genotyping with application of a 2-cM density simple-tandem-repeat (STR) map confirmed linkage at 9q31.1-q34.1 (MPLOD 3.22), 6q23-q24 (MPLOD 3.25), and 2q33-q36 (MPLOD 2.2). In an initial analysis aimed at identification of the underlying susceptibility genes, we focused our attention on the 9q locus. We fine mapped this region at a 200-kb STR density, with the result of an MPLOD of 3.70. Genealogical studies showed that three families linked to chromosome 9q descended from common founder couples ∼10 generations ago. In this ∼10-generation pedigree, a common ancestral haplotype was inherited by the patients, which reduced the 9q candidate region to 1.6 Mb. Further, the shared haplotype was observed in 4.2% of patients with bipolar disorder with alternating episodes of depression and mania, but it was not observed in control individuals in a patient-control sample from the Västerbotten isolate. These results suggest a susceptibility locus on 9q31-q33 for affective disorder in this common ancestral region. PMID:15614721

  1. Snake (Colubridae: Thamnophis) predatory responses to chemical cues from native and introduced prey species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mullin, S.J.; Imbert, H.; Fish, J.M.; Ervin, E.L.; Fisher, R.N.

    2004-01-01

    Several aquatic vertebrates have been introduced into freshwater systems in California over the past 100 years. Some populations of the two-striped garter snake (Thamnophis hammondii) have lived in sympatry with these species since their introduction; other populations have never encountered them. To assess the possible adaptation to a novel prey, we tested the predatory responses of T. hammondii from different populations to different chemosensory cues from native and introduced prey species. We presented chemical extracts from potential prey types and 2 control odors to individual snakes on cotton swabs and recorded the number of tongue flicks and attacks directed at each swab. Subject response was higher for prey odors than control substances. Odors from introduced centrarchid fish (Lepomis) elicited higher response levels than other prey types, including native anuran larvae (Pseudacris regilla). The pattern of response was similar for both populations of snakes (experienced and nai??ve, with respect to the introduced prey). We suggest that the generalist aquatic lifestyle of T. hammondii has allowed it to take advantage of increasing populations of introduced prey. Decisions on the management strategies for some of these introduced prey species should include consideration of how T. hammondii populations might respond in areas of sympatry.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.

    2010-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Banerjee, M; Volpert, V

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient.

    PubMed

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  12. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  13. Meeting the Contraceptive Needs of Key Populations Affected by HIV in Asia: An Unfinished Agenda

    PubMed Central

    Petruney, Tricia; Minichiello, Shanthi Noriega; McDowell, Misti; Wilcher, Rose

    2012-01-01

    Like all women, women living with and at risk of acquiring HIV have the right to determine the number and timing of their pregnancies and to safely achieve their reproductive intentions. Yet, many women in Asia affected by HIV lack access to family planning services and experience disproportionately high rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. Programs that have succeeded in promoting condom use and providing HIV prevention and treatment services in this region have largely missed the opportunity to address the contraceptive needs of the key populations they serve. The importance of better linkages between family planning and HIV policies and programs is now widely recognized by global health policymakers and donors. However, to date, most of the efforts to improve these linkages have been conducted in Africa. Greater attention is needed to the developing, implementing, and evaluating of integrated family planning/HIV approaches that are tailored to the political, cultural, and public health context in Asia. In this paper, we describe the use of and need for family planning among key populations affected by HIV in Asia, discuss the challenges to effectively addressing of these needs, and offer recommendations for strengthening the linkages between family planning and HIV policies and programs in the region. PMID:22991656

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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 pathways. To this end we conducted genome scans of seven rainbow trout families from a single broodstock population to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) having an effect on stress response to crowding as measured by plasma cortisol concentration. Our goal was to estimate the number of major genes having large effects on this trait in our broodstock population through the identification of QTL. Results A genome scan including 380 microsatellite markers representing 29 chromosomes resulted in the de novo construction of genetic maps which were in good agreement with the NCCCWA genetic map. Unique sets of QTL were detected for two traits which were defined after observing a low correlation between repeated measurements of plasma cortisol concentration in response to stress. A highly significant QTL was detected in three independent analyses on Omy16, many additional suggestive and significant QTL were also identified. With linkage-based methods of QTL analysis such as half-sib regression interval mapping and a variance component method, we determined that the significant and suggestive QTL explain about 40-43% and 13-27% of the phenotypic trait variation, respectively. Conclusions The cortisol response to crowding stress is a complex trait controlled in a sub-sample of our broodstock population by multiple QTL on at least 8 chromosomes. These QTL are largely different from others previously identified for a similar trait, documenting that population specific genetic variants independently affect cortisol response in ways that may result in different impacts on growth. Also, mapping QTL for multiple traits associated with stress response detected trait specific QTL which

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. Longitudinal population-based studies of affective disorders: Where to from here?

    PubMed Central

    Beard, John R; Galea, Sandro; Vlahov, David

    2008-01-01

    Background Longitudinal, population-based, research is important if we are to better characterize the lifetime patterns and determinants of affective disorders. While studies of this type are becoming increasingly prevalent, there has been little discussion about the limitations of the methods commonly used. Methods Discussion paper including a brief review of key prospective population-based studies as the basis for a critical appraisal of current approaches. Results We identified a number of common methodological weaknesses that restrict the potential of longitudinal research to characterize the diversity, prognosis, and determinants of affective disorders over time. Most studies using comprehensive diagnostic instruments have either been of relatively brief duration, or have suffered from long periods between waves. Most etiologic research has focused on first onset diagnoses, although these may be relatively uncommon after early adulthood and the burden of mental disorders falls more heavily on individuals with recurring disorders. Analysis has tended to be based on changes in diagnostic status rather than anges in symptom levels, limiting study power. Diagnoses have generally been treated as homogeneous entities and few studies have explored whether diagnostic subtypes such as atypical depression vary in their etiology or prognosis. Little research has considered whether there are distinct trajectories of symptoms over time and most has focused on individual disorders such as depression, rather than considering the relationship over time between symptoms of different affective disorders. There has also been limited longitudinal research on factors in the physical or social environment that may influence the onset, recurrence or chronicity of symptoms. Conclusion Many important, and in some respects quite basic, questions remain about the trajectory of depression and anxiety disorders over the life course and the factors that influence their incidence

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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

  5. Varying predator personalities generates contrasting prey communities in an agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Royauté, Raphaël; Pruitt, Jonathan N

    2015-11-01

    Most taxa show consistent individual differences in behavior, a phenomenon often referred to as animal "personalities." While the links between individual personality and fitness have received considerable attention, little information is available on how animal personality impacts higher-order ecological processes, such as community dynamics. Using a mesocosm experiment, we subjected a representative community of alfalfa pests to different compositions of personality types of the wolf spider Pardosa milvina. We show that subtle variation in the personality composition of P. milvina populations generate wildly different prey communities, where a mixture of both active and sedentary individuals performs best at suppressing prey abundance. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that predator personality types can generate contrasting prey communities. Moreover, our results suggest that manipulating the representation of predator personality types may be a profitable avenue by which one can maximize the biocontrol potential of predator populations. PMID:27070010

  6. A modified predator–prey model for the interaction of police and gangs

    PubMed Central

    Sooknanan, J.; Bhatt, B.

    2016-01-01

    A modified predator–prey model with transmissible disease in both the predator and prey species is proposed and analysed, with infected prey being more vulnerable to predation and infected predators hunting at a reduced rate. Here, the predators are the police and the prey the gang members. In this system, we examine whether police control of gangs is possible. The system is analysed with the help of stability analyses and numerical simulations. The system has five steady states—four of which involve no core gang members and one in which all the populations coexist. Thresholds are identified which determine when the predator and prey populations survive and when the disease remains endemic. For parameter values where the spread of disease among the police officers is greater than the death of the police officers, the diseased predator population survives, when it would otherwise become extinct. PMID:27703682

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  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. Does childhood cancer affect parental divorce rates? A population-based study.

    PubMed

    Syse, Astri; Loge, Jon H; Lyngstad, Torkild H

    2010-02-10

    PURPOSE Cancer in children may profoundly affect parents' personal relationships in terms of psychological stress and an increased care burden. This could hypothetically elevate divorce rates. Few studies on divorce occurrence exist, so the effect of childhood cancers on parental divorce rates was explored. PATIENTS AND METHODS Data on the entire Norwegian married population, age 17 to 69 years, with children age 0 to 20 years in 1974 to 2001 (N = 977,928 couples) were retrieved from the Cancer Registry, the Central Population Register, the Directorate of Taxes, and population censuses. Divorce rates for 4,590 couples who were parenting a child with cancer were compared with those of otherwise similar couples by discrete-time hazard regression models. Results Cancer in a child was not associated with an increased risk of parental divorce overall. An increased divorce rate was observed with Wilms tumor (odds ratio [OR], 1.52) but not with any of the other common childhood cancers. The child's age at diagnosis, time elapsed from diagnosis, and death from cancer did not influence divorce rates significantly. Increased divorce rates were observed for couples in whom the mothers had an education greater than high school level (OR, 1.16); the risk was particularly high shortly after diagnosis, for CNS cancers and Wilms tumors, for couples with children 0 to 9 years of age at diagnosis, and after a child's death. CONCLUSION This large, registry-based study shows that cancer in children is not associated with an increased parental divorce rate, except with Wilms tumors. Couples in whom the wife is highly educated appear to face increased divorce rates after a child's cancer, and this may warrant additional study.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Use of computational fluid dynamics to study forces exerted on prey by aquatic suction feeders

    PubMed Central

    Skorczewski, Tyler; Cheer, Angela; Cheung, Samson; Wainwright, Peter C.

    2010-01-01

    Suction feeding is the most commonly used mechanism of prey capture among aquatic vertebrates. Most previous models of the fluid flow caused by suction feeders involve making several untested assumptions. In this paper, a Chimera overset grids approach is used to solve the governing equations of fluid dynamics in order to investigate the assumptions that prey do not interact with the flow and that the flow can be modelled as a one-dimensional flow. Results show that, for small prey, both neglecting the prey and considering prey interaction give similar calculated forces exerted on the prey. However, as the prey item increases in size toward the size of the gape, its effect on the flow becomes more pronounced. This in turn affects both the magnitude of the hydrodynamic forces imparted to the prey and the time when maximum force is delivered. Maximum force is delivered most quickly to intermediate sized prey, about one-third of mouth diameter, and most slowly to prey less than 7 per cent or greater than 67 per cent of mouth diameter. This suggests that the effect of prey size on the timing of suction forces may have substantial consequences for the feeding ecology of suction feeders that are known to prefer prey between 25 and 50 per cent of mouth diameter. Moreover, for a 15 cm fish with a 15 mm gape, assuming a radial one-dimensional flow field can result in underestimating the maximum force exerted on a 5 mm diameter spherical prey 1 gape distance from the mouth by up to 28.7 per cent. PMID:19674998

  3. Use of computational fluid dynamics to study forces exerted on prey by aquatic suction feeders.

    PubMed

    Skorczewski, Tyler; Cheer, Angela; Cheung, Samson; Wainwright, Peter C

    2010-03-01

    Suction feeding is the most commonly used mechanism of prey capture among aquatic vertebrates. Most previous models of the fluid flow caused by suction feeders involve making several untested assumptions. In this paper, a Chimera overset grids approach is used to solve the governing equations of fluid dynamics in order to investigate the assumptions that prey do not interact with the flow and that the flow can be modelled as a one-dimensional flow. Results show that, for small prey, both neglecting the prey and considering prey interaction give similar calculated forces exerted on the prey. However, as the prey item increases in size toward the size of the gape, its effect on the flow becomes more pronounced. This in turn affects both the magnitude of the hydrodynamic forces imparted to the prey and the time when maximum force is delivered. Maximum force is delivered most quickly to intermediate sized prey, about one-third of mouth diameter, and most slowly to prey less than 7 per cent or greater than 67 per cent of mouth diameter. This suggests that the effect of prey size on the timing of suction forces may have substantial consequences for the feeding ecology of suction feeders that are known to prefer prey between 25 and 50 per cent of mouth diameter. Moreover, for a 15 cm fish with a 15 mm gape, assuming a radial one-dimensional flow field can result in underestimating the maximum force exerted on a 5 mm diameter spherical prey 1 gape distance from the mouth by up to 28.7 per cent.

  4. 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 ...

  5. Relating wolf scat content to prey consumed

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Floyd, T.J.; Mech, L.D.; Jordan, P.A.

    1978-01-01

    In 9 trials, captive wolves (Canis lupus) were fed prey varying in size from snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) to adult deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and the resulting scats were counted. Field-collectible scats were distinguished from liquid, noncollectible stools. I n collectible scats, the remains of small prey occurred in greater proportion relative to the prey's weight, and in lesser proportion relative to the prey's numbers, than did the remains of larger prey. A regression equation with an excellent, fit to the data (r2 = 0.97) was derived to estimate the weight of prey eaten per collectible scat for any prey. With this information and average prey weights, the relative numbers of different prey eaten also can be calculated.

  6. A Computer Simulation for Demonstrating and Modelling Predator-Prey Oscillations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lutterschmidt, William I.; Schaefer, Jacob F.

    1997-01-01

    Discusses a computer simulation designed as an educational tool for students to observe predator-prey oscillations and experimentally investigate how changes in life histories affect predator and prey densities. Provides hands-on interaction with such theories and with mathematical models. Available to any instructor for curriculum use. (AIM)

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Differential effects of mercury on activity and swimming endurance in a model aquatic predator-prey system

    SciTech Connect

    Benton, M.J.; Carlson, J.K.; Benson, W.H.

    1994-12-31

    In addition to direct effects of contaminants on organisms, populations and communities, there may also be indirect or secondary effects related to altered behavior. This study examined the effects of mercury exposure on locomotory behavior in a model predator-prey system of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). At both low and high mercury concentrations, there was a significant effect of exposure on unforced activity and swimming endurance in fathead minnows. At all tested mercury concentrations, activity and endurance also were both positively correlated to body length. However, largemouth bass unforced activity and swimming endurance were not affected by exposure to low mercury concentrations. In light of these differential locomotory effects at environmentally relevant mercury concentrations, the potential impact on aquatic predator-prey systems will be discussed.

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. Predicting the effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions: a conceptual framework based on coastal molluscs.

    PubMed

    Kroeker, Kristy J; Sanford, Eric; Jellison, Brittany M; Gaylord, Brian

    2014-06-01

    The influence of environmental change on species interactions will affect population dynamics and community structure in the future, but our current understanding of the outcomes of species interactions in a high-CO2 world is limited. Here, we draw upon emerging experimental research examining the effects of ocean acidification on coastal molluscs to provide hypotheses of the potential impacts of high-CO2 on predator-prey interactions. Coastal molluscs, such as oysters, mussels, and snails, allocate energy among defenses, growth, and reproduction. Ocean acidification increases the energetic costs of physiological processes such as acid-base regulation and calcification. Impacted molluscs can display complex and divergent patterns of energy allocation to defenses and growth that may influence predator-prey interactions; these include changes in shell properties, body size, tissue mass, immune function, or reproductive output. Ocean acidification has also been shown to induce complex changes in chemoreception, behavior, and inducible defenses, including altered cue detection and predator avoidance behaviors. Each of these responses may ultimately alter the susceptibility of coastal molluscs to predation through effects on predator handling time, satiation, and search time. While many of these effects may manifest as increases in per capita predation rates on coastal molluscs, the ultimate outcome of predator-prey interactions will also depend on how ocean acidification affects the specified predators, which also exhibit complex responses to ocean acidification. Changes in predator-prey interactions could have profound and unexplored consequences for the population dynamics of coastal molluscs in a high-CO2 ocean.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Collective behavior and predation success in a predator-prey model inspired by hunting bats.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Prey selection by an apex predator: the importance of sampling uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Davis, Miranda L; Stephens, Philip A; Willis, Stephen G; Bassi, Elena; Marcon, Andrea; Donaggio, Emanuela; Capitani, Claudia; Apollonio, Marco

    2012-01-01

    The impact of predation on prey populations has long been a focus of ecologists, but a firm understanding of the factors influencing prey selection, a key predictor of that impact, remains elusive. High levels of variability observed in prey selection may reflect true differences in the ecology of different communities but might also reflect a failure to deal adequately with uncertainties in the underlying data. Indeed, our review showed that less than 10% of studies of European wolf predation accounted for sampling uncertainty. Here, we relate annual variability in wolf diet to prey availability and examine temporal patterns in prey selection; in particular, we identify how considering uncertainty alters conclusions regarding prey selection.Over nine years, we collected 1,974 wolf scats and conducted drive censuses of ungulates in Alpe di Catenaia, Italy. We bootstrapped scat and census data within years to construct confidence intervals around estimates of prey use, availability and selection. Wolf diet was dominated by boar (61.5 ± 3.90 [SE] % of biomass eaten) and roe deer (33.7 ± 3.61%). Temporal patterns of prey densities revealed that the proportion of roe deer in wolf diet peaked when boar densities were low, not when roe deer densities were highest. Considering only the two dominant prey types, Manly's standardized selection index using all data across years indicated selection for boar (mean = 0.73 ± 0.023). However, sampling error resulted in wide confidence intervals around estimates of prey selection. Thus, despite considerable variation in yearly estimates, confidence intervals for all years overlapped. Failing to consider such uncertainty could lead erroneously to the assumption of differences in prey selection among years. This study highlights the importance of considering temporal variation in relative prey availability and accounting for sampling uncertainty when interpreting the results of dietary studies. PMID:23110122

  19. Prey selection by an apex predator: the importance of sampling uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Davis, Miranda L; Stephens, Philip A; Willis, Stephen G; Bassi, Elena; Marcon, Andrea; Donaggio, Emanuela; Capitani, Claudia; Apollonio, Marco

    2012-01-01

    The impact of predation on prey populations has long been a focus of ecologists, but a firm understanding of the factors influencing prey selection, a key predictor of that impact, remains elusive. High levels of variability observed in prey selection may reflect true differences in the ecology of different communities but might also reflect a failure to deal adequately with uncertainties in the underlying data. Indeed, our review showed that less than 10% of studies of European wolf predation accounted for sampling uncertainty. Here, we relate annual variability in wolf diet to prey availability and examine temporal patterns in prey selection; in particular, we identify how considering uncertainty alters conclusions regarding prey selection.Over nine years, we collected 1,974 wolf scats and conducted drive censuses of ungulates in Alpe di Catenaia, Italy. We bootstrapped scat and census data within years to construct confidence intervals around estimates of prey use, availability and selection. Wolf diet was dominated by boar (61.5 ± 3.90 [SE] % of biomass eaten) and roe deer (33.7 ± 3.61%). Temporal patterns of prey densities revealed that the proportion of roe deer in wolf diet peaked when boar densities were low, not when roe deer densities were highest. Considering only the two dominant prey types, Manly's standardized selection index using all data across years indicated selection for boar (mean = 0.73 ± 0.023). However, sampling error resulted in wide confidence intervals around estimates of prey selection. Thus, despite considerable variation in yearly estimates, confidence intervals for all years overlapped. Failing to consider such uncertainty could lead erroneously to the assumption of differences in prey selection among years. This study highlights the importance of considering temporal variation in relative prey availability and accounting for sampling uncertainty when interpreting the results of dietary studies.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bellos, Anna; Mulholland, Kim; O'Brien, Katherine L; Qazi, Shamim A; Gayer, Michelle; Checchi, Francesco

    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

  2. [Environmental risk, health and justice: the protagonism of affected populations in the production of knowledge].

    PubMed

    Porto, Marcelo Firpo; Finamore, Renan

    2012-06-01

    This article discusses the role of populations affected by environmental injustice situations in the production of knowledge about environmental health stemming from inequalities and discrimination in the distribution of risks and benefits of economic development. Special attention is given to the epistemological and political limits to producing knowledge and alternatives that enable advances in building more just and sustainable societies are highlighted. Based on a broader view of health, the limits of scientific approaches are called into question by acknowledging the importance of local knowledge are discussed, either to analyze environmental risks or their effects on health, including epidemiological studies. These limits are linked primarily to the concealment of conflicts and uncertainties, the lack of contextualization of exposure to risk and effects on health, as well as the difficulties of dialogue with the communities. The article also presents contributions and advances presented by environmental justice movements. The conclusion is that a constructivist, procedural and democratic perspective of confronting forms of knowledge and practices can guide the scientific production to benefit of environmental justice.

  3. 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.

  4. Variable prey development time suppresses predator-prey cycles and enhances stability.

    PubMed

    Cronin, James T; Reeve, John D; Xu, Dashun; Xiao, Mingqing; Stevens, Heidi N

    2016-03-01

    Although theoretical models have demonstrated that predator-prey population dynamics can depend critically on age (stage) structure and the duration and variability in development times of different life stages, experimental support for this theory is non-existent. We conducted an experiment with a host-parasitoid system to test the prediction that increased variability in the development time of the vulnerable host stage can promote interaction stability. Host-parasitoid microcosms were subjected to two treatments: Normal and High variance in the duration of the vulnerable host stage. In control and Normal-variance microcosms, hosts and parasitoids exhibited distinct population cycles. In contrast, insect abundances were 18-24% less variable in High- than Normal-variance microcosms. More significantly, periodicity in host-parasitoid population dynamics disappeared in the High-variance microcosms. Simulation models confirmed that stability in High-variance microcosms was sufficient to prevent extinction. We conclude that developmental variability is critical to predator-prey population dynamics and could be exploited in pest-management programs.

  5. Analysis of quantitative trait loci affecting chlorophyll content of rice leaves in a double haploid population and two backcross populations.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Gonghao; Zeng, Jing; He, Yuqing

    2014-02-25

    Chlorophyll content, one of the most important physiological parameters related to plant photosynthesis, is usually used to predict yield potential. To map the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) underlying the chlorophyll content of rice leaves, a double haploid (DH) population was developed from an indica/japonica (Zhenshan 97/Wuyujing 2) crossing and two backcross populations were established subsequently by backcrossing DH lines with each of their parents. The contents of chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b were determined by using a spectrophotometer to directly measure the leaf chlorophyll extracts. To determine the leaf chlorophyll retention along with maturation, all measurements were performed on the day of heading and were repeated 30 days later. A total of 60 QTLs were resolved for all the traits using these three populations. These QTLs were distributed on 10 rice chromosomes, except chromosomes 5 and 10; the closer the traits, the more clustering of the QTLs residing on common rice chromosomal regions. In general, the majority of QTLs that specify chlorophyll a content also play a role in determining chlorophyll b content. Strangely, chlorophyll content in this study was found mostly to be lacking or to have a negative correlation with yield. In both backcross F1 populations, overdominant (or underdominant) loci were more important than complete or partially dominant loci for main-effect QTLs and epistatic QTLs, thereby supporting previous findings that overdominant effects are the primary genetic basis for depression in inbreeding and heterosis in rice.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Prey-dependent retention of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) by mixotrophic dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyunwoo; Park, Ki-Tae; Lee, Kitack; Jeong, Hae Jin; Yoo, Yeong Du

    2012-01-01

    Summary We investigated the retention of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in phototrophic dinoflagellates arising from mixotrophy by estimating the cellular content of DMSP in Karlodinium veneficum (mixotrophic growth) fed for 7–10 days on either DMSP-rich Amphidinium carterae (phototrophic growth only) or DMSP-poor Teleaulax sp. (phototrophic growth only). In K. veneficum fed on DMSP-poor prey, the cellular content of DMSP remained almost unchanged regardless of the rate of feeding, whereas the cellular content of DMSP in cells of K. veneficum fed on DMSP-rich prey increased by as much as 21 times the cellular concentration derived exclusively from phototrophic growth. In both cases, significant fractions (10–32% in the former case and 55–65% in the latter) of the total DMSP ingested by K. veneficum were transformed into dimethylsulfide and other biochemical compounds. The results may indicate that the DMSP content of prey species affects temporal variations in the cellular DMSP content of mixotrophic dinoflagellates, and that mixotrophic dinoflagellates produce DMS through grazing on DMSP-rich preys. Additional studies should be performed to examine the universality of our finding in other mixotrophic dinoflagellates feeding on diverse prey species. PMID:21958033

  9. The Predator-Prey Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Charles W.

    1977-01-01

    Many children develop a mistaken attitude about the predator-prey relationship in the ecosystem. Fairy tales portray the predator as evil or worthless. This article attempts to clarify the role of the predator by giving numerous examples of the value of predators. (MA)

  10. 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.

  11. Degraded Environments Alter Prey Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. A systematic review of measures of HIV/AIDS stigma in paediatric HIV-infected and HIV-affected populations

    PubMed Central

    McAteer, Carole Ian; Truong, Nhan-Ai Thi; Aluoch, Josephine; Deathe, Andrew Roland; Nyandiko, Winstone M; Marete, Irene; Vreeman, Rachel Christine

    2016-01-01

    Introduction HIV-related stigma impacts the quality of life and care management of HIV-infected and HIV-affected individuals, but how we measure stigma and its impact on children and adolescents has less often been described. Methods We conducted a systematic review of studies that measured HIV-related stigma with a quantitative tool in paediatric HIV-infected and HIV-affected populations. Results and discussion Varying measures have been used to assess stigma in paediatric populations, with most studies utilizing the full or variant form of the HIV Stigma Scale that has been validated in adult populations and utilized with paediatric populations in Africa, Asia and the United States. Other common measures included the Perceived Public Stigma Against Children Affected by HIV, primarily utilized and validated in China. Few studies implored item validation techniques with the population of interest, although scales were used in a different cultural context from the origin of the scale. Conclusions Many stigma measures have been used to assess HIV stigma in paediatric populations, globally, but few have implored methods for cultural adaptation and content validity. PMID:27717409

  13. 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.

  14. Ranking landscape development scenarios affecting natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) population dynamics in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Franz, Kamila W; Romanowski, Jerzy; Johst, Karin; Grimm, Volker

    2013-01-01

    When data are limited it is difficult for conservation managers to assess alternative management scenarios and make decisions. The natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is declining at the edges of its distribution range in Europe and little is known about its current distribution and abundance in Poland. Although different landscape management plans for central Poland exist, it is unclear to what extent they impact this species. Based on these plans, we investigated how four alternative landscape development scenarios would affect the total carrying capacity and population dynamics of the natterjack toad. To facilitate decision-making, we first ranked the scenarios according to their total carrying capacity. We used the software RAMAS GIS to determine the size and location of habitat patches in the landscape. The estimated carrying capacities were very similar for each scenario, and clear ranking was not possible. Only the reforestation scenario showed a marked loss in carrying capacity. We therefore simulated metapopulation dynamics with RAMAS taking into account dynamical processes such as reproduction and dispersal and ranked the scenarios according to the resulting species abundance. In this case, we could clearly rank the development scenarios. We identified road mortality of adults as a key process governing the dynamics and separating the different scenarios. The renaturalisation scenario clearly ranked highest due to its decreased road mortality. Taken together our results suggest that road infrastructure development might be much more important for natterjack toad conservation than changes in the amount of habitat in the semi-natural river valley. We gained these insights by considering both the resulting metapopulation structure and dynamics in the form of a PVA. We conclude that the consideration of dynamic processes in amphibian conservation management may be indispensable for ranking management scenarios.

  15. Ranking Landscape Development Scenarios Affecting Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita) Population Dynamics in Central Poland

    PubMed Central

    Franz, Kamila W.; Romanowski, Jerzy; Johst, Karin; Grimm, Volker

    2013-01-01

    When data are limited it is difficult for conservation managers to assess alternative management scenarios and make decisions. The natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is declining at the edges of its distribution range in Europe and little is known about its current distribution and abundance in Poland. Although different landscape management plans for central Poland exist, it is unclear to what extent they impact this species. Based on these plans, we investigated how four alternative landscape development scenarios would affect the total carrying capacity and population dynamics of the natterjack toad. To facilitate decision-making, we first ranked the scenarios according to their total carrying capacity. We used the software RAMAS GIS to determine the size and location of habitat patches in the landscape. The estimated carrying capacities were very similar for each scenario, and clear ranking was not possible. Only the reforestation scenario showed a marked loss in carrying capacity. We therefore simulated metapopulation dynamics with RAMAS taking into account dynamical processes such as reproduction and dispersal and ranked the scenarios according to the resulting species abundance. In this case, we could clearly rank the development scenarios. We identified road mortality of adults as a key process governing the dynamics and separating the different scenarios. The renaturalisation scenario clearly ranked highest due to its decreased road mortality. Taken together our results suggest that road infrastructure development might be much more important for natterjack toad conservation than changes in the amount of habitat in the semi-natural river valley. We gained these insights by considering both the resulting metapopulation structure and dynamics in the form of a PVA. We conclude that the consideration of dynamic processes in amphibian conservation management may be indispensable for ranking management scenarios. PMID:23734223

  16. Impacts of human disturbance on large prey species: do behavioral reactions translate to fitness consequences?

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. Predators, alternative prey and climate influence annual breeding success of a long-lived sea duck.

    PubMed

    Iles, David T; Rockwell, Robert F; Matulonis, Paul; Robertson, Gregory J; Abraham, Kenneth F; Davies, J Chris; Koons, David N

    2013-05-01

    1. Perturbations to ecosystems have the potential to directly and indirectly affect species interactions, with subsequent impacts on population dynamics and the vital rates that regulate them. 2. The few long-term studies of common eider breeding ecology indicate that reproductive success is low in most years, interrupted by occasional boom years. However, no study has explicitly examined the drivers of long-term variation in reproductive success. 3. Here, we use encounter history data collected across 41 years to examine the effects of arctic foxes (a terrestrial nest predator), local abundance and spatial distribution of lesser snow geese (an alternative prey source), and spring climate on common eider nest success. 4. Eider nest success declined over the course of the study, but was also highly variable across years. Our results supported the hypothesis that the long-term decline in eider nest success was caused by apparent competition with lesser snow geese, mediated by shared predators. This effect persisted even following a large-scale exodus of nesting geese from the eider colony. Nest success was also lowest in years of low arctic fox index, presumably driven by prey switching in years of low small mammal availability. However, increased snow goose abundance appeared to buffer this effect through prey swamping. The effect of spring climate depended on the stage of the breeding season; cold and wet and warm and dry conditions in early spring were correlated with decreased nest success, whereas warm and wet conditions in late spring increased eider nest success. 5. These results underscore the significance of both trophic interactions and climate in regulating highly variable vital rates, which likely have important consequences for population dynamics and the conservation of long-lived iteroparous species. PMID:23362924

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. '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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22710934

  12. Prey risk allocation in a grazing ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Gude, Justin A; Garrott, Robert A; Borkowski, John J; King, Fred

    2006-02-01

    Understanding the behaviorally mediated indirect effects of predators in ecosystems requires knowledge of predator-prey behavioral interactions. In predator-ungulate-plant systems, empirical research quantifying how predators affect ungulate group sizes and distribution, in the context of other influential variables, is particularly needed. The risk allocation hypothesis proposes that prey behavioral responses to predation risk depend on background frequencies of exposure to risk, and it can be used to make predictions about predator-ungulate-plant interactions. We determined non-predation variables that affect elk (Cervus elaphus) group sizes and distribution on a winter range in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) using logistic and log-linear regression on surveys of 513 1-km2 areas conducted over two years. Employing model selection techniques, we evaluated risk allocation and other a priori hypotheses of elk group size and distributional responses to wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk while accounting for influential non-wolf-predation variables. We found little evidence that wolves affect elk group sizes, which were strongly influenced by habitat type and hunting by humans. Following predictions from the risk allocation hypothesis, wolves likely created a more dynamic elk distribution in areas that they frequently hunted, as elk tended to move following wolf encounters in those areas. This response should dilute elk foraging pressure on plant communities in areas where they are frequently hunted by wolves. We predict that this should decrease the spatial heterogeneity of elk impacts on grasslands in areas that wolves frequently hunt. We also predict that this should decrease browsing pressure on heavily browsed woody plant stands in certain areas, which is supported by recent research in the GYE. PMID:16705980

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Disturbance frequency and vertical distribution of seeds affect long-term population dynamics: a mechanistic seed bank model.

    PubMed

    Eager, Eric Alan; Haridas, Chirakkal V; Pilson, Diana; Rebarber, Richard; Tenhumberg, Brigitte

    2013-08-01

    Seed banks are critically important for disturbance specialist plants because seeds of these species germinate only in disturbed soil. Disturbance and seed depth affect the survival and germination probability of seeds in the seed bank, which in turn affect population dynamics. We develop a density-dependent stochastic integral projection model to evaluate the effect of stochastic soil disturbances on plant population dynamics with an emphasis on mimicking how disturbances vertically redistribute seeds within the seed bank. We perform a simulation analysis of the effect of the frequency and mean depth of disturbances on the population's quasi-extinction probability, as well as the long-term mean and variance of the total density of seeds in the seed bank. We show that increasing the frequency of disturbances increases the long-term viability of the population, but the relationship between the mean depth of disturbance and the long-term viability of the population are not necessarily monotonic for all parameter combinations. Specifically, an increase in the probability of disturbance increases the long-term viability of the total seed bank population. However, if the probability of disturbance is too low, a shallower mean depth of disturbance can increase long-term viability, a relationship that switches as the probability of disturbance increases. However, a shallow disturbance depth is beneficial only in scenarios with low survival in the seed bank.

  19. 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

  20. Prey specificity, comparative lethality and compositional differences of coral snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Jorge da Silva, N; Aird, S D

    2001-03-01

    Toxicities of crude venoms from 49 coral snake (Micrurus sp.) populations, representing 15 nominal taxa, were examined in both laboratory mice and in native prey animals and compared with data gathered from two non-micrurine elapids and a crotalid, which served as outgroups. These venoms were further compared on the basis of 23 enzymatic activities. Both toxicities and enzymatic activities were analyzed with respect to natural prey preferences, as determined from stomach content analyses and literature reports. Venoms of nearly all Micrurus for which prey preferences are known, are more toxic to natural prey than to non-prey species. Except for amphisbaenians, prey are more susceptible to venoms of Micrurus that feed upon them, than to venoms of those that eat other organisms. All venoms were more toxic i.v.>i.p.>i.m. Route-specific differences in toxicity are generally greatest for preferred prey species. Cluster analyses of venom enzymatic activities resulted in five clusters, with the fish-eating M. surinamensis more distant from other Micrurus than even the crotalid, Bothrops moojeni. Ophiophagous and amphisbaenian-eating Micrurus formed two close subclusters, one allied to the outgroup species Naja naja and the other to the fossorial, ophiophagous Bungarus multicinctus. Prey preference is shown to be the most important determinant of venom composition in Micrurus.

  1. 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

  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

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The burden of tuberculosis in crisis-affected populations: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Kimbrough, William; Saliba, Vanessa; Dahab, Maysoon; Haskew, Christopher; Checchi, Francesco

    2012-12-01

    Crises caused by armed conflict, forced population displacement, or natural disasters result in high rates of excess morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases. Many of these crises occur in areas with a substantial tuberculosis burden. We did a systematic review to summarise what is known about the burden of tuberculosis in crisis settings. We also analysed surveillance data from camps included in UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) surveillance, and investigated the association between conflict intensity and tuberculosis notification rates at the national level with WHO data. We identified 51 reports of tuberculosis burden in populations experiencing displacement, armed conflict, or natural disaster. Notification rates and prevalence were mostly elevated; where incidence or prevalence ratios could be compared with reference populations, these ratios were 2 or higher for 11 of 15 reports. Case-fatality ratios were mostly below 10% and, with exceptions, drug-resistance levels were comparable to those of reference populations. A pattern of excess risk was noted in UNHCR-managed camp data where the rate of smear testing seemed to be consistent with functional tuberculosis programmes. National-level data suggested that conflict was associated with decreases in the notification rate of tuberculosis. More studies with strict case definitions are needed in crisis settings, especially in the acute phase, in internally displaced populations and in urban settings. Findings suggest the need for early establishment of tuberculosis services, especially in displaced populations from high-burden areas and for continued innovation and prioritisation of tuberculosis control in crisis settings. PMID:23174381

  7. Dispersion in time and space affect mating success and Allee effects in invading gypsy moth populations.

    PubMed

    Robinet, C; Lance, D R; Thorpe, K W; Onufrieva, K S; Tobin, P C; Liebhold, A M

    2008-09-01

    1. Understanding why invading populations sometimes fail to establish is of considerable relevance to the development of strategies for managing biological invasions. 2. Newly arriving populations tend to be sparse and are often influenced by Allee effects. Mating failure is a typical cause of Allee effects in low-density insect populations, and dispersion of individuals in space and time can exacerbate mate-location failure in invading populations. 3. Here we evaluate the relative importance of dispersal and sexual asynchrony as contributors to Allee effects in invading populations by adopting as a case study the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.), an important insect defoliator for which considerable demographic information is available. 4. We used release-recapture experiments to parameterize a model that describes probabilities that males locate females along various spatial and temporal offsets between male and female adult emergence. 5. Based on these experimental results, we developed a generalized model of mating success that demonstrates the existence of an Allee threshold, below which introduced gypsy moth populations are likely to go extinct without any management intervention.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Predator-prey models with component Allee effect for predator reproduction.

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2015-12-01

    We present four predator-prey models with component Allee effect for predator reproduction. Using numerical simulation results for our models, we describe how the customary definitions of component and demographic Allee effects, which work well for single species models, can be extended to predators in predator-prey models by assuming that the prey population is held fixed. We also find that when the prey population is not held fixed, then these customary definitions may lead to conceptual problems. After this discussion of definitions, we explore our four models, analytically and numerically. Each of our models has a fixed point that represents predator extinction, which is always locally stable. We prove that the predator will always die out either if the initial predator population is sufficiently small or if the initial prey population is sufficiently small. Through numerical simulations, we explore co-existence fixed points. In addition, we demonstrate, by simulation, the existence of a stable limit cycle in one of our models. Finally, we derive analytical conditions for a co-existence trapping region in three of our models, and show that the fourth model cannot possess a particular kind of co-existence trapping region. We punctuate our results with comments on their real-world implications; in particular, we mention the possibility of prey resurgence from mortality events, and the possibility of failure in a biological pest control program.

  11. Prey-Induced Swimming Dynamics Changes among Predatory Algae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, J.; Sheng, J.; Malkiel, E.; Adolf, J.; Place, A.; Belas, R.

    2007-11-01

    High speed, cinematic digital holographic microscopy allows us to track thousands of microorganisms over a volume with substantial depth without loss of resolution. This technique enables us, for the first time, to examine, measure and characterize the swimming dynamics of microorganisms located within dense suspensions. The present experiments examine dense populations of predatory algae, K. veneficum and P. piscicida, prior to and after introducing prey. Swimming dynamics are characterized by radius and pitch of helical swimming trajectories, by translational and angular velocity, and their velocity spectra. K. veneficum moves in both left and right hand helices, while P. piscicida swims only in right hand helices. The radii increase with increasing velocity for both cases. Presented with its prey, K. veneficum reduces its velocity, radius and pitch, but increases its angular velocity. Conversely, P. piscicida increases its speed, radius and angular velocity. Power spectra of velocity reveal differences between scales of vertical velocity and those of horizontal components. Power spectra of velocity component aligned with the helix centerline reveals a shift in K. veneficum's swimming strategy from almost random-walk to a levy-walk as prey is introduced. P. piscicida always displays clear preference towards levy-walk, but spectral slope increases as prey is introduced.

  12. Through experience to boldness? Deactivation of neophobia towards novel and aposematic prey in three European species of tits (Paridae).

    PubMed

    Adamová-Ježová, Dana; Hospodková, Eliška; Fuchsová, Lucie; Štys, Pavel; Exnerová, Alice

    2016-10-01

    European tits (Paridae) exhibit species-specific levels of initial wariness towards aposematic prey. This wariness may be caused by neophobia, dietary conservatism or innate bias against particular prey traits. We assessed the contribution of these three mechanisms to the behaviour of juvenile tits towards novel palatable prey and novel aposematic prey. We compared levels of initial wariness in great tits (Parus major), blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and coal tits (Periparus ater), and tested how the wariness can be deactivated by experience with a palatable prey. One group of birds was pre-trained to attack familiar naturally coloured mealworms the other one, novel red-painted mealworms. Then all the birds were offered a novel palatable prey of different colour and shape: cricket (Acheta domestica) with blue sticker, and then a novel aposematic firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus). The three species of tits differed in how the experience with a novel palatable prey affected their behaviour towards another novel prey. Great tits and coal tits from experienced groups significantly decreased their neophobia towards both palatable prey and aposematic prey while blue tits did not change their strongly neophobic reactions. The interspecific differences may be explained by differences in body size, geographic range, and habitat specialisation. PMID:27474371

  13. 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.

  14. Maize heterosis affects the structure and dynamics of indigenous rhizospheric auxins-producing Pseudomonas populations.

    PubMed

    Picard, Christine; Bosco, Marco

    2005-08-01

    A rhizobacterial population of 2430 Pseudomonas isolates, originating from one maize hybrid and from its parents, was screened for auxins production. Four hundred and twelve isolates were found to be auxin producers (aia+), and 27 of them were also part of a previously described PhlD+ sub-population. Interestingly, most part of the aia(+)-PhlD+ isolates came from the hybrid. This finding indicates that heterosis allows an increased colonisation by multi-beneficial PGPR strains. Furthermore, results on the abundance and genetic diversity of aia+ isolates gave evidence that maize root colonisation by aia+ Pseudomonas is an inherited trait regulated by heterosis. In fact, two times more aia+ isolates were obtained from the rhizosphere of the hybrid than from the rhizospheres of the parents, and an amplified rDNA restriction analysis showed that the hybrid increases the genetic diversity of aia+ populations when compared to its parents. PMID:16329954

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Evolutionary Diversification of Prey and Predator Species Facilitated by Asymmetric Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Zu, Jian; Wang, Jinliang; Huang, Gang

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the influence of asymmetric interactions on coevolutionary dynamics of a predator-prey system by using the theory of adaptive dynamics. We assume that the defense ability of prey and the attack ability of predators all can adaptively evolve, either caused by phenotypic plasticity or by behavioral choice, but there are certain costs in terms of their growth rate or death rate. The coevolutionary model is constructed from a deterministic approximation of random mutation-selection process. To sum up, if prey’s trade-off curve is globally weakly concave, then five outcomes of coevolution are demonstrated, which depend on the intensity and shape of asymmetric predator-prey interactions and predator’s trade-off shape. Firstly, we find that if there is a weakly decelerating cost and a weakly accelerating benefit for predator species, then evolutionary branching in the predator species may occur, but after branching further coevolution may lead to extinction of the predator species with a larger trait value. However, if there is a weakly accelerating cost and a weakly accelerating benefit for predator species, then evolutionary branching in the predator species is also possible and after branching the dimorphic predator can evolutionarily stably coexist with a monomorphic prey species. Secondly, if the asymmetric interactions become a little strong, then prey and predators will evolve to an evolutionarily stable equilibrium, at which they can stably coexist on a long-term timescale of evolution. Thirdly, if there is a weakly accelerating cost and a relatively strongly accelerating benefit for prey species, then evolutionary branching in the prey species is possible and the finally coevolutionary outcome contains a dimorphic prey and a monomorphic predator species. Fourthly, if the asymmetric interactions become more stronger, then predator-prey coevolution may lead to cycles in both traits and equilibrium population densities. The Red Queen dynamic is a

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Disadvantaging the disadvantaged: When public health policies and practices negatively affect marginalized populations.

    PubMed

    Silva, Diego S; Smith, Maxwell J; Upshur, Ross E G

    2013-01-01

    Public health is intimately related to social justice, which is why practice and research in the field seek to improve the social determinants of health. Despite the best intentions of those working in public health, however, some policies and practices inadvertently further disadvantage pre-existing marginalized populations. In this paper, we provide a diagnosis of possible reasons why this phenomenon might occur. We posit that the challenges associated with further marginalizing certain populations stem from a) not acknowledging the normative aspects of apparently objective data, b) a misunderstanding and an uncritical alignment of public health goals with the ethics theory of utilitarianism, and c) assuming that those working in public health might be able to fully understand the experiences of marginalized populations. It is our view that the trend of public consultation with marginalized persons, the explicit teaching of ethics and philosophy of science in graduate departments of public health, and the increased use of health equity impact assessments might help protect against public health policies and practices that disadvantage marginalized populations. PMID:24183183

  7. 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…

  8. 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....

  9. Disadvantaging the disadvantaged: When public health policies and practices negatively affect marginalized populations.

    PubMed

    Silva, Diego S; Smith, Maxwell J; Upshur, Ross E G

    2013-01-01

    Public health is intimately related to social justice, which is why practice and research in the field seek to improve the social determinants of health. Despite the best intentions of those working in public health, however, some policies and practices inadvertently further disadvantage pre-existing marginalized populations. In this paper, we provide a diagnosis of possible reasons why this phenomenon might occur. We posit that the challenges associated with further marginalizing certain populations stem from a) not acknowledging the normative aspects of apparently objective data, b) a misunderstanding and an uncritical alignment of public health goals with the ethics theory of utilitarianism, and c) assuming that those working in public health might be able to fully understand the experiences of marginalized populations. It is our view that the trend of public consultation with marginalized persons, the explicit teaching of ethics and philosophy of science in graduate departments of public health, and the increased use of health equity impact assessments might help protect against public health policies and practices that disadvantage marginalized populations.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The optimal sampling strategy for unfamiliar prey.

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Thomas N

    2011-07-01

    Precisely how predators solve the problem of sampling unfamiliar prey types is central to our understanding of the evolution of a variety of antipredator defenses, ranging from Müllerian mimicry to polymorphism. When predators encounter a novel prey item then they must decide whether to take a risk and attack it, thereby gaining a potential meal and valuable information, or avoid such prey altogether. Moreover, if predators initially attack the unfamiliar prey, then at some point(s) they should decide to cease sampling if evidence mounts that the type is on average unprofitable to attack. Here, I cast this problem as a "two-armed bandit," the standard metaphor for exploration-exploitation trade-offs. I assume that as predators encounter and attack unfamiliar prey they use Bayesian inference to update both their beliefs as to the likelihood that individuals of this type are chemically defended, and the probability of seeing the prey type in the future. I concurrently use dynamic programming to identify the critical informational states at which predator should cease sampling. The model explains why predators sample more unprofitable prey before complete rejection when the prey type is common and explains why predators exhibit neophobia when the unfamiliar prey type is perceived to be rare.

  14. Comparative Analysis of Qtls Affecting Plant Height and Maturity across the Poaceae, in Reference to an Interspecific Sorghum Population

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Y. R.; Schertz, K. F.; Paterson, A. H.

    1995-01-01

    Correspondence among QTLs affecting height and/or flowering was investigated across the five races of sorghum, an interspecific sorghum F(2) population, and 32 previously published sorghum, maize, rice, wheat, and barley populations revealing 185 QTLs or discrete mutants. Among nine QTLs mapped in the interspecific sorghum population (six affecting height and three affecting flowering), at least seven (78%) are associated with ``conversion,'' backcross-introgression of alleles imparting reduced height or earlier flowering from cultivated sorghums into one or more exotic Sorghum bicolor races. One chromosomal region was ``converted'' in all S. bicolor races--in the interspecific F(2), this region explined 54.8% of height variation (putatively the Dw2 gene) and 85.7% of flowering time variation (putatively Ma1). Comparative data suggest that Ma1 and Dw2 orthologs influence height and flowering of other Poaceae taxa and support classical dogma that the sorghum phenotypes attributed to Ma1 and Dw2 (respectively) are due to different genetic loci. Other sorghum QTLs also showed correspondence with those in other Poaceae, more frequently than would be expected by chance. Possible homoeologous QTLs were found within both the maize and sorghum genomes. Comparative QTL mapping provides a means to unify, and thereby simplify, molecular analysis of complex phenotypes. PMID:8536986

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Soil Type and Maize Cultivar Affect the Genetic Diversity of Maize Root-Associated Burkholderia cepacia Populations.

    PubMed

    Dalmastri; Chiarini; Cantale; Bevivino; Tabacchioni

    1999-10-01

    Abstract Burkholderia cepacia populations associated with the Zea mays root system were investigated to assess the influence of soil type, maize cultivar, and root localization on the degree of their genetic diversity. A total of 180 B. cepacia isolates were identified by restriction analysis of the amplified 16S rDNA (ARDRA technique). The genetic diversity among B. cepacia isolates was analyzed by the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique, using the 10-mer primer AP5. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) method was applied to estimate the variance components for the RAPD patterns. The results indicated that, among the factors studied, the soil was clearly the dominant one in affecting the genetic diversity of maize root-associated B. cepacia populations. In fact, the percentage of variation among populations was significantly higher between B. cepacia populations recovered from maize planted in different soils than between B. cepacia populations isolated from different maize cultivars and from distinct root compartments such as rhizoplane and rhizosphere. The analysis of the genetic relationships among B. cepacia isolates resulted in dendrograms showing bacterial populations with frequent recombinations and a nonclonal genetic structure. The dendrograms were also in agreement with the AMOVA results. We were able to group strains obtained from distinct soils on the basis of their origin, confirming that soil type had the major effect on the degree of genetic diversity of the maize root-associated B. cepacia populations analyzed. On the other hand, strains isolated from distinct root compartments exhibited a random distribution which confirmed that the rhizosphere and rhizoplane populations analyzed did not significantly differ in their genetic structure.http://link.springer-ny.com/link/service/journals/00248/bibs/38n3p273.html

  20. Turbulence, Temperature, and Turbidity: The Ecomechanics of Predator-Prey Interactions in Fishes.

    PubMed

    Higham, Timothy E; Stewart, William J; Wainwright, Peter C

    2015-07-01

    Successful feeding and escape behaviors in fishes emerge from precise integration of locomotion and feeding movements. Fishes inhabit a wide range of habitats, including still ponds, turbulent rivers, and wave-pounded shorelines, and these habitats vary in several physical variables that can strongly impact both predator and prey. Temperature, the conditions of ambient flow, and light regimes all have the potential to affect predator-prey encounters, yet the integration of these factors into our understanding of fish biomechanics is presently limited. We explore existing knowledge of kinematics, muscle function, hydrodynamics, and evolutionary morphology in order to generate a framework for understanding the ecomechanics of predator-prey encounters in fishes. We expect that, in the absence of behavioral compensation, a decrease in temperature below the optimum value will reduce the muscle power available both to predator and prey, thus compromising locomotor performance, suction-feeding mechanics of predators, and the escape responses of prey. Ambient flow, particularly turbulent flow, will also challenge predator and prey, perhaps resulting in faster attacks by predators to minimize mechanical instability, and a reduced responsiveness of prey to predator-generated flow. Reductions in visibility, caused by depth, turbidity, or diel fluctuations in light, will decrease distances at which either predator or prey detect each other, and generally place a greater emphasis on the role of mechanoreception both for predator and prey. We expect attack distances to be shortened when visibility is low. Ultimately, the variation in abiotic features of a fish's environment will affect locomotion and feeding performance of predators, and the ability of the prey to escape. The nature of these effects and how they impact predator-prey encounters stands as a major challenge for future students of the biomechanics of fish during feeding. Just as fishes show adaptations for capturing

  1. 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

  2. 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 (Bem