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Sample records for algal prey vaucheria

  1. Some Pecularities of the Graviresponse in Vaucheria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gavrilova, O. V.; Rudanova, E. E.; Voloshko, L. N.; Gabova, A. V.

    1996-01-01

    The growth and position of nuclei in the siphonaceous alga Vaucheria sessilis were investigated under conditions of hypergravity and hypogravity. Under hypergravity conditions, active sporogenesis was observed. The accumulation of nuclei in the apical and branching zone preceeded the sporogenesis. The anti-microtubular agent, colchicine inhibits sporogenesis and the response of Vaucheria to hypergravity. Under hypogravity conditions, the quantity of nuclei increased throughout the whole branch. Colchicine prevents the migration of nuclei from the apical zone to the basal part of the branch. The anti-actin agent phalloidin prevents the formation of an actin network, and phalloidin-poisoned cells lose a cluster of nuclei in the apical zone. However, the gravity dependent response is less pronounced. It is supposed that, in Vaucheria sessilis, the primary stages of the reception and translation of gravitational signals coincide with those for light signals and active division of nuclei in the growth zone is an integral part of the graviresponse.

  2. Using SEM-EDX and ICP-OES to Investigate the Elemental Composition of Green Macroalga Vaucheria sessilis

    PubMed Central

    Michalak, Izabela; Marycz, Krzysztof; Basińska, Katarzyna; Chojnacka, Katarzyna

    2014-01-01

    The biomass of Vaucheria sessilis forms algal mats in many freshwaters. There is a need to find the method of algal biomass utilization. Vaucheria sessilis is a rich source of micro- and macronutrients and can be used as a soil amendment. In the paper, the elemental composition of enriched, via bioaccumulation process, macroalga was investigated. For this purpose, two independent techniques were used: scanning electron microscopy with an energy dispersive X-ray analytical system (SEMEDX) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The biomass was exposed to two microelemental solutions, with Cu(II) and Zn(II) ions. After two weeks of the experiment, macroalga accumulated 98.5 mg of Zn(II) ions in 1 g of dry biomass and 68.9 mg g−1 of Cu(II) ions. Micrographs performed by SEM proved that bioaccumulation occurred. Metal ions were bound on the surface and in the interior of cells. Mappings of all cations showed that in the case of the surface of biomass (biosorption), the elements constituted aggregations and in the case of the cross section (bioaccumulation) they were evenly distributed. The algal biomass with permanently bound microelements can find an application in many branches of the industry (feed, natural fertilizers, etc.). PMID:25180212

  3. Chloroplast genes are expressed during intracellular symbiotic association of Vaucheria litorea plastids with the sea slug Elysia chlorotica.

    PubMed

    Mujer, C V; Andrews, D L; Manhart, J R; Pierce, S K; Rumpho, M E

    1996-10-29

    The marine slug Elysia chlorotica (Gould) forms an intracellular symbiosis with photosynthetically active chloroplasts from the chromophytic alga Vaucheria litorea (C. Agardh). This symbiotic association was characterized over a period of 8 months during which E. chlorotica was deprived of V. litorea but provided with light and CO2. The fine structure of the symbiotic chloroplasts remained intact in E. chlorotica even after 8 months of starvation as revealed by electron microscopy. Southern blot analysis of total DNA from E. chlorotica indicated that algal genes, i.e., rbcL, rbcS, psaB, psbA, and 16S rRNA are present in the animal. These genes are typically localized to the plastid genome in higher plants and algae except rbcS, which is nuclear-encoded in higher plants and green (chlorophyll a/b) algae. Our analysis suggests, however, that similar to the few other chromophytes (chlorophyll a/c) examined, rbcS is chloroplast encoded in V. litorea. Levels of psbA transcripts remained constant in E. chlorotica starved for 2 and 3 months and then gradually declined over the next 5 months corresponding with senescence of the animal in culture and in nature. The RNA synthesis inhibitor 6-methylpurine reduced the accumulation of psbA transcripts confirming active transcription. In contrast to psbA, levels of 16S rRNA transcripts remained constant throughout the starvation period. The levels of the photosystem II proteins, D1 and CP43, were high at 2 and 4 months of starvation and remained constant at a lower steady-state level after 6 months. In contrast, D2 protein levels, although high at 2 and 4 months, were very low at all other periods of starvation. At 8 months, de novo synthesis of several thylakoid membrane-enriched proteins, including D1, still occurred. To our knowledge, these results represent the first molecular evidence for active transcription and translation of algal chloroplast genes in an animal host and are discussed in relation to the endosymbiotic

  4. Mechanisms underlying turgor regulation in the estuarine alga Vaucheria erythrospora (Xanthophyceae) exposed to hyperosmotic shock.

    PubMed

    Muralidhar, Abishek; Shabala, Lana; Broady, Paul; Shabala, Sergey; Garrill, Ashley

    2015-08-01

    Aquatic organisms are often exposed to dramatic changes in salinity in the environment. Despite decades of research, many questions related to molecular and physiological mechanisms mediating sensing and adaptation to salinity stress remain unanswered. Here, responses of Vaucheria erythrospora, a turgor-regulating xanthophycean alga from an estuarine habitat, have been investigated. The role of ion uptake in turgor regulation was studied using a single cell pressure probe, microelectrode ion flux estimation (MIFE) technique and membrane potential (Em ) measurements. Turgor recovery was inhibited by Gd(3+) , tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), verapamil and orthovanadate. A NaCl-induced shock rapidly depolarized the plasma membrane while an isotonic sorbitol treatment hyperpolarized it. Turgor recovery was critically dependent on the presence of Na(+) but not K(+) and Cl(-) in the incubation media. Na(+) uptake was strongly decreased by amiloride and changes in net Na(+) and H(+) fluxes were oppositely directed. This suggests active uptake of Na(+) in V. erythrospora mediated by an antiport Na(+) /H(+) system, functioning in the direction opposite to that of the SOS1 exchanger in higher plants. The alga also retains K(+) efficiently when exposed to high NaCl concentrations. Overall, this study provides insights into mechanisms enabling V. erythrospora to regulate turgor via ion movements during hyperosmotic stress. PMID:25546818

  5. Interaction of metal ions with acid sites of biosorbents peat moss and Vaucheria and model substances alginic and humic acids

    SciTech Connect

    Crist, R.H.; Martin, J.R.; Crist, D.R.

    1999-07-01

    The interaction between added metal ions and acid sites of two biosorbents, peat moss and the alga Vaucheria, was studied. Results were interpreted in terms of two model substances, alginic acid, a copolymer of guluronic and mannuronic acids present in marine algae, and humic acid in peat moss. For peat moss and Vaucheria at pH 4--6, two protons were displaced per Cd sorbed, after correction for sorbed metals also displaced by the heavy metal. The frequent neglect of exchange of heavy metals for metals either sorbed on the native material or added for pH adjustment leads to erroneous conclusions about proton displacement stoichiometry. Proton displacement constants K{sub ex}{sup H} decreased logarithmically with pH and had similar slopes for alginic acid and biosorbents. This pH effect was interpreted as an electrostatic effect of increasing anionic charge making proton removal less favorable. The maximum number of exchangeable acid sites (capacity C{sub H}) decreased with pH for alginic acid but increased with pH for biosorbents. Consistent with titration behavior, this difference was explained in terms of more weak acid sites in the biosorbents.

  6. Mollusc-Algal Chloroplast Endosymbiosis. Photosynthesis, Thylakoid Protein Maintenance, and Chloroplast Gene Expression Continue for Many Months in the Absence of the Algal Nucleus1

    PubMed Central

    Green, Brian J.; Li, Wei-Ye; Manhart, James R.; Fox, Theodore C.; Summer, Elizabeth J.; Kennedy, Robert A.; Pierce, Sidney K.; Rumpho, Mary E.

    2000-01-01

    Early in its life cycle, the marine mollusc Elysia chlorotica Gould forms an intracellular endosymbiotic association with chloroplasts of the chromophytic alga Vaucheria litorea C. Agardh. As a result, the dark green sea slug can be sustained in culture solely by photoautotrophic CO2 fixation for at least 9 months if provided with only light and a source of CO2. Here we demonstrate that the sea slug symbiont chloroplasts maintain photosynthetic oxygen evolution and electron transport activity through photosystems I and II for several months in the absence of any external algal food supply. This activity is correlated to the maintenance of functional levels of chloroplast-encoded photosystem proteins, due in part at least to de novo protein synthesis of chloroplast proteins in the sea slug. Levels of at least one putative algal nuclear encoded protein, a light-harvesting complex protein homolog, were also maintained throughout the 9-month culture period. The chloroplast genome of V. litorea was found to be 119.1 kb, similar to that of other chromophytic algae. Southern analysis and polymerase chain reaction did not detect an algal nuclear genome in the slug, in agreement with earlier microscopic observations. Therefore, the maintenance of photosynthetic activity in the captured chloroplasts is regulated solely by the algal chloroplast and animal nuclear genomes. PMID:10982447

  7. 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

  8. RESPONSE OF PFISTERIA PISCICIDA, MICROBIAL PREDATORS AND PREY, AND FISH TO COMMON DITHIOCARBAMATE FUNGICIDES AND HEAVY METALS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research proposes to experimentally assess the response of the toxic dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria piscicida, and representative zooplankton predators and algal prey to three EBDC fungicides that are commonly used on croplands and effluent spray fields, and two common heavy me...

  9. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jiarong; Talapatra, Siddharth; Katz, Joseph; Tester, Patricia A; Waggett, Rebecca J; Place, Allen R

    2012-01-01

    Using digital holographic cinematography, we quantify and compare the feeding behavior of free-swimming copepods, Acartia tonsa, on nutritional prey (Storeatula major) to that occurring during exposure to toxic and non-toxic strains of Karenia brevis and Karlodinium veneficum. These two harmful algal species produce polyketide toxins with different modes of action and potency. We distinguish between two different beating modes of the copepod's feeding appendages-a "sampling beating" that has short durations (<100 ms) and involves little fluid entrainment and a longer duration "grazing beating" that persists up to 1200 ms and generates feeding currents. The durations of both beating modes have log-normal distributions. Without prey, A. tonsa only samples the environment at low frequency. Upon introduction of non-toxic food, it increases its sampling time moderately and the grazing period substantially. On mono algal diets for either of the toxic dinoflagellates, sampling time fraction is high but the grazing is very limited. A. tonsa demonstrates aversion to both toxic algal species. In mixtures of S. major and the neurotoxin producing K. brevis, sampling and grazing diminish rapidly, presumably due to neurological effects of consuming brevetoxins while trying to feed on S. major. In contrast, on mixtures of cytotoxin producing K. veneficum, both behavioral modes persist, indicating that intake of karlotoxins does not immediately inhibit the copepod's grazing behavior. These findings add critical insight into how these algal toxins may influence the copepod's feeding behavior, and suggest how some harmful algal species may alter top-down control exerted by grazers like copepods. PMID:22629336

  10. Photoprotection in sequestered plastids of sea slugs and respective algal sources

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Sónia; Cartaxana, Paulo; Newcomer, Rebecca; Dionísio, Gisela; Calado, Ricardo; Serôdio, João; Pelletreau, Karen N.; Rumpho, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    Some sea slugs are capable of retaining functional sequestered chloroplasts (kleptoplasts) for variable periods of time. The mechanisms supporting the maintenance of these organelles in animal hosts are still largely unknown. Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and the occurrence of a xanthophyll cycle were investigated in the sea slugs Elysia viridis and E. chlorotica using chlorophyll fluorescence measurements and pigment analysis. The photoprotective capacity of kleptoplasts was compared to that observed in their respective algal source, Codium tomentosum and Vaucheria litorea. A functional xanthophyll cycle and a rapidly reversible NPQ component were found in V. litorea and E. chlorotica but not in C. tomentosum and E. viridis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the absence of a functional xanthophyll cycle in a green macroalgae. The absence of a functional xanthophyll cycle in C. tomentosum could contribute to the premature loss of photosynthetic activity and relatively short-term retention of kleptoplasts in E. viridis. On the contrary, E. chlorotica displays one of the longest functional examples of kleptoplasty known so far. We speculate that different efficiencies of photoprotection and repair mechanisms of algal food sources play a role in the longevity of photosynthetic activity in kleptoplasts retained by sea slugs. PMID:25601025

  11. Predators and Prey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1975-01-01

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

  12. Promotion of harmful algal blooms by zooplankton predatory activity

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Aditee; Flynn, Kevin J

    2006-01-01

    The relationship between algae and their zooplanktonic predators typically involves consumption of nutrients by algae, grazing of the algae by zooplankton which in turn enhances predator biomass, controls algal growth and regenerates nutrients. Eutrophication raises nutrient levels, but does not simply increase normal predator–prey activity; rather, harmful algal bloom (HAB) events develop often with serious ecological and aesthetic implications. Generally, HAB species are outwardly poor competitors for nutrients, while their development of grazing deterrents during nutrient stress ostensibly occurs too late, after the nutrients have largely been consumed already by fast-growing non-HAB species. A new mechanism is presented to explain HAB dynamics under these circumstances. Using a multi-nutrient predator–prey model, it is demonstrated that these blooms can develop through the self-propagating failure of normal predator–prey activity, resulting in the transfer of nutrients into HAB growth at the expense of competing algal species. Rate limitation of this transfer provides a continual level of nutrient stress that results in HAB species exhibiting grazing deterrents protecting them from top-down control. This process is self-stabilizing as long as nutrient demand exceeds supply, maintaining the unpalatable status of HABs; such events are most likely under eutrophic conditions with skewed nutrient ratios. PMID:17148360

  13. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Topics Eighth Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing & Media August 19-21, 2014 Atlanta, GA Harmful Algal Blooms Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir On this Page What's the ...

  14. Effects of No. 2 Fuel Oil, Nigerian Crude Oil, and Used Crankcase Oil on Attached Algal Communities: Acute and Chronic Toxicity of Water-Soluble Constituents

    PubMed Central

    Bott, Thomas L.; Rogenmuser, Kurt

    1978-01-01

    Water extracts of a no. 2 fuel oil, a Nigerian crude oil, and used crankcase oil were examined for their effects on algal communities in experiments lasting several weeks conducted under near-natural conditions. No. 2 fuel oil extracts depressed algal biomass (chlorophyll a) and resulted in blue-green algal (cyanobacterial) dominance and decreased diatom occurrence. Changes in concentrations of chlorophyll c, which was specific for diatoms in this work, and phycocyanin, which was specific for blue-green algae, confirmed the observations. Used crankcase oil extracts also depressed biomass, but Nigerian crude extracts did not, and both these extracts had less effect on community composition than did no. 2 fuel oil extracts. Photosynthetic 14C incorporation was both stimulated and depressed by exposure to extracts with hydrocarbon concentrations 0.038 to 0.124 mg/liter. Short-term exposure to higher concentrations (1.17 to 15.30 mg of hydrocarbons per liter) of no. 2 fuel oil extracts depressed photosynthetic 14C incorporation by Vaucheria-dominated communities in all tests but one. Toxicity was greater from extracts prepared in the light than from extracts prepared in the dark. PMID:16345329

  15. Effects of no. 2 fuel oil, nigerian crude oil, and used crankcase oil on attached algal communities: acute and chronic toxicity of water-soluble constituents.

    PubMed

    Bott, T L; Rogenmuser, K

    1978-11-01

    Water extracts of a no. 2 fuel oil, a Nigerian crude oil, and used crankcase oil were examined for their effects on algal communities in experiments lasting several weeks conducted under near-natural conditions. No. 2 fuel oil extracts depressed algal biomass (chlorophyll a) and resulted in blue-green algal (cyanobacterial) dominance and decreased diatom occurrence. Changes in concentrations of chlorophyll c, which was specific for diatoms in this work, and phycocyanin, which was specific for blue-green algae, confirmed the observations. Used crankcase oil extracts also depressed biomass, but Nigerian crude extracts did not, and both these extracts had less effect on community composition than did no. 2 fuel oil extracts. Photosynthetic C incorporation was both stimulated and depressed by exposure to extracts with hydrocarbon concentrations 0.038 to 0.124 mg/liter. Short-term exposure to higher concentrations (1.17 to 15.30 mg of hydrocarbons per liter) of no. 2 fuel oil extracts depressed photosynthetic C incorporation by Vaucheria-dominated communities in all tests but one. Toxicity was greater from extracts prepared in the light than from extracts prepared in the dark. PMID:16345329

  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. Algal Biofuels Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2009-10-27

    This fact sheet provides information on algal biofuels, which are generating considerable interest around the world. They may represent a sustainable pathway for helping to meet the U.S. biofuel production targets set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

  18. Internally driven alternation of functional traits in a multispecies predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Tirok, Katrin; Gaedke, Ursula

    2010-06-01

    The individual functional traits of different species play a key role for ecosystem function in aquatic and terrestrial systems. We modeled a multispecies predator-prey system with functionally different predator and prey species based on observations of the community dynamics of ciliates and their algal prey in Lake Constance. The model accounted for differences in predator feeding preferences and prey susceptibility to predation, and for the respective trade-offs. A low food demand of the predator was connected to a high food selectivity, and a high growth rate of the prey was connected to a high vulnerability to grazing. The data and the model did not show standard uniform predator-prey cycles, but revealed both complex dynamics and a coexistence of predator and prey at high biomass levels. These dynamics resulted from internally driven alternations in species densities and involved compensatory dynamics between functionally different species. Functional diversity allowed for ongoing adaptation of the predator and prey communities to changing environmental conditions such as food composition and grazing pressure. The trade-offs determined whether compensatory or synchronous dynamics occurred which influence the variability at the community level. Compensatory dynamics were promoted by a joint carrying capacity linking the different prey species which is particularly relevant at high prey biomasses, i.e., when grazers are less efficient. In contrast, synchronization was enhanced by the coupling of the different predator and prey species via common feeding links, e.g., by a high grazing pressure of a nonselective predator. The communities had to be functionally diverse in terms of their trade-offs and their traits to yield compensatory dynamics. Rather similar predator species tended to cycle synchronously, whereas profoundly different species did not coexist. Compensatory dynamics at the community level thus required intermediately strong tradeoffs for functional

  19. Algicidal bacteria in the sea and their impact on algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Mayali, Xavier; Azam, Farooq

    2004-01-01

    Over the past two decades, many reports have revealed the existence of bacteria capable of killing phytoplankton. These algicidal bacteria sometimes increase in abundance concurrently with the decline of algal blooms, suggesting that they may affect algal bloom dynamics. Here, we synthesize the existing knowledge on algicidal bacteria interactions with marine eukaryotic microalgae. We discuss the effectiveness of the current methods to characterize the algicidal phenotype in an ecosystem context. We briefly consider the literature on the phylogenetic identification of algicidal bacteria, their interaction with their algal prey, the characterization of algicidal molecules, and the enumeration of algicidal bacteria during algal blooms. We conclude that, due to limitations of current methods, the evidence for algicidal bacteria causing algal bloom decline is circumstantial. New methods and an ecosystem approach are needed to test hypotheses on the impact of algicidal bacteria in algal bloom dynamics. This will require enlarging the scope of inquiry from its current focus on the potential utility of algicidal bacteria in the control of harmful algal blooms. We suggest conceptualizing bacterial algicidy within the general problem of bacterial regulation of algal community structure in the ocean. PMID:15134248

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Algal functional annotation tool

    2012-07-12

    Abstract BACKGROUND: Progress in genome sequencing is proceeding at an exponential pace, and several new algal genomes are becoming available every year. One of the challenges facing the community is the association of protein sequences encoded in the genomes with biological function. While most genome assembly projects generate annotations for predicted protein sequences, they are usually limited and integrate functional terms from a limited number of databases. Another challenge is the use of annotations tomore » interpret large lists of 'interesting' genes generated by genome-scale datasets. Previously, these gene lists had to be analyzed across several independent biological databases, often on a gene-by-gene basis. In contrast, several annotation databases, such as DAVID, integrate data from multiple functional databases and reveal underlying biological themes of large gene lists. While several such databases have been constructed for animals, none is currently available for the study of algae. Due to renewed interest in algae as potential sources of biofuels and the emergence of multiple algal genome sequences, a significant need has arisen for such a database to process the growing compendiums of algal genomic data. DESCRIPTION: The Algal Functional Annotation Tool is a web-based comprehensive analysis suite integrating annotation data from several pathway, ontology, and protein family databases. The current version provides annotation for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and in the future will include additional genomes. The site allows users to interpret large gene lists by identifying associated functional terms, and their enrichment. Additionally, expression data for several experimental conditions were compiled and analyzed to provide an expression-based enrichment search. A tool to search for functionally-related genes based on gene expression across these conditions is also provided. Other features include dynamic visualization of genes on

  5. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

    2012-07-12

    Abstract BACKGROUND: Progress in genome sequencing is proceeding at an exponential pace, and several new algal genomes are becoming available every year. One of the challenges facing the community is the association of protein sequences encoded in the genomes with biological function. While most genome assembly projects generate annotations for predicted protein sequences, they are usually limited and integrate functional terms from a limited number of databases. Another challenge is the use of annotations to interpret large lists of 'interesting' genes generated by genome-scale datasets. Previously, these gene lists had to be analyzed across several independent biological databases, often on a gene-by-gene basis. In contrast, several annotation databases, such as DAVID, integrate data from multiple functional databases and reveal underlying biological themes of large gene lists. While several such databases have been constructed for animals, none is currently available for the study of algae. Due to renewed interest in algae as potential sources of biofuels and the emergence of multiple algal genome sequences, a significant need has arisen for such a database to process the growing compendiums of algal genomic data. DESCRIPTION: The Algal Functional Annotation Tool is a web-based comprehensive analysis suite integrating annotation data from several pathway, ontology, and protein family databases. The current version provides annotation for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and in the future will include additional genomes. The site allows users to interpret large gene lists by identifying associated functional terms, and their enrichment. Additionally, expression data for several experimental conditions were compiled and analyzed to provide an expression-based enrichment search. A tool to search for functionally-related genes based on gene expression across these conditions is also provided. Other features include dynamic visualization of genes on KEGG

  6. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, John; Sarisky-Reed, Valerie

    2010-05-01

    The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. While addressing the potential economic and environmental benefits of using algal biomass for the production of liquid transportation fuels, the Roadmap describes the current status of algae RD&D. In doing so, it lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in the production of economically viable biofuels.

  7. 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

  8. Algal biofuels from wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds.

    PubMed

    Craggs, R J; Heubeck, S; Lundquist, T J; Benemann, J R

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the potential of algae biofuel production in conjunction with wastewater treatment. Current technology for algal wastewater treatment uses facultative ponds, however, these ponds have low productivity (∼10 tonnes/ha.y), are not amenable to cultivating single algal species, require chemical flocculation or other expensive processes for algal harvest, and do not provide consistent nutrient removal. Shallow, paddlewheel-mixed high rate algal ponds (HRAPs) have much higher productivities (∼30 tonnes/ha.y) and promote bioflocculation settling which may provide low-cost algal harvest. Moreover, HRAP algae are carbon-limited and daytime addition of CO(2) has, under suitable climatic conditions, the potential to double production (to ∼60 tonnes/ha.y), improve bioflocculation algal harvest, and enhance wastewater nutrient removal. Algae biofuels (e.g. biogas, ethanol, biodiesel and crude bio-oil), could be produced from the algae harvested from wastewater HRAPs, The wastewater treatment function would cover the capital and operation costs of algal production, with biofuel and recovered nutrient fertilizer being by-products. Greenhouse gas abatement results from both the production of the biofuels and the savings in energy consumption compared to electromechanical treatment processes. However, to achieve these benefits, further research is required, particularly the large-scale demonstration of wastewater treatment HRAP algal production and harvest. PMID:21330711

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kooi, Bob W; Venturino, Ezio

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez, D.; Casero, D.; Cokus, S. J.; Merchant, S. S.; Pellegrini, M.

    2012-07-01

    The Algal Functional Annotation Tool is a web-based comprehensive analysis suite integrating annotation data from several pathway, ontology, and protein family databases. The current version provides annotation for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and in the future will include additional genomes. The site allows users to interpret large gene lists by identifying associated functional terms, and their enrichment. Additionally, expression data for several experimental conditions were compiled and analyzed to provide an expression-based enrichment search. A tool to search for functionally-related genes based on gene expression across these conditions is also provided. Other features include dynamic visualization of genes on KEGG pathway maps and batch gene identifier conversion.

  13. 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

  14. Algal Biofuels; Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  15. Fueling Future with Algal Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-07-05

    Algae constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity, play profound roles in the carbon cycle, and are prominent candidates for biofuel production. The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is leading the world in algal genome sequencing (http://jgi.doe.gov/Algae) and contributes of the algal genome projects worldwide (GOLD database, 2012). The sequenced algal genomes offer catalogs of genes, networks, and pathways. The sequenced first of its kind genomes of a haptophyte E.huxleyii, chlorarachniophyte B.natans, and cryptophyte G.theta fill the gaps in the eukaryotic tree of life and carry unique genes and pathways as well as molecular fossils of secondary endosymbiosis. Natural adaptation to conditions critical for industrial production is encoded in algal genomes, for example, growth of A.anophagefferens at very high cell densities during the harmful algae blooms or a global distribution across diverse environments of E.huxleyii, able to live on sparse nutrients due to its expanded pan-genome. Communications and signaling pathways can be derived from simple symbiotic systems like lichens or complex marine algae metagenomes. Collectively these datasets derived from algal genomics contribute to building a comprehensive parts list essential for algal biofuel development.

  16. Mixotrophy in the newly described phototrophic dinoflagellate Woloszynskia cincta from western Korean waters: feeding mechanism, prey species and effect of prey concentration.

    PubMed

    Kang, Nam Seon; Jeong, Hae Jin; Yoo, Yeong Du; Yoon, Eun Young; Lee, Kyung Ha; Lee, Kitack; Kim, Gwanghoon

    2011-01-01

    Woloszynskia species are dinoflagellates in the order Suessiales inhabiting marine or freshwater environments; their ecophysiology has not been well investigated, in particular, their trophic modes have yet to be elucidated. Previous studies have reported that all Woloszynskia species are photosynthetic, although their mixotrophic abilities have not been explored. We isolated a dinoflagellate from coastal waters in western Korea and established clonal cultures of this dinoflagellate. On the basis of morphology and analyses of the small/large subunit rRNA gene (GenBank accession number=FR690459), we identified this dinoflagellate as Woloszynskia cincta. We further established that this dinoflagellate is a mixotrophic species. We found that W. cincta fed on algal prey using a peduncle. Among the diverse prey provided, W. cincta ingested those algal species that had equivalent spherical diameters (ESDs) ≤12.6 μm, exceptions being the diatom Skeletonema costatum and the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum. However, W. cincta did not feed on larger algal species that had ESDs≥15 μm. The specific growth rates for W. cincta increased continuously with increasing mean prey concentration before saturating at a concentration of ca. 134 ng C/ml (1,340 cells/ml) when Heterosigma akashiwo was used as food. The maximum specific growth rate (i.e. mixotrophic growth) of W. cincta feeding on H. akashiwo was 0.499 d(-1) at 20 °C under illumination of 20 μE/m(2) /s on a 14:10 h light-dark cycle, whereas its growth rate (i.e. phototrophic growth) under the same light conditions without added prey was 0.040 d(-1). The maximum ingestion and clearance rates of W. cincta feeding on H. akashiwo were 0.49 ng C/grazer/d (4.9 cells/grazer/d) and 1.9 μl/grazer/h, respectively. The calculated grazing coefficients for W. cincta on co-occurring H. akashiwo were up to 1.1 d(-1). The results of the present study suggest that grazing by W. cincta can have a potentially considerable impact

  17. Algal culture studies for CELSS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R.; Behrens, P.; Arnett, K.; Gladue, R.; Cox, J.; Lieberman, D.

    1987-01-01

    Microalgae are well-suited as a component of a Closed Environmental Life Support System (CELSS), since they can couple the closely related functions of food production and atmospheric regeneration. The objective was to provide a basis for predicting the response of CELSS algal cultures, and thus the food supply and air regeneration system, to changes in the culture parameters. Scenedesmus growth was measured as a function of light intensity, and the spectral dependence of light absorption by the algae as well as algal respiration in the light were determined as a function of cell concentration. These results were used to test and confirm a mathematical model that describes the productivity of an algal culture in terms of the competing processes of photosynthesis and respiration. The relationship of algal productivity to cell concentration was determined at different carbon dioxide concentrations, temperatures, and light intensities. The maximum productivity achieved by an air-grown culture was found to be within 10% of the computed maximum productivity, indicating that CO2 was very efficiently removed from the gas stream by the algal culture. Measurements of biomass productivity as a function of cell concentration at different light intensities indicated that both the productivity and efficiency of light utilization were greater at higher light intensities.

  18. Chemotactic predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Ankush; Kruppa, Tobias; Löwen, Hartmut

    2011-03-01

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

  19. Multiple genes of apparent algal origin suggest ciliates may once have been photosynthetic.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Prieto, Adrian; Moustafa, Ahmed; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2008-07-01

    Plantae (as defined by Cavalier-Smith, 1981) plastids evolved via primary endosymbiosis whereby a heterotrophic protist enslaved a photosynthetic cyanobacterium. This "primary" plastid spread into other eukaryotes via secondary endosymbiosis. An important but contentious theory in algal evolution is the chromalveolate hypothesis that posits chromists (cryptophytes, haptophytes, and stramenopiles) and alveolates (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates) share a common ancestor that contained a red-algal-derived "secondary" plastid. Under this view, the existence of several later-diverging plastid-lacking chromalveolates such as ciliates and oomycetes would be explained by plastid loss in these lineages. To test the idea of a photosynthetic ancestry for ciliates, we used the 27,446 predicted proteins from the macronuclear genome of Tetrahymena thermophila to query prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. We identified 16 proteins of possible algal origin in the ciliates Tetrahymena and Paramecium tetraurelia. Fourteen of these are present in other chromalveolates. Here we compare and contrast the likely scenarios for algal-gene origin in ciliates either via multiple rounds of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from algal prey or symbionts, or through endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT) during a putative photosynthetic phase in their evolution. PMID:18595706

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  6. Algal taxonomy forum: Algal Taxonomist, Let Serendipity Reign!

    PubMed

    Druehl, Louis

    2013-04-01

    The publication of a mini-review by Olivier De Clerck et al. in this issue of the Journal of Phycology presented an opportunity to open a dialogue on challenges faced by contemporary algal taxonomists. The Editorial Office solicited the following two additional contributions in response to De Clerck et al.'s paper; the responses were edited solely for clarity, space and format. PMID:27008510

  7. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Leite, Gustavo B; Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-10-01

    Biodiesel production using microalgae is attractive in a number of respects. Here a number of pros and cons to using microalgae for biofuels production are reviewed. Algal cultivation can be carried out using non-arable land and non-potable water with simple nutrient supply. In addition, algal biomass productivities are much higher than those of vascular plants and the extractable content of lipids that can be usefully converted to biodiesel, triacylglycerols (TAGs) can be much higher than that of the oil seeds now used for first generation biodiesel. On the other hand, practical, cost-effective production of biofuels from microalgae requires that a number of obstacles be overcome. These include the development of low-cost, effective growth systems, efficient and energy saving harvesting techniques, and methods for oil extraction and conversion that are environmentally benign and cost-effective. Promising recent advances in these areas are highlighted. PMID:23499181

  8. Algal blooms and public health

    SciTech Connect

    Epstein, P.R. . Harvard Medical School)

    1993-06-01

    Alterations in coastal ecology are expanding the geographic extent, frequency, magnitude, and species complexity'' of algal blooms throughout the world, increasing the threat of fish and shellfish poisonings, anoxia in marine nurseries, and of cholera. The World Health Organization and members of the medical profession have described the potential health effects of global climate change. They warn of the consequences of increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays and of warming: the possible damage to agriculture and nutrition, and the impact on habitats which may alter the distribution of vector-borne and water-based infectious diseases. Algal growth due to increased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) and warming are already affecting marine microflora and aquatic plants; and there is now clear evidence that marine organisms are a reservoir for enteric pathogens. The pattern of cholera in the Western Hemisphere suggests that environmental changes have already begun to influence the epidemiology of this infectious disease. 106 refs.

  9. 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

  10. Air pollutant production by algal cell cultures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fong, F.; Funkhouser, E. A.

    1982-01-01

    The production of phytotoxic air pollutants by cultures of Chlorella vulgaris and Euglena gracilis is considered. Algal and plant culture systems, a fumigation system, and ethylene, ethane, cyanide, and nitrogen oxides assays are discussed. Bean, tobacco, mustard green, cantaloupe and wheat plants all showed injury when fumigated with algal gases for 4 hours. Only coleus plants showed any resistance to the gases. It is found that a closed or recycled air effluent system does not produce plant injury from algal air pollutants.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Theory of Arachnid Prey Localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maiti, Alakes; Samanta, G. P.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kar, Tapan Kumar

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Algal Flocculation with Synthetic Organic Polyelectrolytes

    PubMed Central

    Tenney, Mark W.; Echelberger, Wayne F.; Schuessler, Ronald G.; Pavoni, Joseph L.

    1969-01-01

    The feasibility of removing algae from water and wastewater by chemical flocculation techniques was investigated. Mixed cultures of algae were obtained from both continuous- and batch-fed laboratory reactors. Representative cationic, anionic, and nonionic synthetic organic polyelectrolytes were used as flocculants. Under the experimental conditions, chemically induced algal flocculation occurred with the addition of cationic polyelectrolyte, but not with anionic or nonionic polymers, although attachment of all polyelectrolyte species to the algal surface is shown. The mechanism of chemically induced algal flocculation is interpreted in terms of bridging phenomena between the discrete algal cells and the linearly extended polymer chains, forming a three-dimensional matrix that is capable of subsiding under quiescent conditions. The degree of flocculation is shown to be a direct function of the extent of polymer coverage of the active sites on the algal surface, although to induce flocculation by this method requires that the algal surface charge must concurrently be reduced to a level at which the extended polymers can bridge the minimal distance of separation imposed by electrostatic repulsion. The influence of pH, algal concentration, and algal growth phase on the requisite cationic flocculant dose is also reported. PMID:5370666

  18. Algal biosensor array on a single electrode.

    PubMed

    Tatsuma, Tetsu; Yoshida, Yutaka; Shitanda, Isao; Notsu, Hideo

    2009-02-01

    An algal array was prepared on a single transparent electrode, and photosynthetic activity of each algal channel and its inhibition by a toxin were monitored with a single-channel potentiostat by successive light irradiation with a LED array. PMID:19173040

  19. TEXAS HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM COORDINATION MX964014

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) are an expanding problem in coastal Texas. Nearly � of the known harmful algal blooms along the Texas coast have occurred in the past ten years and have led to significant resource and tourism losses. For example, there are at least two types of toxic...

  20. Coexistence in a predator-prey system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Droz, Michel; Pȩkalski, Andrzej

    2001-05-01

    We propose a lattice model of two populations, predators and prey. The model is solved via Monte Carlo simulations. Each species moves randomly on the lattice and can live only a certain time without eating. The lattice cells are either grass (eaten by prey) or tree (giving cover for prey). Each animal has a reserve of food that is increased by eating (prey or grass) and decreased after each Monte Carlo step. To breed, a pair of animals must be adjacent and have a certain minimum of food supply. The number of offspring produced depends on the number of available empty sites. We show that such a predator-prey system may finally reach one of the following three steady states: coexisting, with predators and prey; pure prey; or an empty one, in which both populations become extinct. We demonstrate that the probability of arriving at one of the above states depends on the initial densities of the prey and predator populations, the amount of cover, and the way it is spatially distributed.

  1. Prey Vulnerability Limits Top-Down Control and Alters Reciprocal Feedbacks in a Subsidized Model Food Web

    PubMed Central

    Atlas, William I.; Palen, Wendy J.

    2014-01-01

    Resource subsidies increase the productivity of recipient food webs and can affect ecosystem dynamics. Subsidies of prey often support elevated predator biomass which may intensify top-down control and reduce the flow of reciprocal subsidies into adjacent ecosystems. However, top-down control in subsidized food webs may be limited if primary consumers posses morphological or behavioral traits that limit vulnerability to predation. In forested streams, terrestrial prey support high predator biomass creating the potential for strong top-down control, however armored primary consumers often dominate the invertebrate assemblage. Using empirically based simulation models, we tested the response of stream food webs to variations in subsidy magnitude, prey vulnerability, and the presence of two top predators. While terrestrial prey inputs increased predator biomass (+12%), the presence of armored primary consumers inhibited top-down control, and diverted most aquatic energy (∼75%) into the riparian forest through aquatic insect emergence. Food webs without armored invertebrates experienced strong trophic cascades, resulting in higher algal (∼50%) and detrital (∼1600%) biomass, and reduced insect emergence (−90%). These results suggest prey vulnerability can mediate food web responses to subsidies, and that top-down control can be arrested even when predator-invulnerable consumers are uncommon (20%) regardless of the level of subsidy. PMID:24465732

  2. Algal Bloom Detection from HICO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amin, Ruhul; Gould, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Ocean color satellites provide daily, global views of marine bio-optical properties in the upper ocean at various spatial scales. The most productive area of the global ocean is the coastal zone which is heavily impacted by urban and agricultural runoff, transportation, recreation, and oil and gas production. In recent years, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become one of the serious environmental problems in the coastal areas on a global scale. The global nature of the problem has expanded in its frequency, severity, and extent over the last several decades. Human activities and population increases have contributed to an increase in various toxic and noxious algal species in the coastal regions worldwide. Eutrophication in estuaries and coastal waters is believed to be the major factor causing HABs. In this study, we assess the applicability of the Red Band Difference (RBD) HAB detection algorithm on data from the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO). Our preliminary results show that due to various uncertainties such as atmospheric correction, calibration and possibly also the relatively low signal-to-noise ratio of HICO for fluorescence detection, it is difficult to extract the fluorescence portion of the reflectance spectrum that RBD uses for bloom detection. We propose an improved bloom detection technique for HICO using red and NIR bands. Our results are validated using other space-borne and ground based measurements.

  3. Constraints to commercialization of algal fuels.

    PubMed

    Chisti, Yusuf

    2013-09-10

    Production of algal crude oil has been achieved in various pilot scale facilities, but whether algal fuels can be produced in sufficient quantity to meaningfully displace petroleum fuels, has been largely overlooked. Limitations to commercialization of algal fuels need to be understood and addressed for any future commercialization. This review identifies the major constraints to commercialization of transport fuels from microalgae. Algae derived fuels are expensive compared to petroleum derived fuels, but this could change. Unfortunately, improved economics of production are not sufficient for an environmentally sustainable production, or its large scale feasibility. A low-cost point supply of concentrated carbon dioxide colocated with the other essential resources is necessary for producing algal fuels. An insufficiency of concentrated carbon dioxide is actually a major impediment to any substantial production of algal fuels. Sustainability of production requires the development of an ability to almost fully recycle the phosphorous and nitrogen nutrients that are necessary for algae culture. Development of a nitrogen biofixation ability to support production of algal fuels ought to be an important long term objective. At sufficiently large scale, a limited supply of freshwater will pose a significant limitation to production even if marine algae are used. Processes for recovering energy from the algal biomass left after the extraction of oil, are required for achieving a net positive energy balance in the algal fuel oil. The near term outlook for widespread use of algal fuels appears bleak, but fuels for niche applications such as in aviation may be likely in the medium term. Genetic and metabolic engineering of microalgae to boost production of fuel oil and ease its recovery, are essential for commercialization of algal fuels. Algae will need to be genetically modified for improved photosynthetic efficiency in the long term. PMID:23886651

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Disentangling taste and toxicity in aposematic prey.

    PubMed

    Holen, Øistein Haugsten

    2013-02-22

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

  6. Fluorescent prey traps in carnivorous plants.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  7. Group formation stabilizes predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Exploring the Utilization of Complex Algal Communities to Address Algal Pond Crash and Increase Annual Biomass Production for Algal Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Cyd E.

    2014-03-25

    This white paper briefly reviews the research literature exploring complex algal communities as a means of increasing algal biomass production via increased tolerance, resilience, and resistance to a variety of abiotic and biotic perturbations occurring within harvesting timescales. This paper identifies what data are available and whether more research utilizing complex communities is needed to explore the potential of complex algal community stability (CACS) approach as a plausible means to increase biomass yields regardless of ecological context and resulting in decreased algal-based fuel prices by reducing operations costs. By reviewing the literature for what we do and do not know, in terms of CACS methodologies, this report will provide guidance for future research addressing pond crash phenomena.

  11. Formation of harmful algal blooms cannot be explained by allelopathic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Jonsson, Per R.; Pavia, Henrik; Toth, Gunilla

    2009-01-01

    Many planktonic microalgae produce a range of toxins and may form harmful algal blooms. One hypothesis is that some toxins are allelopathic, suppressing the growth of competitors, and it has been suggested that allelopathy may be one important mechanism causing algal blooms. In a metaanalysis of recent experimental work, we looked for evidence that allelopathy may explain the initiation of algal blooms. With few exceptions, allelopathic effects were only significant at very high cell densities typical of blooms. We conclude that there is no experimental support for allelopathy at prebloom densities, throwing doubts on allelopathy as a mechanism in bloom formation. Most studies tested allelopathy using cell-free manipulations. With simple models we show that cell-free manipulations may underestimate allelopathy at low cell densities if effects are transmitted during cell–cell interactions. However, we suggest that the evolution of allelopathy under field conditions may be unlikely even if based on cell–cell interactions. The spatial dispersion of cells in turbulent flow will make it difficult for an allelopathic cell to receive an exclusive benefit, and a dispersion model shows that dividing cells are rapidly separated constraining clone selection. Instead, we propose that reported allelopathic effects may be nonadaptive side effects of predator–prey or casual parasitic cell–cell interactions. PMID:19549831

  12. Predator-Induced Fleeing Behaviors in Phytoplankton: A New Mechanism for Harmful Algal Bloom Formation?

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Elizabeth L.; Menden-Deuer, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    In the plankton, heterotrophic microbes encounter and ingest phytoplankton prey, which effectively removes >50% of daily phytoplankton production in the ocean and influences global primary production and biochemical cycling rates. Factors such as size, shape, nutritional value, and presence of chemical deterrents are known to affect predation pressure. Effects of movement behaviors of either predator or prey on predation pressure, and particularly fleeing behaviors in phytoplankton are thus far unknown. Here, we quantified individual 3D movements, population distributions, and survival rates of the toxic phytoplankton species, Heterosigma akashiwo in response to a ciliate predator and predator-derived cues. We observed predator-induced defense behaviors previously unknown for phytoplankton. Modulation of individual phytoplankton movements during and after predator exposure resulted in an effective separation of predator and prey species. The strongest avoidance behaviors were observed when H. akashiwo co-occurred with an actively grazing predator. Predator-induced changes in phytoplankton movements resulted in a reduction in encounter rate and a 3-fold increase in net algal population growth rate. A spatially explicit population model predicted rapid phytoplankton bloom formation only when fleeing behaviors were incorporated. These model predictions reflected field observations of rapid H. akashiwo harmful algal bloom (HAB) formation in the coastal ocean. Our results document a novel behavior in phytoplankton that can significantly reduce predation pressure and suggests a new mechanism for HAB formation. Phytoplankton behaviors that minimize predatory losses, maximize resource acquisition, and alter community composition and distribution patterns could have major implications for our understanding and predictive capacity of marine primary production and biochemical cycling rates. PMID:23029518

  13. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Zimmer, Walter M X; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-01-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m.This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them. PMID:15801582

  14. Beaked whales echolocate on prey.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter T; Zimmer, Walter M X; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Tyack, Peter L

    2004-12-01

    Beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidea) of the genera Ziphius and Mesoplodon are so difficult to study that they are mostly known from strandings. How these elusive toothed whales use and react to sound is of concern because they mass strand during naval sonar exercises. A new non-invasive acoustic ording tag was attached to four beaked whales(two Mesoplodon densirostris and two Ziphius cavirostris) and recorded high-frequency clicks during deep dives. The tagged whales only clicked at depths below 200 m, down to a maximum depth of 1267 m. Both species produced a large number of short, directional, ultrasonic clicks with significant energy below 20 kHz. The tags recorded echoes from prey items; to our knowledge, a first for any animal echolocating in the wild. As far as we are aware, these echoes provide the first direct evidence on how free-ranging toothed whales use echolocation in foraging. The strength of these echoes suggests that the source level of Mesoplodon clicks is in the range of 200-220 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m. This paper presents conclusive data on the normal vocalizations of these beaked whale species, which may enable acoustic monitoring to mitigate exposure to sounds intense enough to harm them. PMID:15801582

  15. 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.

  16. Copepod Trajectory Characteristics in Thin Layers of Toxic Algal Exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, D. R.; True, A. C.; Weissburg, M. J.; Yen, J.

    2013-11-01

    Recently documented thin layers of toxic phytoplankton (``cryptic blooms'') are modeled in a custom flume system for copepod behavioral assays. Planar laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) measurements quantify the spatiotemporal structure of the chemical layers ensuring a close match to in situ bloom conditions and allowing for quantification of threshold dissolved toxin levels that induce behavioral responses. Assays with the copepods Acartia tonsa (hop-sinker) and Temora longicornis (cruiser) in thin layers of toxic exudates from the common dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (cell equivalent ~ 1 - 10,000 cells/mL) examine the effects of dissolved toxic compounds and copepod species on swimming trajectory characteristics. Computation of parameters such as swimming speed and the fractal dimension of the two-dimensional trajectory (F2D) allows for statistical evaluation of copepod behavioral responses to dissolved toxic compounds associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs). Changes in copepod swimming behavior caused by toxic compounds can significantly influence predator, prey, and mate encounter rates by altering the fracticality (``diffuseness'' or ``volume-fillingness'') of a copepod's trajectory. As trophic mediators linking primary producers and higher trophic levels, copepods can significantly influence HAB dynamics and modulate large scale ecological effects through their behavioral interactions with toxic blooms.

  17. The role of selective predation in harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  18. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly becoming a significant ecologic, economic, and social driver in the use of water resources. Cyanobacteria and their toxins play an important role in management decisions for drinking water utilities and public health officials. Online ...

  19. Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum.

    PubMed

    Rockwell, Nathan C; Duanmu, Deqiang; Martin, Shelley S; Bachy, Charles; Price, Dana C; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Worden, Alexandra Z; Lagarias, J Clark

    2014-03-11

    Plant phytochromes are photoswitchable red/far-red photoreceptors that allow competition with neighboring plants for photosynthetically active red light. In aquatic environments, red and far-red light are rapidly attenuated with depth; therefore, photosynthetic species must use shorter wavelengths of light. Nevertheless, phytochrome-related proteins are found in recently sequenced genomes of many eukaryotic algae from aquatic environments. We examined the photosensory properties of seven phytochromes from diverse algae: four prasinophyte (green algal) species, the heterokont (brown algal) Ectocarpus siliculosus, and two glaucophyte species. We demonstrate that algal phytochromes are not limited to red and far-red responses. Instead, different algal phytochromes can sense orange, green, and even blue light. Characterization of these previously undescribed photosensors using CD spectroscopy supports a structurally heterogeneous chromophore in the far-red-absorbing photostate. Our study thus demonstrates that extensive spectral tuning of phytochromes has evolved in phylogenetically distinct lineages of aquatic photosynthetic eukaryotes. PMID:24567382

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Liujuan; Chen, Fengde; Wang, Yiqin

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  3. Direct conversion of algal biomass to biofuel

    DOEpatents

    Deng, Shuguang; Patil, Prafulla D; Gude, Veera Gnaneswar

    2014-10-14

    A method and system for providing direct conversion of algal biomass. Optionally, the method and system can be used to directly convert dry algal biomass to biodiesels under microwave irradiation by combining the reaction and combining steps. Alternatively, wet algae can be directly processed and converted to fatty acid methyl esters, which have the major components of biodiesels, by reacting with methanol at predetermined pressure and temperature ranges.

  4. Algal and fungal diversity in Antarctic lichens.

    PubMed

    Park, Chae Haeng; Kim, Kyung Mo; Elvebakk, Arve; Kim, Ok-Sun; Jeong, Gajin; Hong, Soon Gyu

    2015-01-01

    The composition of lichen ecosystems except mycobiont and photobiont has not been evaluated intensively. In addition, recent studies to identify algal genotypes have raised questions about the specific relationship between mycobiont and photobiont. In the current study, we analyzed algal and fungal community structures in lichen species from King George Island, Antarctica, by pyrosequencing of eukaryotic large subunit (LSU) and algal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) domains of the nuclear rRNA gene. The sequencing results of LSU and ITS regions indicated that each lichen thallus contained diverse algal species. The major algal operational taxonomic unit (OTU) defined at a 99% similarity cutoff of LSU sequences accounted for 78.7-100% of the total algal community in each sample. In several cases, the major OTUs defined by LSU sequences were represented by two closely related OTUs defined by 98% sequence similarity of ITS domain. The results of LSU sequences indicated that lichen-associated fungi belonged to the Arthoniomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Leotiomycetes, and Sordariomycetes of the Ascomycota, and Tremellomycetes and Cystobasidiomycetes of the Basidiomycota. The composition of major photobiont species and lichen-associated fungal community were mostly related to the mycobiont species. The contribution of growth forms or substrates on composition of photobiont and lichen-associated fungi was not evident. PMID:25105247

  5. Microflotation performance for algal separation.

    PubMed

    Hanotu, James; Bandulasena, H C Hemaka; Zimmerman, William B

    2012-07-01

    The performance of microflotation, dispersed air flotation with microbubble clouds with bubble size about 50 µm, for algae separation using fluidic oscillation for microbubble generation is investigated. This fluidic oscillator converts continuous air supply into oscillatory flow with a regular frequency to generate bubbles of the scale of the exit pore. Bubble characterization results showed that average bubble size generated under oscillatory air flow state was 86 µm, approximately twice the size of the diffuser pore size of 38 µm. In contrast, continuous air flow at the same rate through the same diffusers yielded an average bubble size of 1,059 µm, 28 times larger than the pore size. Following microbubble generation, the separation of algal cells under fluidic oscillator generated microbubbles was investigated by varying metallic coagulant types, concentration and pH. Best performances were recorded at the highest coagulant dose (150 mg/L) applied under acidic conditions (pH 5). Amongst the three metallic coagulants studied, ferric chloride yielded the overall best result of 99.2% under the optimum conditions followed closely by ferric sulfate (98.1%) and aluminum sulfate with 95.2%. This compares well with conventional dissolved air flotation (DAF) benchmarks, but has a highly turbulent flow, whereas microflotation is laminar with several orders of magnitude lower energy density. PMID:22290221

  6. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Nes, W.D.; Norton, R.A.; Crumley, F.G. ); Madigan, S.J.; Katz, E.R. )

    1990-10-01

    The stereochemistry of several sterol precursors and end products synthesized by two fungal-like microorganisms Prototheca wickerhamii (I) and Dictyostelium discoideum (II) have been determined by chromatographic (TLC, GLC, and HPLC) and spectral (UV, MS, and {sup 1}H NMR) methods. From I and II the following sterols were isolated from the cells: cycloartenol, cyclolaudenol, 24(28)-methylenecy-cloartanol, ergosterol, protothecasterol, 4{alpha}-methylergostanol, 4{alpha}-methylclionastanol, clionastanol, 24{beta}-ethylcholesta-8,22-enol, and dictyosterol. In addition, the mechanism of C-24 methylation was investigated in both organisms by feeding to I (2-{sup 3}H)lanosterol, (2-{sup 3}H)cycloartenol, (24{sup 3}H)lanosterol, and (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine and by feeding to II (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine. The results demonstrate that the 24{beta} configuration is formed by different alkylation routes in I and II. The authors conclude that Prototheca is an apoplastic Chlorella (i.e., an alga) and that Dictyostelium as well as the other soil amoebae that synthesize cycloartenol evolved from algal rather than fungal ancestors.

  7. Towards developing algal synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail

    2016-06-15

    The genetic, physiological and metabolic diversity of microalgae has driven fundamental research into photosynthesis, flagella structure and function, and eukaryotic evolution. Within the last 10 years these organisms have also been investigated as potential biotechnology platforms, for example to produce high value compounds such as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants, and for biodiesel precursors, in particular triacylglycerols (TAGs). Transformation protocols, molecular tools and genome sequences are available for a number of model species including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, although for both species there are bottlenecks to be overcome to allow rapid and predictable genetic manipulation. One approach to do this would be to apply the principles of synthetic biology to microalgae, namely the cycle of Design-Build-Test, which requires more robust, predictable and high throughput methods. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in the areas of improving transgene expression, genome editing, identification and design of standard genetic elements (parts), and the use of microfluidics to increase throughput. We suggest that combining these approaches will provide the means to establish algal synthetic biology, and that application of standard parts and workflows will avoid parallel development and capitalize on lessons learned from other systems. PMID:27284033

  8. Porpoises: From predators to prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leopold, Mardik F.; Begeman, Lineke; Heße, Eileen; van der Hiele, Jaap; Hiemstra, Sjoukje; Keijl, Guido; Meesters, Erik H.; Mielke, Lara; Verheyen, Dorien; Gröne, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    Along the Dutch shores hundreds of harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena are stranded each year. A recurrent phenomenon in the Netherlands is a surge of strandings in late winter and early spring of severely mutilated porpoises, that are mostly in good nutritional body condition (thick blubber layer). These mutilated porpoises have parts of the skin and blubber, and sometimes of the muscle tissue missing. By reviewing photographs of stranded animals taken at the stranding sites as well as autopsy results we found 273 mutilated animals from 2005 to 2012. Mutilations could be classified into several categories, but wounds had been mostly inflicted to the sides of these animals, in a zigzag fashion, or to the throat/cheek region. The stomach contents of 31 zigzags, 12 throats/cheeks and 31 control animals that were not mutilated, from the same age and blubber thickness categories were compared; all these animals had stranded between December and April, 2006-2012. The diet of individuals with zigzag lesions to their sides consisted for a large part of gobies, while animals that had wounds at the throat/cheek had been feeding predominately on clupeids. In comparison, animals without mutilations had a more varied diet, including gobies and clupeids, but also a large proportion of sandeels and gadoids. The finding that the type of mutilation corresponds to a certain diet suggests that porpoises that were feeding on different prey, or in different micro-habitats, were hit in different ways. Animals feeding at the sea floor (on gobies) apparently run a risk of being hit from the side, while animals supposedly feeding higher in the water column (on schooling clupeids), were predominantly hit from below, in the throat region. The wider variation in the diets of non-mutilated porpoises is suggestive of them using a larger variety of micro-habitats.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. How the Magnitude of Prey Genetic Variation Alters Predator-Prey Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H

    2016-09-01

    Evolution can alter the stability and dynamics of ecological communities; for example, prey evolution can drive cyclic dynamics in predator-prey systems that are not possible in the absence of evolution. However, it is unclear how the magnitude of additive genetic variation in the evolving species mediates those effects. In this study, I explore how the magnitude of prey additive genetic variation determines what effects prey evolution has on the dynamics and stability of predator-prey systems. I use linear stability analysis to decompose the stability of a general eco-evolutionary predator-prey model into components representing the stabilities of the ecological and evolutionary subsystems as well as the interactions between those subsystems. My results show that with low genetic variation, the cyclic dynamics and stability of the system are determined by the ecological subsystem. With increased genetic variation, disruptive selection always destabilizes stable communities, stabilizing selection can stabilize or destabilize communities, and prey evolution can alter predator-prey phase lags. Stability changes occur approximately when the magnitude of genetic variation balances the (in)stabilities of the ecological and evolutionary subsystems. I discuss the connections between my stability results and prior results from the theory of adaptive dynamics. PMID:27501090

  12. Algal Supply System Design - Harmonized Version

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared; Stevens, Daniel; Ray, Allison; Newby, Deborah; Schaller, Kastli

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this design report is to provide an assessment of current technologies used for production, dewatering, and converting microalgae cultivated in open-pond systems to biofuel. The original draft design was created in 2011 and has subsequently been brought into agreement with the DOE harmonized model. The design report extends beyond this harmonized model to discuss some of the challenges with assessing algal production systems, including the ability to (1) quickly assess alternative algal production system designs, (2) assess spatial and temporal variability, and (3) perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. The Algae Logistics Model (ALM) was developed to address each of these limitations of current modeling efforts to enable assessment of the economic feasibility of algal production systems across the United States. The (ALM) enables (1) dynamic assessments using spatiotemporal conditions, (2) exploration of algal production system design configurations, (3) investigation of algal production system operating assumptions, and (4) trade-off assessments with technology decisions and operating assumptions. The report discusses results from the ALM, which is used to assess the baseline design determined by harmonization efforts between U.S. DOE national laboratories. Productivity and resource assessment data is provided by coupling the ALM with the Biomass Assessment Tool developed at PNNL. This high-fidelity data is dynamically passed to the ALM and used to help better understand the impacts of spatial and temporal constraints on algal production systems by providing a cost for producing extracted algal lipids annually for each potential site.

  13. Algal Energy Conversion and Capture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazendonk, P.

    2015-12-01

    We address the potential for energy conversions and capture for: energy generation; reduction in energy use; reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; remediation of water and air pollution; protection and enhancement of soil fertility. These processes have the potential to sequester carbon at scales that may have global impact. Energy conversion and capture strategies evaluate energy use and production from agriculture, urban areas and industries, and apply existing and emerging technologies to reduce and recapture energy embedded in waste products. The basis of biocrude production from Micro-algal feedstocks: 1) The nutrients from the liquid fraction of waste streams are concentrated and fed into photo bioreactors (essentially large vessels in which microalgae are grown) along with CO2 from flue gasses from down stream processes. 2) The algae are processed to remove high value products such as proteins and beta-carotenes. The advantage of algae feedstocks is the high biomass productivity is 30-50 times that of land based crops and the remaining biomass contains minimal components that are difficult to convert to biocrude. 3) The remaining biomass undergoes hydrothermal liquefaction to produces biocrude and biochar. The flue gasses of this process can be used to produce electricity (fuel cell) and subsequently fed back into the photobioreactor. The thermal energy required for this process is small, hence readily obtained from solar-thermal sources, and furthermore no drying or preprocessing is required keeping the energy overhead extremely small. 4) The biocrude can be upgraded and refined as conventional crude oil, creating a range of liquid fuels. In principle this process can be applied on the farm scale to the municipal scale. Overall, our primary food production is too dependent on fossil fuels. Energy conversion and capture can make food production sustainable.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Platy algal banks: Modern and ancient

    SciTech Connect

    Brinton, L. )

    1990-05-01

    Plaly algal banks and associated cycles in the lower Ismay zone of the Paradox Formation are exposed along the walls of the San Juan River canyon, southeastern Utah. These complexes closely resemble algal bank reservoirs in the lower Ismay zone of Ismay and Cache, and possibly other Paradox basin fields. Similarities include facies relationships, lateral and vertical textural variations, and early diagenesis. Extensive algal banks exposed along the San Juan canyon generally have flat bases and mound and swale topographic surfaces, and are separated by interbank channels. The surficial mounds have a regular amplitude and wavelength suggesting a hydrologic rather than biologic influence on topography. The banks themselves, however, are believed to be thick, predominantly in-situ accumulations of platy algae. Distribution of algal banks can be mapped on a field scale; mound and swale topographic features may be identified in core on the basis of depositional and early diagenetic characteristics. Halimeda bioherms (Holocene) cover large areas behind the Great Barrier Reef, developing adjacent to the deep passes that separate the individual reefs. These large in-situ accumulations (20-50 m deep) display similar bank geometries, interbank features, topographic features, vertical textural sequence (including porosity type and distribution), and facies relationships to algal banks observed in the outcropping and subsurface Paradox Formation. Although the hydrodynamic and paleobathymetric settings differ markedly between these two examples, analogies between the mounds themselves are very close. The resemblance lends relevance to exploration and development drilling.

  17. 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

    1. Predation plays an integral role in many community interactions, with the number of predators and the rate at which they consume prey (i.e. their functional response) determining interaction strengths. Owing to the difficulty of directly observing predation events, attempts to determine the functional response of predators in natural systems are limited. Determining the forms that predator functional responses take in complex systems is important in advancing understanding of community interactions. 2. Prey survival has a direct relationship to the functional response of their predators. We employed this relationship to estimate the functional response for bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocepalus predation of Canada goose Branta canadensis nests. We compared models that incorporated eagle abundance, nest abundance and alternative prey presence to determine the form of the functional response that best predicted intra-annual variation in survival of goose nests. 3. Eagle abundance, nest abundance and the availability of alternative prey were all related to predation rates of goose nests by eagles. There was a sigmoidal relationship between predation rate and prey abundance and prey switching occurred when alternative prey was present. In addition, predation by individual eagles increased as eagle abundance increased. 4. A complex set of interactions among the three species examined in this study determined survival rates of goose nests. Results show that eagle predation had both prey- and predator-dependent components with no support for ratio dependence. In addition, indirect interactions resulting from the availability of alternative prey had an important role in mediating the rate at which eagles depredated nests. As a result, much of the within-season variation in nest survival was due to changing availability of alternative prey consumed by eagles. 5. Empirical relationships drawn from ecological theory can be directly integrated into the estimation process to

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Critical evaluation and modeling of algal harvesting using dissolved air flotation. DAF Algal Harvesting Modeling

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hewson, John C.; Amendola, Pasquale; Reynoso, Monica; Sommerfeld, Milton; Chen, Yongsheng; Hu, Qiang

    2014-07-14

    In our study, Chlorella zofingiensis harvesting by dissolved air flotation (DAF) was critically evaluated with regard to algal concentration, culture conditions, type and dosage of coagulants, and recycle ratio. Harvesting efficiency increased with coagulant dosage and leveled off at 81%, 86%, 91%, and 87% when chitosan, Al3+, Fe3+, and cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were used at dosages of 70, 180, 250, and 500 mg g-1, respectively. The DAF efficiency-coagulant dosage relationship changed with algal culture conditions. In evaluating the influence of the initial algal concentration and recycle ratio revealed that, under conditions typical for algal harvesting, we found that itmore » is possible that the number of bubbles is insufficient. A DAF algal harvesting model was developed to explain this observation by introducing mass-based floc size distributions and a bubble limitation into the white water blanket model. Moreover, the model revealed the importance of coagulation to increase floc-bubble collision and attachment, and the preferential interaction of bubbles with larger flocs, which limited the availability of bubbles to the smaller sized flocs. The harvesting efficiencies predicted by the model agree reasonably with experimental data obtained at different Al3+ dosages, algal concentrations, and recycle ratios. Based on this modeling, critical parameters for efficient algal harvesting were identified.« less

  1. Critical evaluation and modeling of algal harvesting using dissolved air flotation. DAF Algal Harvesting Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hewson, John C.; Amendola, Pasquale; Reynoso, Monica; Sommerfeld, Milton; Chen, Yongsheng; Hu, Qiang

    2014-07-14

    In our study, Chlorella zofingiensis harvesting by dissolved air flotation (DAF) was critically evaluated with regard to algal concentration, culture conditions, type and dosage of coagulants, and recycle ratio. Harvesting efficiency increased with coagulant dosage and leveled off at 81%, 86%, 91%, and 87% when chitosan, Al3+, Fe3+, and cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were used at dosages of 70, 180, 250, and 500 mg g-1, respectively. The DAF efficiency-coagulant dosage relationship changed with algal culture conditions. In evaluating the influence of the initial algal concentration and recycle ratio revealed that, under conditions typical for algal harvesting, we found that it is possible that the number of bubbles is insufficient. A DAF algal harvesting model was developed to explain this observation by introducing mass-based floc size distributions and a bubble limitation into the white water blanket model. Moreover, the model revealed the importance of coagulation to increase floc-bubble collision and attachment, and the preferential interaction of bubbles with larger flocs, which limited the availability of bubbles to the smaller sized flocs. The harvesting efficiencies predicted by the model agree reasonably with experimental data obtained at different Al3+ dosages, algal concentrations, and recycle ratios. Based on this modeling, critical parameters for efficient algal harvesting were identified.

  2. Effect of light, prey density, and prey type on the feeding rates of Hemimysis anomala

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halpin, Kathleen E.; Boscarino, Brent T.; Rudstam, Lars G.; Walsh, Mureen G.; Lantry, Brian F.

    2013-01-01

    Hemimysis anomala is a near-shore mysid native to the Ponto-Caspian region that was discovered to have invaded Great Lakes ecosystems in 2006. We investigated feeding rates and prey preferences of adult and juvenile Hemimysis in laboratory experiments to gain insight on the potential for Hemimysis to disrupt food webs. For both age groups (AGs), we measured feeding rates as a function of prey abundance (Bosmina longirostris as prey), prey type (B. longirostris, Daphnia pulex, and Mesocyclops sp.), and light levels (no light and dim light). Mean feeding rates on Bosmina increased with prey density and reached 23 ind. (2 h)−1 for adults and 17 ind. (2 h)−1 for juveniles. Dim light had little effect on prey selection or feeding rate compared to complete darkness. When feeding rates on alternate prey were compared, both AGs fed at higher rates on Bosmina than Daphnia, but only juveniles fed at significantly higher rates on Bosmina relative to Mesocyclops. No significant differences were observed between feeding rates on Mesocyclops and on Daphnia. Hemimysis feeding rates were on the order of 30–60% of their body weight per day, similar to predatory cladocerans that have been implicated in zooplankton declines in Lakes Huron and Ontario.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Prey escaping wolves, Canis lupus, despite close proximity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, M.E.; Mech, L.D.

    1993-01-01

    We describe attacks by wolf (Canis lupus) packs in Minnesota on a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and a moose (Alces alces) in which wolves were within contact distance of the prey but in which the prey escaped.

  7. A single predator charging a herd of prey: effects of self volume and predator–prey decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarzl, Maria; Godec, Aljaz; Oshanin, Gleb; Metzler, Ralf

    2016-06-01

    We study the degree of success of a single predator hunting a herd of prey on a two-dimensional square lattice landscape. We explicitly consider the self volume of the prey restraining their dynamics on the lattice. The movement of both predator and prey is chosen to include an intelligent, decision making step based on their respective sighting ranges, the radius in which they can detect the other species (prey cannot recognise each other besides the self volume interaction): after spotting each other the motion of prey and predator turns from a nearest neighbour random walk into directed escape or chase, respectively. We consider a large range of prey densities and sighting ranges and compute the mean first passage time for a predator to catch a prey as well as characterise the effective dynamics of the hunted prey. We find that the prey's sighting range dominates their life expectancy and the predator profits more from a bad eyesight of the prey than from his own good eye sight. We characterise the dynamics in terms of the mean distance between the predator and the nearest prey. It turns out that effectively the dynamics of this distance coordinate can be captured in terms of a simple Ornstein–Uhlenbeck picture. Reducing the many-body problem to a simple two-body problem by imagining predator and nearest prey to be connected by an effective Hookean bond, all features of the model such as prey density and sighting ranges merge into the effective binding constant.

  8. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal...

  9. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal...

  10. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal...

  11. 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.

  12. Resolving Mixed Algal Species in Hyperspectral Images

    PubMed Central

    Mehrubeoglu, Mehrube; Teng, Ming Y.; Zimba, Paul V.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated a lab-based hyperspectral imaging system's response from pure (single) and mixed (two) algal cultures containing known algae types and volumetric combinations to characterize the system's performance. The spectral response to volumetric changes in single and combinations of algal mixtures with known ratios were tested. Constrained linear spectral unmixing was applied to extract the algal content of the mixtures based on abundances that produced the lowest root mean square error. Percent prediction error was computed as the difference between actual percent volumetric content and abundances at minimum RMS error. Best prediction errors were computed as 0.4%, 0.4% and 6.3% for the mixed spectra from three independent experiments. The worst prediction errors were found as 5.6%, 5.4% and 13.4% for the same order of experiments. Additionally, Beer-Lambert's law was utilized to relate transmittance to different volumes of pure algal suspensions demonstrating linear logarithmic trends for optical property measurements. PMID:24451451

  13. AL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM (HAB) INFORMATION EXCHANGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project proposes to implement an integrated web site that will serve as an Alabama Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Information Exchange Network. This network will be a stand-alone site where HAB data from all agencies and research efforts in the State of Alabama will be integrate...

  14. Using hyperspectral imagery to monitor algal persence

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.M.; Monk, J.; Yan, Gu; Brignal, W.

    1997-08-01

    This paper illustrates how an inexpensive and easily deployable imaging spectrometer can be used to monitor and identify algal blooms at short notice, thus making practical the addition of airborne data to the usual in-situ measurements. Two examples are described, one in the Irish Sea and the other in a reservoir system in the London area.

  15. Algal production in wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for potential biofuel use.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2011-01-01

    Wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds with CO2 addition could provide cost-effective and efficient tertiary-level wastewater treatment with the co-benefit of algal biomass production for biofuel use. Wastewater grown algal biomass can have a lipid content of 10-30% of dry weight, which could be used to make biodiesel. This research investigated algal biomass and total lipid production by two pilot-scale wastewater treatment HRAP(S) (4-day HRT) with and without CO2 addition under New Zealand mid summer (Nov-Jan) conditions. The influence of CO2 addition on wastewater treatment performance was also determined. CO2 was added to one of the HRAPs (the HRAP(E)) by maintaining the maximum pH of the pond below 8. Measurements of HRAP influent and effluent water qualities, total lipid content and algal biomass production were made twice a week over the experimental period. Both HRAP(S) achieved high levels of organic compound and nutrient removal, with >85% SBOD5, >92 NH4(+)-N and >70% DRP removal. Algal/bacterial biomass production in the HRAP(E) (15.2 g/m2/d) was improved by CO2 addition by approximately 30% compared with that of the control HRAP(W) (10.6 g/m2/d). Total lipid content of the biomass grown on both HRAP(S) was slightly reduced (from 25% to 20%) with CO2 addition and the maximum total lipid content of approximately 40% was observed in the HRAP(W) when low NH4(+)-N concentration (<0.5 mg/L) and high maximum pH (>10.0) occurred. Total lipid content of the biomass increased by approximately 15% under nitrogen limiting conditions, however, overall algal/bacterial biomass production was reduced by half during the period of nitrogen limitation. More research is required to maintain algal production under near nitrogen-limiting conditions. PMID:21977667

  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. Alterations in prey capture and induction of metallothioneins in grass shrimp fed cadmium-contaminated prey

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, W.G.; Hoexum Brouwer, T.M.; Brouwer, M.; Lopez, G.R.

    2000-04-01

    The aquatic oligochaete Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri from a Cd-contaminated cove on the Hudson River, Foundry Cove, New York, USA, has evolved Cd resistance. Past studies have focused on how the mode of detoxification of Cd by these Cd-resistant worms influences Cd trophic transfer to the grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio. In the present study, the authors investigate reductions in prey capture in grass shrimp fed Cd-contaminated prey. They also investigate the induction of metal-binding proteins, metallothioneins, in these Cd-exposed shrimp. Grass shrimp were fed field-exposed Cd-contaminated Foundry Cove oligochaetes or laboratory-exposed Cd-contaminated Artemia salina. Following these exposures, the ability of Cd- dosed and control shrimp to capture live A. salina was compared. Results show that shrimp fed laboratory-exposed Cd-contaminated A. salina for 2 weeks exhibit significant reductions in their ability to successfully capture prey (live A. salina). Reductions in prey capture were also apparent, though not as dramatic in shrimp fed for 1 week on field-exposed Cd-contained Foundry Cove oligochaetes. Shrimp were further investigated for their subcellular distribution of Cd to examine if alterations in prey capture could be linked to saturation of Cd-metallothionein. Cd-dosed shrimp produced a low molecular weight CD-binding metallothionein protein in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Most importantly, successful prey capture decreased with increased Cd body burdens and increased Cd concentration bound to high molecular weight proteins.

  18. Concurrent exposure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to multiple algal toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Twiner, Michael J; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S

    2011-01-01

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000-2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (p<0.001) counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health. PMID:21423740

  19. Concurrent Exposure of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to Multiple Algal Toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA

    PubMed Central

    Twiner, Michael J.; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K.; Wells, Randall S.

    2011-01-01

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000–2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (p<0.001) counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health. PMID:21423740

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Infomechanical specializations for prey capture in knifefish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maciver, Malcolm; Patankar, Neelesh; Curet, Oscar; Shirgaonkar, Anup

    2007-11-01

    How does an animal's mechanics and its information acquisition system work together to solve crucial behavioral tasks? We examine this question for the black ghost weakly electric knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons), which is a leading model system for the study of sensory processing in vertebrates. These animals hunt at night by detecting perturbations of a self-generated electric field caused by prey. While the fish searches for prey, it pitches at 30 . Fully resolved Navier-Stokes simulations of their swimming, which occurs through undulations of a long ribbon-like fin along the bottom edge of the body, indicates that this configuration enables maximal thrust while minimizing pitch moment. However, pitching the body also increases drag. Our analysis of the sensory volume for detection of prey shows this volume to be similar to a cylinder around the body. Thus, pitching the body enables a greater swept volume of scanned fluid. Examining the mechanical and information acquisition demands on the animal in this task gives insight into how these sometimes conflicting demands are resolved.

  3. 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

  4. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    PubMed Central

    Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area. PMID:24982930

  5. Control of algal production in a high rate algal pond: investigation through batch and continuous experiments.

    PubMed

    Derabe Maobe, H; Onodera, M; Takahashi, M; Satoh, H; Fukazawa, T

    2014-01-01

    For decades, arid and semi-arid regions in Africa have faced issues related to water availability for drinking, irrigation and livestock purposes. To tackle these issues, a laboratory scale greywater treatment system based on high rate algal pond (HRAP) technology was investigated in order to guide the operation of the pilot plant implemented in the 2iE campus in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Because of the high suspended solids concentration generally found in effluents of this system, the aim of this study is to improve the performance of HRAPs in term of algal productivity and removal. To determine the selection mechanism of self-flocculated algae, three sets of sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) and three sets of continuous flow reactors (CFRs) were operated. Despite operation with the same solids retention time and the similarity of the algal growth rate found in these reactors, the algal productivity was higher in the SBRs owing to the short hydraulic retention time of 10 days in these reactors. By using a volume of CFR with twice the volume of our experimental CFRs, the algal concentration can be controlled during operation under similar physical conditions in both reactors. PMID:24960016

  6. Collection and conversion of algal lipid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ching-Chieh

    Sustainable economic activities mandate a significant replacement of fossil energy by renewable forms. Algae-derived biofuels are increasingly seen as an alternative source of energy with potential to supplement the world's ever increasing demand. Our primary objective is, once the algae were cultivated, to eliminate or make more efficient energy-intensive processing steps of collection, drying, grinding, and solvent extraction prior to conversion. To overcome the processing barrier, we propose to streamline from cultivated algae to biodiesel via algal biomass collection by sand filtration, cell rupturing with ozone, and immediate transesterification. To collect the algal biomass, the specific Chlorococcum aquaticum suspension was acidified to pH 3.3 to promote agglomeration prior to sand filtration. The algae-loaded filter bed was drained of free water and added with methanol and ozonated for 2 min to rupture cell membrane to accelerate release of the cellular contents. The methanol solution now containing the dissolved lipid product was collected by draining, while the filter bed was regenerated by further ozonation when needed. The results showed 95% collection of the algal biomass from the suspension and a 16% yield of lipid from the algae, as well as restoration of filtration velocity of the sand bed via ozonation. The results further showed increased lipid yield upon cell rupturing and transesterified products composed entirely of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) compounds, demonstrating that the rupture and transesterification processes could proceed consecutively in the same medium, requiring no separate steps of drying, extraction, and conversion. The FAME products from algae without exposure to ozone were mainly of 16 to 18 carbons containing up to 3 double bonds, while those from algae having been ozonated were smaller, highly saturated hydrocarbons. The new technique streamlines individual steps from cultivated algal lipid to transesterified products and

  7. Liquid transportation fuels from algal oils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Daichuan

    Liquid transportation fuels from renewable sources are becoming more prominent and important in modem society. Processing of hydrocarbon oils from algae has not been studied in detail in the past, so components which have been proposed for incorporation in algal oils via genetic engineering, such as cuparene, farnesene, phytol and squalene, have been subjected to processing via catalytic cracking in a pulse reactor at different temperatures. The cracking results showed that liquid products contained numerous high octane molecules which make it feasible for use in automobiles. Additionally, canola oil, chosen as an algal oil model compound, was studied as a feed for catalytic cracking in a fixed-bed reactor at atmospheric pressure over different types of zeolites. The results showed that MFI catalysts gave the highest yield of gasoline range products and lowest coke formation. Gallium loaded MFI zeolites increased the total aromatics yield for the canola oil cracking relative to the acid form of the zeolite. Finally, algal oils were cracked on several selected zeolites, and the results showed the same trend as canola oil cracking. MFI gave the highest gasoline yield (43.8 wt%) and lowest coke (4.7 wt%). The total aromatics yield from algae oil cracking is improved 7.8 wt% when MFI is loaded with gallium.

  8. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-22

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

  9. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Prey selection by the Lake Superior fish community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Isaac, Edmund J.; Hrabik, Thomas R.; Stockwell, Jason D.; Gamble, Allison E.

    2012-01-01

    Mysis diluviana is an important prey item to the Lake Superior fish community as found through a recent diet study. We further evaluated this by relating the quantity of prey found in fish diets to the quantity of prey available to fish, providing insight into feeding behavior and prey preferences. We describe the seasonal prey selection of major fish species collected across 18 stations in Lake Superior in spring, summer, and fall of 2005. Of the major nearshore fish species, bloater (Coregonus hoyi), rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) consumed Mysis, and strongly selected Mysis over other prey items each season. However, lake whitefish also selected Bythotrephes in the fall when Bythotrephes were numerous. Cisco (Coregonus artedi), a major nearshore and offshore species, fed largely on calanoid copepods, and selected calanoid copepods (spring) and Bythotrephes (summer and fall). Cisco also targeted prey similarly across bathymetric depths. Other major offshore fish species such as kiyi (Coregonus kiyi) and deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsoni) fed largely on Mysis, with kiyi targeting Mysis exclusively while deepwater sculpin did not prefer any single prey organism. The major offshore predator siscowet lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush siscowet) consumed deepwater sculpin and coregonines, but selected deepwater sculpin and Mysis each season, with juveniles having a higher selection for Mysis than adults. Our results suggest that Mysis is not only a commonly consumed prey item, but a highly preferred prey item for pelagic, benthic, and piscivorous fishes in nearshore and offshore waters of Lake Superior.

  11. Algal taxonomy: a road to nowhere?

    PubMed

    De Clerck, Olivier; Guiry, Michael D; Leliaert, Frederik; Samyn, Yves; Verbruggen, Heroen

    2013-04-01

    The widespread view of taxonomy as an essentially retrogressive and outmoded science unable to cope with the current biodiversity crisis stimulated us to analyze the current status of cataloguing global algal diversity. Contrary to this largely pessimistic belief, species description rates of algae through time and trends in the number of active taxonomists, as revealed by the web resource AlgaeBase, show a much more positive picture. More species than ever before are being described by a large community of algal taxonomists. The lack of any decline in the rate at which new species and genera are described, however, is indicative of the large proportion of undiscovered diversity and bears heavily on any prediction of global algal species diversity and the time needed to catalogue it. The saturation of accumulation curves of higher taxa (family, order, and classes) on the other hand suggest that at these taxonomic levels most diversity has been discovered. This reasonably positive picture does not imply that algal taxonomy does not face serious challenges in the near future. The observed levels of cryptic diversity in algae, combined with the shift in methods used to characterize them, have resulted in a rampant uncertainty about the status of many older species. As a consequence, there is a tendency in phycology to move gradually away from traditional names to a more informal system whereby clade-, specimen- or strain-based identifiers are used to communicate biological information. Whether these informal names for species-level clades represent a temporary situation stimulated by the lag between species discovery and formal description, or an incipient alternative or parallel taxonomy, will be largely determined by how well we manage to integrate historical collections into modern taxonomic research. Additionally, there is a pressing need for a consensus about the organizational framework to manage the information about algal species names. An eventual strategy

  12. Prey-Specific Growth Responses of Freshwater Flagellate Communities Induced by Morphologically Distinct Bacteria from the Genus Limnohabitans.

    PubMed

    Grujčić, Vesna; Kasalický, Vojtěch; Šimek, Karel

    2015-08-01

    Because their large growth potential is counterbalanced with grazing by heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF), bacteria of the genus Limnohabitans, which are common in many freshwater habitats, represent a valuable model for examining bacterial carbon flow to the grazer food chain. We conducted experiments with natural HNF communities taken from two distinct habitats, the meso-eutrophic Římov Reservoir and the oligo-mesotrophic Lake Cep (South Bohemia). HNF communities from each habitat at distinct seasonal phases, a late April algal bloom and a late May clear water phase, were each fed 3 Limnohabitans strains of differing cell sizes. Water samples were prefiltered (5 μm) to release natural HNF communities from zooplankton control and then amended with the Limnohabitans strains L. planktonicus II-D5 (medium sized, rod shaped), Limnohabitans sp. strain T6-5 (thin, long, curved rod), and Limnohabitans sp. strain 2KL-3 (large solenoid). Using temporal sampling and prey treatment, we determined HNF growth parameters such as doubling time, growth efficiency, and length of lag phase prior starting to exponential growth. All three Limnohabitans strains supported HNF growth but in significant prey-, site-, and season-dependent fashions. For instance, addition of the moderately large T6-5 strain yielded very rapid HNF growth with a short lag phase. In contrast, the curved morphology and larger cell size of strain 2KL-3 made this prey somewhat protected against grazing by smaller HNF, resulting in slower HNF growth and longer lag phases. These trends were particularly pronounced during the late May clear-water phase, which was dominated by smaller HNF cells. This may indicate a longer "adaptation time" for the flagellate communities toward the large prey size offered. PMID:25979896

  13. Prey-Specific Growth Responses of Freshwater Flagellate Communities Induced by Morphologically Distinct Bacteria from the Genus Limnohabitans

    PubMed Central

    Grujčić, Vesna; Kasalický, Vojtěch

    2015-01-01

    Because their large growth potential is counterbalanced with grazing by heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF), bacteria of the genus Limnohabitans, which are common in many freshwater habitats, represent a valuable model for examining bacterial carbon flow to the grazer food chain. We conducted experiments with natural HNF communities taken from two distinct habitats, the meso-eutrophic Římov Reservoir and the oligo-mesotrophic Lake Cep (South Bohemia). HNF communities from each habitat at distinct seasonal phases, a late April algal bloom and a late May clear water phase, were each fed 3 Limnohabitans strains of differing cell sizes. Water samples were prefiltered (5 μm) to release natural HNF communities from zooplankton control and then amended with the Limnohabitans strains L. planktonicus II-D5 (medium sized, rod shaped), Limnohabitans sp. strain T6-5 (thin, long, curved rod), and Limnohabitans sp. strain 2KL-3 (large solenoid). Using temporal sampling and prey treatment, we determined HNF growth parameters such as doubling time, growth efficiency, and length of lag phase prior starting to exponential growth. All three Limnohabitans strains supported HNF growth but in significant prey-, site-, and season-dependent fashions. For instance, addition of the moderately large T6-5 strain yielded very rapid HNF growth with a short lag phase. In contrast, the curved morphology and larger cell size of strain 2KL-3 made this prey somewhat protected against grazing by smaller HNF, resulting in slower HNF growth and longer lag phases. These trends were particularly pronounced during the late May clear-water phase, which was dominated by smaller HNF cells. This may indicate a longer “adaptation time” for the flagellate communities toward the large prey size offered. PMID:25979896

  14. Consumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function

    PubMed Central

    Rasher, Douglas B.; Hoey, Andrew S.; Hay, Mark E.

    2013-01-01

    Prey traits linking consumer diversity to ecosystem function remain poorly understood. On tropical coral reefs, herbivores promote coral dominance by suppressing competing macroalgae, but the roles of herbivore identity and diversity, macroalgal defenses, and their interactions in affecting reef resilience and function are unclear. We studied adjacent pairs of no-take marine reserves and fished areas on reefs in Fiji, and found that protected reefs supported 7–17x greater biomass and 2–3x higher species richness of herbivorous fishes, and 3–11x more live coral cover than did fished reefs. In contrast, macroalgae were 27–61x more abundant and 3–4x more species rich on fished reefs. When we transplanted seven common macroalgae from fished reefs into reserves they were rapidly consumed, suggesting that rates of herbivory (ecosystem functioning) differed inside versus outside reserves. We then video recorded feeding activity on the same seven macroalgae when transplanted into reserves, and assessed the functional redundancy versus complementarity of herbivorous fishes consuming these macroalgae. Of 29 species of larger herbivorous fishes on these reefs, only four species accounted for 97% of macroalgal consumption. Two unicornfish consumed a range of brown macroalgae, a parrotfish consumed multiple red algae, and a rabbitfish consumed a green alga, with almost no diet overlap among these groups. The two most chemically rich, allelopathic algae were each consumed by a single, but different, fish species. This striking complementarity resulted from herbivore species differing in their tolerances to macroalgal chemical and structural defenses. A model of assemblage diet breadth based on our feeding observations predicted that high browser diversity would be required for effective control of macroalgae on Fijian reefs. In support of this model, we observed strong, negative relationships between herbivore diversity and macroalgal abundance and diversity across the

  15. The biomechanics of fast prey capture in aquatic bladderworts

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Amit K.; Prabhakar, Sunil; Sane, Sanjay P.

    2011-01-01

    Carnivorous plants match their animal prey for speed of movements and hence offer fascinating insights into the evolution of fast movements in plants. Here, we describe the mechanics of prey capture in aquatic bladderworts Utricularia stellaris, which prey on swimming insect larvae or nematodes to supplement their nitrogen intake. The closed Utricularia bladder develops lower-than-ambient internal pressures by pumping out water from the bladder and thus setting up an elastic instability in bladder walls. When the external sensory trigger hairs on their trapdoor are mechanically stimulated by moving prey, the trapdoor opens within 300–700 μs, causing strong inward flows that trap their prey. The opening time of the bladder trapdoor is faster than any recorded motion in carnivorous plants. Thus, Utricularia have evolved a unique biomechanical system to gain an advantage over their animal prey. PMID:21389013

  16. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... and sterilization. New test containers may contain substances which inhibit growth of algae. They.... (A) Formulation and sterilization of nutrient medium used for algal culture and preparation of...

  17. Optimizing algal cultivation & productivity : an innovative, multidiscipline, and multiscale approach.

    SciTech Connect

    Murton, Jaclyn K.; Hanson, David T.; Turner, Tom; Powell, Amy Jo; James, Scott Carlton; Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Scholle, Steven; August, Andrew; Dwyer, Brian P.; Ruffing, Anne; Jones, Howland D. T.; Ricken, James Bryce; Reichardt, Thomas A.

    2010-04-01

    Progress in algal biofuels has been limited by significant knowledge gaps in algal biology, particularly as they relate to scale-up. To address this we are investigating how culture composition dynamics (light as well as biotic and abiotic stressors) describe key biochemical indicators of algal health: growth rate, photosynthetic electron transport, and lipid production. Our approach combines traditional algal physiology with genomics, bioanalytical spectroscopy, chemical imaging, remote sensing, and computational modeling to provide an improved fundamental understanding of algal cell biology across multiple cultures scales. This work spans investigations from the single-cell level to ensemble measurements of algal cell cultures at the laboratory benchtop to large greenhouse scale (175 gal). We will discuss the advantages of this novel, multidisciplinary strategy and emphasize the importance of developing an integrated toolkit to provide sensitive, selective methods for detecting early fluctuations in algal health, productivity, and population diversity. Progress in several areas will be summarized including identification of spectroscopic signatures for algal culture composition, stress level, and lipid production enabled by non-invasive spectroscopic monitoring of the photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments at the single-cell and bulk-culture scales. Early experiments compare and contrast the well-studied green algae chlamydomonas with two potential production strains of microalgae, nannochloropsis and dunnaliella, under optimal and stressed conditions. This integrated approach has the potential for broad impact on algal biofuels and bioenergy and several of these opportunities will be discussed.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  20. Molecular prey identification in Central European piscivores.

    PubMed

    Thalinger, Bettina; Oehm, Johannes; Mayr, Hannes; Obwexer, Armin; Zeisler, Christiane; Traugott, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Diet analysis is an important aspect when investigating the ecology of fish-eating animals and essential for assessing their functional role in food webs across aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The identification of fish remains in dietary samples, however, can be time-consuming and unsatisfying using conventional morphological analysis of prey remains. Here, we present a two-step multiplex PCR system, comprised of six assays, allowing for rapid, sensitive and specific detection of fish DNA in dietary samples. This approach encompasses 78 fish and lamprey species native to Central European freshwaters and enables the identification of 31 species, six genera, two families, two orders and two fish family clusters. All targeted taxa were successfully amplified from 25 template molecules, and each assay was specific when tested against a wide range of invertebrates and vertebrates inhabiting aquatic environments. The applicability of the multiplex PCR system was evaluated in a feeding trial, wherein it outperformed morphological prey analysis regarding species-specific prey identification in faeces of Eurasian otters. Additionally, a wide spectrum of fish species was detected in field-collected faecal samples and regurgitated pellets of Common Kingfishers and Great Cormorants, demonstrating the broad applicability of the approach. In conclusion, this multiplex PCR system provides an efficient, easy to use and cost-effective tool for assessing the trophic ecology of piscivores in Central Europe. Furthermore, the multiplex PCRs and the primers described therein will be applicable wherever DNA of the targeted fish species needs to be detected at high sensitivity and specificity. PMID:26053612

  1. Prey processing in the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens).

    PubMed

    Konow, Nicolai; Krijestorac, Belma; Sanford, Christopher P J; Boistel, Renauld; Herrel, Anthony

    2013-07-01

    We studied prey processing in the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), involving slow, easily observed head-bobbing movements, which were compared with prey processing in other aquatic feeding vertebrates. We hypothesized that head-bobbing is a unique prey-processing behaviour, which alternatively could be structurally and functionally analogous with raking in basal teleosts, or with pharyngognathy in neoteleosts. Modulation of head-bobbing was elicited by prey with different motility and toughness. Head-bobbing involved sustained mouth occlusion and pronounced cranial elevation, similar to raking. However, the hyoid and pectoral girdle were protracted, and not retracted as in both raking and pharyngognathy. High-speed videofluoroscopy of hyoid movements confirmed that head-bobbing differs from other known aquatic prey-processing behaviours. Nevertheless, head-bobbing and other prey-processing behaviours converge on a recurrent functional theme in the trophic ecology of aquatic feeding vertebrates; the use of intraoral and oropharyngeal dentition surfaces to immobilize, reduce and process relatively large, tough or motile prey. Prey processing outside the pharyngeal region has not been described for neoteleosts previously, but morphological evidence suggests that relatives of Betta might use similar processing behaviours. Thus, our results suggest that pharyngognathy did not out-compete ancestral prey-processing mechanisms completely during the evolution of neoteleosts. PMID:23612845

  2. 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

  3. Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey.

    PubMed

    Wignall, Anne E; Taylor, Phillip W

    2011-05-01

    Assassin bugs (Stenolemus bituberus) hunt web-building spiders by invading the web and plucking the silk to generate vibrations that lure the resident spider into striking range. To test whether vibrations generated by bugs aggressively mimic the vibrations generated by insect prey, we compared the responses of spiders to bugs with how they responded to prey, courting male spiders and leaves falling into the web. We also analysed the associated vibrations. Similar spider orientation and approach behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from bugs and prey, whereas different behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from male spiders and leaves. Peak frequency and duration of vibrations generated by bugs were similar to those generated by prey and courting males. Further, vibrations from bugs had a temporal structure and amplitude that were similar to vibrations generated by leg and body movements of prey and distinctly different to vibrations from courting males or leaves, or prey beating their wings. To be an effective predator, bugs do not need to mimic the full range of prey vibrations. Instead bugs are general mimics of a subset of prey vibrations that fall within the range of vibrations classified by spiders as 'prey'. PMID:20980305

  4. The Coevolution of "Tyrannosaurus" & Its Prey: Could "Tyrannosaurus" Chase down & Kill a "Triceratops" for Lunch?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    May, S. Randolph

    2014-01-01

    Students will analyze the coevolution of the predator-prey relationships between "Tyrannosaurus rex" and its prey species using analyses of animal speeds from fossilized trackways, prey-animal armaments, adaptive behaviors, bite marks on prey-animal fossils, predator-prey ratios, and scavenger competition. The students will be asked to…

  5. Algal Attributes: An Autecological Classification of Algal Taxa Collected by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Stephen D.

    2008-01-01

    Algae are excellent indicators of water-quality conditions, notably nutrient and organic enrichment, and also are indicators of major ion, dissolved oxygen, and pH concentrations and stream microhabitat conditions. The autecology, or physiological optima and tolerance, of algal species for various water-quality contaminants and conditions is relatively well understood for certain groups of freshwater algae, notably diatoms. However, applications of autecological information for water-quality assessments have been limited because of challenges associated with compiling autecological literature from disparate sources, tracking name changes for a large number of algal species, and creating an autecological data base from which algal-indicator metrics can be calculated. A comprehensive summary of algal autecological attributes for North American streams and rivers does not exist. This report describes a large, digital data file containing 28,182 records for 5,939 algal taxa, generally species or variety, collected by the U.S. Geological Survey?s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The data file includes 37 algal attributes classified by over 100 algal-indicator codes or metrics that can be calculated easily with readily available software. Algal attributes include qualitative classifications based on European and North American autecological literature, and semi-quantitative, weighted-average regression approaches for estimating optima using regional and national NAWQA data. Applications of algal metrics in water-quality assessments are discussed and national quartile distributions of metric scores are shown for selected indicator metrics.

  6. Global existence of solutions and uniform persistence of a diffusive predator-prey model with prey-taxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Sainan; Shi, Junping; Wu, Boying

    2016-04-01

    This paper proves the global existence and boundedness of solutions to a general reaction-diffusion predator-prey system with prey-taxis defined on a smooth bounded domain with no-flux boundary condition. The result holds for domains in arbitrary spatial dimension and small prey-taxis sensitivity coefficient. This paper also proves the existence of a global attractor and the uniform persistence of the system under some additional conditions. Applications to models from ecology and chemotaxis are discussed.

  7. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: I. Algal strains and nutrient supply.

    PubMed

    Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Leite, Gustavo B; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail. PMID:24350435

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-15

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

  9. 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

  10. Accelerating Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Partnerships (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-10-01

    This brochure describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) algal biofuels research capabilities and partnership opportunities. NREL is accelerating algal biofuels commercialization through: (1) Advances in applied biology; (2) Algal strain development; (3) Development of fuel conversion pathways; (4) Techno-economic analysis; and (5) Development of high-throughput lipid analysis methodologies. NREL scientists and engineers are addressing challenges across the algal biofuels value chain, including algal biology, cultivation, harvesting and extraction, and fuel conversion. Through partnerships, NREL can share knowledge and capabilities in the following areas: (1) Algal Biology - A fundamental understanding of algal biology is key to developing cost-effective algal biofuels processes. NREL scientists are experts in the isolation and characterization of microalgal species. They are identifying genes and pathways involved in biofuel production. In addition, they have developed a high-throughput, non-destructive technique for assessing lipid production in microalgae. (2) Cultivation - NREL researchers study algal growth capabilities and perform compositional analysis of algal biomass. Laboratory-scale photobioreactors and 1-m2 open raceway ponds in an on-site greenhouse allow for year-round cultivation of algae under a variety of conditions. A bioenergy-focused algal strain collection is being established at NREL, and our laboratory houses a cryopreservation system for long-term maintenance of algal cultures and preservation of intellectual property. (3) Harvesting and Extraction - NREL is investigating cost-effective harvesting and extraction methods suitable for a variety of species and conditions. Areas of expertise include cell wall analysis and deconstruction and identification and utilization of co-products. (4) Fuel Conversion - NREL's excellent capabilities and facilities for biochemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuels are being

  11. Variation in prey selection of a piscivorous fish after the impoundment of a neotropical reservoir: prey size and type.

    PubMed

    Cantanhêde, G; Fugi, R; Hahn, N S

    2009-07-01

    The relative abundance and size of prey fish in the stomachs of the predator Acestrorhynchus pantaneiro were compared with those recorded in the field to estimate prey selection. Fish samples were taken monthly in the Manso Reservoir (State of Mato Grosso, Brazil) immediately after the impoundment, from March 2000 to February 2001 (period I) and from March 2003 to February 2004 (period II). In period I, the small relative dominance of the prey in the environment seemed to have lead to random foraging. In period II, however, when the forage fish Moenkhausia dichroura was dominant in the environment, the predator shifted its diet, foraging mainly on this prey. Species with short relative body depth were positively selected. The prey size classes between 30 and 49 mm, and 50 and 69 mm standard length (L(S)) were the most abundant in the environment. Small prey were predominantly selected by A. pantaneiro. Even when a given prey or prey size was predominant in the environment, A. pantaneiro was a selective predator and maintained its preferences associated to prey type and L(S), although it consumed the most abundant resource. PMID:20738483

  12. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 32 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Algal acute toxicity test. 797.1050 Section 797.1050 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT (CONTINUED) ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS TESTING GUIDELINES Aquatic Guidelines § 797.1050 Algal acute toxicity test. (a) Purpose. The...

  13. What is causing the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harmful and nuisance algal blooms have been increasing in size and extent since about 2000. In recent years, the release of the algal toxin microcystin has become a growing concern and has resulted in the inability to use water from Lake Erie as a drinking water source to the 400,000 residents of T...

  14. COMPARISON OF LARGE RIVER SAMPLING METHODS ON ALGAL METRICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared the results of four methods used to assess the algal communities at 60 sites distributed among four rivers. Based on Principle Component Analysis of physical habitat data collected concomitantly with the algal data, sites were separated into those with a mean thalweg...

  15. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Biddy, M.; Jones, S.

    2013-03-01

    This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline-, diesel-, and jet-range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  16. EFFECTS OF MARINE ALGAL TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevet...

  17. Near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic determination of algal composition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) and mid-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (MIRS) to determine the composition of algal samples. We assayed a set of algal biomass samples (n=117), collected from algae turf scrubber...

  18. Method and system of culturing an algal mat

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Keshav C; Cannon, Benjamin R; Bhatnagar, Ashish; Chinnasamy, Senthil

    2014-05-13

    A system and method for culturing algae are presented. The system and method utilize a fog of growth medium that is delivered to an algal mat generator along with a stream of CO.sub.2 to promote growth of algal cells contained in the generator.

  19. Luminescent Solar Concentrators in the Algal Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellier, Katie; Corrado, Carley; Carter, Sue; Detweiler, Angela; Bebout, Leslie

    2013-03-01

    Today's industry for renewable energy sources and highly efficient energy management systems is rapidly increasing. Development of increased efficiency Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) has brought about new applications for commercial interests, including greenhouses for agricultural crops. This project is taking first steps to explore the potential of LSCs to enhance production and reduce costs for algae and cyanobacteria used in biofuels and nutraceuticals. This pilot phase uses LSC filtered light for algal growth trials in greenhouses and laboratory experiments, creating specific wavelength combinations to determine effects of discrete solar light regimes on algal growth and the reduction of heating and water loss in the system. Enhancing the optimal spectra for specific algae will not only increase production, but has the potential to lessen contamination of large scale production due to competition from other algae and bacteria. Providing LSC filtered light will reduce evaporation and heating in regions with limited water supply, while the increased energy output from photovoltaic cells will reduce costs of heating and mixing cultures, thus creating a more efficient and cost effective production system.

  20. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

    Biodiesel from algae provides several benefits over current biodiesel feedstocks, but the energy requirements of processing algae into a useable fuel are currently so high as to be prohibitive. One route to improving this is via disruption of the cells prior to lipid extraction, which can significantly increase energy recovery. Unfortunately, several obvious disruption techniques require more energy than can be gained. This dissertation examines the use of microbubbles to improve mechanical disruption of algal cells using experimental, theoretical, and computational methods. New laboratory experiments show that effective ultrasonic disruption of algae is achieved by adding microbubbles to an algal solution. The configuration studied flows the solution through a tube and insonifies a small section with a high-pressure ultrasound wave. Previous biomedical research has shown effective cell membrane damage on animal cells with similar methods, but the present research is the first to extend such study to algal cells. Results indicate that disruption increases with peak negative pressure between 1.90 and 3.07 MPa and with microbubble concentration up to 12.5 x 107 bubbles/ml. Energy estimates of this process suggest that it requires only one-fourth the currently most-efficient laboratory-scale disruption process. Estimates of the radius near each bubble that causes disruption (i.e. the disruption radius) suggest that it increases with peak negative pressure and is near 9--20 microm for all cases tested. It is anticipated that these procedures can be designed for better efficiency and efficacy, which will be facilitated by identifying the root mechanisms of the bubble-induced disruption. We therefore examine whether bubble expansion alone creates sufficient cell deformation for cell rupture. The spherically-symmetric Marmottant model for bubble dynamics allows estimation of the flow regime under experimental conditions. Bubble expansion is modeled as a point source of

  1. Energy and protein content of coyote prey in southeastern Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    MacCracken, J.G.; Hansen, R.M.

    1986-04-30

    Gross energy, digestible energy, crude protein, and digestible crude protein were estimated for two leporids and five rodents that were the primary prey of coyotes (Canis latrans) in southeastern Idaho. Digestible protein estimates differed (38%-54%) more than digestible energy (3.5-4.4 kcal), in the prey examined. 15 references, 1 table.

  2. Red fox prey demands and implications to prairie duck production

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.

    1978-01-01

    Experiments were conducted during spring and summer with 33 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to determine prey demands, feeding characteristics, and growth rates using natural foods. Pups began eating prey the 4th week after birth. Then, prey consumption averaged 1.38 and 1.90 kg/pup/week for weeks 5-8 and 9-12 of the denning season respectively, and 2.54 kg/pup/week for the postdenning period. Feeding by adults averaged 2.25 kg/adult/week. Free water was not needed by either pups or adults. About 90 percent of the prey offered to pups on simulated natural diets was consumed, remains varied with prey availability and prey type. Prey biomass required by a typical fox family was estimated at 18.5 kg/km2 for the 12-week denning season and 2.4 kg/km2/week for the postdenning period. Because of the large prey demands, ducks could represent a small part of the foxes' diet and yet be of consequence to the productivity of particular species. An example is provided for the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

  3. 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

  4. Prey bacteria shape the community structure of their predators

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Although predator–prey interactions among higher organisms have been studied extensively, only few examples are known for microbes other than protists and viruses. Among the bacteria, the most studied obligate predators are the Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) that prey on many other bacteria. In the macroscopical world, both predator and prey influence the population size of the other's community, and may have a role in selection. However, selective pressures among prey and predatory bacteria have been rarely investigated. In this study, Bacteriovorax, a predator within the group of BALOs, in environmental waters were fed two prey bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The two prey species yielded distinct Bacteriovorax populations, evidence that selective pressures shaped the predator community and diversity. The results of laboratory experiments confirmed the differential predation of Bacteriovorax phylotypes on the two bacteria species. Not only did Bacteriovorax Cluster IX exhibit the versatility to be the exclusive efficient predator on Vibrio vulnificus, thereby, behaving as a specialist, but was also able to prey with similar efficiency on Vibrio parahaemolyticus, indicative of a generalist. Therefore, we proposed a designation of versatilist for this predator. This initiative should provide a basis for further efforts to characterize the predatory patterns of bacterial predators. The results of this study have revealed impacts of the prey on Bacteriovorax predation and in structuring the predator community, and advanced understanding of predation behavior in the microbial world. PMID:21326335

  5. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

    Biodiesel from algae provides several benefits over current biodiesel feedstocks, but the energy requirements of processing algae into a useable fuel are currently so high as to be prohibitive. One route to improving this is via disruption of the cells prior to lipid extraction, which can significantly increase energy recovery. Unfortunately, several obvious disruption techniques require more energy than can be gained. This dissertation examines the use of microbubbles to improve mechanical disruption of algal cells using experimental, theoretical, and computational methods. New laboratory experiments show that effective ultrasonic disruption of algae is achieved by adding microbubbles to an algal solution. The configuration studied flows the solution through a tube and insonifies a small section with a high-pressure ultrasound wave. Previous biomedical research has shown effective cell membrane damage on animal cells with similar methods, but the present research is the first to extend such study to algal cells. Results indicate that disruption increases with peak negative pressure between 1.90 and 3.07 MPa and with microbubble concentration up to 12.5 x 107 bubbles/ml. Energy estimates of this process suggest that it requires only one-fourth the currently most-efficient laboratory-scale disruption process. Estimates of the radius near each bubble that causes disruption (i.e. the disruption radius) suggest that it increases with peak negative pressure and is near 9--20 microm for all cases tested. It is anticipated that these procedures can be designed for better efficiency and efficacy, which will be facilitated by identifying the root mechanisms of the bubble-induced disruption. We therefore examine whether bubble expansion alone creates sufficient cell deformation for cell rupture. The spherically-symmetric Marmottant model for bubble dynamics allows estimation of the flow regime under experimental conditions. Bubble expansion is modeled as a point source of

  6. Evaluation of anticoagulant activity of two algal polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Faggio, C; Pagano, M; Dottore, A; Genovese, G; Morabito, M

    2016-09-01

    Marine algae are important sources of phycocolloids like agar, carrageenans and alginates used in industrial applications. Algal polysaccharides have emerged as an important class of bioactive products showing interesting properties. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential uses as anticoagulant drugs of algal sulphate polysaccharides extracted from Ulva fasciata (Chlorophyta) and Agardhiella subulata (Rhodophyta) collected in Ganzirri Lake (Cape Peloro Lagoon, north-eastern Sicily, Italy). Toxicity of algal extracts through trypan blue test and anticoagulant action measured by activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT) test has been evaluated. Algal extracts showed to prolong the PT and APTT during the coagulation cascade and to avoid the blood coagulation of samples. Furthermore, the algal extracts lack toxic effects towards cellular metabolism and their productions are relatively at low cost. This permits to consider the algae as the biological source of the future. PMID:26360806

  7. Uniform algal growth in photobioreactors using surface scatterers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahsan, Syed S.; Pereyra, Brandon; Erickson, David

    2014-03-01

    Cultures of algae, such as cyanobacteria, are a promising source of renewable energy. However, algal growth is highly dependent on light intensity and standard photobioreactors do a poor job of distributing light uniformly for algal utilization due to shading effects in dense algal cultures. Engineered scattering schemes are already employed in current slab-waveguide technologies, like edge-lit LEDs. Stacking such slab-waveguides that uniformly distribute light could potentially yield photobioreactors to overcome the shading effect and grow extremely high densities of algal cultures that would lower monetary and energetic costs. Here, we characterize and design a scattering scheme for specific application within photobioreactors which employs a gradient distribution of surface scatterers with uniform lateral scattering intensity. This uniform scattering scheme is shown to be superior for algal cultivation.

  8. The contribution of bacteria to algal growth by carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xue; Lant, Paul; Pratt, Steven

    2015-04-01

    Algal mass production in open systems is often limited by the availability of inorganic carbon substrate. In this paper, we evaluate how bacterial driven carbon cycling mitigates carbon limitation in open algal culture systems. The contribution of bacteria to carbon cycling was determined by quantifying algae growth with and without supplementation of bacteria. It was found that adding heterotrophic bacteria to an open algal culture dramatically enhanced algae productivity. Increases in algal productivity due to supplementation of bacteria of 4.8 and 3.4 times were observed in two batch tests operating at two different pH values over 7 days. A kinetic model is proposed which describes carbon limited algal growth, and how the limitation could be overcome by bacterial activity to re-mineralize photosynthetic end products. PMID:25312046

  9. 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

  10. A dedicated visual pathway for prey detection in larval zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Semmelhack, Julia L; Donovan, Joseph C; Thiele, Tod R; Kuehn, Enrico; Laurell, Eva; Baier, Herwig

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish larvae show characteristic prey capture behavior in response to small moving objects. The neural mechanism used to recognize objects as prey remains largely unknown. We devised a machine learning behavior classification system to quantify hunting kinematics in semi-restrained animals exposed to a range of virtual stimuli. Two-photon calcium imaging revealed a small visual area, AF7, that was activated specifically by the optimal prey stimulus. This pretectal region is innervated by two types of retinal ganglion cells, which also send collaterals to the optic tectum. Laser ablation of AF7 markedly reduced prey capture behavior. We identified neurons with arbors in AF7 and found that they projected to multiple sensory and premotor areas: the optic tectum, the nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nMLF) and the hindbrain. These findings indicate that computations in the retina give rise to a visual stream which transforms sensory information into a directed prey capture response. PMID:25490154

  11. Detection of surface algal blooms using the newly developed algorithm surface algal bloom index (SABI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alawadi, Fahad

    2010-10-01

    Quantifying ocean colour properties has evolved over the past two decades from being able to merely detect their biological activity to the ability to estimate chlorophyll concentration using optical satellite sensors like MODIS and MERIS. The production of chlorophyll spatial distribution maps is a good indicator of plankton biomass (primary production) and is useful for the tracing of oceanographic currents, jets and blooms, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). Depending on the type of HABs involved and the environmental conditions, if their concentration rises above a critical threshold, it can impact the flora and fauna of the aquatic habitat through the introduction of the so called "red tide" phenomenon. The estimation of chlorophyll concentration is derived from quantifying the spectral relationship between the blue and the green bands reflected from the water column. This spectral relationship is employed in the standard ocean colour chlorophyll-a (Chlor-a) product, but is incapable of detecting certain macro-algal species that float near to or at the water surface in the form of dense filaments or mats. The ability to accurately identify algal formations that sometimes appear as oil spill look-alikes in satellite imagery, contributes towards the reduction of false-positive incidents arising from oil spill monitoring operations. Such algal formations that occur in relatively high concentrations may experience, as in land vegetation, what is known as the "red-edge" effect. This phenomena occurs at the highest reflectance slope between the maximum absorption in the red due to the surrounding ocean water and the maximum reflectance in the infra-red due to the photosynthetic pigments present in the surface algae. A new algorithm termed the surface algal bloom index (SABI), has been proposed to delineate the spatial distributions of floating micro-algal species like for example cyanobacteria or exposed inter-tidal vegetation like seagrass. This algorithm was

  12. ALGAL NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY AND LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL. PART III. ALGAL NUTRIENT LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted on the potential significance of nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients in limiting planktonic algal growth in Lake Ontario and its major tributaries. Standard algal assay procedures were used. Samples of the open waters of Lake Ontario and Niagara River...

  13. 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

  14. Predatory Bacteriovorax communities ordered by various prey species.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Degraded environments alter prey risk assessment.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Chemical Prey Luring in Jackson's Chameleons.

    PubMed

    Preest, Marion R; Ward, Matthew J; Poon, Thomas; Hermanson, John W

    2016-01-01

    Lizards in the family Chamaeleonidae have been described as wiping a viscous substance from a pouch (the temporal pouch) at the angle of the jaw on branches and then capturing flies that land near the area where the wiping occurs. We confirmed the presence of this pouch in Jackson's chameleons. Histological work suggested that the material contained within is a result of decomposition of food and sloughed skin that has been trapped in the pouch rather than a glandular secretion. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry indicated the presence of compounds that are both volatile and odiferous and similar to insect pheromones. Choice tests with houseflies revealed attraction to the temporal pouch material. Some authors have speculated that the temporal pouch material serves a function in territory marking and/or predator deterrence. While it may play these roles, our results suggest that it also plays a role in chemical luring of prey. PMID:27082721

  17. Wave propagation in predator-prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Sheng-Chen; Tsai, Je-Chiang

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, we study a class of predator-prey systems of reaction-diffusion type. Specifically, we are interested in the dynamical behaviour for the solution with the initial distribution where the prey species is at the level of the carrying capacity, and the density of the predator species has compact support, or exponentially small tails near x=+/- ∞ . Numerical evidence suggests that this will lead to the formation of a pair of diverging waves propagating outwards from the initial zone. Motivated by this phenomenon, we establish the existence of a family of travelling waves with the minimum speed. Unlike the previous studies, we do not use the shooting argument to show this. Instead, we apply an iteration process based on Berestycki et al 2005 (Math Comput. Modelling 50 1385-93) to construct a set of super/sub-solutions. Since the underlying system does not enjoy the comparison principle, such a set of super/sub-solutions is not based on travelling waves, and in fact the super/sub-solutions depend on each other. With the aid of the set of super/sub-solutions, we can construct the solution of the truncated problem on the finite interval, which, via the limiting argument, can in turn generate the wave solution. There are several advantages to this approach. First, it can remove the technical assumptions on the diffusivities of the species in the existing literature. Second, this approach is of PDE type, and hence it can shed some light on the spreading phenomenon indicated by numerical simulation. In fact, we can compute the spreading speed of the predator species for a class of biologically acceptable initial distributions. Third, this approach might be applied to the study of waves in non-cooperative systems (i.e. a system without a comparison principle).

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Modelling the Effects of Prey Size and Distribution on Prey Capture Rates of Two Sympatric Marine Predators

    PubMed Central

    Thaxter, Chris B.; Daunt, Francis; Grémillet, David; Harris, Mike P.; Benvenuti, Silvano; Watanuki, Yutaka; Hamer, Keith C.; Wanless, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how prey capture rates are influenced by feeding ecology and environmental conditions is fundamental to assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine higher predators. We compared how prey capture rates varied in relation to prey size, prey patch distribution and prey density for two species of alcid, common guillemot (Uria aalge) and razorbill (Alca torda) during the chick-rearing period. We developed a Monte Carlo approach parameterised with foraging behaviour from bird-borne data loggers, observations of prey fed to chicks, and adult diet from water-offloading, to construct a bio-energetics model. Our primary goal was to estimate prey capture rates, and a secondary aim was to test responses to a set of biologically plausible environmental scenarios. Estimated prey capture rates were 1.5±0.8 items per dive (0.8±0.4 and 1.1±0.6 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for guillemots and 3.7±2.4 items per dive (4.9±3.1 and 7.3±4.0 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for razorbills. Based on species' ecology, diet and flight costs, we predicted that razorbills would be more sensitive to decreases in 0-group sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) length (prediction 1), but guillemots would be more sensitive to prey patches that were more widely spaced (prediction 2), and lower in prey density (prediction 3). Estimated prey capture rates increased non-linearly as 0-group sandeel length declined, with the slope being steeper in razorbills, supporting prediction 1. When prey patches were more dispersed, estimated daily energy expenditure increased by a factor of 3.0 for guillemots and 2.3 for razorbills, suggesting guillemots were more sensitive to patchier prey, supporting prediction 2. However, both species responded similarly to reduced prey density (guillemot expenditure increased by 1.7; razorbill by 1.6), thus not supporting prediction 3. This bio-energetics approach complements other foraging models in predicting likely

  1. Negotiating a noisy, information-rich environment in search of cryptic prey: olfactory predators need patchiness in prey cues.

    PubMed

    Carthey, Alexandra J R; Bytheway, Jenna P; Banks, Peter B

    2011-07-01

    1. Olfactory predator search processes differ fundamentally to those based on vision, particularly when odour cues are deposited rather than airborne or emanating from a point source. When searching for visually cryptic prey that may have moved some distance from a deposited odour cue, cue context and spatial variability are the most likely sources of information about prey location available to an olfactory predator. 2. We tested whether the house mouse (Mus domesticus), a model olfactory predator, would use cue context and spatial variability when searching for buried food items; specifically, we tested the effect of varying cue patchiness, odour strength, and cue-prey association on mouse foraging success. 3. Within mouse- and predator-proof enclosures, we created grids of 100 sand-filled Petri dishes and buried peanut pieces in a set number of these patches to represent visually cryptic 'prey'. By adding peanut oil to selected dishes, we varied the spatial distribution of prey odour relative to the distribution of prey patches in each grid, to reflect different levels of cue patchiness (Experiment 1), odour strength (Experiment 2) and cue-prey association (Experiment 3). We measured the overnight foraging success of individual mice (percentage of searched patches containing prey), as well as their foraging activity (percentage of patches searched), and prey survival (percentage of unsearched prey patches). 4. Mouse foraging success was highest where odour cues were patchy rather than uniform (Experiment 1), and where cues were tightly associated with prey location, rather than randomly or uniformly distributed (Experiment 3). However, when cues at prey patches were ten times stronger than a uniformly distributed weak background odour, mice did not improve their foraging success over that experienced when cues were of uniform strength and distribution (Experiment 2). 5. These results suggest that spatial variability and cue context are important means by which

  2. Acoustic shadows help gleaning bats find prey, but may be defeated by prey acoustic camouflage on rough surfaces.

    PubMed

    Clare, Elizabeth L; Holderied, Marc W

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual abilities of animals, like echolocating bats, are difficult to study because they challenge our understanding of non-visual senses. We used novel acoustic tomography to convert echoes into visual representations and compare these cues to traditional echo measurements. We provide a new hypothesis for the echo-acoustic basis of prey detection on surfaces. We propose that bats perceive a change in depth profile and an 'acoustic shadow' cast by prey. The shadow is more salient than prey echoes and particularly strong on smooth surfaces. This may explain why bats look for prey on flat surfaces like leaves using scanning behaviour. We propose that rather than forming search images for prey, whose characteristics are unpredictable, predators may look for disruptions to the resting surface (acoustic shadows). The fact that the acoustic shadow is much fainter on rougher resting surfaces provides the first empirical evidence for 'acoustic camouflage' as an anti-predator defence mechanism. PMID:26327624

  3. 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.

  4. Flexibility in locomotor-feeding integration during prey capture in varanid lizards: effects of prey size and velocity.

    PubMed

    Montuelle, Stéphane J; Herrel, Anthony; Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Daillie, Sandra; Bels, Vincent L

    2012-11-01

    Feeding movements are adjusted in response to food properties, and this flexibility is essential for omnivorous predators as food properties vary routinely. In most lizards, prey capture is no longer considered to solely rely on the movements of the feeding structures (jaws, hyolingual apparatus) but instead is understood to require the integration of the feeding system with the locomotor system (i.e. coordination of movements). Here, we investigated flexibility in the coordination pattern between jaw, neck and forelimb movements in omnivorous varanid lizards feeding on four prey types varying in length and mobility: grasshoppers, live newborn mice, adult mice and dead adult mice. We tested for bivariate correlations between 3D locomotor and feeding kinematics, and compared the jaw-neck-forelimb coordination patterns across prey types. Our results reveal that locomotor-feeding integration is essential for the capture of evasive prey, and that different jaw-neck-forelimb coordination patterns are used to capture different prey types. Jaw-neck-forelimb coordination is indeed significantly altered by the length and speed of the prey, indicating that a similar coordination pattern can be finely tuned in response to prey stimuli. These results suggest feed-forward as well as feed-back modulation of the control of locomotor-feeding integration. As varanids are considered to be specialized in the capture of evasive prey (although they retain their ability to feed on a wide variety of prey items), flexibility in locomotor-feeding integration in response to prey mobility is proposed to be a key component in their dietary specialization. PMID:22899521

  5. The effect of structural complexity, prey density, and "predator-free space" on prey survivorship at created oyster reef mesocosms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Humphries, Austin T.; La Peyre, Megan K.; Decossas, Gary A.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between predators and their prey are influenced by the habitat they occupy. Using created oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reef mesocosms, we conducted a series of laboratory experiments that created structure and manipulated complexity as well as prey density and “predator-free space” to examine the relationship between structural complexity and prey survivorship. Specifically, volume and spatial arrangement of oysters as well as prey density were manipulated, and the survivorship of prey (grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio) in the presence of a predator (wild red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus) was quantified. We found that the presence of structure increased prey survivorship, and that increasing complexity of this structure further increased survivorship, but only to a point. This agrees with the theory that structural complexity may influence predator-prey dynamics, but that a threshold exists with diminishing returns. These results held true even when prey density was scaled to structural complexity, or the amount of “predator-free space” was manipulated within our created reef mesocosms. The presence of structure and its complexity (oyster shell volume) were more important in facilitating prey survivorship than perceived refugia or density-dependent prey effects. A more accurate indicator of refugia might require “predator-free space” measures that also account for the available area within the structure itself (i.e., volume) and not just on the surface of a structure. Creating experiments that better mimic natural conditions and test a wider range of “predator-free space” are suggested to better understand the role of structural complexity in oyster reefs and other complex habitats.

  6. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies. PMID:25502920

  7. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Grattan, Lynn M.; Holobaugh, Sailor; Morris, J. Glenn

    2015-01-01

    The five most commonly recognized Harmful Algal Bloom related illnesses include Ciguatera poisoning, Paralytic Shellfish poisoning, Neurotoxin Shellfish poisoning, Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish poisoning. Although they are each the product of different toxins, toxin assemblages or HAB precursors these clinical syndromes have much in common. Exposure occurs through the consumption of fish or shellfish; routine clinical tests are not available for diagnosis; there is no known antidote for exposure; and the risk of these illnesses can negatively impact local fishing and tourism industries. Thus, illness prevention is of paramount importance to minimize human and public health risks. To accomplish this, close communication and collaboration is needed among HAB scientists, public health researchers and local, state and tribal health departments at academic, community outreach, and policy levels. PMID:27616971

  8. Extreme Algal Bloom Detection with MERIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amin, R.; Gilerson, A.; Gould, R.; Arnone, R.; Ahmed, S.

    2009-05-01

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB's) are a major concern all over the world due to their negative impacts on the marine environment, human health, and the economy. Their detection from space still remains a challenge particularly in turbid coastal waters. In this study we propose a simple reflectance band difference approach for use with Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) data to detect intense plankton blooms. For convenience we label this approach as the Extreme Bloom Index (EBI) which is defined as EBI = Rrs (709) - Rrs (665). Our initial analysis shows that this band difference approach has some advantages over the band ratio approaches, particularly in reducing errors due to imperfect atmospheric corrections. We also do a comparison between the proposed EBI technique and the Maximum Chlorophyll Index (MCI) Gower technique. Our preliminary result shows that both the EBI and MCI indeces detect intense plankton blooms, however, MCI is more vulnerable in highly scattering waters, giving more positive false alarms than EBI.

  9. Stability of alginate-immobilized algal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Dainty, A.L.; Goulding, K.H.; Robinson, P.K.; Simpkins, I; Trevan, M.D.

    1986-01-01

    Investigations were carried out using immobilized Chlorella cells to determine the diameter, compressibility, tolerance to phosphate chelation, and ability to retain algal cells during incubation of various alginate beads. These physical bead-characteristics were affected by a variety of interactive factors, including multivalent cation type (hardening agent) and cell, cation, and alginate concentration, the latter exhibiting a predominant influence. The susceptibility of alginate beads to phosphate chelation involved a complex interaction of cation type, concentration, and pH of phosphate solution. A scale of response ranging from gel swelling to gel shrinking was observed for a range of conditions. However, stable Ca alginate beads were maintained in incubation media with a pH of 5.5 and a phosphate concentration of 5 micro M. A preliminary investigation into cell leakage from the beads illustrated the importance of maintaining a stable gel structure and limiting cell growth to reduce leakage.

  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. Predator pursuit strategies: how do falcons and hawks chase prey?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Suzanne Amador; Zamani, Marjon; Fulton, Andrew; Rosenthal, Lee

    2014-03-01

    This study reports on experiments on falcons, goshawks and red-tailed hawks wearing miniature videocameras mounted on their backs or heads while pursuing flying or ground-based prey. Videos of hunts recorded by the raptors were analyzed to determine apparent prey positions on their visual fields during pursuits. These video data then were interpreted using computer simulations of pursuit steering laws observed in insects and mammals. A comparison of the empirical and modeling data indicates that falcons use cues due to the apparent motion of prey on the falcon's visual field to track and capture flying prey via a form of motion camouflage. The falcons also were found to maintain their prey's image at visual angles consistent with using their shallow fovea. Results for goshawks and red-tailed hawks were analyzed for a comparative study of how pursuits of ground-based prey by accipeters and buteos differ from those used by falcons chasing flying prey. These results should prove relevant for understanding the coevolution of pursuit and evasion, as well as the development of computer models of predation on flocks,and the integration of sensory and locomotion systems in biomimetic robots.

  13. Acoustic mirror effect increases prey detection distance in trawling bats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siemers, Björn M.; Baur, Eric; Schnitzler, Hans-Ulrich

    2005-06-01

    Many different and phylogenetically distant species of bats forage for insects above water bodies and take insects from and close to the surface; the so-called ‘trawling behaviour’. Detection of surface-based prey by echolocation is facilitated by acoustically smooth backgrounds such as water surfaces that reflect sound impinging at an acute angle away from the bat and thereby render a prey object acoustically conspicuous. Previous measurements had shown that the echo amplitude of a target on a smooth surface is higher than that of the same target in mid-air, due to an acoustic mirror effect. In behavioural experiments with three pond bats (Myotis dasycneme), we tested the hypothesis that the maximum distances at which bats can detect prey are larger for prey on smooth surfaces than for the same prey in an airborne situation. We determined the moment of prey detection from a change in echolocation behaviour and measured the detection distance in 3D space from IR-video recordings using stereo-photogrammetry. The bats showed the predicted increase in detection distance for prey on smooth surfaces. The acoustic mirror effect therefore increases search efficiency and contributes to the acoustic advantages encountered by echolocating bats when foraging at low heights above smooth water surfaces. These acoustic advantages may have favoured the repeated evolution of trawling behaviour.

  14. Disentangling mite predator-prey relationships by multiplex PCR.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sayas, Consuelo; Pina, Tatiana; Gómez-Martínez, María A; Camañes, Gemma; Ibáñez-Gual, María V; Jaques, Josep A; Hurtado, Mónica A

    2015-11-01

    Gut content analysis using molecular techniques can help elucidate predator-prey relationships in situations in which other methodologies are not feasible, such as in the case of trophic interactions between minute species such as mites. We designed species-specific primers for a mite community occurring in Spanish citrus orchards comprising two herbivores, the Tetranychidae Tetranychus urticae and Panonychus citri, and six predatory mites belonging to the Phytoseiidae family; these predatory mites are considered to be these herbivores' main biological control agents. These primers were successfully multiplexed in a single PCR to test the range of predators feeding on each of the two prey species. We estimated prey DNA detectability success over time (DS50), which depended on the predator-prey combination and ranged from 0.2 to 18 h. These values were further used to weight prey detection in field samples to disentangle the predatory role played by the most abundant predators (i.e. Euseius stipulatus and Phytoseiulus persimilis). The corrected predation value for E. stipulatus was significantly higher than for P. persimilis. However, because this 1.5-fold difference was less than that observed regarding their sevenfold difference in abundance, we conclude that P. persimilis is the most effective predator in the system; it preyed on tetranychids almost five times more frequently than E. stipulatus did. The present results demonstrate that molecular tools are appropriate to unravel predator-prey interactions in tiny species such as mites, which include important agricultural pests and their predators. PMID:25824504

  15. Interaction of nemertines and their prey on tidal flats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiel, Martin; Reise, Karsten

    Two common nemertines of the European Wadden Sea, Lineus viridis and Amphiporus lactifloreus, occur preferentially in clusters of mussels, spread over sedimentary flats in the upper intertidal near the island of Sylt. The heteronemertine L. viridis preys mainly on the polychaete Nereis diversicolor. The hoplonemertine A. lactifloreus feeds almost exclusively on the amphipod Gammarus locusta. Abundance of both predators and their respective prey in the field showed inverse relationships. Experimentally increased numbers of L. viridis in clusters of mussels caused a gradual decrease of nereid abundance in the sediment underneath over a period of 1 month, suggesting that losses of individuals were caused by prey capture. Experimentally increased numbers of A. lactifloreus were followed by an escape response of gammarids from clusters of mussels within 2 d. In aquaria, both prey species exhibited prolonged swimming activity when their respective predators lurked at the bottom. We conclude that escape behaviour in N. diversicolor may be only effective during its migrant phases, while G. locusta is permanently on the alert to avoid encounters with its predator. This refuging behaviour in response to endobenthic predators has strong implications on prey distribution, while the actual consumption of prey may be relatively modest. Enclosure experiments in the field and in aquaria lead to overestimates of prey capture when refuging behaviour is not accounted for.

  16. 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

  17. Flexibility in assessment of prey cues: frog-eating bats and frog calls

    PubMed Central

    Page, Rachel A; Ryan, Michael J

    2005-01-01

    Predators use cues associated with their prey to assess prey quality and to avoid consuming poisonous prey. Considerable attention has been given to predators' use of aposematic cues to assess prey quality, but little is known about predators that eavesdrop on prey cues that are not intended for them. Here we investigate the prey-cue/prey-quality associations of a predator that eavesdrops on the sexual advertisement signals of its prey. Stability is expected in prey-cue/prey-quality associations when mistakes in prey assessment are lethal. Conversely, flexibility is possible when mistakes are less costly. Predators that must respond to temporal and spatial fluctuations in prey availability should be more flexible in their assessment of prey quality. Given these predictions, we examined flexibility in the ability of wild-caught bats to reverse prey-cue/prey-quality associations for a preferred prey and a poisonous one. We found that the predatory bat, Trachops cirrhosus, has a heretofore undescribed ability to reverse its evaluations of the cues that signal preferred prey. PMID:15888417

  18. Sensorimotor model of bat echolocation and prey capture.

    PubMed

    Kuc, R

    1994-10-01

    A model of the bat sensorimotor system is developed using acoustics, signal processing, and control theory to illustrate the fundamental issues in accomplishing prey capture with echolocation. This model indicates that successful nonpredictive tracking of an ideal prey can be accomplished with a very simple system. Circular apertures approximate the mouth and ears for deriving acoustic beam patterns, using the big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus as a model. Fundamental and overtone frequency components in the emissions allow two simultaneous acoustic beams to be defined. A pair of nonlinear, time-variable, sampled-data controllers alter the bat's heading by applying yaw and pitch heading corrections. The yaw correction attempts to position the prey in the midsagittal plane by nulling the interaural intensity difference of the fundamental component. The pitch correction compares the intensities of the overtone and fundamental components and acts to null their difference. By initiating pitch correction when the overtone intensity first exceeds that of the fundamental, the ambiguity problem is solved and the prey is directed to the capture region. Simulations of passive prey capture indicate that the capture probability decreases as the prey speed increases. Both quick and sluggish prey are considered, with sluggish prey found to be caught with slightly better efficiency. The magnitude of the prey's lateral motion just prior to capture is observed to be an important factor determining capture. The presence of a blind stage is considered, during which the interference of the emission with the echo is assumed to disrupt any sonar information. The presence of such a blind stage is found to have negligible effect on capture efficiency. PMID:7963018

  19. Fluorescent proteins function as a prey attractant: experimental evidence from the hydromedusa Olindias formosus and other marine organisms

    PubMed Central

    Haddock, Steven H. D.; Dunn, Casey W.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Although proteins in the green fluorescent protein family (GFPs) have been discovered in a wide array of taxa, their ecological functions in these organisms remain unclear. Many hypothesized roles are related to modifying bioluminescence spectra or modulating the light regime for algal symbionts, but these do not explain the presence of GFPs in animals that are non-luminous and non-symbiotic. Other hypothesized functions are unrelated to the visual signals themselves, including stress responses and antioxidant roles, but these cannot explain the localization of fluorescence in particular structures on the animals. Here we tested the hypothesis that fluorescence might serve to attract prey. In laboratory experiments, the predator was the hydromedusa Olindias formosus (previously known as O. formosa), which has fluorescent and pigmented patches on the tips of its tentacles. The prey, juvenile rockfishes in the genus Sebastes, were significantly more attracted (P<1×10−5) to the medusa's tentacles under lighting conditions where fluorescence was excited and tentacle tips were visible above the background. The fish did not respond significantly when treatments did not include fluorescent structures or took place under yellow or white lights, which did not generate fluorescence visible above the ambient light. Furthermore, underwater observations of the behavior of fishes when presented with a brightly illuminated point showed a strong attraction to this visual stimulus. In situ observations also provided evidence for fluorescent lures as supernormal stimuli in several other marine animals, including the siphonophore Rhizophysa eysenhardti. Our results support the idea that fluorescent structures can serve as prey attractants, thus providing a potential function for GFPs and other fluorescent proteins in a diverse range of organisms. PMID:26231627

  20. Production of biofuel using molluscan pseudofeces derived from algal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Keshav C.; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Shelton, James; Wilde, Susan B.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Herrin, James A.

    2012-08-28

    Embodiments of the present disclosure provide for novel strategies to harvest algal lipids using mollusks which after feeding algae from the growth medium can convert algal lipids into their biomass or excrete lipids in their pseudofeces which makes algae harvesting energy efficient and cost effective. The bioconverter, filter-feeding mollusks and their pseudofeces can be harvested and converted to biocrude using an advanced thermochemical liquefaction technology. Methods, systems, and materials are disclosed for the harvest and isolation of algal lipids from the mollusks, molluscan feces and molluscan pseudofeces.

  1. The Role of Motion Extrapolation in Amphibian Prey Capture

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Sensorimotor delays decouple behaviors from the events that drive them. The brain compensates for these delays with predictive mechanisms, but the efficacy and timescale over which these mechanisms operate remain poorly understood. Here, we assess how prediction is used to compensate for prey movement that occurs during visuomotor processing. We obtained high-speed video records of freely moving, tongue-projecting salamanders catching walking prey, emulating natural foraging conditions. We found that tongue projections were preceded by a rapid head turn lasting ∼130 ms. This motor lag, combined with the ∼100 ms phototransduction delay at photopic light levels, gave a ∼230 ms visuomotor response delay during which prey typically moved approximately one body length. Tongue projections, however, did not significantly lag prey position but were highly accurate instead. Angular errors in tongue projection accuracy were consistent with a linear extrapolation model that predicted prey position at the time of tongue contact using the average prey motion during a ∼175 ms period one visual latency before the head movement. The model explained successful strikes where the tongue hit the fly, and unsuccessful strikes where the fly turned and the tongue hit a phantom location consistent with the fly's earlier trajectory. The model parameters, obtained from the data, agree with the temporal integration and latency of retinal responses proposed to contribute to motion extrapolation. These results show that the salamander predicts future prey position and that prediction significantly improves prey capture success over a broad range of prey speeds and light levels. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural processing delays cause actions to lag behind the events that elicit them. To cope with these delays, the brain predicts what will happen in the future. While neural circuits in the retina and beyond have been suggested to participate in such predictions, few behaviors have been

  2. Understanding spatial distributions: negative density-dependence in prey causes predators to trade-off prey quantity with quality.

    PubMed

    Bijleveld, Allert I; MacCurdy, Robert B; Chan, Ying-Chi; Penning, Emma; Gabrielson, Rich M; Cluderay, John; Spaulding, Eric L; Dekinga, Anne; Holthuijsen, Sander; ten Horn, Job; Brugge, Maarten; van Gils, Jan A; Winkler, David W; Piersma, Theunis

    2016-04-13

    Negative density-dependence is generally studied within a single trophic level, thereby neglecting its effect on higher trophic levels. The 'functional response' couples a predator's intake rate to prey density. Most widespread is a type II functional response, where intake rate increases asymptotically with prey density; this predicts the highest predator densities at the highest prey densities. In one of the most stringent tests of this generality to date, we measured density and quality of bivalve prey (edible cockles Cerastoderma edule) across 50 km² of mudflat, and simultaneously, with a novel time-of-arrival methodology, tracked their avian predators (red knots Calidris canutus). Because of negative density-dependence in the individual quality of cockles, the predicted energy intake rates of red knots declined at high prey densities (a type IV, rather than a type II functional response). Resource-selection modelling revealed that red knots indeed selected areas of intermediate cockle densities where energy intake rates were maximized given their phenotype-specific digestive constraints (as indicated by gizzard mass). Because negative density-dependence is common, we question the current consensus and suggest that predators commonly maximize their energy intake rates at intermediate prey densities. Prey density alone may thus poorly predict intake rates, carrying capacity and spatial distributions of predators. PMID:27053747

  3. Sensory exploitation of prey: manipulation of the initial direction of prey escapes by a conspicuous "rare enemy".

    PubMed

    Jabłonski, P G

    2001-05-22

    The painted redstart (Myioborus pictus) represents a group of non-cryptic predators, the flush pursuers, who visually trigger prey escapes by spreading and pivoting their conspicuously patterned tails and wings. The prey are then chased in aerial pursuits. Such an exploitation of prey may be possible because the predation risk from redstarts is smaller than that from the predatory guild of insectivores and their neural pathways are adapted to helping prey avoid common predators rather than "rare enemies". I propose that the pivoting movements of flush pursuers direct insect escapes across the central field of vision of a predator, where it is easier to track and intercept the prey. Eighty per cent of chases by wild redstarts were in a direction suggesting that prey were entering the birds' area of stereoscopic vision. The redstart's fanned and raised tail creates a stronger visual stimulus than a redstart's head. Flies escaped away from the section of the fly's field of vision in which the model's tail was located and towards the area where the predator's stereoscopic vision is likely to be located, in front of a bird's forehead. The experiments suggested that redstarts may not only exploit the sensitivity of typical neural escape pathways, which are non-directionally sensitive, but that they may also exploit the sensitivity of some directionally sensitive neural pathways in prey. PMID:11375085

  4. Cell-cycle progress in obligate predatory bacteria is dependent upon sequential sensing of prey recognition and prey quality cues

    PubMed Central

    Rotem, Or; Pasternak, Zohar; Shimoni, Eyal; Belausov, Eduard; Porat, Ziv; Pietrokovski, Shmuel; Jurkevitch, Edouard

    2015-01-01

    Predators feed on prey to acquire the nutrients necessary to sustain their survival, growth, and replication. In Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, an obligate predator of Gram-negative bacteria, cell growth and replication are tied to a shift from a motile, free-living phase of search and attack to a sessile, intracellular phase of growth and replication during which a single prey cell is consumed. Engagement and sustenance of growth are achieved through the sensing of two unidentified prey-derived cues. We developed a novel ex vivo cultivation system for B. bacteriovorus composed of prey ghost cells that are recognized and invaded by the predator. By manipulating their content, we demonstrated that an early cue is located in the prey envelope and a late cue is found within the prey soluble fraction. These spatially and temporally separated cues elicit discrete and combinatory regulatory effects on gene transcription. Together, they delimit a poorly characterized transitory phase between the attack phase and the growth phase, during which the bdelloplast (the invaded prey cell) is constructed. This transitory phase constitutes a checkpoint in which the late cue presumably acts as a determinant of the prey’s nutritional value before the predator commits. These regulatory adaptations to a unique bacterial lifestyle have not been reported previously. PMID:26487679

  5. 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

  6. Airborne Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms over Lake Erie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokars, Roger; Lekki, John

    2013-01-01

    The Hyperspectral Imager mounted to an aircraft was used to develop a remote sensing capability to detect the pigment Phycocyanin, an indicator of Microcystis, in low concentration as an early indicator of harmful algal bloom prediction.

  7. ORGANOHALIDE FORMATION ON CHLORINATION OF ALGAL EXTRACELLULAR PRODUCTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    When certain chemical and physical parameters were controlled during chlorination of algal extracellular products (ECP), organohalide formation was modified. In general, decreases in temperature and contact time decreased the generation of purgeable (POX), nonpurgeable (NPOX), an...

  8. A seasnake's colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling

    PubMed Central

    Shine, R.; Brischoux, F.; Pile, A. J.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary transitions from terrestrial to aquatic life modify selective forces on an animal's coloration. For example, light penetrates differently through water than air, and a new suite of predators and visual backgrounds changes the targets of selection. We suggest that an aquatic animal's coloration may also affect its susceptibility to algal fouling. In a colour-polymorphic field population of seasnakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) in New Caledonia, black individuals supported higher algal cover than did banded conspecifics. In experimental tests, black snake models (plastic tubes) accumulated more algae than did banded models. Algal cover substantially reduced snake activity (in the field) and swimming speeds (in the laboratory). Effects of algal cover on a snake's hydrodynamic efficiency and/or its rate of cutaneous gas exchange thus may impose selection on the colours of aquatic organisms. PMID:20375055

  9. Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szwabiński, Janusz; Peķalski, Andrzej

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Assessment of lead uptake in reptilian prey species.

    PubMed

    Inouye, Laura S; Yoo, Leslie J; Talent, Larry G; Clarke, Joan U; Jones, Robert P; Steevens, Jeffery A; Boyd, Robert E

    2007-07-01

    As part of an investigation determining the trophically available fraction of metals in a model terrestrial food web, i.e., invertebrate prey to Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), we evaluated the ability of several invertebrate prey to bioaccumulate lead and to form metals-rich granules, which are hypothesized to be non-available to predators. Crickets (Acheta domestica), tenebroid beetle larvae (Tenebrio molitor), and isopods (Porcellio scaber) were selected as model prey organisms. Lack of standard exposure methodologies for these species has presented a barrier to trophic transfer evaluations, as each species has particular requirements that create challenges for designing exposure conditions. We were able to devise exposure conditions for all three species that allow long-term exposure studies. All prey organisms accumulated lead from contaminated food, and for all species the majority of the accumulated Pb was associated with the exoskeleton (>50%), with metals-rich granules accounting for most of the remaining accumulated lead. PMID:17490716

  13. Pharmacokinetics of gentamicin in birds of prey.

    PubMed

    Bird, J E; Miller, K W; Larson, A A; Duke, G E

    1983-07-01

    The pharmacokinetics of gentamicin, including half-life, apparent volume of distribution, total body clearance, and fraction of drug absorbed from IM injection sites, were determined in 3 species of birds of prey (red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, and golden eagles). Significant differences (P less than 0.05) between species were found for the half-life and total body clearance values for this broad-spectrum antibiotic. The values for apparent volume of distribution and fraction absorbed did not differ among species and were similar to those reported in mammals. Rapid and relatively complete absorption from IM injection sites resulted in high bioavailability. After IV administration of 10 mg of gentamicin/kg of body weight, serum concentrations greater than 12 micrograms/ml were present for at least 2 hours and greater than 2 micrograms/ml for 4 to 6 hours. On the basis of the various determinations, an IM dose of 2.5 mg of gentamicin/kg given every 8 hours should provide therapeutic serum concentrations of gentamicin in the 3 species. PMID:6881663

  14. Oligotrophic Bacteria Enhance Algal Growth under Iron-Deficient Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Keshtacher-Liebso..., E.; Hadar, Y.; Chen, Y.

    1995-01-01

    A Halomonas sp., a marine halophilic and oligotrophic bacterium, was grown on exudates of Dunaliella bardawil. The bacteria increased the solubility of Fe, thereby enhancing its availability to the algae. As a result, the algal growth rate increased. Because of these syntrophic relations, growth of the marine alga D. bardawil was facilitated at Fe levels that would otherwise induce Fe deficiency and inhibit algal growth. PMID:16535058

  15. Prey capture kinematics of ant-eating lizards.

    PubMed

    Meyers, Jay J; Herrel, Anthony

    2005-01-01

    While morphological and behavioral feeding specializations are obvious in many vertebrate groups, among lizards there appear to be few dietary specialists. By comparing the prey capture kinematics and overall feeding behavior in two highly specialized ant-eating lizards (Moloch horridus and Phrynosoma platyrhinos) with those of two closely related dietary generalists (Pogona vitticeps and Uma notata), we investigate whether dietary specialization has been accompanied by changes in the function and use of the feeding system. We quantified kinematic variables from high-speed video recordings (200-250 frames s(-1)) of each species feeding on ants. Prey capture was strikingly different in M. horridus to that of other species, being characterized by a suite of unusual behaviors including the lack of a body lunge, faster tongue protrusion, reduced prey processing and, most notably, the ability to modulate the slow open phase of the gape cycle. In concert, these traits make a single feeding event in M. horridus faster than that in any other iguanian lizard studied to date. Prey capture behavior in P. platyrhinos is kinematically more similar to U. notata and P. vitticeps than to M. horridus, but the ant specialists are similar in that both lack distinct prey processing behaviors, resulting in faster overall capture and feeding events. While ant feeding in P. vitticeps is faster than feeding on other prey, the duration of a single feeding event is still four times longer than in either ant specialist, because of extensive prey processing. Additionally, a phylogenetic comparison of ant specialist lizards with dietary generalists revealed that ant-eating lizards require significantly less time to capture and process prey. Thus there are not only significant behavioral modifications in these ant-eating lizards, but also multiple strategies among specialists, suggesting differing selective pressures or phylogenetic constraints in the evolution of ant eating in lizards. PMID

  16. Curvature facilitates prey fixation in predatory insect claws.

    PubMed

    Petie, Ronald; Muller, Mees

    2007-02-21

    Insects show a large variety in prey capture strategies, with a correspondingly large diversity in predatory adaptations. We studied a specific type of predatory claws, these can for example be found in praying mantis species. The claw is closeable over its entire length and the prey is fixed between the femur (upper arm) and the tibia (lower arm) of the insect leg. The morphology of these predatory claws is diverse. Some species have straight claws covered with spines, while other species have smooth, curved claws. We have studied the mechanics of this femur-tibia type of predatory insect claws, by making a physical model, eventually trying to explain why in some insect species the claws are curved instead of straight. The main results are (1) when comparing curved claws to straight claws, curvature leads to a strong reduction of forces driving the prey away from the pivoting point, thereby reducing the need for friction generating structures. (2) In the curved claw model a position exists where the resulting force on the prey is exactly zero. This is because the normal forces on the femur and tibia are opposed, and in line. At this position the prey is perfectly clamped and not driven out of the claw. This feature does not exist in straight claws. (3) In the curved claw, the prey cannot be placed at a position further than a certain maximum distance from the pivoting point. Near this maximum position, the resulting force on the prey reaches high values because moment arms are near zero. (4) Between the zero position and the maximum position the resulting force is directed toward the pivoting point, which stabilizes prey fixation. PMID:17056069

  17. The algal lift: Buoyancy-mediated sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza-Lera, Clara; Federlein, Laura L.; Knie, Matthias; Mutz, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The role of benthic algae as biostabilizers of sediments is well-known, however, their potential to lift and transport sediments remains unclear. Under low-flow conditions, matured algal mats may detach from the bed and may lift up sediment, thereby causing disturbance to the uppermost streambed sediment. We tested the potential of algal mats to lift sediments in 12 indoor flumes filled with sand (0.2 - 0.8 mm), gravel (2 - 8 mm) or a sand-gravel mixture (25/75% mass). After four weeks, the algal mats covered about 50% of the flumes area. Due to the accumulation of oxygen gas bubbles in the mats, that developed from high primary production at 4.5 weeks, about half of the algal mats detached from the bed carrying entangled sediments. Both the area covered by algal mats and detached area were similar among sediment types, but the amount of sediment transported tended to be higher for sand and sand-gravel mixture compared to gravel. Our results reveal that biologically mediated sediment transport mainly depends on the development of a dense filamentous algal matrix, that traps gas bubbles, increasing the mats buoyancy. This novel mechanism of sediment transport will occur in shallow ecosystems during low-flow periods, with the highest impact for sandy sediments.

  18. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Samson, R.; LeDuy, A.

    1982-08-01

    The photosynthetic spectrum of solar energy could be exploited for the production of chemical energy of methane through the combined algal-bacterial process. In this process, the algae are mass produced from light and from carbon in the first step. The algal biomass is then used as a nutrient for feeding the anaerobic digester, in the second step, for the production of methane by anaerobic bacteria. The carbon source for the production of algal biomass could be either organic carbon from wastewaters (for eucaryotic algae), or carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from the combustion exhaust gases (for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae). The technical feasibility data on the anaerobic digestion of algal biomass have been reported for many species of algae including macroscopic algae and microscopic algae. Research being conducted in the authors' laboratory consists of using the semimicroscopic blue-green alga Spirulina maxima as the sole substrate for this combined algal-bacterial process. This species of alga is very attractive for the process because of its capability of using the atmospheric carbon dioxide as carbon source and its simple harvesting methods. Furthermore, it appeared that the fermentability of S. maxima is significantly higher than other microscopic algae. This communication presents the results on the anaerobic inoculum development by the adaptation technique. This inoculum was then used for the semicontinuous anaerobic digestion of S. maxima algal biomass. The evolutions of biogas production and composition, biogas yield, total volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, ammonia nitrogen, pH, and electrode potential were followed.

  19. The ins and outs of algal metal transport

    PubMed Central

    Blaby-Haas, Crysten E.; Merchant, Sabeeha S.

    2012-01-01

    Metal transporters are a central component in the interaction of algae with their environment. They represent the first line of defense to cellular perturbations in metal concentration, and by analyzing algal metal transporter repertoires, we gain insight into a fundamental aspect of algal biology. The ability of individual algae to thrive in environments with unique geochemistry, compared to non-algal species commonly used as reference organisms for metal homeostasis, provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding of biological metal requirements, preferences and trafficking. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the best developed reference organism for the study of algal biology, especially with respect to metal metabolism; however, the diversity of algal niches necessitates a comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced algal genomes. A comparison between known and putative proteins in animals, plants, fungi and algae using protein similarity networks has revealed the presence of novel metal metabolism components in Chlamydomonas including new iron and copper transporters. This analysis also supports the concept that, in terms of metal metabolism, algae from similar niches are more related to one another than to algae from the same phylogenetic clade. PMID:22569643

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Snake modulates constriction in response to prey's heartbeat.

    PubMed

    Boback, Scott M; Hall, Allison E; McCann, Katelyn J; Hayes, Amanda W; Forrester, Jeffrey S; Zwemer, Charles F

    2012-06-23

    Many species of snakes use constriction-the act of applying pressure via loops of their trunk-to subdue and kill their prey. Constriction is costly and snakes must therefore constrict their prey just long enough to ensure death. However, it remains unknown how snakes determine when their prey is dead. Here, we demonstrate that boas (Boa constrictor) have the remarkable ability to detect a heartbeat in their prey and, based on this signal, modify the pressure and duration of constriction accordingly. We monitored pressure generated by snakes as they struck and constricted warm cadaveric rats instrumented with a simulated heart. Snakes responded to the beating heart by constricting longer and with greater total pressure than when constricting rats with no heartbeat. When the heart was stopped midway through the constriction, snakes abandoned constriction shortly after the heartbeat ceased. Furthermore, snakes naive to live prey also responded to the simulated heart, suggesting that this behaviour is at least partly innate. These results are an example of how snakes integrate physiological cues from their prey to modulate a complex and ancient behavioural pattern. PMID:22258447

  3. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Stewardship Institute at Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to optimize a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence and count of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinfeng; Shi, Junping; Wei, Junjie

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

  5. Comparing nearshore benthic and pelagic prey as mercury sources to lake fish: the importance of prey quality and mercury content.

    PubMed

    Karimi, Roxanne; Chen, Celia Y; Folt, Carol L

    2016-09-15

    Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation in fish poses well-known health risks to wildlife and humans through fish consumption. Yet fish Hg concentrations are highly variable, and key factors driving this variability remain unclear. One little studied source of variation is the influence of habitat-specific feeding on Hg accumulation in lake fish. However, this is likely important because most lake fish feed in multiple habitats during their lives, and the Hg and caloric content of prey from different habitats can differ. This study used a three-pronged approach to investigate the extent to which habitat-specific prey determine differences in Hg bioaccumulation in fish. This study first compared Hg concentrations in common nearshore benthic invertebrates and pelagic zooplankton across five lakes and over the summer season in one lake, and found that pelagic zooplankton generally had higher Hg concentrations than most benthic taxa across lakes, and over a season in one lake. Second, using a bioenergetics model, the effects of prey caloric content from habitat-specific diets on fish growth and Hg accumulation were calculated. This model predicted that the consumption of benthic prey results in lower fish Hg concentrations due to higher prey caloric content and growth dilution (high weight gain relative to Hg from food), in addition to lower prey Hg levels. Third, using data from the literature, links between fish Hg content and the degree of benthivory, were examined, and showed that benthivory was associated with reduced Hg concentrations in lake fish. Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that higher Hg content and lower caloric content make pelagic zooplankton prey greater sources of Hg for fish than nearshore benthic prey in lakes. Hence, habitat-specific foraging is likely to be a strong driver of variation in Hg levels within and between fish species. PMID:27173839

  6. Interrupting peptidoglycan deacetylation during Bdellovibrio predator-prey interaction prevents ultimate destruction of prey wall, liberating bacterial-ghosts.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Carey; Lerner, Thomas R; Bui, Nhat Khai; Somers, Hannah; Aizawa, Shin-Ichi; Liddell, Susan; Clark, Ana; Vollmer, Waldemar; Lovering, Andrew L; Sockett, R Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The peptidoglycan wall, located in the periplasm between the inner and outer membranes of the cell envelope in Gram-negative bacteria, maintains cell shape and endows osmotic robustness. Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteria invade the periplasm of other bacterial prey cells, usually crossing the peptidoglycan layer, forming transient structures called bdelloplasts within which the predators replicate. Prey peptidoglycan remains intact for several hours, but is modified and then degraded by escaping predators. Here we show predation is altered by deleting two Bdellovibrio N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) deacetylases, one of which we show to have a unique two domain structure with a novel regulatory"plug". Deleting the deacetylases limits peptidoglycan degradation and rounded prey cell "ghosts" persist after mutant-predator exit. Mutant predators can replicate unusually in the periplasmic region between the peptidoglycan wall and the outer membrane rather than between wall and inner-membrane, yet still obtain nutrients from the prey cytoplasm. Deleting two further genes encoding DacB/PBP4 family proteins, known to decrosslink and round prey peptidoglycan, results in a quadruple mutant Bdellovibrio which leaves prey-shaped ghosts upon predation. The resultant bacterial ghosts contain cytoplasmic membrane within bacteria-shaped peptidoglycan surrounded by outer membrane material which could have promise as "bacterial skeletons" for housing artificial chromosomes. PMID:27211869

  7. Interrupting peptidoglycan deacetylation during Bdellovibrio predator-prey interaction prevents ultimate destruction of prey wall, liberating bacterial-ghosts

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Carey; Lerner, Thomas R.; Bui, Nhat Khai; Somers, Hannah; Aizawa, Shin-Ichi; Liddell, Susan; Clark, Ana; Vollmer, Waldemar; Lovering, Andrew L.; Sockett, R. Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The peptidoglycan wall, located in the periplasm between the inner and outer membranes of the cell envelope in Gram-negative bacteria, maintains cell shape and endows osmotic robustness. Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteria invade the periplasm of other bacterial prey cells, usually crossing the peptidoglycan layer, forming transient structures called bdelloplasts within which the predators replicate. Prey peptidoglycan remains intact for several hours, but is modified and then degraded by escaping predators. Here we show predation is altered by deleting two Bdellovibrio N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) deacetylases, one of which we show to have a unique two domain structure with a novel regulatory”plug”. Deleting the deacetylases limits peptidoglycan degradation and rounded prey cell “ghosts” persist after mutant-predator exit. Mutant predators can replicate unusually in the periplasmic region between the peptidoglycan wall and the outer membrane rather than between wall and inner-membrane, yet still obtain nutrients from the prey cytoplasm. Deleting two further genes encoding DacB/PBP4 family proteins, known to decrosslink and round prey peptidoglycan, results in a quadruple mutant Bdellovibrio which leaves prey-shaped ghosts upon predation. The resultant bacterial ghosts contain cytoplasmic membrane within bacteria-shaped peptidoglycan surrounded by outer membrane material which could have promise as “bacterial skeletons” for housing artificial chromosomes. PMID:27211869

  8. Metatranscriptome profiling of a harmful algal bloom.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Endymion D; Bentlage, Bastian; Gibbons, Theodore R; Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R; Delwiche, Charles F

    2014-07-01

    Metagenomic methods provide a powerful means to investigate complex ecological phenomena. Developed originally for study of Bacteria and Archaea, the application of these methods to eukaryotic microorganisms is yet to be fully realized. Most prior environmental molecular studies of eukaryotes have relied heavily on PCR amplification with eukaryote-specific primers. Here we apply high throughput short-read sequencing of poly-A selected RNA to capture the metatranscriptome of an estuarine dinoflagellate bloom. To validate the metatranscriptome assembly process we simulated metatranscriptomic datasets using short-read sequencing data from clonal cultures of four algae of varying phylogenetic distance. We find that the proportion of chimeric transcripts reconstructed from community transcriptome sequencing is low, suggesting that metatranscriptomic sequencing can be used to accurately reconstruct the transcripts expressed by bloom-forming communities of eukaryotes. To further validate the bloom metatransciptome assembly we compared it to a transcriptomic assembly from a cultured, clonal isolate of the dominant bloom-causing alga and found that the two assemblies are highly similar. Eukaryote-wide phylogenetic analyses reveal the taxonomic composition of the bloom community, which is comprised of several dinoflagellates, ciliates, animals, and fungi. The assembled metatranscriptome reveals the functional genomic composition of a metabolically active community. Highlighting the potential power of these methods, we found that relative transcript abundance patterns suggest that the dominant dinoflagellate might be expressing toxin biosynthesis related genes at a higher level in the presence of competitors, predators and prey compared to it growing in monoculture. PMID:25484636

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

    PubMed

    Hollander, Johan; Bourdeau, Paul E

    2016-08-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Sequential assessment of prey through the use of multiple sensory cues by an eavesdropping bat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, Rachel A.; Schnelle, Tanja; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Bunge, Thomas; Bernal, Ximena E.

    2012-06-01

    Predators are often confronted with a broad diversity of potential prey. They rely on cues associated with prey quality and palatability to optimize their hunting success and to avoid consuming toxic prey. Here, we investigate a predator's ability to assess prey cues during capture, handling, and consumption when confronted with conflicting information about prey quality. We used advertisement calls of a preferred prey item (the túngara frog) to attract fringe-lipped bats, Trachops cirrhosus, then offered palatable, poisonous, and chemically manipulated anurans as prey. Advertisement calls elicited an attack response, but as bats approached, they used additional sensory cues in a sequential manner to update their information about prey size and palatability. While both palatable and poisonous small anurans were readily captured, large poisonous toads were approached but not contacted suggesting the use of echolocation for assessment of prey size at close range. Once prey was captured, bats used chemical cues to make final, post-capture decisions about whether to consume the prey. Bats dropped small, poisonous toads as well as palatable frogs coated in toad toxins either immediately or shortly after capture. Our study suggests that echolocation and chemical cues obtained at close range supplement information obtained from acoustic cues at long range. Updating information about prey quality minimizes the occurrence of costly errors and may be advantageous in tracking temporal and spatial fluctuations of prey and exploiting novel food sources. These findings emphasize the sequential, complex nature of prey assessment that may allow exploratory and flexible hunting behaviors.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, F F; Qin, J G

    2015-05-01

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

  14. Electric Eels Concentrate Their Electric Field to Induce Involuntary Fatigue in Struggling Prey.

    PubMed

    Catania, Kenneth C

    2015-11-16

    Nature is replete with predator venoms that immobilize prey by targeting ion channels. Electric eels (Electrophorus electricus) take a different tactic to accomplish the same end. Striking eels emit electricity in volleys of 1 ms, high-voltage pulses. Each pulse is capable of activating prey motor neuron efferents, and hence muscles. In a typical attack, eel discharges cause brief, immobilizing tetanus, allowing eels to swallow small prey almost immediately. Here I show that when eels struggle with large prey or fish held precariously, they commonly curl to bring their own tail to the opposite side of prey, sandwiching it between the two poles of their powerful electric organ. They then deliver volleys of high-voltage pulses. Shortly thereafter, eels juggle prey into a favorable position for swallowing. Recordings from electrodes placed within prey items show that this curling behavior at least doubles the field strength within shocked prey, most likely ensuring reliable activation of the majority of prey motor neurons. Simulated pulse trains, or pulses from an eel-triggered stimulator, applied to a prey muscle preparations result in profound muscle fatigue and loss of contractile force. Consistent with this result, video recordings show that formerly struggling prey are temporarily immobile after this form of attack, allowing the manipulation of prey that might otherwise escape. These results reveal a unique use of electric organs to a unique end; eels superimpose electric fields from two poles, ensuring maximal remote activation of prey efferents that blocks subsequent prey movement by inducing involuntary muscle fatigue. PMID:26521183

  15. Sequential assessment of prey through the use of multiple sensory cues by an eavesdropping bat.

    PubMed

    Page, Rachel A; Schnelle, Tanja; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Bunge, Thomas; Bernal, Ximena E

    2012-06-01

    Predators are often confronted with a broad diversity of potential prey. They rely on cues associated with prey quality and palatability to optimize their hunting success and to avoid consuming toxic prey. Here, we investigate a predator's ability to assess prey cues during capture, handling, and consumption when confronted with conflicting information about prey quality. We used advertisement calls of a preferred prey item (the túngara frog) to attract fringe-lipped bats, Trachops cirrhosus, then offered palatable, poisonous, and chemically manipulated anurans as prey. Advertisement calls elicited an attack response, but as bats approached, they used additional sensory cues in a sequential manner to update their information about prey size and palatability. While both palatable and poisonous small anurans were readily captured, large poisonous toads were approached but not contacted suggesting the use of echolocation for assessment of prey size at close range. Once prey was captured, bats used chemical cues to make final, post-capture decisions about whether to consume the prey. Bats dropped small, poisonous toads as well as palatable frogs coated in toad toxins either immediately or shortly after capture. Our study suggests that echolocation and chemical cues obtained at close range supplement information obtained from acoustic cues at long range. Updating information about prey quality minimizes the occurrence of costly errors and may be advantageous in tracking temporal and spatial fluctuations of prey and exploiting novel food sources. These findings emphasize the sequential, complex nature of prey assessment that may allow exploratory and flexible hunting behaviors. PMID:22592417

  16. Prey Capture Behavior in an Arboreal African Ponerine Ant

    PubMed Central

    Dejean, Alain

    2011-01-01

    I studied the predatory behavior of Platythyrea conradti, an arboreal ponerine ant, whereas most species in this subfamily are ground-dwelling. The workers, which hunt solitarily only around dusk, are able to capture a wide range of prey, including termites and agile, nocturnal insects as well as diurnal insects that are inactive at that moment of the Nyctemeron, resting on tree branches or under leaves. Prey are captured very rapidly, and the antennal palpation used by ground-dwelling ponerine species is reduced to a simple contact; stinging occurs immediately thereafter. The venom has an instant, violent effect as even large prey (up to 30 times the weight of a worker) never struggled after being stung. Only small prey are not stung. Workers retrieve their prey, even large items, singly. To capture termite workers and soldiers defending their nest entrances, ant workers crouch and fold their antennae backward. In their role as guards, the termites face the crouching ants and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. This is likely due to volatile secretions produced by the ants' mandibular gland. The same behavior is used against competing ants, including territorially-dominant arboreal species that retreat further and further away, so that the P. conradti finally drive them from large, sugary food sources. PMID:21589941

  17. Prey scan at random to evade observant predators.

    PubMed Central

    Scannell, J.; Roberts, G.; Lazarus, J.

    2001-01-01

    Anti-predator scans by animals occur with very irregular timing, so that the initiation of scans resembles a random, Poisson-like, process. At first sight, this seems both dangerous (predators could exploit the long intervals) and wastefull (scans after very short intervals are relatively uninformative). We explored vigilance timing using a new model that allows both predators and prey to vary their behaviour. Given predators that attack at random with respect to prey behaviour, constant inter-scan intervals minimize predation risk. However, if prey scan regularly to minimize their risk from randomly attacking predators, they become more vulnerable to predators that initiate attacks when the inter-scan intervals begin. If, in order to defeat this tactic, prey choose extremely variable inter-scan intervals, they become more vulnerable to predators who wait for long intervals before launching attacks. Only if predators can monitor the variability of inter-scan intervals and either attack immediately (if variability is too low) or wait for long intervals to attack (if variability is too high) does the empirically observed pattern of Poisson-like scanning become the optimal prey strategy. PMID:11296867

  18. A dedicated visual pathway for prey detection in larval zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Semmelhack, Julia L; Donovan, Joseph C; Thiele, Tod R; Kuehn, Enrico; Laurell, Eva; Baier, Herwig

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish larvae show characteristic prey capture behavior in response to small moving objects. The neural mechanism used to recognize objects as prey remains largely unknown. We devised a machine learning behavior classification system to quantify hunting kinematics in semi-restrained animals exposed to a range of virtual stimuli. Two-photon calcium imaging revealed a small visual area, AF7, that was activated specifically by the optimal prey stimulus. This pretectal region is innervated by two types of retinal ganglion cells, which also send collaterals to the optic tectum. Laser ablation of AF7 markedly reduced prey capture behavior. We identified neurons with arbors in AF7 and found that they projected to multiple sensory and premotor areas: the optic tectum, the nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (nMLF) and the hindbrain. These findings indicate that computations in the retina give rise to a visual stream which transforms sensory information into a directed prey capture response. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04878.001 PMID:25490154

  19. Prey Capture Ecology of the Cubozoan Carukia barnesi

    PubMed Central

    Sachlikidis, Nik; Jones, Rhondda

    2015-01-01

    Adult Carukia barnesi medusae feed predominantly on larval fish; however, their mode of prey capture seems more complex than previously described. Our findings revealed that during light conditions, this species extends its tentacles and ‘twitches’ them frequently. This highlights the lure-like nematocyst clusters in the water column, which actively attract larval fish that are consequently stung and consumed. This fishing behavior was not observed during dark conditions, presumably to reduce energy expenditure when they are not luring visually oriented prey. We found that larger medusae have longer tentacles; however, the spacing between the nematocyst clusters is not dependent on size, suggesting that the spacing of the nematocyst clusters is important for prey capture. Additionally, larger specimens twitch their tentacles more frequently than small specimens, which correlate with their recent ontogenetic prey shift from plankton to larval fish. These results indicate that adult medusae of C. barnesi are not opportunistically grazing in the water column, but instead utilize sophisticated prey capture techniques to specifically target larval fish. PMID:25970583

  20. Prey Capture Ecology of the Cubozoan Carukia barnesi.

    PubMed

    Courtney, Robert; Sachlikidis, Nik; Jones, Rhondda; Seymour, Jamie

    2015-01-01

    Adult Carukia barnesi medusae feed predominantly on larval fish; however, their mode of prey capture seems more complex than previously described. Our findings revealed that during light conditions, this species extends its tentacles and 'twitches' them frequently. This highlights the lure-like nematocyst clusters in the water column, which actively attract larval fish that are consequently stung and consumed. This fishing behavior was not observed during dark conditions, presumably to reduce energy expenditure when they are not luring visually oriented prey. We found that larger medusae have longer tentacles; however, the spacing between the nematocyst clusters is not dependent on size, suggesting that the spacing of the nematocyst clusters is important for prey capture. Additionally, larger specimens twitch their tentacles more frequently than small specimens, which correlate with their recent ontogenetic prey shift from plankton to larval fish. These results indicate that adult medusae of C. barnesi are not opportunistically grazing in the water column, but instead utilize sophisticated prey capture techniques to specifically target larval fish. PMID:25970583

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-10

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

  2. Prey capture behavior in an arboreal African ponerine ant.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain

    2011-01-01

    I studied the predatory behavior of Platythyrea conradti, an arboreal ponerine ant, whereas most species in this subfamily are ground-dwelling. The workers, which hunt solitarily only around dusk, are able to capture a wide range of prey, including termites and agile, nocturnal insects as well as diurnal insects that are inactive at that moment of the Nyctemeron, resting on tree branches or under leaves. Prey are captured very rapidly, and the antennal palpation used by ground-dwelling ponerine species is reduced to a simple contact; stinging occurs immediately thereafter. The venom has an instant, violent effect as even large prey (up to 30 times the weight of a worker) never struggled after being stung. Only small prey are not stung. Workers retrieve their prey, even large items, singly. To capture termite workers and soldiers defending their nest entrances, ant workers crouch and fold their antennae backward. In their role as guards, the termites face the crouching ants and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. This is likely due to volatile secretions produced by the ants' mandibular gland. The same behavior is used against competing ants, including territorially-dominant arboreal species that retreat further and further away, so that the P. conradti finally drive them from large, sugary food sources. PMID:21589941

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saleh, Khairul

    2015-02-01

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

  4. Biodegradation of bisphenol A by an algal-bacterial system.

    PubMed

    Eio, Er Jin; Kawai, Minako; Niwa, Chiaki; Ito, Masato; Yamamoto, Shuichi; Toda, Tatsuki

    2015-10-01

    The degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) by Chlorella sorokiniana and BPA-degrading bacteria was investigated. The results show that BPA was partially removed by a monoculture of C. sorokiniana, but the remaining BPA accounted for 50.2, 56.1, and 60.5 % of the initial BPA concentrations of 10, 20, and 50 mg L(-1), respectively. The total algal BPA adsorption and accumulation were less than 1 %. C. sorokiniana-bacterial system effectively removed BPA with photosynthetic oxygen provided by the algae irrespective of the initial BPA concentration. The growth of C. sorokiniana in the algal system was inhibited by BPA concentrations of 20 and 50 mg L(-1), but not in the algal-bacterial system. This observation indicates that bacterial growth in the algal-bacterial system reduced the BPA-inhibiting effect on algae. A total of ten BPA biodegradation intermediates were identified by GC-MS. The concentrations of the biodegradation intermediates decreased to a low level at the end of the experiment. The hypothetical carbon mass balance analysis showed that the amounts of oxygen demanded by the bacteria are insufficient for effective BPA degradation. However, adding an external carbon source could compensate for the oxygen shortage. This study demonstrates that the algal-bacterial system has the potential to remove BPA and its biodegradation intermediates. PMID:26013738

  5. Aggregation increases prey survival time in group chase and escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Sicong; Jiang, Shijie; Jiang, Li; Li, Geng; Han, Zhangang

    2014-08-01

    Recently developed chase-and-escape models have addressed a fascinating pursuit-and-evasion problem that may have both theoretical significance and potential applications. We introduce three aggregation strategies for the prey in a group chase model on a lattice. Simulation results show that aggregation dramatically increases the group survival time, even allowing immortal prey. The average survival time τ and the aggregation probability P have a power-law dependence of \\tau \\sim {{(1-P)}^{-1}} for P\\in [0.9,0.997]. With increasing numbers of predators, there is still a phase transition. When the number of predators is less than the critical point value, the prey group survival time increases significantly.

  6. How sailfish use their bills to capture schooling prey.

    PubMed

    Domenici, P; Wilson, A D M; Kurvers, R H J M; Marras, S; Herbert-Read, J E; Steffensen, J F; Krause, S; Viblanc, P E; Couillaud, P; Krause, J

    2014-06-01

    The istiophorid family of billfishes is characterized by an extended rostrum or 'bill'. While various functions (e.g. foraging and hydrodynamic benefits) have been proposed for this structure, until now no study has directly investigated the mechanisms by which billfishes use their rostrum to feed on prey. Here, we present the first unequivocal evidence of how the bill is used by Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus albicans) to attack schooling sardines in the open ocean. Using high-speed video-analysis, we show that (i) sailfish manage to insert their bill into sardine schools without eliciting an evasive response and (ii) subsequently use their bill to either tap on individual prey targets or to slash through the school with powerful lateral motions characterized by one of the highest accelerations ever recorded in an aquatic vertebrate. Our results demonstrate that the combination of stealth and rapid motion make the sailfish bill an extremely effective feeding adaptation for capturing schooling prey. PMID:24759865

  7. How sailfish use their bills to capture schooling prey

    PubMed Central

    Domenici, P.; Wilson, A. D. M.; Kurvers, R. H. J. M.; Marras, S.; Herbert-Read, J. E.; Steffensen, J. F.; Krause, S.; Viblanc, P. E.; Couillaud, P.; Krause, J.

    2014-01-01

    The istiophorid family of billfishes is characterized by an extended rostrum or ‘bill’. While various functions (e.g. foraging and hydrodynamic benefits) have been proposed for this structure, until now no study has directly investigated the mechanisms by which billfishes use their rostrum to feed on prey. Here, we present the first unequivocal evidence of how the bill is used by Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus albicans) to attack schooling sardines in the open ocean. Using high-speed video-analysis, we show that (i) sailfish manage to insert their bill into sardine schools without eliciting an evasive response and (ii) subsequently use their bill to either tap on individual prey targets or to slash through the school with powerful lateral motions characterized by one of the highest accelerations ever recorded in an aquatic vertebrate. Our results demonstrate that the combination of stealth and rapid motion make the sailfish bill an extremely effective feeding adaptation for capturing schooling prey. PMID:24759865

  8. Biomechanics (Communication arising): prey attack by a large theropod dinosaur.

    PubMed

    Frazzetta, T H; Kardong, Kenneth V

    2002-03-28

    Prey-capture strategies in carnivorous dinosaurs have been inferred from the biomechanical features of their tooth structure, the estimated bite force produced, and their diet. Rayfield et al. have used finite-element analysis (FEA) to investigate such structure-function relationships in Allosaurus fragilis, and have found that the skull was designed to bear more stress than could be generated by simple biting. They conclude that this large theropod dinosaur delivered a chop-and-slash 'hatchet' blow to its prey, which it approached with its mouth wide open before driving its upper tooth row downwards. We argue that this mode of predation is unlikely, and that the FEA results, which relate to an 'overengineered' skull, are better explained by the biomechanical demands of prey capture. Understanding the mechanics of predation is important to our knowledge of the feeding habits of carnivorous dinosaurs and for accurate reconstruction their lifestyles. PMID:11919619

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

    PubMed

    Owen, M R; Lewis, M A

    2001-07-01

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

  10. Predatory fish select for coordinated collective motion in virtual prey.

    PubMed

    Ioannou, C C; Guttal, V; Couzin, I D

    2012-09-01

    Movement in animal groups is highly varied and ranges from seemingly disordered motion in swarms to coordinated aligned motion in flocks and schools. These social interactions are often thought to reduce risk from predators, despite a lack of direct evidence. We investigated risk-related selection for collective motion by allowing real predators (bluegill sunfish) to hunt mobile virtual prey. By fusing simulated and real animal behavior, we isolated predator effects while controlling for confounding factors. Prey with a tendency to be attracted toward, and to align direction of travel with, near neighbors tended to form mobile coordinated groups and were rarely attacked. These results demonstrate that collective motion could evolve as a response to predation, without prey being able to detect and respond to predators. PMID:22903520

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, Zhidong; Rehim, Mehbuba

    2006-12-01

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

  12. Acoustic shadows help gleaning bats find prey, but may be defeated by prey acoustic camouflage on rough surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Clare, Elizabeth L; Holderied, Marc W

    2015-01-01

    Perceptual abilities of animals, like echolocating bats, are difficult to study because they challenge our understanding of non-visual senses. We used novel acoustic tomography to convert echoes into visual representations and compare these cues to traditional echo measurements. We provide a new hypothesis for the echo-acoustic basis of prey detection on surfaces. We propose that bats perceive a change in depth profile and an ‘acoustic shadow’ cast by prey. The shadow is more salient than prey echoes and particularly strong on smooth surfaces. This may explain why bats look for prey on flat surfaces like leaves using scanning behaviour. We propose that rather than forming search images for prey, whose characteristics are unpredictable, predators may look for disruptions to the resting surface (acoustic shadows). The fact that the acoustic shadow is much fainter on rougher resting surfaces provides the first empirical evidence for ‘acoustic camouflage’ as an anti-predator defence mechanism. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07404.001 PMID:26327624

  13. Design of algal film photobioreactors: material surface energy effects on algal film productivity, colonization and lipid content.

    PubMed

    Genin, Scott N; Stewart Aitchison, J; Grant Allen, D

    2014-03-01

    A parallel plate air lift reactor was used to examine the growth kinetics of mixed culture algal biofilms grown on various materials (acrylic, glass, polycarbonate, polystyrene and cellulose acetate). The growth kinetics of the algal biofilms were non-linear overall and their overall productivities ranged from 1.10-2.08g/m(2)day, with those grown on cellulose acetate having the highest productivity. Overall algal biofilm productivity was largely explained by differences in the colonization time which in turn was strongly correlated to the polar surface energy of the material, but weakly correlated to water-material contact angle. When colonization time was taken into account, the productivity for all materials except acrylic was not significantly different at approximately 2g/m(2)/day. Lipid content of the algal biofilms ranged from 6% to 8% (w/w) and was not correlated to water-material contact angle or polar surface energy. The results have potential application for selecting appropriate materials for algal film photobioreactors. PMID:24441594

  14. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  15. Algal lectins as promising biomolecules for biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ram Sarup; Thakur, Shivani Rani; Bansal, Parveen

    2015-02-01

    Lectins are natural bioactive ubiquitous proteins or glycoproteins of non-immune response that bind reversibly to glycans of glycoproteins, glycolipids and polysaccharides possessing at least one non-catalytic domain causing agglutination. Some of them consist of several carbohydrate-binding domains which endow them with the properties of cell agglutination or precipitation of glycoconjugates. Lectins are rampant in nature from plants, animals and microorganisms. Among microorganisms, algae are the potent source of lectins with unique properties specifically from red algae. The demand of peculiar and neoteric biologically active substances has intensified the developments on isolation and biomedical applications of new algal lectins. Comprehensively, algal lectins are used in biomedical research for antiviral, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor activities, etc. and in pharmaceutics for the fabrication of cost-effective protein expression systems and nutraceutics. In this review, an attempt has been made to collate the information on various biomedical applications of algal lectins. PMID:23855360

  16. Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence.

    PubMed

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-03-01

    Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence. PMID:10698729

  17. Energy evaluation of algal cell disruption by high pressure homogenisation.

    PubMed

    Yap, Benjamin H J; Dumsday, Geoff J; Scales, Peter J; Martin, Gregory J O

    2015-05-01

    The energy consumption of high pressure homogenisation (HPH) was analysed to determine the feasibility of rupturing algal cells for biodiesel production. Experimentally, the processing capacity (i.e. flow rate), power draw and cell disruption efficiency of HPH were independent of feed concentration (for Nannochloropsis sp. up to 25%w/w solids). Depending on the homogenisation pressure (60-150 MPa), the solids concentration (0.25-25%w/w), and triacylglyceride (TAG) content of the harvested algal biomass (10-30%), the energy consumed by HPH represented between 6% and 110-times the energy density of the resulting biodiesel. Provided the right species (weak cell wall and high TAG content) is selected and the biomass is processed at a sufficiently high solids concentration, HPH can consume a small fraction of the energy content of the biodiesel produced. This study demonstrates the feasibility of process-scale algal cell disruption by HPH based on its energy requirement. PMID:25435068

  18. Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence.

    PubMed Central

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-01-01

    Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10698729

  19. Small herbivores suppress algal accumulation on Agatti atoll, Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cernohorsky, Nicole H.; McClanahan, Timothy R.; Babu, Idrees; Horsák, Michal

    2015-12-01

    Despite large herbivorous fish being generally accepted as the main group responsible for preventing algal accumulation on coral reefs, few studies have experimentally examined the relative importance of herbivore size on algal communities. This study used exclusion cages with two different mesh sizes (1 × 1 cm and 6 × 6 cm) to investigate the impact of different-sized herbivores on algal accumulation rates on the shallow (<2 m) back-reef of Agatti atoll, Lakshadweep. The fine-mesh cages excluded all visible herbivores, which had rapid and lasting effects on the benthic communities, and, after 127 d of deployment, there was a visible and significant increase in algae (mainly macroalgae) with algal volume being 13 times greater than in adjacent open areas. The coarse-mesh cages excluded larger fishes (>8 cm body depth) while allowing smaller fishes to access the plots. In contrast to the conclusions of most previous studies, the exclusion of large herbivores had no significant effect on the accumulation of benthic algae and the amount of algae present within the coarse-mesh cages was relatively consistent throughout the experimental period (around 50 % coverage and 1-2 mm height). The difference in algal accumulation between the fine-mesh and coarse-mesh cages appears to be related to the actions of small individuals from 12 herbivorous fish species (0.17 ind. m-2 and 7.7 g m-2) that were able to enter through the coarse mesh. Although restricted to a single habitat, these results suggest that when present in sufficient densities and diversity, small herbivorous fishes can prevent the accumulation of algal biomass on coral reefs.

  20. Role of gas vesicles and intra-colony spaces during the process of algal bloom formation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yongsheng; Zheng, Binghui; Jiang, Xia; Zheng, Hao

    2013-06-01

    Aggregation morphology, vertical distribution, and algal density were analyzed during the algal cell floating process in three environments. The role of gas vesicles and intra-colony spaces was distinguished by algal blooms treated with ultrasonic waves and high pressure. Results demonstrated that the two buoyancy providers jointly provide buoyancy for floating algal cells. The results were also confirmed by force analysis. In the simulation experiment, the buoyancy acting on algal cells was greater than its gravity at sample ports 2 and 3 of a columnar-cultivated cell vessel, and intra-colony spaces were not detected. In Taihu Lake, gas vesicle buoyancy was notably less than total algal cell gravity. Buoyancy provided by intra-colony spaces exceeded total algal cell gravity at the water surface, but not at other water depths. In the Daning River, total buoyancies provided by the two buoyancy providers were less than total algal cell gravity at different water depths. PMID:23833817

  1. Efficacy of algal metrics for assessing nutrient and organic enrichment in flowing waters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, S.D.; Mueller, D.K.; Spahr, N.E.; Munn, M.D.; Dubrovsky, N.M.

    2008-01-01

    4. Although algal species tolerance to nutrient and organic enrichment is well documented, additional taxonomic and autecological research on sensitive, endemic algal species would further enhance water-quality assessments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Prey choice and cannibalistic behaviour in the theropod Coelophysis.

    PubMed

    Nesbitt, Sterling J; Turner, Alan H; Erickson, Gregory M; Norell, Mark A

    2006-12-22

    Direct evidence of prey choice in carnivorous dinosaurs is rare in the fossil record. The most celebrated example pertains to purported stomach contents in the carnivorous dinosaur Coelophysis bauri, which besides revealing prey choice, also points to cannibalistic behaviour as being commonplace (Colbert 1989, 1995). Here, we test this hypothesis by conducting the first comprehensive anatomical and histological examination of the famed Coelophysis 'cannibals'. The results unequivocally show that the gut contents derive from early crocodylomorphs rather than juveniles of Coelophysis. These findings suggest that this taxon is not cannibalistic and bring into question the commonality of this behaviour among non-avian dinosaurs. PMID:17148302

  4. A simple model for forecast of coastal algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Ken T. M.; Lee, Joseph H. W.; Hodgkiss, I. J.

    2007-08-01

    In eutrophic sub-tropical coastal waters around Hong Kong and South China, algal blooms (more often called red tides) due to the rapid growth of microscopic phytoplankton are often observed. Under favourable environmental conditions, these blooms can occur and subside over rather short time scales—in the order of days to a few weeks. Very often, these blooms are observed in weakly flushed coastal waters under calm wind conditions—with or without stratification. Based on high-frequency field observations of harmful algal blooms at two coastal mariculture zones in Hong Kong, a mathematical model has been developed to forecast algal blooms. The model accounts for algal growth, decay, settling and vertical turbulent mixing, and adopts the same assumptions as the classical Riley, Stommel and Bumpus model (Riley, G.A., Stommel, H., Bumpus, D.F., 1949. Quantitative ecology of the plankton of the western North Atlantic. Bulletin of the Bingham Oceanographic Collection Yale University 12, 1-169). It is shown that for algal blooms to occur, a vertical stability criterion, E < 4 μl2/ π2, must be satisfied, where E, μ, l are the vertical turbulent diffusivity, algal growth rate, and euphotic layer depth respectively. In addition, a minimum nutrient threshold concentration must be reached. Moreover, with a nutrient competition consideration, the type of bloom (caused by motile or non-motile species) can be classified. The model requires as input simple and readily available field measurements of water column transparency and nutrient concentration, and representative maximum algal growth rate of the motile and non-motile species. In addition, with the use of three-dimensional hydrodynamic circulation models, simple relations are derived to estimate the vertical mixing coefficient as a function of tidal range, wind speed, and density stratification. The model gives a quick assessment of the likelihood of algal bloom occurrence, and has been validated against field

  5. Mexico-U.S. Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring Efforts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Chuanmin; Muller-Karger, Frank E.

    2008-06-01

    Workshop on Taxonomy of Harmful Algal Blooms; Veracruz, Mexico, 18-22 February 2008; A workshop on harmful algal bloom (HAB) taxonomy, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Health of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, was held at the Aquarium of Veracruz and focused on standardizing methods to detect HABs that affect coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This binational effort was established under the umbrella of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA), initially formed in 2004 by the five U.S. Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) with participation from U.S. federal agencies and other stakeholders.

  6. Sympatric Masticophis flagellum and Coluber constrictor select vertebrate prey at different levels of taxonomy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halstead, B.J.; Mushinsky, H.R.; McCoy, E.D.

    2008-01-01

    Masticophis flagellum (Coachwhip) and Coluber constrictor (Eastern Racer) are widespread North American snakes with similar foraging modes and habits. Little is known about the selection of prey by either species, and despite their apparently similar foraging habits, comparative studies of the foraging ecology of sympatric M. flagellum and C. constrictor are lacking. We examined the foraging ecology and prey selection of these actively foraging snakes in xeric, open-canopied Florida scrub habitat by defining prey availability separately for each snake to elucidate mechanisms underlying geographic, temporal, and interspecific variation in predator diets. Nineteen percent of M. flagellum and 28% of C. constrictor contained stomach contents, and most snakes contained only one prey item. Mean relative prey mass for both species was less than 10%. Larger C. constrictor consumed larger prey than small individuals, but this relationship disappeared when prey size was scaled to snake size. Masticophis flagellum was selective at the prey category level, and positively selected lizards and mammals; however, within these categories it consumed prey species in proportion to their availability. In contrast, C. constrictor preyed upon prey categories opportunistically, but was selective with regard to species. Specifically, C. constrictor positively selected Hyla femoralis (Pine Woods Treefrog) and negatively selected Bufo querclcus (Oak Toad), B. terrestris (Southern Toad), and Gastrophryne carolinensis (Eastern Narrowmouth Toad). Thus, despite their similar foraging habits, M. flagellum and C. constrictor select different prey and are selective of prey at different levels of taxonomy. ?? 2008 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  7. Increased olfactory search costs change foraging behaviour in an alien mustelid: a precursor to prey switching?

    PubMed

    Price, Catherine J; Banks, Peter B

    2016-09-01

    If generalist predators are to hunt efficiently, they must track the changing costs and benefits of multiple prey types. Decisions to switch from hunting preferred prey to alternate prey have been assumed to be driven by decreasing availability of preferred prey, with less regard for accessibility of alternate prey. Olfactory cues from prey provide information about prey availability and its location, and are exploited by many predators to reduce search costs. We show that stoats Mustela erminea, an alien olfactory predator in New Zealand, are sensitive to the search costs of hunting both their preferred rodent prey (mice) and a less desirable alternate prey (locust). We manipulated search costs for stoats using a novel form of olfactory camouflage of both prey, and found that stoats altered their foraging strategy depending on whether mice were camouflaged or conspicuous, but only when locusts were also camouflaged. Stoats gave up foraging four times more often when both prey were camouflaged, compared to when mice were conspicuous and locusts camouflaged. There were no differences in the foraging strategies used to hunt camouflaged or conspicuous mice when locusts were easy to find. Consequently, camouflaged mice survived longer than conspicuous mice when locusts were hard to find, but not when locusts were easy to find. Our results demonstrate that predators can integrate search costs from multiple prey types when making foraging decisions. Manipulating olfactory search costs to alter foraging strategies offers new methods for understanding the factors that foreshadow prey switching. PMID:27230396

  8. Large orb-webs adapted to maximise total biomass not rare, large prey

    PubMed Central

    Harmer, Aaron M. T.; Clausen, Philip D.; Wroe, Stephen; Madin, Joshua S.

    2015-01-01

    Spider orb-webs are the ultimate anti-ballistic devices, capable of dissipating the relatively massive kinetic energy of flying prey. Increased web size and prey stopping capacity have co-evolved in a number orb-web taxa, but the selective forces driving web size and performance increases are under debate. The rare, large prey hypothesis maintains that the energetic benefits of rare, very large prey are so much greater than the gains from smaller, more common prey that smaller prey are irrelevant for reproduction. Here, we integrate biophysical and ecological data and models to test a major prediction of the rare, large prey hypothesis, that selection should favour webs with increased stopping capacity and that large prey should comprise a significant proportion of prey stopped by a web. We find that larger webs indeed have a greater capacity to stop large prey. However, based on prey ecology, we also find that these large prey make up a tiny fraction of the total biomass (=energy) potentially captured. We conclude that large webs are adapted to stop more total biomass, and that the capacity to stop rare, but very large, prey is an incidental consequence of the longer radial silks that scale with web size. PMID:26374379

  9. Turbulence and nutrient interactions that control benthic algal production in an engineered cultivation raceway

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flow turbulence can be a controlling factor to the growth of benthic algae, but few studies have quantified this relationship in engineered cultivation systems. Experiments were performed to understand the limiting role of turbulence to algal productivity in an algal turf scrubber for benthic algal...

  10. Summative Mass Analysis of Algal Biomass - Integration of Analytical Procedures: Laboratory Analytical Procedure (LAP)

    SciTech Connect

    Laurens, L. M. L.

    2013-12-01

    This procedure guides the integration of laboratory analytical procedures to measure algal biomass constituents in an unambiguous manner and ultimately achieve mass balance closure for algal biomass samples. Many of these methods build on years of research in algal biomass analysis.

  11. Algal bloom-associated disease outbreaks among users of freshwater lakes-United States, 2009 - 2010

    EPA Science Inventory

    Algal blooms’ are local abundances of phytoplankton – microscopic photosynthesizing aquatic organisms found in surface waters worldwide; blooms are variable temporally and spatially and frequently produce a visible algal scum on the water. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are abundan...

  12. Effects of algal hydrolysate as reaction medium on enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocelluloses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algal biomass has been proposed as a source of lipids and sugars for biofuel productions. However, a substantial portion of potentially valuable algal material remains as a liquid hydrolysate after sugar and lipid extractions. This study examined the effects of an algal hydrolysate on the enzymatic...

  13. Algal turf scrubber (ATS) floways on the Great Wicomico River, Chesapeake Bay: productivity, algal community structure, substrate and chemistry(1).

    PubMed

    Adey, Walter H; Laughinghouse, H Dail; Miller, John B; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Thompson, Jesse G; Bertman, Steven; Hampel, Kristin; Puvanendran, Shanmugam

    2013-06-01

    Two Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) units were deployed on the Great Wicomico River (GWR) for 22 months to examine the role of substrate in increasing algal productivity and nutrient removal. The yearly mean productivity of flat ATS screens was 15.4 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) . This was elevated to 39.6 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) with a three-dimensional (3-D) screen, and to 47.7 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) by avoiding high summer harvest temperatures. These methods enhanced nutrient removal (N, P) in algal biomass by 3.5 times. Eighty-six algal taxa (Ochrophyta [diatoms], Chlorophyta [green algae], and Cyan-obacteria [blue-green algae]) self-seeded from the GWR and demonstrated yearly cycling. Silica (SiO2 ) content of the algal biomass ranged from 30% to 50% of total biomass; phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon content of the total algal biomass ranged from 0.15% to 0.21%, 2.13% to 2.89%, and 20.0% to 25.7%, respectively. Carbohydrate content (at 10%-25% of AFDM) was dominated by glucose. Lipids (fatty acid methyl ester; FAMEs) ranged widely from 0.5% to 9% AFDM, with Omega-3 fatty acids a consistent component. Mathematical modeling of algal produ-ctivity as a function of temperature, light, and substrate showed a proportionality of 4:3:3, resp-ectively. Under landscape ATS operation, substrate manipulation provides a considerable opportunity to increase ATS productivity, water quality amelioration, and biomass coproduction for fertilizers, fermentation energy, and omega-3 products. Based on the 3-D prod-uctivity and algal chemical composition demonstrated, ATS systems used for nonpoint source water treat-ment can produce ethanol (butanol) at 5.8× per unit area of corn, and biodiesel at 12.0× per unit area of soy beans (agricultural production US). PMID:27007038

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Experimental determination of the spatial scale of a prey patch from the predator's perspective.

    PubMed

    Birk, Matthew A; White, J Wilson

    2014-03-01

    Foraging theory predicts that predators should prefer foraging in habitat patches with higher prey densities. However, density depends on the spatial scale at which a "patch" is defined by an observer. Ecologists strive to measure prey densities at the same scale that predators do, but many natural landscapes lack obvious, well-defined prey patches. Thus one must determine the scale at which predators define patches of prey. We estimated the scale at which guppies, Poecilia reticulata, selected patches of zooplankton prey using a behavioral assay. Guppies could choose between two prey arrays, each manipulated to have a density that depended on the spatial scale at which density was calculated. We estimated the scale of guppy foraging by comparing guppy preferences across a series of trials in which we systematically varied the scale associated with "high" prey density. This approach enables the application of foraging theory to non-discrete habitats and prey landscapes. PMID:24241641

  16. Investigating the presence of predatory bacteria on algal bloom samples using a T6SS gene marker.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendricks, J.; Sison-Mangus, M.; Mehic, S.; McMahon, E.

    2015-12-01

    Predation is considered to be a major driving force in evolution and ecology, which has been observed affecting individual organisms, communities, and entire ecosystems. The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is an intermembranal protein complex identified in certain bacteria, which appears to have evolved strictly as a mechanism of predation. The effects of bacteria on phytoplankton physiology are still understudied, however, studies have shown that the interactions between bacteria that inhabit the phycosphere of phytoplankton can possibly result in coevolution of native host and microbiota. It is unclear if bacteria can prey upon other bacteria to gain advantages during periods of high phytoplankton density. Here, we investigate the predatory interactions between bacteria and analyze environmental samples for the presence of predatory bacterial genes in an effort to understand bacteria-bacteria and phytoplankton interactions during algal blooms. DNA were extracted from bacterial samples collected weekly from size-fractionated samples using 3.0 um and 0.2 um membrane filters at the Santa Cruz wharf. PCR amplification and gel visualization for the presence of T6SS gene was carried out on bloom and non-bloom samples. Moreover, we carried out a lab- based experiment to observe bacteria-bacteria interaction that may hint for the presence of predatory behavior between bacterial taxa. We observed what appeared to be a predatory biofilm formation between certain bacterial species. These bacteria, however, did not contain the T6SS genes. On the contrary the T6SS gene was discovered in some of the bloom samples gathered from the Santa Cruz wharf. It is still unclear if the predatory mechanisms facilitate the abundance of certain groups of bacteria that contain the T6SS genes during algal blooms, but our evidence suggest that bacterial predation through T6SS mechanism is present during bloom events.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-15

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd, Peter A.

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Tiger beetle's pursuit of prey depends on distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noest, Robert; Wang, Jane

    2015-03-01

    Tiger beetles are fast predators capable of chasing prey under closed-loop visual guidance. We investigated their control system using high-speed digital recordings of beetles chasing a moving prey dummy in a laboratory arena. Analysis reveals that the beetle uses a proportional control law in which the angular position of the prey relative to the beetle's body axis drives the beetle's angular velocity with a delay of about 28 ms. The system gain is shown to depend on the beetle-prey distance in a pattern indicating three hunting phases over the observed distance domain. We show that to explain this behavior the tiger beetle must be capable of visually determining the distance to its target and using that to adapt the gain in its proportional control law. We will end with a discussion on the possible methods for distance detection by the tiger beetle and focus on two of them. Motion parallax, using the natural head sway induced by the walking gait of the tiger beetle, is shown to have insufficient distance range. However elevation in the field of vision, using the angle with respect to the horizon at which a target is observed, has a much larger distance range and is a prime candidate for the mechanism of visual distance detection in the tiger beetle.

  3. Development and optimization of biofilm based algal cultivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Martin Anthony

    This dissertation describes research done on biofilm based algal cultivation systems. The system that was developed in this work is the revolving algal biofilm cultivation system (RAB). A raceway-retrofit, and a trough-based pilot-scale RAB system were developed and investigated. Each of the systems significantly outperformed a control raceway pond in side-by-side tests. Furthermore the RAB system was found to require significantly less water than the raceway pond based cultivation system. Lastly a TEA/LCA analysis was conducted to evaluate the economic and life cycle of the RAB cultivation system in comparison to raceway pond. It was found that the RAB system was able to grow algae at a lower cost and was shown to be profitable at a smaller scale than the raceway pond style of algal cultivation. Additionally the RAB system was projected to have lower GHG emissions, and better energy and water use efficiencies in comparison to a raceway pond system. Furthermore, fundamental research was conducted to identify the optimal material for algae to attach on. A total of 28 materials with a smooth surface were tested for initial cell colonization and it was found that the tetradecane contact angle of the materials had a good correlation with cell attachment. The effects of surface texture were evaluated using mesh materials (nylon, polypropylene, high density polyethylene, polyester, aluminum, and stainless steel) with openings ranging from 0.05--6.40 mm. It was found that both surface texture and material composition influence algal attachment.

  4. Autonomous benthic algal cultivator under feedback control of ecosystem metabolism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An autonomous and internally-controlled techno-ecological hybrid was developed that controls primary production of algae in a laboratory-scale cultivator. The technoecosystem is based on an algal turf scrubber (ATS) system that combines engineered feedback control programming with internal feedback...

  5. Automatic identification of algal community from microscopic images.

    PubMed

    Santhi, Natchimuthu; Pradeepa, Chinnaraj; Subashini, Parthasarathy; Kalaiselvi, Senthil

    2013-01-01

    A good understanding of the population dynamics of algal communities is crucial in several ecological and pollution studies of freshwater and oceanic systems. This paper reviews the subsequent introduction to the automatic identification of the algal communities using image processing techniques from microscope images. The diverse techniques of image preprocessing, segmentation, feature extraction and recognition are considered one by one and their parameters are summarized. Automatic identification and classification of algal community are very difficult due to various factors such as change in size and shape with climatic changes, various growth periods, and the presence of other microbes. Therefore, the significance, uniqueness, and various approaches are discussed and the analyses in image processing methods are evaluated. Algal identification and associated problems in water organisms have been projected as challenges in image processing application. Various image processing approaches based on textures, shapes, and an object boundary, as well as some segmentation methods like, edge detection and color segmentations, are highlighted. Finally, artificial neural networks and some machine learning algorithms were used to classify and identifying the algae. Further, some of the benefits and drawbacks of schemes are examined. PMID:24151424

  6. Studies of the effect of gibberellic acid on algal growth.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, W. K.; Sorokin, C.

    1971-01-01

    The effect of gibberellic acid on exponential growth rate of four strains of Chlorella was investigated under variety of experimental conditions. In concentrations from 10 ppm to 100 ppm, gibberellic acid was shown to have no effect on Chlorella growth. In concentration of 200 ppm, gibberellic acid exerted some unfavorable effect on algal growth.

  7. Numerical simulation of an algal bloom in Dianshan Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yizhong; Lin, Weiqing; Zhu, Jianrong; Lu, Shiqiang

    2016-01-01

    A hydrodynamic model and an aquatic ecology model of Dianshan Lake, Shanghai, were built using a hydrodynamic simulation module and the water quality simulation module of Delft3D, which is an integrated modelling suite offered by Deltares. The simulated water elevation, current velocity, and direction were validated with observed data to ensure the reliability of hydrodynamic model. The seasonal growth of different algae was analyzed with consideration of observed and historical data, as well as simulated results. In 2008, the dominant algae in Dianshan Lake was Bacillariophyta from February to March, while it was Chlorophyta from April to May, and Cyanophyta from July to August. In summer, the biomass of Cyanophyta grew quickly, reaching levels much higher than the peaks of Bacillariophyta and Chlorophyta. Algae blooms primarily occurred in the stagnation regions. This phenomenon indicates that water residence time can influence algal growth significantly. A longer water residence time was associated with higher algal growth. Two conclusions were drawn from several simulations: reducing the nutrients inflow had little effect on algal blooms in Dianshan Lake; however, increasing the discharge into Dianshan Lake could change the flow field characteristic and narrow the range of stagnation regions, resulting in inhibition of algal aggregation and propagation and a subsequent reduction in areas of high concentration algae.

  8. Harmful Algal Blooms and Drinking Water Treatment Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has been conducting algal bloom research at multiple facilities around Lake Erie over the past few years to help communities confront the challenge of keeping cyanobacterial toxins from reaching consumers’ taps, while minimizing the financial burden. The first goal of this re...

  9. Effects of marine algal toxins on thermoregulation in mice.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher J; Ramsdell, John S

    2005-01-01

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevetoxin in the mouse. Radiotelemetry was used to measure core temperature in the unrestrained mouse while it was housed in a temperature gradient allowing the exhibition of thermoregulatory behavior. Both maitotoxin (338 ng/kg) and brevetoxin (180 microg/kg) were shown to elicit profound hypothermic responses accompanied by a preference for cooler ambient temperatures in the gradient. This behavioral response would suggest that the toxins alter the central neural control of body temperature, resulting in a regulated reduction in body temperature. Following recovery from the acute hypothermic effects of brevetoxin, mice developed an elevation in their daytime core temperature that persisted for several days after exposure. This fever-like response may represent a delayed toxicological effect of the marine algal toxins that is manifested through the thermoregulatory system. Overall, algal toxins have acute and delayed effects on temperature regulation in the mouse. A better understanding of the mechanisms of action of the toxins on thermoregulation should lead to improved methods for treating victims of ciguatera and other toxin exposures. PMID:16111859

  10. Toward on-line measurement of algal properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algai is a potential soruce of large amounts of lipids for conversion to hydrocarbon fuels. Industria-scale algai production requires process control, which further requires sensors to measure critical algal properties. One of the principal properties that needs to be measured in algae production is...

  11. Mechanism of algal aggregation by Bacillus sp. strain RP1137.

    PubMed

    Powell, Ryan J; Hill, Russell T

    2014-07-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

  12. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on tropical algal communities

    SciTech Connect

    Santas, R.

    1989-01-01

    This study assessed some of the effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation ion coral reef algal assemblages. The first part of the investigation was carried out under controlled laboratory conditions in the coral reef microcosm at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., while a field counterpart was completed at the Smithsonian Institution's marine station on Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, in the eastern Caribbean. The study attempted to separate the effects of UV-A from those of UV-B. In the laboratory, algal turf assemblages exposed to simulated solar UV radiation produced 55.1% less biomass than assemblages that were not exposed to UV. Assemblages not exposed to UV were dominated by Ectocarpus rhodochondroides, whereas in the assemblage developing under high UV radiation, Enteromorpha prolifera and eventually Schizothrix calcicola dominated. Lower UV-B irradiances caused a proportional reduction in biomass production and had less pronounced effects on species composition. UV-A did not have any significant effects on either algal turf productivity or community structure. In the field, assemblages exposed to naturally occurring solar UV supported a biomass 40% lower than that of assemblages protected from UV-B exposure. Once again, UV-A did not inhibit algal turf productivity.

  13. Mechanism of Algal Aggregation by Bacillus sp. Strain RP1137

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Ryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Matthew L.; Hari, Janice

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purohit, D.; Chaudhuri, K. S.

    2002-01-01

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

  17. Dietary supplementation with non-prey food enhances fitness of a predatory arthropod

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Uncertainties exist about the value of non-prey food for natural enemies that are commonly food limited, and the dietary conditions where non-prey foods are beneficial for carnivorous species. We examined the nutritional role of a non-prey food using a ground dwelling, tangle web-building spider tha...

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

    PubMed

    Broom, Mark; Ruxton, Graeme D

    2012-12-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  20. Multimodal cues improve prey localization under complex environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Biofertilizers from Algal Treatment of Dairy and Swine Manure Effluents: Characterization of Algal Biomass as a Slow Release Fertilizer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An alternative practice to land spreading of manure effluents is to grow crops of algae on the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) present in these liquid slurries. The overall environmental and economic values of this approach depend, in part, on the use and value of the resulting algal byproduct. Am...

  2. Deep sequencing of amplified Prasinovirus and host green algal genes from an Indian Ocean transect reveals interacting trophic dependencies and new genotypes.

    PubMed

    Clerissi, Camille; Desdevises, Yves; Romac, Sarah; Audic, Stéphane; de Vargas, Colomban; Acinas, Silvia G; Casotti, Raffaella; Poulain, Julie; Wincker, Patrick; Hingamp, Pascal; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Grimsley, Nigel

    2015-12-01

    High-throughput sequencing of Prasinovirus DNA polymerase and host green algal (Mamiellophyceae) ribosomal RNA genes was used to analyse the diversity and distribution of these taxa over a ∼10 000 km latitudinal section of the Indian Ocean. New viral and host groups were identified among the different trophic conditions observed, and highlighted that although unknown prasinoviruses are diverse, the cosmopolitan algal genera Bathycoccus, Micromonas and Ostreococcus represent a large proportion of the host diversity. While Prasinovirus communities were correlated to both the geography and the environment, host communities were not, perhaps because the genetic marker used lacked sufficient resolution. Nevertheless, analysis of single environmental variables showed that eutrophic conditions strongly influence the distributions of both hosts and viruses. Moreover, these communities were not correlated, in their composition or specific richness. These observations could result from antagonistic dynamics, such as that illustrated in a prey-predator model, and/or because hosts might be under a complex set of selective pressures. Both of these reasons must be considered to interpret environmental surveys of viruses and hosts, because covariation does not always imply interaction. PMID:26472079

  3. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    PubMed

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs. PMID:26271287

  4. Mechanical work as a determinant of prey-handling behavior in the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko).

    PubMed

    Andrews, C; Bertram, J E

    1997-01-01

    In this study an in vitro analysis of the force and mechanical work required to bite prey items of different size and physical character is combined with an in vivo analysis of prey-handling behavior in the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). The force required to bite and the work of biting increase with prey size, but the rate of increase is prey specific, with crickets (Acheta domestica) requiring substantially more force and work per bite than larvae (Galleria mellonella and Manduca sexta) for all but the smallest prey. Prey-handling behavior is also prey specific. Geckos exert more bites per feeding event on small crickets than on small insect larvae, but the number of bites increases faster with prey mass for larvae than for crickets. Combination of the in vitro mechanical measurements with the in vivo behavior analysis allows the calculation of total mechanical work per feeding event and indicates that total work increases with prey size but that the difference between prey types is far less than predicted from the differences in structural properties of the prey. This occurs because the number of bites and work per bite relationships tend to cancel the differences in the total work necessary to process each prey type. Thus, when considering the effect of prey size, a 13-fold greater rate of increase in bite force and an 18-fold greater rate of increase of work per bit for crickets over larvae was partially compensated for by a threefold increase in the number of bites used on larvae relative to crickets. These results can be interpreted in two ways. The effect of mechanical work in feeding behavior suggests that the energetics of jaw adductor musculature could play a greater role in governing the feeding behavior of this lizard than has previously been expected. Alternatively, the scaling of work in feeding over a range of prey sizes suggests distinct differences in the geometric features of the prey that determine how they are processed. PMID:9231392

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savitri, D.; Abadi

    2015-03-01

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

  9. Sabretoothed carnivores and the killing of large prey.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Ki; Norman, David; Werdelin, Lars

    2011-01-01

    Sabre-like canines clearly have the potential to inflict grievous wounds leading to massive blood loss and rapid death. Hypotheses concerning sabretooth killing modes include attack to soft parts such as the belly or throat, where biting deep is essential to generate strikes reaching major blood vessels. Sabretoothed carnivorans are widely interpreted as hunters of larger and more powerful prey than that of their present-day nonsabretoothed relatives. However, the precise functional advantage of the sabretooth bite, particularly in relation to prey size, is unknown. Here, we present a new point-to-point bite model and show that, for sabretooths, depth of the killing bite decreases dramatically with increasing prey size. The extended gape of sabretooths only results in considerable increase in bite depth when biting into prey with a radius of less than ∼10 cm. For sabretooths, this size-reversed functional advantage suggests predation on species within a similar size range to those attacked by present-day carnivorans, rather than "megaherbivores" as previously believed. The development of the sabretooth condition appears to represent a shift in function and killing behaviour, rather than one in predator-prey relations. Furthermore, our results demonstrate how sabretoothed carnivorans are likely to have evolved along a functionally continuous trajectory: beginning as an extension of a jaw-powered killing bite, as adopted by present-day pantherine cats, followed by neck-powered biting and thereafter shifting to neck-powered shear-biting. We anticipate this new insight to be a starting point for detailed study of the evolution of pathways that encompass extreme specialisation, for example, understanding how neck-powered biting shifts into shear-biting and its significance for predator-prey interactions. We also expect that our model for point-to-point biting and bite depth estimations will yield new insights into the behaviours of a broad range of extinct predators

  10. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia): regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    PubMed

    Lyngdoh, Salvador; Shrotriya, Shivam; Goyal, Surendra P; Clements, Hayley; Hayward, Matthew W; Habib, Bilal

    2014-01-01

    The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2) globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), argali (Ovis ammon) and marmots (Marmota spp). The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation. PMID:24533080

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wesner, Jeff S

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Connecting Florida Bay algal blooms to freshwater nutrient sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakey, T.; Melesse, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, monthly water quality data collected in the Everglades by the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) from 1991 to 2008 at 28 sampling stations distributed across Florida Bay was analyzed within the context of local geomorphology and seasonal wind and current regimes in order to evaluate the feasibility of the various purported nutrient sources for reoccurring algal blooms. The in situ chlorophyll-a (chl-a) measurements from the SERC dataset were evaluated as the indicator of algal biomass. Significant differences in average monthly chl-a concentrations at stations indicated a seasonality of algal blooms in the north central and west areas that is not evidenced in stations exhibiting low levels of chl-a throughout the typical year. Tukey's pairwise comparisons of monthly chl-a indicated, at the 95% confidence level, peak algal biomass occurs in October and November at the end of the wet season with minimums occurring between February and August depending on the location of the station. By month comparison of chl-a levels across stations suggest seasonal trends in the geographic focus and extent of blooms. Significant differences from Tukey's pairwise comparisons at the 95% confidence level showed stations to the west as having higher levels of chl-a in March through May with north central stations dominating from June to January. The month of February shows no significant difference in chl-a levels across this area. The results support hypotheses centering on a western source of nutrients that are delivered to the bay over the course of the rainy season. Mapping water quality sampling station locations on top of the bathymetry of Florida Bay illustrates the importance of considering coastal morphology in explaining trends in estuarine algal blooms. Coastal geomorphology along with seasonal changes in the direction of winds and magnitude of rains are demonstrated to be the predominant

  17. Morphology of seahorse head hydrodynamically aids in capture of evasive prey.

    PubMed

    Gemmell, Brad J; Sheng, Jian; Buskey, Edward J

    2013-01-01

    Syngnathid fish (seahorses, pipefish and sea dragons) are slow swimmers yet capture evasive prey (copepods) using a technique known as the 'pivot' feeding, which involves rapid movement to overcome prey escape capabilities. However, this feeding mode functions only at short range and requires approaching very closely to hydrodynamically sensitive prey without triggering an escape. Here we investigate the role of head morphology on prey capture using holographic and particle image velocimetry (PIV). We show that head morphology functions to create a reduced fluid deformation zone, minimizing hydrodynamic disturbance where feeding strikes occur (above the end of the snout), and permits syngnathid fish to approach highly sensitive copepod prey (Acartia tonsa) undetected. The results explain how these animals can successfully employ short range 'pivot' feeding effectively on evasive prey. The need to approach prey with stealth may have selected for a head shape that produces lower deformation rates than other fish. PMID:24281430

  18. 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

  19. Population Growth of the Cladoceran, Daphnia magna: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Different Algal Food

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jong-Yun; Kim, Seong-Ki; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Kim, Myoung-Chul; La, Geung-Hwan; Joo, Gea-Jae; Jeong, Kwang-Seuk

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we examined the effects of two phytoplankton species, Chlorella vulgaris and Stephanodiscus hantzschii, on growth of the zooplankton Daphnia magna. Our experimental approach utilized stable isotopes to determine the contribution of food algae to offspring characteristics and to the size of adult D. magna individuals. When equal amounts of food algae were provided (in terms of carbon content), the size of individuals, adult zooplankton, and their offspring increased significantly following the provision of S. hantzschii, but not after the provision of C. vulgaris or of a combination of the two species. Offspring size was unaffected when C. vulgaris or a mixture of the two algal species was delivered, whereas providing only S. hantzschii increased the production of larger-sized offspring. Stable isotope analysis revealed significant assimilation of diatom-derived materials that was important for the growth of D. magna populations. Our results confirm the applicability of stable isotope approaches for clarifying the contribution of different food algae and elucidate the importance of food quality for growth of D. magna individuals and populations. Furthermore, we expect that stable isotope analysis will help to further precisely examine the contribution of prey to predators or grazers in controlled experiments. PMID:24752042

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gakkhar, Sunita; Singh, Anuraj

    2012-02-01

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

  1. Predator fitness increases with selectivity for odd prey.

    PubMed

    Rutz, Christian

    2012-05-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-01

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

  4. Hybrid life-cycle assessment of algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Malik, Arunima; Lenzen, Manfred; Ralph, Peter J; Tamburic, Bojan

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this work is to establish whether algal bio-crude production is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. To this end, an economic multi-regional input-output model of Australia was complemented with engineering process data on algal bio-crude production. This model was used to undertake hybrid life-cycle assessment for measuring the direct, as well as indirect impacts of producing bio-crude. Overall, the supply chain of bio-crude is more sustainable than that of conventional crude oil. The results indicate that producing 1 million tonnes of bio-crude will generate almost 13,000 new jobs and 4 billion dollars' worth of economic stimulus. Furthermore, bio-crude production will offer carbon sequestration opportunities as the production process is net carbon-negative. PMID:25465782

  5. Unraveling algal lipid metabolism: Recent advances in gene identification.

    PubMed

    Khozin-Goldberg, Inna; Cohen, Zvi

    2011-01-01

    Microalgae are now the focus of intensive research due to their potential as a renewable feedstock for biodiesel. This research requires a thorough understanding of the biochemistry and genetics of these organisms' lipid-biosynthesis pathways. Genes encoding lipid-biosynthesis enzymes can now be identified in the genomes of various eukaryotic microalgae. However, an examination of the predicted proteins at the biochemical and molecular levels is mandatory to verify their function. The essential molecular and genetic tools are now available for a comprehensive characterization of genes coding for enzymes of the lipid-biosynthesis pathways in some algal species. This review mainly summarizes the novel information emerging from recently obtained algal gene identification. PMID:20709142

  6. Didymosphenia geminata: Algal blooms in oligotrophic streams and rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundareshwar, P. V.; Upadhayay, S.; Abessa, M.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S. A.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2011-05-01

    In recent decades, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has emerged as nuisance species in river systems around the world. This periphytic alga forms large “blooms” in temperate streams, presenting a counterintuitive result: the blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic streams and rivers, where phosphorus (P) availability typically limits primary production. The goal of this study is to examine how high algal biomass is formed under low P conditions. We reveal a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats concentrate P from flowing waters. First, the mucopolysaccaride stalks of D. geminata adsorb both iron (Fe) and P. Second, enzymatic and bacterial processes interact with Fe to increase the biological availability of P. We propose that a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and high growth rate is created, which results in abundant P for cell division. The affinity of stalks for Fe in association with iron-phosphorus biogeochemistry suggest a resolution to the paradox of algal blooms in oliogotrophic streams and rivers.

  7. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Ryan; Biddy, Mary J.; Jones, Susanne B.

    2013-03-31

    In support of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are undertaking studies of biomass conversion technologies to identify barriers and target research toward reducing conversion costs. Process designs and preliminary economic estimates for each of these pathway cases were developed using rigorous modeling tools (Aspen Plus and Chemcad). These analyses incorporated the best information available at the time of development, including data from recent pilot and bench-scale demonstrations, collaborative industrial and academic partners, and published literature and patents. This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline, diesel and jet range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  8. Phenolic content and antioxidant capacity in algal food products.

    PubMed

    Machu, Ludmila; Misurcova, Ladislava; Ambrozova, Jarmila Vavra; Orsavova, Jana; Mlcek, Jiri; Sochor, Jiri; Jurikova, Tunde

    2015-01-01

    The study objective was to investigate total phenolic content using Folin-Ciocalteu's method, to assess nine phenols by HPLC, to determine antioxidant capacity of the water soluble compounds (ACW) by a photochemiluminescence method, and to calculate the correlation coefficients in commercial algal food products from brown (Laminaria japonica, Eisenia bicyclis, Hizikia fusiformis, Undaria pinnatifida) and red (Porphyra tenera, Palmaria palmata) seaweed, green freshwater algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa), and cyanobacteria (Spirulina platensis). HPLC analysis showed that the most abundant phenolic compound was epicatechin. From spectrophotometry and ACW determination it was evident that brown seaweed Eisenia bicyclis was the sample with the highest phenolic and ACW values (193 mg·g-1 GAE; 7.53 µmol AA·g-1, respectively). A linear relationship existed between ACW and phenolic contents (r = 0.99). Some algal products seem to be promising functional foods rich in polyphenols. PMID:25587787

  9. Determination of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin in algal food supplements

    PubMed Central

    Liu, H.; Scott, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    For the analysis of blue–green algal food supplements for cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a C18 solid-phase extraction column and a polygraphitized carbon solid-phase extraction column in series was an effective procedure for the clean-up of extracts. Determination of CYN was by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet light detection. At extract spiking levels of CYN equivalent to 25–500 μg g−1, blue–green algal supplement recoveries were in the range 70–90%. CYN was not detected in ten samples of food supplements and one chocolate product, all containing blue–green algae. The limit of detection for the method was 16 μg g−1, and the limit of quantification was 52 μg g−1. PMID:21623503

  10. Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Boetius, Antje; Albrecht, Sebastian; Bakker, Karel; Bienhold, Christina; Felden, Janine; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hendricks, Stefan; Katlein, Christian; Lalande, Catherine; Krumpen, Thomas; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Rabe, Benjamin; Rogacheva, Antonina; Rybakova, Elena; Somavilla, Raquel; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2013-03-22

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central basins between 82° to 89°N and 30° to 130°E in summer 2012, when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on average 9 grams of carbon per square meter to the deep-sea floor of the central Arctic basins. Data from this cruise will contribute to assessing the effect of current climate change on Arctic productivity, biodiversity, and ecological function. PMID:23413190

  11. A Taste of Algal Genomes from the Joint Genome Institute

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-06-17

    Algae play profound roles in aquatic food chains and the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, provide models for the study of symbiosis, photosynthesis, and eukaryotic evolution, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE's Joint Genome Institute (JGI). To date JGI has sequenced, assembled, annotated, and released to the public the genomes of 18 species and strains of algae, sampling almost all of the major clades of photosynthetic eukaryotes. With more algal genomes currently undergoing analysis, JGI continues its commitment to driving forward basic and applied algal science. Among these ongoing projects are the pan-genome of the dominant coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, the interrelationships between the 4 genomes in the nucleomorph-containing Bigelowiella natans and Guillardia theta, and the search for symbiosis genes of lichens.

  12. ALGAL NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY AND LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL. APPENDICES TO PART III. ALGAL NUTRIENT LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted on the potential significance of nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients in limiting planktonic algal growth in Lake Ontario and its major tributaries. Standard algal assay procedures were used. Samples of the open waters of Lake Ontario and Niagara River...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. Flash visual evoked potentials in diurnal birds of prey.

    PubMed

    Dondi, Maurizio; Biaggi, Fabio; Di Ianni, Francesco; Dodi, Pier Luigi; Quintavalla, Fausto

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of Flash Visual Evoked Potentials (FVEPs) testing in birds of prey in a clinical setting and to describe the protocol and the baseline data for normal vision in this species. FVEP recordings were obtained from 6 normal adult birds of prey: n. 2 Harris's Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus), n. 1 Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus), n. 2 Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) and n. 1 Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug). Before carrying out VEP tests, all animals underwent neurologic and ophthalmic routine examination. Waveforms were analysed to identify reproducible peaks from random variation of baseline. At least three positive and negative peaks were highlighted in all tracks with elevated repeatability. Measurements consisted of the absolute and relative latencies of these peaks (P1, N1, P2, N2, P3, and N3) and their peak-to-peak amplitudes. Both the peak latency and wave morphology achieved from normal animals were similar to those obtained previously in other animal species. This test can be easily and safely performed in a clinical setting in birds of prey and could be useful for an objective assessment of visual function. PMID:27547536

  15. Predator nonconsumptive effects on prey recruitment weaken with recruit density.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) of predatory dogwhelks (Nucella lapillus) on intertidal barnacle (Semibalanus balanoides) recruitment through field experiments on the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast and the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. We studied the recruitment seasons (May-June) of 2011 and 2013. In 2011, the Gulf coast had five times more nearshore phytoplankton (food for barnacle larvae and recruits) during the recruitment season and yielded a 58% higher barnacle recruit density than the Atlantic coast at the end of the recruitment season. In 2013, phytoplankton levels and barnacle recruit density were similar on both coasts and also lower than for the Gulf coast in 2011. Using the comparative-experimental method, the manipulation of dogwhelk presence (without allowing physical contact with prey) revealed that dogwhelk cues limited barnacle recruitment under moderate recruit densities (Atlantic 2011/2013 and Gulf 2013) but had no effect under a high recruit density (Gulf 2011). Barnacle recruits attract settling larvae through chemical cues. Thus, the highest recruit density appears to have neutralized dogwhelk effects. This study suggests that the predation risk perceived by settling larvae may decrease with increasing recruit density and that prey food supply may indirectly influence predator NCEs on prey recruitment. PMID:26236858

  16. Effects of mosquito larvicide on mallard ducklings and prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miles, A.K.; Lawler, S.P.; Dritz, D.; Spring, S.

    2002-01-01

    We determined the effects of a commonly used mosquito (Culicidae) larvicide (California Golden Bear Oil??, also GB-1111) on body mass and survival of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings and on target and nontarget invertebrates. Field studies conducted on natural ponds located in salt marshes in south San Francisco Bay indicated that GB-1111 had an initial impact on potential invertebrate prey of birds that dissipated rapidly 3 days post-spray. Over-spray, spray drift, or treatment of more extensive areas would likely delay recovery of nontarget prey. Ducklings held intermittently on the ponds over an 8-day period showed no significant effects of weight loss due to invertebrate prey depletion, although initial effects of exposure to GB-1111 were observed (i.e., matting of feathers and mild hypothermia). These results emphasize the importance of avoiding application of GB-1111 during cold temperatures and adherence to recommended use of this larvicide. Otherwise, GB-1111 had a short-term impact on wetland communities.

  17. Electroreceptive Prey-Location Coding by the Juvenile Paddlefish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2003-03-01

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

  18. Hydrodynamics of prey capture in sharks: effects of substrate.

    PubMed

    Nauwelaerts, Sandra; Wilga, Cheryl; Sanford, Christopher; Lauder, George

    2007-04-22

    In suction feeding, a volume of water is drawn into the mouth of a predator. Previous studies of suction feeding in fishes have shown that significant fluid velocities are confined to a region within one mouth width from the mouth. Therefore, the predator must be relatively close to the prey to ensure capture success. Here, theoretical modelling is combined with empirical data to unravel the mechanism behind feeding on a substrate. First, we approached the problem theoretically by combining the stream functions of two sinks. Computational fluid dynamics modelling is then applied to make quantitative predictions regarding the effects of substrate proximity on the feeding hydrodynamics of a benthic shark. An oblique circular cylinder and a shark head model were used. To test the models, we used digital particle image velocimetry to record fluid flow around the mouth of white-spotted bamboo sharks, Chiloscyllium plagiosum, during suction feeding on the substrate and in the water column. Empirical results confirmed the modelling predictions: the length of the flow field can be doubled due to passive substrate effects during prey capture. Feeding near a substrate extends the distance over which suction is effective and a predator strike can be effective further from the prey. PMID:17251144

  19. Flash visual evoked potentials in diurnal birds of prey

    PubMed Central

    Biaggi, Fabio; Di Ianni, Francesco; Dodi, Pier Luigi; Quintavalla, Fausto

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of Flash Visual Evoked Potentials (FVEPs) testing in birds of prey in a clinical setting and to describe the protocol and the baseline data for normal vision in this species. FVEP recordings were obtained from 6 normal adult birds of prey: n. 2 Harris’s Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus), n. 1 Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus), n. 2 Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) and n. 1 Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug). Before carrying out VEP tests, all animals underwent neurologic and ophthalmic routine examination. Waveforms were analysed to identify reproducible peaks from random variation of baseline. At least three positive and negative peaks were highlighted in all tracks with elevated repeatability. Measurements consisted of the absolute and relative latencies of these peaks (P1, N1, P2, N2, P3, and N3) and their peak-to-peak amplitudes. Both the peak latency and wave morphology achieved from normal animals were similar to those obtained previously in other animal species. This test can be easily and safely performed in a clinical setting in birds of prey and could be useful for an objective assessment of visual function. PMID:27547536

  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. Blue whale habitat and prey in the California Channel Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiedler, Paul C.; Reilly, Stephen B.; Hewitt, Roger P.; Demer, David; Philbrick, Valerie A.; Smith, Susan; Armstrong, Wesley; Croll, Donald A.; Tershy, Bernie R.; Mate, Bruce R.

    1998-08-01

    Whale Habitat and Prey Studies were conducted off southern California during August 1995 (WHAPS95) and July 1996 (WHAPS96) to (1) study the distribution and activities of blue whales and other large whales, (2) survey the distribution of prey organisms (krill), and (3) measure physical and biological habitat variables that influence the distribution of whales and prey. A total of 1307 cetacean sightings included 460 blue whale, 78 fin whale and 101 humpback whale sightings. Most blue whales were found in cold, well-mixed and productive water that had upwelled along the coast north of Point Conception and then advected south. They were aggregated in this water near San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands, where they fed on dense, subsurface layers of euphausiids both on the shelf and extending off the shelf edge. Two species of euphausiids were consumed by blue whales, Thysanoessa spinifera and Euphausia pacifica, with evidence of preference for the former, a larger and more coastal species. These krill patches on the Channel Island feeding grounds are a resource exploited during summer-fall by the world's largest stock of blue whales.

  2. Prey transport in "palatine-erecting" elapid snakes.

    PubMed

    Deufel, Alexandra; Cundall, David

    2003-12-01

    Cobras and mambas are members of a group of elapid snakes supposedly united by the morphology and inferred behavior of their palatine bone during prey transport (palatine erectors). The palatine erectors investigated (Dendroaspis polylepis, Naja pallida, Ophiophagus hannah, Aspidelaps scutatus, A. lubricus) show differences in the morphology of their feeding apparatus that do not affect the overall behavior of the system. We delineated the structures directly involved in producing palatine erection during prey transport. Palatine erection can be achieved by a colubroid muscle contraction pattern acting on a palato-pterygoid bar with a movable palato-pterygoid joint and a palatine that is stabilized against the snout. The palatine characters originally proposed to cause palatine erection are not required to produce the behavior and actually impede it in Naja pallida. Palatine-erecting elapids share a fundamental design of the palato-maxillary apparatus with all higher snakes. A set of plesiomorphic core characters is functionally integrated to function in prey transport using the pterygoid walk. Variant characters are either part of a structural periphery unrelated to the core structures that define function or patterns of variation are subordinate character sets operating within functional thresholds of a single system. PMID:14584037

  3. Antarctic jaws: cephalopod prey of sharks in Kerguelen waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherel, Yves; Duhamel, Guy

    2004-01-01

    Only five species of sharks have been recorded in the Southern Ocean, where their biology is essentially unknown. We investigated the feeding habits of the three commonest species from stomach content analysis of specimens taken as bycatches of the fishery targeting the Patagonian toothfish ( Dissostichus eleginoides) in upper slope waters of the Kerguelen Archipelago. The three species prey upon a diversity of fishes and cephalopods. They segregate by feeding on different species of squids of different sizes. The small lanternsharks ( Etmopterus cf. granulosus; 0.3 m on average) feed on small-sized Mastigoteuthis psychrophila, while the large porbeagles ( Lamna nasus; 1.9 m) feed on small-sized histioteuthids ( Histioteuthis atlantica and H. eltaninae) and on medium-sized juvenile ommastrephids of the genus Todarodes. Finally, the huge sleeper sharks ( Somniosus cf. microcephalus; 3.9 m) prey upon large-sized cephalopods ( Kondakovia longimana and Taningia danae) and giant squids ( Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni and Architeuthis dux). Thus sleeper shark is a fish with sperm whale-like feeding habits and, hence, the second top predator known to science to rely significantly on giant squids. Prey species and biology indicate that porbeagles are pelagic predators in the entire water column, while sleeper sharks are mainly benthic top predators and scavengers. The present study also underlines the diversity and biomass of the poorly known cephalopod fauna, including giant squids, occurring in outer shelf and upper slope waters surrounding subantarctic islands.

  4. [Algal biotoxins in Dialysis Water: a risk not managed].

    PubMed

    Ferrante, Margherita; Zuccarello, Pietro; Garufi, Angela; Cristaldi, Antonio; Oliveri Conti, Gea

    2016-01-01

    A literature review was performed to retrieve updated information on the quality of dialysis water, with a focus on the emerging problem of the presence of algal toxins (microcystins) produced by cyanobacteria. Current legislation was examined as well as studies conducted to date in different geographic areas. In this article, the authors present review results along with recommendations to operators and managers of dialysis units, for preventing possible risks for patients. PMID:27077559

  5. Selective algicidal action of peptides against harmful algal bloom species.

    PubMed

    Park, Seong-Cheol; Lee, Jong-Kook; Kim, Si Wouk; Park, Yoonkyung

    2011-01-01

    Recently, harmful algal bloom (HAB), also termed "red tide", has been recognized as a serious problem in marine environments according to climate changes worldwide. Many novel materials or methods to prevent HAB have not yet been employed except for clay dispersion, in which can the resulting sedimentation on the seafloor can also cause alteration in marine ecology or secondary environmental pollution. In the current study, we investigated that antimicrobial peptide have a potential in controlling HAB without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Here, antimicrobial peptides are proposed as new algicidal compounds in combating HAB cells. HPA3 and HPA3NT3 peptides which exert potent antimicrobial activity via pore forming action in plasma membrane showed that HPA3NT3 reduced the motility of algal cells, disrupted their plasma membrane, and induced the efflux of intracellular components. Against raphidoflagellate such as Heterosigma akashiwo, Chattonella sp., and C. marina, it displayed a rapid lysing action in cell membranes at 1~4 µM within 2 min. Comparatively, its lysing effects occurred at 8 µM within 1 h in dinoflagellate such as Cochlodium polykrikoides, Prorocentrum micans, and P. minimum. Moreover, its lysing action induced the lysis of chloroplasts and loss of chlorophyll a. In the contrary, this peptide was not effective against Skeletonema costatum, harmless algal cell, even at 256 µM, moreover, it killed only H. akashiwo or C. marina in co-cultivation with S. costatum, indicating to its selective algicidal activity between harmful and harmless algal cells. The peptide was non-hemolytic against red blood cells of Sebastes schlegeli, the black rockfish, at 120 µM. HAB cells were quickly and selectively lysed following treatment of antimicrobial peptides without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Thus, the antibiotic peptides examined in our study appear to have much potential in effectively controlling HAB with minimal impact on marine

  6. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

    PubMed

    Foot, G; Rice, S P; Millett, J

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the degree of contrast and (iii) observation of prey capture by D. rotundifolia to determine the effects of colour on prey capture. Prey were not attracted to green traps and were deterred from red traps. There was no evidence that camouflaged traps caught more prey. For D. rotundifolia, there was a relationship between trap colour and prey capture. However, trap colour may be confounded with other leaf traits. Thus, we conclude that for D. rotundifolia, red trap colour does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function. PMID:24740904

  7. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function

    PubMed Central

    Foot, G.; Rice, S. P.; Millett, J.

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the degree of contrast and (iii) observation of prey capture by D. rotundifolia to determine the effects of colour on prey capture. Prey were not attracted to green traps and were deterred from red traps. There was no evidence that camouflaged traps caught more prey. For D. rotundifolia, there was a relationship between trap colour and prey capture. However, trap colour may be confounded with other leaf traits. Thus, we conclude that for D. rotundifolia, red trap colour does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function. PMID:24740904

  8. Biological control of harmful algal blooms: A modelling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-07-01

    A multispecies dynamic simulation model (ERSEM) was used to examine the influence of allelopathic and trophic interactions causing feeding avoidance by predators, on the formation of harmful algal blooms, under environmental scenarios typical of a Mediterranean harbour (Barcelona). The biological state variables of the model included four functional groups of phytoplankton (diatoms, toxic and non-toxic flagellates and picophytoplankton), heterotrophic flagellates, micro- and mesozooplankton and bacteria. The physical-chemical forcing (irradiance, temperature and major nutrient concentrations) was based on an actual series of measurements taken along a year cycle in the Barcelona harbour. In order to evaluate potential effects of advection, some runs were repeated after introducing a biomass loss term. Numerical simulations showed that allelopathic effects of a toxic alga on a non-toxic but otherwise similar competitor did not have appreciable influence on the dynamics of the system. However, induction of avoidance of the toxic alga by predators, which resulted on increased predation pressure on other algal groups had a significant effect on the development of algal and predator populations. The presence of advection overrided the effect of these interactions and only allowed organisms with sufficiently high potential growth rates to thrive.

  9. Micro-structured surfaces for algal biofilm growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathananthan, Suthamathy; Genin, Scott N.; Aitchison, J. Stewart; Allen, D. Grant

    2013-12-01

    It is well known that cells respond to structured surface cues that are on the micro/nanometer scale. Tissue engineering and bio-fouling fields have utilized the semiconductor device fabrication processes to make micro- and nanometer patterned surfaces to study animal cell tissue formation and to prevent algae attachment on marine surfaces respectively. In this paper we describe the use of micro-structured surfaces to study the attachment and growth of algal films. This paper gives an overview of how micro-structured surfaces are made for this purpose, how they are incorporated into a photo bioreactor and how this patterning influences the growth of an algal biofilm. Our results suggest that surface patterning with deeper V-groove patterns that are of the same size scale as the algal species has resulted in higher biomass productivity giving them a chance to embed and attach on the slope and flat surfaces whereas shallower size grooves and completely flat surfaces did not show this trend.

  10. Floating ice-algal aggregates below melting arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A; Hudson, Stephen R; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H H; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year. PMID:24204642

  11. Identifying Historical Occurrences of HABs Using Sedimentary Algal Pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smoak, J. M.; Waters, M. N.

    2008-12-01

    Algal blooms are a common feature of many coastal areas. Under some environmental conditions, these develop into Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and present an environmental hazard and a health risk for humans and wildlife due to toxin production. While monitoring programs track the development of contemporary HABs, data are lacking for historical blooms. We use sedimentary algal pigments to identify the occurrence of Karenia Brevis (Florida Red Tide) in sediment cores collected from mangrove environments along the west coast of Florida. Karenia Brevis has a unique pigment, gyroxanthin-diester, that is routinely used to identify red tide in the water column. Gyroxanthin-diester and other carotenoid pigments associated with red tide taxa are analyzed using HPLC techniques. Identification of gyroxanthan-diester is based on comparison with HPLC analysis of gyroxanthin standard, a monoculture sample of K. Brevis and with published spectra of Gyroxanthin-diester in water samples. We track the timing of the K. Brevis using Pb-210 dating models which allows an examination over the last 100 years.

  12. Floating Ice-Algal Aggregates below Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    PubMed Central

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K.; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A.; Hudson, Stephen R.; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H. H.; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year. PMID:24204642

  13. An algal solution to large scale wastewater amelioration

    SciTech Connect

    Adey, W.H.

    1995-06-01

    Wastewater nutrients can be lowered to oligotrophic levels through uptake by algal biomass, while photosynthetic oxygen removes bacterial BOD, and oxygen-based ions, with UV application, can break down xenobiotic organic compounds. Algae also uptake heavy metals in cell walls, and the high pH from CO{sub 25} removal precipitates metals, earth metals and phosphorus. Algal biomass produced from many wastewaters has valuable commercial applications. Algal Turf Scrubbing (ATS) was developed as a tool to control water quality in ecosystem models, often at oligotrophic levels. ATS has routinely achieved biomass production (and water amelioration capability) of over 50 g (dry mass) m{sup -2} day{sup -1} in secondary sewage. Engineering innovations, with mechanized harvest, have brought ATS to large scale with a pilot sewage plant in central California. This is a low cost, modular unit, at 1000 cubic meters per day, and plans are underway to expand to city capacity for Tertiary-Quinary water recovery. A wide variety of wastewater applications, from agricultural, to aquacultural to industrial will be discussed.

  14. Stable and sporadic symbiotic communities of coral and algal holobionts.

    PubMed

    Hester, Eric R; Barott, Katie L; Nulton, Jim; Vermeij, Mark Ja; Rohwer, Forest L

    2016-05-01

    Coral and algal holobionts are assemblages of macroorganisms and microorganisms, including viruses, Bacteria, Archaea, protists and fungi. Despite a decade of research, it remains unclear whether these associations are spatial-temporally stable or species-specific. We hypothesized that conflicting interpretations of the data arise from high noise associated with sporadic microbial symbionts overwhelming signatures of stable holobiont members. To test this hypothesis, the bacterial communities associated with three coral species (Acropora rosaria, Acropora hyacinthus and Porites lutea) and two algal guilds (crustose coralline algae and turf algae) from 131 samples were analyzed using a novel statistical approach termed the Abundance-Ubiquity (AU) test. The AU test determines whether a given bacterial species would be present given additional sampling effort (that is, stable) versus those species that are sporadically associated with a sample. Using the AU test, we show that coral and algal holobionts have a high-diversity group of stable symbionts. Stable symbionts are not exclusive to one species of coral or algae. No single bacterial species was ubiquitously associated with one host, showing that there is not strict heredity of the microbiome. In addition to the stable symbionts, there was a low-diversity community of sporadic symbionts whose abundance varied widely across individual holobionts of the same species. Identification of these two symbiont communities supports the holobiont model and calls into question the hologenome theory of evolution. PMID:26555246

  15. Variations of algal communities cause darkening of a Greenland glacier.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Jorge Villar, Susana E; Benning, Liane G

    2014-08-01

    We have assessed the microbial ecology on the surface of Mittivakkat glacier in SE-Greenland during the exceptional high melting season in July 2012 when the so far most extreme melting rate for the Greenland Ice Sheet has been recorded. By employing a complementary and multi-disciplinary field sampling and analytical approach, we quantified the dramatic changes in the different microbial surface habitats (green snow, red snow, biofilms, grey ice, cryoconite holes). The observed clear change in dominant algal community and their rapidly changing cryo-organic adaptation inventory was linked to the high melting rate. The changes in carbon and nutrient fluxes between different microbial pools (from snow to ice, cryoconite holes and glacial forefronts) revealed that snow and ice algae dominate the net primary production at the onset of melting, and that they have the potential to support the cryoconite hole communities as carbon and nutrient sources. A large proportion of algal cells is retained on the glacial surface and temporal and spatial changes in pigmentation contribute to the darkening of the snow and ice surfaces. This implies that the fast, melt-induced algal growth has a high albedo reduction potential, and this may lead to a positive feedback speeding up melting processes. PMID:24920320

  16. Study of cnidarian-algal symbiosis in the "omics" age.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Eli; Weis, Virginia M

    2012-08-01

    The symbiotic associations between cnidarians and dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium) support productive and diverse ecosystems in coral reefs. Many aspects of this association, including the mechanistic basis of host-symbiont recognition and metabolic interaction, remain poorly understood. The first completed genome sequence for a symbiotic anthozoan is now available (the coral Acropora digitifera), and extensive expressed sequence tag resources are available for a variety of other symbiotic corals and anemones. These resources make it possible to profile gene expression, protein abundance, and protein localization associated with the symbiotic state. Here we review the history of "omics" studies of cnidarian-algal symbiosis and the current availability of sequence resources for corals and anemones, identifying genes putatively involved in symbiosis across 10 anthozoan species. The public availability of candidate symbiosis-associated genes leaves the field of cnidarian-algal symbiosis poised for in-depth comparative studies of sequence diversity and gene expression and for targeted functional studies of genes associated with symbiosis. Reviewing the progress to date suggests directions for future investigations of cnidarian-algal symbiosis that include (i) sequencing of Symbiodinium, (ii) proteomic analysis of the symbiosome membrane complex, (iii) glycomic analysis of Symbiodinium cell surfaces, and (iv) expression profiling of the gastrodermal cells hosting Symbiodinium. PMID:22983032

  17. Raman microspectroscopy based sensor of algal lipid unsaturation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samek, Ota; Pilát, Zdeněk; Jonáš, Alexandr; Zemánek, Pavel; Šerý, Mojmír; Ježek, Jan; Bernatová, Silvie; Nedbal, Ladislav; Trtílek, Martin

    2011-05-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for chemical analysis. This technique can elucidate fundamental questions about the metabolic processes and intercellular variability on a single cell level. Therefore, Raman spectroscopy can significantly contribute to the study and use of microalgae in systems biology and biofuel technology. Raman spectroscopy can be combined with optical tweezers. We have employed microfluidic system to deliver the sampled microalgae to the Raman-tweezers. This instrument is able to measure chemical composition of cells and to track metabolic processes in vivo, in real-time and label-free making it possible to detect population variability in a wide array of traits. Moreover, employing an active sorting switch, cells can be separated depending on input parameters obtained from Raman spectra. We focus on algal lipids which are promising potential products for biofuel as well as for nutrition. Important parameter characterizing the algal lipids is the degree of unsaturation of the constituent fatty acids. We demonstrate the capacity of our Raman tweezers based sensor to sort cells according to the degree of unsaturation in lipid storage bodies of individual living algal cells.

  18. Effect of prior diet on consumption and digestion of prey and non-prey food by adults of the generalist predator Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Coleomegilla maculata adults fed on prey (Colorado potato beetle eggs) or non-prey (corn pollen) food following 7 days of feeding on a mixed diet, showed differences in ingestion, with females consuming greater quantities of pollen, and males consuming greater quantities of eggs, under no-choice con...

  19. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals' Visitation to Water.

    PubMed

    Harris, Grant; Sanderson, James G; Erz, Jon; Lehnen, Sarah E; Butler, Matthew J

    2015-01-01

    Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation) and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence) predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014) using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella) and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature) and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits) predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus) visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans) visitation. Puma (Puma concolor) visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx). Most ungulate visitation peaked during May and

  20. Echolocating Bats Cry Out Loud to Detect Their Prey

    PubMed Central

    Surlykke, Annemarie; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.

    2008-01-01

    Echolocating bats have successfully exploited a broad range of habitats and prey. Much research has demonstrated how time-frequency structure of echolocation calls of different species is adapted to acoustic constraints of habitats and foraging behaviors. However, the intensity of bat calls has been largely neglected although intensity is a key factor determining echolocation range and interactions with other bats and prey. Differences in detection range, in turn, are thought to constitute a mechanism promoting resource partitioning among bats, which might be particularly important for the species-rich bat assemblages in the tropics. Here we present data on emitted intensities for 11 species from 5 families of insectivorous bats from Panamá hunting in open or background cluttered space or over water. We recorded all bats in their natural habitat in the field using a multi-microphone array coupled with photographic methods to assess the bats' position in space to estimate emitted call intensities. All species emitted intense search signals. Output intensity was reduced when closing in on background by 4–7 dB per halving of distance. Source levels of open space and edge space foragers (Emballonuridae, Mormoopidae, Molossidae, and Vespertilionidae) ranged between 122–134 dB SPL. The two Noctilionidae species hunting over water emitted the loudest signals recorded so far for any bat with average source levels of ca. 137 dB SPL and maximum levels above 140 dB SPL. In spite of this ten-fold variation in emitted intensity, estimates indicated, surprisingly, that detection distances for prey varied far less; bats emitting the highest intensities also emitted the highest frequencies, which are severely attenuated in air. Thus, our results suggest that bats within a local assemblage compensate for frequency dependent attenuation by adjusting the emitted intensity to achieve comparable detection distances for prey across species. We conclude that for bats with similar

  1. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals’ Visitation to Water

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Grant; Sanderson, James G.; Erz, Jon; Lehnen, Sarah E.; Butler, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation) and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence) predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014) using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella) and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature) and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits) predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus) visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans) visitation. Puma (Puma concolor) visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx). Most ungulate visitation peaked during May and

  2. Selection and capture of prey in the African ponerine ant Plectroctena minor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schatz, Bertrand; Suzzoni, Jean-Pierre; Corbara, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2001-02-01

    Prey selection by Plectroctena minor workers is two-fold. During cafeteria experiments, the workers always selected millipedes, their essential prey, while alternative prey acceptance varied according to the taxa and the situation. Millipedes were seized by the anterior part of their body, stung, and retrieved by single workers that transported them between their legs. They were rarely snapped at, and never abandoned. When P. minor workers were confronted with alternative prey they behaved like generalist species: prey acceptance was inversely correlated to prey size. This was not the case vis-à-vis millipedes that they selected and captured although larger than compared alternative prey. The semi-specialised diet of P. minor permits the colonies to be easily provisioned by a few foraging workers as millipedes are rarely hunted by other predatory arthropods, while alternative prey abound, resulting in low competition pressure in both cases. Different traits characteristic of an adaptation to hunting millipedes were noted and compared with the capture of alternative prey. We also noted the parsimony of the behavioural phases during their capture compared to the capture of alternative prey.

  3. Benefits of Group Foraging Depend on Prey Type in a Small Marine Predator, the Little Penguin.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Grace J; Hoskins, Andrew J; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Group foraging provides predators with advantages in over-powering prey larger than themselves or in aggregating small prey for efficient exploitation. For group-living predatory species, cooperative hunting strategies provide inclusive fitness benefits. However, for colonial-breeding predators, the benefit pay-offs of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for intra-specific competition. We used animal-borne cameras to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), a small, colonial breeding air-breathing marine predator that has recently been shown to display extensive at-sea foraging associations with conspecifics. Regardless of prey type, little penguins had a higher probability of associating with conspecifics when hunting prey that were aggregated than when prey were solitary. In addition, success was greater when individuals hunted schooling rather than solitary prey. Surprisingly, however, success on schooling prey was similar or greater when individuals hunted on their own than when with conspecifics. These findings suggest individuals may be trading-off the energetic gains of solitary hunting for an increased probability of detecting prey within a spatially and temporally variable prey field by associating with conspecifics. PMID:26674073

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Stewart, William J; McHenry, Matthew J

    2010-11-15

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

  6. What you need is what you eat? Prey selection by the bat Myotis daubentonii.

    PubMed

    Vesterinen, Eero J; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Wahlberg, Niklas; Peña, Carlos; Roslin, Tomas; Laine, Veronika N; Vasko, Ville; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E; Norrdahl, Kai; Lilley, Thomas M

    2016-04-01

    Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators are selective when faced with abundant prey, but become less picky when prey gets sparse. Insectivorous bats in temperate regions are faced with the challenge of building up fat reserves vital for hibernation during a period of decreasing arthropod abundances. According to optimal foraging theory, prehibernating bats should adopt a less selective feeding behavior--yet empirical studies have revealed many apparently generalized species to be composed of specialist individuals. Targeting the diet of the bat Myotis daubentonii, we used a combination of molecular techniques to test for seasonal changes in prey selectivity and individual-level variation in prey preferences. DNA metabarcoding was used to characterize both the prey contents of bat droppings and the insect community available as prey. To test for dietary differences among M. daubentonii individuals, we used ten microsatellite loci to assign droppings to individual bats. The comparison between consumed and available prey revealed a preference for certain prey items regardless of availability. Nonbiting midges (Chironomidae) remained the most highly consumed prey at all times, despite a significant increase in the availability of black flies (Simuliidae) towards the end of the season. The bats sampled showed no evidence of individual specialization in dietary preferences. Overall, our approach offers little support for optimal foraging theory. Thus, it shows how novel combinations of genetic markers can be used to test general theory, targeting patterns at both the level of prey communities and individual predators. PMID:26841188

  7. Taxon-specific PCR for DNA barcoding arthropod prey in bat faeces.

    PubMed

    Zeale, Matt R K; Butlin, Roger K; Barker, Gary L A; Lees, David C; Jones, Gareth

    2011-03-01

    The application of DNA barcoding to dietary studies allows prey taxa to be identified in the absence of morphological evidence and permits a greater resolution of prey identity than is possible through direct examination of faecal material. For insectivorous bats, which typically eat a great diversity of prey and which chew and digest their prey thoroughly, DNA-based approaches to diet analysis may provide the only means of assessing the range and diversity of prey within faeces. Here, we investigated the effectiveness of DNA barcoding in determining the diets of bat species that specialize in eating different taxa of arthropod prey. We designed and tested a novel taxon-specific primer set and examined the performance of short barcode sequences in resolving prey species. We recovered prey DNA from all faecal samples and subsequent cloning and sequencing of PCR products, followed by a comparison of sequences to a reference database, provided species-level identifications for 149/207 (72%) clones. We detected a phylogenetically broad range of prey while completely avoiding detection of nontarget groups. In total, 37 unique prey taxa were identified from 15 faecal samples. A comparison of DNA data with parallel morphological analyses revealed a close correlation between the two methods. However, the sensitivity and taxonomic resolution of the DNA method were far superior. The methodology developed here provides new opportunities for the study of bat diets and will be of great benefit to the conservation of these ecologically important predators. PMID:21429129

  8. Better the devil you know: avian predators find variation in prey toxicity aversive.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Craig A; Bateson, Melissa; Rowe, Candy

    2014-11-01

    Toxic prey that signal their defences to predators using conspicuous warning signals are called 'aposematic'. Predators learn about the toxic content of aposematic prey and reduce their attacks on them. However, through regulating their toxin intake, predators will include aposematic prey in their diets when the benefits of gaining the nutrients they contain outweigh the costs of ingesting the prey's toxins. Predators face a problem when managing their toxin intake: prey sharing the same warning signal often vary in their toxicities. Given that predators should avoid uncertainty when managing their toxin intake, we tested whether European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) preferred to eat fixed-defence prey (where all prey contained a 2% quinine solution) to mixed-defence prey (where half the prey contained a 4% quinine solution and the other half contained only water). Our results support the idea that predators should be more 'risk-averse' when foraging on variably defended prey and suggest that variation in toxicity levels could be a form of defence. PMID:25392317

  9. 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

  10. Benefits of Group Foraging Depend on Prey Type in a Small Marine Predator, the Little Penguin

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Grace J.; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Group foraging provides predators with advantages in over-powering prey larger than themselves or in aggregating small prey for efficient exploitation. For group-living predatory species, cooperative hunting strategies provide inclusive fitness benefits. However, for colonial-breeding predators, the benefit pay-offs of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for intra-specific competition. We used animal-borne cameras to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), a small, colonial breeding air-breathing marine predator that has recently been shown to display extensive at-sea foraging associations with conspecifics. Regardless of prey type, little penguins had a higher probability of associating with conspecifics when hunting prey that were aggregated than when prey were solitary. In addition, success was greater when individuals hunted schooling rather than solitary prey. Surprisingly, however, success on schooling prey was similar or greater when individuals hunted on their own than when with conspecifics. These findings suggest individuals may be trading-off the energetic gains of solitary hunting for an increased probability of detecting prey within a spatially and temporally variable prey field by associating with conspecifics. PMID:26674073

  11. When hawks attack: animal-borne video studies of goshawk pursuit and prey-evasion strategies.

    PubMed

    Kane, Suzanne Amador; Fulton, Andrew H; Rosenthal, Lee J

    2015-01-15

    Video filmed by a camera mounted on the head of a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) was used to study how the raptor used visual guidance to pursue prey and land on perches. A combination of novel image analysis methods and numerical simulations of mathematical pursuit models was used to determine the goshawk's pursuit strategy. The goshawk flew to intercept targets by fixing the prey at a constant visual angle, using classical pursuit for stationary prey, lures or perches, and usually using constant absolute target direction (CATD) for moving prey. Visual fixation was better maintained along the horizontal than vertical direction. In some cases, we observed oscillations in the visual fix on the prey, suggesting that the goshawk used finite-feedback steering. Video filmed from the ground gave similar results. In most cases, it showed goshawks intercepting prey using a trajectory consistent with CATD, then turning rapidly to attack by classical pursuit; in a few cases, it showed them using curving non-CATD trajectories. Analysis of the prey's evasive tactics indicated that only sharp sideways turns caused the goshawk to lose visual fixation on the prey, supporting a sensory basis for the surprising frequency and effectiveness of this tactic found by previous studies. The dynamics of the prey's looming image also suggested that the goshawk used a tau-based interception strategy. We interpret these results in the context of a concise review of pursuit-evasion in biology, and conjecture that some prey deimatic 'startle' displays may exploit tau-based interception. PMID:25609783

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Effects of Bt maize-fed prey on the generalist predator Poecilus cupreus L. (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

    PubMed

    Meissle, Michael; Vojtech, Eva; Poppy, Guy M

    2005-04-01

    We investigated the effects of transgenic maize (Zea mays) expressing Bacillus thuringienses toxin (Bt maize) on larval and adult Poecilus cupreus carabid beetles in laboratory studies. In no-choice trials, neonate P. cupreus larvae were fed exclusively with Spodoptera littoralis caterpillars, which had been raised on Bt maize. S. littoralis raised on conventional maize or "high quality" Calliphora sp. pupae were fed to the beetle larvae in two control treatments. Bt-maize-fed caterpillar prey increased mortality to 100% within 40 days. The experiment was repeated with 10-day-old beetle larvae. Bt treatment resulted in fewer pupae than in both controls, and in a higher mortality than in the Calliphora control. S. littoralis was suitable as exclusive prey in no-choice tests, at least for 40 days, although prey quality seemed to be low compared to Calliphora pupae. The observed effects are most likely indirect effects due to further reduced nutritional prey quality. However, direct effects cannot be excluded. In the second part of the study, exposure of P. cupreus to Bt intoxicated prey was examined in paired-choice tests. Adult beetles were offered a choice between different prey conditions (frozen and thawed, freshly killed or living), prey types (S. littoralis caterpillars, Calliphora sp. pupae, cereal aphids) and prey treatments (raised on Bt or conventional maize). Living prey was preferred to frozen and dead prey. Caterpillars were only preferred to fly pupae and aphids when living. Prey treatment seemed to be least important for prey selection. The tests showed that P. cupreus ingested caterpillars readily and there was no evidence of them avoiding Bt containing prey, which means exposure in the field could occur. The presented protocols are a first step towards ecological risk assessment for carabid beetles. PMID:16022384

  17. A density dependent delayed predator-prey model with Beddington-DeAngelis type function response incorporating a prey refuge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripathi, Jai Prakash; Abbas, Syed; Thakur, Manoj

    2015-05-01

    This paper describes a predator-prey model incorporating a prey refuge. The feeding rate of consumers (predators) per consumer (i.e. functional response) is considered to be of Beddington-DeAngelis type. The Beddington-DeAngelis functional response is similar to the Holling-type II functional response but contains an extra term describing mutual interference by predators. We investigate the role of prey refuge and degree of mutual interference among predators in the dynamics of system. The dynamics of the system is discussed mainly from the point of view of permanence and stability. We obtain conditions that affect the persistence of the system. Local and global asymptotic stability of various equilibrium solutions is explored to understand the dynamics of the model system. The global asymptotic stability of positive interior equilibrium solution is established using suitable Lyapunov functional. The dynamical behaviour of the delayed system is further analyzed through incorporating discrete type gestation delay of predator. It is found that Hopf bifurcation occurs when the delay parameter τ crosses some critical value. The analytical results found in the paper are illustrated with the help of numerical examples.

  18. Evaluating algal growth performance and water use efficiency of pilot-scale revolving algal biofilm (RAB) culture systems.

    PubMed

    Gross, Martin; Mascarenhas, Vernon; Wen, Zhiyou

    2015-10-01

    A Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) growth system in which algal cells are attached to a flexible material rotating between liquid and gas phases has been developed. In this work, different configurations of RAB systems were developed at pilot-scale by retrofitting the attachment materials to a raceway pond (2000-L with 8.5 m(2) footprint area) and a trough reservoir (150 L with 3.5 m(2) footprint area). The algal growth performance and chemical composition, as well as the water evaporative loss and specific water consumption were evaluated over a period of nine months in a greenhouse environment near Boone, Iowa USA. Additionally a raceway pond was run in parallel, which served as a control. On average the raceway-based RAB and the trough-based RAB outperformed the control pond by 309% and 697%, respectively. A maximum productivity of 46.8 g m(-2) day(-1) was achieved on the trough-based RAB system. The evaporative water loss of the RAB system was modeled based on an energy balance analysis and was experimentally validated. While the RAB system, particularly the trough-based RAB, had higher water evaporative loss, the specific water consumption per unit of biomass produced was only 26% (raceway-based RAB) and 7% (trough-based RAB) of that of the control pond. Collectively, this research shows that the RAB system is an efficient algal culture system and has great potential to commercially produce microalgae with high productivity and efficient water use. PMID:25899246

  19. Algal remediation of CO₂ and nutrient discharges: A review.

    PubMed

    Judd, Simon; van den Broeke, Leo J P; Shurair, Mohamed; Kuti, Yussuf; Znad, Hussein

    2015-12-15

    The recent literature pertaining to the application of algal photobioreactors (PBRs) to both carbon dioxide mitigation and nutrient abatement is reviewed and the reported data analysed. The review appraises the influence of key system parameters on performance with reference to (a) the absorption and biological fixation of CO2 from gaseous effluent streams, and (b) the removal of nutrients from wastewaters. Key parameters appraised individually with reference to CO2 removal comprise algal speciation, light intensity, mass transfer, gas and hydraulic residence time, pollutant (CO2 and nutrient) loading, biochemical and chemical stoichiometry (including pH), and temperature. Nutrient removal has been assessed with reference to hydraulic residence time and reactor configuration, along with C:nutrient ratios and other factors affecting carbon fixation, and outcomes compared with those reported for classical biological nutrient removal (BNR). Outcomes of the review indicate there has been a disproportionate increase in algal PBR research outputs over the past 5-8 years, with a significant number of studies based on small, bench-scale systems. The quantitative impacts of light intensity and loading on CO2 uptake are highly dependent on the algal species, and also affected by solution chemical conditions such as temperature and pH. Calculations based on available data for biomass growth rates indicate that a reactor CO2 residence time of around 4 h is required for significant CO2 removal. Nutrient removal data indicate residence times of 2-5 days are required for significant nutrient removal, compared with <12 h for a BNR plant. Moreover, the shallow depth of the simplest PBR configuration (the high rate algal pond, HRAP) means that its footprint is at least two orders of magnitude greater than a classical BNR plant. It is concluded that the combined carbon capture/nutrient removal process relies on optimisation of a number of process parameters acting synergistically

  20. ALGAL RESPONSE TO NUTRIENT ENRICHMENT IN FORESTED OLIGOTROPHIC STREAM(1).

    PubMed

    Veraart, Annelies J; Romaní, Anna M; Tornés, Elisabet; Sabater, Sergi

    2008-06-01

    Nutrient input in streams alters the density and species composition of attached algal communities in open systems. However, in forested streams, the light reaching the streambed (rather than the local nutrient levels) may limit the growth of these communities. A nutrient-enrichment experiment in a forested oligotrophic stream was performed to test the hypothesis that nutrient addition has only minor effects on the community composition of attached algae and cyanobacteria under light limitation. Moderate nutrient addition consisted of increasing basal phosphorus (P) concentrations 3-fold and basal nitrogen (N) concentrations 2-fold. Two upstream control reaches were compared to a downstream reach before and after nutrient addition. Nutrients were added continuously to the downstream reach for 1 year. Algal biofilms growing on ceramic tiles were sampled and identified for more than a year before nutrient addition to 12 months after. Diatoms were the most abundant taxonomic group in the three stream reaches. Nutrient enrichment caused significant variations in the composition of the diatom community. While some taxa showed significant decreases (e.g., Achnanthes minutissima, Gomphonema angustum), increases for other taxa (such as Rhoicosphenia abbreviata and Amphora ovalis) were detected in the enriched reach (for taxonomic authors, see Table 2). Epiphytic and adnate taxa of large size were enhanced, particularly during periods of favorable growth conditions (spring). Nutrients also caused a change in the algal chl a, which increased from 0.5-5.8 to 2.1-10.7 μg chl · cm(-2) . Our results indicate that in oligotrophic forested streams, long-term nutrient addition has significant effects on the algal biomass and community composition, which are detectable despite the low light availability caused by the tree canopy. Low light availability moderates but does not detain the long-term tendency toward a nutrient-tolerant community. Furthermore, the effects

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  3. A fluid mechanical model for mixing in a plankton predator-prey system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, J.; Dabiri, J. O.

    2009-04-01

    A Lagrangian method is developed to study mixing of small particles in open flows. Particle Lagrangian Coherent Structures (pLCS) are identified as transport barriers in the dynamical systems of particles. We apply this method to a planktonic predator-prey system in which moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita uses its body motion to generate fluid currents which carry their prey to the vicinity of their capture appendages. With the flow generated by the jellyfish experimentally measured and the dynamics of prey particles in the flow described by a modified Maxey-Riley equation, we use pLCS to identify the capture region in which prey can be captured. The properties of the capture region enable analysis of the effects of several physiological and mechanical parameters on the predator-prey interaction, such as prey size, escape force, predator perception, etc. The method provides a new methodology to study dynamics and mixing of small organisms in general.

  4. Essential and alternative prey in a ponerine ant: variations according to the colony life cycle.

    PubMed

    Suzzoni, J P; Schatz, B; Dejean, A

    2000-11-01

    We studied the prey specialization of Plectroctena minor, a ponerine ant known to capture mostly millipedes. We compared the prey spectrum of the hunting workers from large colonies with that of the founding queens. The hunting workers captured all kinds of tested prey, but hunted mostly millipedes. Founding queens, which avoided relatively large prey, including the millipedes tested, captured mostly isopods under experimental conditions. We also verified that the presence of millipedes in the diet of the larvae of large colonies was necessary for the production of winged females and strongly enhanced the production of workers, permitting us to assert that P. minor is a predatory species specialized in the capture of millipedes. In contrast, the presence of millipedes had no impact on the production of males. We thus assert that millipedes constitute the 'essential prey' of P. minor, while other arthropod taxa are therefore 'alternative prey'. PMID:11144023

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of centrifugation on water recycling and algal growth to enable algae biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Igou, Thomas; Van Ginkel, Steven W; Penalver-Argueso, Patricia; Fu, Hao; Doi, Shusuke; Narode, Asmita; Cheruvu, Sarasija; Zhang, Qian; Hassan, Fariha; Woodruff, Frazier; Chen, Yongsheng

    2014-12-01

    The latest research shows that algal biofuels, at the production levels mandated in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, will place significant demands on water and compete with agriculture meant for food production. Thus, there is a great need to recycle water while producing algal biofuels. This study shows that when using a synthetic medium, soluble algal products, bacteria, and other inhibitors can be removed by centrifugation and enable water recycling. Average water recovery reached 84% and water could be recycled at least 10 times without reducing algal growth. PMID:25654935

  7. Genetic and acute toxicological evaluation of an algal oil containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and palmitoleic acid.

    PubMed

    Collins, M L; Lynch, B; Barfield, W; Bull, A; Ryan, A S; Astwood, J D

    2014-10-01

    Algal strains of Nannochloropsis sp. were developed, optimized, cultivated and harvested to produce a unique composition of algal oil ethyl esters (Algal-EE) that are naturally high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 23-30%) and palmitoleic acid (20-25%), and contain no docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Algal-EE was evaluated for mutagenic activity (Ames bacterial reverse mutation, in vitro mammalian chromosome aberration, in vivo micronucleus test) and for acute oral toxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats. In the acute toxicity study, rats received a single oral gavaged dose of Algal-EE (2000 mg/kg body weight). Clinical observations were made for 14 days before sacrifice on Day 15. Macroscopic evaluation involved the examination of all organs in the cranial, thoracic, and abdominal cavities. Algal-EE showed no evidence of mutagenicity, did not produce an increase in the frequency of structural chromosome aberrations, and did not cause an increase in the induction of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes. There were no macroscopic abnormalities. Algal-EE up to 2000 mg/kg body weight did not affect body weight, organ appearance or produce any toxic-related signs of morbidity. The acute median lethal dose (LD50) of Algal-EE was >2000 mg/kg body weight. Based on these assays, Algal-EE does not appear to have any genetic or acute oral toxicity. PMID:25057807

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  10. Heterogeneity in prey distribution allows for higher food intake in planktivorous fish, particularly when hot.

    PubMed

    Gliwicz, Z Maciej; Maszczyk, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    When prey are scarce, planktivorous fish and other predators feeding on tiny prey should forage within prey-rich patches to attain a net food intake above the ambient mean food concentrations. If they can indeed locate prey-rich patches efficiently, then a patchy distribution of planktonic prey should lead to: (1) an increase in the overall per capita food intake, and (2) greater variability among predators in prey-capture rate due to differences in arrival times. Both phenomena were observed in 34 daily feeding sessions with a cohort of juvenile rudd held in twin experimental systems, each housing the same number of fish free to move in a loop of ten interconnected 200-L tanks. The fish were fed daily with equal numbers of planktonic prey (Artemia nauplii), offered either in a homogeneous or patchy distribution. To simulate low and high temperatures that represent potential global warming scenarios, the feeding protocol was replicated at 16, 21 and 26 °C, on each occasion following a 3-day period of fish acclimation. Up to 40-70 % of fish in the system with the patchy prey distribution assembled rapidly in the high-prey-density tank, the capture rate of first arrivals being up to 60 prey min(-1) at 26 °C, orders of magnitude greater than that of latecomers. The overall capture rates were higher in the system with patchy prey, regardless of the temperature. At the highest temperature (26 °C), the fish located the high-prey-density tank in less than half the time taken at the lowest temperature (16 °C, Q(10) > 2). PMID:26558624

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Hydrodynamics of jumping for prey capture in Archer fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Techet, A. H.; Shih, A. M.

    2010-11-01

    The prey capture behavior by jumping Archer fish (Toxotes microlepisis) was investigated using high speed imaging and particle imaging velocimetry (PIV). Archer fish are renowned for their ability to spit jets of water at insects and also to jump out of the water to capture their prey. Our investigations reveal that the fish typically fail to reach their prey by jumping when the bait is placed at a height above 3.5 body lengths. After jumping and failing, the fish do not typically jump again, only spit. For our experiments bait was placed between 0.5 and 3.5 body lengths (BL) above the free surface, within reach of jumping, and thus the fish rarely spit unless they missed first by jumping. It is observed that the fish typically position their bodies under the bait with a slight angle, hover momentarily, snap in their pectoral fins, and then flap their tail in an "S-start"-type maneuver with a fixed number of cycles, which increases as a function of bait height. High speed imaging, including time-resolved PIV, was used to capture the kinematics of the jumping behavior and compare the fluid impulse generated during the fast start, jump maneuver with the total change in momentum of the fish body. Maximum acceleration was observed in the early stages of the jump maneuver and was often on the order of 5 to 15 times gravity. Correlations between the maximum energy, power in, number of tail beats, jump height and overall jumping kinematics will be discussed.

  14. Specialized prey selection behavior of two East African assassin bugs, Scipinnia repax and Nagusta sp. that prey on social jumping spiders.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Robert R; Salm, Kathryn; Nelson, Ximena J

    2010-01-01

    The prey choice behavior and predatory strategies of two East African assassin bugs, Scipinnia repax (Stäl 1961) and Nagusta sp. (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), were investigated in the field and the laboratory. Both of these species are from the subfamily Harpactorinae and specialize in eating spiders. They prey especially often on social jumping spiders (Salticidae) that build nest complexes (nests connected by silk) in vegetation near the shoreline of Lake Victoria. Both reduviid species associate with these nest complexes and prey on the resident salticids. Nagusta sp., but not S. repax, form groups on nest complexes with 2-3 individuals of Nagusta sometimes feeding together on a single salticid. In addition to social salticids, Nagusta sp. preys on Portia africana, an araneophagic salticid that often invades the same nest complexes. S. repax preys on salticid eggs and also on Nagusta. Although they avoid ants, Nagusta and especially S. repax prey on ant-mimicking salticids, suggesting that sensory modalities other than vision play a dominant role in prey detection. PMID:20673067

  15. Specialized Prey Selection Behavior of Two East African Assassin Bugs, Scipinnia repax and Nagusta sp. that Prey on Social Jumping Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Robert R.; Salm, Kathryn; Nelson, Ximena J.

    2010-01-01

    The prey choice behavior and predatory strategies of two East African assassin bugs, Scipinnia repax (Stäl 1961) and Nagusta sp. (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), were investigated in the field and the laboratory. Both of these species are from the subfamily Harpactorinae and specialize in eating spiders. They prey especially often on social jumping spiders (Salticidae) that build nest complexes (nests connected by silk) in vegetation near the shoreline of Lake Victoria. Both reduviid species associate with these nest complexes and prey on the resident salticids. Nagusta sp., but not S. repax, form groups on nest complexes with 2–3 individuals of Nagusta sometimes feeding together on a single salticid. In addition to social salticids, Nagusta sp. preys on Portia africana, an araneophagic salticid that often invades the same nest complexes. S. repax preys on salticid eggs and also on Nagusta. Although they avoid ants, Nagusta and especially S. repax prey on ant-mimicking salticids, suggesting that sensory modalities other than vision play a dominant role in prey detection. PMID:20673067

  16. Prey preferences of aquatic insects: potential implications for the regulation of wetland mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Saha, N; Aditya, G; Saha, G K

    2014-03-01

    Wetlands are potential sites for mosquito breeding and are thus important in the context of public health. The use of chemical and microbial controls is constrained in wetlands in view of their potential impact on the diverse biota. Biological control using generalist aquatic insects can be effective, provided a preference for mosquito larvae is exhibited. The mosquito prey preferences of water bugs and larvae of odonate species were evaluated using chironomid larvae, fish fingerlings and tadpoles as alternative prey. Manly's selectivity (αi ) values with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to judge prey preference patterns. Multivariate analysis of variance (manova) and standardized canonical coefficients were used to test the effects of density on prey selectivity. The αi values indicated a significant preference (P < 0.05) in all of the insect predators tested for mosquito larvae over the alternative prey as a density-dependent function. On a comparative scale, chironomid larvae had the highest impact as alternative prey. In a multiple-prey experiment, predators showed a similar pattern of preference for mosquito larvae over alternative prey, reflecting a significant (P < 0.05) niche overlap. The results suggest that, in a laboratory setting, these insect predators can effectively reduce mosquito density in the presence of multiple alternative prey. PMID:23437887

  17. Chlorophacinone residues in mammalian prey at a black-tailed prairie dog colony

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vyas, Nimish B.; Hulse, Craig S.; Rice, Clifford P.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs), Cynomys ludovicianus, are an important prey for raptors; therefore, the use of the rodenticide Rozol (0.005% chlorophacinone active ingredient) to control BTPDs raises concern for secondary poisonings resulting from the consumption of contaminated prey by raptors. In the present study, the authors observed Rozol exposure and adverse effects to mammalian prey on 11 of 12 search days of the study. Mammalian hepatic chlorophacinone residues ranged from 0.44 to 7.56 µg/g. Poisoned prey availability was greater than previously reported.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan; Abaid, Nicole

    2013-12-01

    We establish an agent-based model to study the impact of prey behavior on the hunting success of predators. The predators and prey are modeled as self-propelled particles moving in a three-dimensional domain and subject to specific sensing abilities and behavioral rules inspired by bat hunting. The predators randomly search for prey. The prey either align velocity directions with peers, defined as "interacting" prey, or swarm "independently" of peer presence; both types of prey are subject to additive noise. In a simulation study, we find that interacting prey using low noise have the maximum predation avoidance because they form localized large groups, while they suffer high predation as noise increases due to the formation of broadly dispersed small groups. Independent prey, which are likely to be uniformly distributed in the domain, have higher predation risk under a low noise regime as they traverse larger spatial extents. These effects are enhanced in large prey populations, which exhibit more ordered collective behavior or more uniform spatial distribution as they are interacting or independent, respectively.

  19. 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

  20. The visually controlled prey-capture behaviour of the European mantispid Mantispa styriaca.

    PubMed

    Kral, K; Vernik, M; Devetak, D

    2000-07-01

    Mantispids (Mantispa styriaca) are predatory insects; on bright sunny days, they wait in ambush for insect prey. The prey is captured as soon as it is within reach by means of lightning-speed strikes with the powerful forelegs. The strikes can take less than 60 ms. The mantispid accomplishes this almost as effectively as the larger praying mantis, which occupies a similar habitat, even though the praying mantis has apposition eyes with a high-resolution fovea, whereas the mantispid has unspecialized optical superposition eyes. Mantispa styriaca reacts to an item of prey when the latter covers a critical visual angle. The detection of prey immediately triggers adjustment reactions in the mantispid, which attempts to position the prey item in the visual field of both eyes and in the capture zone. Irrespective of the size of the prey, the capture reaction of the mantispid is always triggered if the distance to the prey falls below a certain critical value. As indicated by the analysis of individual video frames, immediately before an aimed strike, the item of prey is always positioned exactly in the centre of the binocular field of vision in the extended midsagittal plane of the mantispid's head. The strike may be triggered by the ommatidia of the left and right eyes, the lines of sight of which converge precisely on this region. The principal conclusion to be drawn is that the prey-capture behaviour of the mantispid appears to be based on a triangulation mechanism. PMID:10862724

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  2. Horseshoe bats make adaptive prey-selection decisions, informed by echo cues

    PubMed Central

    Koselj, Klemen; Schnitzler, Hans-Ulrich; Siemers, Björn M.

    2011-01-01

    Foragers base their prey-selection decisions on the information acquired by the sensory systems. In bats that use echolocation to find prey in darkness, it is not clear whether the specialized diet, as sometimes found by faecal analysis, is a result of active decision-making or rather of biased sensory information. Here, we tested whether greater horseshoe bats decide economically when to attack a particular prey item and when not. This species is known to recognize different insects based on their wing-beat pattern imprinted in the echoes. We built a simulation of the natural foraging process in the laboratory, where the bats scanned for prey from a perch and, upon reaching the decision to attack, intercepted the prey in flight. To fully control echo information available to the bats and assure its unambiguity, we implemented computer-controlled propellers that produced echoes resembling those from natural insects of differing profitability. The bats monitored prey arrivals to sample the supply of prey categories in the environment and to inform foraging decisions. The bats adjusted selectivity for the more profitable prey to its inter-arrival intervals as predicted by foraging theory (an economic strategy known to benefit fitness). Moreover, unlike in previously studied vertebrates, foraging performance of horseshoe bats was not limited by costly rejections of the profitable prey. This calls for further research into the evolutionary selection pressures that sharpened the species's decision-making capacity. PMID:21367788

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Chlorophacinone residues in mammalian prey at a black-tailed prairie dog colony.

    PubMed

    Vyas, Nimish B; Hulse, Craig S; Rice, Clifford P

    2012-11-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs), Cynomys ludovicianus, are an important prey for raptors; therefore, the use of the rodenticide Rozol (0.005% chlorophacinone active ingredient) to control BTPDs raises concern for secondary poisonings resulting from the consumption of contaminated prey by raptors. In the present study, the authors observed Rozol exposure and adverse effects to mammalian prey on 11 of 12 search days of the study. Mammalian hepatic chlorophacinone residues ranged from 0.44 to 7.56 µg/g. Poisoned prey availability was greater than previously reported. PMID:22865654

  5. Temporal signal processing of dolphin biosonar echoes from salmon prey.

    PubMed

    Au, Whitlow W L; Ou, Hui Helen

    2014-08-01

    Killer whales project short broadband biosonar clicks. The broadband nature of the clicks provides good temporal resolution of echo highlights and allows for the discriminations of salmon prey. The echoes contain many highlights as the signals reflect off different surfaces and parts of the fish body and swim bladder. The temporal characteristics of echoes from salmon are highly aspect dependent and six temporal parameters were used in a support vector machine to discriminate between species. Results suggest that killer whales can classify salmon based on their echoes and provide some insight as to which features might enable the classification. PMID:25096148

  6. Modulation of prey capture kinematics and the role of lingual sensory feedback in the lizard Pogona vitticeps.

    PubMed

    Schaerlaeken, Vicky; Meyers, Jay J; Herrel, Anthony

    2007-01-01

    Most organisms feed on a variety of prey that may differ dramatically in their physical and behavioural characteristics (e.g. mobility, mass, texture, etc.). Thus the ability to modulate prey capture behaviour in accordance with the characteristics of the food appears crucial. In animals that use rapid tongue movements to capture prey (frogs and chameleons), the coordination of jaws and tongue is based on visual cues gathered prior to the prey capture event. However, most iguanian lizards have much slower tongue-based prey capture systems suggesting that sensory feedback from the tongue may play an important role in coordinating jaw and tongue movements. We investigated the modulation of prey capture kinematics in the agamid lizard Pogona vitticeps when feeding on a range of food items differing in their physical characteristics. As the lizard is a dietary generalist, we expected it to be able to modulate its prey capture kinematics as a function of the (mechanical) demands imposed by the prey. Additionally, we investigated the role of lingual sensory feedback by transecting the trigeminal sensory afferents. Our findings demonstrated that P. vitticeps modulates its prey capture kinematics according to specific prey properties (e.g. size). In addition, transection of the trigeminal sensory nerves had a strong effect on prey capture kinematics. However, significant prey type effects and prey type by transection effects suggest that other sources of sensory information are also used to modulate the prey capture kinematics in P. vitticeps. PMID:17368008

  7. Pyrolysis Strategies for Effective Utilization of Lignocellulosic and Algal Biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddi, Balakrishna

    Pyrolysis is a processing technique involving thermal degradation of biomass in the absence of oxygen. The bio-oils obtained following the condensation of the pyrolysis vapors form a convenient starting point for valorizing the major components of lignocellulosic as well as algal biomass feed stocks for the production of fuels and value-added chemicals. Pyrolysis can be implemented on whole biomass or on residues left behind following standard fractionation methods. Microalgae and oil seeds predominantly consist of protein, carbohydrate and triglycerides, whereas lignocellulose is composed of carbohydrates (cellulose and hemicellulose) and lignin. The differences in the major components of these two types of biomass will necessitate different pyrolysis strategies to derive the optimal benefits from the resulting bio-oils. In this thesis, novel pyrolysis strategies were developed that enable efficient utilization of the bio-oils (and/or their vapors) from lignocellulose, algae, as well as oil seed feed stocks. With lignocellulosic feed stocks, pyrolysis of whole biomass as well as the lignin residue left behind following well-established pretreatment and saccharification (i.e., depolymerization of cellulose and hemicellulose to their monomeric-sugars) of the biomass was studied with and without catalysts. Following this, pyrolysis of (lipid-deficient) algae and lignocellulosic feed stocks, under similar reactor conditions, was performed for comparison of product (bio-oil, gas and bio-char) yields and composition. In spite of major differences in component bio-polymers, feedstock properties relevant to thermo-chemical conversions, such as overall C, H and O-content, C/O and H/C molar ratio as well as calorific values, were found to be similar for algae and lignocellulosic material. Bio-oil yields from algae and some lignocellulosic materials were similar; however, algal bio-oils were compositionally different and contained several N-compounds (most likely from

  8. Estimates of nuclear DNA content in red algal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Kapraun, Donald F.; Freshwater, D. Wilson

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims The red algae are an evolutionarily ancient group of predominantly marine organisms with an estimated 6000 species. Consensus higher-level molecular phylogenies support a basal split between the unicellular Cyanidiophytina and morphologically diverse Rhodophytina, the later subphylum containing most red algal species. The Rhodophytina is divided into six classes, of which five represent early diverging lineages of generally uninucleate species, whose evolutionary relationships are poorly resolved. The remaining species compose the large (27 currently recognized orders), morphologically diverse and typically multinucleate Florideophyceae. Nuclear DNA content estimates have been published for <1 % of the described red algae. The present investigation summarizes the state of our knowledge and expands our coverage of DNA content information from 196 isolates of red algae. Methodology The DNA-localizing fluorochrome DAPI (4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) and RBC (chicken erythrocytes) standards were used to estimate 2C values with static microspectrophotometry. Principal results Nuclear DNA contents are reported for 196 isolates of red algae, almost doubling the number of estimates available for these organisms. Present results also confirm the reported DNA content range of 0.1–2.8 pg, with species of Ceramiales, Nemaliales and Palmariales containing apparently polyploid genomes with 2C = 2.8, 2.3 and 2.8 pg, respectively. Conclusions Early diverging red algal lineages are characterized by relatively small 2C DNA contents while a wide range of 2C values is found within the derived Florideophyceae. An overall correlation between phylogenetic placement and 2C DNA content is not apparent; however, genome size data are available for only a small portion of red algae. Current data do support polyploidy and aneuploidy as pervasive features of red algal genome evolution. PMID:22479676

  9. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs Using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared; Coleman, Andre M.; Stevens, Daniel M.; Ray, Allison E.; Cafferty, Kara G.; Newby, Deborah T.

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an important mechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio, which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduction of foreign energy supplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth, and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associated with algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which helps to address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments of multiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tier were sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algae biomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary significantly depending on location and biomass

  10. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared M.; Stevens, Daniel M.; Ray, Allison E.; Newby, Deborah T.; Coleman, Andre M.; Cafferty, Kara G.

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an importantmechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio,which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduced reliance on foreign energysupplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth,and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associatedwith algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the development and application of the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which is tailored to help address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments ofmultiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tierwere sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algaebiomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary

  11. Algal refossilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Contains bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Neushul, M. )

    1991-07-01

    The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) is steadily increasing. With our increasing awareness of the economic and environmental impacts of the greenhouse effects'' of CO{sub 2}, methane and other gases, there is interest in finding new methods to reduce the amounts of these gases in the atmosphere. This study evaluates the possibility that large-scale oceanic cultures of macroalgae (macroscopic seaweeds'') could be used to capture atmospheric CO{sub 2}. It is a design for a marine farm system in which a crop'' of calcareous macroalgae grows attached to, and supported by, floating macroalgae that comprise the farm structure.'' The least complicated, yet feasible, macroalgal farm system appears to be one in which laboratory-propagated calcareous algal epiphytes'' and floating algal basiphytes'' are dispersed together in natural ocean upwelling regions. From there, the plants drift with surface currents to the open ocean and then sink to the sea floor, where the buried carbon is refossilized.'' An important caveat regarding the use of calcareous algae is that the process of calcification may release CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. There is some evidence that CO{sub 2} is not released by calcification in red calcareous algae, but in contrast many geochemists feel that all biologically -- as well as chemically --mediated calcification processes release CO{sub 2}. A substantial amount of research will be necessary to answer basic questions about algal carbon fixation and biomineralization on one hand, while on the other hand to devise strategies for farming the open ocean. 76 refs., 14 figs., 7 tabs.

  12. A trait-based framework for stream algal communities.

    PubMed

    Lange, Katharina; Townsend, Colin Richard; Matthaei, Christoph David

    2016-01-01

    The use of trait-based approaches to detect effects of land use and climate change on terrestrial plant and aquatic phytoplankton communities is increasing, but such a framework is still needed for benthic stream algae. Here we present a conceptual framework of morphological, physiological, behavioural and life-history traits relating to resource acquisition and resistance to disturbance. We tested this approach by assessing the relationships between multiple anthropogenic stressors and algal traits at 43 stream sites. Our "natural experiment" was conducted along gradients of agricultural land-use intensity (0-95% of the catchment in high-producing pasture) and hydrological alteration (0-92% streamflow reduction resulting from water abstraction for irrigation) as well as related physicochemical variables (total nitrogen concentration and deposited fine sediment). Strategic choice of study sites meant that agricultural intensity and hydrological alteration were uncorrelated. We studied the relationships of seven traits (with 23 trait categories) to our environmental predictor variables using general linear models and an information-theoretic model-selection approach. Life form, nitrogen fixation and spore formation were key traits that showed the strongest relationships with environmental stressors. Overall, FI (farming intensity) exerted stronger effects on algal communities than hydrological alteration. The large-bodied, non-attached, filamentous algae that dominated under high farming intensities have limited dispersal abilities but may cope with unfavourable conditions through the formation of spores. Antagonistic interactions between FI and flow reduction were observed for some trait variables, whereas no interactions occurred for nitrogen concentration and fine sediment. Our conceptual framework was well supported by tests of ten specific hypotheses predicting effects of resource supply and disturbance on algal traits. Our study also shows that investigating a

  13. A study of algal biomass potential in selected Canadian regions.

    SciTech Connect

    Passell, Howard David; Roach, Jesse Dillon; Klise, Geoffrey T.

    2011-11-01

    A dynamic assessment model has been developed for evaluating the potential algal biomass and extracted biocrude productivity and costs, using nutrient and water resources available from waste streams in four regions of Canada (western British Columbia, Alberta oil fields, southern Ontario, and Nova Scotia). The purpose of this model is to help identify optimal locations in Canada for algae cultivation and biofuel production. The model uses spatially referenced data across the four regions for nitrogen and phosphorous loads in municipal wastewaters, and CO{sub 2} in exhaust streams from a variety of large industrial sources. Other data inputs include land cover, and solar insolation. Model users can develop estimates of resource potential by manipulating model assumptions in a graphic user interface, and updated results are viewed in real time. Resource potential by location can be viewed in terms of biomass production potential, potential CO{sub 2} fixed, biocrude production potential, and area required. The cost of producing algal biomass can be estimated using an approximation of the distance to move CO{sub 2} and water to the desired land parcel and an estimation of capital and operating costs for a theoretical open pond facility. Preliminary results suggest that in most cases, the CO{sub 2} resource is plentiful compared to other necessary nutrients (especially nitrogen), and that siting and prospects for successful large-scale algae cultivation efforts in Canada will be driven by availability of those other nutrients and the efficiency with which they can be used and re-used. Cost curves based on optimal possible siting of an open pond system are shown. The cost of energy for maintaining optimal growth temperatures is not considered in this effort, and additional research in this area, which has not been well studied at these latitudes, will be important in refining the costs of algal biomass production. The model will be used by NRC-IMB Canada to identify

  14. A Collection of Algal Genomes from the JGI

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-03-19

    Algae, defined as photosynthetic eukaryotes other than plants, constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity. Acquisition of the ability to conduct oxygenic photosynthesis through endosymbiotic events has been a principal driver of eukaryotic evolution, and today algae continue to underpin aquatic food chains as primary producers. Algae play profound roles in the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE?s Joint Genome Institute (JGI). A collection of algal projects ongoing at JGI contributes to each of these areas and illustrates analyses employed in their genome exploration.

  15. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Rejean Samson; Anh LeDuy

    1982-08-01

    Spirulina maxima algal biomass could be used as the sole nutrient for the production of biogas by anaerobic digestion process. It is relatively simple to adapt the municipal sewage sludge to this new substrate. The adapted sludge is very stable. Under nonoptimal conditions, the methane yield and productivity obtained were 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day) and 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day), respectively, with the semicontinuous, daily fed, anaerobic digestion having loading rate of 0.97 kg VS/(m/sup 3/ day), retention time of 33 days and temperature of 30/sup 0/C.

  16. Effects of simetryne on growth of various freshwater algal taxa.

    PubMed

    Kasai, F; Takamura, N; Hatakeyama, S

    1993-01-01

    The sensitivity of 56 algal strains, representing 7 taxonomic groups to the triazine herbicide, simetryne, was examined using EC50 values for growth. There was a wide range of values from 6.5 to 1500 microg litre(-1). The Volvocales (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta) and Cyanophyceae (Cyanophyta) as a whole were the most sensitive, whereas the Desmidiales (Charophyceae, Chlorophyta) and Bacillariophyceae (Chromophyta) were the most tolerant, although sensitivity differed among strains of a single species. Sensitive and tolerant species were both isolated from samples collected at the same site. The results suggest that changes in species composition and relative abundance will occur when herbicides are applied in natural habitats. PMID:15091916

  17. Algal photoreceptors: in vivo functions and potential applications.

    PubMed

    Kianianmomeni, Arash; Hallmann, Armin

    2014-01-01

    Many algae, particularly microalgae, possess a sophisticated light-sensing system including photoreceptors and light-modulated signaling pathways to sense environmental information and secure the survival in a rapidly changing environment. Over the last couple of years, the multifaceted world of algal photobiology has enriched our understanding of the light absorption mechanisms and in vivo function of photoreceptors. Moreover, specific light-sensitive modules have already paved the way for the development of optogenetic tools to generate light switches for precise and spatial control of signaling pathways in individual cells and even in complex biological systems. PMID:24081482

  18. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Noel Vinay; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-01-01

    The name “cosmeceuticals” is derived from “cosmetics and pharmaceuticals”, indicating that a specific product contains active ingredients. Marine algae have gained much importance in cosmeceutical product development due to their rich bioactive compounds. In the present review, marine algal compounds (phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides and tyrosinase inhibitors) have been discussed toward cosmeceutical application. In addition, atopic dermatitis and the possible role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) in skin-related diseases have been explored extensively for cosmeceutical products. The proper development of marine algae compounds will be helpful in cosmeceutical product development and in the development of the cosmeceutical industry. PMID:23344156

  19. Metabolism of mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by photosynthetic algal species.

    PubMed

    Schoeny, R; Cody, T; Warshawsky, D; Radike, M

    1988-02-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) known to produce carcinogenic and mutagenic effects have been shown to contaminate waters, sediments and soils. While it is accepted that metabolites of these compounds are responsible for most of their biological effects in mammals, their metabolism, and to a large extent their bioactivity, in aquatic plants have not been explored. Cultures of photosynthetic algal species were assayed for their ability to metabolize benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a carcinogenic PAH under conditions which either permitted (white light) or disallowed (gold light) photooxidation of the compound. Growth of Selenastrum capricornutum, a fresh-water green alga, was completely inhibited when incubated in white light with 160 micrograms BaP/l medium. By contrast concentrations at the upper limit of BaP solubility in aqueous medium had no effect on algal growth when gold light was used. BaP quinones and phenol derivatives were found to inhibit growth of Selenastrum under white light incubation. BaP phototoxicity and metabolism were observed to be species-specific. All 3 tested species of the order Chlorococcales were growth-inhibited by BaP in white light whereas neither the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii nor a blue-green, a yellow-green or an euglenoid alga responded in this fashion. Assays of radiolabeled BaP metabolism in Selenastrum showed that the majority of radioactivity associated with BaP was found in media as opposed to algal cell pellets, that the extent of metabolism was BaP concentration dependent, and that the proportion of various metabolites detected was a function of the light source. After gold light incubation, BaP diols predominated while after white light treatment at equal BaP concentrations, the 3,6-quinone was found in the highest concentration. Extracted material from algal cell pellets and from media was tested for mutagenicity in a forward mutation suspension assay in Salmonella typhimurium using resistance to 8-azaguanine for

  20. Flexibility in Algal Endosymbioses Shapes Growth in Reef Corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Angela F.; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.; Willis, Bette L.

    2004-06-01

    The relation between corals and their algal endosymbionts has been a key to the success of scleractinian (stony) corals as modern reef-builders, but little is known about early stages in the establishment of the symbiosis. Here, we show that initial uptake of zooxanthellae by juvenile corals during natural infection is nonspecific (a potentially adaptive trait); the association is flexible and characterized by a change in (dominant) zooxanthella strains over time; and growth rates of experimentally infected coral holobionts are partly contingent on the zooxanthella strain harbored, with clade C-infected juveniles growing two to three times as fast as those infected with clade D.

  1. Lipid Accumulation during the Establishment of Kleptoplasty in Elysia chlorotica

    PubMed Central

    Pelletreau, Karen N.; Weber, Andreas P. M.; Weber, Katrin L.; Rumpho, Mary E.

    2014-01-01

    The establishment of kleptoplasty (retention of “stolen plastids”) in the digestive tissue of the sacoglossan Elysia chlorotica Gould was investigated using transmission electron microscopy. Cellular processes occurring during the initial exposure to plastids were observed in laboratory raised animals ranging from 1–14 days post metamorphosis (dpm). These observations revealed an abundance of lipid droplets (LDs) correlating to plastid abundance. Starvation of animals resulted in LD and plastid decay in animals <5 dpm that had not yet achieved permanent kleptoplasty. Animals allowed to feed on algal prey (Vaucheria litorea C. Agardh) for 7 d or greater retained stable plastids resistant to cellular breakdown. Lipid analysis of algal and animal samples supports that these accumulating LDs may be of plastid origin, as the often algal-derived 20∶5 eicosapentaenoic acid was found in high abundance in the animal tissue. Subsequent culturing of animals in dark conditions revealed a reduced ability to establish permanent kleptoplasty in the absence of photosynthetic processes, coupled with increased mortality. Together, these data support an important role of photosynthetic lipid production in establishing and stabilizing this unique animal kleptoplasty. PMID:24828251

  2. Changes in water chemistry can disable plankton prey defenses

    PubMed Central

    Riessen, Howard P.; Linley, Robert Dallas; Altshuler, Ianina; Rabus, Max; Söllradl, Thomas; Clausen-Schaumann, Hauke; Laforsch, Christian; Yan, Norman D.

    2012-01-01

    The effectiveness of antipredator defenses is greatly influenced by the environment in which an organism lives. In aquatic ecosystems, the chemical composition of the water itself may play an important role in the outcome of predator–prey interactions by altering the ability of prey to detect predators or to implement defensive responses once the predator’s presence is perceived. Here, we demonstrate that low calcium concentrations (<1.5 mg/L) that are found in many softwater lakes and ponds disable the ability of the water flea, Daphnia pulex to respond effectively to its predator, larvae of the phantom midge, Chaoborus americanus. This low-calcium environment prevents development of the prey’s normal array of induced defenses, which include an increase in body size, formation of neck spines, and strengthening of the carapace. We estimate that this inability to access these otherwise effective defenses results in a 50–186% increase in the vulnerability of the smaller juvenile instars of Daphnia, the stages most susceptible to Chaoborus predation. Such a change likely contributes to the observed lack of success of daphniids in most low-calcium freshwater environments, and will speed the loss of these important zooplankton in lakes where calcium levels are in decline. PMID:22949653

  3. Prey synchronize their vigilant behaviour with other group members

    PubMed Central

    Pays, Olivier; Renaud, Pierre-Cyril; Loisel, Patrice; Petit, Maud; Gerard, Jean-François; Jarman, Peter J

    2007-01-01

    It is generally assumed that an individual of a prey species can benefit from an increase in the number of its group's members by reducing its own investment in vigilance. But what behaviour should group members adopt in relation to both the risk of being preyed upon and the individual investment in vigilance? Most models assume that individuals scan independently of one another. It is generally argued that it is more profitable for each group member owing to the cost that coordination of individual scans in non-overlapping bouts of vigilance would require. We studied the relationships between both individual and collective vigilance and group size in Defassa waterbuck, Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa, in a population living under a predation risk. Our results confirmed that the proportion of time an individual spent in vigilance decreased with group size. However, the time during which at least one individual in the group scanned the environment (collective vigilance) increased. Analyses showed that individuals neither coordinated their scanning in an asynchronous way nor scanned independently of one another. On the contrary, scanning and non-scanning bouts were synchronized between group members, producing waves of collective vigilance. We claim that these waves are triggered by allelomimetic effects i.e. they are a phenomenon produced by an individual copying its neighbour's behaviour. PMID:17341457

  4. Predator prey size relationship between Pseudopleuronectes americanus and Carcinus maenas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairchild, E. A.; Howell, W. H.

    2000-10-01

    Young-of-year flatfish grow through a series of critical periods in which they are vulnerable to different predators, including decapod crustaceans. The purpose of this study was to determine if winter flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus, were vulnerable to one such decapod, the green crab, Carcinus maenas, and to determine if vulnerability differed between wild and cultured fish. To examine the predator-prey size relationship, an experiment was conducted in which six cultured and three wild winter flounder size class treatments were tested against six crab size class treatments. Flounder of all size classes were preyed on by all size classes of green crabs; however, mortality was highest when the largest crabs were matched with the smallest flounder. The number of flounder killed per day was significantly higher (31%) in winter flounder <20 mm compared to all other larger fish size classes (4-8%). Additionally, these fish were attacked at a faster rate than any other fish size class. For the 31-60 mm fish size classes tested, more wild fish (11%) were killed per day by crabs than cultured fish (6.3%). These results suggest that in a winter flounder stock enhancement program, only fish >20 mm should be released to promote post-release survival.

  5. Prey-sensing and orientational behaviors of sand scorpions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownell, Philip

    2000-03-01

    Sand scorpions use exquisitely sensitive vibrational and chemosensory systems to locate prey and identify prospective mates active on the sand surface. Prey location is determined by input to a static array of 8 vibration-sensitive receptors, each responding as phase-locked accelerometers to compressional and surface waves conducted through sand. Angular orientation of the target is determined from passing surface (Rayleigh) waves, target distance possibly from the time delay between arrival of compressional and surface waves. For localization and identification of prospective mates, male scorpions use sexually dimorphic chemosensory appendages, the pectines, which are swept over a static stimulus field (chemical trail deposited on sand). These organs support a 2D array of closely-spaced (freq = 100/mm) sensilla containing more than 10^6 neurons, all projecting with great topographic precision to the central nervous system. Movement of this sensory array over a static stimulus field creates timing within the sensory signal. The potential importance of timing as a means of increasing sensitivity and selectivity of sensory response in two distinctly different modes is discussed.

  6. Prey detection with electrical sense in the paddlefish (Polydon spathula)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, Xing; Wilkens, Lon; Russell, David; Moss, Frank

    1997-03-01

    Paddlefish,Polyodon spathula, is a threatened species which inhabits major mid-western river systems. Paddlefishes are plankton feeders, preying on small crustaceans including Daphnia sp.. Their rostrum is elongated and flattened into a paddle shape on which many electro-sensitive ampullary receptor cells are located. We demonstrate that the paddlefishes use their electrical sense to locate prey in its food searching behavior. Our experiments show that both Daphnia and the related brine shrimp Artemia produce weak low-frequency electric fields, which are capable of evoking responses in ampullary electroreceptor cells, which were recorded in responses from the primary afferents. The response characteristics of the sensory afferents are low-frequency band pass, which overlap the frequencies of the electric fields produced by the aforementioned plankton. Behavioral experiments also show that the paddlefish detect and strike at dipole -electrodes (0.25uA-1uA) operating at 5 to 10 Hz frequencies. This result supports the hypothesis(Wilkens L, Cox M and Russell D. Amer. Zool. 34, 43 (1994)) that the paddlefish uses its paddle as an antenna to sense the outside world.

  7. Influence of edge on predator prey distribution and abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Steven H.

    2004-03-01

    I investigated the effect of spatial configuration on distribution and abundance of invertebrate trophic groups by counting soil arthropods under boxes (21 × 9.5 cm) arranged in six different patterns that varied in the amount of edge (137-305 cm). I predicted fewer individuals from the consumer trophic group (Collembola) in box groups with greater amount of edge. This prediction was based on the assumption that predators (mites, ants, spiders, centipedes) select edge during foraging and thereby reduce abundance of the less mobile consumer group under box patterns with greater edge. Consumer abundance (Collembola) was not correlated with amount of edge. Among the predator groups, mite, ant and centipede abundance related to the amount of edge of box groups. However, in contrast to predictions, abundance of these predators was negatively correlated with amount of edge in box patterns. All Collembola predators, with the exception of ants, were less clumped in distribution than Collembola. The results are inconsistent with the view that predators used box edges to predate the less mobile consumer trophic group. Alternative explanations for the spatial patterns other than predator-prey relations include (1) a negative relationship between edge and moisture, (2) a positive relationship between edge and detritus decomposition (i.e. mycelium as food for the consumer group), and (3) a negative relationship between edge and the interstices between adjacent boxes. Landscape patterns likely affect microclimate, food, and predator-prey relations and, therefore, future experimental designs need to control these factors individually to distinguish among alternative hypotheses.

  8. Prey Patch Patterns Predict Habitat Use by Top Marine Predators with Diverse Foraging Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Battaile, Brian C.; Heppell, Scott A.; Hoover, Brian; Irons, David; Jones, Nathan; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Nordstrom, Chad A.; Paredes, Rosana; Suryan, Robert M.; Waluk, Chad M.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial coherence between predators and prey has rarely been observed in pelagic marine ecosystems. We used measures of the environment, prey abundance, prey quality, and prey distribution to explain the observed distributions of three co-occurring predator species breeding on islands in the southeastern Bering Sea: black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Predictions of statistical models were tested using movement patterns obtained from satellite-tracked individual animals. With the most commonly used measures to quantify prey distributions - areal biomass, density, and numerical abundance - we were unable to find a spatial relationship between predators and their prey. We instead found that habitat use by all three predators was predicted most strongly by prey patch characteristics such as depth and local density within spatial aggregations. Additional prey patch characteristics and physical habitat also contributed significantly to characterizing predator patterns. Our results indicate that the small-scale prey patch characteristics are critical to how predators perceive the quality of their food supply and the mechanisms they use to exploit it, regardless of time of day, sampling year, or source colony. The three focal predator species had different constraints and employed different foraging strategies – a shallow diver that makes trips of moderate distance (kittiwakes), a deep diver that makes trip of short distances (murres), and a deep diver that makes extensive trips (fur seals). However, all three were similarly linked by patchiness of prey rather than by the distribution of overall biomass. This supports the hypothesis that patchiness may be critical for understanding predator-prey relationships in pelagic marine systems more generally. PMID:23301063

  9. Prey patch patterns predict habitat use by top marine predators with diverse foraging strategies.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Battaile, Brian C; Heppell, Scott A; Hoover, Brian; Irons, David; Jones, Nathan; Kuletz, Kathy J; Nordstrom, Chad A; Paredes, Rosana; Suryan, Robert M; Waluk, Chad M; Trites, Andrew W

    2013-01-01

    Spatial coherence between predators and prey has rarely been observed in pelagic marine ecosystems. We used measures of the environment, prey abundance, prey quality, and prey distribution to explain the observed distributions of three co-occurring predator species breeding on islands in the southeastern Bering Sea: black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Predictions of statistical models were tested using movement patterns obtained from satellite-tracked individual animals. With the most commonly used measures to quantify prey distributions--areal biomass, density, and numerical abundance--we were unable to find a spatial relationship between predators and their prey. We instead found that habitat use by all three predators was predicted most strongly by prey patch characteristics such as depth and local density within spatial aggregations. Additional prey patch characteristics and physical habitat also contributed significantly to characterizing predator patterns. Our results indicate that the small-scale prey patch characteristics are critical to how predators perceive the quality of their food supply and the mechanisms they use to exploit it, regardless of time of day, sampling year, or source colony. The three focal predator species had different constraints and employed different foraging strategies--a shallow diver that makes trips of moderate distance (kittiwakes), a deep diver that makes trip of short distances (murres), and a deep diver that makes extensive trips (fur seals). However, all three were similarly linked by patchiness of prey rather than by the distribution of overall biomass. This supports the hypothesis that patchiness may be critical for understanding predator-prey relationships in pelagic marine systems more generally. PMID:23301063

  10. Prey capture in long-jawed butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae): the functional basis of novel feeding habits.

    PubMed

    Ferry-Graham, L A.; Wainwright, P C.; Bellwood, D R.

    2001-01-31

    Several species of butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) possess extremely elongate jaws, and feed mostly by probing the benthos and biting off pieces of attached invertebrates. In contrast, Forcipiger longirostris, the longest-jawed chaetodontid, exhibits a novel pattern of prey use, feeding almost exclusively on small caridean shrimp, a mobile and highly elusive prey type that lives within the structure of coral reefs. We explored the functional basis of this novel pattern of prey use by comparing prey capture kinematics in this and four other butterflyfish species, including two other species that possess elongate jaws. High speed video recordings of feeding events on live adult brine shrimp were analyzed from individuals of five species: Forcipiger longirostris, F. flavissimus, Chelmon rostratus, Heniochus acuminatus, and Chaetodon xanthurus. We focused on a comparison among species of the relative contribution of "suction", measured as the amount of movement of the prey toward the predator's mouth, and "ram", measured as the distance moved by the predator toward the prey during the strike. All five species utilized a combination of suction and ram while feeding on brine shrimp. The contribution of suction did not differ significantly among species. However, F. longirostris exhibited a ram contribution to the strike that was more than twice that seen in any of the other species, permitting this species to initiate strikes from the greatest initial predator-prey distance. F. longirostris is known to possess a major structural novelty in the feeding mechanism that permits anterior movement of the entire jaw apparatus. The ability of this species to feed successfully on elusive prey appears to be related to exceptional jaw protrusion, resulting in greater use of ram during prey capture. This ability to protrude long, slender jaws toward the prey may allow it to move the jaws without detection within close enough proximity of the prey to then permit the effective use of

  11. Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Algal Biomass to Biofuels: Algal Biomass Fractionation to Lipid- and Carbohydrate-Derived Fuel Products

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Kinchin, C.; Markham, J.; Tan, E.; Laurens, L.; Sexton, D.; Knorr, D.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J.

    2014-09-01

    Beginning in 2013, NREL began transitioning from the singular focus on ethanol to a broad slate of products and conversion pathways, ultimately to establish similar benchmarking and targeting efforts. One of these pathways is the conversion of algal biomass to fuels via extraction of lipids (and potentially other components), termed the 'algal lipid upgrading' or ALU pathway. This report describes in detail one potential ALU approach based on a biochemical processing strategy to selectively recover and convert select algal biomass components to fuels, namely carbohydrates to ethanol and lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock (RDB) product. The overarching process design converts algal biomass delivered from upstream cultivation and dewatering (outside the present scope) to ethanol, RDB, and minor coproducts, using dilute-acid pretreatment, fermentation, lipid extraction, and hydrotreating.

  12. Algal culture studies related to a Closed Ecological Life Support System (CELSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R. O.; Ollinger, O.; Venables, A.; Fernandez, E.

    1982-01-01

    Studies with algal cultures which relate to closed ecological life support systems (CELSS) are discussed. A description of a constant cell density apparatus for continuous culture of algae is included. Excretion of algal by-products, and nitrogen utilization and excretion are discussed.

  13. Releasing Stored Solar Energy within Pond Scum: Biodiesel from Algal Lipids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blatti, Jillian L.; Burkart, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    Microalgae have emerged as an attractive feedstock for the mass production of renewable transportation fuels due to their fast growth rate, flexible habitat preferences, and substantial oil yields. As an educational tool, a laboratory was developed that mimics emerging algal biofuel technology, including the extraction of algal lipids and…

  14. Simplifying biodiesel production: the direct or 'in situ' transesterification of algal biomass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ‘in situ’ esterification/transesterification of algal biomass lipids to produce fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), for potential use as biodiesel, was investigated. Commercial algal biomass was employed, containing 20.9 wt percent hexane extractable oil. This consisted of 35.1 wt percent free fa...

  15. Will biodiesel derived from algal oils live up to its promise? A fuel property assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algae have been attracting considerable attention as a source of biodiesel recently. This attention is largely due to the claimed high production potential of algal oils while circumventing the food vs. fuel issue. However, the properties of biodiesel fuels derived from algal oils have been only spa...

  16. ARS Research on Harmful Algal Blooms in SE USA Aquaculture Impoundments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As part of an EPA sponsored state of knowledge symposium on toxic cyanobacteria, six workgroups were established to assess published literature. A review of ARS research on harmful algal blooms was made by the incumbent. Aquaculture systems have had four types of freshwater toxic algal blooms. De...

  17. An algal removal using a combination of flocculation and flotation processes.

    PubMed

    Phoochinda, W; White, D A; Briscoe, B J

    2004-12-01

    The paper describes certain facets of the removal of the algae (Scenedesmus quadricauda) from water, using a froth flotation separation method, in conjunction with two types of surfactants, (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) CTAB and (sodium dodecylsulfate) SDS. A 90% algal removal efficiency was achieved when 100 mg l(-1) of CTAB was used whereas for the SDS solutions, the same concentration gave, by comparison, a very poor algal removal efficiency. An addition of 1 mg l(-1) of a commercial cationic polyelectrolyte, which was the optimal concentration as was evident from the zeta potential and the particle size distribution measurements, prior to the SDS addition resulted in a formation of algal flocs and consequently a substantial improvement in the extent of the algal removal. A 50 mg l(-1) solution of SDS was found to be the optimal concentration to completely remove these algal flocs from water. The amount of water removed along with the algal flocs, produced using 1 mg l(-1) of the commercial polyelectrolyte and subsequently removed using SDS, was comparatively lower than that removed with the algal cells when CTAB was used as the 'collector'. It was generally found, in this study, that an addition of the polyelectrolyte improved the removal efficiencies and the rate of separation and also decreased the amount of the associated water removed along with the algal sludge. PMID:15691199

  18. Use of an algal hydrolysate to improve enzymatic hydrolysis of anaerobically digested fiber

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study investigated the use of acid hydrolyzed algae to enhance the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. We first characterized wastewater-grown algal samples and determined the optimal conditions (acid concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time) for algal hydrolysis using di...

  19. The effect of light direction and suspended cell concentrations on algal biofilm growth rates.

    PubMed

    Schnurr, Peter J; Espie, George S; Allen, D Grant

    2014-10-01

    Algae biofilms were grown in a semicontinuous flat plate biofilm photobioreactor to study the effects of light direction and suspended algal cell populations on algal biofilm growth. It was determined that, under the growth conditions and biofilm thicknesses studied, light direction had no effect on long-term algal biofilm growth (26 days); however, light direction did affect the concentration of suspended algal cells by influencing the photon flux density in the growth medium in the photobioreactors. This suspended algal cell population affected short-term (7 days) algae cell recruitment and algal biofilm growth, but additional studies showed that enhanced suspended algal cell populations did not affect biofilm growth rates over the long term (26 days). Studying profiles of light transmittance through biofilms as they grew showed that most of the light became attenuated by the biomass after just a few days of growth (88 % after 3 days). The estimated biofilm thicknesses after these few days of growth were approximately 150 μm. The light attenuation data suggests that, although the biofilms grew to 700-900 μm, under these light intensities, only the first few hundred micrometers of the biofilm is receiving enough light to be photosynthetically active. We postulate that this photosynthetically active layer of the biofilm grows adjacent to the light source, while the rest of the biofilm is in a stationary growth phase. The results of this study have implications for algal biofilm photobioreactor design and operation. PMID:25149444

  20. Measuring cellular-scale nutrient distribution in algal biofilms with synchrotron confocal infrared microspectroscopy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Infrared microspectroscopy (IMS) and chemical imaging is ideal for measuring nutrient distribution in single algal cells on a cellular and subcellular level. The study of small algal cells, or cells within a colony requires enhanced spatial resolution IMS. Synchrotron infrared microspectroscopy wit...

  1. Alien Marine Fishes Deplete Algal Biomass in the Eastern Mediterranean

    PubMed Central

    Sala, Enric; Kizilkaya, Zafer; Yildirim, Derya; Ballesteros, Enric

    2011-01-01

    One of the most degraded states of the Mediterranean rocky infralittoral ecosystem is a barren composed solely of bare rock and patches of crustose coralline algae. Barrens are typically created by the grazing action of large sea urchin populations. In 2008 we observed extensive areas almost devoid of erect algae, where sea urchins were rare, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. To determine the origin of those urchin-less ‘barrens’, we conducted a fish exclusion experiment. We found that, in the absence of fish grazing, a well-developed algal assemblage grew within three months. Underwater fish censuses and observations suggest that two alien herbivorous fish from the Red Sea (Siganus luridus and S. rivulatus) are responsible for the creation and maintenance of these benthic communities with extremely low biomass. The shift from well-developed native algal assemblages to ‘barrens’ implies a dramatic decline in biogenic habitat complexity, biodiversity and biomass. A targeted Siganus fishery could help restore the macroalgal beds of the rocky infralittoral on the Turkish coast. PMID:21364943

  2. Tumebacillus algifaecis sp. nov., isolated from decomposing algal scum.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yu-Fan; Zhang, Bo; Xing, Peng; Wu, Qing-Long; Liu, Shuang-Jiang

    2015-07-01

    Bacterial strain THMBR28(T) was isolated from decomposing algal scum that was collected during an algal bloom in Taihu lake, China. Cells of strain THMBR28(T) were Gram-staining-positive, facultatively anaerobic and rod-shaped. Growth was observed at 20-45 °C (optimum, 30 °C), at pH 5.0-9.5 (optimum, pH 6.5-7.5), and in the presence of 0-1.0% (w/v) NaCl (optimum, 0.5%). Strain THMBR28(T) contained MK-7 as the major menaquinone and iso-C15 : 0 as the major cellular fatty acid. The polar lipid profile contained phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylmonomethylethanolamine, phosphatidylethanolamine and six unidentified polar lipids. The diamino acid found in the cell-wall peptidoglycan was meso-diaminopimelic acid. The DNA G+C content was 57.6 mol% (Tm). Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain THMBR28(T) belonged to the genus Tumebacillus, most closely related to Tumebacillus ginsengisoli DSM 18389(T) (95.0%) and Tumebacillus permanentifrigoris Eur1 9.5(T) (93.4%). Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic characterization, it is concluded that strain THMBR28(T) represents a novel species of the genus Tumebacillus, for which the name Tumebacillus algifaecis sp. nov. is proposed, with THMBR28(T) ( = CGMCC 1.10949(T) = NBRC 108765(T)) as the type strain. PMID:25858243

  3. Raman spectroscopy for the characterization of algal cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samek, Ota; Jonáš, Alexandr; Pilát, Zdeněk; Zemánek, Pavel; Nedbal, Ladislav; Tříska, Jan; Kotas, Petr; Trtílek, Martin

    2010-12-01

    Raman spectroscopy can elucidate fundamental questions about intercellular variability and what governs it. Moreover, knowing the metabolic response on single cell level this can significantly contribute to the study and use of microalgae in systems biology and biofuel technology. Raman spectroscopy is capable to measure nutrient dynamics and metabolism in vivo, in real-time, label free making it possible to monitor/evaluate population variability. Also, degree of unsaturation of the algae oil (iodine value) can be measured using Raman spectra obtained from single microalgae. The iodine value is the determination of the amount of unsaturation contained in fatty acids (in the form of double bonds). Here we demonstrate the capacity of the spatially resolved Raman microspectroscopy to determine the effective iodine value in lipid storage bodies of individual living algal cells. We employed the characteristic peaks in the Raman scattering spectra at 1,656 cm-1 (cis C=C stretching mode) and 1,445 cm-1 (CH2 scissoring mode) as the markers defining the ratio of unsaturated-to-saturated carbon-carbon bonds of the fatty acids in the algal lipids.

  4. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luengen, Allison C.; Fisher, Nicholas S.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) significantly decreased accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) by the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana in laboratory experiments. Live diatom cells accumulated two to four times more MeHg than dead cells, indicating that accumulation may be partially an energy-requiring process. Methylmercury enrichment in diatoms relative to ambient water was measured by a volume concentration factor (VCF). Without added DOM, the maximum VCF was 32 x 104, and the average VCF (from 10 to 72 h) over all experiments was 12.6 x 104. At very low (1.5 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped by approximately half. At very high (20 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped 10-fold. Presumably, MeHg was bound to a variety of reduced sulfur sites on the DOM, making it unavailable for uptake. Diatoms accumulated significantly more MeHg when exposed to transphilic DOM extracts than hydrophobic ones. However, algal lysate, a labile type of DOM created by resuspending a marine diatom in freshwater, behaved similarly to a refractory DOM isolate from San Francisco Bay. Addition of 67 μM L-cysteine resulted in the largest drop in VCFs, to 0.28 x 104. Although the DOM composition influenced the availability of MeHg to some extent, total DOM concentration was the most important factor in determining algal bioaccumulation of MeHg.

  5. Algal and microbial exopolysaccharides: new insights as biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers.

    PubMed

    Paniagua-Michel, José de Jesús; Olmos-Soto, Jorge; Morales-Guerrero, Eduardo Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Currently, efforts are being made to utilize more natural biological systems as alternatives as a way to replace fossil forms of carbon. There is a growing concern at global level to have nontoxic, nonhazardous surface-active agents; contrary to synthetic surfactants, their biological counterparts or biosurfactants play a primary function, facilitating microbial presence in environments dominated by hydrophilic-hydrophobic interfaces. Algal and microbial biosurfactants/bioemulsifiers from marine and deep-sea environments are attracting major interest due to their structural and functional diversity as molecules actives of surface and an alternative biomass to replace fossil forms of carbon. Algal and microbial surfactants are lipid in nature and classified as glycolipids, phospholipids, lipopeptides, natural lipids, fatty acids, and lipopolysaccharides. These metabolic bioactive products are applicable in a number of industries and processes, viz., food processing, pharmacology, and bioremediation of oil-polluted environments. This chapter presents an update of the progress and potentialities of the principal producers of exopolysaccharide (EPS)-type biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers, viz., macro- and microalgae (cyanobacteria and diatoms) and bacteria from marine and extreme environments. Particular interest is centered into new sources and applications, viz., marine and deep-sea environments and promissory uses of these EPSs as biosurfactants/emulsifiers and other polymeric roles. The enormous benefits of these molecules encourage their discovery, exploitation, and development of new microbial EPSs that could possess novel industrial importance and corresponding innovations. PMID:25300549

  6. Detection of toxic organometallic complexes in wastewaters using algal assays.

    PubMed

    Wong, S L; Nakamoto, L; Wainwright, J F

    1997-05-01

    Chlorella (a unicellular green alga) and Cladophora (a filamentous alga) were used in algal assays to identify the presence and toxicity of organometallic complexes in four industrial wastewaters. Toxicities of inorganic Pb and organometallic compounds (trimethyl, tetramethyl and tetraethyl leads, cacodylic acid and Cu-picolinate) were examined, using algal cells grown in 10% BBM solution. Inorganic Pb and organometallic compounds altered the fine structure of Chlorella cells in a distinguishable manner. X-ray microanalysis revealed that organometallic compounds accumulated in the neutral lipids of Cladophora cells. By applying the above techniques to the wastewater assays, two of the four wastewaters tested were found to contain organometallic complexes. Wastewater from a chemical company contained only traces of organo-Cu, but one mining effluent contained significant quantities of organo-Cu and organo-Pb, and traces of organo-Cr and organo-Tl (thallium). These studies suggest that X-ray microanalysis of algae may be a useful tool in identifying aquatic systems contaminated with metals and organometallic compounds. PMID:9175500

  7. Recycling produced water for algal cultivation for biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Neal, Justin N.; Sullivan, Enid J.; Dean, Cynthia A.; Steichen, Seth A.

    2012-08-09

    Algal growth demands a continuous source of water of appropriate salinity and nutritional content. Fresh water sources are scarce in the deserts of the Southwestern United States, hence, salt water algae species are being investigated as a renewable biofuel source. The use of produced water from oil wells (PW) could offset the demand for fresh water in cultivation. Produced water can contain various concentrations of dissolved solids, metals and organic contaminants and often requires treatment beyond oil/water separation to make it suitable for algae cultivation. The produced water used in this study was taken from an oil well in Jal, New Mexico. An F/2-Si (minus silica) growth media commonly used to cultivate Nannochloropsis salina 1776 (NS 1776) was prepared using the produced water (F/2-Si PW) taking into account the metals and salts already present in the water. NS 1776 was seeded into a bioreactor containing 5L of the (F/2-Si PW) media. After eleven days the optical density at 750 nm (an indicator of algal growth) increased from 0 to 2.52. These results indicate algae are able to grow, though inhibited when compared with non-PW media, in the complex chemical conditions found in produced water. Savings from using nutrients present in the PW, such as P, K, and HCO{sub 3}{sup -}, results in a 44.38% cost savings over fresh water to mix the F/2-Si media.

  8. Didymosphenia geminata: Algal blooms in oligotrophic streams and rivers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundareshwar, P.V.; Upadhayay, S.; Abessa, M.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S.A.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent decades, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has emerged as nuisance species in river systems around the world. This periphytic alga forms large "blooms" in temperate streams, presenting a counterintuitive result: the blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic streams and rivers, where phosphorus (P) availability typically limits primary production. The goal of this study is to examine how high algal biomass is formed under low P conditions. We reveal a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats concentrate P from flowing waters. First, the mucopolysaccaride stalks of D. geminata adsorb both iron (Fe) and P. Second, enzymatic and bacterial processes interact with Fe to increase the biological availability of P. We propose that a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and high growth rate is created, which results in abundant P for cell division. The affinity of stalks for Fe in association with iron-phosphorus biogeochemistry suggest a resolution to the paradox of algal blooms in oliogotrophic streams and rivers. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Four novel algal virus genomes discovered from Yellowstone Lake metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weijia; Zhou, Jinglie; Liu, Taigang; Yu, Yongxin; Pan, Yingjie; Yan, Shuling; Wang, Yongjie

    2015-01-01

    Phycodnaviruses are algae-infecting large dsDNA viruses that are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Here, partial genomic sequences of four novel algal viruses were assembled from a Yellowstone Lake metagenomic data set. Genomic analyses revealed that three Yellowstone Lake phycodnaviruses (YSLPVs) had genome lengths of 178,262 bp, 171,045 bp, and 171,454 bp, respectively, and were phylogenetically closely related to prasinoviruses (Phycodnaviridae). The fourth (YSLGV), with a genome length of 73,689 bp, was related to group III in the extended family Mimiviridae comprising Organic Lake phycodnaviruses and Phaeocystis globosa virus 16 T (OLPG). A pair of inverted terminal repeats was detected in YSLPV1, suggesting that its genome is nearly complete. Interestingly, these four putative YSL giant viruses also bear some genetic similarities to Yellowstone Lake virophages (YSLVs). For example, they share nine non-redundant homologous genes, including ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (a gene conserved in nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses) and Organic Lake virophage OLV2 (conserved in the majority of YSLVs). Additionally, putative multidrug resistance genes (emrE) were found in YSLPV1 and YSLPV2 but not in other viruses. Phylogenetic trees of emrE grouped YSLPVs with algae, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer occurred between giant viruses and their potential algal hosts. PMID:26459929

  10. Marine mimivirus relatives are probably large algal viruses

    PubMed Central

    Monier, Adam; Larsen, Jens Borggaard; Sandaa, Ruth-Anne; Bratbak, Gunnar; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Ogata, Hiroyuki

    2008-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus is the largest known ds-DNA virus and its 1.2 Mb-genome sequence has revealed many unique features. Mimivirus occupies an independent lineage among eukaryotic viruses and its known hosts include only species from the Acanthamoeba genus. The existence of mimivirus relatives was first suggested by the analysis of the Sargasso Sea metagenomic data. Results We now further demonstrate the presence of numerous "mimivirus-like" sequences using a larger marine metagenomic data set. We also show that the DNA polymerase sequences from three algal viruses (CeV01, PpV01, PoV01) infecting different marine algal species (Chrysochromulina ericina, Phaeocystis pouchetii, Pyramimonas orientalis) are very closely related to their homolog in mimivirus. Conclusion Our results suggest that the numerous mimivirus-related sequences identified in marine environments are likely to originate from diverse large DNA viruses infecting phytoplankton. Micro-algae thus constitute a new category of potential hosts in which to look for new species of Mimiviridae. PMID:18215256

  11. Evaluation of High Density Algal Cultivation for Secondary Wastewater Polishing.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Xu, Shengnan; Bernards, Matthew; Hu, Zhiqiang

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the performance of an algal membrane bioreactor (A-MBR) for secondary wastewater effluent polishing and determined the membrane fouling behavior and dominance of algae in the A-MBR. The continuous flow A-MBR (effective volume = 7.2 L) was operated with low biomass wastage for more than 180 days, resulting in an average algal mixed liquor suspended solid concentration of 4922 mg/L. At the influent concentrations of 43 mg/L COD, 1.6 mg/L total phosphorus (TP), and 11.8 mg/L total nitrogen (TN), the effluent COD, TP and TN concentrations were 26 ± 6 mg/L, 0.7 ± 0.3 mg/L, and 9.6 ± 1.2 mg/L, respectively. High-density algae cultivation facilitated P adsorption and chemical precipitation. However, the TN removal efficiency was only 14% because of low biomass wastage. Although bacteria represented less than 2% of the total biomass in the A-MBR, bacterial growth in the secondary wastewater effluent accelerated membrane fouling. PMID:26803026

  12. Riparian shading controls instream spring phytoplankton and benthic algal growth.

    PubMed

    Halliday, S J; Skeffington, R A; Wade, A J; Bowes, M J; Read, D S; Jarvie, H P; Loewenthal, M

    2016-06-15

    Dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations showed a striking pattern in a multi-year study of the River Enborne, a small river in SE England. In each of three years (2010-2012), maximum DO concentrations were attained in mid-April, preceded by a period of steadily increasing diurnal amplitudes, followed by a steady reduction in both amplitude and concentration. Flow events during the reduction period reduce DO to low concentrations until the following spring. Evidence is presented that this pattern is mainly due to benthic algal growth which is eventually suppressed by the growth of the riparian tree canopy. Nitrate and silicate concentrations are too high to inhibit the growth of either benthic algae or phytoplankton, but phosphate concentrations might have started to reduce growth if the tree canopy development had been delayed. This interpretation is supported by evidence from weekly flow cytometry measurements and analysis of the diurnal, seasonal and annual patterns of nutrient concentrations. As the tree canopy develops, the river switches from an autotrophic to a heterotrophic state. The results support the use of riparian shading to help control algal growth, and highlight the risks of reducing riparian shade. PMID:27192431

  13. Four novel algal virus genomes discovered from Yellowstone Lake metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weijia; Zhou, Jinglie; Liu, Taigang; Yu, Yongxin; Pan, Yingjie; Yan, Shuling; Wang, Yongjie

    2015-01-01

    Phycodnaviruses are algae-infecting large dsDNA viruses that are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Here, partial genomic sequences of four novel algal viruses were assembled from a Yellowstone Lake metagenomic data set. Genomic analyses revealed that three Yellowstone Lake phycodnaviruses (YSLPVs) had genome lengths of 178,262 bp, 171,045 bp, and 171,454 bp, respectively, and were phylogenetically closely related to prasinoviruses (Phycodnaviridae). The fourth (YSLGV), with a genome length of 73,689 bp, was related to group III in the extended family Mimiviridae comprising Organic Lake phycodnaviruses and Phaeocystis globosa virus 16 T (OLPG). A pair of inverted terminal repeats was detected in YSLPV1, suggesting that its genome is nearly complete. Interestingly, these four putative YSL giant viruses also bear some genetic similarities to Yellowstone Lake virophages (YSLVs). For example, they share nine non-redundant homologous genes, including ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (a gene conserved in nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses) and Organic Lake virophage OLV2 (conserved in the majority of YSLVs). Additionally, putative multidrug resistance genes (emrE) were found in YSLPV1 and YSLPV2 but not in other viruses. Phylogenetic trees of emrE grouped YSLPVs with algae, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer occurred between giant viruses and their potential algal hosts. PMID:26459929

  14. Flocculation of algal cells by amphoteric chitosan-based flocculant.

    PubMed

    Dong, Changlong; Chen, Wei; Liu, Cheng

    2014-10-01

    A kind of amphoteric chitosan-based flocculant (quaternized carboxymethyl chitosan, denoted as QCMC) has been prepared. QCMC presented significant improvement of water solubility in the whole pH range. The effects of pH, dosage, temperature and original turbidity of algal water on the flocculation performance were investigated. The optimal dosages of QCMC at pH 5, 9 and 12 with original turbidity of 20NTU at 20°C were 0.1, 0.6 and 2.0mg/L, respectively, which were much less than that of chitosan, PAM, Al2(SO4)3 and FeCl3. The floc properties during grow, breakage and regrow period were also evaluated at different pH values in terms of floc size, strength and density. It was demonstrated that QCMC produced larger, stronger and denser flocs than Al2(SO4)3. There is every indication that QCMC is more suitable for algal harvesting than other traditional coagulants or flocculants. PMID:25146316

  15. 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

  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. Dynamics of a modified Leslie-Gower predator-prey model with Holling-type II schemes and a prey refuge.

    PubMed

    Yue, Qin

    2016-01-01

    We propose a modified Leslie-Gower predator-prey model with Holling-type II schemes and a prey refuge. The structure of equilibria and their linearized stability is investigated. By using the iterative technique and further precise analysis, sufficient conditions on the global attractivity of a positive equilibrium are obtained. Our results not only supplement but also improve some existing ones. Numerical simulations show the feasibility of our results. PMID:27119065

  18. 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

  19. Permanence for a delayed periodic predator-prey model with prey dispersal in multi-patches and predator density-independent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Long; Teng, Zhidong

    2008-02-01

    In this paper, we study two species time-delayed predator-prey Lotka-Volterra type dispersal systems with periodic coefficients, in which the prey species can disperse among n patches, while the density-independent predator species is confined to one of patches and cannot disperse. Sufficient conditions on the boundedness, permanence and existence of positive periodic solution for this systems are established. The theoretical results are confirmed by a special example and numerical simulations.

  20. The laboratory mouse in routine food safety testing for marine algal biotoxins and harmful algal bloom toxin research: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian; McLeod, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Mouse bioassays have been a mainstay for detecting harmful concentrations of marine algal toxins in shellfish for over 70 years. Routine monitoring involves intraperitoneal injection of shellfish extracts into mice; shellfish contaminated with algal toxins are thus identified by mortality in exposed mice. With the advent of alternative test methods to detect and quantify specific algal toxins has come increasing criticism of enduring use of mouse bioassays for shellfish safety testing. However, the complete replacement of shellfish safety mouse bioassays by chemical, antibody-based, and functional assays has been and will continue to be a gradual process for various reasons, including skills availability and instrument costs for chromatography-based toxin monitoring. Mouse bioassays for shellfish safety testing do not comply with modern standards for laboratory animal welfare, specifically the requirement in published official methods for death as a test outcome. Mouse bioassays for algal biotoxins in shellfish, as well as fundamental algal toxin research endeavors using in vivo models, are amenable to revision and refinement from a humane endpoints perspective. Regulated hypothermia may be a useful and easily acquired nonlethal toxicological endpoint; objective determination of neuromuscular blockade may allow algal neurotoxin testing and research to enter the domain of humane endpoints evaluation. Relinquishing reliance on subjective test endpoints, including death, will likely also deliver collateral improvements in assay variability and sensitivity. PMID:24830147

  1. Discrimination of visual stimuli representing prey versus non-prey by the praying mantis Sphodromantis lineola (Burr.).

    PubMed

    Prete, F R

    1992-01-01

    Adult, female praying mantids, Sphodromantis lineola (Burr.), were presented with seventy, flat black rectangles which moved toward the mantids (in the horizontal plane) against a white background. The lengths of the lures' edges parallel to their direction of movement, 1(1), were 1.5, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 54, 72, or 114 mm; the edge lengths perpendicular to movement direction, 1(2), were 1.5, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, or 30 mm. Mantids emitted the most predatory behaviors to square lures (1[1] = 1[2]) for which 1(1, 2) = 3-12 mm, and to 'worm' lures (1[1] greater than 1[2]) for which 1(2) = 1.5-6 mm. 'Anti-worm' lures (1[1] less than 1[2]) were poor releasers of predatory behavior. These results reconcile seemingly discrepant findings between studies that have presented mantids with various types of oscillating, rotating and/or three-dimensional lures. Further, the results indicate that like other terrestrial predators, such as toads, prey recognition by S. lineola is approximate and based on the spatiotemporal relationships between the features of moving objects (i.e. worm versus anti-worm). These findings are congruent with data on mantid prey selection in the wild. PMID:1498650

  2. Challenges to a molecular approach to prey identification in the Burmese python, Python molurus bivittatus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Falk, Bryan; Reed, Robert N.

    2015-01-01

    Molecular approaches to prey identification are increasingly useful in elucidating predator–prey relationships, and we aimed to investigate the feasibility of these methods to document the species identities of prey consumed by invasive Burmese pythons in Florida. We were particularly interested in the diet of young snakes, because visual identification of prey from this size class has proven difficult. We successfully extracted DNA from the gastrointestinal contents of 43 young pythons, as well as from several control samples, and attempted amplification of DNA mini-barcodes, a 130-bp region of COX1. Using a PNA clamp to exclude python DNA, we found that prey DNA was not present in sufficient quality for amplification of this locus in 86% of our samples. All samples from the GI tracts of young pythons contained only hair, and the six samples we were able to identify to species were hispid cotton rats. This suggests that young Burmese pythons prey predominantly on small mammals and that prey diversity among snakes of this size class is low. We discuss prolonged gastrointestinal transit times and extreme gastric breakdown as possible causes of DNA degradation that limit the success of a molecular approach to prey identification in Burmese pythons

  3. 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.

  4. Echolocation behaviour adapted to prey in foraging Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris)

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, M; Hickmott, L.S; Aguilar Soto, N; Madsen, P.T

    2007-01-01

    Toothed whales echolocating in the wild generate clicks with low repetition rates to locate prey but then produce rapid sequences of clicks, called buzzes, when attempting to capture prey. However, little is known about the factors that determine clicking rates or how prey type and behaviour influence echolocation-based foraging. Here we study Blainville's beaked whales foraging in deep water using a multi-sensor DTAG that records both outgoing echolocation clicks and echoes returning from mesopelagic prey. We demonstrate that the clicking rate at the beginning of buzzes is related to the distance between whale and prey, supporting the presumption that whales focus on a specific prey target during the buzz. One whale showed a bimodal relationship between target range and clicking rate producing abnormally slow buzz clicks while attempting to capture large echoic targets, probably schooling prey, with echo duration indicating a school diameter of up to 4.3 m. These targets were only found when the whale performed tight circling manoeuvres spending up to five times longer in water volumes with large targets than with small targets. The result indicates that toothed whales in the wild can adjust their echolocation behaviour and movement for capture of different prey on the basis of structural echo information. PMID:17986434

  5. Predation of Notiophilus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on Collembola as a Predator-Prey Teaching Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgins, R. C.

    1982-01-01

    The carabid beetle (Notiophilus) preys readily on an easily-cultured collembolan in simple experimental conditions. Some features of this predator-prey system are outlined to emphasize its use in biology instruction. Experiments with another potential collembolan are described in the context of developing the method for more advanced studies.…

  6. BEHAVIOR AND PREY OF NESTING RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS IN SOUTHWESTERN OHIO

    EPA Science Inventory

    We used direct observations to quantify prey types, prey delivery rate, and adult and nestling behavior at nests of Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) in suburban southwestern Ohio. Twenty-one nests were observed for a total of 256 hr in 1997-2001. Small mammals made up the ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  8. Foraging efficiency of a predator flock for randomly moving prey: A simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hee; Kwon, Ohsung

    2016-03-01

    Flocking behavior of animals is highly advantageous for taking food resources. The degree of the advantage is related to the ability of flock members to detect their prey and the mobility of prey individuals. In this study, to explore the relation, we constructed a model to simulate a predator flock and its randomly moving prey. The predator members have the prey detection ability, which was characterized as sensing distance, R, and a sensing angle, θ. The mobility of the prey individuals was characterized as the maximum traveling distance of an iteration time step, L. The relative flock foraging efficiency, ɛ, was defined as ɛ = 1 ‑ (Td/Tup). Tup and Td represent the spent time for the flock to eat all prey individuals and to uptake the last remaining 10% prey, respectively. Simulation results showed that ɛ increased, maximized, and decreased with the increase of R, regardless of L. As the number of prey, N, increased, the tendency of the increasing and decreasing was diluted. The result was briefly discussed in relation to the flock foraging behavior and the development of the model toward applications for real ecosystems.

  9. Challenges to a molecular approach to prey identification in the Burmese python, Python molurus bivittatus

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Robert N.

    2015-01-01

    Molecular approaches to prey identification are increasingly useful in elucidating predator–prey relationships, and we aimed to investigate the feasibility of these methods to document the species identities of prey consumed by invasive Burmese pythons in Florida. We were particularly interested in the diet of young snakes, because visual identification of prey from this size class has proven difficult. We successfully extracted DNA from the gastrointestinal contents of 43 young pythons, as well as from several control samples, and attempted amplification of DNA mini-barcodes, a 130-bp region of COX1. Using a PNA clamp to exclude python DNA, we found that prey DNA was not present in sufficient quality for amplification of this locus in 86% of our samples. All samples from the GI tracts of young pythons contained only hair, and the six samples we were able to identify to species were hispid cotton rats. This suggests that young Burmese pythons prey predominantly on small mammals and that prey diversity among snakes of this size class is low. We discuss prolonged gastrointestinal transit times and extreme gastric breakdown as possible causes of DNA degradation that limit the success of a molecular approach to prey identification in Burmese pythons. PMID:26623196

  10. The Macaroni Lab: A Directed Inquiry Project on Predator-Prey Relationships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oyler, Michelle; Rivera, John; Roffol, Melanie; Gibson, David J.; Middleton, Beth A.; Mathis, Marilyn

    1999-01-01

    Presents a directed-inquiry activity to take students one step beyond observation of how living organisms capture prey. Uses a field lab based upon predator-prey relationships to enliven the teaching of food web concepts to non-science-major freshman undergraduates. Can also be used in teaching high school biology students through college science…

  11. Are We Really the Prey? Nanotechnology as Science and Science Fiction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowman, Diana M.; Hodge, Graeme A.; Binks, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Popular culture can play a significant role in shaping the acceptance of evolving technologies, with nanotechnology likely to be a case in point. The most popular fiction work to date in this arena has been Michael Crichton's techno-thriller "Prey," which fuses together nanotechnology science with science fiction. Within the context of "Prey,"…

  12. Prey state shapes the effects of temporal variation in predation risk.

    PubMed

    Matassa, Catherine M; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2014-12-01

    The ecological impacts of predation risk are influenced by how prey allocate foraging effort across periods of safety and danger. Foraging decisions depend on current danger, but also on the larger temporal, spatial or energetic context in which prey manage their risks of predation and starvation. Using a rocky intertidal food chain, we examined the responses of starved and fed prey (Nucella lapillus dogwhelks) to different temporal patterns of risk from predatory crabs (Carcinus maenas). Prey foraging activity declined during periods of danger, but as dangerous periods became longer, prey state altered the magnitude of risk effects on prey foraging and growth, with likely consequences for community structure (trait-mediated indirect effects on basal resources, Mytilus edulis mussels), prey fitness and trophic energy transfer. Because risk is inherently variable over time and space, our results suggest that non-consumptive predator effects may be most pronounced in productive systems where prey can build energy reserves during periods of safety and then burn these reserves as 'trophic heat' during extended periods of danger. Understanding the interaction between behavioural (energy gain) and physiological (energy use) responses to risk may illuminate the context dependency of trait-mediated trophic cascades and help explain variation in food chain length. PMID:25339716

  13. Prey state shapes the effects of temporal variation in predation risk

    PubMed Central

    Matassa, Catherine M.; Trussell, Geoffrey C.

    2014-01-01

    The ecological impacts of predation risk are influenced by how prey allocate foraging effort across periods of safety and danger. Foraging decisions depend on current danger, but also on the larger temporal, spatial or energetic context in which prey manage their risks of predation and starvation. Using a rocky intertidal food chain, we examined the responses of starved and fed prey (Nucella lapillus dogwhelks) to different temporal patterns of risk from predatory crabs (Carcinus maenas). Prey foraging activity declined during periods of danger, but as dangerous periods became longer, prey state altered the magnitude of risk effects on prey foraging and growth, with likely consequences for community structure (trait-mediated indirect effects on basal resources, Mytilus edulis mussels), prey fitness and trophic energy transfer. Because risk is inherently variable over time and space, our results suggest that non-consumptive predator effects may be most pronounced in productive systems where prey can build energy reserves during periods of safety and then burn these reserves as ‘trophic heat’ during extended periods of danger. Understanding the interaction between behavioural (energy gain) and physiological (energy use) responses to risk may illuminate the context dependency of trait-mediated trophic cascades and help explain variation in food chain length. PMID:25339716

  14. Clay Caterpillar Whodunit: A Customizable Method for Studying Predator-Prey Interactions in the Field

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curtis, Rachel; Klemens, Jeffrey A.; Agosta, Salvatore J.; Bartlow, Andrew W.; Wood, Steve; Carlson, Jason A.; Stratford, Jeffrey A.; Steele, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    Predator-prey dynamics are an important concept in ecology, often serving as an introduction to the field of community ecology. However, these dynamics are difficult for students to observe directly. We describe a methodology that employs model caterpillars made of clay to estimate rates of predator attack on a prey species. This approach can be…

  15. Demonstrating That Habitat Structure Facilitates Coexistence of Prey & Predator: A Laboratory Investigation Using Goldfish & Invertebrates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.; Embrey, Tracey R.

    2003-01-01

    Presents a laboratory investigation to demonstrate that habitat structure promotes increased organism abundance and species diversity by reducing predator effects on prey abundance. Investigates the effects of goldfish (Carassius auratus) predators on Gammarus sp. (an amphipod) and Daphnia magna (a cladoceran) prey in the absence and presence of a…

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi

    2015-05-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Senses & Sensibility: Predator-Prey Experiments Reveal How Fish Perceive & Respond to Threats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Jason; Holloway, Barbara; Ketcham, Elizabeth; Long, John

    2008-01-01

    The predator-prey relationship is one of the most recognizable and well-studied animal relationships. One of the more striking aspects of this relationship is the differential natural selection pressure placed on predators and their prey. This differential pressure results from differing costs of failure, the so-called life-dinner principle. If a…

  19. Trophic Ecology of the Coccinellidae: Assessment of their roles as predators and as prey

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Coccinellidae function in complex food webs, as predators, as consumers of non-prey foods, and as prey or hosts of natural enemies. Dietary breadth, both for the family and for the individual beetle, remains largely to be explored and appreciated. Likewise the nature and implications of interactio...

  20. Challenges to a molecular approach to prey identification in the Burmese python, Python molurus bivittatus.

    PubMed

    Falk, Bryan G; Reed, Robert N

    2015-01-01

    Molecular approaches to prey identification are increasingly useful in elucidating predator-prey relationships, and we aimed to investigate the feasibility of these methods to document the species identities of prey consumed by invasive Burmese pythons in Florida. We were particularly interested in the diet of young snakes, because visual identification of prey from this size class has proven difficult. We successfully extracted DNA from the gastrointestinal contents of 43 young pythons, as well as from several control samples, and attempted amplification of DNA mini-barcodes, a 130-bp region of COX1. Using a PNA clamp to exclude python DNA, we found that prey DNA was not present in sufficient quality for amplification of this locus in 86% of our samples. All samples from the GI tracts of young pythons contained only hair, and the six samples we were able to identify to species were hispid cotton rats. This suggests that young Burmese pythons prey predominantly on small mammals and that prey diversity among snakes of this size class is low. We discuss prolonged gastrointestinal transit times and extreme gastric breakdown as possible causes of DNA degradation that limit the success of a molecular approach to prey identification in Burmese pythons. PMID:26623196

  1. Effects of electron acceptors on soluble reactive phosphorus in the overlying water during algal decomposition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinzhi; Jiang, Xia; Zheng, Binghui; Niu, Yuan; Wang, Kun; Wang, Wenwen; Kardol, Paul

    2015-12-01

    Endogenous phosphorus (P) release from sediments is an important factor to cause eutrophication and, hence, algal bloom in lakes in China. Algal decomposition depletes dissolved oxygen (DO) and causes anaerobic conditions and therefore increases P release from sediments. As sediment P release is dependent on the iron (Fe) cycle, electron acceptors (e.g., NO3 (-), SO4 (2-), and Mn(4+)) can be utilized to suppress the reduction of Fe(3+) under anaerobic conditions and, as such, have the potential to impair the release of sediment P. Here, we used a laboratory experiment to test the effects of FeCl3, MnO2, and KNO3 on soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentration and related chemical variables in the overlying water column during algal decomposition at different algal densities. Results showed that algal decomposition significantly depleted DO and thereby increased sediment Fe-bound P release. Compared with the control, addition of FeCl3 significantly decreased water SRP concentration through inhibiting sediment P release. Compared with FeCl3, addition of MnO2 has less potential to suppress sediment P release during algal decomposition. Algal decomposition has the potential for NO3 (-) removal from aquatic ecosystem through denitrification and by that alleviates the suppressing role of NO3 (-) on sediment P release. Our results indicated that FeCl3 and MnO2 could be efficient in reducing sediment P release during algal decomposition, with the strongest effect found for FeCl3; large amounts of NO3 (-) were removed from the aquatic ecosystem through denitrification during algal decomposition. Moreover, the amounts of NO3 (-) removal increased with increasing algal density. PMID:26263882

  2. Does prey size matter? Novel observations of feeding in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) allow a test of predator-prey size relationships.

    PubMed

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C; Casey, James P; Lewis, Andrew R; Hays, Graeme C

    2012-06-23

    Optimal foraging models predict that large predators should concentrate on large prey in order to maximize their net gain of energy intake. Here, we show that the largest species of sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, does not strictly adhere to this general pattern. Field observations combined with a theoretical model suggest that a 300 kg leatherback turtle would meet its energetic requirements by feeding for 3-4 h a day on 4 g jellyfish, but only if prey were aggregated in high-density patches. Therefore, prey abundance rather than prey size may, in some cases, be the overriding parameter for foraging leatherbacks. This is a classic example where the presence of small prey in the diet of a large marine predator may reflect profitable foraging decisions if the relatively low energy intake per small individual prey is offset by high encounter rates and minimal capture and handling costs. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first quantitative estimates of intake rate for this species. PMID:22090203

  3. Does prey size matter? Novel observations of feeding in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) allow a test of predator–prey size relationships

    PubMed Central

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C.; Casey, James P.; Lewis, Andrew R.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2012-01-01

    Optimal foraging models predict that large predators should concentrate on large prey in order to maximize their net gain of energy intake. Here, we show that the largest species of sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, does not strictly adhere to this general pattern. Field observations combined with a theoretical model suggest that a 300 kg leatherback turtle would meet its energetic requirements by feeding for 3–4 h a day on 4 g jellyfish, but only if prey were aggregated in high-density patches. Therefore, prey abundance rather than prey size may, in some cases, be the overriding parameter for foraging leatherbacks. This is a classic example where the presence of small prey in the diet of a large marine predator may reflect profitable foraging decisions if the relatively low energy intake per small individual prey is offset by high encounter rates and minimal capture and handling costs. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first quantitative estimates of intake rate for this species. PMID:22090203

  4. Mammal predator and prey species richness are strongly linked at macroscales.

    PubMed

    Sandom, Christopher; Dalby, Lars; Fløjgaard, Camilla; Kissling, W Daniel; Lenoir, Jonathan; Sandel, Brody; Trøjelsgaard, Kristian; Ejrnaes, Rasmus; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-05-01

    Predator-prey interactions play an important role for species composition and community dynamics at local scales, but their importance in shaping large-scale gradients of species richness remains unexplored. Here, we use global range maps, structural equation models (SEM), and comprehensive databases of dietary preferences and body masses of all terrestrial, non-volant mammals worldwide, to test whether (1) prey bottom-up or predator top-down relationships are important drivers of broad-scale species richness gradients once the environment and human influence have been accounted for, (2) predator-prey richness associations vary among biogeographic regions, and (3) body size influences large-scale covariation between predators and prey. SEMs including only productivity, climate, and human factors explained a high proportion of variance in prey richness (R2=0.56) but considerably less in predator richness (R2=0.13). Adding predator-to-prey or prey-to-predator paths strongly increased the explained variance in both cases (prey R2=0.79, predator R2=0.57), suggesting that predator-prey interactions play an important role in driving global diversity gradients. Prey bottom-up effects prevailed over productivity, climate, and human influence to explain predator richness, whereas productivity and climate were more important than predator top-down effects for explaining prey richness, although predator top-down effects were still significant. Global predator-prey associations were not reproduced in all regions, indicating that distinct paleoclimate and evolutionary histories (Africa and Australia) may alter species interactions across trophic levels. Stronger cross-trophic-level associations were recorded within categories of similar body size (e.g., large prey to large predators) than between them (e.g., large prey to small predators), suggesting that mass-related energetic and physiological constraints influence broad-scale richness links, especially for large

  5. Virophage control of antarctic algal host-virus dynamics.

    PubMed

    Yau, Sheree; Lauro, Federico M; DeMaere, Matthew Z; Brown, Mark V; Thomas, Torsten; Raftery, Mark J; Andrews-Pfannkoch, Cynthia; Lewis, Matthew; Hoffman, Jeffrey M; Gibson, John A; Cavicchioli, Ricardo

    2011-04-12

    Viruses are abundant ubiquitous members of microbial communities and in the marine environment affect population structure and nutrient cycling by infecting and lysing primary producers. Antarctic lakes are microbially dominated ecosystems supporting truncated food webs in which viruses exert a major influence on the microbial loop. Here we report the discovery of a virophage (relative of the recently described Sputnik virophage) that preys on phycodnaviruses that infect prasinophytes (phototrophic algae). By performing metaproteogenomic analysis on samples from Organic Lake, a hypersaline meromictic lake in Antarctica, complete virophage and near-complete phycodnavirus genomes were obtained. By introducing the virophage as an additional predator of a predator-prey dynamic model we determined that the virophage stimulates secondary production through the microbial loop by reducing overall mortality of the host and increasing the frequency of blooms during polar summer light periods. Virophages remained abundant in the lake 2 y later and were represented by populations with a high level of major capsid protein sequence variation (25-100% identity). Virophage signatures were also found in neighboring Ace Lake (in abundance) and in two tropical lakes (hypersaline and fresh), an estuary, and an ocean upwelling site. These findings indicate that virophages regulate host-virus interactions, influence overall carbon flux in Organic Lake, and play previously unrecognized roles in diverse aquatic ecosystems. PMID:21444812

  6. Tie them up tight: wrapping by Philoponella vicina spiders breaks, compresses and sometimes kills their prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberhard, William G.; Barrantes, Gilbert; Weng, Ju-Lin

    2006-05-01

    We show that uloborid spiders, which lack the poison glands typical of nearly all other spiders, employ thousands of wrapping movements with their hind legs and up to hundreds of meters of silk line to make a shroud that applies substantial compressive force to their prey. Shrouds sometimes break the prey’s legs, buckle its compound eyes inward, or kill it outright. The compressive force apparently results from the summation of small tensions on sticky lines as they are applied to the prey package. Behavioral details indicate that wrapping is designed to compact prey; in turn, compaction probably functions to facilitate these spiders’ unusual method of feeding. This is the first demonstration that prey wrapping by spiders compacts and physically damages their prey, rather than simply restraining them.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  8. '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

  9. The effects of prey species on food conversion efficiency and growth of an insectivorous lizard.

    PubMed

    Rich, C Nelson; Talent, Larry G

    2008-05-01

    Little is known about the effects of different prey species on lizard growth. We conducted a 6-week study to determine the relative effects of prey species on growth parameters of hatchling western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis. Lizards were fed house cricket nymphs, Acheta domesticus, or mealworm larvae, Tenebrio molitor. The effects of prey species on growth were determined by measuring prey consumption, gross conversion efficiency of food [gain in mass (g)/food consumed (g)], gain in mass, and gain in snout-vent length. Lizards grew well on both the prey species. However, lizards that fed on crickets consumed a significantly higher percentage of their body mass per day than those fed mealworms. Nevertheless, lizards that consumed mealworms ingested significantly more metabolizable energy, had significantly higher food conversion efficiencies, significantly higher daily gains in mass, and significantly greater total growth in mass than lizards that fed on crickets. PMID:19360616

  10. Behavioural interaction between fish predators and their prey: effects of plant density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savino, Jacqueline F.; Stein, Roy A.

    1989-01-01

    Prey-specific anti-predatory behaviour under different degrees of structural complexity determines foraging success of predators. The behaviour of piscivorous fish (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides and northern pike, Esox lucius) and their prey (bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus, and fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas) were quantified in 60-min experiments in laboratory pools (2 multiplied by 4 m in diameter, 0 multiplied by 5 m deep) with artificial vegetation at densities of 0, 50, 250, and 1000 stems/m2. Largemouth bass switched predatory tactics from searching to ambushing as plant density increased whereas northern pike always used ambushing. At high plant density, both predators captured minnows, but not bluegills. Bluegills modified their behaviour more than minnows in response to predators, thereby avoiding predation at high plant densities. Structural complexity alone did not always provide refuge for prey; prey must use the structure to avoid predators. Predators may seek vegetated areas if appropriate, vulnerable prey are present.

  11. Eating without hands or tongue: specialization, elaboration and the evolution of prey processing mechanisms in cartilaginous fishes

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Mason N; Wilga, Cheryl D; Summers, Adam P

    2005-01-01

    The ability to separate edible from inedible portions of prey is integral to feeding. However, this is typically overlooked in favour of prey capture as a driving force in the evolution of vertebrate feeding mechanisms. In processing prey, cartilaginous fishes appear handicapped because they lack the pharyngeal jaws of most bony fishes and the muscular tongue and forelimbs of most tetrapods. We argue that the elaborate cranial muscles of some cartilaginous fishes allow complex prey processing in addition to their usual roles in prey capture. The ability to manipulate prey has evolved twice along different mechanical pathways. Batoid chondrichthyans (rays and relatives) use elaborate lower jaw muscles to process armored benthic prey, separating out energetically useless material. In contrast, megacarnivorous carcharhiniform and lamniform sharks use a diversity of upper jaw muscles to control the jaws while gouging, allowing for reduction of prey much larger than the gape. We suggest experimental methods to test these hypotheses empirically. PMID:17148206

  12. When hawks attack: animal-borne video studies of goshawk pursuit and prey-evasion strategies

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Suzanne Amador; Fulton, Andrew H.; Rosenthal, Lee J.

    2015-01-01

    Video filmed by a camera mounted on the head of a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) was used to study how the raptor used visual guidance to pursue prey and land on perches. A combination of novel image analysis methods and numerical simulations of mathematical pursuit models was used to determine the goshawk's pursuit strategy. The goshawk flew to intercept targets by fixing the prey at a constant visual angle, using classical pursuit for stationary prey, lures or perches, and usually using constant absolute target direction (CATD) for moving prey. Visual fixation was better maintained along the horizontal than vertical direction. In some cases, we observed oscillations in the visual fix on the prey, suggesting that the goshawk used finite-feedback steering. Video filmed from the ground gave similar results. In most cases, it showed goshawks intercepting prey using a trajectory consistent with CATD, then turning rapidly to attack by classical pursuit; in a few cases, it showed them using curving non-CATD trajectories. Analysis of the prey's evasive tactics indicated that only sharp sideways turns caused the goshawk to lose visual fixation on the prey, supporting a sensory basis for the surprising frequency and effectiveness of this tactic found by previous studies. The dynamics of the prey's looming image also suggested that the goshawk used a tau-based interception strategy. We interpret these results in the context of a concise review of pursuit–evasion in biology, and conjecture that some prey deimatic ‘startle’ displays may exploit tau-based interception. PMID:25609783

  13. Supervised accelerometry analysis can identify prey capture by penguins at sea.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Gemma; Slip, David; Jonsen, Ian; Harcourt, Rob

    2014-12-15

    Determining where, when and how much animals eat is fundamental to understanding their ecology. We developed a technique to identify a prey capture signature for little penguins from accelerometry, in order to quantify food intake remotely. We categorised behaviour of captive penguins from HD video and matched this to time-series data from back-mounted accelerometers. We then trained a support vector machine (SVM) to classify the penguins' behaviour at 0.3 s intervals as either 'prey handling' or 'swimming'. We applied this model to accelerometer data collected from foraging wild penguins to identify prey capture events. We compared prey capture and non-prey capture dives to test the model predictions against foraging theory. The SVM had an accuracy of 84.95±0.26% (mean ± s.e.) and a false positive rate of 9.82±0.24% when tested on unseen captive data. For wild data, we defined three independent, consecutive prey handling observations as representing true prey capture, with a false positive rate of 0.09%. Dives with prey captures had longer duration and bottom times, were deeper, had faster ascent rates, and had more 'wiggles' and 'dashes' (proxies for prey encounter used in other studies). The mean (±s.e.) number of prey captures per foraging trip was 446.6±66.28. By recording the behaviour of captive animals on HD video and using a supervised machine learning approach, we show that accelerometry signatures can classify the behaviour of wild animals at unprecedentedly fine scales. PMID:25394635

  14. How moths escape bats: predicting outcomes of predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Corcoran, Aaron J; Conner, William E

    2016-09-01

    What determines whether fleeing prey escape from attacking predators? To answer this question, biologists have developed mathematical models that incorporate attack geometries, pursuit and escape trajectories, and kinematics of predator and prey. These models have rarely been tested using data from actual predator-prey encounters. To address this problem, we recorded multi-camera infrared videography of bat-insect interactions in a large outdoor enclosure. We documented 235 attacks by four Myotis volans bats on a variety of moths. Bat and moth flight trajectories from 50 high-quality attacks were reconstructed in 3-D. Despite having higher maximum velocity, deceleration and overall turning ability, bats only captured evasive prey in 69 of 184 attacks (37.5%); bats captured nearly all moths not evading attack (50 of 51; 98%). Logistic regression indicated that prey radial acceleration and escape angle were the most important predictors of escape success (44 of 50 attacks correctly classified; 88%). We found partial support for the turning gambit mathematical model; however, it underestimated the escape threshold by 25% of prey velocity and did not account for prey escape angle. Whereas most prey escaping strikes flee away from predators, moths typically escaped chasing bats by turning with high radial acceleration toward 'safety zones' that flank the predator. This strategy may be widespread in prey engaged in chases. Based on these findings, we developed a novel geometrical model of predation. We discuss implications of this model for the co-evolution of predator and prey kinematics and pursuit and escape strategies. PMID:27340205

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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