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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. Molecular characterization of the Calvin cycle enzyme phosphoribulokinase in the stramenopile alga Vaucheria litorea and the plastid hosting mollusc Elysia chlorotica.

    PubMed

    Rumpho, Mary E; Pochareddy, Sirisha; Worful, Jared M; Summer, Elizabeth J; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Pelletreau, Karen N; Tyler, Mary S; Lee, Jungho; Manhart, James R; Soule, Kara M

    2009-11-01

    Phosphoribulokinase (PRK), a nuclear-encoded plastid-localized enzyme unique to the photosynthetic carbon reduction (Calvin) cycle, was cloned and characterized from the stramenopile alga Vaucheria litorea. This alga is the source of plastids for the mollusc (sea slug) Elysia chlorotica which enable the animal to survive for months solely by photoautotrophic CO2 fixation. The 1633-bp V. litorea prk gene was cloned and the coding region, found to be interrupted by four introns, encodes a 405-amino acid protein. This protein contains the typical bipartite target sequence expected of nuclear-encoded proteins that are directed to complex (i.e. four membrane-bound) algal plastids. De novo synthesis of PRK and enzyme activity were detected in E. chlorotica in spite of having been starved of V. litorea for several months. Unlike the algal enzyme, PRK in the sea slug did not exhibit redox regulation. Two copies of partial PRK-encoding genes were isolated from both sea slug and aposymbiotic sea slug egg DNA using PCR. Each copy contains the nucleotide region spanning exon 1 and part of exon 2 of V. litorea prk, including the bipartite targeting peptide. However, the larger prk fragment also includes intron 1. The exon and intron sequences of prk in E. chlorotica and V. litorea are nearly identical. These data suggest that PRK is differentially regulated in V. litorea and E. chlorotica and at least a portion of the V. litorea nuclear PRK gene is present in sea slugs that have been starved for several months.

  5. Aluminum toxicity studies in Vaucheria longicaulis var. macounii (Xanthophyta, Tribophyceae). I. Effects on cytoplasmic organization.

    PubMed

    Alessa, L; Oliveira, L

    2001-06-01

    Using differential interference contrast (DIC) and epifluorescence microscopy, we tested the hypothesis that exposure to environmentally significant levels of aluminum (Al) would cause rapid changes in cytoplasmic organization in vegetative filaments of the coenocytic alga, Vaucheria longicaulis Hoppaugh var. macounii Blum resulting in the loss of cytoplasmic streaming. In untreated cells, DIC microscopy revealed the presence of cortical cytoplasmic strands that were oriented longitudinally to the cell axis as well as sub-cortical cytoplasmic strands that exhibited a reticulate morphology. Organelles such as chloroplasts and mitochondria translocated throughout the cell in close association with the cortical longitudinal cytoplasmic strands. Staining with the lipophilic dye, 3,3-dihexyloloxacarbocyanine, revealed structures that appeared to be endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This organelle closely resembled, in location and appearance, the cytoplasmic strands visualized using DIC microscopy. The addition of Al (80 µM) resulted in the inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming as well as the dissipation of the putative cortical longitudinal ER within one minute. Subsequently, the DIC-visible cortical cytoplasmic strands exhibited progressive degrees of disorganization. Throughout these changes, chloroplasts and mitochondria remained visibly associated with the cortical cytoplasmic strands.

  6. 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.

  7. Viability of dried filaments, survivability and reproduction under water stress, and survivability following heat and UV exposure in Lyngbya martensiana, Oscillatoria agardhii, Nostoc calcicola, Hormidium fluitans, Spirogyra sp. and Vaucheria geminata.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, S C; Singh, V

    2002-01-01

    Dried vegetative filaments of Spirogyra sp., Vaucheria geminata and Nostoc calcicola died within 1/2, 1 and 4 h, respectively; those of Hormidium fluitans, Oscillatoria agardhii and Lyngbya martensiana retained under similar storage conditions viability for 3, 5 and 10 d, respectively. The viability of dried vegetative filaments of L. martensiana, O. agardhii and H. fluitans decreased on storage at 20 degrees C in the dark. L. martensiana and O. agardhii tolerated 0.8 mol/L NaCl. The resistance to desiccation in L. martensiana and O. agardhii exhibited similar dependence as that to frost, to heat and UV light. O. agardhii filaments became slightly broader and their cells developed large number of gas vacuoles when grown in 0.8 mol/L NaCl-containing medium. The water stress imposed on growing algae either on high-agar solid media or in NaCl-containing liquid media reduced hormogonium formation in L. martensiana and O. agardhii, heterocyst and akinete formation in N. calcicola and fragmentation in H. fluitans; it did not induce conjugation in Spirogyra sp. and formation of reproductive organs in V. geminata. In all studied algae the stress reduced at various levels the survival of vegetative parts. Generally, algal body form and composition rather than habitats seem to decide primarily the level of resistance against various stress conditions.

  8. 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.

  9. An estuarine species of the alga Vaucheria (Xanthophyceae) displays an increased capacity for turgor regulation when compared to a freshwater species.

    PubMed

    Muralidhar, Abishek; Novis, Phil M; Broady, Paul A; Collings, David A; Garrill, Ashley

    2013-10-01

    Turgor regulation is the process by which walled organisms alter their internal osmotic potential to adapt to osmotic changes in the environment. Apart from a few studies on freshwater oomycetes, the ability of stramenopiles to turgor regulate has not been investigated. In this study, turgor regulation and growth were compared in two species of the stramenopile alga Vaucheria, Vaucheria erythrospora isolated from an estuarine habitat, and Vaucheria repens isolated from a freshwater habitat. Species were identified using their rbcL sequences and respective morphologies. Using a single cell pressure probe to directly measure turgor in Vaucheria after hyperosmotic shock, V. erythrospora was found to recover turgor after a larger shock than V. repens. Threshold shock values for this ability were >0.5 MPa for V. erythrospora and <0.5 MPa for V. repens. Recovery was more rapid in V. erythrospora than V. repens after comparable shocks. Turgor recovery in V. erythrospora was inhibited by Gd(3+) and TEA, suggesting a role for mechanosensitive channels, nonselective cation channels, and K(+) channels in the process. Growth studies showed that V. erythrospora was able to grow over a wider range of NaCl concentrations. These responses may underlie the ability of V. erythrospora to survive in an estuarine habitat and restrict V. repens to freshwater. The fact that both species can turgor regulate may indicate a fundamental difference between members of the Stramenopila, as research to date on oomycetes suggests they are unable to turgor regulate.

  10. 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

  11. Transient dynamics and the destabilizing effects of prey heterogeneity.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  12. Aluminum toxicity studies in Vaucheria longicaulis var. macounii (Xanthophyta, Tribophyceae). II. Effects on the F-actin array.

    PubMed

    Alessa, L; Oliveira, L

    2001-06-01

    In this study, we test the hypothesis that exposure to environmentally significant concentrations of aluminum (Al, 80 µM) causes the microfilament array of Vaucheria longicaulis var. macounii vegetative filaments to become fragmented and disorganized. Changes in F-actin organization following treatment of vegetative filaments by Al are examined using vital staining with fluorescein phalloidin. In the cortical cytoplasm of the apical zone of pH 7.5 and pH 4.5 control cells, axially aligned bundles of F-actin lead to a region of diffuse, brightly stained material. Dimly stained focal masses are noted deeper in the cytoplasm of the apical zone whereas they are absent from the zone of vacuolation. The F-actin array is visualized in the cortical cytoplasm of the region of the cell, distal to the apical tip, which exhibits vigorous cytoplasmic streaming (zone of vacuolation) as long, axially aligned bundles with which chloroplasts and mitochondria associate. Thirty minutes following treatment with aluminum, and for the next 8-16 h, the F-actin array is progressively disorganized. The longitudinally aligned F-actin array becomes fragmented. Aggregates of F-actin, such as short rods, amorphous and stellate F-actin focal masses, curved F-actin bundles and F-actin rings replace the control array. Each of these structures may occur in association with chloroplasts or independently with no apparent association with organelles. Images are recorded which indicate that F-actin rings not associated with organelles may self-assemble by successive bundling of F-actin fragments. The fragmentation and bundling of F-actin in cells of V. longicaulis upon treatment with aluminum resembles those reported after diverse forms of cell disturbance and supports the hypothesis that aluminum-induced changes in the F-actin array may be a calcium-mediated response to stress.

  13. Algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

    The world is facing energy crisis and environmental issues due to the depletion of fossil fuels and increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Growing microalgae can contribute to practical solutions for these global problems because they can harvest solar energy and capture CO2 by converting it into biofuel using photosynthesis. Microalgae are robust organisms capable of rapid growth under a variety of conditions including in open ponds or closed photobioreactors. Their reduced biomass compounds can be used as the feedstock for mass production of a variety of biofuels. As another advantage, their ability to accumulate or secrete biofuels can be controlled by changing their growth conditions or metabolic engineering. This review is aimed to highlight different forms of biofuels produced by microalgae and the approaches taken to improve their biofuel productivity. The costs for industrial-scale production of algal biofuels in open ponds or closed photobioreactors are analyzed. Different strategies for photoproduction of hydrogen by the hydrogenase enzyme of green algae are discussed. Algae are also good sources of biodiesel since some species can make large quantities of lipids as their biomass. The lipid contents for some of the best oil-producing strains of algae in optimized growth conditions are reviewed. The potential of microalgae for producing petroleum related chemicals or ready-make fuels such as bioethanol, triterpenic hydrocarbons, isobutyraldehyde, isobutanol, and isoprene from their biomass are also presented.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Algal Toxins Alter Copepod Feeding Behavior

    PubMed Central

    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

  19. 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

  20. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

    MedlinePlus

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  1. Harmful Algal Blooms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Jennifer L.

    2007-01-01

    What are Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)? Freshwater and marine harmful algal blooms (HABs) can occur anytime water use is impaired due to excessive accumulations of algae. HAB occurrence is affected by a complex set of physical, chemical, biological, hydrological, and meteorological conditions making it difficult to isolate specific causative environmental factors. Potential impairments include reduction in water quality, accumulation of malodorous scums in beach areas, algal production of toxins potent enough to poison both aquatic and terrestrial organisms, and algal production of taste-and-odor compounds that cause unpalatable drinking water and fish. HABs are a global problem, and toxic freshwater and (or) marine algae have been implicated in human and animal illness and death in over 45 countries worldwide and in at least 27 U.S. States (Yoo and others, 1995; Chorus and Bartram, 1999; Huisman and others, 2005).

  2. Promotion of harmful algal blooms by zooplankton predatory activity.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Aditee; Flynn, Kevin J

    2006-06-22

    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.

  3. Biotransport of Algal Toxins to Riparian Food Webs.

    PubMed

    Moy, Nicholas J; Dodson, Jenna; Tassone, Spencer J; Bukaveckas, Paul A; Bulluck, Lesley P

    2016-09-20

    The occurrence of harmful algal blooms has resulted in growing worldwide concern about threats to aquatic life and human health. Microcystin (MC), a cyanotoxin, is the most widely reported algal toxin in freshwaters. Prior studies have documented its presence in aquatic food webs including commercially important fish and shellfish. In this paper we present the first evidence that algal toxins propagate into riparian food webs. We show that MC is present in emerging aquatic insects (Hexagenia mayflies) from the James River Estuary and their consumers (Tetragnathidae spiders and Prothonotary Warblers, Protonotaria citrea). MC levels in Prothonotary Warblers varied by age class, with nestlings having the highest levels. At the site where nestlings received a higher proportion of aquatic prey (i.e., mayflies) in their diet, we observed higher MC concentrations in liver tissue and fecal matter. Warbler body condition and growth rate were not related to liver MC levels, suggesting that aquatic prey may provide dietary benefits that offset potential deleterious effects of the toxin. This study provides evidence that threats posed by algal toxins extend beyond the aquatic environments in which blooms occur.

  4. Biotransport of Algal Toxins to Riparian Food Webs.

    PubMed

    Moy, Nicholas J; Dodson, Jenna; Tassone, Spencer J; Bukaveckas, Paul A; Bulluck, Lesley P

    2016-09-20

    The occurrence of harmful algal blooms has resulted in growing worldwide concern about threats to aquatic life and human health. Microcystin (MC), a cyanotoxin, is the most widely reported algal toxin in freshwaters. Prior studies have documented its presence in aquatic food webs including commercially important fish and shellfish. In this paper we present the first evidence that algal toxins propagate into riparian food webs. We show that MC is present in emerging aquatic insects (Hexagenia mayflies) from the James River Estuary and their consumers (Tetragnathidae spiders and Prothonotary Warblers, Protonotaria citrea). MC levels in Prothonotary Warblers varied by age class, with nestlings having the highest levels. At the site where nestlings received a higher proportion of aquatic prey (i.e., mayflies) in their diet, we observed higher MC concentrations in liver tissue and fecal matter. Warbler body condition and growth rate were not related to liver MC levels, suggesting that aquatic prey may provide dietary benefits that offset potential deleterious effects of the toxin. This study provides evidence that threats posed by algal toxins extend beyond the aquatic environments in which blooms occur. PMID:27552323

  5. A single predator multiple prey model with prey mutation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Algal sensory photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hegemann, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Only five major types of sensory photoreceptors (BLUF-proteins, cryptochromes, phototropins, phytochromes, and rhodopsins) are used in nature to regulate developmental processes, photosynthesis, photoorientation, and control of the circadian clock. Sensory photoreceptors of algae and protists are exceptionally rich in structure and function; light-gated ion channels and photoactivated adenylate cyclases are unique examples. During the past ten years major progress has been made with respect to understanding the function, photochemistry, and structure of key sensory players of the algal kingdom.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Protistan grazing analysis by flow cytometry using prey labeled by in vivo expression of fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yutao; O'Kelly, Charles; Sieracki, Michael; Distel, Daniel L

    2003-11-01

    Selective grazing by protists can profoundly influence bacterial community structure, and yet direct, quantitative observation of grazing selectivity has been difficult to achieve. In this investigation, flow cytometry was used to study grazing by the marine heterotrophic flagellate Paraphysomonas imperforata on live bacterial cells genetically modified to express the fluorescent protein markers green fluorescent protein (GFP) and red fluorescent protein (RFP). Broad-host-range plasmids were constructed that express fluorescent proteins in three bacterial prey species, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Pseudomonas putida. Micromonas pusilla, an alga with red autofluorescence, was also used as prey. Predator-prey interactions were quantified by using a FACScan flow cytometer and analyzed by using a Perl program described here. Grazing preference of P. imperforata was influenced by prey type, size, and condition. In competitive feeding trials, P. imperforata consumed algal prey at significantly lower rates than FP (fluorescent protein)-labeled bacteria of similar or different size. Within-species size selection was also observed, but only for P. putida, the largest prey species examined; smaller cells of P. putida were grazed preferentially. No significant difference in clearance rate was observed between GFP- and RFP-labeled strains of the same prey species or between wild-type and GFP-labeled strains. In contrast, the common chemical staining method, 5-(4,6-dichloro-triazin-2-yl)-amino fluorescein hydrochloride, depressed clearance rates for bacterial prey compared to unlabeled or RFP-labeled cells.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, M.; Volpert, V.

    2016-08-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Summary Plantae (sensu Cavalier-Smith 1981) [1] 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 [2]. 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

  11. Relating wolf scat content to prey consumed

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1978-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The Predator-Prey Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Charles W.

    1977-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil

    DOEpatents

    Lupton, Francis Stephen

    2016-09-27

    Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil are provided. In an embodiment, a method comprises the steps of combining a sulfuric acid-aqueous solution that has a pH of about 1 or less with a contaminant-containing algal oil at treatment conditions effective to form an effluent. The effluent comprises a treated algal oil phase and contaminants in an acidic aqueous phase. The contaminants comprise metals, phosphorus, or combinations thereof. The acidic aqueous phase is removed from the effluent to form a contaminant-depleted algal oil.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  6. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    Because group-hunting arboreal ants spread-eagle insect prey for a long time before retrieving them, these prey can be coveted by predatory flying insects. Yet, attempting to rob these prey is risky if the ant species is also an effective predator. Here, we show that trying to rob prey from Azteca andreae workers is a fatal error as 268 out of 276 potential cleptobionts (97.1 %) were captured in turn. The ant workers hunt in a group and use the "Velcro®" principle to cling firmly to the leaves of their host tree, permitting them to capture very large prey. Exceptions were one social wasp, plus some Trigona spp. workers and flies that landed directly on the prey and were able to take off immediately when attacked. We conclude that in this situation, previously captured prey attract potential cleptobionts that are captured in turn in most of the cases. PMID:22710934

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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. The optimal sampling strategy for unfamiliar prey.

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Thomas N

    2011-07-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Socolar, Jacob; Washburne, Alex

    2015-09-01

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

  17. "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…

  18. 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…

  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.

  20. Environmental performance of algal biofuel technology options.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Venkatesh; Stratton, Russell W; Pearlson, Matthew N; Jersey, Gilbert R; Beyene, Abraham G; Weissman, Joseph C; Rubino, Michele; Hileman, James I

    2012-02-21

    Considerable research and development is underway to produce fuels from microalgae, one of several options being explored for increasing transportation fuel supplies and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This work models life-cycle GHG and on-site freshwater consumption for algal biofuels over a wide technology space, spanning both near- and long-term options. The environmental performance of algal biofuel production can vary considerably and is influenced by engineering, biological, siting, and land-use considerations. We have examined these considerations for open pond systems, to identify variables that have a strong influence on GHG and freshwater consumption. We conclude that algal biofuels can yield GHG reductions relative to fossil and other biobased fuels with the use of appropriate technology options. Further, freshwater consumption for algal biofuels produced using saline pond systems can be comparable to that of petroleum-derived fuels. PMID:22324757

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution.

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

    The stereochemistry of several sterol precursors and end products synthesized by two fungal-like micro-organisms Prototheca wickerhamii (I) and Dictyostelium discoideum (II) have been determined by chromatographic (TLC, GLC, and HPLC) and spectral (UV, MS, and 1H NMR) methods. From I and II the following sterols were isolated from the cells: cycloartenol, cyclolaudenol, 24(28)-methylenecycloartanol, ergosterol, protothecasterol, 4alpha-methylergostanol, 4alpha-methylclionastanol, clionastanol, 24beta-ethylcholesta-8,22-enol, and dictyosterol. In addition, the mechanism of C-24 methylation was investigated in both organisms by feeding to I [2-3H]lanosterol, [2-3H]cycloartenol, [24-3H]lanosterol, and [methyl-2H3]methionine and by feeding to II [methyl-2H3]methionine. The results demonstrate that the 24beta configuration is formed by different alkylation routes in I and II. The Delta25(27) route operates in I while the Delta24(28) route operates in II. Based on what is known in the literature regarding sterol distribution and phylogenesis together with our findings that the stereochemical outcome of squalene oxide cyclization leads to the production of cycloartenol rather than lanosterol (characteristic of the fungal genealogy) and the chirality of the C-24 alkyl group is similar in the two nonphotosynthetic microbes (beta oriented), we 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. PMID:11607106

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Microbiological survey of birds of prey pellets.

    PubMed

    Dipineto, Ludovico; Bossa, Luigi Maria De Luca; Pace, Antonino; Russo, Tamara Pasqualina; Gargiulo, Antonio; Ciccarelli, Francesca; Raia, Pasquale; Caputo, Vincenzo; Fioretti, Alessandro

    2015-08-01

    A microbiological survey of 73 pellets collected from different birds of prey species housed at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of Napoli (southern Italy) was performed. Pellets were analyzed by culture and biochemical methods as well as by serotyping and polymerase chain reaction. We isolated a wide range of bacteria some of them also pathogens for humans (i.e. Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium, Campylobacter coli, Escherichia coli O serogroups). This study highlights the potential role of birds of prey as asymptomatic carriers of pathogenic bacteria which could be disseminated in the environment not only through the birds of prey feces but also through their pellets.

  19. Microbiological survey of birds of prey pellets.

    PubMed

    Dipineto, Ludovico; Bossa, Luigi Maria De Luca; Pace, Antonino; Russo, Tamara Pasqualina; Gargiulo, Antonio; Ciccarelli, Francesca; Raia, Pasquale; Caputo, Vincenzo; Fioretti, Alessandro

    2015-08-01

    A microbiological survey of 73 pellets collected from different birds of prey species housed at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of Napoli (southern Italy) was performed. Pellets were analyzed by culture and biochemical methods as well as by serotyping and polymerase chain reaction. We isolated a wide range of bacteria some of them also pathogens for humans (i.e. Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium, Campylobacter coli, Escherichia coli O serogroups). This study highlights the potential role of birds of prey as asymptomatic carriers of pathogenic bacteria which could be disseminated in the environment not only through the birds of prey feces but also through their pellets. PMID:26026881

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Gluttonous predators: how to estimate prey size when there are too many prey.

    PubMed

    Araújo, M S; Pinheiro, A; Reis, S F

    2008-05-01

    Prey size is an important factor in food consumption. In studies of feeding ecology, prey items are usually measured individually using calipers or ocular micrometers. Among amphibians and reptiles, there are species that feed on large numbers of small prey items (e.g. ants, termites). This high intake makes it difficult to estimate prey size consumed by these animals. We addressed this problem by developing and evaluating a procedure for subsampling the stomach contents of such predators in order to estimate prey size. Specifically, we developed a protocol based on a bootstrap procedure to obtain a subsample with a precision error of at the most 5%, with a confidence level of at least 95%. This guideline should reduce the sampling effort and facilitate future studies on the feeding habits of amphibians and reptiles, and also provide a means of obtaining precise estimates of prey size. PMID:18660959

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Campylobacter spp. and birds of prey.

    PubMed

    Dipineto, Ludovico; De Luca Bossa, Luigi Maria; Russo, Tamara Pasqualina; Cutino, Eridania Annalisa; Gargiulo, Antonio; Ciccarelli, Francesca; Raia, Pasquale; Menna, Lucia Francesca; Fioretti, Alessandro

    2014-06-01

    A total of 170 birds of prey admitted to two Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centers of Italy were examined. Birds were divided by diurnal (n = 15) and nocturnal (n = 7) species, sampled by cloacal swabs, and examined for Campylobacter spp. by cultural and molecular methods. Campylobacter spp. were isolated in 43 out of the 170 (25.3%) birds of prey examined. Among these, 43/43 (100%) were identified as Campylobacter jejuni and 10/43 (23.3%) were identified as Campylobacter coli recovered from mixed infections. Diurnal birds of prey showed a significantly higher prevalence value (P = 0.0006) for Campylobacter spp. than did nocturnal birds of prey. PMID:25055637

  9. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Algal recycling enhances algal productivity and settleability in Pediastrum boryanum pure cultures.

    PubMed

    Park, Jason B K; Craggs, Rupert J; Shilton, Andy N

    2015-12-15

    Recycling a portion of gravity harvested algae (i.e. algae and associated bacteria biomass) has been shown to improve both algal biomass productivity and harvest efficiency by maintaining the dominance of a rapidly-settleable colonial alga, Pediastrum boryanum in both pilot-scale wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAP) and outdoor mesocosms. While algal recycling did not change the relative proportions of algae and bacteria in the HRAP culture, the contribution of the wastewater bacteria to the improved algal biomass productivity and settleability with the recycling was not certain and still required investigation. P. boryanum was therefore isolated from the HRAP and grown in pure culture on synthetic wastewater growth media under laboratory conditions. The influence of recycling on the productivity and settleability of the pure P. boryanum culture was then determined without wastewater bacteria present. Six 1 L P. boryanum cultures were grown over 30 days in a laboratory growth chamber simulating New Zealand summer conditions either with (Pr) or without (Pc) recycling of 10% of gravity harvested algae. The cultures with recycling (Pr) had higher algal productivity than the controls (Pc) when the cultures were operated at both 4 and 3 d hydraulic retention times by 11% and 38% respectively. Furthermore, algal recycling also improved 1 h settleability from ∼60% to ∼85% by increasing the average P. boryanum colony size due to the extended mean cell residence time and promoted formation of large algal bio-flocs (>500 μm diameter). These results demonstrate that the presence of wastewater bacteria was not necessary to improve algal productivity and settleability with algal recycling.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H

    2016-09-01

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

  2. 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

  3. An impulsive predator-prey model with disease in the prey for integrated pest management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Ruiqing; Chen, Lansun

    2010-02-01

    In this paper, an impulsive predator-prey model with disease in the prey is investigated for the purpose of integrated pest management. In the first part of the main results, we get the sufficient condition for the global stability of the susceptible pest-eradication periodic solution. This means if the release amount of infective prey and predator satisfy the condition, then the pest will be doomed. In the second part of the main results, we also get the sufficient condition for the permanence of the system. This means if the release amount of infective prey and predator satisfy the condition, then the prey and the predator will coexist. In the last section, we interpret our mathematical results. We also point out some possible future work.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey.

    PubMed

    Heurich, Marco; Zeis, Klara; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Müller, Jörg; Belotti, Elisa; Bufka, Luděk; Woelfing, Benno

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly's standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males-the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Predator functional response and prey survival: direct and indirect interactions affecting a marked prey population.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Predation risk increases dispersal distance in prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsuki, Hatsune; Yano, Shuichi

    2014-06-01

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

  16. Why are predator urines aversive to prey?

    PubMed

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

    1994-07-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Leopard frog priorities in choosing between prey at different locations.

    PubMed

    Dudkin, Elizabeth A; Peiffer, Teri; Burkitt, Benjamin; Neeb, Christopher N; Gruberg, Edward R

    2011-01-01

    Frogs are able to respond to a prey stimulus throughout their 360° ground-level visual field as well as in the superior visual field. We compared the likelihood of frogs choosing between a more nasally located, ground-level prey versus a more temporally located ground-level prey, when the prey at the nasal location is further away from the frog. Two crickets were presented simultaneously at 9 pairs of angles that included both crickets in the binocular visual field, both crickets in the monocular visual field, or one cricket in the binocular field and one in the monocular field. Frogs chose the more nasally located prey at least 71% of the time when the more temporal prey was in the monocular field; and 64% of the time when both prey were in the binocular field. Frogs tended to choose the more nasally located prey, even though it takes the frog longer to reach the prey. In addition, when given a choice between a prey located at ground level versus a prey located in the superior field, frogs tend to choose the prey at ground-level. These results suggest that there is a neural mechanism that biases frogs' responses to prey stimuli.

  1. Prey aggregation is an effective olfactory predator avoidance strategy.

    PubMed

    Johannesen, Asa; Dunn, Alison M; Morrell, Lesley J

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions have a major effect on species abundance and diversity, and aggregation is a well-known anti-predator behaviour. For immobile prey, the effectiveness of aggregation depends on two conditions: (a) the inability of the predator to consume all prey in a group and (b) detection of a single large group not being proportionally easier than that of several small groups. How prey aggregation influences predation rates when visual cues are restricted, such as in turbid water, has not been thoroughly investigated. We carried out foraging (predation) experiments using a fish predator and (dead) chironomid larvae as prey in both laboratory and field settings. In the laboratory, a reduction in visual cue availability (in turbid water) led to a delay in the location of aggregated prey compared to when visual cues were available. Aggregated prey suffered high mortality once discovered, leading to better survival of dispersed prey in the longer term. We attribute this to the inability of the dead prey to take evasive action. In the field (where prey were placed in feeding stations that allowed transmission of olfactory but not visual cues), aggregated (large groups) and semi-dispersed prey survived for longer than dispersed prey-including long term survival. Together, our results indicate that similar to systems where predators hunt using vision, aggregation is an effective anti-predator behaviour for prey avoiding olfactory predators.

  2. Human activity helps prey win the predator-prey space race.

    PubMed

    Muhly, Tyler B; Semeniuk, Christina; Massolo, Alessandro; Hickman, Laura; Musiani, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions, including between large mammalian wildlife species, can be represented as a "space race", where prey try to minimize and predators maximize spatial overlap. Human activity can also influence the distribution of wildlife species. In particular, high-human disturbance can displace large carnivore predators, a trait-mediated direct effect. Predator displacement by humans could then indirectly benefit prey species by reducing predation risk, a trait-mediated indirect effect of humans that spatially decouples predators from prey. The purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that high-human activity was displacing predators and thus indirectly creating spatial refuge for prey species, helping prey win the "space race". We measured the occurrence of eleven large mammal species (including humans and cattle) at 43 camera traps deployed on roads and trails in southwest Alberta, Canada. We tested species co-occurrence at camera sites using hierarchical cluster and nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) analyses; and tested whether human activity, food and/or habitat influenced predator and prey species counts at camera sites using regression tree analysis. Cluster and NMS analysis indicated that at camera sites humans co-occurred with prey species more than predator species and predator species had relatively low co-occurrence with prey species. Regression tree analysis indicated that prey species were three times more abundant on roads and trails with >32 humans/day. However, predators were less abundant on roads and trails that exceeded 18 humans/day. Our results support the hypothesis that high-human activity displaced predators but not prey species, creating spatial refuge from predation. High-human activity on roads and trails (i.e., >18 humans/day) has the potential to interfere with predator-prey interactions via trait-mediated direct and indirect effects. We urge scientist and managers to carefully consider and quantify the

  3. Human activity helps prey win the predator-prey space race.

    PubMed

    Muhly, Tyler B; Semeniuk, Christina; Massolo, Alessandro; Hickman, Laura; Musiani, Marco

    2011-03-02

    Predator-prey interactions, including between large mammalian wildlife species, can be represented as a "space race", where prey try to minimize and predators maximize spatial overlap. Human activity can also influence the distribution of wildlife species. In particular, high-human disturbance can displace large carnivore predators, a trait-mediated direct effect. Predator displacement by humans could then indirectly benefit prey species by reducing predation risk, a trait-mediated indirect effect of humans that spatially decouples predators from prey. The purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that high-human activity was displacing predators and thus indirectly creating spatial refuge for prey species, helping prey win the "space race". We measured the occurrence of eleven large mammal species (including humans and cattle) at 43 camera traps deployed on roads and trails in southwest Alberta, Canada. We tested species co-occurrence at camera sites using hierarchical cluster and nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) analyses; and tested whether human activity, food and/or habitat influenced predator and prey species counts at camera sites using regression tree analysis. Cluster and NMS analysis indicated that at camera sites humans co-occurred with prey species more than predator species and predator species had relatively low co-occurrence with prey species. Regression tree analysis indicated that prey species were three times more abundant on roads and trails with >32 humans/day. However, predators were less abundant on roads and trails that exceeded 18 humans/day. Our results support the hypothesis that high-human activity displaced predators but not prey species, creating spatial refuge from predation. High-human activity on roads and trails (i.e., >18 humans/day) has the potential to interfere with predator-prey interactions via trait-mediated direct and indirect effects. We urge scientist and managers to carefully consider and quantify the

  4. Stability and Hopf bifurcation in a diffusive predator-prey system incorporating a prey refuge.

    PubMed

    Chang, Xiaoyuan; Wei, Junjie

    2013-08-01

    A diffusive predator-prey model with Holling type II functional response and the no-flux boundary condition incorporating a constant prey refuge is considered. Globally asymptotically stability of the positive equilibrium is obtained. Regarding the constant number of prey refuge m as a bifurcation parameter, by analyzing the distribution of the eigenvalues, the existence of Hopf bifurcation is given. Employing the center manifold theory and normal form method, an algorithm for determining the properties of the Hopf bifurcation is derived. Some numerical simulations for illustrating the analysis results are carried out.

  5. Human Activity Helps Prey Win the Predator-Prey Space Race

    PubMed Central

    Muhly, Tyler B.; Semeniuk, Christina; Massolo, Alessandro; Hickman, Laura; Musiani, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions, including between large mammalian wildlife species, can be represented as a “space race”, where prey try to minimize and predators maximize spatial overlap. Human activity can also influence the distribution of wildlife species. In particular, high-human disturbance can displace large carnivore predators, a trait-mediated direct effect. Predator displacement by humans could then indirectly benefit prey species by reducing predation risk, a trait-mediated indirect effect of humans that spatially decouples predators from prey. The purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that high-human activity was displacing predators and thus indirectly creating spatial refuge for prey species, helping prey win the “space race”. We measured the occurrence of eleven large mammal species (including humans and cattle) at 43 camera traps deployed on roads and trails in southwest Alberta, Canada. We tested species co-occurrence at camera sites using hierarchical cluster and nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) analyses; and tested whether human activity, food and/or habitat influenced predator and prey species counts at camera sites using regression tree analysis. Cluster and NMS analysis indicated that at camera sites humans co-occurred with prey species more than predator species and predator species had relatively low co-occurrence with prey species. Regression tree analysis indicated that prey species were three times more abundant on roads and trails with >32 humans/day. However, predators were less abundant on roads and trails that exceeded 18 humans/day. Our results support the hypothesis that high-human activity displaced predators but not prey species, creating spatial refuge from predation. High-human activity on roads and trails (i.e., >18 humans/day) has the potential to interfere with predator-prey interactions via trait-mediated direct and indirect effects. We urge scientist and managers to carefully consider and quantify

  6. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Neha Chamoli; 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.

  7. Improved algal harvesting using suspended air flotation.

    PubMed

    Wiley, Patrick E; Brenneman, Kristine J; Jacobson, Arne E

    2009-07-01

    Current methods to remove algae from a liquid medium are energy intensive and expensive. This study characterized algae contained within a wastewater oxidation pond and sought to identify a more efficient harvesting technique. Analysis of oxidation pond wastewater revealed that algae, consisting primarily of Chlorella and Scenedesmus, composed approximately 80% of the solids inventory during the study period. Results demonstrated that suspended air flotation (SAF) could harvest algae with a lower air:solids (A/S) ratio, lower energy requirements, and higher loading rates compared to dissolved air flotation (DAF) (P < 0.001). Identification of a more efficient algal harvesting system may benefit wastewater treatment plants by enabling cost effective means to reduce solids content of the final effluent. Furthermore, use of SAF to harvest commercially grown Chlorella and Scenedesmus may reduce manufacturing costs of algal-based products such as fuel, fertilizer, and fish food.

  8. 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

  9. Algal diseases: spotlight on a black box.

    PubMed

    Gachon, Claire M M; Sime-Ngando, Télesphore; Strittmatter, Martina; Chambouvet, Aurélie; Kim, Gwang Hoon

    2010-11-01

    Like any other living organisms, algae are plagued by diseases caused by fungi, protists, bacteria or viruses. As aquaculture continues to rise worldwide, pathogens of nori or biofuel sources are becoming a significant economic burden. Parasites are also increasingly being considered of equal importance with predators for ecosystem functioning. Altered disease patterns in disturbed environments are blamed for sudden extinctions, regime shifts, and spreading of alien species. Here we review the biodiversity and impact of pathogens and parasites of aquatic primary producers in freshwater and marine systems. We also cover recent advances on algal defence reactions, and discuss how emerging technologies can be used to reassess the profound, multi-faceted, and so far broadly-overlooked influence of algal diseases on ecosystem properties.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Prey aggregation is an effective olfactory predator avoidance strategy

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Alison M.; Morrell, Lesley J.

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey interactions have a major effect on species abundance and diversity, and aggregation is a well-known anti-predator behaviour. For immobile prey, the effectiveness of aggregation depends on two conditions: (a) the inability of the predator to consume all prey in a group and (b) detection of a single large group not being proportionally easier than that of several small groups. How prey aggregation influences predation rates when visual cues are restricted, such as in turbid water, has not been thoroughly investigated. We carried out foraging (predation) experiments using a fish predator and (dead) chironomid larvae as prey in both laboratory and field settings. In the laboratory, a reduction in visual cue availability (in turbid water) led to a delay in the location of aggregated prey compared to when visual cues were available. Aggregated prey suffered high mortality once discovered, leading to better survival of dispersed prey in the longer term. We attribute this to the inability of the dead prey to take evasive action. In the field (where prey were placed in feeding stations that allowed transmission of olfactory but not visual cues), aggregated (large groups) and semi-dispersed prey survived for longer than dispersed prey—including long term survival. Together, our results indicate that similar to systems where predators hunt using vision, aggregation is an effective anti-predator behaviour for prey avoiding olfactory predators. PMID:24918032

  20. Molecular assessment of heterotrophy and prey digestion in zooxanthellate cnidarians.

    PubMed

    Leal, M C; Nejstgaard, J C; Calado, R; Thompson, M E; Frischer, M E

    2014-08-01

    Zooxanthellate cnidarians are trophically complex, relying on both autotrophy and heterotrophy. Although several aspects of heterotrophy have been studied in these organisms, information linking prey capture with digestion is still missing. We used prey-specific PCR-based tools to assess feeding and prey digestion of two zooxanthellate cnidarians - the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia sp. and the scleractinian coral Oculina arbuscula. Prey DNA disappeared rapidly for the initial 1-3 days, whereas complete digestion of prey DNA required up to 10 days in O. arbuscula and 5 or 6 days in Aiptasia sp. depending on prey species. These digestion times are considerably longer than previously reported from microscopy-based examination of zooxanthellate cnidarians and prey DNA breakdown in other marine invertebrates, but similar to prey DNA breakdown reported from terrestrial invertebrates such as heteroptera and spiders. Deprivation of external prey induced increased digestion rates during the first days after feeding in O. arbuscula, but after 6 days of digestion, there were no differences in the remaining prey levels in fed and unfed corals. This study indicates that prey digestion by symbiotic corals may be slower than previously reported and varies with the type of prey, the cnidarian species and its feeding history. These observations have important implications for bioenergetic and trophodynamic studies on zooxanthellate cnidarians.

  1. Discontinuous locomotion and prey sensing in the leech.

    PubMed

    Harley, Cynthia M; Rossi, Matthew; Cienfuegos, Javier; Wagenaar, Daniel

    2013-05-15

    The medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, is an aquatic predator that utilizes water waves to locate its prey. However, to reach their prey, the leeches must move within the same water that they are using to sense prey. This requires that they either move ballistically towards a pre-determined prey location or that they account for their self-movement and continually track prey. We found that leeches do not localize prey ballistically. Instead, they require continual sensory information to track their prey. Indeed, in the event that the prey moves, leeches will approach the prey's new location. While leeches need to continually sense water disturbances to update their percept of prey location, their own behavior is discontinuous--prey involves switching between swimming, crawling and non-locomoting. Each of these behaviors may allow for different sensory capabilities and may require different sensory filters. Here, we examined the sensory capabilities of leeches during each of these behaviors. We found that while one could expect the non-locomoting phases to direct subsequent behaviors, crawling phases were more effective than non-locomotor phases for providing direction. During crawling bouts, leeches adjusted their heading so as to become more directed towards the stimulus. This was not observed during swimming. Furthermore, in the presence of prey-like stimuli, leeches crawled more often and for longer periods of time.

  2. Algal biomass production and wastewater treatment in high rate algal ponds receiving disinfected effluent.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Aníbal Fonseca; Calijuri, Maria Lucia; Assemany, Paula Peixoto; Calijuri, Maria do Carmo; dos Reis, Alberto José Delgado

    2013-01-01

    Algal biomass production associated with wastewater is usually carried out in high rate algal ponds (HRAPs), which are concomitantly used in the treatment of such effluent. However, most types of wastewater have high levels of bacteria that can inhibit the growth of algal biomass by competing for space and nutrients. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of ultraviolet (UV) pre-disinfection on the performance of HRAPs used for wastewater treatment and algal biomass production. Two HRAPs were tested: one received effluent from an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor- HRAP -and the second received UASB effluent pre-disinfected by UV radiation-(UV)HRAP. Physical, chemical and microbiological parameters were monitored, as well as algal biomass productivity and daily pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) variation. The (UV)HRAP presented highest DO and pH values, as well as greater percentage of chlorophyll a in the biomass, which indicates greater algal biomass productivity. The average percentages of chlorophyll a found in the biomass obtained from the HRAP and the (UV)HRAP were 0.95 +/- 0.65% and 1.58 +/- 0.65%, respectively. However, total biomass productivity was greater in the HRAP (11.4 gVSSm(-2) day(-1)) compared with the (UV)HRAP (9.3 gVSSm(-2) day(-1)). Mean pH values were 7.7 +/- 0.7 in the HRAP and 8.1 +/- 1.0 in the (UV)HRAP, and mean values of DO percent saturation were 87 +/- 26% and 112 +/- 31% for the HRAP and the (UV)HRAP, respectively. Despite these differences, removal efficiencies of organic carbon, chemical oxygen demand, ammoniacal nitrogen and soluble phosphorus were statistically equal at the 5% significance level.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mechanism and challenges in commercialisation of algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Singh, Anoop; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Murphy, Jerry D

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels made from algal biomass are being considered as the most suitable alternative energy in current global and economical scenario. Microalgae are known to produce and accumulate lipids within their cell mass which is similar to those found in many vegetable oils. The efficient lipid producer algae cell mass has been reported to contain more than 30% of their cell weight as lipids. According to US DOE microalgae have the potential to produce 100 times more oil per acre land than any terrestrial plants. This article reviews up to date literature on the composition of algae, mechanism of oil droplets, triacylglycerol (TAG) production in algal biomass, research and development made in the cultivation of algal biomass, harvesting strategies, and recovery of lipids from algal mass. The economical challenges in the production of biofuels from algal biomass have been discussed in view of the future prospects in the commercialisation of algal fuels.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  10. Algal Lipids as Quantitative Paleosalinity Proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maloney, A.; Shinneman, A.; Hemeon, K.; Sachs, J. P.

    2012-12-01

    The tropics play an important role in driving climate. However it is difficult to uncover past changes in tropical precipitation due to a lack of tree ring records and low accumulation rates of marine sediments. Hydrogen isotope ratios of algal lipids preserved in lacustrine and marine sediments have been used to qualitatively reconstruct tropical paleohydrology. Changes in the hydrologic balance are reflected in salinity and in lake water D/H ratios, which are closely tracked by lipid D/H ratios of algal biomarkers. While useful for determining past periods of "wetter" or "drier" conditions, variability in isotope fractionation in algal lipids during lipid biosynthesis can be exploited to more quantitatively determine how much wetter or drier conditions were in the past. The estuarine diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonnana, was grown in continuous cultures under controlled light, temperature, nutrient, and growth rate conditions to assess the influence of salinity (9-40 PSU) on D/H fractionation between lipids and source water. Three fatty acids, 24-methylcholesta-5,24(28)-dien-3B-ol, and phytol show decreasing fractionation between lipid and source water as salinity increases with 0.8-1.3‰ change in fractionation per salinity unit. These results compliment field-based empirical observations of dinosterol in Chesapeake Bay suspended particles that change 0.99‰ per salinity unit and lipid biomarkers from hyper-saline ponds on Christmas Island that change 0.7-1.1‰ per salinity unit. Biological pathways responsible for the inverse relationship between fractionation and salinity will be discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Pyrazine odour makes visually conspicuous prey aversive.

    PubMed

    Lindström, L; Rowe, C; Guilford, T

    2001-01-22

    Unpalatable insects frequently adopt multimodal signals to ward off predators, incorporating sounds and odours into their colourful displays. Pyrazine is an odour commonly used in insect warning displays, and has previously been shown to elicit unlearned biases against common warning colours, e.g. yellow and red in naive predators. We designed two experiments to test for similar effects of pyrazine on the conspicuousness of prey, perhaps the most ubiquitous aspect of aposematic coloration. In the first experiment, we offered predators (Gallus gallus domesticus) a choice between conspicuous crumbs and cryptic crumbs in the presence or absence of pyrazine. In the second experiment, we manipulated the birds' experience of conspicuous prey during an initial training phase. Only in the presence of pyrazine did birds show a bias against conspicuously coloured food, and this occurred whether or not they had previously experienced food that contrasted with the background. This emergent behaviour relied upon the visual and odorous signal components being presented together. These unlearned, yet hidden, responses against conspicuousness demonstrate that there are initial benefits to prey being conspicuous when the multimodal nature of warning signals is accounted for.

  14. Pollinator-prey conflict in carnivorous plants.

    PubMed

    Jürgens, Andreas; Sciligo, Amber; Witt, Taina; El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Suckling, D Max

    2012-08-01

    Most carnivorous plants utilize insects in two ways: the flowers attract insects as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction, and the leaves trap insects for nutrients. Feeding on insects has been explained as an adaptation to nutrient-poor soil, and carnivorous plants have been shown to benefit from insect capture through increased growth, earlier flowering and increased seed production. Most carnivorous plant species seem to benefit from insect pollination, although many species autonomously self-pollinate and some propagate vegetatively. However, assuming that outcross pollen is advantageous and is a more important determinant of reproductive success than the nutrients gained from prey, there should be a selective pressure on carnivorous plants not to feed on their potential pollen vectors. Therefore, it has been suggested that carnivorous plants are subject to a conflict, often called the pollinator-prey conflict (PPC). The conflict results from a trade-off of the benefits from feeding on potentially pollinating insects versus the need to use them as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction. In this review we analyze the conditions under which a PPC may occur, review the evidence for the existence of PPCs in carnivorous plants, and explore the mechanisms that may be in place to prevent or alleviate a PPC. With respect to the latter, we discuss how plant signals such as olfactory and visual cues may play a role in separating the functions of pollinator attraction and prey capture.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Potential of carbon nanotubes in algal biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Lambreva, Maya Dimova; Lavecchia, Teresa; Tyystjärvi, Esa; Antal, Taras Kornelievich; Orlanducci, Silvia; Margonelli, Andrea; Rea, Giuseppina

    2015-09-01

    A critical mass of knowledge is emerging on the interactions between plant cells and engineered nanomaterials, revealing the potential of plant nanobiotechnology to promote and support novel solutions for the development of a competitive bioeconomy. This knowledge can foster the adoption of new methodological strategies to empower the large-scale production of biomass from commercially important microalgae. The present review focuses on the potential of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to enhance photosynthetic performance of microalgae by (i) widening the spectral region available for the energy conversion reactions and (ii) increasing the tolerance of microalgae towards unfavourable conditions occurring in mass production. To this end, current understanding on the mechanisms of uptake and localization of CNTs in plant cells is discussed. The available ecotoxicological data were used in an attempt to assess the feasibility of CNT-based applications in algal biotechnology, by critically correlating the experimental conditions with the observed adverse effects. Furthermore, main structural and physicochemical properties of single- and multi-walled CNTs and common approaches for the functionalization and characterization of CNTs in biological environment are presented. Here, we explore the potential that nanotechnology can offer to enhance functions of algae, paving the way for a more efficient use of photosynthetic algal systems in the sustainable production of energy, biomass and high-value compounds.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Method and system of culturing an algal mat

    DOEpatents

    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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Diet of Chinese skink, Eumeces chinensis: is prey size important?

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaolin; Jiang, Yong

    2006-06-01

    The diet of the skink, Eumeces chinensis (Lacertilia: Scincidae), in Xiamen (Amoy), China was examined using stomach analysis during April and May, and its selection of prey size was tested by feeding trials. Insects (primarily Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Orthoptera), gastropods and arachnids constituted most of the E. chinensis diet, but earthworms, leeches, crustaceans and fish were also consumed. In the field, male skinks ate more prey items that were 11-20 mm in length than other size classes. When presented with a choice of different-sized prey in the laboratory, male E. chinensis exhibited a strong preference for prey items 11-20 mm in length over other size classes. The relationship between prey size and handling time was exponential, indicating that there is an upper limit to the ability of E. chinensis to process prey. Mean energy intake for handling different-sized prey showed that selection of midsizeclass prey items would provide male E. chinensis with the most energy-efficient prey option. These results indicate that prey size selection in E. chinensis favors maximization of rates of energy intake, which is in agreement with optimal foraging theory. PMID:21395993

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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, 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 vs. outside reserves. We then video-recorded feeding activity on the same seven macroalgae when transplanted into reserves, and assessed the functional redundancy vs. 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 six study reefs. Our

  14. Effect of algal recycling rate on the performance of Pediastrum boryanum dominated wastewater treatment high rate algal pond.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2014-01-01

    Recycling a portion of gravity harvested algae promoted the dominance of a rapidly settling colonial alga, Pediastrum boryanum (P. boryanum) and improved both biomass productivity and settleability in High Rate Algal Pond (HRAP) treating domestic wastewater. The effect of algal recycling rate on HRAP performance was investigated using 12 replicate mesocosms (18 L) that were operated semi-continuously under ambient conditions. Three experiments were conducted during different seasons with each experiment lasting up to 36 days. Recycling 10%, 25%, and 50% of the 'mass' of daily algal production all increased total biomass concentration in the mesocosms. However, recycling >10% reduced the organic content (volatile suspended solids (VSS)) of the mesocosm biomass from 83% to 68% and did not further increase biomass productivity (based on VSS). This indicates that if a HRAP is operated with a low algal concentration and does not utilise all the available sunlight, algal recycling increases the algal concentration up to an optimum level, resulting in higher algal biomass productivity. Recycling 10% of the daily algal production not only increased biomass productivity by ∼40%, but increased biomass settleability by ∼25%, which was probably a consequence of the ∼30% increase in P. boryanum dominance in the mesocosms compared with controls without recycling.

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

    PubMed

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2003-09-01

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

  16. The biomechanics of fast prey capture in aquatic bladderworts.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-23

    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

  17. Nonconsumptive predator-driven mortality causes natural selection on prey.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Wang, Jason; Prince, Garrett

    2014-03-01

    Predators frequently exert natural selection through differential consumption of their prey. However, predators may also cause prey mortality through nonconsumptive effects, which could cause selection if different prey phenotypes are differentially susceptible to this nonconsumptive mortality. Here we present an experimental test of this hypothesis, which reveals that nonconsumptive mortality imposed by predatory dragonflies causes selection on their damselfly prey favoring increased activity levels. These results are consistent with other studies of predator-driven selection, however, they reveal that consumption alone is not the only mechanism by which predators can exert selection on prey. Uncovering this mechanism also suggests that prey defensive traits may represent adaptations to not only avoid being consumed, but also for dealing with other sources of mortality caused by predators. Demonstrating selection through both consumptive and nonconsumptive predator mortality provides us with insight into the diverse effects of predators as an evolutionary force.

  18. The biomechanics of fast prey capture in aquatic bladderworts.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-23

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Early Cretaceous spider web with its prey.

    PubMed

    Peñalver, Enrique; Grimaldi, David A; Delclòs, Xavier

    2006-06-23

    The orb web is a spectacular evolutionary innovation that enables spiders to catch flying prey. This elegant, geometric structure is woven with silk fibers that are renowned for their superior mechanical properties. We used silk gland expression libraries to address a long-standing controversy concerning the evolution of the orb-web architecture. Contrary to the view that the orb-web design evolved multiple times, we found that the distribution and phylogeny of silk proteins support a single, ancient origin of the orb web at least 136 million years ago. Furthermore, we substantially expanded the repository of silk sequences that can be used for the synthesis of high-performance biomaterials.

  7. 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'.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Model of naticid gastropod predator-prey coevolution

    SciTech Connect

    DeAngelis, D.L.; Kitchell, J.A.; Post, W.M.; Travis, C.C.

    1982-01-01

    Size change over evolutionary time between two interacting species, a predatory naticid gastropod and its bivalve prey, is analyzed. We show that two simultaneous, maximizing algorithms (the predator maximizes energy intake; the prey maximizes reproductive output) result in an endogenous, coevolutionary size increase, to a stable attracting point. In particular, we show that selection for delayed reproduction in a predatorpreay system that is highly size-selective due to the predatory strategy of cost-benefit prey selection, coupled with the relative allometries of cost (prey shell thickness) and benefit (prey biomass) with prey size, and the highly size-dependent probability of successful predation, lead to a coevolutionary size increase for both predator and prey, up to a limit condition dictated by predatory respiration costs. In the absence of predation, the prey species attains a smaller size than in the presence of predation. Addition of the predator results in a delay in the timing of reproduction by the prey, thereby facilitating a size response.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  15. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-01

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

  16. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-01

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored. PMID:25220843

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

    PubMed

    Punzo, F; Preshkar, C

    2002-10-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. Fungal farmers or algal escorts: lichen adaptation from the algal perspective.

    PubMed

    Piercey-Normore, Michele D; Deduke, Christopher

    2011-09-01

    Domestication of algae by lichen-forming fungi describes the symbiotic relationship between the photosynthetic (green alga or cyanobacterium; photobiont) and fungal (mycobiont) partnership in lichen associations (Goward 1992). The algal domestication implies that the mycobiont cultivates the alga as a monoculture within its thallus, analogous to a farmer cultivating a food crop. However, the initial photobiont 'selection' by the mycobiont may be predetermined by the habitat rather than by the farmer. When the mycobiont selects a photobiont from the available photobionts within a habitat, the mycobiont may influence photobiont growth and reproduction (Ahmadjian & Jacobs 1981) only after the interaction has been initiated. The theory of ecological guilds (Rikkinen et al. 2002) proposes that habitat limits the variety of photobionts available to the fungal partner. While some studies provide evidence to support the theory of ecological guilds in cyanobacterial lichens (Rikkinen et al. 2002), other studies propose models to explain variation in symbiont combinations in green algal lichens (Ohmura et al. 2006; Piercey-Normore 2006; Yahr et al. 2006) hypothesizing the existence of such guilds. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Peksa & Škaloud (2011) test the theory of ecological guilds and suggest a relationship between algal habitat requirements and lichen adaptation in green algal lichens of the genus Lepraria. The environmental parameters examined in this study, exposure to rainfall, altitude and substratum type, are integral to lichen biology. Lichens have a poikilohydric nature, relying on the availability of atmospheric moisture for metabolic processes. Having no known active mechanism to preserve metabolic thallus moisture in times of drought, one would expect a strong influence of the environment on symbiont adaptation to specific habitats. Adaptation to changes in substrata and its properties would be expected with the intimate contact between crustose

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    DOEpatents

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Evaluating prey switching in wolf-ungulate systems.

    PubMed

    Garrott, Robert A; Bruggeman, Jason E; Becker, Matthew S; Kalinowski, Steven T; White, P J

    2007-09-01

    Wolf restoration has become a widely accepted conservation and management practice throughout North America and Europe, though the ecosystem effects of returning top carnivores remain both scientific and societal controversies. Mathematical models predicting and describing wolf-ungulate interactions are typically limited to the wolves' primary prey, with the potential for prey switching in wolf-multiple-ungulate systems only suggested or assumed by a number of investigators. We used insights gained from experiments on small taxa and field data from ongoing wolf-ungulate studies to construct a model of predator diet composition for a wolf-elk-bison system in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. The model explicitly incorporates differential vulnerability of the ungulate prey types to predation, predator preference, differences in prey biomass, and the possibility of prey switching. Our model demonstrates wolf diet shifts with changes in relative abundance of the two prey, with the dynamics of this shift dependent on the combined influences of preference, differential vulnerability, relative abundances of prey, and whether or not switching occurs. Differences in vulnerability between elk and bison, and strong wolf preference for elk, result in an abrupt dietary shift occurring only when elk are very rare relative to bison, whereas incorporating switching initiates the dietary shift more gradually and at higher bison-elk ratios. We demonstrate how researchers can apply these equations in newly restored wolf-two-prey systems to empirically evaluate whether prey switching is occurring. Each coefficient in the model has a biological interpretation, and most can be directly estimated from empirical data collected from field studies. Given the potential for switching to dramatically influence predator-prey dynamics and the wide range of expected prey types and abundances in some systems where wolves are present and/or being restored, we suggest that this is an

  5. Polishing of secondary effluent by an algal biofilm process.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, G; Sekoulov, I

    2002-01-01

    The potential in polishing secondary effluent by an algal biofilm composed of different green and bluegreen algae was investigated. During the photosynthesis process of algal biofilm oxygen was produced while dissolved carbon dioxide was consumed. This led to an increasing pH due to the change of the carbon dioxide equilibrium in water. The high pH caused precipitation of dissolved phosphates. The attached algae took up nitrogen and phosphorus during the growth of biomass. In addition to nutrient removal, an extensive removal of faecal bacteria was observed probably caused by adsorption of the algal biofilm and by photooxidation involving dissolved oxygen. The experimental results suggest that a low-cost, close to nature process especially for small wastewater treatment plants for nutrient removal and bacteria reduction can be developed with the aid of an algal biofilm. PMID:12420969

  6. 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.

  7. Efficient algal bioassay based on short-term photosynthetic response

    SciTech Connect

    Giddings, J.M.; Stewart, A.J.; O'Neill, R.V.; Gardner, R.H.

    1981-01-01

    A procedure is described for measuring effects of toxicants on algal photosynthesis (H/sup 14/CO/sub 3/ uptake) in 4-h experiments. Results for individual aromatic compounds and the waste-soluble fraction (WSF) of a synthetic oil are presented as examples of applications of the bioassay. The toxicity of the WSF varied among the seven algal species tested, and responses of some species were pH-dependent. Data presented here indicate that algal photosynthesis is inhibited at toxicant concentrations similar to those that cause acute effects in aquatic animals. A model of a pelagic ecosystem is used to demonstrate that even temporary (7-d) inhibition of algal photosynthesis can have a measurable impact on other trophic levels, particularly if the other trophic levels are also experiencing toxic effects.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey

    PubMed Central

    Wignall, Anne E.; Taylor, Phillip W.

    2011-01-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. Invasive prey indirectly increase predation on their native competitors.

    PubMed

    Castorani, Max C N; Hovel, Kevin A

    2015-07-01

    Ecological theory predicts that invasive prey can interact with native prey directly by competing for shared resources or indirectly by changing the abundance or behavior of shared native predators. However, both the study and management of invasive prey have historically overlooked indirect effects. In southern California estuaries, introduction of the Asian nest mussel Arcuatula senhousia has been linked to profound changes in native bivalve assemblages, but the mechanisms of these interactions remain unclear. We performed three field experiments to assess the mechanisms of competition between Arcuatula and native bivalves, and evaluated the potential for Arcuatula to indirectly mediate native predator-prey dynamics. We found that Arcuatula reduces the diversity, abundance, and size of native bivalve recruits by preemptively exploiting space in surface sediments. When paired with native shallow-dwelling clams (Chione undatella and Laevicardium substriatum), Arcuatula reduces adult survival through overgrowth competition. However, Arcuatula also attracts native predators, causing apparent competition by indirectly increasing predation of native clams, especially for poorly defended species. Therefore, invasive prey can indirectly increase predation rates on native competitors by changing the behavior of shared native predators, but the magnitude of apparent competition strongly depends on the vulnerability of natives to predation. Interestingly, our results indicate that the vulnerability of invasive prey to predation can greatly exacerbate impacts on their native competitors. Our findings suggest that consideration of both direct and indirect effects of invasive prey, as well as native predator-prey relationships, should lead to more effective invasive species management.

  13. 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).

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

    PubMed

    Jeschke, Jonathan M

    2006-10-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Short-term algal toxicity test based on phosphate uptake.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, H Hidehiro; Shimada, Akiko; Hirayama, Kimiaki

    2004-04-01

    In order to develop a short-term algal toxicity test, the growth of and the phosphate uptake by the green alga Selenastrum capricornutum during batch culture were observed. In the control medium, S. capricornutum took up phosphate earlier than it grew. It was also observed that the phosphate uptake was inhibited by the presence of a toxicant. From these results, phosphate uptake was considered as one of the useful effect parameters for a short-term algal toxicity test. As the removal rate of phosphate from the medium is a function of the amount of algal cell initially inoculated, the test period is variable. The relationship between the amount of inoculation and phosphate uptake was examined and the test conditions suitable for a 3-h toxicity test were established as one example. According to this test procedure, the inhibitory effect of some toxicants on the phosphate uptake was determined. For comparison, a conventional algal assay based on algal growth was also performed. The EC50s for both tests were close. This indicated that the algal toxicity test method proposed in this paper would be useful for the uses where rapidity is required. PMID:15087199

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Acoustic behaviour of echolocating porpoises during prey capture.

    PubMed

    Deruiter, Stacy L; Bahr, Alexander; Blanchet, Marie-Anne; Hansen, Sabina Fobian; Kristensen, Jakob Højer; Madsen, Peter T; Tyack, Peter L; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2009-10-01

    Porpoise echolocation has been studied previously, mainly in target detection experiments using stationed animals and steel sphere targets, but little is known about the acoustic behaviour of free-swimming porpoises echolocating for prey. Here, we used small onboard sound and orientation recording tags to study the echolocation behaviour of free-swimming trained porpoises as they caught dead, freely drifting fish. We analysed porpoise echolocation behaviour leading up to and following prey capture events, including variability in echolocation in response to vision restriction, prey species, and individual porpoise tested. The porpoises produced echolocation clicks as they searched for the fish, followed by fast-repetition-rate clicks (echolocation buzzes) when acquiring prey. During buzzes, which usually began when porpoises were about 1-2 body lengths from prey, tag-recorded click levels decreased by about 10 dB, click rates increased to over 300 clicks per second, and variability in body orientation (roll) increased. Buzzes generally continued beyond the first contact with the fish, and often extended until or after the end of prey handling. This unexplained continuation of buzzes after prey capture raises questions about the function of buzzes, suggesting that in addition to providing detailed information on target location during the capture, they may serve additional purposes such as the relocation of potentially escaping prey. We conclude that porpoises display the same overall acoustic prey capture behaviour seen in larger toothed whales in the wild, albeit at a faster pace, clicking slowly during search and approach phases and buzzing during prey capture.

  4. Harmful algal blooms: causes, impacts and detection.

    PubMed

    Sellner, Kevin G; Doucette, Gregory J; Kirkpatrick, Gary J

    2003-07-01

    Blooms of autotrophic algae and some heterotrophic protists are increasingly frequent in coastal waters around the world and are collectively grouped as harmful algal blooms (HABs). Blooms of these organisms are attributed to two primary factors: natural processes such as circulation, upwelling relaxation, and river flow; and, anthropogenic loadings leading to eutrophication. Unfortunately, the latter is commonly assumed to be the primary cause of all blooms, which is not the case in many instances. Moreover, although it is generally acknowledged that occurrences of these phenomena are increasing throughout the world's oceans, the reasons for this apparent increase remain debated and include not only eutrophication but increased observation efforts in coastal zones of the world. There is a rapidly advancing monitoring effort resulting from the perception of increased impacts from these HABs, manifested as expanding routine coastal monitoring programs, rapid development and deployment of new detection methods for individual species, toxins, and toxicities, and expansion of coastal modeling activities towards observational forecasts of bloom landfall and eventually bloom prediction. Together, these many efforts will provide resource managers with the tools needed to develop effective strategies for the management and mitigation of HABs and their frequently devastating impacts on the coastal environment.

  5. Sixty years in algal physiology and photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Pirson, A

    1994-06-01

    This personal perspective records research experiences in chemistry and biology at four German universities, two before and two after World War II. The research themes came from cytophysiology of green unicellular algae, in particular their photosynthesis. The function of inorganic ions in photosynthesis and dark respiration was investigated at different degrees of specific mineral stress (deficiencies), and the kinetics of recovery followed after the addition of the missing element. Two types of recovery of photosynthesis were observed: indirect restitution via growth processes and immediate normalisation. From the latter case (K(+), phosphate, Mn(++)) the effect of manganese was emphasized as its role in photosynthetic O2 evolution became established during our research. Other themes of our group, with some bearing on photosynthesis were: synchronization of cell growth by light-dark change and effects of blue (vs. red) light on the composition of green cells. Some experiences in connection with algal mass cultures are included. Discussion of several editorial projects shows how photosynthesis, as an orginally separated field of plant biochemistry and biophysics, became included into general cell physiology and even ecophysiology of green plants. The paper contains an appreciation of the authors' main mentor Kurt Noack (1888-1963) and of Ernst Georg Pringsheim (1881-1970), founder of experimental phycology.

  6. Early Cretaceous spider web with its prey.

    PubMed

    Peñalver, Enrique; Grimaldi, David A; Delclòs, Xavier

    2006-06-23

    The orb web is a spectacular evolutionary innovation that enables spiders to catch flying prey. This elegant, geometric structure is woven with silk fibers that are renowned for their superior mechanical properties. We used silk gland expression libraries to address a long-standing controversy concerning the evolution of the orb-web architecture. Contrary to the view that the orb-web design evolved multiple times, we found that the distribution and phylogeny of silk proteins support a single, ancient origin of the orb web at least 136 million years ago. Furthermore, we substantially expanded the repository of silk sequences that can be used for the synthesis of high-performance biomaterials. PMID:16794072

  7. 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

  8. Degraded Environments Alter Prey Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. Stability and Hopf bifurcation for a prey-predator model with prey-stage structure and diffusion.

    PubMed

    Wang, Mingxin

    2008-04-01

    In this paper, we first propose a prey-predator model with prey-stage structure and diffusion. Then we discuss the following three problems: (1) stability of non-negative constant steady states for the reduced ODE system and the corresponding reaction diffusion system with homogeneous Neumann boundary conditions; (2) Hopf bifurcation for the ODE system; (3) Hopf bifurcation created by diffusion.

  11. Prey risk allocation in a grazing ecosystem.

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Modelling the effects of prey size and distribution on prey capture rates of two sympatric marine predators.

    PubMed

    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

  17. The packaging problem: bivalve prey selection and prey entry techniques of the octopus Enteroctopus dofleini.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Roland C; Mather, Jennifer A

    2007-08-01

    Many predators face a complex step of prey preparation before consumption. Octopuses faced with bivalve prey use several techniques to penetrate the shells to gain access to the meat inside. When given prey of mussels Mytilus trossulus, Manila clams Venerupis philippinarum, and littleneck clams Protothaca staminea, Enteroctopus dofleini solved the problem differently. They pulled apart V. philippinarum and M. trossulus, which had the thinnest shells and the least pulling resistance. P. staminea were eaten after the shells had been chipped or had been penetrated by drilling, presumably to inject a toxin. Likely because of these differences, octopuses consumed more V. philippinarum and M. trossulus than P. staminea when the mollusks were given to them either 1 species at a time or all together. However, when the shells were separated and the penetration problem removed, the octopuses predominantly chose P. staminea and nearly ignored M. trossulus. When V. philippinarum were wired shut, octopuses switched techniques. These results emphasize that octopuses can learn on the basis of nonvisual information and monitor their body position to carry out feeding actions.

  18. The packaging problem: bivalve prey selection and prey entry techniques of the octopus Enteroctopus dofleini.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Roland C; Mather, Jennifer A

    2007-08-01

    Many predators face a complex step of prey preparation before consumption. Octopuses faced with bivalve prey use several techniques to penetrate the shells to gain access to the meat inside. When given prey of mussels Mytilus trossulus, Manila clams Venerupis philippinarum, and littleneck clams Protothaca staminea, Enteroctopus dofleini solved the problem differently. They pulled apart V. philippinarum and M. trossulus, which had the thinnest shells and the least pulling resistance. P. staminea were eaten after the shells had been chipped or had been penetrated by drilling, presumably to inject a toxin. Likely because of these differences, octopuses consumed more V. philippinarum and M. trossulus than P. staminea when the mollusks were given to them either 1 species at a time or all together. However, when the shells were separated and the penetration problem removed, the octopuses predominantly chose P. staminea and nearly ignored M. trossulus. When V. philippinarum were wired shut, octopuses switched techniques. These results emphasize that octopuses can learn on the basis of nonvisual information and monitor their body position to carry out feeding actions. PMID:17696656

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22145037

  3. Metatranscriptome profiling of a harmful algal bloom

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. Prey detection by vomeronasal chemoreception in a plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Placyk, John S; Graves, Brent M

    2002-05-01

    While chemoreception is involved in a wide variety of salamander behaviors, the chemosensory system that mediates specific behaviors is rarely known. We investigated the role of the vomeronasal system (VNS) in foraging behavior of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) by manipulating salamanders' abilities to detect nonvolatile chemical cues emitted by potential prey. Subjects received one of three treatments: (1) impaired vomeronasal system, (2) sham manipulation, and (3) no manipulation. The role of the VNS in mediating foraging on motile prey (Drosophila melanogaster) was investigated under three light conditions (bright, dim, dark). Salamanders with impaired VNSs foraged less efficiently than either of the other experimental groups by displaying the longest latency to attack and the lowest rate of prey capture, especially in the absence of visual cues. A second experiment utilized freshly killed prey to determine whether the VNS takes on added importance in the absence of visual or tactile cues associated with moving prey. Animals with impaired VNSs showed a decreased foraging efficiency on stationary prey under both dark and light conditions. In addition, a mark-recapture study of VNS-impaired and sham salamanders in the field also indicated that salamanders with impaired VNSs consumed fewer stationary prey compared to shams. The study indicates that the VNS plays a substantial role in the foraging behavior of the plethodontid salamander, P. cinereus.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Dynamics of prey prehension by chameleons through viscous adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brau, Fabian; Lanterbecq, Déborah; Zghikh, Leïla-Nastasia; Bels, Vincent; Damman, Pascal

    2016-10-01

    Among predators using an adhesive tongue to feed, chameleons are able to capture large prey by projecting the tongue at high acceleration. Once in contact with a prey, the tongue retracts with a comparable acceleration to bring it to the mouth. A strong adhesion between the tongue tip and the prey is therefore required during the retraction phase to ensure a successful capture. To investigate the mechanism responsible for this strong bond, the viscosity of the mucus produced at the chameleon's tongue pad is measured, using the viscous drag exerted on rolling beads by a thin layer of mucus. Here we show that the viscosity of this secretion is about 400 times larger than that of human saliva. We incorporate this viscosity into a dynamical model for viscous adhesion, which describes the motion of the compliant tongue and the prey during the retraction phase. The variation of the maximum prey size with respect to the chameleon body length is derived, and compared with in vivo observations for various chameleon species. Our study shows that the size of the captured prey is not limited by viscous adhesion, owing to the high mucus viscosity and large contact area between the prey and the tongue.

  11. Tonically immobilized selfish prey can survive by sacrificing others.

    PubMed

    Miyatake, Takahisa; Nakayama, Satoshi; Nishi, Yusuke; Nakajima, Shuhei

    2009-08-01

    Death-feigning, also called tonic immobility, is found in a number of animal species across vertebrate and invertebrate taxa. To date, five hypotheses have been proposed for the adaptive significance of tonic immobility. These are that tonic immobility is effective for prey because (i) avoiding dead prey is safer for predators, (ii) immobility plays a role in physical defence, (iii) immobility plays a role in concealment and/or background matching, (iv) predators lose interest in unmoving prey, and (v) the characteristic immobilization posture signals a bad taste to predators. The fourth and fifth hypotheses have been considered suitable explanations for tonic immobility of the red flour beetle against its predator, the jumping spider. In the present study, we used chemical analyses of secretions by the red flour beetles under attack by the jumping spider to reject the fifth hypothesis for this system. More importantly, we tested a selfish-prey hypothesis for the adaptive significance of death-feigning as an anti-predator strategy, in which individuals adopting tonic immobility survive by sacrificing neighbours. Findings showed that survival rates of feigners were higher when in the presence of non-feigners or prey of a different species, compared to when alone, thus confirming our selfish-prey hypothesis. In summary, our results suggest that immobility following a spider attack is selfish; death-feigning prey increase their probability of survival at the expense of more mobile neighbours. PMID:19403540

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

    PubMed

    Anjum, Farzana; Brecht, Michael

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Tonically immobilized selfish prey can survive by sacrificing others

    PubMed Central

    Miyatake, Takahisa; Nakayama, Satoshi; Nishi, Yusuke; Nakajima, Shuhei

    2009-01-01

    Death-feigning, also called tonic immobility, is found in a number of animal species across vertebrate and invertebrate taxa. To date, five hypotheses have been proposed for the adaptive significance of tonic immobility. These are that tonic immobility is effective for prey because (i) avoiding dead prey is safer for predators, (ii) immobility plays a role in physical defence, (iii) immobility plays a role in concealment and/or background matching, (iv) predators lose interest in unmoving prey, and (v) the characteristic immobilization posture signals a bad taste to predators. The fourth and fifth hypotheses have been considered suitable explanations for tonic immobility of the red flour beetle against its predator, the jumping spider. In the present study, we used chemical analyses of secretions by the red flour beetles under attack by the jumping spider to reject the fifth hypothesis for this system. More importantly, we tested a selfish-prey hypothesis for the adaptive significance of death-feigning as an anti-predator strategy, in which individuals adopting tonic immobility survive by sacrificing neighbours. Findings showed that survival rates of feigners were higher when in the presence of non-feigners or prey of a different species, compared to when alone, thus confirming our selfish-prey hypothesis. In summary, our results suggest that immobility following a spider attack is selfish; death-feigning prey increase their probability of survival at the expense of more mobile neighbours. PMID:19403540

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Carbon and light limitation in mass algal culture

    SciTech Connect

    Brune, D.E.

    1980-01-01

    The carbon limited kinetic responses of various fast growing algal species have been summarized. These results suggest that the growth responses of many algae used in mass culture may best be represented as a Monod fit of the specific growth rate (..mu..) to the free carbon dioxide concentration (CO/sub 2//sub f/). The environmental modifiers of primary importance appear to be light levels, temperature and the ionic strength of the growth media. The various mathematical models describing the algal biological response to limitng CO/sub 2//sub f/ concentration, the carbonate equilibrium chemistry and the physical configration of a flow-through microbial culture are combined to yield equations which predict the pH, total carbon concentration (C/sub T/) and algal cell concentration of a continuous alga culture, given a ..mu../sub max/ and K/sub SCO2/ for the alga of interest. This model is further used to illustrate the under-utilization of inorganic carbon in mass algal cultures in which the pH is uncontrolled. One method of pH control in such cultures involves the utilization of CO/sub 2/ supply from bacterial degradation of waste organics in the influent culture medium. In such a situation both the culture pH and algal cell production will often be governed by either carbon or light limitation depending primarily on the influent BOD loading, detention time and culture depth. In spite of the obvious over-simplification of considering only light and carbon limits in describing the behavior of mass algal culture, comparisons to actual field data suggest that these two parameters will be of paramount importance in controlling net algal cell production rates.

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

    PubMed

    Richman, Samantha E; Lovvorn, James R

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Sizes of prey consumed by two pelagic predators in US reservoirs: Implications for quantifying biomass of available prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dennerline, D.E.; Van Den Avyle, M.J.

    2000-01-01

    Striped bass Morone saxatilis and hybrid bass M. saxatilis x M. chrysops have been stocked to establish fisheries in many US reservoirs, but success has been limited by a poor understanding of relations between prey biomass and predator growth and survival. To define sizes of prey that are morphologically available, we developed predictive relationships between predator length, mouth dimensions, and expected maximum prey size; predictions were then validated using published data on sizes of clupeid prey (Dorosoma spp.) in five US reservoirs. Further, we compared the biomass of prey considered available to predators using two forms of a length-based consumption model - a previously published AP/P ratio and a revised model based on our results. Predictions of maximum prey size using predator GW were consistent with observed prey sizes in US reservoirs. Length of consumed Dorosoma was significantly, but weakly, correlated with predator length in four of the five reservoirs (r2 = 0.006-0.336, P 150 mm TL) were abundant. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Full-scale validation of a model of algal productivity.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Shilton, Andy; Guieysse, Benoit

    2014-12-01

    While modeling algal productivity outdoors is crucial to assess the economic and environmental performance of full-scale cultivation, most of the models hitherto developed for this purpose have not been validated under fully relevant conditions, especially with regard to temperature variations. The objective of this study was to independently validate a model of algal biomass productivity accounting for both light and temperature and constructed using parameters experimentally derived using short-term indoor experiments. To do this, the accuracy of a model developed for Chlorella vulgaris was assessed against data collected from photobioreactors operated outdoor (New Zealand) over different seasons, years, and operating conditions (temperature-control/no temperature-control, batch, and fed-batch regimes). The model accurately predicted experimental productivities under all conditions tested, yielding an overall accuracy of ±8.4% over 148 days of cultivation. For the purpose of assessing the feasibility of full-scale algal cultivation, the use of the productivity model was therefore shown to markedly reduce uncertainty in cost of biofuel production while also eliminating uncertainties in water demand, a critical element of environmental impact assessments. Simulations at five climatic locations demonstrated that temperature-control in outdoor photobioreactors would require tremendous amounts of energy without considerable increase of algal biomass. Prior assessments neglecting the impact of temperature variations on algal productivity in photobioreactors may therefore be erroneous.

  11. Effects of acidification on algal assemblages in temporary ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Glackin, M.E.; Pratt, J.R.

    1994-12-31

    Atmospheric deposition monitoring in Pennsylvania has characterized a steep gradient of acidic ion depositions across the north-central portion of the state. This study evaluated acidification effects on the composition of algal assemblages in temporary ponds in two forested areas exposed to atmospheric deposition that varied in degree of acidity. Artificial substrates were used to sample and compare the algal assemblages in the two areas. Colonized communities were also transplanted to lower pH ponds to observe changes in species composition. A laboratory microcosm experiment manipulating pH was conducted to reduce the variables that differed between the two areas. Fewer algal taxa were present in lower pH ponds, on colonized substrates after transplant to lower pH ponds, and in lower pH laboratory treatments. Species composition was altered in the lower pH conditions. Most taxa that were excluded from the lower pH ponds naturally also did not survive when experimentally introduced to those conditions. These results suggest that acidification of temporary ponds can alter the structure of algal communities. There is interest in a possible link between acid deposition and reports of worldwide declines in amphibian populations. Algae are an important food source for larval amphibians, such as the wood frog, which require temporary ponds to breed. Changes in algal species composition could potentially impact the temporary pond and forest ecosystem.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Nonlinearity in the predation risk of prey mobility.

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Local Bifurcations and Optimal Theory in a Delayed Predator-Prey Model with Threshold Prey Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tankam, Israel; Tchinda Mouofo, Plaire; Mendy, Abdoulaye; Lam, Mountaga; Tewa, Jean Jules; Bowong, Samuel

    2015-06-01

    We investigate the effects of time delay and piecewise-linear threshold policy harvesting for a delayed predator-prey model. It is the first time that Holling response function of type III and the present threshold policy harvesting are associated with time delay. The trajectories of our delayed system are bounded; the stability of each equilibrium is analyzed with and without delay; there are local bifurcations as saddle-node bifurcation and Hopf bifurcation; optimal harvesting is also investigated. Numerical simulations are provided in order to illustrate each result.

  19. [Temporal-spatial distribution of algal cells during drought period in Daning River of Three Gorges].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Sheng; Zheng, Bing-Hui; Wang, Kun; Jiang, Xia; Zheng, Hao

    2013-06-01

    In order to provide basic data for algal bloom warning system, the study on temporal-spatial distribution of algal cells was carried out in Daning River of Three Gorges form April to September, 2011. The results of temporal distribution were as follows: the dominant algal species were blue algal, green algal and diatom. During the test, the density proportion of blue algae increased continuously, the density proportion of diatom decreased, while the density proportion of green algae did not change significantly. The results of spatial distribution were as follows: algal density was extremely significantly correlated with water temperature and chlorophyll a (Chl a), the correlation coefficient were 0.97 and 0.95, respectively; algal density was significantly correlated with light intensity (LI), dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and dissoluble total phosphorus (DTP), the correlation coefficient were 0.87, 0.83, 082 and 0.82, respectively; the algal density in 0 m of Caziba was higher than those in other water depths, and in Baishuihe the highest algal density occurred at 2.0 m water depth in June and July, in Shuanglong most algal cells were found in 0 m and 2.0 m in July, August and September, in Dachang algal density in different water depth did not change significantly during the test; the proportion of different algal species in vertical direction was different in the test, probably because different algal species fitted different environments.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Algal cell disruption using microbubbles to localize ultrasonic energy

    PubMed Central

    Krehbiel, Joel D.; Schideman, Lance C.; King, Daniel A.; Freund, Jonathan B.

    2015-01-01

    Microbubbles were added to an algal solution with the goal of improving cell disruption efficiency and the net energy balance for algal biofuel production. Experimental results showed that disruption increases with increasing peak rarefaction ultrasound pressure over the range studied: 1.90 to 3.07 MPa. Additionally, ultrasound cell disruption increased by up to 58% by adding microbubbles, with peak disruption occurring in the range of 108 microbubbles/ml. The localization of energy in space and time provided by the bubbles improve efficiency: energy requirements for such a process were estimated to be one-fourth of the available heat of combustion of algal biomass and one-fifth of currently used cell disruption methods. This increase in energy efficiency could make microbubble enhanced ultrasound viable for bioenergy applications and is expected to integrate well with current cell harvesting methods based upon dissolved air flotation. PMID:25311188

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Caste evolution and ecology: a special worker for novel prey.

    PubMed

    Powell, Scott; Franks, Nigel R

    2005-10-22

    Individual specialization underpins the division of labour within ant societies, but only in a small minority do morphological specialists, or physical castes, exist in the workforce. The genetic conditions that allow such castes to evolve are well understood, but the ecological pressures that select for them are not. We provide compelling evidence that the task of transporting novel prey selected for an exaggerated transport caste, or 'submajor', in the army ant Eciton burchellii. This species is the only Eciton that preys upon large arthropods as well as ants, the ancestral prey type, and by comparing load-transport among Eciton species and within E. burchellii, we show that this mixed diet significantly constrains transport efficiency. Crucially, however, we also show that E. burchellii submajors are highly specialized on transporting non-ant prey, and we demonstrate experientially that it is specifically this prey type that constrains prey-transport efficiency. Our study also suggests that phylogenetic constraints associated with the Eciton lifestyle intensified selection for the exaggerated submajor of E. burchellii. Thus, we propose that a novel task may only select for a special caste when phylogenetic constraints preclude the evolution of alternative solutions. This identifies a new and potentially general scenario for the evolution of physical castes.

  8. 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

  9. Predator interference and stability of predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Přibylová, Lenka; Berec, Luděk

    2015-08-01

    Predator interference, that is, a decline in the per predator consumption rate as predator density increases, is generally thought to promote predator-prey stability. Indeed, this has been demonstrated in many theoretical studies on predator-prey dynamics. In virtually all of these studies, the stabilization role is demonstrated as a weakening of the paradox of enrichment. With predator interference, stable limit cycles that appear as a result of environmental enrichment occur for higher values of the environmental carrying capacity of prey, and even a complete absence of the limit cycles can happen. Here we study predator-prey dynamics using the Rosenzweig-MacArthur-like model in which the Holling type II functional response has been replaced by a predator-dependent family which generalizes many of the commonly used descriptions of predator interference. By means of a bifurcation analysis we show that sufficiently strong predator interference may bring about another stabilizing mechanism. In particular, hysteresis combined with (dis)appearance of stable limit cycles imply abrupt increases in both the prey and predator densities and enhanced persistence and resilience of the predator-prey system. We encourage refitting the previously collected data on predator consumption rates as well as for conducting further predation experiments to see what functional response from the explored family is the most appropriate.

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

    PubMed

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. Horned lizards (Phrynosoma) incapacitate dangerous ant prey with mucus.

    PubMed

    Sherbrooke, Wade C; Schwenk, Kurt

    2008-10-01

    Horned lizards (Iguanidae, Phrynosomatinae, Phrynosoma) are morphologically specialized reptiles characterized by squat, tank-like bodies, short limbs, blunt snouts, spines and cranial horns, among other traits. They are unusual among lizards in the degree to which they specialize on a diet of ants, but exceptional in the number of pugnacious, highly venomous, stinging ants they consume, especially harvester ants (genus Pogonomyrmex). Like other iguanian lizards, they capture insect prey on the tongue, but unlike other lizards, they neither bite nor chew dangerous prey before swallowing. Instead, they employ a unique kinematic pattern in which prey capture, transport and swallowing are combined. Nevertheless, horned lizards consume dozens of harvester ants without harm. We show that their derived feeding kinematics are associated with unique, mucus-secreting pharyngeal papillae that apparently serve to immobilize and incapacitate dangerous ants as they are swallowed by compacting them and binding them in mucus strands. Radially branched esophageal folds provide additional mucus-secreting surfaces the ants pass through as they are swallowed. Ants extracted from fresh-killed horned lizard stomachs are curled ventrally into balls and bound in mucus. We conclude that the pharyngeal papillae, in association with a unique form of hyolingual prey transport and swallowing, are horned lizard adaptations related to a diet of dangerous prey. Harvester ant defensive weapons, along with horned lizard adaptations against such weapons, suggest a long-term, predator-prey, co-evolutionary arms race between Phrynosoma and Pogonomyrmex.

  15. A stoichiometrically derived algal growth model and its global analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiong; Wang, Hao

    2010-10-01

    Organisms are composed of multiple chemical elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The scarcity of any of these elements can severely restrict organismal and population growth. However, many trophic interaction models only consider carbon limitation via energy flow. In this paper, we construct an algal growth model with the explicit incorporation of light and nutrient availability to characterize both carbon and phosphorus limitations. We provide a global analysis of this model to illustrate how light and nutrient availability regulate algal dynamics. PMID:21077710

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Predators choose prey over prey habitats: evidence from a lynx-hare system.

    PubMed

    Keim, Jonah L; DeWitt, Philip D; Lele, Subhash R

    2011-06-01

    Resource selection is grounded in the understanding that animals select resources based on fitness requirements. Despite uncertainty in how mechanisms relate to the landscape, resource selection studies often assume, but rarely demonstrate, a relationship between modeled variables and fitness mechanisms. Using Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) as a model system, we assess whether prey habitat is a viable surrogate for encounters between predators and prey. We simultaneously collected winter track data for lynx and hare in two study areas. We used information criteria to determine whether selection by lynx is best characterized by a hare resource selection probability function (RSPF) or by the amount of hare resource use. Results show that lynx selection is better explained by the amount of hare use (SIC = -21.9; Schwarz's Information Criterion) than by hare RSPF (SIC = -16.71), and that hare RSPF cannot be assumed to reveal the amount of resource use, a primary mechanism of predator selection. Our study reveals an obvious but important distinction between selection and use that is applicable to all resource selection studies. We recommend that resource selection studies be coupled with mechanistic data (e.g., metrics of diet, forage, fitness, or abundance) when investigating mechanisms of resource selection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2010-05-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Wenjie; Wang, Mingxin

    2016-10-01

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

  3. Neuromuscular control of prey capture in frogs.

    PubMed Central

    Nishikawa, K C

    1999-01-01

    While retaining a feeding apparatus that is surprisingly conservative morphologically, frogs as a group exhibit great variability in the biomechanics of tongue protraction during prey capture, which in turn is related to differences in neuromuscular control. In this paper, I address the following three questions. (1) How do frog tongues differ biomechanically? (2) What anatomical and physiological differences are responsible? (3) How is biomechanics related to mechanisms of neuromuscular control? Frog species use three non-exclusive mechanisms to protract their tongues during feeding: (i) mechanical pulling, in which the tongue shortens as its muscles contract during protraction; (ii) inertial elongation, in which the tongue lengthens under inertial and muscular loading; and (iii) hydrostatic elongation, in which the tongue lengthens under constraints imposed by the constant volume of a muscular hydrostat. Major differences among these functional types include (i) the amount and orientation of collagen fibres associated with the tongue muscles and the mechanical properties that this connective tissue confers to the tongue as a whole; and (ii) the transfer of intertia from the opening jaws to the tongue, which probably involves a catch mechanism that increases the acceleration achieved during mouth opening. The mechanisms of tongue protraction differ in the types of neural mechanisms that are used to control tongue movements, particularly in the relative importance of feed-forward versus feedback control, in requirements for precise interjoint coordination, in the size and number of motor units, and in the afferent pathways that are involved in coordinating tongue and jaw movements. Evolution of biomechanics and neuromuscular control of frog tongues provides an example in which neuromuscular control is finely tuned to the biomechanical constraints and opportunities provided by differences in morphological design among species. PMID:10382226

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Bat wing air pressures may deflect prey structures to provide echo cues for detecting prey in clutter.

    PubMed

    Kuc, Roman; Kuc, Victor

    2012-09-01

    Bats have remarkable echolocation capabilities to detect prey in darkness. While it is clear how bats do this for prey that is isolated, moving, or noisy, their ability to find still and quiet prey within clutter has remained a mystery. A video published by the ChiRoPing group shows the gleaning bat Micronycteris microtis capturing a still dragonfly specimen sitting on a leaf surface. While hovering over the dragonfly, the bat's wings exert air forces that cause the dragonfly wings to deflect in synchrony with the bat's wing beats. This paper illustrates that echoes from such deflecting wings vary in both amplitude and time-of-flight, producing robust echo cues that permit prey detection, even when the prey is embedded within clutter. Experiments with a dragonfly specimen mounted on a leaf driven by periodic air puffs produced wing deflections that were sensed with sonar pulses. Results demonstrate that echo variations synchronized with periodic air puffs are easily distinguishable from surrounding clutter, even when clutter produces the first echoes. These results suggest a strategy that bats can employ to detect still and silent prey embedded within cluttered environments.

  7. [Harmful algal blooms in Italy and their health effects in the population].

    PubMed

    Ferrante, Margherita; Ledda, Caterina; Cunsolo, Maria A; Fiore, Maria; Fallico, Roberto; Sciacca, Salvatore; Oliveri Conti, Gea M

    2010-01-01

    The authors discuss harmful algal bloom, a seasonal phenomenon that in recent years has become increasingly frequent along Italian coasts. A classification of algal bloom is given and algal toxins and their effects on human health are discussed. The authors then describe the algal bloom phenomenon observed in Italy from the 1960s to the present time. Finally they briefly describe Italian legislation on the subject matter and highlight its shortcomings.

  8. 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

  9. Draft Genome Sequence of the Anti-Algal Marine Actinomycete Streptomyces sp. JS01

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Huajun; Zhang, Su; Peng, Yun; Li, Yi; Chen, Zhangran; Zheng, Wei; Xu, Hong; Yu, Zhiming

    2014-01-01

    Streptomyces sp. JS01 is the producer of an anti-algal compound that shows inhibitory activity against a harmful algal species Phaeocystis globosa and can also produce a red pigment. Its genome sequence will allow for the characterization of the anti-algal compound and the molecular mechanisms underlying its beneficial properties. PMID:25477414

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Do lions Panthera leo actively select prey or do prey preferences simply reflect chance responses via evolutionary adaptations to optimal foraging?

    PubMed

    Hayward, Matt W; Hayward, Gina J; Tambling, Craig J; Kerley, Graham I H

    2011-01-01

    Research on coursing predators has revealed that actions throughout the predatory behavioral sequence (using encounter rate, hunting rate, and kill rate as proxy measures of decisions) drive observed prey preferences. We tested whether similar actions drive the observed prey preferences of a stalking predator, the African lion Panthera leo. We conducted two 96 hour, continuous follows of lions in Addo Elephant National Park seasonally from December 2003 until November 2005 (16 follows), and compared prey encounter rate with prey abundance, hunt rate with prey encounter rate, and kill rate with prey hunt rate for the major prey species in Addo using Jacobs' electivity index. We found that lions encountered preferred prey species far more frequently than expected based on their abundance, and they hunted these species more frequently than expected based on this higher encounter rate. Lions responded variably to non-preferred and avoided prey species throughout the predatory sequence, although they hunted avoided prey far less frequently than expected based on the number of encounters of them. We conclude that actions of lions throughout the predatory behavioural sequence, but particularly early on, drive the prey preferences that have been documented for this species. Once a hunt is initiated, evolutionary adaptations to the predator-prey interactions drive hunting success.

  14. Prey type, vibrations and handling interactively influence spider silk expression.

    PubMed

    Blamires, S J; Chao, I-C; Tso, I-M

    2010-11-15

    The chemical and mechanical properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silks vary in response to different prey, mostly via differential expression of two genes - MaSp1 and MaSp2 - although the spinning process exerts additional influence over the mechanical properties of silk. The prey cues that initiate differential gene expression are unknown. Prey nutrients, vibratory stimuli and handling have been suggested to be influential. We performed experiments to decouple the vibratory stimuli and handling associated with high and low kinetic energy prey (crickets vs flies) from their prey nutrients to test the relative influence of each as inducers of silk protein expression in the orb web spider Nephila pilipes. We found that the MA silks from spiders feeding on live crickets had greater percentages of glutamine, serine, alanine and glycine than those from spiders feeding on live flies. Proline composition of the silks was unaffected by feeding treatment. Increases in alanine and glycine in the MA silks of the live-cricket-feeding spiders indicate a probable increase in MaSp1 gene expression. The amino acid compositions of N. pilipes feeding on crickets with fly stimuli and N. pilipes feeding on flies with cricket stimuli did not differ from each other or from pre-treatment responses, so these feeding treatments did not induce differential MaSp expression. Our results indicate that cricket vibratory stimuli and handling interact with nutrients to induce N. pilipes to adjust their gene expression to produce webs with mechanical properties appropriate for the retention of this prey. This shows that spiders can genetically alter their silk chemical compositions and, presumably, mechanical properties upon exposure to different prey types. The lack of any change in proline composition with feeding treatment in N. pilipes suggests that the MaSp model determined for Nephila clavipes is not universally applicable to all Nephila.

  15. 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

  16. Biogenesis and biological function of marine algal oxylipins.

    PubMed

    Gerwick, W H; Roberts, M A; Vulpanovici, A; Ballantine, D L

    1999-01-01

    The biogenetic source of most marine algal oxylipins, which are many and of diverse structure, can logically be unified through a common lipoxygenase-derived hydroperoxide to epoxy allylic carbocation transformation. The biological role of oxylipins in algae remains an enigma, although numerous ideas have been put forth. Herein, we hypothesize and provide some evidence for an osmoregulatory role for these metabolites.

  17. Recent progress and future challenges in algal biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    Shurin, Jonathan B.; Burkart, Michael D.; Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Modern society is fueled by fossil energy produced millions of years ago by photosynthetic organisms. Cultivating contemporary photosynthetic producers to generate energy and capture carbon from the atmosphere is one potential approach to sustaining society without disrupting the climate. Algae, photosynthetic aquatic microorganisms, are the fastest growing primary producers in the world and can therefore produce more energy with less land, water, and nutrients than terrestrial plant crops. We review recent progress and challenges in developing bioenergy technology based on algae. A variety of high-value products in addition to biofuels can be harvested from algal biomass, and these may be key to developing algal biotechnology and realizing the commercial potential of these organisms. Aspects of algal biology that differentiate them from plants demand an integrative approach based on genetics, cell biology, ecology, and evolution. We call for a systems approach to research on algal biotechnology rooted in understanding their biology, from the level of genes to ecosystems, and integrating perspectives from physical, chemical, and social sciences to solve one of the most critical outstanding technological problems. PMID:27781084

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Invasive algal mats degrade coral reef physical habitat quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, Jonathan A.; Smith, Celia M.; Richmond, Robert H.

    2012-03-01

    Invasive species alter the ecology of marine ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms or combination of mechanisms. This study documented critical physical parameters altered by the invasive red macroalga Gracilaria salicornia in situ, including: reduced irradiance, increased sedimentation, and marked variation in diurnal dissolved oxygen and pH cycles in Kāne'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i. Paired studies showed that algal mats reduced irradiance by 99% and doubled sediment accumulation. Several mats developed hypoxia and hyperoxia in the extreme minima and maxima, though there was no statistical difference detected in the mean or the variability of dissolved oxygen between different 30 min time points of 24 h cycles between algal mat-open reef pairs. The algal mat significantly acidified the water under the algal mat by decreasing pH by 0.10-0.13 pH units below open reef pH. A minimum of pH 7.47 occurred between 14 and 19 h after sunrise. Our combined results suggest that mats of G. salicornia can alter various physical parameters on a fine scale and time course not commonly detected. These changes in parameters give insight into the underlying basis for negative impact, and suggest new ways in which the presence of invasive species leads to decline of coral reef ecosystems.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Cooperative prey herding by the pelagic dolphin, Stenella longirostris.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Au, Whitlow W L

    2009-01-01

    Sonar techniques were used to quantitatively observe foraging predators and their prey simultaneously in three dimensions. Spinner dolphins foraged at night in highly coordinated groups of 16-28 individuals using strict four-dimensional patterns to increase prey density by up to 200 times. Herding exploited the prey's own avoidance behavior to achieve food densities not observed otherwise. Pairs of dolphins then took turns feeding within the aggregation that was created. Using a proxy estimate of feeding success, it is estimated that each dolphin working in concert has more access to prey than it would if feeding individually, despite the costs of participating in the group maneuvers, supporting the cooperation hypothesis. Evidence of a prey density threshold for feeding suggests that feedback from the environment may be enough to favor the evolution of cooperation. The remarkable degree of coordination shown by foraging spinner dolphins, the very strict geometry, tight timing, and orderly turn taking, indicates the advantage conferred by this strategy and the constraints placed upon it. The consistent appearance of this behavior suggests that it may be a critical strategy for energy acquisition by spinner dolphins in energy poor featureless environments in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

  15. 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

  16. The evolution of locomotory behavior in profitable and unprofitable simulated prey.

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Thomas N; Rashed, Arash; Beatty, Christopher D

    2004-01-01

    Prey that are unprofitable to attack (for example, those containing noxious chemicals) frequently exhibit slower and more predictable movement than species that lack these defenses. Possible explanations for the phenomenon include a lack of selection pressure on unprofitable prey to avoid predators and active selection on unprofitable prey to advertise their noxiousness. We explicitly tested these and other hypotheses using a novel "artificial world" in which the locomotory characteristics (step size, waiting time, and angular direction) of artificial profitable and unprofitable computer-generated prey were subject to continued selection by humans over a number of generations. Unprofitable prey evolved significantly slower movement behavior than profitable prey when they were readily recognized as unprofitable, and also when they frequently survived predatory attacks. This difference arose primarily as a consequence of more intense selection on profitable prey to avoid capture. When unprofitable prey were very similar (but not identical) in morphological appearance to profitable prey, unprofitable prey evolved particularly slow movement behavior, presumably because when they were slow-moving they could be more readily recognized as being unprofitable. When unprofitable prey were constrained to move slowly, a morphologically identical profitable prey species evolved locomotor mimicry only when it had no more effective means of avoiding predation. Overall, our results provide some of the first empirical support for a number of earlier hypotheses for differences in movement between unprofitable and profitable prey and demonstrate that locomotor mimicry is not an inevitable outcome of selection even in morphologically similar prey.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. DNA Analysis of Algal Endosymbionts of Ciliates Reveals the State of Algal Integration and the Surprising Specificity of the Symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Hoshina, Ryo; Kusuoka, Yasushi

    2016-04-01

    Many freshwater protists harbor unicellular green algae within their cells, but little is known of their degree of integration and specificity. Using algae-targeted PCR of whole ciliate cells collected at irregular intervals over 15 months from Lake Biwa, Japan, we explored the SSU-ITS rDNA of the endosymbiotic algae and its changes over time, obtaining sequences of algal rDNA fragments from four ciliate species. A high proportion of clonal algae was evident within the ciliate cells. The differences observed in those sequences from the SSU through to the ITS region were less than 1%. The name 'Chlorb' is proposed for these algae, with the implication that they represent a single 'species.' The sequences of the algal DNA fragments were identical for any given host species throughout the collection period, thus we conclude that these four ciliates stably retain their algae over long term. In contrast, algal DNA fragments obtained from Didinium sp. were variable within each sample, which indicates that this ciliate only temporarily holds its algal cells. The ITS1 sequences of Chlorb populations are close (at intraspecific level) to those of algae isolated from ciliates in Austria, which raises the possibility that Chlorb algae are universally shared as symbionts among various ciliates.

  2. An overview of the interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB): advancing the scientific understanding of freshwater harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Hudnell, H Kenneth; Dortch, Quay; Zenick, Harold

    2008-01-01

    There is growing evidence that the spatial and temporal incidence of harmful algal blooms is increasing, posing potential risks to human health and ecosystem sustainability. Currently there are no US Federal guidelines, Water Quality Criteria and Standards, or regulations concerning the management of harmful algal blooms. Algal blooms in freshwater are predominantly cyanobacteria, some of which produce highly potent cyanotoxins. The US Congress mandated a Scientific Assessment of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms in the 2004 reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Act. To further the scientific understanding of freshwater harmful algal blooms, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established an interagency committee to organize the Interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB). A theoretical framework to define scientific issues and a systems approach to implement the assessment and management of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms were developed as organizing themes for the symposium. Seven major topic areas and 23 subtopics were addressed in Workgroups and platform sessions during the symposium. The primary charge given to platform presenters was to describe the state of the science in the subtopic areas, whereas the Workgroups were charged with identifying research that could be accomplished in the short- and long-term to reduce scientific uncertainties. The proceedings of the symposium, published in this monograph, are intended to inform policy determinations and the mandated Scientific Assessment by describing the scientific knowledge and areas of uncertainty concerning freshwater harmful algal blooms.

  3. Fear on the move: predator hunting mode predicts variation in prey mortality and plasticity in prey spatial response.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Ament, Judith M; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2014-01-01

    Ecologists have long searched for a framework of a priori species traits to help predict predator-prey interactions in food webs. Empirical evidence has shown that predator hunting mode and predator and prey habitat domain are useful traits for explaining predator-prey interactions. Yet, individual experiments have yet to replicate predator hunting mode, calling into question whether predator impacts can be attributed to hunting mode or merely species identity. We tested the effects of spider predators with sit-and-wait, sit-and-pursue and active hunting modes on grasshopper habitat domain, activity and mortality in a grassland system. We replicated hunting mode by testing two spider predator species of each hunting mode on the same grasshopper prey species. We observed grasshoppers with and without each spider species in behavioural cages and measured their mortality rates, movements and habitat domains. We likewise measured the movements and habitat domains of spiders to characterize hunting modes. We found that predator hunting mode explained grasshopper mortality and spider and grasshopper movement activity and habitat domain size. Sit-and-wait spider predators covered small distances over a narrow domain space and killed fewer grasshoppers than sit-and-pursue and active predators, which ranged farther distances across broader domains and killed more grasshoppers, respectively. Prey adjusted their activity levels and horizontal habitat domains in response to predator presence and hunting mode: sedentary sit-and-wait predators with narrow domains caused grasshoppers to reduce activity in the same-sized domain space; more mobile sit-and-pursue predators with broader domains caused prey to reduce their activity within a contracted horizontal (but not vertical) domain space; and highly mobile active spiders led grasshoppers to increase their activity across the same domain area. All predators impacted prey activity, and sit-and-pursue predators generated strong

  4. 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.

  5. Selective control of the Prorocentrum minimum harmful algal blooms by a novel algal-lytic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis AFMB-008041.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeong-Dong; Kim, Ji-Young; Park, Jae-Kweon; Lee, Choul-Gyun

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we examined the algal-lytic activities and biological control mechanisms of Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis AFMB-08041, which was isolated from surface seawater obtained at Masan Bay in Korea. In addition, we assessed whether AFMB-08041 could be used as a biocontrol agent to regulate harmful dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum. From these experiments, we found that the inoculation of AFMB-08041 at a final density of 2.5 x 10(4) cfu ml(-1) caused P. minimum cells to degrade (>90%) within 5 days. The algal cells were lysed through an indirect attack by the AFMB-08041 bacterial strain. Our results also suggest that the algal-lytic compounds produced by AFMB-08041 may have beta-glucosidase activity. However, P. haloplanktis AFMB-08041 was not able to suppress the growth of other alga such as Alexandrium tamarense, Akashiwo sanguinea, Cochlodinium polykrikoides, Gymnodinium catenatum, and Heterosigma akashiwo. Moreover, we observed that the growth of Prorocentrum dentatum, which has a very similar morphological structure to P. minimum, was also effectively suppressed by P. haloplanktis AFMB-08041. Therefore, the effect of AFMB-08041 on P. minimum degradation appears to be species specific. When testing in an indoor mesocosms, P. haloplanktis AFMB-08041 reduced the amount of viable P. minimum cells by 94.5% within 5 days after inoculation. The combined results of this study clearly demonstrate that this bacterium is capable of regulating the harmful algal blooms of P. minimum. In addition, these results will enable us to develop a new strategy for the anthropogenic control of harmful algal bloom-forming species in nature.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Royauté, Raphaël; Pruitt, Jonathan N

    2015-11-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  14. How the owl tracks its prey--II.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Terry T

    2010-10-15

    Barn owls can capture prey in pitch darkness or by diving into snow, while homing in on the sounds made by their prey. First, the neural mechanisms by which the barn owl localizes a single sound source in an otherwise quiet environment will be explained. The ideas developed for the single source case will then be expanded to environments in which there are multiple sound sources and echoes--environments that are challenging for humans with impaired hearing. Recent controversies regarding the mechanisms of sound localization will be discussed. Finally, the case in which both visual and auditory information are available to the owl will be considered. PMID:20889819

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Algal communities attached to free-drifting, Antarctic icebergs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robison, Bruce H.; Vernet, Maria; Smith, Kenneth L., Jr.

    2011-06-01

    Disintegration of the Antarctic Peninsula's eastern ice shelves has increased the population of icebergs traversing the Weddell Sea, but until recently little was known about their ecological impact on the pelagic environment. Here we describe a class of algal communities that occur on the submerged flanks of large, free-drifting, glacially-derived tabular icebergs. We used remotely operated vehicles to examine these icebergs directly for the first time, to survey the algal communities and collect material for shipboard laboratory studies. The communities, principally diatoms, were associated with a characteristic cupped configuration of the ice surface, and they served as feeding sites for aggregations of Antarctic krill. Production rate measurements indicate that these communities are providing a substantial contribution to regional primary production in summer. As the number of icebergs grows, the number of algae communities may also be increasing, along with their cumulative contribution to organic carbon flux.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms

    PubMed Central

    Frada, Miguel J; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-01-01

    Viruses infecting marine phytoplankton are key biogeochemical ‘engines’ of the oceans, regulating the dynamics of algal populations and the fate of their extensive blooms. In addition they are important ecological and evolutionary drivers of microbial diversification. Yet, little is known about mechanisms influencing viral dispersal in aquatic systems, enabling the rapid infection and demise of vast phytoplankton blooms. In a recent study we showed that migrating zooplankton as copepods that graze on marine phytoplankton can act as transmission vectors for algal viruses. We demonstrated that these grazers can concentrate virions through topical adsorption and by ingesting infected cells and then releasing back to the medium, via detachment or defecation, high viral titers that readily infect host populations. We proposed that this zooplankton-driven process can potentially boost viral dispersal over wide oceanic scales and enhance bloom termination. Here, we highlight key results and further discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of our findings. PMID:26479489

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Advances in algal drug research with emphasis on enzyme inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Rengasamy, Kannan R R; Kulkarni, Manoj G; Stirk, Wendy A; Van Staden, Johannes

    2014-12-01

    Enzyme inhibitors are now included in all kinds of drugs essential to treat most of the human diseases including communicable, metabolic, cardiovascular, neurological diseases and cancer. Numerous marine algae have been reported to be a potential source of novel enzyme inhibitors with various pharmaceutical values. Thus, the purpose of this review is to brief the enzyme inhibitors from marine algae of therapeutic potential to treat common diseases. As per our knowledge this is the first review for the potential enzyme inhibitors from marine origin. This review contains 86 algal enzyme inhibitors reported during 1989-2013 and commercial enzyme inhibitors available in the market. Compounds in the review are grouped according to the disease conditions in which they are involved; diabetes, obesity, dementia, inflammation, melanogenesis, AIDS, hypertension and other viral diseases. The structure-activity relationship of most of the compounds are also discussed. In addition, the drug likeness properties of algal inhibitors were evaluated using Lipinski's 'Rule of Five'. PMID:25195189

  7. 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.

  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. Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms.

    PubMed

    Frada, Miguel J; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-01-01

    Viruses infecting marine phytoplankton are key biogeochemical 'engines' of the oceans, regulating the dynamics of algal populations and the fate of their extensive blooms. In addition they are important ecological and evolutionary drivers of microbial diversification. Yet, little is known about mechanisms influencing viral dispersal in aquatic systems, enabling the rapid infection and demise of vast phytoplankton blooms. In a recent study we showed that migrating zooplankton as copepods that graze on marine phytoplankton can act as transmission vectors for algal viruses. We demonstrated that these grazers can concentrate virions through topical adsorption and by ingesting infected cells and then releasing back to the medium, via detachment or defecation, high viral titers that readily infect host populations. We proposed that this zooplankton-driven process can potentially boost viral dispersal over wide oceanic scales and enhance bloom termination. Here, we highlight key results and further discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of our findings.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. An impulsively controlled pest management model with n predator species and a common prey.

    PubMed

    Georgescu, Paul; Zhang, Hong

    2012-12-01

    This paper investigates the dynamics of a competitive single-prey n-predators model of integrated pest management, which is subject to periodic and impulsive controls, from the viewpoint of finding sufficient conditions for the extinction of prey and for prey and predator permanence. The per capita death rates of prey due to predation are given in abstract, unspecified forms, which encompass large classes of death rates arising from usual predator functional responses, both prey-dependent and predator-dependent. The stability and permanence conditions are then expressed as balance conditions between the cumulative death rate of prey in a period, due to predation from all predator species and to the use of control, and to the cumulative birth rate of prey in the same amount of time. These results are then specialized for the case of prey-dependent functional responses, their biological significance being also discussed. PMID:23123675

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Algal omics: unlocking bioproduct diversity in algae cell factories.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Michael T; Pienkos, Philip T

    2015-03-01

    Rapid advances in "omic" technologies are helping to unlock the full potential of microalgae as multi-use feedstocks, with utility in an array of industrial biotechnology, biofuel, and biomedical applications. In turn, algae are emerging as highly attractive candidates for development as microbial cell factories. In this review, we examine the wide array of potential algal bioproducts, with a focus upon the role of omic technologies in driving bioproduct discovery and optimization in microalgal systems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Algal pigments in Southern Ocean abyssal foraminiferans indicate pelagobenthic coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cedhagen, Tomas; Cheah, Wee; Bracher, Astrid; Lejzerowicz, Franck

    2014-10-01

    The cytoplasm of four species of abyssal benthic foraminiferans from the Southern Ocean (around 51°S; 12°W and 50°S; 39°W) was analysed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and found to contain large concentrations of algal pigments and their degradation products. The composition of the algal pigments in the foraminiferan cytoplasm reflected the plankton community at the surface. Some foraminiferans contained high ratios of chlorophyll a/degraded pigments because they were feeding on fresher phytodetritus. Other foraminiferans contained only degraded pigments which shows that they utilized degraded phytodetritus. The concentration of algal pigment and corresponding degradation products in the foraminiferan cytoplasm is much higher than in the surrounding sediment. It shows that the foraminiferans collect a diluted and sparse food resource and concentrate it as they build up their cytoplasm. This ability contributes to the understanding of the great quantitative success of foraminiferans in the deep sea. Benthic foraminiferans are a food source for many abyssal metazoans. They form a link between the degraded food resources, phytodetritus, back to the active metazoan food chains.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Monthly Ensembles in Algal Bloom Predictions on the Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roiha, Petra; Westerlund, Antti; Stipa, Tapani

    2010-05-01

    In this work we explore the statistical features of monthly ensembles and their capability to predict biogeochemical conditions in the Baltic Sea. Operational marine environmental modelling has been considered hard, and consequently there are very few operational ecological models. Operational modelling of harmful algal blooms is harder still, since it is difficult to separate the algal species in models, and in general, very little is known of HAB properties. We present results of an ensemble approach to HAB forecasting in the Baltic, and discuss the applicability of the forecasting method to biochemical modelling. It turns out that HABs are indeed possible to forecast with useful accuracy. For modelling the algal blooms in Baltic Sea we used FMI operational 3-dimensional biogeochemical model to produce seasonal ensemble forecasts for different physical, chemical and biological variables. The modelled variables were temperature, salinity, velocity, silicate, phosphate, nitrate, diatoms, flagellates and two species of potentially toxic filamentous cyanobacteria nodularia spumigena and aphanizomenon flos-aquae. In this work we concentrate to the latter two. Ensembles were produced by running the biogeochemical model several times and forcing it on every run with different set of seasonal weather parameters from ECMWF's mathematically perturbed ensemble prediction forecasts. The ensembles were then analysed by statistical methods and the median, quartiles, minimum and maximum values were calculated for estimating the probable amounts of algae. Validation for the forecast method was made by comparing the final results against available and valid in-situ HAB data.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Prey-Induced Swimming Dynamics Changes among Predatory Algae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Speed, Michael P; Franks, Daniel W

    2014-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Willson, John D; Hopkins, William A

    2011-03-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Prey availability influences the ontogeny and timing of chemoreception-based prey shifting in the striped crayfish snake, Regina alleni.

    PubMed

    Waters, R Mark; Burghardt, Gordon M

    2013-02-01

    Striped crayfish snakes (Regina alleni) undergo a dietary shift from dragonfly larvae to crayfish during ontogeny. Godley (1980) suggested that this shift is attributable to crayfish availability rather than an initial preference for dragonfly larvae. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by measuring the chemosensory response of newborn snakes to prey odors at 2 ages and also after they were fed on either dragonfly larvae or crayfish. The results show that R. alleni respond equally to dragonfly larvae, hard crayfish, and soft crayfish before feeding experience. We also show that the maintenance of this preference over fish and control stimuli is subsequently determined by the prey type encountered, through an unusual interaction. Snakes fed dragonfly larvae increased their chemosensory response to both dragonfly larvae and crayfish, whereas snakes fed crayfish increased their response only to crayfish. Our study demonstrates that innate chemosensory responses to prey can be modified by prey availability and that they do not necessarily result from maturation alone. Such plasticity has adaptive value to newborn animals that must fend for themselves from birth and respond to changing environmental conditions.

  10. Study of the efficiency of immobilized algal technology for wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Kanherkar, S V; Late, A M; Nalawade, P M; Bhosaleanda, B J; Dhapate, S A

    2012-01-01

    The present paper deals with the study of efficiency of immobilized algal technology in wastewater treatment. The acclimatized algal species and wastewater samples were collected from three different sampling sites such as Kham River, Waluj [MIDC], Salim Ali Lake for the study. The encapsulation of collected algal species such as Spirogyra, Cyanobacteria in mixture form and Arthospira from selected sampling sites were made in sodium alginate for wastewater treatment. The percentage efficiency of immobilized algal technology for wastewater treatment was studied with respect to physico-chemical parameters. The physicochemical parameters were analyzed before and after treatment and compared for percentage efficiency study. The results obtained from present investigation reveal that the immobilized algal technology has maximum percentage efficiency in reduction of BOD, COD, Total Hardness, Total Alkalinity, Chloride. TSS, TDS and TSS. Whereas, the minimum fluctuations were found in pH and temperature. However, the immobilized algal technology is also useful to increase the dissolved oxygen concentration in wastewater treatment process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. [Roles of moisture in constructing man-made algal crust with Micocoleus vaginatus].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bing-Chang; Wang, Jing-Zhu; Zhang, Yuan-Ming; Shao, Hua

    2013-02-01

    To explore the roles of moisture in the construction of man-made algal crust with inoculated Micocoleus vaginatus, a laboratory experiment was conducted to study the variations of the microalgal biomass, algal crust thickness, crust compressive strength, and crust microstructure under six moisture doses and four moisture treatment intervals. When M. vaginatus was inoculated to the naked sands without moisture addition, the microalgal biomass was very low, and no algal crust was formed. With increasing dose of moisture, the microalgal biomass, algal crust thickness, and crust compressive strength increased significantly, and the algal filaments and extracellulhr polysaccharides (EPS) had a gradual increase, wrapped around the sands and formed a complex network. After 15 days moisture treatment, stable algal crust was formed, which had the highest microalgal biomass, crust thickness, and crust compressive strength. The optimal moisture dose for M. vaginatus to form man-made algal crust was 3-4 L.m-2.d-1, and the addition of moisture should be continued for 15 d. The availability of the moisture promoted the metabolic processes of M. vaginatus and the synthesis of the algal EPS, which increased the microalgal biomass and its ability to resist desiccation. The moisture availability at early stage was the key factor for M. vaginatus to successfully form algal crust. This study could offer some guidance for the recovery of biological soil crusts in the field.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Prey Preferences of the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia): Regional Diet Specificity Holds Global Significance for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    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 km2 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Dolphin underwater bait-balling behaviors in relation to group and prey ball sizes.

    PubMed

    Vaughn-Hirshorn, Robin L; Muzi, Elisa; Richardson, Jessica L; Fox, Gabriella J; Hansen, Lauren N; Salley, Alyce M; Dudzinski, Kathleen M; Würsig, Bernd

    2013-09-01

    We characterized dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) feeding behaviors recorded on underwater video, and related behaviors to variation in prey ball sizes, dolphin group sizes, and study site (Argentina versus New Zealand, NZ). Herding behaviors most often involved dolphins swimming around the side or under prey balls, but dolphins in Argentina more often swam under prey balls (48% of passes) than did dolphins in NZ (34% of passes). This result may have been due to differences in group sizes between sites, since groups are larger in Argentina. Additionally, in NZ, group size was positively correlated with proportion of passes that occurred under prey balls (p<0.001). Prey-capture attempts most often involved capturing fish from the side of prey balls, but dolphins in Argentina more often swam through prey balls (8% of attempts) than did dolphins in NZ (4% of attempts). This result may have been due to differences in prey ball sizes between sites, since dolphins fed on larger prey balls in Argentina (>74m(2)) than in NZ (maximum 33m(2)). Additionally, in NZ, dolphins were more likely to swim through prey balls to capture fish when they fed on larger prey balls (p=0.025).

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munari, Cristina; Mistri, Michele

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Comparison of Methods to Determine Algal Concentrations in Freshwater Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgian, S. E.; Halfman, J. D.

    2008-12-01

    Algal populations are extremely important to the ecological health of freshwater lake systems. As lakes become eutrophic (highly productive) through nutrient loading, sediment accumulation rates increase, bottom waters become anoxic in the mid-to late summer, the opacity of the water column decreases, and significantly decreases the lake's potential as a drinking water source and places respiratory stress on aquatic animals. One indicator of eutrophication is increasing algal concentrations over annual time frames. Algal concentrations can be measured by the concentration of chlorophyll a, or less directly by fluorescence, secchi disk depth, and turbidity by backscattering and total suspended solids. Here, we present a comparison of these methods using data collected on Honeoye, Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles, and Otisco, the largest Finger Lakes of western and central New York State during the 2008 field season. A total of 124 samples were collected from at least two mid-lake, deep-water sites in each lake monthly through the 2008 field season (May-Oct); Seneca Lake was sampled weekly at four sites and Cayuga Lake every two weeks at six sites. Secchi depths, CTD profiles and surface water samples were collected at each site. Chlorophyll a was measured by spectrophotometer in the lab after filtration at 0.45 um and digestion of the residue in acetone. Water samples were also filtered through pre-weighed glass-fiber filters for total suspended solids concentrations. A SBE-25 SeaLogger CTD collected profiles of turbidity and fluorescence with WetLabs ECO FL-NTU. Surface CTD values were used in the comparison. The strongest linear correlations were detected between chlorophyll-a and fluorescence (r2 = 0.65), and total suspended solids and turbidity (r2 = 0.63). Weaker correlations were detected between secchi depths and chlorophyll-a (r2 = 0.42), and secchi depths and turbidity (r2 = 0.46). The weakest correlations were detected between secchi

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Algal 'greening' and the conservation of stone heritage structures.

    PubMed

    Cutler, Nick A; Viles, Heather A; Ahmad, Samin; McCabe, Stephen; Smith, Bernard J

    2013-01-01

    In humid, temperate climates, green algae can make a significant contribution to the deterioration of building stone, both through unsightly staining ('greening') and, possibly, physical and chemical transformations. However, very little is known about the factors that influence the deteriorative impact and spatial distribution of green algal biofilms, hindering attempts to model the influence of climate change on building conservation. To address this problem, we surveyed four sandstone heritage structures in Belfast, UK. Our research had two aims: 1) to investigate the relationships between greening and the deterioration of stone structures and 2) to assess the impacts of environmental factors on the distribution of green biofilms. We applied an array of analytical techniques to measure stone properties indicative of deterioration status (hardness, colour and permeability) and environmental conditions related to algal growth (surface and sub-surface moisture, temperature and surface texture). Our results indicated that stone hardness was highly variable but only weakly related to levels of greening. Stone that had been exposed for many years was, on average, darker and greener than new stone of the same type, but there was no correlation between greening and darkening. Stone permeability was higher on 'old', weathered stone but not consistently related to the incidence of greening. However, there was evidence to suggest that thick algal biofilms were capable of reducing the ingress of moisture. Greening was negatively correlated with point measurements of surface temperature, but not moisture or surface texture. Our findings suggested that greening had little impact on the physical integrity of stone; indeed the influence of algae on moisture regimes in stone may have a broadly bioprotective action. Furthermore, the relationship between moisture levels and greening is not straightforward and is likely to be heavily dependent upon temporal patterns in moisture

  15. 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

  16. Dynamics of ellipsoidal tracers in swimming algal suspensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ou; Peng, Yi; Liu, Zhengyang; Tang, Chao; Xu, Xinliang; Cheng, Xiang

    2016-10-01

    Enhanced diffusion of passive tracers immersed in active fluids is a universal feature of active fluids and has been extensively studied in recent years. Similar to microrheology for equilibrium complex fluids, the unusual enhanced particle dynamics reveal intrinsic properties of active fluids. Nevertheless, previous studies have shown that the translational dynamics of spherical tracers are qualitatively similar, independent of whether active particles are pushers or pullers—the two fundamental classes of active fluids. Is it possible to distinguish pushers from pullers by simply imaging the dynamics of passive tracers? Here, we investigated the diffusion of isolated ellipsoids in algal C. reinhardtii suspensions—a model for puller-type active fluids. In combination with our previous results on pusher-type E. coli suspensions [Peng et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 068303 (2016), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.068303], we showed that the dynamics of asymmetric tracers show a profound difference in pushers and pullers due to their rotational degree of freedom. Although the laboratory-frame translation and rotation of ellipsoids are enhanced in both pushers and pullers, similar to spherical tracers, the anisotropic diffusion in the body frame of ellipsoids shows opposite trends in the two classes of active fluids. An ellipsoid diffuses fastest along its major axis when immersed in pullers, whereas it diffuses slowest along the major axis in pushers. This striking difference can be qualitatively explained using a simple hydrodynamic model. In addition, our study on algal suspensions reveals that the influence of the near-field advection of algal swimming flows on the translation and rotation of ellipsoids shows different ranges and strengths. Our work provides not only new insights into universal organizing principles of active fluids, but also a convenient tool for detecting the class of active particles.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Quasicycles in a spatial predator-prey model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lugo, Carlos A.; McKane, Alan J.

    2008-11-01

    We use spatial models of simple predator-prey interactions to predict that predator and prey numbers oscillate in time and space. These oscillations are not seen in the deterministic versions of the models, but are due to stochastic fluctuations about the time-independent solutions of the deterministic equations which are amplified due to the existence of a resonance. We calculate the power spectra of the fluctuations analytically and show that they agree well with results obtained from stochastic simulations. This work extends the analysis of these quasicycles from that previously developed for well-mixed systems to spatial systems, and shows that the ideas and methods used for nonspatial models naturally generalize to the spatial case.

  20. Environmental versus demographic variability in stochastic predator-prey models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobramysl, U.; Täuber, U. C.

    2013-10-01

    In contrast to the neutral population cycles of the deterministic mean-field Lotka-Volterra rate equations, including spatial structure and stochastic noise in models for predator-prey interactions yields complex spatio-temporal structures associated with long-lived erratic population oscillations. Environmental variability in the form of quenched spatial randomness in the predation rates results in more localized activity patches. Our previous study showed that population fluctuations in rare favorable regions in turn cause a remarkable increase in the asymptotic densities of both predators and prey. Very intriguing features are found when variable interaction rates are affixed to individual particles rather than lattice sites. Stochastic dynamics with demographic variability in conjunction with inheritable predation efficiencies generate non-trivial time evolution for the predation rate distributions, yet with overall essentially neutral optimization.

  1. 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. Fluoride in the prey of barn owls (Tyto alba).

    PubMed

    Thomson, A G

    1987-01-01

    Bone fluoride in short-tailed voles (Microtus agrestis) and common shrews (Sorex araneus), the prey of barn owls (Tyto alba), was studied on Anglesey, North Wales. The average fluoride content of M. agrestis skulls obtained from a location 0.9 km from an aluminium reduction plant was significantly greater than that of skulls from another location 22 km from the source of industrial fluoride pollution. At both locations, mean fluoride levels of skulls extracted from owl pellets and those of voles trapped mechanically were broadly similar but important differences existed. Near the aluminium reduction plant, owls caught voles and shrews with a much wider range of fluoride levels than occurred at a single trapping site. However, there was no evidence for selection of heavily fluoridated prey. Within 1 km of the aluminium reduction plant, six trapping sites yielded S. araneus with a fourfold difference between the highest and lowest mean bone fluoride level. PMID:15092770

  3. Book review: Birds of Prey: Health & Disease, Third Edition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsen, Glenn H.

    2009-01-01

    Even though this book is billed as the third edition it is, in the words of Patrick T. Redig, author of its Foreword, ‘‘a seriously reinvented book.’’ Originally published in 1978 under the title of Veterinary Aspects of Captive Birds of Prey, this new edition, with its new title, could stand alone and not have been tagged with the ‘‘third edition.’’ Much has changed in the world of avian medicine in the 30 yr since the publishing of the original tome, and this new volume brings the latest information on raptor medicine to the reader.Review info: Birds of Prey: Health & Disease, Third Edition. Edited by John E. Cooper. Blackwell Sciences, Ltd., Oxford, UK. 2002. 345 pp. ISBN 978-0-63205-115-1.

  4. Response of predators to loss and fragmentation of prey habitat: a review of theory.

    PubMed

    Ryall, Krista L; Fahrig, Lenore

    2006-05-01

    Despite extensive empirical research and previous reviews, no clear patterns regarding the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on predator-prey interactions have emerged. We suggest that this is because empirical researchers do not design their studies to test specific hypotheses arising from the theoretical literature. In fact, theoretical work is almost completely ignored by empirical researchers, perhaps because it may be inaccessible to them. The purpose of this paper is to review theoretical work on the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on predator-prey interactions. We provide a summary of clear, testable theoretical predictions for empirical researchers. To test one or more of these predictions, an empiricist will need certain information on the predator and prey species of interest. This includes: (1) whether the predator is a specialist on one prey species or feeds on many kinds of prey (omnivore and generalist); (2) whether the predator is restricted to the same habitat type as the focal prey (specialist), can use a variety of habitats but has higher survival in the prey habitat (omnivore), or lives primarily outside of the focal prey's habitat (generalist); (3) whether prey-only patches have lower prey extinction rates than predator-prey patches; and (4) whether the prey emigrate at higher rates from predator-prey patches than from prey-only patches. Empiricists also need to be clear on whether they are testing a prediction about habitat loss or habitat fragmentation and need to conduct empirical studies at spatial scales appropriate for testing the theoretical prediction(s). We suggest that appropriate use of the theoretical predictions in future empirical research will resolve the apparent inconsistencies in the empirical literature on this topic.

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

    PubMed Central

    Geraldi, Nathan R.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Algal fossils from a late precambrian, hypersaline lagoon.

    PubMed

    Oehler, D Z; Oehler, J H; Stewart, A J

    1979-07-27

    Organically preserved algal microfossils from the Ringwood evaporite deposit in the Gillen Member of the Bitter Springs Formation (late Precambrian of central Australia) are of small size, low diversity, and probable prokaryotic affinities. These rather primitive characteristics appear to reflect the stressful conditions that prevailed in a periodically stagnant, hypersaline lagoon. This assemblage (especially in comparison with the much more diverse assemblages preserved in the Loves Creek Member of the same formation) illustrates the potential utility of Proterozoic microbiotas for basin analysis and local stratigraphic correlation and demonstrates the need to base evolutionary considerations and Precambrian intercontinental biostratigraphy on biotas that inhabited less restricted environments.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Flagellar waveform dynamics of freely swimming algal cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurtuldu, H.; Tam, D.; Hosoi, A. E.; Johnson, K. A.; Gollub, J. P.

    2013-07-01

    We present quantitative measurements of time-dependent flagellar waveforms for freely swimming biflagellated algal cells, for both synchronous and asynchronous beating. We use the waveforms in conjunction with resistive force theory as well as a singularity method to predict a cell's time-dependent velocity for comparison with experiments. While net propulsion is thought to arise from asymmetry between the power and recovery strokes, we show that hydrodynamic interactions between the flagella and cell body on the return stroke make an important contribution to enhance net forward motion.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Possible importance of algal toxins in the Salton Sea, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reifel, K.M.; McCoy, M.P.; Rocke, T.E.; Tiffany, M.A.; Hurlbert, S.H.; Faulkner, D.J.

    2002-01-01

    In response to wildlife mortality including unexplained eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) die-off events in 1992 and 1994 and other mortality events including large fish kills, a survey was conducted for the presence of algal toxins in the Salton Sea. Goals of this survey were to determine if and when algal toxins are present in the Salton Sea and to describe the phytoplankton composition during those times. A total of 29 samples was collected for toxicity analysis from both nearshore and midlake sites visited biweekly from January to December 1999. Dinoflagellates and diatoms dominated most samples, but some were dominated by a prymnesiophyte (Pleurochrysis pseudoroscoffensis) or a raphidophyte (Chattonella marina). Several types of blooms were observed and sampled. The dinoflagellate Gyrodinium uncatenum formed an extensive, dense (up to 310 000 cells ml-1) and long-lasting bloom during the winter in 1999. A coccolithophorid, Pleurochrysis pseudoroscoffensis, occurred at high densities in surface films and nearshore areas during the spring and summer of 1999. These surface films also contained high densities of one or two other species (an unidentified scrippsielloid, Heterocapsa niei, Chattonella marina). Localized blooms were also observed in the Salton Sea. An unknown small dinoflagellate reached high densities (110 000 cells ml-1) inside Varner Harbor, and an unidentified species of Gymnodinium formed a dense (270 000 cells ml-1) band along part of the southern shoreline during the summer. Three species known to produce toxins in other systems were found. Protoceratium reticulatum (=Gonyaulax grindleyi) and Chattonella marina were found in several samples taken during summer months, and Prorocentrum minimum was found in low densities in several samples. Extracts of most samples, including those containing known toxic species, showed a low level (<10% mortality across all concentrations) of activity in the brine shrimp lethality assay and were not considered

  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. 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

  15. Status of pelagic prey fishes in Lake Michigan, 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Warner, David M.; Farha, Steven A.; O'Brien, Timothy P.; Ogilvie, Lynn; Claramunt, Randall M.; Hanson, Dale

    2014-01-01

    Acoustic surveys were conducted in late summer/early fall during the years 1992-1996 and 2001-2013 to estimate pelagic prey fish biomass in Lake Michigan. Midwater trawling during the surveys as well as target strength provided a measure of species and size composition of the fish community for use in scaling acoustic data and providing species-specific abundance estimates. The 2013 survey consisted of 27 acoustic transects (546 km total) and 31 midwater trawl tows. Mean prey fish biomass was 6.1 kg/ha (relative standard error, RSE = 11%) or 29.6 kilotonnes (kt = 1,000 metric tons), which was similar to the estimate in 2012 (31.1 kt) and 23.5% of the long-term (18 years) mean. The numeric density of the 2013 alewife year class was 6% of the time series average and this year-class contributed 4% of total alewife biomass (5.2 kg/ha, RSE = 12%). Alewife ≥age-1 comprised 96% of alewife biomass. In 2013, alewife comprised 86% of total prey fish biomass, while rainbow smelt and bloater were 4 and 10% of total biomass, respectively. Rainbow smelt biomass in 2013 (0.24 kg/ha, RSE = 17%) was essentially identical to the rainbow smelt biomass in 2012 and was 6% of the long term mean. Bloater biomass in 2013 was 0.6 kg/ha, only half the 2012 biomass, and 6% of the long term mean. Mean density of small bloater in 2013 (29 fish/ha, RSE = 29%) was lower than peak values observed in 2007-2009 and was 23% of the time series mean. In 2013, pelagic prey fish biomass in Lake Michigan was similar to Lake Huron, but pelagic community composition differs in the two lakes, with Lake Huron dominated by bloater.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer.

    PubMed

    Krumm, Caroline E; Conner, Mary M; Hobbs, N Thompson; Hunter, Don O; Miller, Michael W

    2010-04-23

    The possibility that predators choose prey selectively based on age or condition has been suggested but rarely tested. We examined whether mountain lions (Puma concolor) selectively prey upon mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) infected with chronic wasting disease, a prion disease. We located kill sites of mountain lions in the northern Front Range of Colorado, USA, and compared disease prevalence among lion-killed adult (> or =2 years old) deer with prevalence among sympatric deer taken by hunters in the vicinity of kill sites. Hunter-killed female deer were less likely to be infected than males (odds ratios (OR) = 0.2, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 0.1-0.6; p = 0.015). However, both female (OR = 8.5, 95% CI = 2.3-30.9) and male deer (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1-10) killed by a mountain lion were more likely to be infected than same-sex deer killed in the vicinity by a hunter (p < 0.001), suggesting that mountain lions in this area actively selected prion-infected individuals when targeting adult mule deer as prey items. PMID:19864271

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer.

    PubMed

    Krumm, Caroline E; Conner, Mary M; Hobbs, N Thompson; Hunter, Don O; Miller, Michael W

    2010-04-23

    The possibility that predators choose prey selectively based on age or condition has been suggested but rarely tested. We examined whether mountain lions (Puma concolor) selectively prey upon mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) infected with chronic wasting disease, a prion disease. We located kill sites of mountain lions in the northern Front Range of Colorado, USA, and compared disease prevalence among lion-killed adult (> or =2 years old) deer with prevalence among sympatric deer taken by hunters in the vicinity of kill sites. Hunter-killed female deer were less likely to be infected than males (odds ratios (OR) = 0.2, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 0.1-0.6; p = 0.015). However, both female (OR = 8.5, 95% CI = 2.3-30.9) and male deer (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1-10) killed by a mountain lion were more likely to be infected than same-sex deer killed in the vicinity by a hunter (p < 0.001), suggesting that mountain lions in this area actively selected prion-infected individuals when targeting adult mule deer as prey items.

  9. Changes in water chemistry can disable plankton prey defenses.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-18

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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 da