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Sample records for invasive predator rats

  1. Dietary shift of an invasive predator: rats, seabirds and sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Caut, Stéphane; Angulo, Elena; Courchamp, Franck

    2008-01-01

    Rats have reached about 80% of the world's islands and are among the most successful invasive mammals. Rats are opportunistic predators that are notorious for their impact on a variety of animal and plant species. However, little documented evidence on the complexities of these interactions is available.In our study, we assessed the impact of black rats Rattus rattus introduced on a small uninhabited island with a relatively simple ecosystem, Surprise Island, New Caledonia. We also compared the diet of R. rattus in the presence and absence of breeding seabirds, assessing the dietary compensation for this potentially important food source. From 2002 to 2005, we used live trapping studies combined with stable isotope analysis and conventional diet analyses (direct observations, gut and faecal contents) to characterize the diet of rats.Our results suggest a heavy predatory impact on seabirds, which could constitute as much as 24% of the rat diet. Moreover, in the absence of birds, rats compensated marginally by preying more heavily on other components of their diet but mostly acquired a new resource. They shifted their diet by preying heavily upon another endangered species, the hatchlings of sea turtles Chelonia mydas, which could constitute the main resource in the diet of R. rattus in those periods. Abundance, body condition and distribution of the rats were consistent with heavy predation upon this additional resource.Synthesis and applications. In island ecosystems invasive rats prey mainly upon seabird eggs and chicks, thereby threatening their populations. Although rats are certainly capable of surviving on terrestrial foods outside the seabird nesting season, their ability to prey upon ephemeral but abundant resources, such as hatchling sea turtles, may contribute to maintaining their populations. This may explain their success on Surprise Island, an ecosystem of extreme conditions, and suggests that biologists and managers working with threatened species

  2. Discriminating the drivers of edge effects on nest predation: forest edges reduce capture rates of ship rats (Rattus rattus), a globally invasive nest predator, by altering vegetation structure.

    PubMed

    Ruffell, Jay; Didham, Raphael K; Barrett, Paul; Gorman, Nic; Pike, Rhonda; Hickey-Elliott, Andrée; Sievwright, Karin; Armstrong, Doug P

    2014-01-01

    Forest edges can strongly affect avian nest success by altering nest predation rates, but this relationship is inconsistent and context dependent. There is a need for researchers to improve the predictability of edge effects on nest predation rates by examining the mechanisms driving their occurrence and variability. In this study, we examined how the capture rates of ship rats, an invasive nest predator responsible for avian declines globally, varied with distance from the forest edge within forest fragments in a pastoral landscape in New Zealand. We hypothesised that forest edges would affect capture rates by altering vegetation structure within fragments, and that the strength of edge effects would depend on whether fragments were grazed by livestock. We measured vegetation structure and rat capture rates at 488 locations ranging from 0-212 m from the forest edge in 15 forest fragments, seven of which were grazed. Contrary to the vast majority of previous studies of edge effects on nest predation, ship rat capture rates increased with increasing distance from the forest edge. For grazed fragments, capture rates were estimated to be 78% lower at the forest edge than 118 m into the forest interior (the farthest distance for grazed fragments). This relationship was similar for ungrazed fragments, with capture rates estimated to be 51% lower at the forest edge than 118 m into the forest interior. A subsequent path analysis suggested that these 'reverse' edge effects were largely or entirely mediated by changes in vegetation structure, implying that edge effects on ship rats can be predicted from the response of vegetation structure to forest edges. We suggest the occurrence, strength, and direction of edge effects on nest predation rates may depend on edge-driven changes in local habitat when the dominant predator is primarily restricted to forest patches.

  3. Invasive Predators Deplete Genetic Diversity of Island Lizards

    PubMed Central

    Gasc, Amandine; Duryea, M. C.; Cox, Robert M.; Kern, Andrew; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species can dramatically impact natural populations, especially those living on islands. Though numerous examples illustrate the ecological impact of invasive predators, no study has examined the genetic consequences for native populations subject to invasion. Here we capitalize on a natural experiment in which a long-term study of the brown anole lizard (Anolis sagrei) was interrupted by rat invasion. An island population that was devastated by rats recovered numerically following rat extermination. However, population genetic analyses at six microsatellite loci suggested a possible loss of genetic diversity due to invasion when compared to an uninvaded island studied over the same time frame. Our results provide partial support for the hypothesis that invasive predators can impact the genetic diversity of resident island populations. PMID:20706576

  4. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss

    PubMed Central

    Glen, Alistair S.; Nimmo, Dale G.; Ritchie, Euan G.; Dickman, Chris R.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile species extinctions—58% of these groups’ contemporary extinctions worldwide. These figures are likely underestimated because 23 critically endangered species that we assessed are classed as “possibly extinct.” Invasive mammalian predators endanger a further 596 species at risk of extinction, with cats, rodents, dogs, and pigs threatening the most species overall. Species most at risk from predators have high evolutionary distinctiveness and inhabit insular environments. Invasive mammalian predators are therefore important drivers of irreversible loss of phylogenetic diversity worldwide. That most impacted species are insular indicates that management of invasive predators on islands should be a global conservation priority. Understanding and mitigating the impact of invasive mammalian predators is essential for reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss. PMID:27638204

  5. Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states.

    PubMed

    Wallach, Arian D; Johnson, Christopher N; Ritchie, Euan G; O'Neill, Adam J

    2010-08-01

    Invasive species are regarded as one of the top five drivers of the global extinction crisis. In response, extreme measures have been applied in an attempt to control or eradicate invasives, with little success overall. We tested the idea that state shifts to invasive dominance are symptomatic of losses in ecosystem resilience, due to the suppression of apex predators. This concept was investigated in Australia where the high rate of mammalian extinctions is largely attributed to the destructive influence of invasive species. Intensive pest control is widely applied across the continent, simultaneously eliminating Australia's apex predator, the dingo (Canis lupus dingo). We show that predator management accounts for shifts between two main ecosystem states. Lethal control fractures dingo social structure and leads to bottom-up driven increases in invasive mesopredators and herbivores. Where control is relaxed, dingoes re-establish top-down regulation of ecosystems, allowing for the recovery of biodiversity and productivity.

  6. Inhibition between invasives: a newly introduced predator moderates the impacts of a previously established invasive predator.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Guy, Travis; Buck, Julia C

    2008-01-01

    1. With continued globalization, species are being transported and introduced into novel habitats at an accelerating rate. Interactions between invasive species may provide important mechanisms that moderate their impacts on native species. 2. The European green crab Carcinus maenas is an aggressive predator that was introduced to the east coast of North America in the mid-1800 s and is capable of rapid consumption of bivalve prey. A newer invasive predator, the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus, was first discovered on the Atlantic coast in the 1980s, and now inhabits many of the same regions as C. maenas within the Gulf of Maine. Using a series of field and laboratory investigations, we examined the consequences of interactions between these predators. 3. Density patterns of these two species at different spatial scales are consistent with negative interactions. As a result of these interactions, C. maenas alters its diet to consume fewer mussels, its preferred prey, in the presence of H. sanguineus. Decreased mussel consumption in turn leads to lower growth rates for C. maenas, with potential detrimental effects on C. maenas populations. 4. Rather than an invasional meltdown, this study demonstrates that, within the Gulf of Maine, this new invasive predator can moderate the impacts of the older invasive predator.

  7. Invasive plants may promote predator-mediated feedback that inhibits further invasion

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lauren M; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the impacts of invasive species requires placing invasion within a full community context. Plant invaders are often considered in the context of herbivores that may drive invasion by avoiding invaders while consuming natives (enemy escape), or inhibit invasion by consuming invaders (biotic resistance). However, predators that attack those herbivores are rarely considered as major players in invasion. Invasive plants often promote predators, generally by providing improved habitat. Here, we show that predator-promoting invaders may initiate a negative feedback loop that inhibits invasion. By enabling top-down control of herbivores, predator-promoting invaders lose any advantage gained through enemy escape, indirectly favoring natives. In cases where palatable invaders encounter biotic resistance, predator promotion may allow an invader to persist, but not dominate. Overall, results indicate that placing invaders in a full community context may reveal reduced impacts of invaders compared to expectations based on simple plant–plant or plant–herbivore subsystems. PMID:26120430

  8. Predation by native brown shrimp on invasive Pacific oyster spat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weerman, E. J.; Eriksson, B. K.; Olff, H.; van der Heide, T.

    2014-01-01

    In the last decades, the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) increased dramatically in the Wadden Sea. One of the driving mechanisms for the success of the Pacific oyster could be a relatively low predation pressure by epibenthic predators and shore birds on oyster spat. Nevertheless, observations and experiments on predation rates on early life-stages of the Pacific oyster are rare. Therefore, we examined predation rates of brown shrimps on Pacific oyster spat in a number of laboratory experiments. Our results demonstrate that spat of Pacific oysters are most susceptible to predation by brown shrimps (Crangon crangon) in the first days after settlement, when attachment to the substrate (unglazed tiles in our study) is still absent or weak. At this stage the shell length of oyster spat is around ~ 300 μm, and around 50% of the individuals in the experiment were consumed in the two hour trials. Predation rates decreased rapidly as the spat grew larger and reached zero within 10 days after settlement of the spat (shell length > 700 μm). Additional experiments revealed that the attachment of oysters is probably limiting predation by brown shrimps rather than the size of the spat. This indicates that Pacific oyster spat may limit predation loss faster compared to native bivalves, which commonly depend on size to reduce predation rates. Overall, our results suggest that the invasive success of Pacific oysters may in part be explained by relatively low predation rates throughout their life stages.

  9. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting

    PubMed Central

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management. PMID:24197409

  10. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting.

    PubMed

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-12-22

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management.

  11. Invasive toads shift predator-prey densities in animal communities by removing top predators.

    PubMed

    Doody, J Sean; Soanes, Rebekah; Castellano, Christina M; Rhind, David; Green, Brian; McHenry, Colin R; Clulow, Simon

    2015-09-01

    Although invasive species can have substantial impacts on animal communities, cases of invasive species facilitating native species by removing their predators have rarely been demonstrated across vertebrate trophic linkages. The predictable spread of the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina), however, offered a unique opportunity to quantify cascading effects. In northern Australia, three species of predatory monitor lizards suffered severe population declines due to toad-induced lethal toxic ingestion (yellow-spotted monitor (Varanus panoptes), Mertens' water monitor (V. mertensi), Mitchell's water monitor (V. mitchelli). We, thus, predicted subsequent increases in the abundance and recruitment of prey species due to the reduction of those predators. Toad-induced population-level declines in the water monitor species approached 50% over a five-year period spanning the toad invasion, apparently causing fledging success of the Crimson Finch (Neochmia.phaeton) to increase from 55% to 81%. The consensus of our original and published long-term data is that invasive cane toads are causing predators to lose a foothold on top-down regulation of their prey, triggering shifts in the relative densities of predator and prey in the Australian tropical savannah ecosystem.

  12. Parasite-mediated predation between native and invasive amphipods.

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T A; Hatcher, Melanie J; Terry, Rebecca S; Smith, Judith E; Dunn, Alison M

    2003-01-01

    Parasites can structure biological communities directly through population regulation and indirectly by processes such as apparent competition. However, the role of parasites in the process of biological invasion is less well understood and mechanisms of parasite mediation of predation among hosts are unclear. Mutual predation between native and invading species is an important factor in determining the outcome of invasions in freshwater amphipod communities. Here, we show that parasites mediate mutual intraguild predation among native and invading species and may thereby facilitate the invasion process. We find that the native amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus is host to a microsporidian parasite, Pleistophora sp. (new species), with a frequency of infection of 0-90%. However, the parasite does not infect three invading species, G. tigrinus, G. pulex and Crangonyx pseudogracilis. In field and laboratory manipulations, we show that the parasite exhibits cryptic virulence: the parasite does not affect host fitness in single-species populations, but virulence becomes apparent when the native and invading species interact. That is, infection has no direct effect on G. d. celticus survivorship, size or fecundity; however, in mixed-species experiments, parasitized natives show a reduced capacity to prey on the smaller invading species and are more likely to be preyed upon by the largest invading species. Thus, by altering dominance relationships and hierarchies of mutual predation, parasitism strongly influences, and has the potential to change, the outcome of biological invasions. PMID:12816645

  13. Anomalous invasion in a 2d model of chemotactic predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willemsen, Jorge F.

    2010-09-01

    It has been hypothesized that plankton predators sense the presence of their prey through detection of chemical signals exuded by the prey. This process is formulated using elements of existing models, tailored to correspond to the specific process under investigation. The motivation for the resulting model is discussed in detail. Numerical results are then presented. It is found that the front representing the advance of the predator into the prey is irregular in a novel way, and the reasons for this anomalous invasion are discussed. It is recognized that reaction-diffusion models, starting perhaps with Turing, can lead to what might have been thought of as anomalous patterns - yet the “flicker” front advance discovered here is indeed novel.

  14. Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals.

    PubMed

    Ruscoe, Wendy A; Ramsey, David S L; Pech, Roger P; Sweetapple, Peter J; Yockney, Ivor; Barron, Mandy C; Perry, Mike; Nugent, Graham; Carran, Roger; Warne, Rodney; Brausch, Chris; Duncan, Richard P

    2011-10-01

    Invasive species are frequently the target of eradication or control programmes to mitigate their impacts. However, manipulating single species in isolation can lead to unexpected consequences for other species, with outcomes such as mesopredator release demonstrated both theoretically and empirically in vertebrate assemblages with at least two trophic levels. Less is known about the consequences of species removal in more complex assemblages where a greater number of interacting invaders increases the potential for selective species removal to result in unexpected changes in community structure. Using a replicated Before-After Control-Impact field experiment with a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals we show that species interactions in the community are dominated by competition rather than predation. There was no measurable response of two mesopredators (rats and mice) following control of the top predator (stoats), but there was competitive release of rats following removal of a herbivore (possums), and competitive release of mice following removal of rats.

  15. Fortune favours the bold: a higher predator reduces the impact of a native but not an invasive intermediate predator.

    PubMed

    Barrios-O'Neill, Daniel; Dick, Jaimie T A; Emmerson, Mark C; Ricciardi, Anthony; MacIsaac, Hugh J; Alexander, Mhairi E; Bovy, Helene C

    2014-05-01

    Emergent multiple predator effects (MPEs) might radically alter predictions of predatory impact that are based solely on the impact of individuals. In the context of biological invasions, determining if and how the individual-level impacts of invasive predators relates to their impacts in multiple-individual situations will inform understanding of how such impacts might propagate through recipient communities. Here, we use functional responses (the relationship between prey consumption rate and prey density) to compare the impacts of the invasive freshwater mysid crustacean Hemimysis anomala with a native counterpart Mysis salemaai when feeding on basal cladoceran prey (i) as individuals, (ii) in conspecific groups and (iii) in conspecific groups in the presence of a higher fish predator, Gasterosteus aculeatus. In the absence of the higher predator, the invader consumed significantly more basal prey than the native, and consumption was additive for both mysid species - that is, group consumption was predictable from individual-level consumption. Invaders and natives were themselves equally susceptible to predation when feeding with the higher fish predator, but an MPE occurred only between the natives and higher predator, where consumption of basal prey was significantly reduced. In contrast, consumption by the invaders and higher predator remained additive. The presence of a higher predator serves to exacerbate the existing difference in individual-level consumption between invasive and native mysids. We attribute the mechanism responsible for the MPE associated with the native to a trait-mediated indirect interaction, and further suggest that the relative indifference to predator threat on the part of the invader contributes to its success and impacts within invaded communities.

  16. Intraguild predation and successful invasion by introduced ladybird beetles.

    PubMed

    Snyder, William E; Clevenger, Garrett M; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2004-08-01

    Introductions of two ladybird beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) species, Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis, into North America for aphid biocontrol have been followed by declines in native species. We examined intraguild predation (IGP) between larvae of these two exotic species and larvae of the two most abundant native coccinellids in eastern Washington State, C. transversoguttata and Hippodamia convergens. In pairings between the two native species in laboratory microcosms containing pea ( Pisum sativum) plants, neither native had a clear advantage over the other in IGP. When the natives were paired with either Harmonia axyridis or C. septempunctata, the natives were more frequently the victims than perpetrators of IGP. In contrast, in pairings between the exotic species, neither had an IGP advantage, although overall rates of IGP between these two species were very high. Adding alternative prey (aphids) to microcosms did not alter the frequency and patterns of relative IGP among the coccinellid species. In observations of encounters between larvae, the introduced H. axyridis frequently survived multiple encounters with the native C. transversoguttata, whereas the native rarely survived a single encounter with H. axyridis. Our results suggest that larvae of the native species face increased IGP following invasion by C. septempunctata and H. axyridis, which may be contributing to the speed with which these exotic ladybird beetles displace the natives following invasion.

  17. Finely tuned response of native prey to an invasive predator in a freshwater system.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E; Pangle, Kevin L; Reed, Emily M; Peacor, Scott D

    2013-07-01

    Lack of shared evolutionary history reduces the expectation that native prey will detect and respond to invasive predators. Four mechanisms may explain the adaptive response that is nevertheless seen in various systems: prey may perceive the invasive predator through cue similarity with preexisting predators, cues of conspecifics eaten by the invasive predator, a learned response based on experience with the invasive predator (e.g., cue association), and cues from the invasive predator that are specific to it. We performed laboratory experiments in which zooplankton (Daphnia mendotae) responded adaptively to the zooplanktivore Bythotrephes longimanus (migrating downward), showed no response to taxonomically similar predatory cladocerans, and responded adaptively to more taxonomically distant native fish (migrating downward) and native shrimp (migrating upward). Conspecific cues associated with Bythotrephes predation actually reduced the response of D. mendotae to Bythotrephes. Combined with previous experiments that rule out learning, our experiments rule out the first three mechanisms above, demonstrating that D. mendotae respond to cues specific to and produced directly by Bythotrephes. This finely tuned response may be retained from an ancestral species that coevolved with Bythotrephes in its native range, or may have rapidly evolved due to strong selection by the invasive predator.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Ocean acidification increases the vulnerability of native oysters to predation by invasive snails.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian; Hettinger, Annaliese; Lenz, Elizabeth A; Meyer, Kirstin; Hill, Tessa M

    2014-03-07

    There is growing concern that global environmental change might exacerbate the ecological impacts of invasive species by increasing their per capita effects on native species. However, the mechanisms underlying such shifts in interaction strength are poorly understood. Here, we test whether ocean acidification, driven by elevated seawater pCO₂, increases the susceptibility of native Olympia oysters to predation by invasive snails. Oysters raised under elevated pCO₂ experienced a 20% increase in drilling predation. When presented alongside control oysters in a choice experiment, 48% more high-CO₂ oysters were consumed. The invasive snails were tolerant of elevated CO₂ with no change in feeding behaviour. Oysters raised under acidified conditions did not have thinner shells, but were 29-40% smaller than control oysters, and these smaller individuals were consumed at disproportionately greater rates. Reduction in prey size is a common response to environmental stress that may drive increasing per capita effects of stress-tolerant invasive predators.

  20. Stronger biotic resistance in tropics relative to temperate zone: effects of predation on marine invasion dynamics.

    PubMed

    Freestone, Amy L; Rutz, Gregory M; Torchin, Mark E

    2013-06-01

    Latitudinal patterns of nonnative species richness suggest fewer successful invasions in the tropics, relative to temperate regions. One main hypothesis for this pattern is that biotic resistance to invasion is stronger in the tropics than at higher latitudes. Biotic resistance can limit the distribution and abundance of nonnative species and, in extreme cases, can prevent establishment. We provide the first experimental test of this hypothesis, comparing the strength of biotic resistance in a tropical and a temperate marine ecosystem. Predation is one mechanism of biotic resistance, and since predation can be stronger at lower latitudes, we predicted that predation will serve to increase biotic resistance more in the tropics than at higher latitude. We conducted predator-exclusion experiments on marine epifaunal communities, a heavily invaded system, focusing on nonnative tunicates as a model fauna. The effect of predation on species richness of nonnative tunicates was more than three times greater at sites in tropical Panama than in temperate Connecticut, consistent with the prediction of stronger biotic resistance in the tropics. In Connecticut, predation reduced the abundance of one nonnative tunicate but did not affect the abundances of any other nonnative tunicate species, and no species were excluded from communities. In contrast, predation resulted in striking reductions in abundance and often exclusion of nonnative tunicates from experimental communities in Panama. If proved to be general, latitudinal differences in the biotic resistance of communities to nonnative species establishment may help explain emerging patterns of global invasions.

  1. Reproduction in Risky Environments: The Role of Invasive Egg Predators in Ladybird Laying Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Sarah C.; Pell, Judith K.; Blount, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive environments are variable and the resources available for reproduction are finite. If reliable cues about the environment exist, mothers can alter offspring phenotype in a way that increases both offspring and maternal fitness (‘anticipatory maternal effects’—AMEs). Strategic use of AMEs is likely to be important in chemically defended species, where the risk of offspring predation may be modulated by maternal investment in offspring toxin level, albeit at some cost to mothers. Whether mothers adjust offspring toxin levels in response to variation in predation risk is, however, unknown, but is likely to be important when assessing the response of chemically defended species to the recent and pervasive changes in the global predator landscape, driven by the spread of invasive species. Using the chemically defended two-spot ladybird, Adalia bipunctata, we investigated reproductive investment, including egg toxin level, under conditions that varied in the degree of simulated offspring predation risk from larval harlequin ladybirds, Harmonia axyridis. H. axyridis is a highly voracious alien invasive species in the UK and a significant intraguild predator of A. bipunctata. Females laid fewer, larger egg clusters, under conditions of simulated predation risk (P+) than when predator cues were absent (P-), but there was no difference in toxin level between the two treatments. Among P- females, when mean cluster size increased there were concomitant increases in both the mass and toxin concentration of eggs, however when P+ females increased cluster size there was no corresponding increase in egg toxin level. We conclude that, in the face of offspring predation risk, females either withheld toxins or were physiologically constrained, leading to a trade-off between cluster size and egg toxin level. Our results provide the first demonstration that the risk of offspring predation by a novel invasive predator can influence maternal investment in toxins within

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Reproduction in Risky Environments: The Role of Invasive Egg Predators in Ladybird Laying Strategies.

    PubMed

    Paul, Sarah C; Pell, Judith K; Blount, Jonathan D

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive environments are variable and the resources available for reproduction are finite. If reliable cues about the environment exist, mothers can alter offspring phenotype in a way that increases both offspring and maternal fitness ('anticipatory maternal effects'-AMEs). Strategic use of AMEs is likely to be important in chemically defended species, where the risk of offspring predation may be modulated by maternal investment in offspring toxin level, albeit at some cost to mothers. Whether mothers adjust offspring toxin levels in response to variation in predation risk is, however, unknown, but is likely to be important when assessing the response of chemically defended species to the recent and pervasive changes in the global predator landscape, driven by the spread of invasive species. Using the chemically defended two-spot ladybird, Adalia bipunctata, we investigated reproductive investment, including egg toxin level, under conditions that varied in the degree of simulated offspring predation risk from larval harlequin ladybirds, Harmonia axyridis. H. axyridis is a highly voracious alien invasive species in the UK and a significant intraguild predator of A. bipunctata. Females laid fewer, larger egg clusters, under conditions of simulated predation risk (P+) than when predator cues were absent (P-), but there was no difference in toxin level between the two treatments. Among P- females, when mean cluster size increased there were concomitant increases in both the mass and toxin concentration of eggs, however when P+ females increased cluster size there was no corresponding increase in egg toxin level. We conclude that, in the face of offspring predation risk, females either withheld toxins or were physiologically constrained, leading to a trade-off between cluster size and egg toxin level. Our results provide the first demonstration that the risk of offspring predation by a novel invasive predator can influence maternal investment in toxins within their

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  6. Inducible defenses in Olympia oysters in response to an invasive predator.

    PubMed

    Bible, Jillian M; Griffith, Kaylee R; Sanford, Eric

    2017-03-01

    The prey naiveté hypothesis suggests that native prey may be vulnerable to introduced predators because they have not evolved appropriate defenses. However, recent evidence suggests that native prey sometimes exhibit induced defenses to introduced predators, as a result of rapid evolution or other processes. We examined whether Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida) display inducible defenses in the presence of an invasive predator, the Atlantic oyster drill (Urosalpinx cinerea), and whether these responses vary among oyster populations from estuaries with and without this predator. We spawned oysters from six populations distributed among three estuaries in northern California, USA, and raised their offspring through two generations under common conditions to minimize effects of environmental history. We exposed second-generation oysters to cue treatments: drills eating oysters, drills eating barnacles, or control seawater. Oysters from all populations grew smaller shells when exposed to drill cues, and grew thicker and harder shells when those drills were eating oysters. Oysters exposed to drills eating other oysters were subsequently preyed upon at a slower rate. Although all oyster populations exhibited inducible defenses, oysters from the estuary with the greatest exposure to drills grew the smallest shells suggesting that oyster populations have evolved adaptive differences in the strength of their responses to predators. Our findings add to a growing body of literature that suggests that marine prey may be less likely to exhibit naiveté in the face of invasive predators than prey in communities that are more isolated from native predators, such as many freshwater and terrestrial island ecosystems.

  7. Eating chemically defended prey: alkaloid metabolism in an invasive ladybird predator of other ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

    PubMed

    Sloggett, J J; Davis, A J

    2010-01-15

    By comparison with studies of herbivore physiological adaptation to plant allelochemicals, work on predator physiological adaptation to potentially toxic prey has been very limited. Such studies are important in understanding how evolution could shape predator diets. An interesting question is the specificity of predator adaptation to prey allelochemicals, given that many predators consume diverse prey with different chemical defences. The ladybird Harmonia axyridis, an invasive species in America, Europe and Africa, is considered a significant predatory threat to native invertebrates, particularly other aphid-eating ladybirds of which it is a strong intraguild predator. Although ladybirds possess species-specific alkaloid defences, H. axyridis exhibits high tolerance for allospecific ladybird prey alkaloids. Nonetheless, it performs poorly on species with novel alkaloids not commonly occurring within its natural range. We examined alkaloid fate in H. axyridis larvae after consumption of two other ladybird species, one containing an alkaloid historically occurring within the predator's native range (isopropyleine) and one containing a novel alkaloid that does not (adaline). Our results indicate that H. axyridis rapidly chemically modifies the alkaloid to which it has been historically exposed to render it less harmful: this probably occurs outside of the gut. The novel, more toxic alkaloid persists in the body unchanged for longer. Our results suggest metabolic alkaloid specialisation, in spite of the diversity of chemically defended prey that the predator consumes. Physiological adaptations appear to have made H. axyridis a successful predator of other ladybirds; however, limitations are imposed by its physiology when it eats prey with novel alkaloids.

  8. Kangaroo rats change temperature when investigating rattlesnake predators.

    PubMed

    Schraft, Hannes A; Clark, Rulon W

    2017-02-08

    Predator presence causes acute stress in mammals. A prey animal's stress response increases its chance of survival during life-threatening situations through adaptive changes in behavior and physiology. Some components of the physiological stress response can lead to changes in body surface temperatures. Body temperature changes in prey could provide information about prey state to predators that sense heat, such as pit vipers. We determined whether wild rodents undergo a stress-induced change in body surface temperature upon detecting and investigating rattlesnake predators. We staged encounters between free-ranging Merriam's kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) and tethered Mojave rattlesnakes (Crotalus scutulatus) at baited feeding stations, and recorded interactions with a thermal-imaging camera. Kangaroo rats showed a significant change in maximum head temperature, snout temperature, and hind leg temperature during interactions with rattlesnakes. This supports the hypothesis that presence of a predator induces body temperature changes in prey animals. If changes in prey heat signature are detectable by heat-sensitive rattlesnakes, rattlesnakes could use this information to evaluate prey vigilance or arousal before striking; however, more detailed information on the sensory ecology of the pit organ under field conditions is needed to evaluate this possibility.

  9. Native Predators Do Not Influence Invasion Success of Pacific Lionfish on Caribbean Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Green, Stephanie J.; Côté, Isabelle M.; Cox, Courtney E.; Akins, Lad; Layman, Craig A.; Precht, William F.; Bruno, John F.

    2013-01-01

    Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass) of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition) on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs. PMID:23874565

  10. Native predators do not influence invasion success of pacific lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

    PubMed

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M; Cox, Courtney E; Akins, Lad; Layman, Craig A; Precht, William F; Bruno, John F

    2013-01-01

    Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass) of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition) on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

  11. Gape-limited predators as agents of selection on the defensive morphology of an invasive invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Miehls, Andrea L J; Peacor, Scott D; McAdam, Andrew G

    2014-09-01

    Invasive species have widespread and pronounced effects on ecosystems and adaptive evolution of invaders is often considered responsible for their success. Despite the potential importance of adaptation to invasion, we still have limited knowledge of the agents of natural selection on invasive species. Bythotrephes longimanus, a cladoceran zooplankton, invaded multiple Canadian Shield lakes over the past several decades. Bythotrephes have a conspicuous caudal process (tail spine) that provides a morphological defense against fish predation. We measured viability selection on the longest component of the Bythotrephes spine, the distal spine segment, through a comparison of the lengths of first and second instar Bythotrephes collected from lakes differing in the dominance of gape-limited predation (GLP) and nongape-limited predation (NGLP) by fish. We found that natural selection varied by predator gape-limitation, with strong selection (selection intensity: 0.20-0.79) for increased distal spine length in lakes dominated by GLP, and no significant selection in lakes dominated by NGLP. Further, distal spine length was 17% longer in lakes dominated by GLP, suggesting the possibility of local adaptation. As all study lakes were invaded less than 20 years prior to our collections, our results suggest rapid divergence in defensive morphology in response to selection from fish predators.

  12. Central-place foraging and ecological effects of an invasive predator across multiple habitats.

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2016-10-01

    Cross-habitat foraging movements of predators can have widespread implications for predator and prey populations, community structure, nutrient transfer, and ecosystem function. Although central-place foraging models and other aspects of optimal foraging theory focus on individual predator behavior, they also provide useful frameworks for understanding the effects of predators on prey populations across multiple habitats. However, few studies have examined both the foraging behavior and ecological effects of nonnative predators across multiple habitats, and none has tested whether nonnative predators deplete prey in a manner predicted by these foraging models. I conducted behavioral observations of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) to determine whether they exhibit foraging movements similar to other central-place consumers. Then, I used a manipulative field experiment to test whether their effects on prey populations are consistent with three qualitative predictions from optimal foraging models. Specifically, I predicted that the effects of invasive lionfish on native prey will (1) occur at central sites first and then in surrounding habitats, (2) decrease with increasing distance away from their shelter site, and (3) extend to greater distances when prey patches are spaced closer together. Approximately 40% of lionfish exhibited short-term crepuscular foraging movements into surrounding habitats from the coral patch reefs where they shelter during daylight hours. Over the course of 7 weeks, lionfish depleted native fish populations on the coral patch reefs where they reside, and subsequently on small structures in the surrounding habitat. However, their effects did not decrease with increasing distance from the central shelter site and the influence of patch spacing was opposite the prediction. Instead, lionfish always had the greatest effects in areas with the highest prey densities. The differences between the predicted and observed effects of lionfish

  13. Temporal dynamics of woodpecker predation on the invasive emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) in North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Woodpeckers (Picidae) are among the most prevalent natural enemies attacking the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, in North America, but there can be considerable variation in the levels of EAB predation on ash trees (Oleaceae: Fraxinus) within and between sites as wel...

  14. Large nonlethal effects of an invasive invertebrate predator on zooplankton population growth rate.

    PubMed

    Pangle, Kevin L; Peacor, Scott D; Johannsson, Ora E

    2007-02-01

    We conducted a study to determine the contribution of lethal and nonlethal effects to a predator's net effect on a prey's population growth rate in a natural setting. We focused on the effects of an invasive invertebrate predator, Bythotrephes longimanus, on zooplankton prey populations in Lakes Michigan and Erie. Field data taken at multiple dates and locations in both systems indicated that the prey species Daphnia mendotae, Daphnia retrocurva, and Bosmina longirostris inhabited deeper portions of the water column as Bythotrephes biomass increased, possibly as an avoidance response to predation. This induced migration reduces predation risk but also can reduce birth rate due to exposure to cooler temperatures. We estimated the nonlethal (i.e., resulting from reduced birth rate) and lethal (i.e., consumptive) effects of Bythotrephes on D. mendotae and Bosmina longirostris. These estimates used diel field survey data of the vertical gradient of zooplankton prey density, Bythotrephes density, light intensity, and temperature with growth and predation rate models derived from laboratory studies. Results indicate that nonlethal effects played a substantial role in the net effect of Bythotrephes on several prey population growth rates in the field, with nonlethal effects on the same order of magnitude as or greater (up to 10-fold) than lethal effects. Our results further indicate that invasive species can have strong nonlethal, behaviorally based effects, despite short evolutionary coexistence with prey species.

  15. Do anuran larvae respond behaviourally to chemical cues from an invasive crayfish predator? A community-wide study.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Ana L; Richter-Boix, Alex; Laurila, Anssi; Rebelo, Rui

    2013-01-01

    Antipredator behaviour is an important fitness component in most animals. A co-evolutionary history between predator and prey is important for prey to respond adaptively to predation threats. When non-native predator species invade new areas, native prey may not recognise them or may lack effective antipredator defences. However, responses to novel predators can be facilitated by chemical cues from the predators' diet. The red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii is a widespread invasive predator in the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, where it preys upon native anuran tadpoles. In a laboratory experiment we studied behavioural antipredator defences (alterations in activity level and spatial avoidance of predator) of nine anurans in response to P. clarkii chemical cues, and compared them with the defences towards a native predator, the larval dragonfly Aeshna sp. To investigate how chemical cues from consumed conspecifics shape the responses, we raised tadpoles with either a tadpole-fed or starved crayfish, or dragonfly larva, or in the absence of a predator. Five species significantly altered their behaviour in the presence of crayfish, and this was largely mediated by chemical cues from consumed conspecifics. In the presence of dragonflies, most species exhibited behavioural defences and often these did not require the presence of cues from predation events. Responding to cues from consumed conspecifics seems to be a critical factor in facilitating certain behavioural responses to novel exotic predators. This finding can be useful for predicting antipredator responses to invasive predators and help directing conservation efforts to the species at highest risk.

  16. Ocean acidification increases the vulnerability of native oysters to predation by invasive snails

    PubMed Central

    Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian; Hettinger, Annaliese; Lenz, Elizabeth A.; Meyer, Kirstin; Hill, Tessa M.

    2014-01-01

    There is growing concern that global environmental change might exacerbate the ecological impacts of invasive species by increasing their per capita effects on native species. However, the mechanisms underlying such shifts in interaction strength are poorly understood. Here, we test whether ocean acidification, driven by elevated seawater pCO2, increases the susceptibility of native Olympia oysters to predation by invasive snails. Oysters raised under elevated pCO2 experienced a 20% increase in drilling predation. When presented alongside control oysters in a choice experiment, 48% more high-CO2 oysters were consumed. The invasive snails were tolerant of elevated CO2 with no change in feeding behaviour. Oysters raised under acidified conditions did not have thinner shells, but were 29–40% smaller than control oysters, and these smaller individuals were consumed at disproportionately greater rates. Reduction in prey size is a common response to environmental stress that may drive increasing per capita effects of stress-tolerant invasive predators. PMID:24430847

  17. Stealth predation and the predatory success of the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi

    PubMed Central

    Colin, Sean P.; Costello, John H.; Hansson, Lars J.; Titelman, Josefin; Dabiri, John O.

    2010-01-01

    In contrast to higher metazoans such as copepods and fish, ctenophores are a basal metazoan lineage possessing a relatively narrow set of sensory-motor capabilities. Yet lobate ctenophores can capture prey at rates comparable to sophisticated predatory copepods and fish, and they are capable of altering the composition of coastal planktonic communities. Here, we demonstrate that the predatory success of the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi lies in its use of cilia to generate a feeding current that continuously entrains large volumes of fluid, yet is virtually undetectable to its prey. This form of stealth predation enables M. leidyi to feed as a generalist predator capturing prey, including microplankton (approximately 50 μm), copepods (approximately 1 mm), and fish larvae (>3 mm). The efficacy and versatility of this stealth feeding mechanism has enabled M. leidyi to be notoriously destructive as a predator and successful as an invasive species. PMID:20855619

  18. Stealth predation and the predatory success of the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi.

    PubMed

    Colin, Sean P; Costello, John H; Hansson, Lars J; Titelman, Josefin; Dabiri, John O

    2010-10-05

    In contrast to higher metazoans such as copepods and fish, ctenophores are a basal metazoan lineage possessing a relatively narrow set of sensory-motor capabilities. Yet lobate ctenophores can capture prey at rates comparable to sophisticated predatory copepods and fish, and they are capable of altering the composition of coastal planktonic communities. Here, we demonstrate that the predatory success of the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi lies in its use of cilia to generate a feeding current that continuously entrains large volumes of fluid, yet is virtually undetectable to its prey. This form of stealth predation enables M. leidyi to feed as a generalist predator capturing prey, including microplankton (approximately 50 μm), copepods (approximately 1 mm), and fish larvae (>3 mm). The efficacy and versatility of this stealth feeding mechanism has enabled M. leidyi to be notoriously destructive as a predator and successful as an invasive species.

  19. Sea Urchins Predation Facilitates Coral Invasion in a Marine Reserve

    PubMed Central

    Coma, Rafel; Serrano, Eduard; Linares, Cristina; Ribes, Marta; Díaz, David; Ballesteros, Enric

    2011-01-01

    Macroalgae is the dominant trophic group on Mediterranean infralittoral rocky bottoms, whereas zooxanthellate corals are extremely rare. However, in recent years, the invasive coral Oculina patagonica appears to be increasing its abundance through unknown means. Here we examine the pattern of variation of this species at a marine reserve between 2002 and 2010 and contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms that allow its current increase. Because indirect interactions between species can play a relevant role in the establishment of species, a parallel assessment of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the main herbivorous invertebrate in this habitat and thus a key species, was conducted. O. patagonica has shown a 3-fold increase in abundance over the last 8 years and has become the most abundant invertebrate in the shallow waters of the marine reserve, matching some dominant erect macroalgae in abundance. High recruitment played an important role in this increasing coral abundance. The results from this study provide compelling evidence that the increase in sea urchin abundance may be one of the main drivers of the observed increase in coral abundance. Sea urchins overgraze macroalgae and create barren patches in the space-limited macroalgal community that subsequently facilitate coral recruitment. This study indicates that trophic interactions contributed to the success of an invasive coral in the Mediterranean because sea urchins grazing activity indirectly facilitated expansion of the coral. Current coral abundance at the marine reserve has ended the monopolization of algae in rocky infralittoral assemblages, an event that could greatly modify both the underwater seascape and the sources of primary production in the ecosystem. PMID:21789204

  20. Experimental Test of Preferences for an Invasive Prey by an Endangered Predator: Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Wilcox, Rebecca C.

    2016-01-01

    Identifying impacts of exotic species on native populations is central to ecology and conservation. Although the effects of exotic predators on native prey have received much attention, the role of exotic prey on native predators is poorly understood. Determining if native predators actively prefer invasive prey over native prey has implications for interpreting invasion impacts, identifying the presence of evolutionary traps, and predator persistence. One of the world’s most invasive species, Pomacea maculata, has recently established in portions of the endangered Everglade snail kite’s (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) geographic range. Although these exotic snails could provide additional prey resources, they are typically much larger than the native snail, which can lead to lower foraging success and the potential for diminished energetic benefits in comparison to native snails. Nonetheless, snail kites frequently forage on exotic snails. We used choice experiments to evaluate snail kite foraging preference in relation to exotic species and snail size. We found that snail kites do not show a preference for native or exotic snails. Rather, snail kites generally showed a preference for medium-sized snails, the sizes reflective of large native snails. These results suggest that while snail kites frequently forage on exotic snails in the wild, this behavior is likely driven simply by the abundance of exotic snails rather than snail kites preferring exotics. This lack of preference offers insights to hypotheses regarding effects of exotic species, guidance regarding habitat and invasive species management, and illustrates how native-exotic relationships can be misleading in the absence of experimental tests of such interactions. PMID:27829031

  1. Keystone predators (eastern newts, Notophthalmus viridescens) reduce the impacts of an aquatic invasive species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Kimberly G.

    2006-01-01

    Predation, competition, and their interaction are known to be important factors that influence the structure of ecological communities. In particular, in those cases where a competitive hierarchy exists among prey species, the presence of certain keystone predators can result in enhanced diversity in the prey community. However, little is known regarding the influence of keystone predator presence on invaded prey communities. Given the widespread occurrence of invasive species and substantial concern regarding their ecological impacts, studies on this topic are needed. In this study I used naturalistic replications of an experimental tadpole assemblage to assess the influence of predatory eastern newts, Notophthalmus viridescens, on the outcome of interspecific competition among native and nonindigenous tadpoles. When newts were absent, the presence of the tadpoles of one invasive species, the Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, resulted in decreased survival and growth rate of the dominant native species, Bufo terrestris, and dominance of the tadpole assemblage by O. septentrionalis. However, the presence of one adult newt generally reduced or eliminated the negative impacts of O. septentrionalis tadpoles, resulting in comparable survival and performance of native species in invaded and noninvaded treatments. Differential mortality among the tadpole species suggests that newts preyed selectively on O. septentrionalis tadpoles, supporting the hypothesis that newts acted as keystone predators in the invaded assemblage. The presence of nonindigenous larval cane toads, Bufo marinus, did not significantly affect native species, and this species was not negatively affected by the presence of newts. Collectively, these results suggest that eastern newts significantly modified the competitive hierarchy of the invaded tadpole assemblage and reduced the impacts of a competitively superior invasive species. If general, these results suggest that the presence of

  2. Molecular analysis of predation by carabid beetles (Carabidae) on the invasive Iberian slug Arion lusitanicus.

    PubMed

    Hatteland, B A; Symondson, W O C; King, R A; Skage, M; Schander, C; Solhøy, T

    2011-12-01

    The invasive Iberian slug, Arion lusitanicus, is spreading through Europe and poses a major threat to horticulture and agriculture. Natural enemies, capable of killing A. lusitanicus, may be important to our understanding of its population dynamics in recently invaded regions. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to study predation on A. lusitanicus by carabid beetles in the field. A first multiplex PCR was developed, incorporating species-specific primers, and optimised in order to amplify parts of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of large Arion slugs, including A. lusitanicus from the gut contents of the predators. A second multiplex PCR, targeting 12S rRNA mtDNA, detected predation on smaller Arion species and the field slug Deroceras reticulatum. Feeding trials were conducted to measure the effects of digestion time on amplicon detectability. The median detection times (the time at which 50% of samples tested positive) for A. lusitanicus and D. reticulatum DNA in the foreguts of Carabus nemoralis were 22 h and 20 h, respectively. Beetle activity-densities were monitored using pitfall traps, and slug densities were estimated using quadrats. Predation rates on slugs in the field by C. nemoralis in spring ranged from 16-39% (beetles positive for slug DNA) and were density dependent, with numbers of beetles testing positive being positively correlated with densities of the respective slug species. Carabus nemoralis was shown to be a potentially important predator of the alien A. lusitanicus in spring and may contribute to conservation biological control.

  3. Ankyrin-mediated self-protection during cell invasion by the bacterial predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Carey; Cadby, Ian T.; Till, Rob; Bui, Nhat Khai; Lerner, Thomas R.; Hughes, William S.; Lee, David J.; Alderwick, Luke J.; Vollmer, Waldemar; Sockett, Elizabeth R.; Lovering, Andrew L.

    2015-01-01

    Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus are natural antimicrobial organisms, killing other bacteria by whole-cell invasion. Self-protection against prey-metabolizing enzymes is important for the evolution of predation. Initial prey entry involves the predator's peptidoglycan DD-endopeptidases, which decrosslink cell walls and prevent wasteful entry by a second predator. Here we identify and characterize a self-protection protein from B. bacteriovorus, Bd3460, which displays an ankyrin-based fold common to intracellular pathogens of eukaryotes. Co-crystal structures reveal Bd3460 complexation of dual targets, binding a conserved epitope of each of the Bd3459 and Bd0816 endopeptidases. Complexation inhibits endopeptidase activity and cell wall decrosslinking in vitro. Self-protection is vital — ΔBd3460 Bdellovibrio deleteriously decrosslink self-peptidoglycan upon invasion, adopt a round morphology, and lose predatory capacity and cellular integrity. Our analysis provides the first mechanistic examination of self-protection in Bdellovibrio, documents protection-multiplicity for products of two different genomic loci, and reveals an important evolutionary adaptation to an invasive predatory bacterial lifestyle. PMID:26626559

  4. Ankyrin-mediated self-protection during cell invasion by the bacterial predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Carey; Cadby, Ian T; Till, Rob; Bui, Nhat Khai; Lerner, Thomas R; Hughes, William S; Lee, David J; Alderwick, Luke J; Vollmer, Waldemar; Sockett, R Elizabeth; Sockett, Elizabeth R; Lovering, Andrew L

    2015-12-02

    Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus are natural antimicrobial organisms, killing other bacteria by whole-cell invasion. Self-protection against prey-metabolizing enzymes is important for the evolution of predation. Initial prey entry involves the predator's peptidoglycan DD-endopeptidases, which decrosslink cell walls and prevent wasteful entry by a second predator. Here we identify and characterize a self-protection protein from B. bacteriovorus, Bd3460, which displays an ankyrin-based fold common to intracellular pathogens of eukaryotes. Co-crystal structures reveal Bd3460 complexation of dual targets, binding a conserved epitope of each of the Bd3459 and Bd0816 endopeptidases. Complexation inhibits endopeptidase activity and cell wall decrosslinking in vitro. Self-protection is vital - ΔBd3460 Bdellovibrio deleteriously decrosslink self-peptidoglycan upon invasion, adopt a round morphology, and lose predatory capacity and cellular integrity. Our analysis provides the first mechanistic examination of self-protection in Bdellovibrio, documents protection-multiplicity for products of two different genomic loci, and reveals an important evolutionary adaptation to an invasive predatory bacterial lifestyle.

  5. Morphological and life-history responses of anurans to predation by an invasive crayfish: an integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Ana L; Orizaola, Germán; Laurila, Anssi; Rebelo, Rui

    2014-04-01

    Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity has been widely documented in response to native predators, but studies examining the extent to which prey can respond to exotic invasive predators are scarce. As native prey often do not share a long evolutionary history with invasive predators, they may lack defenses against them. This can lead to population declines and even extinctions, making exotic predators a serious threat to biodiversity. Here, in a community-wide study, we examined the morphological and life-history responses of anuran larvae reared with the invasive red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, feeding on conspecific tadpoles. We reared tadpoles of nine species until metamorphosis and examined responses in terms of larval morphology, growth, and development, as well as their degree of phenotypic integration. These responses were compared with the ones developed in the presence of a native predator, the larval dragonfly Aeshna sp., also feeding on tadpoles. Eight of the nine species altered their morphology or life history when reared with the fed dragonfly, but only four when reared with the fed crayfish, suggesting among-species variation in the ability to respond to a novel predator. While morphological defenses were generally similar across species (deeper tails) and almost exclusively elicited in the presence of the fed dragonfly, life-history responses were very variable and commonly elicited in the presence of the invasive crayfish. Phenotypes induced in the presence of dragonfly were more integrated than in crayfish presence. The lack of response to the presence of the fed crayfish in five of the study species suggests higher risk of local extinction and ultimately reduced diversity of the invaded amphibian communities. Understanding how native prey species vary in their responses to invasive predators is important in predicting the impacts caused by newly established predator-prey interactions following biological invasions.

  6. The effect of colored noise on spatiotemporal dynamics of biological invasion in a diffusive predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenting; Li, Wenlong; Li, Zizhen; Zhang, Hui

    2011-04-01

    Spatiotemporal dynamics of a predator-prey system is considered under the assumption that the predator is sensitive to colored noise. Mathematically, the model consists of two coupled diffusion-reactions. By means of extensive numerical simulations, the complex invasion pattern formations of the system are identified. The results show that a geographical invasion emerges without regional persistence when the intensity of colored noise is small. Remarkably, as the noise intensity increases, the species spreads via a patchy invasion only when the system is affected by red noise. Meanwhile, the relationship between local stability and global invasion is also considered. The predator, which becomes extinct in the system without diffusion, could invade locally when the system is affected by white noise. However, the local invasion is not followed by geographical spread.

  7. Effects of an invasive predator cascade to plants via mutualism disruption

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Haldre S.; Buhle, Eric R.; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Fricke, Evan C.; Miller, Ross H.; Tewksbury, Joshua J.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive vertebrate predators are directly responsible for the extinction or decline of many vertebrate species, but their indirect impacts often go unmeasured, potentially leading to an underestimation of their full impact. When invasives extirpate functionally important mutualists, dependent species are likely to be affected as well. Here, we show that the invasive brown treesnake, directly responsible for the extirpation of forest birds from the island of Guam, is also indirectly responsible for a severe decline in plant recruitment as a result of disrupting the fruit-frugivore mutualism. To assess the impact of frugivore loss on plants, we compare seed dispersal and recruitment of two fleshy-fruited tree species on Guam and three nearby islands with intact disperser communities. We conservatively estimate that the loss of frugivorous birds caused by the brown treesnake may have caused a 61–92% decline in seedling recruitment. This case study highlights the potential for predator invasions to cause indirect, pervasive and easily overlooked interaction cascades. PMID:28270682

  8. Native Prey and Invasive Predator Patterns of Foraging Activity: The Case of the Yellow-Legged Hornet Predation at European Honeybee Hives.

    PubMed

    Monceau, Karine; Arca, Mariangela; Leprêtre, Lisa; Mougel, Florence; Bonnard, Olivier; Silvain, Jean-François; Maher, Nevile; Arnold, Gérard; Thiéry, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective.

  9. Native Prey and Invasive Predator Patterns of Foraging Activity: The Case of the Yellow-Legged Hornet Predation at European Honeybee Hives

    PubMed Central

    Monceau, Karine; Arca, Mariangela; Leprêtre, Lisa; Mougel, Florence; Bonnard, Olivier; Silvain, Jean-François; Maher, Nevile; Arnold, Gérard; Thiéry, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective. PMID:23823754

  10. Modelling disease introduction as biological control of invasive predators to preserve endangered prey.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Nuno M; Hilker, Frank M

    2010-02-01

    Invasive species are a significant cause of bio-diversity loss particularly in island ecosystems. It has been suggested to release pathogenic parasites as an efficient control measure of these mostly immune-naïve populations. In order to explore the potential impacts of such bio-control approach, we construct and investigate mathematical models describing disease dynamics in a host population that acts as a predator embedded in a simple food chain. The consequences of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) introduction into a closed ecosystem are addressed using a bi-trophic system, comprising an indigenous prey (birds) and an introduced predator (cats). Our results show that FIV is unlikely to fully eradicate cats on sub-Antarctic islands, but it can be efficient in depressing their population size, allowing for the recovery of the endangered prey. Depending on the ecological setting and disease transmission mode (we consider proportionate mixing as well as mass action), successful pathogen invasion can induce population oscillations that are not possible in the disease-free predator-prey system. These fluctuations can be seen as a mixed blessing from a management point of view. On the one hand, they may increase the extinction risk of the birds. On the other hand, they provide an opportunity to eradicate cats more easily in combination with other methods such as trapping or culling.

  11. Warming-induced changes in predation, extinction and invasion in an ectotherm food web.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Linda I; Weithoff, Guntram; Gaedke, Ursula; Vos, Matthijs

    2015-06-01

    Climate change will alter the forces of predation and competition in temperate ectotherm food webs. This may increase local extinction rates, change the fate of invasions and impede species reintroductions into communities. Invasion success could be modulated by traits (e.g., defenses) and adaptations to climate. We studied how different temperatures affect the time until extinction of species, using bitrophic and tritrophic planktonic food webs to evaluate the relative importance of predatory overexploitation and competitive exclusion, at 15 and 25 °C. In addition, we tested how inclusion of a subtropical as opposed to a temperate strain in this model food web affects times until extinction. Further, we studied the invasion success of the temperate rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus into the planktonic food web at 15 and 25 °C on five consecutive introduction dates, during which the relative forces of predation and competition differed. A higher temperature dramatically shortened times until extinction of all herbivore species due to carnivorous overexploitation in tritrophic systems. Surprisingly, warming did not increase rates of competitive exclusion among the tested herbivore species in bitrophic communities. Including a subtropical herbivore strain reduced top-down control by the carnivore at high temperature. Invasion attempts of temperate B. calyciflorus into the food web always succeeded at 15 °C, but consistently failed at 25 °C due to voracious overexploitation by the carnivore. Pre-induction of defenses (spines) in B. calyciflorus before the invasion attempt did not change its invasion success at the high temperature. We conclude that high temperatures may promote local extinctions in temperate ectotherms and reduce their chances of successful recovery.

  12. Morphological and life-history responses of anurans to predation by an invasive crayfish: an integrative approach

    PubMed Central

    Nunes, Ana L; Orizaola, Germán; Laurila, Anssi; Rebelo, Rui

    2014-01-01

    Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity has been widely documented in response to native predators, but studies examining the extent to which prey can respond to exotic invasive predators are scarce. As native prey often do not share a long evolutionary history with invasive predators, they may lack defenses against them. This can lead to population declines and even extinctions, making exotic predators a serious threat to biodiversity. Here, in a community-wide study, we examined the morphological and life-history responses of anuran larvae reared with the invasive red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, feeding on conspecific tadpoles. We reared tadpoles of nine species until metamorphosis and examined responses in terms of larval morphology, growth, and development, as well as their degree of phenotypic integration. These responses were compared with the ones developed in the presence of a native predator, the larval dragonfly Aeshna sp., also feeding on tadpoles. Eight of the nine species altered their morphology or life history when reared with the fed dragonfly, but only four when reared with the fed crayfish, suggesting among-species variation in the ability to respond to a novel predator. While morphological defenses were generally similar across species (deeper tails) and almost exclusively elicited in the presence of the fed dragonfly, life-history responses were very variable and commonly elicited in the presence of the invasive crayfish. Phenotypes induced in the presence of dragonfly were more integrated than in crayfish presence. The lack of response to the presence of the fed crayfish in five of the study species suggests higher risk of local extinction and ultimately reduced diversity of the invaded amphibian communities. Understanding how native prey species vary in their responses to invasive predators is important in predicting the impacts caused by newly established predator–prey interactions following biological invasions. PMID:24834343

  13. Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spain, James D.; Soldan, Theodore

    1983-01-01

    Describes two computer simulations of the predator-prey interaction in which students explore theories and mathematical equations involved in this biological process. The programs (for Apple II), designed for college level ecology, may be used in lecture/demonstrations or as a basis for laboratory assignments. A list of student objectives is…

  14. Predation of the newly invasive pest Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in soybean habitats adjacent to cotton by a complex of predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), is a newly-invasive exotic insect found primarily on kudzu, but also on soybean, in the southeastern United States. We used molecular gut-content analysis to document predation on this pest by insects and spiders in soybean; and to d...

  15. Predation of the newly invasive pest Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in soybean habitats adjacent to cotton by a complex of predators.

    PubMed

    Greenstone, M H; Tillman, P G; Hu, J S

    2014-06-01

    The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Hemiptera: Plataspidae),is a newly invasive exotic insect found primarily on kudzu, but also on soybean, in the southeastern United States. We used molecular gut-content analysis to document predation on this pest by insects and spiders in soybean, and to detect remains of crop-specific alternative prey in predators' guts as markers of predator migration between soybean and adjacent cotton. M. cribraria was found exclusively on soybean. Eight native generalist predators over both crops screened positive by specific PCR for DNA of the pest: Geocoris punctipes (Say), Geocoris uliginosus (Say), Orius insidiosus (Say), Podisus maculicentris (Say), Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville, Zelus renardii (Kolenati), Oxyopes salticus Hentz, and Peucetia viridans (Hentz); a ninth predator, the exotic Solenopsis invicta Buren, also screened positive for M. cribraria DNA. P. viridans was the only arthropod that tested positive for DNA of this invasive pest in only one crop, cotton. Two plant-feeding pentatomid species, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood) and Thyanta custator (F.), were found exclusively on soybean, and another, Euschistus tristigmus (Say), was specific to cotton in the context of this study. Detection of predation on a combination of M. cribraria and P. guildinii and T. custator in cotton and M. cribraria and E. tristigmus in soybean demonstrated that these predators dispersed between crops. These results strongly support the use of soybean habitats adjacent to cotton as part of a conservation biological control strategy against M. cribraria. This is the first report documenting predation on this exotic pest in the field via molecular gut-content analysis.

  16. High fecundity and predation pressure of the invasive Gammarus tigrinus cause decline of indigenous gammarids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänes, Holger; Kotta, Jonne; Herkül, Kristjan

    2015-11-01

    The North American amphipod Gammarus tigrinus is one of the most aggressive invaders recently expanding its distribution in the European waters. The species was detected in the north-eastern Baltic Sea in 2003 and has rapidly expanded its distribution ever since. This invasive amphipod has been notably successful in shallow, soft and mixed bottom habitats becoming one of the most abundant gammarid colonizing such environments. This study carried out two experiments: (1) an outdoor aquarium experiment to assess interspecific competition among the invasive G. tigrinus and the native Gammarus duebeni and compare their reproductive potential, and (2) an in situ meshbag experiment to determine the effect of adult G. tigrinus and native gammarids on juvenile gammarid amphipods. These demonstrated that the adult G. tigrinus had no effects on the adult G. duebeni; however, the invasive amphipod had higher reproductive potential compared to the native species such as G. duebeni. Moreover, almost all adult gammarids exerted a significant predation pressure on juvenile amphipods. Thus, the combined effect of predation on juvenile amphipods and large brood production of G. tigrinus could be plausible explanations describing increased abundance of G. tigrinus and decrease of local gammarid populations in the north-eastern Baltic Sea but plausibly in similar shallow water habitats in other seas.

  17. Reduced seed predation after invasion supports enemy release in a broad biogeographical survey.

    PubMed

    Castells, Eva; Morante, Maria; Blanco-Moreno, José M; Sans, F Xavier; Vilatersana, Roser; Blasco-Moreno, Anabel

    2013-12-01

    The Enemy Release (ER) hypothesis predicts an increase in the plant invasive capacity after being released from their associated herbivores or pathogens in their area of origin. Despite the large number of studies on biological invasions addressing this hypothesis, tests evaluating changes in herbivory on native and introduced populations and their effects on plant reproductive potential at a biogeographical level are relatively rare. Here, we tested the ER hypothesis on the South African species Senecio pterophorus (Asteraceae), which is native to the Eastern Cape, has expanded into the Western Cape, and was introduced into Australia (>70-100 years ago) and Europe (>30 years ago). Insect seed predation was evaluated to determine whether plants in the introduced areas were released from herbivores compared to plants from the native range. In South Africa, 25 % of the seedheads of sampled plants were damaged. Plants from the introduced populations suffered lower seed predation compared to those from the native populations, as expected under the ER hypothesis, and this release was more pronounced in the region with the most recent introduction (Europe 0.2 % vs. Australia 15 %). The insect communities feeding on S. pterophorus in Australia and Europe differed from those found in South Africa, suggesting that the plants were released from their associated fauna after invasion and later established new associations with local herbivore communities in the novel habitats. Our study is the first to provide strong evidence of enemy release in a biogeographical survey across the entire known distribution of a species.

  18. Predators, environment and host characteristics influence the probability of infection by an invasive castrating parasite.

    PubMed

    Gehman, Alyssa-Lois M; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Hughes, A Randall; Kimbro, David L; Piehler, Michael F; Byers, James E

    2017-01-01

    Not all hosts, communities or environments are equally hospitable for parasites. Direct and indirect interactions between parasites and their predators, competitors and the environment can influence variability in host exposure, susceptibility and subsequent infection, and these influences may vary across spatial scales. To determine the relative influences of abiotic, biotic and host characteristics on probability of infection across both local and estuary scales, we surveyed the oyster reef-dwelling mud crab Eurypanopeus depressus and its parasite Loxothylacus panopaei, an invasive castrating rhizocephalan, in a hierarchical design across >900 km of the southeastern USA. We quantified the density of hosts, predators of the parasite and host, the host's oyster reef habitat, and environmental variables that might affect the parasite either directly or indirectly on oyster reefs within 10 estuaries throughout this biogeographic range. Our analyses revealed that both between and within estuary-scale variation and host characteristics influenced L. panopaei prevalence. Several additional biotic and abiotic factors were positive predictors of infection, including predator abundance and the depth of water inundation over reefs at high tide. We demonstrate that in addition to host characteristics, biotic and abiotic community-level variables both serve as large-scale indicators of parasite dynamics.

  19. Invasive plant species alters consumer behavior by providing refuge from predation.

    PubMed

    Dutra, Humberto P; Barnett, Kirk; Reinhardt, Jason R; Marquis, Robert J; Orrock, John L

    2011-07-01

    Understanding the effects of invasive plants on native consumers is important because consumer-mediated indirect effects have the potential to alter the dynamics of coexistence in native communities. Invasive plants may promote changes in consumer pressure due to changes in protective cover (i.e., the architectural complexity of the invaded habitat) and in food availability (i.e., subsidies of fruits and seeds). No experimental studies have evaluated the relative interplay of these two effects. In a factorial experiment, we manipulated cover and food provided by the invasive shrub Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) to evaluate whether this plant alters the foraging activity of native mammals. Using tracking plates to quantify mammalian foraging activity, we found that removal of honeysuckle cover, rather than changes in the fruit resources it provides, reduced the activity of important seed consumers, mice in the genus Peromyscus. Two mesopredators, Procyon lotor and Didelphis virginiana, were also affected. Moreover, we found rodents used L. maackii for cover only on cloudless nights, indicating that the effect of honeysuckle was weather-dependent. Our work provides experimental evidence that this invasive plant species changes habitat characteristics, and in so doing alters the behavior of small- and medium-sized mammals. Changes in seed predator behavior may lead to cascading effects on the seeds that mice consume.

  20. Invasive plant alters community and ecosystem dynamics by promoting native predators.

    PubMed

    Smith-Ramesh, Lauren M

    2017-03-01

    Placing invasion in a more complete food web context expands our understanding of species invasions to reflect the inherent complexity of ecological networks. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has traditionally been predicted to dominate native communities through mechanisms embodied in popular hypotheses such as direct plant-plant interactions (allelopathy) and plant-herbivore interactions (enemy escape). However, garlic mustard also interacts directly with native predators by providing habitat for web-building spiders, which colonize the dry fruit structures (siliques) that garlic mustard leaves behind after it senesces. This interaction may lead to altered food web structure, resulting previously unexamined invasion consequences. This idea was tested in a field experiment including three treatments in which garlic mustard siliques were left intact (S+), removed (S-), or native species dominated and garlic mustard was absent (N). When siliques were intact, estimated insect abundance was locally reduced in invaded plots compared to native plots, but this relationship disappeared when siliques were removed. Phosphorus availability and the growth of one native plant species were both elevated in invaded plots where siliques were intact compared to plots where siliques were removed. Results indicate that garlic mustard's close association with web-building spiders initiates cascading invader impacts on the native community and ecosystem properties. This work supports recent theory suggesting that taking a broader food web perspective may help predict invasion impacts in different environmental contexts.

  1. Grass invasion increases top-down pressure on an amphibian via structurally mediated effects on an intraguild predator.

    PubMed

    DeVore, Jayna L; Maerz, John C

    2014-07-01

    Plants serve as both basal resources and ecosystem engineers, so plant invasion may exert trophic influences on consumers both via bottom-up processes and by altering the environmental context in which trophic interactions occur. To determine how these mechanisms affect a native predator we used a mark-recapture study in eight pairs of 58-m2 field enclosures to measure the influence of Japanese stilt grass invasion on 3200 recently metamorphosed American toads. Toad survivorship was lower in invaded habitats despite abiotic effects that favor amphibians. Prey densities were also lower in invaded habitats, but growth was unaffected. Frequent spider predation events in invaded habitats led us to use factorial field cage manipulations of stilt grass and lycosid spiders to determine if invasion increases predation rates. Spiders persisted at higher densities in the presence of stilt grass, and toad survival was lowest in cages with both grass and spiders. Invasion alone did not significantly reduce toad survival. Our results demonstrate that despite prey reductions and abiotic effects, it is increased spider persistence that reduces toad survival in invaded habitats. Invasion therefore affects resident forest floor consumers by modifying trophic interactions between native species, causing structurally mediated reductions in intraguild predation rates among spiders, with cascading implications for toad survival.

  2. Do natural container habitats impede invader dominance? Predator-mediated coexistence of invasive and native container-dwelling mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Kesavaraju, Banugopan; Damal, Kavitha; Juliano, Steven A

    2008-03-01

    Predator-mediated coexistence of competitors occurs when a species that is superior in competition is also more vulnerable to a shared predator compared to a poorer competitor. The invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus is usually competitively superior to Ochlerotatus triseriatus. Among second instar larvae, A. albopictus show a lesser degree of behavioral modification in response to water-borne cues from predation by the larval midge Corethrella appendiculata than do O. triseriatus, rendering A. albopictus more vulnerable to predation by C. appendiculata than O. triseriatus. The hypothesis that C. appendiculata predation favors coexistence of these competitors predicts that C. appendiculata abundances will be negatively and positively correlated with A. albopictus and O. triseriatus abundances, respectively, and that coexistence will occur where C. appendiculata are common. Actual abundances of O. triseriatus, A. albopictus, and C. appendiculata in three habitats fit this prediction. In natural container habitats like tree holes, C. appendiculata were abundant and competitors co-existed at similar densities. In cemeteries and tires, which occur primarily in non-forested, human-dominated habitats, A. albopictus dominated, with abundances twice those found in tree holes, but C. appendiculata and O. triseriatus were rare or absent. We also tested for whether antipredatory behavioral responses of A. albopictus differed among habitats or populations, or were correlated with local C. appendiculata abundances. We could detect no differences in A. albopictus antipredatory behavioral responses to water-borne cues from predation. Tree hole habitats appear to promote co-existence of O. triseriatus and A. albopictus through interactions with predatory C. appendiculata, and this predator effect appears to limit invasion success of A. albopictus in tree holes. There are many studies on predator-mediated coexistence in natural habitats but to our knowledge this is the first study

  3. A singular reaction-diffusion system modelling prey-predator interactions: Invasion and co-extinction waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducrot, A.; Langlais, M.

    We consider a singular reaction-diffusion system arising in modelling prey-predator interactions in a fragile environment. Since the underlying ODEs system exhibits a complex dynamics including possible finite time quenching, one first provides a suitable notion of global travelling wave weak solution. Then our study focusses on the existence of travelling waves solutions for predator invasion in such environments. We devise a regularized problem to prove the existence of travelling wave solutions for predator invasion followed by a possible co-extinction tail for both species. Under suitable assumptions on the diffusion coefficients and on species growth rates we show that travelling wave solutions are actually positive on a half line and identically zero elsewhere, such a property arising for every admissible wave speeds.

  4. Effects of pre-pubertal social experiences on the responsiveness of juvenile rats to predator odors.

    PubMed

    Siviy, Stephen M

    2008-09-01

    The extent to which social variables may modulate the fear associated with a predator cue was assessed in juvenile rats. Cat odor reduced play to a comparable extent in both socially housed and isolate-housed rats, although socially housed rats exhibited more risk assessment during extinction. Rats that had played previously in the context used for assessing fear hid slightly less when exposed to cat odor than those rats that had not played previously in the testing context. However, no other differences were found between these two groups suggesting that prior social experience with the testing context has minimal effects on fear. In a direct test of a 'social buffering' hypothesis, rats that were tested for contextual fear conditioning in the presence of an unfamiliar partner were less fearful than those rats tested alone. These data are consistent with a social buffering hypothesis and suggest that positive social cues may help animals cope with the threat of predation.

  5. Separate and combined effects of habitat-specific fish predation on the survival of invasive and native gammarids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotta, Jonne; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Herkül, Kristjan

    2010-10-01

    The North-American amphipod Gammarus tigrinus was observed for the first time in the northern Baltic Sea in 2003. The invasive amphipod has been particularly successful in some habitats (e.g. on pebbles) where it has become one of the most abundant gammarid species. We studied experimentally if the dominant fish Gasterosteus aculeatus preyed differentially on the exotic G. tigrinus and the native Gammarus salinus, if predation differed among habitats, and if one gammarid species facilitated predation on the other. The experiment demonstrated that (1) fish preyed more on the exotic G. tigrinus than the native G. salinus. (2) Predation did not differ among habitats. (3) Gammarus tigrinus facilitated the predation on G. salinus and this facilitation varied among habitats with significant effects on pebbles. Thus, the combined effect of habitat-specific fish predation and competition between gammarid amphipods is a possible explanation of the current range of G. tigrinus in the northern Baltic Sea. G. tigrinus seems to establish in habitats where it can significantly increase fish predation on the native gammarids.

  6. Unintended Consequences of Invasive Predator Control in an Australian Forest: Overabundant Wallabies and Vegetation Change

    PubMed Central

    Dexter, Nick; Hudson, Matt; James, Stuart; MacGregor, Christopher; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2013-01-01

    Over-abundance of native herbivores is a problem in many forests worldwide. The abundance of native macropod wallabies is extremely high at Booderee National Park (BNP) in south-eastern Australia. This has occurred because of the reduction of exotic predators through an intensive baiting program, coupled with the absence of other predators. The high density of wallabies at BNP may be inhibiting the recruitment of many plant species following fire-induced recruitment events. We experimentally examined the post-fire response of a range of plant species to browsing by wallabies in a forest heavily infested with the invasive species, bitou bush Chrysanthemoides monilifera. We recorded the abundance and size of a range of plant species in 18 unfenced (browsed) and 16 fenced (unbrowsed) plots. We found the abundance and size of bitou bush was suppressed in browsed plots compared to unbrowsed plots. Regenerating seedlings of the canopy or middle storey tree species Eucalyptus pilularis, Acacia implexa, Allocasuarina littoralis, Breynia oblongifolia and Banksia integrifolia were either smaller or fewer in number in grazed plots than treatment plots as were the vines Kennedia rubicunda, Glycine tabacina and Glycine clandestina. In contrast, the understorey fern, Pteridium esculentum increased in abundance in the browsed plots relative to unbrowsed plots probably because of reduced competition with more palatable angiosperms. Twelve months after plots were installed the community structure of the browsed and unbrowsed plots was significantly different (P = 0.023, Global R = 0.091). The relative abundance of C. monilifera and P. esculentum contributed most to the differences. We discuss the possible development of a low diversity bracken fern parkland in Booderee National Park through a trophic cascade, similar to that caused by overabundant deer in the northern hemisphere. We also discuss its implications for broad scale fox control in southern Australian forests

  7. Unintended consequences of invasive predator control in an Australian forest: overabundant wallabies and vegetation change.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Nick; Hudson, Matt; James, Stuart; Macgregor, Christopher; Lindenmayer, David B

    2013-01-01

    Over-abundance of native herbivores is a problem in many forests worldwide. The abundance of native macropod wallabies is extremely high at Booderee National Park (BNP) in south-eastern Australia. This has occurred because of the reduction of exotic predators through an intensive baiting program, coupled with the absence of other predators. The high density of wallabies at BNP may be inhibiting the recruitment of many plant species following fire-induced recruitment events. We experimentally examined the post-fire response of a range of plant species to browsing by wallabies in a forest heavily infested with the invasive species, bitou bush Chrysanthemoides monilifera. We recorded the abundance and size of a range of plant species in 18 unfenced (browsed) and 16 fenced (unbrowsed) plots. We found the abundance and size of bitou bush was suppressed in browsed plots compared to unbrowsed plots. Regenerating seedlings of the canopy or middle storey tree species Eucalyptus pilularis, Acacia implexa, Allocasuarina littoralis, Breynia oblongifolia and Banksia integrifolia were either smaller or fewer in number in grazed plots than treatment plots as were the vines Kennedia rubicunda, Glycine tabacina and Glycine clandestina. In contrast, the understorey fern, Pteridium esculentum increased in abundance in the browsed plots relative to unbrowsed plots probably because of reduced competition with more palatable angiosperms. Twelve months after plots were installed the community structure of the browsed and unbrowsed plots was significantly different (P = 0.023, Global R = 0.091). The relative abundance of C. monilifera and P. esculentum contributed most to the differences. We discuss the possible development of a low diversity bracken fern parkland in Booderee National Park through a trophic cascade, similar to that caused by overabundant deer in the northern hemisphere. We also discuss its implications for broad scale fox control in southern Australian forests.

  8. Rats and Seabirds: Effects of Egg Size on Predation Risk and the Potential of Conditioned Taste Aversion as a Mitigation Method

    PubMed Central

    Latorre, Lucía; Larrinaga, Asier R.; Santamaría, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seabirds nesting on islands are threatened by invasive rodents, such as mice and rats, which may attack eggs, chicks and even adults. The low feasibility of rat eradications on many islands makes the development of alternate control plans necessary. We used a combination of field experiments on a Mediterranean island invaded by black rats (Rattusrattus) to evaluate (1) the predation risk posed to different-sized seabird eggs and (2), the potential of two deterrent methods (electronic and chemical) to reduce its impact. Rats were able to consume eggs of all sizes (12 to 68 g), but survival increased 13 times from the smallest to the largest eggs (which also had more resistant eggshells). Extrapolation to seabird eggs suggests that the smallest species (Hydrobatespelagicus) suffer the most severe predation risk, but even the largest (Larusmichahellis) could suffer >60% mortality. Nest attack was not reduced by the deterrents. However, chemical deterrence (conditioned taste aversion by lithium chloride) slowed the increase in predation rate over time, which resulted in a three-fold increase in egg survival to predation as compared to both control and electronic deterrence. At the end of the experimental period, this effect was confirmed by a treatment swap, which showed that conferred protection remains at least 15 days after cessation of the treatment. Results indicate that small seabird species are likely to suffer severe rates of nest predation by rats and that conditioned taste aversion, but not electronic repellents, may represent a suitable method to protect colonies when eradication or control is not feasible or cost-effective. PMID:24058712

  9. Evaluating the interacting influences of pollination, seed predation, invasive species and isolation on reproductive success in a threatened alpine plant.

    PubMed

    Krushelnycky, Paul D

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai'i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0-55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10-20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  10. Prenatal exposure to restraint or predator stresses attenuates field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in infant rats.

    PubMed

    Saboory, Ehsan; Ahmadzadeh, Ramin; Roshan-Milani, Shiva

    2011-12-01

    Exposure to stress is known to change synaptic plasticity and results in long-term depression; further, this stress precipitates seizures. In the study described here, the prenatal restraint and predator stress models were used to test the hypothesis that indirect prenatal stresses influence hippocampal synaptic potentiation and may affect seizures susceptibility in infant rats. Pregnant female Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups: control, restraint-stressed, and predator-stressed groups. Both stressed groups were exposed to the stressor on gestation days 15, 16, and 17. The restraint stress involved 1-h sessions twice daily in a Plexiglas tube and the predator stress involved 2-h sessions once daily in a cage placed within the visual range of a caged cat. Blood corticosterone (COS) levels were measured in different time points. Hippocampal slices were prepared and field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) were studied on postnatal day 15. Pilocarpine was administered on postnatal day 25 and mortality rates were measured after 2 and 24h. Restraint and predator stresses resulted in significantly elevated COS blood levels in dams and pups. Both the amplitude and slope of fEPSP in the CA1 area decreased significantly in the stressed groups as compared to the control. Prenatal restraint and predator stresses significantly increased the fatal effect of pilocarpine at 24h after injection. Exposure to prenatal stresses and COS blood levels elevation reduce hippocampal synaptic potentiation and increase mortality rate of seizure in infant rats and may affect on later seizure susceptibility and prognosis.

  11. Amygdala regulates risk of predation in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

    PubMed

    Choi, June-Seek; Kim, Jeansok J

    2010-12-14

    In a natural environment, foragers constantly face the risk of encountering predators. Fear is a defensive mechanism evolved to protect animals from danger by balancing the animals' needs for primary resources with the risk of predation, and the amygdala is implicated in mediating fear responses. However, the functions of fear and amygdala in foraging behavior are not well characterized because of the technical difficulty in quantifying prey-predator interaction with real (unpredictable) predators. Thus, the present study investigated the rat's foraging behavior in a seminaturalistic environment when confronted with a predator-like robot programmed to surge toward the animal seeking food. Rats initially fled into the nest and froze (demonstrating fear) and then cautiously approached and seized the food as a function of decreasing nest-food and increasing food-robot distances. The likelihood of procuring food increased and decreased via lesioning/inactivating and disinhibiting the amygdala, respectively. These results indicate that the amygdala bidirectionally regulates risk behavior in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

  12. Habitat connectivity and resident shared predators determine the impact of invasive bullfrogs on native frogs in farm ponds

    PubMed Central

    Atobe, Takashi; Osada, Yutaka; Takeda, Hayato; Kuroe, Misako; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-01-01

    Habitat connectivity is considered to have an important role on the persistence of populations in the face of habitat fragmentation, in particular, for species with conservation concern. However, it can also impose indirect negative effects on native species through the spread of invasive species. Here, we investigated direct and indirect effects of habitat connectivity on populations of invasive bullfrogs and native wrinkled frogs and how these effects are modified by the presence of common carp, a resident shared predator, in a farm pond system in Japan. The distribution pattern analysis using a hierarchical Bayesian modelling indicated that bullfrogs had negative effects on wrinkled frogs, and that these negative effects were enhanced with increasing habitat connectivity owing to the metapopulation structure of bullfrogs. The analysis also suggested that common carp mitigated these impacts, presumably owing to a top-down trophic cascade through preferential predation on bullfrog tadpoles. These presumed interspecific interactions were supported by evidence from laboratory experiments, i.e. predation by carp was more intense on bullfrog tadpoles than on wrinkled frog tadpoles owing to the difference in refuge use. Our results indicate that metacommunity perspectives could provide useful insights for establishing effective management strategies of invasive species living in patchy habitats. PMID:24827433

  13. Habitat connectivity and resident shared predators determine the impact of invasive bullfrogs on native frogs in farm ponds.

    PubMed

    Atobe, Takashi; Osada, Yutaka; Takeda, Hayato; Kuroe, Misako; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-07-07

    Habitat connectivity is considered to have an important role on the persistence of populations in the face of habitat fragmentation, in particular, for species with conservation concern. However, it can also impose indirect negative effects on native species through the spread of invasive species. Here, we investigated direct and indirect effects of habitat connectivity on populations of invasive bullfrogs and native wrinkled frogs and how these effects are modified by the presence of common carp, a resident shared predator, in a farm pond system in Japan. The distribution pattern analysis using a hierarchical Bayesian modelling indicated that bullfrogs had negative effects on wrinkled frogs, and that these negative effects were enhanced with increasing habitat connectivity owing to the metapopulation structure of bullfrogs. The analysis also suggested that common carp mitigated these impacts, presumably owing to a top-down trophic cascade through preferential predation on bullfrog tadpoles. These presumed interspecific interactions were supported by evidence from laboratory experiments, i.e. predation by carp was more intense on bullfrog tadpoles than on wrinkled frog tadpoles owing to the difference in refuge use. Our results indicate that metacommunity perspectives could provide useful insights for establishing effective management strategies of invasive species living in patchy habitats.

  14. Getting ready for invasions: can background level of risk predict the ability of naïve prey to survive novel predators?

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Crane, Adam L.; Brown, Grant E.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2015-01-01

    Factors predicting the outcome of predator invasions on native prey communities are critical to our understanding of invasion ecology. Here, we tested whether background level of risk affected the survival of prey to novel predators, both native and invasive, predicting that high-risk environments would better prepare prey for invasions. We used naïve woodfrog as our prey and exposed them to a high or low risk regime either as embryos (prenatal exposure) or as larvae (recent exposure). Tadpoles were then tested for their survival in the presence of 4 novel predators: two dytiscid beetles, crayfish and trout. Survival was affected by both risk level and predator type. High risk was beneficial to prey exposed to the dytiscids larvae (ambush predators), but detrimental to prey exposed to crayfish or trout (pursuit predators). No effect of ontogeny of risk was found. We further documented that high-risk tadpoles were overall more active than their low-risk counterparts, explaining the patterns found with survival. Our results provide insights into the relationship between risk and resilience to predator invasions. PMID:25655436

  15. The enemy of my enemy is my friend: intraguild predation between invaders and natives facilitates coexistence with shared invasive prey.

    PubMed

    MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T A

    2014-08-01

    Understanding and predicting the outcomes of biological invasions is challenging where multiple invader and native species interact. We hypothesize that antagonistic interactions between invaders and natives could divert their impact on subsequent invasive species, thus facilitating coexistence. From field data, we found that, when existing together in freshwater sites, the native amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus and a previous invader G. pulex appear to facilitate the establishment of a second invader, their shared prey Crangonyx pseudogracilis. Indeed, the latter species was rarely found at sites where each Gammarus species was present on its own. Experiments indicated that this may be the result of G. d. celticus and G. pulex engaging in more intraguild predation (IGP) than cannibalism; when the 'enemy' of either Gammarus species was present, that is, the other Gammarus species, C. pseudogracilis significantly more often escaped predation. Thus, the presence of mutual enemies and the stronger inter- than intraspecific interactions they engage in can facilitate other invaders. With some invasive species such as C. pseudogracilis having no known detrimental effects on native species, and indeed having some positive ecological effects, we also conclude that some invasions could promote biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

  16. Will Climate Change, Genetic and Demographic Variation or Rat Predation Pose the Greatest Risk for Persistence of an Altitudinally Distributed Island Endemic?

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Catherine Laura; Auld, Tony D.; Hutton, Ian; Baker, William J.; Shapcott, Alison

    2012-01-01

    Species endemic to mountains on oceanic islands are subject to a number of existing threats (in particular, invasive species) along with the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. The Lord Howe Island endemic palm Hedyscepe canterburyana is restricted to two mountains above 300 m altitude. Predation by the introduced Black Rat (Rattus rattus) is known to significantly reduce seedling recruitment. We examined the variation in Hedyscepe in terms of genetic variation, morphology, reproductive output and demographic structure, across an altitudinal gradient. We used demographic data to model population persistence under climate change predictions of upward range contraction incorporating long-term climatic records for Lord Howe Island. We also accounted for alternative levels of rat predation into the model to reflect management options for control. We found that Lord Howe Island is getting warmer and drier and quantified the degree of temperature change with altitude (0.9 °C per 100 m). For H. canterburyana, differences in development rates, population structure, reproductive output and population growth rate were identified between altitudes. In contrast, genetic variation was high and did not vary with altitude. There is no evidence of an upward range contraction as was predicted and recruitment was greatest at lower altitudes. Our models predicted slow population decline in the species and that the highest altitude populations are under greatest threat of extinction. Removal of rat predation would significantly enhance future persistence of this species. PMID:24832517

  17. Activation of phenotypically-distinct neuronal subpopulations of the rat amygdala following exposure to predator odor.

    PubMed

    Butler, R K; Sharko, A C; Oliver, E M; Brito-Vargas, P; Kaigler, K F; Fadel, J R; Wilson, M A

    2011-02-23

    Exposure of rats to an odor of a predator can elicit an innate fear response. In addition, such exposure has been shown to activate limbic brain regions such as the amygdala. However, there is a paucity of data on the phenotypic characteristics of the activated amygdalar neurons following predator odor exposure. In the current experiments, rats were exposed to cloth which contained either ferret odor, butyric acid, or no odor for 30 min. Ferret odor-exposed rats displayed an increase in defensive burying versus control rats. Sections of the brains were prepared for dual-labeled immunohistochemistry and counts of c-Fos co-localized with Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), parvalbumin, or calbindin were made in the basolateral (BLA), central (CEA), and medial (MEA) nucleus of the amygdala. Dual-labeled immunohistochemistry showed a significant increase in the percentage of CaMKII-positive neurons also immunoreactive for c-Fos in the BLA, CEA and MEA of ferret odor-exposed rats compared to control and butyric acid-exposed groups. Further results showed a significant decrease in calbindin-immunoreactive neurons that were also c-Fos-positive in the anterior portion of the BLA of ferret odor-exposed rats compared to control and butyric acid-exposed rats, whereas the MEA expressed a significant decrease in calbindin/c-Fos dual-labeled neurons in butyric acid-exposed rats compared to controls and ferret odor-exposed groups. These results enhance our understanding of the functioning of the amygdala following exposure to predator threats by showing phenotypic characteristics of activated amygdalar neurons. With this knowledge, specific neuronal populations could be targeted to further elucidate the fundamental underpinnings of anxiety and could possibly indicate new targets for the therapeutic treatment of anxiety.

  18. Cotton Rats Alter Foraging in Response to an Invasive Ant

    PubMed Central

    Darracq, Andrea K.; Conner, L. Mike; Brown, Joel S.; McCleery, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the effects of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta; hereafter fire ant) on the foraging of hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus). We used a manipulative experiment, placing resource patches with a known amount of millet seed within areas with reduced (RIFA [–]) or ambient (RIFA [+]) numbers of fire ants. We measured giving up densities (the amount of food left within each patch) within the resource patches for 4 days to quantify the effects of fire ants on cotton rat foraging. We assessed the effects of fire ant treatment (RIFA), Day, and their interaction on cotton rat giving up densities. Giving up densities on RIFA [+] grids were nearly 2.2 times greater across all foraging days and ranged from 1.6 to 2.3 times greater from day 1 to day 4 than the RIFA [–] grids. From day 1 to day 4, mean giving up densities decreased significantly faster for the RIFA [–] than RIFA [+] treatments, 58% and 13%, respectively. Our results demonstrate that cotton rats perceive a risk of injury from fire ants, which is likely caused by interference competition, rather than direct predation. Envenomation from ants likely decrease the foraging efficiency of cotton rats resulting in more time spent foraging. Increased time spent foraging is likely stressful in terms of the opportunity for direct injury and encounters with other predators. These indirect effects may reduce an individual cotton rat’s fitness and translate into lowered population abundances. PMID:27655320

  19. Insights into Embryo Defenses of the Invasive Apple Snail Pomacea canaliculata: Egg Mass Ingestion Affects Rat Intestine Morphology and Growth

    PubMed Central

    Gimeno, Eduardo J.; Heras, Horacio

    2014-01-01

    Background The spread of the invasive snail Pomacea canaliculata is expanding the rat lungworm disease beyond its native range. Their toxic eggs have virtually no predators and unusual defenses including a neurotoxic lectin and a proteinase inhibitor, presumably advertised by a warning coloration. We explored the effect of egg perivitellin fluid (PVF) ingestion on the rat small intestine morphology and physiology. Methodology/Principal Findings Through a combination of biochemical, histochemical, histopathological, scanning electron microscopy, cell culture and feeding experiments, we analyzed intestinal morphology, growth rate, hemaglutinating activity, cytotoxicity and cell proliferation after oral administration of PVF to rats. PVF adversely affects small intestine metabolism and morphology and consequently the standard growth rate, presumably by lectin-like proteins, as suggested by PVF hemaglutinating activity and its cytotoxic effect on Caco-2 cell culture. Short-term effects of ingested PVF were studied in growing rats. PVF-supplemented diet induced the appearance of shorter and wider villi as well as fused villi. This was associated with changes in glycoconjugate expression, increased cell proliferation at crypt base, and hypertrophic mucosal growth. This resulted in a decreased absorptive surface after 3 days of treatment and a diminished rat growth rate that reverted to normal after the fourth day of treatment. Longer exposure to PVF induced a time-dependent lengthening of the small intestine while switching to a control diet restored intestine length and morphology after 4 days. Conclusions/Significance Ingestion of PVF rapidly limits the ability of potential predators to absorb nutrients by inducing large, reversible changes in intestinal morphology and growth rate. The occurrence of toxins that affect intestinal morphology and absorption is a strategy against predation not recognized among animals before. Remarkably, this defense is rather similar to

  20. Effects of oxytocin on methamphetamine-seeking exacerbated by predator odor pre-exposure in rats

    PubMed Central

    Ferland, Chantelle L.; Reichel, Carmela M.; McGinty, Jacqueline F.

    2016-01-01

    Rationale The endogenous oxytocin system has emerged as an inhibitor of drug-seeking and stress in preclinical models. Objectives The goal of this study was to examine whether systemic oxytocin administration attenuated methamphetamine (METH)–seeking in rats pre-exposed to a predator odor threat. Methods In Experiment 1, rats were exposed for five days to the predator odor, 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), or saline before METH self-administration began. After extinction training, rats were injected with 1 mg/kg, ip oxytocin (OXT) or saline 30 min before a cue-induced reinstatement test followed by re-extinction and a TMT–induced reinstatement test. In Experiment 2, TMT pre-exposure was followed by 10 days of 1 mg/kg OXT or saline injections before METH self-administration, extinction, and a TMT-induced reinstatement test. Results In Experiment 1, TMT pre-exposed rats that were injected with saline 30 min before reinstatement exhibited greater drug-seeking induced by conditioned cues or TMT than that exhibited by saline pre-exposed rats. A single injection of OXT 30 min before reinstatement suppressed METH-seeking in both saline- and TMT pre-exposed rats. In Experiment 2, TMT pre-exposed rats that received saline injections for 10d prior to METH self-administration exhibited enhanced drug-seeking induced by TMT during stress-induced reinstatement. OXT injections for 10d prior to METH self-administration blocked only the stress-induced exacerbation of drug-seeking in TMT pre-exposed rats. Conclusions These results support further research on the development of oxytocin as a novel therapeutic that has enduring effects on drug-seeking exacerbated by stress. PMID:26700240

  1. Population-level compensation by an invasive thistle thwarts biological control from seed predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predispersal seed predators are often chosen as biocontrol agents because of their high impacts on plant fitness; however, they have a mixed record in realizing decreased plant population growth. Few studies have experimentally removed agents to explore their impact on weed population growth. Here...

  2. Hemolymph Defense against an Invasive Herbivore: Its Breadth of Effectiveness Against Predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Defensive characteristics of organisms shape the trophic linkages within food webs and influence the ability of invasive organisms to expand their range. Diabrotica virgifera virgifera is an invasive herbivore in European maize, and its subterranean larval feeding affects the entire maize ecosystem....

  3. Predation on the Invasive Copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, and Native Zooplankton in the Lower Columbia River: An Experimental Approach to Quantify Differences in Prey-Specific Feeding Rates

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jesse B.; Bollens, Stephen M.; Bishop, John G.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive planktonic crustaceans have become a prominent feature of aquatic communities worldwide, yet their effects on food webs are not well known. The Asian calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, introduced to the Columbia River Estuary approximately 15 years ago, now dominates the late-summer zooplankton community, but its use by native aquatic predators is unknown. We investigated whether three species of planktivorous fishes (chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback, and northern pikeminnow) and one species of mysid exhibited higher feeding rates on native copepods and cladocerans relative to P. forbesi by conducting `single-prey’ feeding experiments and, additionally, examined selectivity for prey types with `two-prey’ feeding experiments. In single-prey experiments individual predator species showed no difference in feeding rates on native cyclopoid copepods (Cyclopidae spp.) relative to invasive P. forbesi, though wild-collected predators exhibited higher feeding rates on cyclopoids when considered in aggregate. In two-prey experiments, chinook salmon and northern pikeminnow both strongly selected native cladocerans (Daphnia retrocurva) over P. forbesi, and moreover, northern pikeminnow selected native Cyclopidae spp. over P. forbesi. On the other hand, in two-prey experiments, chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback and mysids were non- selective with respect to feeding on native cyclopoid copepods versus P. forbesi. Our results indicate that all four native predators in the Columbia River Estuary can consume the invasive copepod, P. forbesi, but that some predators select for native zooplankton over P. forbesi, most likely due to one (or both) of two possible underlying casual mechanisms: 1) differential taxon-specific prey motility and escape responses (calanoids > cyclopoids > daphnids) or 2) the invasive status of the zooplankton prey resulting in naivety, and thus lower feeding rates, of native predators feeding on invasive prey. PMID

  4. Predation on the Invasive Copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, and Native Zooplankton in the Lower Columbia River: An Experimental Approach to Quantify Differences in Prey-Specific Feeding Rates.

    PubMed

    Adams, Jesse B; Bollens, Stephen M; Bishop, John G

    2015-01-01

    Invasive planktonic crustaceans have become a prominent feature of aquatic communities worldwide, yet their effects on food webs are not well known. The Asian calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus forbesi, introduced to the Columbia River Estuary approximately 15 years ago, now dominates the late-summer zooplankton community, but its use by native aquatic predators is unknown. We investigated whether three species of planktivorous fishes (chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback, and northern pikeminnow) and one species of mysid exhibited higher feeding rates on native copepods and cladocerans relative to P. forbesi by conducting `single-prey' feeding experiments and, additionally, examined selectivity for prey types with `two-prey' feeding experiments. In single-prey experiments individual predator species showed no difference in feeding rates on native cyclopoid copepods (Cyclopidae spp.) relative to invasive P. forbesi, though wild-collected predators exhibited higher feeding rates on cyclopoids when considered in aggregate. In two-prey experiments, chinook salmon and northern pikeminnow both strongly selected native cladocerans (Daphnia retrocurva) over P. forbesi, and moreover, northern pikeminnow selected native Cyclopidae spp. over P. forbesi. On the other hand, in two-prey experiments, chinook salmon, three-spined stickleback and mysids were non- selective with respect to feeding on native cyclopoid copepods versus P. forbesi. Our results indicate that all four native predators in the Columbia River Estuary can consume the invasive copepod, P. forbesi, but that some predators select for native zooplankton over P. forbesi, most likely due to one (or both) of two possible underlying casual mechanisms: 1) differential taxon-specific prey motility and escape responses (calanoids > cyclopoids > daphnids) or 2) the invasive status of the zooplankton prey resulting in naivety, and thus lower feeding rates, of native predators feeding on invasive prey.

  5. What doesn't kill you makes you wary? Effect of repeated culling on the behaviour of an invasive predator.

    PubMed

    Côté, Isabelle M; Darling, Emily S; Malpica-Cruz, Luis; Smith, Nicola S; Green, Stephanie J; Curtis-Quick, Jocelyn; Layman, Craig

    2014-01-01

    As a result of being hunted, animals often alter their behaviour in ways that make future encounters with predators less likely. When hunting is carried out for conservation, for example to control invasive species, these behavioural changes can inadvertently impede the success of future efforts. We examined the effects of repeated culling by spearing on the behaviour of invasive predatory lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Bahamian coral reef patches. We compared the extent of concealment and activity levels of lionfish at dawn and midday on 16 coral reef patches off Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Eight of the patches had been subjected to regular daytime removals of lionfish by spearing for two years. We also estimated the distance at which lionfish became alert to slowly approaching divers on culled and unculled reef patches. Lionfish on culled reefs were less active and hid deeper within the reef during the day than lionfish on patches where no culling had occurred. There were no differences at dawn when removals do not take place. Lionfish on culled reefs also adopted an alert posture at a greater distance from divers than lionfish on unculled reefs. More crepuscular activity likely leads to greater encounter rates by lionfish with more native fish species because the abundance of reef fish outside of shelters typically peaks at dawn and dusk. Hiding deeper within the reef could also make remaining lionfish less likely to be encountered and more difficult to catch by spearfishers during culling efforts. Shifts in the behaviour of hunted invasive animals might be common and they have implications both for the impact of invasive species and for the design and success of invasive control programs.

  6. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Wary? Effect of Repeated Culling on the Behaviour of an Invasive Predator

    PubMed Central

    Côté, Isabelle M.; Darling, Emily S.; Malpica-Cruz, Luis; Smith, Nicola S.; Green, Stephanie J.; Curtis-Quick, Jocelyn; Layman, Craig

    2014-01-01

    As a result of being hunted, animals often alter their behaviour in ways that make future encounters with predators less likely. When hunting is carried out for conservation, for example to control invasive species, these behavioural changes can inadvertently impede the success of future efforts. We examined the effects of repeated culling by spearing on the behaviour of invasive predatory lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Bahamian coral reef patches. We compared the extent of concealment and activity levels of lionfish at dawn and midday on 16 coral reef patches off Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Eight of the patches had been subjected to regular daytime removals of lionfish by spearing for two years. We also estimated the distance at which lionfish became alert to slowly approaching divers on culled and unculled reef patches. Lionfish on culled reefs were less active and hid deeper within the reef during the day than lionfish on patches where no culling had occurred. There were no differences at dawn when removals do not take place. Lionfish on culled reefs also adopted an alert posture at a greater distance from divers than lionfish on unculled reefs. More crepuscular activity likely leads to greater encounter rates by lionfish with more native fish species because the abundance of reef fish outside of shelters typically peaks at dawn and dusk. Hiding deeper within the reef could also make remaining lionfish less likely to be encountered and more difficult to catch by spearfishers during culling efforts. Shifts in the behaviour of hunted invasive animals might be common and they have implications both for the impact of invasive species and for the design and success of invasive control programs. PMID:24705447

  7. Strong effects of predation by fishes on an invasive macroinvertebrate in a large floodplain river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartsch, M.R.; Bartsch, L.A.; Gutreuter, S.

    2005-01-01

    We assessed the effects of fish predation on zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in Navigation Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River from 13 May to 5 October, 1998. Concrete-block samplers were deployed at 18 randomly chosen sites in the main-channel border, with 6 sites in the upper, middle, and lower segments of the pool. Two blocks, 1 of which was enclosed in a cage to exclude large predatory fishes, were deployed at each site. After 145 d, blocks were retrieved from 12 of the 18 sites, and zebra mussels were found on all blocks. Densities of zebra mussels were higher on caged blocks than uncaged blocks, and the magnitudes of the differences varied spatially. Mean mussel densities on uncaged blocks were reduced by 66%, 86%, and 20% compared to caged blocks in the upper, middle, and lower pool segments, respectively, over the 145-d interval. Mean daily instantaneous zebra mussel mortality rates from large predators ranged from 0.0016 to 0.0138. Similarly, biomass of zebra mussels was higher on caged than uncaged blocks. Mean mussel biomass on uncaged blocks was reduced by 64% pool-wide, relative to biomass on caged blocks. Zebra mussels were consumed by at least 6 fish taxa including redhorse stickers (Moxostoma spp.), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), quillback carpsucker (Carpiodes cyprinus), flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), and freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens). Fish predation had an important moderating effect on zebra mussel demography in Pool 8.

  8. Phylogeographic structure of Teretrius nigrescens (Coleoptera: Histeridae) predator of the invasive post harvest pest Prostephanus truncatus (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae).

    PubMed

    Omondi, B A; van den Berg, J; Masiga, D; Schulthess, F

    2011-10-01

    The invasive larger grain borer Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) is the most important pest of farm-stored maize in Africa. It was introduced into the continent from Mesoamerica in the late 1970s and by 2008 had spread to at least 18 countries. Classical biological control using two populations of the predator Teretrius nigrescens Lewis achieved long-term and cost effective control in warm-humid areas, but not in cool and hot-dry zones. The present study investigated the phylogenetic relationships between geographical populations of the predator. Ten populations of T. nigrescens were studied using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR), sequence analysis of mitochondrial Cytochrme oxydase 1 (mtCOI) gene and ribosomal internally transcribed spacers (ITS) 1, 5.8S and ITS2. The mtCOI variation revealed two clades associated with geographical regions in Central America. It also reveals a significant isolation by distance between populations and considerable genetic shifts in laboratory rearing. RAPD-PCR did not reveal any potential SCAR diagnostic markers. The ITS variation mainly involved insertions and deletions of simple sequence repeats even within individuals. This study reveals the existence of two different mitochondrial lineages of the predator, associated with the geographical origin of populations distinguishable by fixed mutations on the mtCOI gene. The populations of T. nigrescens released in Africa belonged to two different clades from Meso America, namely south (released in West Africa) and north (released in eastern Africa). However, more polymorphic markers are required to clarify the observations in demographic time scales.

  9. Predator odor stress alters corticotropin-releasing factor-1 receptor (CRF1R)-dependent behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Roltsch, Emily A; Baynes, Brittni B; Mayeux, Jacques P; Whitaker, Annie M; Baiamonte, Brandon A; Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2014-04-01

    Humans with stress-related anxiety disorders exhibit increases in arousal and alcohol drinking, as well as altered pain processing. Our lab has developed a predator odor stress model that produces reliable and lasting increases in alcohol drinking. Here, we utilize this predator odor stress model to examine stress-induced increases in arousal, nociceptive processing, and alcohol self-administration by rats, and also to determine the effects of corticotropin-releasing factor-1 receptors (CRF1Rs) in mediating these behavioral changes. In a series of separate experiments, rats were exposed to predator odor stress, then tested over subsequent days for thermal nociception in the Hargreaves test, acoustic startle reactivity, or operant alcohol self-administration. In each experiment, rats were systemically injected with R121919, a CRF1R antagonist, and/or vehicle. Predator odor stress increased thermal nociception (i.e., hyperalgesia) and acoustic startle reactivity. Systemic administration of R121919 reduced thermal nociception and hyperarousal in stressed rats but not unstressed controls, and reduced operant alcohol responding over days. Stressed rats exhibited increased sensitivity to the behavioral effects of R121919 in all three tests, suggesting up-regulation of brain CRF1Rs number and/or function in stressed rats. These results suggest that post-stress alcohol drinking may be driven by a high-nociception high-arousal state, and that brain CRF1R signaling mediates these stress effects.

  10. The mother as hunter: significant reduction in foraging costs through enhancements of predation in maternal rats.

    PubMed

    Kinsley, Craig Howard; Blair, Jamie C; Karp, Natalie E; Hester, Naomi W; McNamara, Ilan M; Orthmeyer, Angela L; McSweeney, Molly C; Bardi, Massimo M; Karelina, Kate; Christon, Lillian M; Sirkin, Maxwell R; Victoria, Lindsay W; Skurka, Danielle J; Fyfe, Christian R; Hudepohl, Margaret B; Felicio, Luciano F; Franssen, R Adam; Meyer, Elizabeth E A; da Silva, Ilton S; Lambert, Kelly G

    2014-09-01

    In previous laboratory investigations, we have identified enhanced cognition and reduced stress in parous rats, which are likely adaptations in mothers needing to efficiently exploit resources to maintain, protect and provision their immature offspring. Here, in a series of seven behavioral tests on rats, we examined a natural interface between cognition and resource gathering: predation. Experiment 1 compared predatory behavior (toward crickets) in age-matched nulliparous mothers (NULLs) and postpartum lactating mothers (LACTs), revealing a highly significant enhancement of predation in LACT females (mean = -65s in LACTs, vs. -270s in NULLs). Experiment 2 examined the possibility that LACTs, given their increased metabolic rate, were hungrier, and thus more motivated to hunt; doubling the length of time of food deprivation in NULLs did not decrease their predatory latencies. Experiments 3-5, which examined sensory regulation of the effect, indicated that olfaction (anosmia), audition (blockade with white noise), and somatosensation (trimming the vibrissae) appear to play little role in the behavioral enhancement observed in the LACTs; Experiment 6 examined the possibility that visual augmentations may facilitate the improvements in predation; testing LACTs in a 0-lux environment eliminated the behavioral advantage (increasing their latencies from -65s to -212s), which suggests that temporary augmentation to the visual system may be important, and with hormone-neural alterations therein a likely candidate for further study. In contrast, testing NULLS in the 0-lux environment had the opposite effect, reducing their latency to catch the cricket (from -270s to -200s). Finally, Experiment 7 examined the development of predatory behavior in Early-pregnant (PREG), Mid-PREG, and Late-PREG females. Here, we observed a significant enhancement of predation in Mid-PREG and Late-PREG females--at a time when maternity-associated bodily changes would be expected to diminish

  11. Sex-specific impairment of spatial memory in rats following a reminder of predator stress.

    PubMed

    Burke, Hanna M; Robinson, Cristina M; Wentz, Bethany; McKay, Jerel; Dexter, Kyle W; Pisansky, Julia M; Talbot, Jeffery N; Zoladz, Phillip R

    2013-07-01

    It has been suggested that cognitive impairments exhibited by people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) result from intrusive, flashback memories transiently interfering with ongoing cognitive processing. Researchers have further speculated that females are more susceptible to developing PTSD because they form stronger traumatic memories than males, hence females may be more sensitive to the negative effects of intrusive memories on cognition. We have examined how the reminder of a naturalistic stress experience would affect rat spatial memory and if sex was a contributing factor to such effects. Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed, without contact, to an adult female cat for 30 min. Five weeks later, the rats were trained to locate a hidden platform in the radial-arm water maze and given a single long-term memory test trial 24 h later. Before long-term memory testing, the rats were given a 30-min reminder of the cat exposure experienced 5 weeks earlier. The results indicated that the stress reminder impaired spatial memory in the female rats only. Control manipulations revealed that this effect was not attributable to the original cat exposure adversely impacting learning that occurred 5 weeks later, or to merely exposing rats to a novel environment or predator-related cues immediately before testing. These findings provide evidence that the reminder of a naturalistic stressful experience can impair cognitive processing in rats; moreover, since female rats were more susceptible to the memory-impairing effects of the stress reminder, the findings could lend insight into the existing sex differences in susceptibility to PTSD.

  12. Divergent induced responses to an invasive predator in marine mussel populations.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Aaren S; Byers, James E

    2006-08-11

    Invasive species may precipitate evolutionary change in invaded communities. In southern New England (USA) the invasive Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, preys on mussels (Mytlius edulis), but the crab has not yet invaded northern New England. We show that southern New England mussels express inducible shell thickening when exposed to waterborne cues from Hemigrapsus, whereas naïve northern mussel populations do not respond. Yet, both populations thicken their shells in response to a long-established crab, Carcinus maenas. Our findings are consistent with the rapid evolution of an inducible morphological response to Hemigrapsus within 15 years of its introduction.

  13. Analysis of naticid gastropod predation across the trans-Arctic invasion in the Tjörnes beds, Iceland, and the Red Crag Formation, East Anglia, England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neely, Samuel H.; Kelley, Patricia H.

    2016-04-01

    Invasive species are wreaking havoc on modern ecosystems; however, species invasions are not new threats to ecosystems. The fossil record allows conservationists to acquire deep-time perspectives on long-term effects of natural invasions before anthropogenic impacts. Drill holes from invasive naticid gastropod predators on bivalve prey can be quantified to provide evidence of the impact of these invasive predators on ecosystems. An asymmetrical faunal interchange, known as the trans-Arctic invasion (TAI), occurred between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans during the Pliocene (˜3.5 Ma) because of the opening of the Bering Strait. This interchange could have changed naticid gastropod drilling predation on bivalves due to the migration of Pacific fauna into the Atlantic Ocean. The Tjörnes locality of northeast Iceland well characterizes the TAI because this site has preserved genera in three distinct levels that divide the invasion into the pre-invasion (Tapes and Mactra zones) and the post-invasion (Serripes zone). Temporal comparisons can be made between these pre- and post-invasion zones to analyze drilling predation across the TAI. Spatial comparisons of drilling predation in the post-invasion deposits can be made by correlating the Serripes zone (3.6-2.6 Ma) to the Red Crag Formation (2.54 Ma) of East Anglia, England, because these localities are of similar age and contain similar taxa. Specimens from the Tjörnes Beds, Iceland, were analyzed in collections housed at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. Red Crag Formation specimens were analyzed at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. Height and length of bivalve specimens were measured. The occurrence of complete and incomplete (unsuccessful) drill holes and drill hole diameter were recorded for all whole bivalves. Drilling frequency (DF = % mortality) and prey effectiveness (PE = % of attempted drill holes that were incomplete) were calculated. Icelandic samples

  14. Bartonella species in invasive rats and indigenous rodents from Uganda.

    PubMed

    Billeter, Sarah A; Borchert, Jeff N; Atiku, Linda A; Mpanga, Joseph T; Gage, Kenneth L; Kosoy, Michael Y

    2014-03-01

    The presence of bartonellae in invasive rats (Rattus rattus) and indigenous rodents (Arvicanthis niloticus and Cricetomys gambianus) from two districts in Uganda, Arua and Zombo, was examined by PCR detection and culture. Blood from a total of 228 R. rattus, 31 A. niloticus, and 5 C. gambianus was screened using genus-specific primers targeting the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region. Furthermore, rodent blood was plated on brain heart infusion blood agar, and isolates were verified as Bartonella species using citrate synthase gene- (gltA) specific primers. One hundred and four fleas recovered from R. rattus were also tested for the presence of Bartonella species using the same gltA primer set. An overall prevalence of 1.3% (three of 228) was obtained in R. rattus, whereas 61.3% of 31 A. niloticus and 60% of five C. gambianus were positive for the presence of Bartonella species. Genotypes related to Bartonella elizabethae, a known zoonotic pathogen, were detected in three R. rattus and one C. gambianus. Bartonella strains, similar to bacteria detected in indigenous rodents from other African countries, were isolated from the blood of A. niloticus. Bartonellae, similar to bacteria initially cultured from Ornithodorus sonrai (soft tick) from Senegal, were found in two C. gambianus. Interestingly, bartonellae detected in fleas from invasive rats were similar to bacteria identified in indigenous rodents and not their rat hosts, with an overall prevalence of 6.7%. These results suggest that if fleas are competent vectors of these bartonellae, humans residing in these two districts of Uganda are potentially at greater risk for exposure to Bartonella species from native rodents than from invasive rats. The low prevalence of bartonellae in R. rattus was quite surprising, in contrast, to the detection of these organisms in a large percentage of Rattus species from other geographical areas. A possible reason for this disparity is discussed.

  15. Severity of the effects of invasive rats on seabirds: a global review.

    PubMed

    Jones, Holly P; Tershy, Bernie R; Zavaleta, Erika S; Croll, Donald A; Keitt, Bradford S; Finkelstein, Myra E; Howald, Gregg R

    2008-02-01

    Invasive rats are some of the largest contributors to seabird extinction and endangerment worldwide. We conducted a meta-analysis of studies on seabird-rat interactions to examine which seabird phylogenetic, morphological, behavioral, and life history characteristics affect their susceptibility to invasive rats and to identify which rat species have had the largest impact on seabird mortality. We examined 94 manuscripts that demonstrated rat effects on seabirds. All studies combined resulted in 115 independent rat-seabird interactions on 61 islands or island chains with 75 species of seabirds in 10 families affected. Seabirds in the family Hydrobatidae and other small, burrow-nesting seabirds were most affected by invasive rats. Laridae and other large, ground-nesting seabirds were the least vulnerable to rats. Of the 3 species of invasive rats, Rattus rattus had the largest mean impact on seabirds followed by R. norvegicus and R. exulans; nevertheless, these differences were not statistically significant. Our findings should help managers and conservation practitioners prioritize selection of islands for rat eradication based on seabird life history traits, develop testable hypotheses for seabird response to rat eradication, provide justification for rat eradication campaigns, and identify suitable levels of response and prevention measures to rat invasion. Assessment of the effects of rats on seabirds can be improved by data derived from additional experimental studies, with emphasis on understudied seabird families such as Sulidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Spheniscidae, Fregatidae, Pelecanoididae, Phaethontidae, and Diomedeidae and evaluation of rat impacts in tropical regions.

  16. Ethopharmacological evaluation of the rat exposure test: a prey-predator interaction test.

    PubMed

    Campos, Kelciane Ferreira Caetano; Amaral, Vanessa Cristiane Santana; Rico, Javier Leonardo; Miguel, Tarciso Tadeu; Nunes-de-Souza, Ricardo Luiz

    2013-03-01

    The rat exposure test (RET) is a prey (mouse)-predator (rat) situation that activates brain defensive areas and elicits hormonal and defensive behavior in the mouse. Here, we investigated possible correlations between the spatiotemporal [time spent in protected (home chamber and tunnel) and unprotected (surface) compartments and frequency of entries into the three compartments] and ethological [e.g., duration of protected and unprotected stretched-attend postures (SAP), duration of contact with the rat's compartment] measures (Experiment 1). Secondly, we investigated the effects of systemic treatment with pro- or anti-aversive drugs on the behavior that emerged from the factor analysis (Experiment 2). The effects of chronic (21 days) imipramine and fluoxetine on defensive behavior were also investigated (Experiment 3). Exp. 1 revealed that the time in the protected compartment, protected SAP and rat contacts loaded on factor 1 (defensive behavior), while the total entries and unprotected SAP loaded on factor 2 (locomotor activity). Exp. 2 showed that alprazolam (but not diazepam) selectively changed the defensive factor. Caffeine produced a mild proaversive-like effect, whereas yohimbine only decreased locomotor activity (total entries). Fluoxetine (but not imipramine) produced a weak proaversive-like effect. 5-HT(1A)/5-HT(2) receptor ligands did not change any behavioral measure. In Exp. 3, chronic fluoxetine (but not imipramine) attenuated the defensive behavior factor without changing locomotion. Given that the defensive factor was sensitive to drugs known to attenuate (alprazolam and chronic fluoxetine) and induce (caffeine) panic attack, we suggest the RET as a useful test to assess the effects of panicolytic and panicogenic drugs.

  17. Predation by carabid beetles on the invasive slug Arion vulgaris in an agricultural semi-field experiment.

    PubMed

    Pianezzola, E; Roth, S; Hatteland, B A

    2013-04-01

    Arion vulgaris Moquin-Tandon 1855 is one of the most important invasive species in Europe, affecting both biodiversity and agriculture. The species is spreading in many parts of Europe, inflicting severe damage to horticultural plants and cultivated crops partly due to a lack of satisfactory and effective management solutions. Molluscicides have traditionally been used to manage slug densities, although the effects are variable and some have severe side-effects on other biota. Thus, there is a need to explore potential alternatives such as biological control. The nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita is the only biological agent that has been applied commercially so far. However, other biological control agents such as carabid beetles have also been found to be promising. In addition, some carabid species have been shown to feed on A. vulgaris in the field as well as in the laboratory. Two species in particular have been found to be important predators of A. vulgaris, and these species are also common in agricultural environments: Pterostichus melanarius and Carabus nemoralis. This study is the first to use semi-field experiments in a strawberry field, manipulating densities, to investigate how P. melanarius and C. nemoralis affect densities of A. vulgaris eggs and juveniles, respectively. Gut contents of C. nemoralis were analysed using multiplex PCR methods to detect DNA of juvenile slugs. Results show that both P. melanarius and C. nemoralis significantly affect densities of slug eggs and juvenile slugs under semi-field conditions and that C. nemoralis seems to prefer slugs smaller than one gram. Carabus nemoralis seems to be especially promising in reducing densities of A. vulgaris, and future studies should investigate the potential of using this species as a biological control agent.

  18. Fear-like biochemical and behavioral responses in rats to the predator odor, TMT, are dependent on the exposure environment.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Bret A; Elsworth, John D; Roth, Robert H

    2002-10-01

    Several laboratories have reported that exposure to predator odor can result in stress-like effects in rodents. While some laboratories have reported fear-like alterations in behavior, other laboratories, including our own, have failed to consistently observe fearful behaviors in rats exposed to the predator odor TMT. One potential contributing factor to this discrepancy is the handling of the rat and its test environment. In the current report, we examine biochemical, endocrinological, and behavioral effects of TMT in two distinct open fields: one small, familiar, and dimly lit, while the other was large, novel, and brightly lit. Only exposure to TMT in the large, novel open field resulted in fearful behavior; however, no increase in dopamine turnover was noted compared to no odor and control odor rats. As expected, the different open fields resulted in some biochemical and behavioral differences, including more horizontal locomotion and less grooming, higher serum corticosterone, and increased dopamine turnover in the ventral prefrontal cortex in the large open field. Finally, compared to the same open field controls, TMT exposure elevated rat serum corticosterone levels in both open fields and dopamine turnover in the dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala of rats only in the small, familiar open field. These results indicate that the TMT-induced biochemical activation of may occur without detectable fearful behaviors and may indicate a mechanism that prepares the animal for the expression of a fearful response if additional provocative stimuli are present.

  19. Endocannabinoid Modulation of Predator Stress-Induced Long-Term Anxiety in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Lim, James; Igarashi, Miki; Jung, Kwang-Mook; Butini, Stefania; Campiani, Giuseppe; Piomelli, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Individuals who experience life-threatening psychological trauma are at risk of developing a series of chronic neuropsychiatric pathologies that include generalized anxiety, depression, and drug addiction. The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the modulation of these responses by regulating the activity of the amygdala and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. However, the relevance of this signaling complex to the long-term consequences of traumatic events is unclear. Here we use an animal model of predatory stress-induced anxiety-like behavior to investigate the role of the endocannabinoid system in the development of persistent anxiety states. Our main finding is that rats exposed to the fox pheromone 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), a life-threatening stimulus for rodents, display a marked and selective increase in the mobilization of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG), in the amygdala. This effect lasts for at least 14 days after the stress has occurred. In addition, systemic or local pharmacological inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL)—a lipid hydrolase that degrades 2-AG in presynaptic nerve terminals—elevates 2-AG levels and suppresses the anxiety-like behavior elicited by exposure to TMT. The results suggest that predator threat triggers long-term changes in 2-AG-mediated endocannabinoid signaling in the amygdala, and that pharmacological interventions targeting MGL might provide a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of chronic brain disorders initiated by trauma. PMID:26361059

  20. Rodents balancing a variety of risks: invasive fire ants and indirect and direct indicators of predation risk.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Danielson, Brent, J.

    2004-06-08

    Oecologia (2004) 140: 662 - 667 We used foraging trays to compare how old field mice, Peromyscus polionotus, altered foraging in response to the presence of fire ants, Solenopsisinvicta, and in the presence of direct (predator urine) and indirect (sheltered or exposed micro habitat, moonlight, and precipitation) indicators of predation risk. Foraging reductions elicited by S. invicta were greater than reductions in response to well-documented indicators of risk (i.e., moonlit nights) and the presence of predator urine. The presence of S. invicta always led to reduced foraging, but the overall impact of S. invicta was dependent upon microhabitat and precipitation. When S. invicta was not present, foraging was greater in sheltered microhabitats compared to exposed microhabitats. S. invicta made sheltered microhabitats equivalent to more risky exposed microhabitats, and this effect was especially pronounced on nights without precipitation. The effect of S. invicta suggests that interactions with S. invicta may entail a potentially heavy cost or that presence of S. invicta may represent a more reliable indicator of imminent competition or predation compared to indirect cues of risk and predator urine. The presence of S. invicta led to reduced foraging under situations when foraging activity would otherwise be greatest (i.e., under vegetative cover), potentially reducing habitat quality for P. polionotus and the distribution of seeds consumed by rodents.

  1. Maternal presence and rearing condition affect responses to a live predator in kangaroo rats (Dipodomys heermanni arenae).

    PubMed

    Yoerg, S I; Shier, D M

    1997-12-01

    Experiment 1 compared the responses of wild-caught adult and captive-born adult and juvenile kangaroo rats (Dipodomys heermanni arenae) to a live snake. Wild-caught adult rats were less active and monitored the snake more than during a control condition; captive-born juvenile rats did not behave differently during snake and control tests. Snake-naive adult rats behaved more like the wild-caught adult rats, but not on all measures. In Experiment 2, pups were tested at 25 and 50 days of age in 4 conditions: no-snake control, alone with the snake, with a sibling and the snake, and with the mother and the snake. Pups did not behave differently during control and snake tests, but during tests with the mother, pups faced the snake less and followed the mother. Younger pups were more often near the mother than a sibling and followed the mother more when the snake was present. Development of defensive behavior may depend on both predator experience and maternal influence.

  2. Long-term impacts of invasive species on a native top predator in a large lake system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rush, Scott A.; Paterson, Gordon; Johnson, Tim B.; Drouillard, Ken G.; Haffner, Gordon D.; Hebert, Craig E.; Arts, Michael T.; McGoldrick, Daryl J.; Backus, Sean M.; Lantry, Brian F.; Lantry, Jana R.; Schaner, Ted; Fisk, Aaron T.

    2012-01-01

    1. Declining abundances of forage fish and the introduction and establishment of non-indigenous species have the potential to substantially alter resource and habitat exploitation by top predators in large lakes. 2. We measured stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in field-collected and archived samples of Lake Ontario lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and five species of prey fish and compared current trophic relationships of this top predator with historical samples. 3. Relationships between δ15N and lake trout age were temporally consistent throughout Lake Ontario and confirmed the role of lake trout as a top predator in this food web. However, δ13C values for age classes of lake trout collected in 2008 ranged from 1.0 to 3.9‰ higher than those reported for the population sampled in 1992. 4. Isotope mixing models predicted that these changes in resource assimilation were owing to the replacement of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) by round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in lake trout diet and increased reliance on carbon resources derived from nearshore production. This contrasts with the historical situation in Lake Ontario where δ13C values of the lake trout population were dominated by a reliance on offshore carbon production. 5. These results indicate a reduced capacity of the Lake Ontario offshore food web to support the energetic requirements of lake trout and that this top predator has become increasingly reliant on prey resources that are derived from nearshore carbon pathways.

  3. Invasive rats alter woody seedling composition on seabird-dominated islands in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Grant-Hoffman, Madeline N; Mulder, Christa P; Bellingham, Peter J

    2010-06-01

    Invasive rats (Rattus rattus, R. norvegicus, R. exulans) have large impacts on island habitats through both direct and indirect effects on plants. Rats affect vegetation by extirpating burrowing seabirds through consumption of eggs, chicks, and adults. These seabirds serve as ecosystem engineers, affecting plant communities by burying and trampling seeds and seedlings, and by altering microclimate. Rats also directly affect plant communities by consuming seeds and seedlings. We studied the direct and indirect impacts of rats on the seedlings of woody plants on 21 islands in northern New Zealand. We compared seedling densities and richness on islands which differed in status with respect to rats: nine islands where rats never invaded, seven islands where rats were present at the time of our study, and five islands where rats were either eradicated or where populations were likely to be small as a result of repeated eradications and re-invasions. In addition, we compared plots from a subset of the 21 islands with different burrow densities to examine the effects of burrowing seabirds on plants while controlling for other factors that differ between islands. We categorized plant communities by species composition and seedling density in a cluster analysis. We found that burrow densities explained more variation in seedling communities than rat status. In areas with high seabird burrow density seedling densities were low, especially for the smallest seedlings. Species richness and diversity of seedlings, but not seedling density, were most influenced by changes in microclimate induced by seabirds. Islands where rats had been eradicated or that had low rat populations had the lowest diversity and richness of seedlings (and adults), but the highest seedling density. Seedling communities on these islands were dominated by Pseudopanax lessonii and Coprosma macrocarpa. This indicates lasting effects of rats that may prevent islands from returning to pre-invasion states.

  4. Ant predation on an invasive herbivore: Can an extrafloral nectar-producing plant provide associational resistance to Opuntia individuals?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The legume Chamaecrista fasciculata attracts ants to its extrafloral nectar (EFN) which can lead to reduced herbivory and increased fecundity for the plant. In Florida, Opuntia stricta and O. humifusa, hosts of the invasive moth Cactoblastis cactorum, are often found growing in close association wit...

  5. Draft Genome Sequences of Six Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Strains That Establish Bacteremia in the Infant Rat Model of Invasive Disease

    PubMed Central

    VanWagoner, Timothy M.; Seale, Thomas W.; Mussa, Huda J.; Cole, Brett K.; Whitby, Paul W.; Stull, Terrence L.

    2015-01-01

    Haemophilus influenzae is an important cause of invasive disease. The infant rat is the accepted model of invasive H. influenzae disease. Here, we report the genome sequences of six nontypeable H. influenzae strains that establish bacteremia in the infant rat. PMID:26404588

  6. Prophylactic and therapeutic effects of acute systemic injections of EMD 281014, a selective serotonin 2A receptor antagonist on anxiety induced by predator stress in rats.

    PubMed

    Adamec, Robert; Creamer, Katherine; Bartoszyk, Gerd D; Burton, Paul

    2004-11-03

    We examined the effect of the selective serotonin 2A (5-HT(2A)) receptor antagonist 7-[4-[2-(4-fluoro-phenyl)-ethyl]-piperazine-1-carbonyl]-1H-indole-3-carbon itrile HCl (EMD 281014) [Bartoszyk, G.D., van Amsterdam, C., Bottcher, H., Seyfried, C.A., 2003. EMD 281014, a new selective serotonin 5-HT2A receptor antagonist. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 473, 229-230.] on change in affect following predator stress. Predator stress involved a 5 min unprotected exposure of rats to a domestic cat. Behavioral effects of stress were evaluated with hole board, plus maze, light/dark box and acoustic startle tests 1 week after stress. Predator stress increased anxiety-like behavior in the plus maze, light/dark box, and elevated response to acoustic startle. EMD 281014 (0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1 or 10 mg/kg) and vehicle injection (ip) occurred either 10 min after predator stress (prophylactic testing), or 90 min prior to behavioral testing for the effects of predator stress (therapeutic testing 1 week after predator stress). In prophylactic testing, EMD 281014 prevented stress potentiation of startle in a dose dependent manner, though the most effective doses were midrange (0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg). Prophylactic administration of EMD 281014 also prevented stress-induced increase of open arm avoidance in the plus maze in a clear dose dependent manner (from 0.01 mg/kg onward). In therapeutic testing, EMD 281014 had no clear drug dependent effects on stress elevation of startle or on behavior of stressed rats in the elevated plus maze. Finally, EMD 281014 did not block the effects of stress on behavior in the light/dark box when given prophylactically or therapeutically. Findings implicate 5-HT(2A) receptors in initiation of some but not all lasting changes in anxiety-like behavior following predator stress. Potential clinical significance of findings are discussed.

  7. From Human Geography to Biological Invasions: The Black Rat Distribution in the Changing Southeastern of Senegal

    PubMed Central

    Lucaccioni, Héloïse; Granjon, Laurent; Dalecky, Ambroise; Fossati, Odile; Le Fur, Jean; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Handschumacher, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    In the contemporary context of zoonosis emergence and spread, invasive species are a major issue since they represent potential pathogen hosts. Even though many progresses have been done to understand and predict spatial patterns of invasive species, the challenge to identify the underlying determinants of their distribution remains a central question in invasion biology. This is particularly exacerbated in the case of commensal species that strictly depend on humankind for dispersal and perennial establishment of new populations. The distribution of these species is predicted to be influenced by dispersal opportunities and conditions acting on establishment and proliferation, such as environmental characteristics, including spatio-temporal components of the human societies. We propose to contribute to the understanding of the recent spread of a major invasive rodent species, the black rat (Rattus rattus), in the changing southeastern of Senegal. We address the factors that promote the dispersal and distribution of this invasive rodent from the perspective of human geography. We first describe characteristics of human settlements in terms of social and spatial organization of human societies (i.e. economic activities, commercial and agricultural networks, roads connectivity). We then explore the relationship between these characteristics and the distribution of this invasive rodent. Finally we propose that historical and contemporary dynamics of human societies have contributed to the risk of invasion of the black rat. We argue that the diffusion processes of invasive species cannot be considered as a result of the spatial structure only (i.e. connectivity and distance), but as a part of the human territory that includes the social and spatial organization. Results suggest that the distribution of invasive rodents partly results from the contemporary and inherited human socio-spatial systems, beyond the existence of suitable ecological conditions that are

  8. From Human Geography to Biological Invasions: The Black Rat Distribution in the Changing Southeastern of Senegal.

    PubMed

    Lucaccioni, Héloïse; Granjon, Laurent; Dalecky, Ambroise; Fossati, Odile; Le Fur, Jean; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Handschumacher, Pascal

    In the contemporary context of zoonosis emergence and spread, invasive species are a major issue since they represent potential pathogen hosts. Even though many progresses have been done to understand and predict spatial patterns of invasive species, the challenge to identify the underlying determinants of their distribution remains a central question in invasion biology. This is particularly exacerbated in the case of commensal species that strictly depend on humankind for dispersal and perennial establishment of new populations. The distribution of these species is predicted to be influenced by dispersal opportunities and conditions acting on establishment and proliferation, such as environmental characteristics, including spatio-temporal components of the human societies. We propose to contribute to the understanding of the recent spread of a major invasive rodent species, the black rat (Rattus rattus), in the changing southeastern of Senegal. We address the factors that promote the dispersal and distribution of this invasive rodent from the perspective of human geography. We first describe characteristics of human settlements in terms of social and spatial organization of human societies (i.e. economic activities, commercial and agricultural networks, roads connectivity). We then explore the relationship between these characteristics and the distribution of this invasive rodent. Finally we propose that historical and contemporary dynamics of human societies have contributed to the risk of invasion of the black rat. We argue that the diffusion processes of invasive species cannot be considered as a result of the spatial structure only (i.e. connectivity and distance), but as a part of the human territory that includes the social and spatial organization. Results suggest that the distribution of invasive rodents partly results from the contemporary and inherited human socio-spatial systems, beyond the existence of suitable ecological conditions that are

  9. An invasive species induces rapid adaptive change in a native predator: cane toads and black snakes in Australia.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Ben L; Shine, Richard

    2006-06-22

    Rapid environmental change due to human activities has increased rates of extinction, but some species may be able to adapt rapidly enough to deal with such changes. Our studies of feeding behaviour and physiological resistance to toxins reveal surprisingly rapid adaptive responses in Australian black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus) following the invasion of a lethally toxic prey item, the cane toad (Bufo marinus). Snakes from toad-exposed localities showed increased resistance to toad toxin and a decreased preference for toads as prey. Separate laboratory experiments suggest that these changes are not attributable to learning (we were unable to teach naive snakes to avoid toxic prey) or to acquired resistance (repeated sub-lethal doses did not enhance resistance). These results strongly suggest that black snake behaviour and physiology have evolved in response to the presence of toads, and have done so rapidly. Toads were brought to Australia in 1935, so these evolved responses have occurred in fewer than 23 snake generations.

  10. Effects of systemic injections of vilazodone, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and serotonin 1A receptor agonist, on anxiety induced by predator stress in rats.

    PubMed

    Adamec, Robert; Bartoszyk, Gerd D; Burton, Paul

    2004-11-03

    We examined the effect of Vilazodone, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor agonist [Bartoszyk, G.D., Hegenbart, R., Ziegler, H., 1997. EMD 68843, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor with selective presynaptic 5-HT1A receptor agonistic properties. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 322, 147-153.], on change in affect following predator stress. Vilazodone and vehicle injection (intraperitoneal) occurred either 10 min after predator stress (prophylactic testing), or 90 min prior to behavioral testing for the effects of predator stress (therapeutic testing). Predator stress involved unprotected exposure of rats to a domestic cat. Behavioral effects of stress were evaluated with hole board, plus-maze, and acoustic startle tests 1 week after stress. Predator stress increased anxiety-like behavior in the plus-maze and elevated response to acoustic startle. In prophylactic testing, Vilazodone affected stress potentiation of startle at doses above 5 mg/kg. Vilazodone increased stress elevation of startle at 10 mg/kg. Higher doses of Vilazodone (20 and 40 mg/kg) blocked stress potentiation of startle. In contrast, Vilazodone had no effect on stress potentiation of anxiety in the plus-maze. In therapeutic testing, Vilazodone increased stress elevation of startle at all doses. In contrast, therapeutic Vilazodone had no effect on stress potentiation of anxiety in the plus-maze. Taken together, the data suggest a prophylactic potential for Vilazodone in the treatment of changes in hypervigilance following severe stress.

  11. Efficacy of urine bile acid as a non-invasive indicator of liver damage in rats.

    PubMed

    Kawai, Hiroshi; Kudo, Naomi; Kawashima, Yoichi; Mitsumoto, Atsushi

    2009-02-01

    Estimation of liver damage is important in the pathophysiological and toxicological study of liver disease. As a novel, non-invasive marker of liver damage, we studied the efficacy of urine bile acids (UBA) in a rat model of liver disease. Thioacetamide (TAA)-treated rats were used in this study. Single intraperitoneal administration of high-dose TAA induces severe damage to the liver, and thus is used as a model of acute hepatitis. Continuous administration of low-dose TAA yields mild damage to the liver, and induces cirrhosis and hepatic tumors. In this study, it was found that both acute and chronic administration of TAA was associated with a dose-dependent elevation of UBA. The elevation of UBA content correlated with the alteration of blood biochemical indicators, and UBA screening showed a remarkable ability to distinguish liver-damaged rats from healthy rats. In particular, UBA analysis was found to have high sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value for the screening of rats with abnormal serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity due to chronic liver damage, which was confirmed to include cholestasis and subsequent cirrhosis by liver histological analysis. In conclusion, we demonstrated that measurement of UBA is a simple, non-invasive and effective method for the screening of cholestasis in TAA-treated rats. We suggest that UBA analysis may have potent applicability for monitoring the progress of liver damage in animal models of chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.

  12. Non-invasive stratification of postinfarction rats based on degree of cardiac dysfunction using magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography.

    PubMed

    Aronsen, Jan Magnus; Espe, Emil Knut Stenersen; Skårdal, Kristine; Hasic, Almira; Zhang, Lili; Sjaastad, Ivar

    2017-02-10

    The myocardial infarction (MI) rat model plays a crucial role in modern cardiovascular research, but the inherent heterogeneity of this model represents a challenge. We sought to identify subgroups among the post-MI rats, and establish simple non-invasive stratification protocols for such subgroups. Six weeks after induction of MI, 49 rats underwent non-invasive examinations using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and echocardiography. 12 sham-operated rats served as controls. Increased end-diastolic left ventricular (LV) pressure and lung weight served as indicators for congestive heart failure (CHF). A clustering algorithm using thirteen non-invasive and invasive parameters was used to identify distinct groups among the animals. The cluster analysis revealed four distinct post-MI phenotypes; two without congestion but with different degree of LV dilatation, and two with different degree of congestion and right ventricular (RV) affection. Among the MRI parameters, RV mass emerged as robust non-invasive marker of CHF with 100% specificity/sensitivity. Moreover, LV infarct size and RV ejection fraction further predicted subgroup among the non-CHF and CHF rats with excellent specificity/sensitivity. Of the echocardiography parameters, left atrial diameter predicted CHF. Moreover, MRI-derived LV end-diastolic diameter predicted the subgroups among the non-CHF rats. We propose two simple non-invasive schemes to stratify post-MI rats, based on the degree of heart failure; one for MRI and one for echocardiography.

  13. Toxoplasma gondii infection reduces predator aversion in rats through epigenetic modulation in the host medial amygdala.

    PubMed

    Hari Dass, Shantala Arundhati; Vyas, Ajai

    2014-12-01

    Male rats (Rattus novergicus) infected with protozoan Toxoplasma gondii relinquish their innate aversion to the cat odours. This behavioural change is postulated to increase transmission of the parasite to its definitive felid hosts. Here, we show that the Toxoplasma gondii infection institutes an epigenetic change in the DNA methylation of the arginine vasopressin promoter in the medial amygdala of male rats. Infected animals exhibit hypomethylation of arginine vasopressin promoter, leading to greater expression of this nonapeptide. The infection also results in the greater activation of the vasopressinergic neurons after exposure to the cat odour. Furthermore, we show that loss of fear in the infected animals can be rescued by the systemic hypermethylation and recapitulated by directed hypomethylation in the medial amygdala. These results demonstrate an epigenetic proximate mechanism underlying the extended phenotype in the Rattus novergicus-Toxoplasma gondii association.

  14. Predator Exposure/Psychosocial Stress Animal Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Modulates Neurotransmitters in the Rat Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, C. Brad; Ebenezer, Philip J.; McLaughlin, Leslie D.; Francis, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop in response to a traumatic event involving a threat to life. To date, no diagnostic biomarkers have been identified for PTSD. Recent research points toward physiological abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, sympathoadrenal medullary and immune system that may be implicated in the disorder. The modulation of neurotransmitters is another possible mechanism, but their role in the progression of PTSD is poorly understood. Low serotonin (5-HT) may be a factor, but it may not be the only neurotransmitter affected as modulation affects levels of other neurotransmitters. In this study, we hypothesized the predator exposure/psychosocial stress rodent model of PTSD may alter levels of 5-HT and other neurotransmitters in the rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this experiment. We induced PTSD via a predator exposure/psychosocial stress model, whereby rats were placed in a cage with a cat for 1 hour on days 1 and 11 of the 31-day experiment. Rats also received psychosocial stress via daily cage cohort changes. On day 32, the rats were sacrificed and the brains dissected to remove the hippocampus and PFC. Norepinephrine (NE), 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), homovanillic acid (HVA), dopamine (DA), and 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and 5-HT levels in the hippocampus and PFC were measured with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In the hippocampus, 5-HT and HVA were lower, while NE and DOPAC were higher, in the PTSD group vs. controls. In the PFC, only 5-HT was lower, while NE, DA, and DOPAC were higher, in the PTSD group vs. controls. The rate limiting enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase and tryptophan hydroxylase were also examined and confirmed our findings. These results demonstrate that the predator exposure/psychosocial stress model of PTSD produces neurotransmitter changes similar to those seen in human patients and may cause a

  15. Development of Odor Hedonics: Experience-Dependent Ontogeny of Circuits Supporting Maternal and Predator Odor Responses in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Al Aïn, Syrina; Raineki, Charlis; Sullivan, Regina M.

    2016-01-01

    A major component of perception is hedonic valence: perceiving stimuli as pleasant or unpleasant. Here, we used early olfactory experiences that shape odor preferences and aversions to explore developmental plasticity in circuits mediating odor hedonics. We used 2-deoxyglucose autoradiographic mapping of neural activity to identify circuits differentially activated by biologically relevant preferred and avoided odors across rat development. We then further probed this system by increasing or decreasing hedonic value. Using both region of interest and functional connectivity analyses, we identified regions within primary olfactory, amygdala/hippocampal, and prefrontal cortical networks that were activated differentially by maternal and male odors. Although some activated regions remained stable across development (postnatal days 7–23), there was a developmental emergence of others that resulted in an age-dependent elaboration of hedonic-response-specific circuitry despite stable behavioral responses (approach/avoidance) to the odors across age. Hedonic responses to these biologically important odors were modified through diet suppression of the maternal odor and co-rearing with a male. This allowed assessment of hedonic circuits in isolation of the specific odor quality and/or intensity. Early experience significantly modified odor-evoked circuitry in an age-dependent manner. For example, co-rearing with a male, which induced pup attraction to male odor, reduced activity in amygdala regions normally activated by the unfamiliar avoided male odor, making this region more consistent with maternal odor. Understanding the development of odor hedonics, particularly within the context of altered early life experience, provides insight into the development of sensory processes, food preferences, and the formation of social affiliations, among other behaviors. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Odor hedonic valence controls approach–avoidance behaviors, but also modulates ongoing

  16. Pitfalls of invasive blood pressure monitoring using the caudal ventral artery in rats

    PubMed Central

    Ohta, Hiroki; Ohki, Takao; Kanaoka, Yuji; Koizumi, Makoto; Okano, Hirotaka J.

    2017-01-01

    During rodent experiments, the caudal ventral artery (CVA) is useful for blood pressure (BP) measurement. However, CVA measurements may not reflect the true BP. This study was performed to verify the site-specific accuracy of invasive arterial BP monitoring during surgery in rats. Invasive arterial BP was simultaneously measured in rats via the CVA and the common carotid artery (CCA). The BP values were analysed while the rats were subjected to cooling of the head or tail. Additionally, the rats underwent digital subtraction angiography and histological examination of these arteries. The pressure difference was more significant in the tail cooling group than in the head cooling group. Digital subtraction angiography revealed that angiospasms occurred more frequently in the CVA than in the CCA upon cooling. This phenomenon was supported by histological analysis, which showed that the tunica media area was significantly larger in the CVA than in the CCA. CVA pressure is susceptible to environmental changes and may not accurately reflect the true BP without a strictly controlled laboratory environment. Therefore, understanding the pitfalls of this method is necessary to avoid cooling of the tail during BP measurement. PMID:28198822

  17. Changes in Dam and Pup Behavior Following Repeated Postnatal Exposure to a Predator Odor (TMT): A Preliminary Investigation in Long-Evans Rats

    PubMed Central

    Ayers, Luke W.; Asok, Arun; Blaze, Jennifer; Roth, Tania L.; Rosen, Jeffrey B.

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated whether repeated early postnatal exposure to the predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT) alters behavioral responses to the stimulus later in life, at postnatal day (PN30). Long-Evans rat pups with their mothers were exposed for 20 min daily to TMT, water, or a noxious odor, butyric acid (BTA), during the first three weeks of life. Mothers exposed to TMT displayed more crouching and nursing behavior than those exposed to BTA, and TMT exposed pups emitted more ultrasonic vocalizations than BTA exposed pups. At PN30, rats were tested for freezing to TMT, water, or BTA. Rats exposed to TMT during the postnatal period displayed less freezing to TMT than rats exposed postnatally to water or BTA. Our data indicate that early-life experience with a predator cue has a significant impact on later fear responses to that same cue, highlighting the programming capacity of the postnatal environment on the development of behavior. PMID:26394891

  18. Changes in dam and pup behavior following repeated postnatal exposure to a predator odor (TMT): A preliminary investigation in Long-Evans rats.

    PubMed

    Ayers, Luke W; Asok, Arun; Blaze, Jennifer; Roth, Tania L; Rosen, Jeffrey B

    2016-03-01

    The present study investigated whether repeated early postnatal exposure to the predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT) alters behavioral responses to the stimulus later in life, at postnatal day (PN30). Long-Evans rat pups with their mothers were exposed for 20 min daily to TMT, water, or a noxious odor, butyric acid (BTA), during the first three weeks of life. Mothers exposed to TMT displayed more crouching and nursing behavior than those exposed to BTA, and TMT exposed pups emitted more ultrasonic vocalizations than BTA exposed pups. At PN30, rats were tested for freezing to TMT, water, or BTA. Rats exposed to TMT during the postnatal period displayed less freezing to TMT than rats exposed postnatally to water or BTA. Our data indicate that early-life experience with a predator cue has a significant impact on later fear responses to that same cue, highlighting the programming capacity of the postnatal environment on the development of behavior.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Predator-Free New Zealand: Conservation Country

    PubMed Central

    Russell, James C.; Innes, John G.; Brown, Philip H.; Byrom, Andrea E.

    2015-01-01

    Eradications of invasive species from over 1000 small islands around the world have created conservation arks, but to truly address the threat of invasive species to islands, eradications must be scaled by orders of magnitude. New Zealand has eradicated invasive predators from 10% of its offshore island area and now proposes a vision to eliminate them from the entire country. We review current knowledge of invasive predator ecology and control technologies in New Zealand and the biological research, technological advances, social capacity and enabling policy required. We discuss the economic costs and benefits and conclude with a 50-year strategy for a predator-free New Zealand that is shown to be ecologically obtainable, socially desirable, and economically viable. The proposal includes invasive predator eradication from the two largest offshore islands, mammal-free mainland peninsulas, very large ecosanctuaries, plus thousands of small projects that will together merge eradication and control concepts on landscape scales. PMID:26955079

  1. Cyclic mechanical stretching promotes migration but inhibits invasion of rat bone marrow stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bingyu; Luo, Qing; Chen, Zhe; Sun, Jinghui; Xu, Baiyao; Ju, Yang; Song, Guanbin

    2015-03-01

    Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs, also broadly known as bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells) are multipotent stem cells that have a self-renewal capacity and multilineage differentiation potential. Mechanical stretching plays a vital role in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of BMSCs. However, little is known about the effects of cyclic stretching on BMSC migration and invasion. In this study, using a custom-made cell-stretching device, we studied the effects of cyclic mechanical stretching on rat BMSC migration and invasion using a Transwell Boyden Chamber. The protein secretion of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) was detected by gelatin zymography, and the activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) was measured by western blot. We found that cyclic mechanical stretching with 10% amplitude at 1Hz frequency for 8h promotes BMSC migration, but reduces BMSC invasion. FAK and ERK1/2 signals were activated in BMSCs after exposure to cyclic stretching. In the presence of the FAK phosphorylation blocker PF573228 or the ERK1/2 phosphorylation blocker PD98059, the cyclic-stretch-promoted migration of BMSCs was completely suppressed. On the other hand, cyclic mechanical stretching reduced the secretion of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in BMSCs, and PF573228 suppressed the cyclic-stretch-reduced secretion of MMP-2 and MMP-9. The decrease of BMSC invasion induced by mechanical stretching is partially restored by PF573228 but remained unaffected by PD98059. Taken together, these data show that cyclic mechanical stretching promotes BMSC migration via the FAK-ERK1/2 signalling pathway, but reduces BMSC invasion by decreasing secretion of MMP-2 and MMP-9 via FAK, independent of the ERK1/2 signal.

  2. Differential impact of adults and nymphs of a generalist predator on an exotic invasive pest demonstrated by molecular gut-content analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Generalist predators can regulate herbivore populations through a variety of mechanisms, but food webs are complex and defining the strength of trophic linkages can be difficult. Molecular gut-content analysis has revolutionized our understanding of these systems. Using this technology, we examined ...

  3. Resistance to DNA Damaging Agents Produced Invasive Phenotype of Rat Glioma Cells-Characterization of a New in Vivo Model.

    PubMed

    Stojković, Sonja; Podolski-Renić, Ana; Dinić, Jelena; Pavković, Željko; Ayuso, Jose M; Fernández, Luis J; Ochoa, Ignacio; Pérez-García, Victor M; Pešić, Vesna; Pešić, Milica

    2016-06-27

    Chemoresistance and invasion properties are severe limitations to efficient glioma therapy. Therefore, development of glioma in vivo models that more accurately resemble the situation observed in patients emerges. Previously, we established RC6 rat glioma cell line resistant to DNA damaging agents including antiglioma approved therapies such as 3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) and temozolomide (TMZ). Herein, we evaluated the invasiveness of RC6 cells in vitro and in a new orthotopic animal model. For comparison, we used C6 cells from which RC6 cells originated. Differences in cell growth properties were assessed by real-time cell analyzer. Cells' invasive potential in vitro was studied in fluorescently labeled gelatin and by formation of multicellular spheroids in hydrogel. For animal studies, fluorescently labeled cells were inoculated into adult male Wistar rat brains. Consecutive coronal and sagittal brain sections were analyzed 10 and 25 days post-inoculation, while rats' behavior was recorded during three days in the open field test starting from 25th day post-inoculation. We demonstrated that development of chemoresistance induced invasive phenotype of RC6 cells with significant behavioral impediments implying usefulness of orthotopic RC6 glioma allograft in preclinical studies for the examination of new approaches to counteract both chemoresistance and invasion of glioma cells.

  4. Time-resolved diffuse optical tomography for non-invasive flap viability assessment: pre-clinical tests on rats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Sieno, L.; Bettega, G.; Berger, M.; Hamou, C.; Aribert, M.; Dalla Mora, A.; Puszka, A.; Grateau, H.; Contini, D.; Hervé, L.; Coll, J.-L.; Dinten, J.-M.; Pifferi, A.; Planat-Chrétien, A.

    2015-07-01

    We present a new setup for time-resolved diffuse optical tomography based on multiple source-detector acquisitions analysed by means of the Mellin-Laplace transform. The proposed setup has been used to perform pre-clinical measurements on rats in order to show its suitability for non-invasive assessment of flap viability.

  5. Minimally Invasive Approach to the Lingual and Hypoglossal Nerves in the Adult Rat.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Edward John; Phillips, Grady W; Gratton, Michael Anne; Long, John P; Varvares, Mark A

    2016-06-01

    Surgical manipulation of the sensory and motor nerves of the rat tongue is often employed in studies evaluating the oral cavity functions of mastication and deglutition. A noninvasive, atraumatic approach that will then facilitate sufficient manipulation of these structures is required. In this study, we detail an approach that consistently allows identification of the hypoglossal (motor) and lingual (sensory) nerves of the rat. Six Wistar rats (250-500 g) were anesthetized and dissected either as fresh tissue (N = 3) or following transcardial perfusion with 4% paraformaldehyde (N = 3). Both fixed and non-fixed specimens of the rat head and neck were incised in the right submandibular region. The first animal in each group was used to gain a basic understanding of the regional muscular anatomy with reference to the hypoglossal and lingual nerves. Subsequent animals were used for the development of an efficient and minimally invasive approach to these nerves. The resultant approach begins as an incision through skin and platysma, followed by medial reflection of the digastric muscle. This allows visualization of the hypoglossal nerve in the region of the bifurcation of the common trunk into medial and lateral subdivisions. Next, the lingual nerve dissection is approached by reflection rostrally of the transversus mandibularis muscle and a caudal reflection of the mylohyoid muscle. This dissection reveals the geniohyoid muscle which when separated bluntly using forceps, exposes the lingual nerve. The anatomical approach described and illustrated herein will aid investigators in consistent identification of these two nerves as fundamental methods of their projects.

  6. Invasive rats and recent colonist birds partially compensate for the loss of endemic New Zealand pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Pattemore, David E.; Wilcove, David S.

    2012-01-01

    Reported declines of pollinator populations around the world have led to increasing concerns about the consequences for pollination as a critical ecosystem function and service. Pollination could be maintained through compensation if remaining pollinators increase their contribution or if novel species are recruited as pollinators, but empirical evidence of this compensation is so far lacking. Using a natural experiment in New Zealand where endemic vertebrate pollinators still occur on one offshore island reserve despite their local extinction on the adjacent North Island, we investigated whether compensation could maintain pollination in the face of pollinator extinctions. We show that two recently arrived species in New Zealand, the invasive ship rat (Rattus rattus) and the recent colonist silvereye (Zosterops lateralis; a passerine bird), at least partly maintain pollination for three forest plant species in northern New Zealand, and without this compensation, these plants would be significantly more pollen-limited. This study provides empirical evidence that widespread non-native species can play an important role in maintaining ecosystem functions, a role that needs to be assessed when planning invasive species control or eradication programmes. PMID:22090388

  7. Cardiac Impairment Evaluated by Transesophageal Echocardiography and Invasive Measurements in Rats Undergoing Sinoaortic Denervation

    PubMed Central

    Sirvente, Raquel A.; Irigoyen, Maria C.; Souza, Leandro E.; Mostarda, Cristiano; La Fuente, Raquel N.; Candido, Georgia O.; Souza, Pamella R. M.; Medeiros, Alessandra; Mady, Charles; Salemi, Vera M. C.

    2014-01-01

    Background Sympathetic hyperactivity may be related to left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and baro- and chemoreflex impairment in hypertension. However, cardiac function, regarding the association of hypertension and baroreflex dysfunction, has not been previously evaluated by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) using intracardiac echocardiographic catheter. Methods and Results We evaluated exercise tests, baroreflex sensitivity and cardiovascular autonomic control, cardiac function, and biventricular invasive pressures in rats 10 weeks after sinoaortic denervation (SAD). The rats (n = 32) were divided into 4 groups: 16 Wistar (W) with (n = 8) or without SAD (n = 8) and 16 spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) with (n = 8) or without SAD (SHRSAD) (n = 8). Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) did not change between the groups with or without SAD; however, compared to W, SHR groups had higher BP levels and BP variability was increased. Exercise testing showed that SHR had better functional capacity compared to SAD and SHRSAD. Echocardiography showed left ventricular (LV) concentric hypertrophy; segmental systolic and diastolic biventricular dysfunction; indirect signals of pulmonary arterial hypertension, mostly evident in SHRSAD. The end-diastolic right ventricular (RV) pressure increased in all groups compared to W, and the end-diastolic LV pressure increased in SHR and SHRSAD groups compared to W, and in SHRSAD compared to SAD. Conclusions Our results suggest that baroreflex dysfunction impairs cardiac function, and increases pulmonary artery pressure, supporting a role for baroreflex dysfunction in the pathogenesis of hypertensive cardiac disease. Moreover, TEE is a useful and feasible noninvasive technique that allows the assessment of cardiac function, particularly RV indices in this model of cardiac disease. PMID:24828834

  8. Predator Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Fong, Ng Swee

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that…

  9. Pasta Predation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waugh, Michael L.

    1986-01-01

    Presents a predator-prey simulation which involves students in collecting data, solving problems, and making predictions on the evolution of prey populations. Provides directives on how to perform the chi-square test and also includes an Applesoft BASK program that performs the calculations. (ML)

  10. Barriers to seed and seedling survival of once-common Hawaiian palms: the role of invasive rats and ungulates.

    PubMed

    Shiels, Aaron B; Drake, Donald R

    2015-05-27

    Mammalian herbivores can limit plant recruitment and affect forest composition. Loulu palms (Pritchardia spp.) once dominated many lowland ecosystems in Hawai'i, and non-native rats (Rattus spp.), ungulates (e.g. pigs Sus scrofa, goats Capra hircus) and humans have been proposed as major causes of their decline. In lowland wet forest, we experimentally determined the vulnerability of seeds and seedlings of two species of Pritchardia, P. maideniana and P. hillebrandii, by measuring their removal by introduced vertebrates; we also used motion-sensing cameras to identify the animals responsible for Pritchardia removal. We assessed potential seed dispersal of P. maideniana by spool-and-line tracking, and conducted captive-feeding trials with R. rattus and seeds and seedlings of both Pritchardia species. Seed removal from the forest floor occurred rapidly for both species: >50 % of Pritchardia seeds were removed from the vertebrate-accessible stations within 6 days and >80 % were removed within 22 days. Although rats and pigs were both common to the study area, motion-sensing cameras detected only rats (probably R. rattus) removing Pritchardia seeds from the forest floor. Captive-feeding trials and spool-and-line tracking revealed that vertebrate seed dispersal is rare; rats moved seeds up to 8 m upon collection and subsequently destroyed them (100 % mortality in 24-48 h in captivity). Surprisingly, seedlings did not suffer vertebrate damage in field trials, and although rats damaged seedlings in captivity, they rarely consumed them. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis generated from palaeoecological studies, indicating that introduced rats may have assisted in the demise of native insular palm forests. These findings also imply that the seed stage of species in this Pacific genus is particularly vulnerable to rats; therefore, future conservation efforts involving Pritchardia should prioritize the reduction of rat predation on the plant recruitment stages

  11. Barriers to seed and seedling survival of once-common Hawaiian palms: the role of invasive rats and ungulates

    PubMed Central

    Shiels, Aaron B.; Drake, Donald R.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian herbivores can limit plant recruitment and affect forest composition. Loulu palms (Pritchardia spp.) once dominated many lowland ecosystems in Hawai‘i, and non-native rats (Rattus spp.), ungulates (e.g. pigs Sus scrofa, goats Capra hircus) and humans have been proposed as major causes of their decline. In lowland wet forest, we experimentally determined the vulnerability of seeds and seedlings of two species of Pritchardia, P. maideniana and P. hillebrandii, by measuring their removal by introduced vertebrates; we also used motion-sensing cameras to identify the animals responsible for Pritchardia removal. We assessed potential seed dispersal of P. maideniana by spool-and-line tracking, and conducted captive-feeding trials with R. rattus and seeds and seedlings of both Pritchardia species. Seed removal from the forest floor occurred rapidly for both species: >50 % of Pritchardia seeds were removed from the vertebrate-accessible stations within 6 days and >80 % were removed within 22 days. Although rats and pigs were both common to the study area, motion-sensing cameras detected only rats (probably R. rattus) removing Pritchardia seeds from the forest floor. Captive-feeding trials and spool-and-line tracking revealed that vertebrate seed dispersal is rare; rats moved seeds up to 8 m upon collection and subsequently destroyed them (100 % mortality in 24–48 h in captivity). Surprisingly, seedlings did not suffer vertebrate damage in field trials, and although rats damaged seedlings in captivity, they rarely consumed them. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis generated from palaeoecological studies, indicating that introduced rats may have assisted in the demise of native insular palm forests. These findings also imply that the seed stage of species in this Pacific genus is particularly vulnerable to rats; therefore, future conservation efforts involving Pritchardia should prioritize the reduction of rat predation on the plant recruitment

  12. Detailing renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in rats by a combined near-infrared spectroscopy and invasive probe approach.

    PubMed

    Grosenick, Dirk; Cantow, Kathleen; Arakelyan, Karen; Wabnitz, Heidrun; Flemming, Bert; Skalweit, Angela; Ladwig, Mechthild; Macdonald, Rainer; Niendorf, Thoralf; Seeliger, Erdmann

    2015-02-01

    We hypothesize that combining quantitative near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with established invasive techniques will enable advanced insights into renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in small animal models. We developed a NIRS technique to monitor absolute values of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin and of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin within the renal cortex of rats. This NIRS technique was combined with invasive methods to simultaneously record renal tissue oxygen tension and perfusion. The results of test procedures including occlusions of the aorta or the renal vein, hyperoxia, hypoxia, and hypercapnia demonstrated that the combined approach, by providing different but complementary information, enables a more comprehensive characterization of renal hemodynamics and oxygenation.

  13. Detailing renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in rats by a combined near-infrared spectroscopy and invasive probe approach

    PubMed Central

    Grosenick, Dirk; Cantow, Kathleen; Arakelyan, Karen; Wabnitz, Heidrun; Flemming, Bert; Skalweit, Angela; Ladwig, Mechthild; Macdonald, Rainer; Niendorf, Thoralf; Seeliger, Erdmann

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesize that combining quantitative near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with established invasive techniques will enable advanced insights into renal hemodynamics and oxygenation in small animal models. We developed a NIRS technique to monitor absolute values of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin and of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin within the renal cortex of rats. This NIRS technique was combined with invasive methods to simultaneously record renal tissue oxygen tension and perfusion. The results of test procedures including occlusions of the aorta or the renal vein, hyperoxia, hypoxia, and hypercapnia demonstrated that the combined approach, by providing different but complementary information, enables a more comprehensive characterization of renal hemodynamics and oxygenation. PMID:25780726

  14. Predator effects on reef fish settlement depend on predator origin and recruit density.

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2017-04-01

    During major life-history transitions, animals often experience high mortality rates due to predation, making predator avoidance particularly advantageous during these times. There is mixed evidence from a limited number of studies, however, regarding how predator presence influences settlement of coral-reef fishes and it is unknown how other potentially mediating factors, including predator origin (native vs. nonnative) or interactions among conspecific recruits, mediate the non-consumptive effects of predators on reef fish settlement. During a field experiment in the Caribbean, approximately 52% fewer mahogany snapper (Lutjanus mahogoni) recruited to reefs with a native predator (graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata) than to predator-free control reefs and reefs with an invasive predator (red lionfish, Pterois volitans) regardless of predator diet. These results suggest that snapper recruits do not recognize nonnative lionfish as a threat. However, these effects depended on the density of conspecific recruits, with evidence that competition may limit the response of snapper to even native predators at the highest recruit densities. In contrast, there was no effect of predator presence or conspecific density on the recruitment of bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus). These context-dependent responses of coral-reef fishes to predators during settlement may influence individual survival and shape subsequent population and community dynamics.

  15. RhoC is essential for TGF-{beta}1-induced invasive capacity of rat ascites hepatoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mukai, M.; Endo, H.; Iwasaki, T.; Tatsuta, M.; Togawa, A.; Nakamura, H.; Inoue, M. . E-mail: inoue-ma2@mc.pref.osaka.jp

    2006-07-21

    Transforming growth factor-{beta}1 (TGF-{beta}1) is a multifunctional growth factor that plays a role in cell proliferation, differentiation, extracellular matrix production, apoptosis, and cell motility. We show here that TGF-{beta}1 increased the invasiveness of MM1 cells, which are a highly invasive clone of rat ascites hepatoma cells. Both mRNA and protein levels of RhoC but not RhoA in TGF-{beta}1-treated MM1 cells increased. In parallel with this increase in expression, RhoC activity was induced by TGF-{beta}1 treatment. When RhoC was overexpressed in MM1 cells, the invasive capacity increased. The RhoC-overexpressing cells formed more nodules than did mock cells when injected into rat peritoneum. Furthermore, when RhoC expression was reduced by transfection with shRNA/RhoC, the invasiveness of MM1 cells decreased with concomitant suppression of RhoC expression. Thus, the induced expression of RhoC by TGF-{beta}1 in MM1 cells plays a critical role in TGF-{beta}1-induced cell migration.

  16. MRI mediated, non-invasive tracking of intratumoral distribution of nanocarriers in rat glioma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karathanasis, Efstathios; Park, Jaekeun; Agarwal, Abhiruchi; Patel, Vijal; Zhao, Fuqiang; Annapragada, Ananth V.; Hu, Xiaoping; Bellamkonda, Ravi V.

    2008-08-01

    Nanocarrier mediated therapy of gliomas has shown promise. The success of systemic nanocarrier-based chemotherapy is critically dependent on the so-called leaky vasculature to permit drug extravasation across the blood-brain barrier. Yet, the extent of vascular permeability in individual tumors varies widely, resulting in a correspondingly wide range of responses to the therapy. However, there exist no tools currently for rationally determining whether tumor blood vessels are amenable to nanocarrier mediated therapy in an individualized, patient specific manner today. To address this need for brain tumor therapy, we have developed a multifunctional 100 nm scale liposomal agent encapsulating a gadolinium-based contrast agent for contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging with prolonged blood circulation. Using a 9.4 T MRI system, we were able to track the intratumoral distribution of the gadolinium-loaded nanocarrier in a rat glioma model for a period of three days due to improved magnetic properties of the contrast agent being packaged in a nanocarrier. Such a nanocarrier provides a tool for non-invasively assessing the suitability of tumors for nanocarrier mediated therapy and then optimizing the treatment protocol for each individual tumor. Additionally, the ability to image the tumor in high resolution can potentially constitute a surgical planning tool for tumor resection.

  17. Alphaxalone inhibits growth, migration and invasion of rat C6 malignant glioma cells.

    PubMed

    Sun, Huawei; Zheng, Xiaoke; Zhou, Yuehan; Zhu, Wenbo; Ou, Yanqiu; Shu, Minfeng; Gao, Xiuren; Leng, Tiandong; Qiu, Pengxin; Yan, Guangmei

    2013-10-01

    Malignant gliomas are the most devastating and aggressive brain tumors affecting the central nervous system. The insidious growth and infiltration are the most prominent characteristics of malignant gliomas, which render the current therapies for malignant gliomas including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy unsuccessful. Inhibition of infiltration as well as proliferation in combination with surgery might be more effective in the treatment of malignant gliomas. In the current study, we demonstrate the alphaxalone (3-hydroxypregnane-11,20-dione) could effectively inhibit the proliferation of C6 glioma cells in a concentration dependent manner. Moreover, this compound could also suppress the migration and invasion of C6 glioma cells at a concentration without causing significant cytotoxicity. Except the in vitro anti-glioma activity, alphaxalone effectively delayed the growth of rat C6 malignant glioma xenografts in vivo. Together, these findings suggest alphaxalone might be a promising candidate for the treatment of malignant gliomas and may also provide helpful clues for anti-glioma drugs development in future.

  18. Interstellar Predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Lee, M.

    Although chemosynthesis and photosynthesis can theoretically supply enough energy for intelligence, for reasons elucidated here, heterotrophy and specifically phagotrophy (ingestion of prey) are likely to make predation a characteristic of life and extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Here, the Earth's biota is used to consider the nature of interstellar predation. The ability of the ETI to directly ingest a biota will be determined by the chiral preference of the ETI, the compatibility of the biochemistry used in life on Earth with the molecules required by the ETI and the potential toxicity of the macromolecules. If chirality is determined by astrophysical factors and not by the specificities of terrestrial origins of life and if molecules found in terrestrial organisms are also represented in ETIs (which could plausibly include hydrated carbohydrides and many amino acids that are similar or identical to amino acids found in meteoritic or cometary material) then the Earth might represent a universally appreciated resource. The Earth's biota could be used as an energy supply or, if other forms of technology have advanced to the point where bioreactors can be exclusively used to supply a civilization with food, as a culinary curiosity. Even in the absence of metabolic compatibility, technology can be used to extract useful products from an undigestible biota, similarly to the industrial biotransformation of cellulose. The value of the resource will also be determined by the availability of prey. Planets at stages in biological evolution where the surface is dominated by just one or several large (>5kg), abundant, easily captured organisms are particu- larly attractive to predators because harvesting techniques can be standardized. We discuss implications for exobiology and the `Fermi Paradox'.

  19. Invasive non-native species' provision of refugia for endangered native species.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Satoshi

    2010-08-01

    The influence of non-native species on native ecosystems is not predicted easily when interspecific interactions are complex. Species removal can result in unexpected and undesired changes to other ecosystem components. I examined whether invasive non-native species may both harm and provide refugia for endangered native species. The invasive non-native plant Casuarina stricta has damaged the native flora and caused decline of the snail fauna on the Ogasawara Islands, Japan. On Anijima in 2006 and 2009, I examined endemic land snails in the genus Ogasawarana. I compared the density of live specimens and frequency of predation scars (from black rats [Rattus rattus]) on empty shells in native vegetation and Casuarina forests. The density of land snails was greater in native vegetation than in Casuarina forests in 2006. Nevertheless, radical declines in the density of land snails occurred in native vegetation since 2006 in association with increasing predation by black rats. In contrast, abundance of Ogasawarana did not decline in the Casuarina forest, where shells with predation scars from rats were rare. As a result, the density of snails was greater in the Casuarina forest than in native vegetation. Removal of Casuarina was associated with an increased proportion of shells with predation scars from rats and a decrease in the density of Ogasawarana. The thick and dense litter of Casuarina appears to provide refugia for native land snails by protecting them from predation by rats; thus, eradication of rats should precede eradication of Casuarina. Adaptive strategies, particularly those that consider the removal order of non-native species, are crucial to minimizing the unintended effects of eradication on native species. In addition, my results suggested that in some cases a given non-native species can be used to mitigate the impacts of other non-native species on native species.

  20. 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)

  1. Predator arithmetic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shutler, Paul M. E.; Swee Fong, Ng

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that complex calculations such as long multiplication can be carried out more efficiently in base 5 than in base 10, and that base 5 is in fact close to being optimal in this regard. We also show that base 5 is small enough so that the intuitiveness of simple grouping and the efficiency of fully ciphered numerals can be combined effectively in a single notation, something which Hindu-Arabic numeration tries but fails to achieve. Furthermore, as a consequence of these notational advantages, we show that the basic operations of arithmetic, addition and subtraction, also borrowing and carrying (regrouping), are easier to teach and to learn in base 5 than in base 10. Finally we show that, even though a shift from base 10 to base 5 may not be a realistic possibility, there are many ways in which the teaching of elementary arithmetic could be improved significantly, along the lines of Predator arithmetic, and which could be implemented at little cost within our current Hindu-Arabic system.

  2. Combination therapy of advanced invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in transiently neutropenic rats using human pharmacokinetic equivalent doses of voriconazole and anidulafungin.

    PubMed

    van de Sande, Wendy W J; Mathot, Ron A A; ten Kate, Marian T; van Vianen, Wim; Tavakol, Mehri; Rijnders, Bart J A; Bakker-Woudenberg, Irma A J M

    2009-05-01

    At present, voriconazole (VOR) is the drug of first choice for treating invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). However, particularly in advanced stages of disease and in the severely immunocompromised host, the mortality remains substantial. The combination of VOR with an echinocandin may improve the therapeutic outcome. We investigate here whether combining VOR and anidulafungin (ANI) in advanced IPA in transiently neutropenic rats results in a higher therapeutic efficacy. Since VOR is metabolized more rapidly in rodents than in humans, dosage adjustment for VOR is necessary to obtain an area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) in rodents that is equivalent to that of humans. In this study, the pharmacokinetics of VOR and ANI in rats were elucidated, and dosage schedules were applied that produced AUCs similar to those of humans. The developed dose schedules were well tolerated by the rats, without effects on renal and hepatic functions. VOR showed excellent efficacy in early IPA (100% rat survival). In advanced IPA, VOR was less efficacious (50% rat survival), whereas a significant decrease in galactomannan concentrations in lungs and sera was found in surviving rats. ANI administered in advanced IPA resulted in 22% rat survival, and the serum concentrations of fungal galactomannan were slightly but not significantly decreased. The addition of ANI to VOR did not result in significantly increased therapeutic efficacy in advanced IPA, resulting in 67% rat survival and a significant decrease in galactomannan concentration in serum. In conclusion, VOR monotherapy is therapeutically effective in the treatment of advanced-stage IPA and superior to the use of ANI. Combining both agents does not significantly improve the therapeutic outcome.

  3. Molecular survey of rodent-borne Trypanosoma in Niger with special emphasis on T. lewisi imported by invasive black rats.

    PubMed

    Dobigny, Gauthier; Poirier, Philippe; Hima, Karmadine; Cabaret, Odile; Gauthier, Philippe; Tatard, Caroline; Costa, Jean-Marc; Bretagne, Stéphane

    2011-03-01

    Invading rodent species can harbor parasites with potential transmission to native rodents and/or humans. To investigate trypanosomes prevalence in rodents, the spleen of 76 rodents from Niger identified by their karyotype was used as a DNA source for Trypanosoma detection using a newly developed qPCR assay. Of the invasive black rat, Rattus rattus, 71% (10/14) were PCR positive as well as 6% (4/62) of native African rodents. Sequences of ~400bp of the SSU rDNA gene identified phylogenetically close Trypanosoma lineages. Trypanosoma lewisi was present in all positive black rats and the sequences displayed 100% similarity with T. lewisi-infected humans in Senegal. T. lewisi was also detected in one Acomys johannis, suggesting a possible transmission to native species. In addition to improved knowledge of Trypanosoma diversity in rodents, our data underscore the introduction of the potentially pathogenic T. lewisi kinetoplastid through the human-mediated invasion of black rats all over West Africa.

  4. Manganese superoxide dismutase promotes interaction of actin, S100A4 and Talin, and enhances rat gastric tumor cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Indo, Hiroko P.; Matsui, Hirofumi; Chen, Jing; Zhu, Haining; Hawkins, Clare L.; Davies, Michael J.; Yarana, Chontida; St. Clair, Daret K.; Majima, Hideyuki J.

    2015-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that cancer cells are under high levels of oxidative stress and express high levels of Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) to protect themselves and support the anabolic metabolism needed for growth and cell motility. The aim of this study was to identify proteins that may have a correlation with invasion and redox regulation by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). MnSOD scavenges superoxide anions generated from mitochondria and is an important regulator of cellular redox status. Oxidative posttranslational modification of cysteine residues is a key mechanism that regulates protein structure and function. We hypothesized that MnSOD regulates intracellular reduced thiol status and promotes cancer invasion. A proteomic thiol-labeling approach with 5-iodoacetamidofluorescein was used to identify changes in intracellular reduced thiol-containing proteins. Our results demonstrate that overexpression of MnSOD maintained the major structural protein, actin, in a reduced state, and enhanced the invasion ability in gastric mucosal cancer cells, RGK1. We also found that the expression of Talin and S100A4 were increased in MnSOD-overexpressed RGK1 cells. Moreover, Talin bound not only with actin but also with S100A4, suggesting that the interaction of these proteins may, in part, contribute to the invasive ability of rat gastric cancer. PMID:26236095

  5. Spatial dynamics of specialist seed predators on synchronized and intermittent seed production of host plants.

    PubMed

    Satake, Akiko; Bjørnstad, Ottar N

    2004-04-01

    Masting, the synchronized and intermittent seed production by plant populations, provides highly variable food resources for specialist seed predators. Such a reproductive mode helps minimize seed losses through predator satiation and extinction of seed predator populations. The seed predators can buffer the resource variation through dispersal or extended diapause. We developed a spatially explicit resource-consumer model to understand the effect of masting on specialist seed predators. The masting dynamics were assumed to follow a resource-based model for plant reproduction, and the population dynamics of the predator were represented by a spatially extended Nicholson-Bailey model. The resultant model demonstrated that when host plants reproduce intermittently, seed predator populations go locally extinct, but global persistence of the predator is facilitated by dispersal or extended diapause. Global extinction of the predator resulted when the intermittent reproduction is highly synchronized among plants. An approximate invasion criterion for the predators showed that negative lag-1 autocorrelation in seeding reduces invasibility, and positive lag-1 cross-correlation enhances invasibility. Spatial synchronization in seeding at local scale caused by pollen coupling (or climate forcing) further prevented invasion of the predators. If the predators employed extended diapause, extremely high temporal variability in reproduction was required for plants to evade the predators.

  6. Non-Invasive Imaging Demonstrates Clinical Features of Ankylosing Spondylitis in a Rat Adjuvant Model: a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, J.; Kolbinger, F.; Kramer, I.; Beckmann, N.

    2016-01-01

    Main features of ankylosing spondylitis like inflammatory erosive osteopenia and bony overgrowth are recapitulated in rats challenged with complete Freund’s adjuvant. In vivo changes induced in the rat spine were followed longitudinally by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and assessed terminally by micro-computerized tomography (micro-CT) and histology. Signals reflecting inflammation were detected by MRI at levels L5-L6 throughout the experiment, peaking at day 27 after adjuvant. Bone erosion and formation occurred from this time point onward, as confirmed by micro-CT. Histology confirmed the inflammation and bone remodeling. The present study demonstrates the potential of imaging for longitudinal assessments of spinal changes in this animal model and the excellent correlation between in vivo images and histology underlines its fundamental role in the validation of non-invasive imaging. PMID:28076929

  7. Frequency, efficiency, and physical characteristics of predation by generalist predators of brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) eggs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The native generalist predator community of Halyomorpha halys, an invasive species in the United States and Europe, remains poorly studied. The aims of the current study were to determine which generalist predators that are commonly found in mid-Atlantic orchards and vegetable crops are capable of ...

  8. Stress triangle: do introduced predators exert indirect costs on native predators and prey?

    PubMed

    Anson, Jennifer R; Dickman, Chris R; Boonstra, Rudy; Jessop, Tim S

    2013-01-01

    Non-consumptive effects of predators on each other and on prey populations often exceed the effects of direct predation. These effects can arise from fear responses elevating glucocorticoid (GC) hormone levels (predator stress hypothesis) or from increased vigilance that reduces foraging efficiency and body condition (predator sensitive foraging hypothesis); both responses can lead to immunosuppression and increased parasite loads. Non-consumptive effects of invasive predators have been little studied, even though their direct impacts on local species are usually greater than those of their native counterparts. To address this issue, we explored the non-consumptive effects of the invasive red fox Vulpes vulpes on two native species in eastern Australia: a reptilian predator, the lace monitor Varanus varius and a marsupial, the ringtail possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus. In particular, we tested predictions derived from the above two hypotheses by comparing the basal glucocorticoid levels, foraging behaviour, body condition and haemoparasite loads of both native species in areas with and without fox suppression. Lace monitors showed no GC response or differences in haemoparasite loads but were more likely to trade safety for higher food rewards, and had higher body condition, in areas of fox suppression than in areas where foxes remained abundant. In contrast, ringtails showed no physiological or behavioural differences between fox-suppressed and control areas. Predator sensitive foraging is a non-consumptive cost for lace monitors in the presence of the fox and most likely represents a response to competition. The ringtail's lack of response to the fox potentially represents complete naiveté or strong and rapid selection to the invasive predator. We suggest evolutionary responses are often overlooked in interactions between native and introduced species, but must be incorporated if we are to understand the suite of forces that shape community assembly and function

  9. Stress Triangle: Do Introduced Predators Exert Indirect Costs on Native Predators and Prey?

    PubMed Central

    Anson, Jennifer R.; Dickman, Chris R.; Boonstra, Rudy; Jessop, Tim S.

    2013-01-01

    Non-consumptive effects of predators on each other and on prey populations often exceed the effects of direct predation. These effects can arise from fear responses elevating glucocorticoid (GC) hormone levels (predator stress hypothesis) or from increased vigilance that reduces foraging efficiency and body condition (predator sensitive foraging hypothesis); both responses can lead to immunosuppression and increased parasite loads. Non-consumptive effects of invasive predators have been little studied, even though their direct impacts on local species are usually greater than those of their native counterparts. To address this issue, we explored the non-consumptive effects of the invasive red fox Vulpes vulpes on two native species in eastern Australia: a reptilian predator, the lace monitor Varanus varius and a marsupial, the ringtail possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus. In particular, we tested predictions derived from the above two hypotheses by comparing the basal glucocorticoid levels, foraging behaviour, body condition and haemoparasite loads of both native species in areas with and without fox suppression. Lace monitors showed no GC response or differences in haemoparasite loads but were more likely to trade safety for higher food rewards, and had higher body condition, in areas of fox suppression than in areas where foxes remained abundant. In contrast, ringtails showed no physiological or behavioural differences between fox-suppressed and control areas. Predator sensitive foraging is a non-consumptive cost for lace monitors in the presence of the fox and most likely represents a response to competition. The ringtail’s lack of response to the fox potentially represents complete naiveté or strong and rapid selection to the invasive predator. We suggest evolutionary responses are often overlooked in interactions between native and introduced species, but must be incorporated if we are to understand the suite of forces that shape community assembly and function

  10. Automated determination of wakefulness and sleep in rats based on non-invasively acquired measures of movement and respiratory activity.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Tao; Mott, Christopher; Mollicone, Daniel; Sanford, Larry D

    2012-03-15

    The current standard for monitoring sleep in rats requires labor intensive surgical procedures and the implantation of chronic electrodes which have the potential to impact behavior and sleep. With the goal of developing a non-invasive method to determine sleep and wakefulness, we constructed a non-contact monitoring system to measure movement and respiratory activity using signals acquired with pulse Doppler radar and from digitized video analysis. A set of 23 frequency and time-domain features were derived from these signals and were calculated in 10s epochs. Based on these features, a classification method for automated scoring of wakefulness, non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and REM in rats was developed using a support vector machine (SVM). We then assessed the utility of the automated scoring system in discriminating wakefulness and sleep by comparing the results to standard scoring of wakefulness and sleep based on concurrently recorded EEG and EMG. Agreement between SVM automated scoring based on selected features and visual scores based on EEG and EMG were approximately 91% for wakefulness, 84% for NREM and 70% for REM. The results indicate that automated scoring based on non-invasively acquired movement and respiratory activity will be useful for studies requiring discrimination of wakefulness and sleep. However, additional information or signals will be needed to improve discrimination of NREM and REM episodes within sleep.

  11. Rat hepatic stellate cells alter the gene expression profile and promote the growth, migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Ming; Zhou, Le-Yuan; Liu, Bin-Bin; Jia, Qin-An; Dong, Yin-Ying; Xia, Yun-Hong; Ye, Sheng-Long

    2014-10-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and their paracrine secretions, on hepatocellular cancer cell growth and gene expression in vitro and in vivo. Differentially expressed genes in McA-RH7777 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells following non-contact co-culture with activated stellate cells, were identified by a cDNA microarray. The effect of the co-injection of HCC cells and activated HSCs on tumor size in rats was also investigated. Non-contact co-culture altered the expression of 573 HCC genes by >2-fold of the control levels. Among the six selected genes, ELISA revealed increased protein levels of hepatic growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and -9 (MMP-9). Incubation of HCC cells with medium conditioned by activated HSCs significantly increased the proliferation rate (P<0.001), migration rate and the number of invasive HCC cells (P=0.001). Co-injection of HCC cells and activated HSCs into rats significantly increased the weight of the resulting HCC tumors (P<0.01). The paracrine activity of activated HSCs markedly altered the gene expression profile of HCC cells and affected their growth, migration and invasiveness. The results from the present study indicate that the interaction between the activated HSCs and HCC has an important role in the development of HCC.

  12. Minimally invasive method for determining the effective lymphatic pumping pressure in rats using near-infrared imaging

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Tyler S.; Akin, Ryan E.; Weiler, Michael J.; Kassis, Timothy; Kornuta, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to quantify collecting vessel function in a minimally invasive fashion is crucial to the study of lymphatic physiology and the role of lymphatic pump function in disease progression. Therefore, we developed a highly sensitive, minimally invasive research platform for quantifying the pumping capacity of collecting lymphatic vessels in the rodent tail and forelimb. To achieve this, we have integrated a near-infrared lymphatic imaging system with a feedback-controlled pressure cuff to modulate lymph flow. After occluding lymphatic flow by inflating a pressure cuff on the limb or tail, we gradually deflate the cuff while imaging flow restoration proximal to the cuff. Using prescribed pressure applications and automated image processing of fluorescence intensity levels in the vessels, we were able to noninvasively quantify the effective pumping pressure (Peff, pressure at which flow is restored after occlusion) and vessel emptying rate (rate of fluorescence clearance during flow occlusion) of lymphatics in the rat. To demonstrate the sensitivity of this system to changes in lymphatic function, a nitric oxide (NO) donor cream, glyceryl trinitrate ointment (GTNO), was applied to the tails. GTNO decreased Peff of the vessels by nearly 50% and the average emptying rate by more than 60%. We also demonstrate the suitability of this approach for acquiring measurements on the rat forelimb. Thus, this novel research platform provides the first minimally invasive measurements of Peff and emptying rate in rodents. This experimental platform holds strong potential for future in vivo studies that seek to evaluate changes in lymphatic health and disease. PMID:24430884

  13. On local(ly) ESS of a pair of prey-predator system with predatory switching.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, D; Roy, A B

    1998-08-01

    This paper concentrates on the study of ecological stability for guaranteeing evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) in a two pre-predator system taking into consideration of handling time, with predatory switching. Here predators are polyphagous in nature. The conditions for ESS of the model system are obtained at the equivalence point. We also derive the invasion conditions of a mutant predator.

  14. Effects of invasive rats and burrowing seabirds on seeds and seedlings on New Zealand islands.

    PubMed

    Grant-Hoffman, Madeline N; Mulder, Christa P H; Bellingham, Peter J

    2010-04-01

    Rats (Rattus rattus, Rattus norvegicus, Rattus exulans) are important invaders on islands. They alter vegetation indirectly by preying on burrowing seabirds. These seabirds affect vegetation through nutrient inputs from sea to land and physical disturbance through trampling and burrowing. Rats also directly affect vegetation though consumption of seeds and seedlings. Seedling communities on northern New Zealand islands differ in composition and densities among islands which have never been invaded by rats, are currently invaded by rats, or from which rats have been eradicated. We conducted experimental investigations to determine the mechanisms driving these patterns. When the physical disturbance of seabirds was removed, in soils collected from islands and inside exclosures, seedling densities increased with seabird burrow density. For example, seedling densities inside exclosures were 10 times greater than those outside. Thus the negative effects of seabirds on seedlings, by trampling and uprooting, overwhelm the potentially beneficial effects of high levels of seed germination, seedling emergence, and possibly seed production, which result from seed burial and nutrient additions. Potential seedling density was reduced on an island where rats were present, germination of seeds from soils of this island was approximately half that found on other islands, but on this island seedling density inside exclosures was 7 times the density outside. Although the total negative effects of seabirds and rats on seedling densities are similar (reduced seedling density), the differences in mechanisms and life stages affected result in very different filters on the plant community.

  15. Effectiveness of rodenticides for managing invasive roof rats and native deer mice in orchards.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Roger A; Quinn, Niamh; Davis, David H; Engeman, Richard M

    2014-05-01

    Roof rats (Rattus rattus) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are occasional pests of nut and tree fruit orchards throughout California and in many other parts of the USA and beyond. In general, the most practical and cost-effective control method for rodents in many agricultural environments is the use of rodenticides (toxic baits), but little or no information exists on the efficacy of current rodenticides in controlling roof rats and deer mice in orchards. Therefore, our goals were to develop an index of rodent activity to monitor efficacy of rodenticides and to subsequently test the efficacy of three California Department of Food and Agriculture rodenticide baits (0.005 % chlorophacinone treated oats, 0.005 % diphacinone treated oats, and 0.005 % diphacinone wax block) to determine their utility for controlling roof rats and deer mice in agricultural orchards. We determined that a general index using the number of roof rat photos taken at a minimum of a 5-min interval was strongly correlated to the minimum number known estimate of roof rats; this approach was used to monitor roof rat and deer mouse populations pre- and post-treatment. Of the baits tested, the 0.005 % diphacinone treated oats was most effective for both species; 0.005 % chlorophacinone grain was completely ineffective against roof rats. Our use of elevated bait stations proved effective at providing bait to target species and should substantially limit access to rodenticides by many non-target species.

  16. Exploiting interspecific olfactory communication to monitor predators.

    PubMed

    Garvey, Patrick M; Glen, Alistair S; Clout, Mick N; Wyse, Sarah V; Nichols, Margaret; Pech, Roger P

    2017-03-01

    Olfaction is the primary sense of many mammals and subordinate predators use this sense to detect dominant species, thereby reducing the risk of an encounter and facilitating coexistence. Chemical signals can act as repellents or attractants and may therefore have applications for wildlife management. We devised a field experiment to investigate whether dominant predator (ferret Mustela furo) body odor would alter the behavior of three common mesopredators: stoats (Mustela erminea), hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus), and ship rats (Rattus rattus). We predicted that apex predator odor would lead to increased detections, and our results support this hypothesis as predator kairomones (interspecific olfactory messages that benefit the receiver) provoked "eavesdropping" behavior by mesopredators. Stoats exhibited the most pronounced responses, with kairomones significantly increasing the number of observations and the time spent at a site, so that their occupancy estimates changed from rare to widespread. Behavioral responses to predator odors can therefore be exploited for conservation and this avenue of research has not yet been extensively explored. A long-life lure derived from apex predator kairomones could have practical value, especially when there are plentiful resources that reduce the efficiency of food-based lures. Our results have application for pest management in New Zealand and the technique of using kairomones to monitor predators could have applications for conservation efforts worldwide.

  17. Predation at the Shore.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Helen M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hildreth, David P.; Couch, Emma

    2003-01-01

    Describes 10 predator/prey relationships that occur on the coast. Predators are compared to criminals and prey to their victims along with details of crime scenes. Accurately describes the habits and habitats of the criminals and presents games and activities that feature the relationships between predators and their prey. (Author/SOE)

  18. Shikonin inhibits TNF-α-induced growth and invasion of rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuemin; Hu, Wenyu; Wu, Fang; Yuan, Xue; Hu, Jian

    2015-08-01

    Shikonin is a naphthoquinone compound extracted from the Chinese herb purple gromwell. Shikonin has broad antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor activities. The tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced proliferation and invasion of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is an important factor that contributes to atherosclerosis. The effects of shikonin on the proliferation and apoptosis of VSMCs have been reported; however, the function of shikonin on TNF-α-mediated growth and invasion of VSMCs during atherosclerosis remains unclear. In this study, we used Western blot, flow cytometry, real-time quantitative PCR, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to investigate the effect of shikonin on the TNF-α-induced growth and invasion of VSMCs and to determine the underlying mechanism. Our results showed that shikonin inhibits the TNF-α-mediated growth and invasion. Further study revealed that shikonin regulates the activation of nuclear factor kappa B and phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase signaling pathways; modulates the expression of cyclin D1, cyclin E, B-cell lymphoma 2, and Bax; activates caspase-3 and caspase-9; induces cell cycle arrest; and promotes the apoptosis of VSMCs. Together, our results indicate that shikonin may become a promising agent for the treatment of atherosclerosis and they also establish foundation for the development of anti-atherosclerosis drugs.

  19. Monitoring hemodynamics and oxygenation of the kidney in rats by a combined near-infrared spectroscopy and invasive probe approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosenick, Dirk; Cantow, Kathleen; Arakelyan, Karen; Wabnitz, Heidrun; Flemming, Bert; Skalweit, Angela; Ladwig, Mechthild; Macdonald, Rainer; Niendorf, Thoralf; Seeliger, Erdmann

    2015-07-01

    We have developed a hybrid approach to investigate the dynamics of perfusion and oxygenation in the kidney of rats under pathophysiologically relevant conditions. Our approach combines near-infrared spectroscopy to quantify hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation in the renal cortex, and an invasive probe method for measuring total renal blood flow by an ultrasonic probe, perfusion by laser-Doppler fluxmetry, and tissue oxygen tension via fluorescence quenching. Hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation were determined from experimental data by a Monte Carlo model. The hybrid approach was applied to investigate and compare temporal changes during several types of interventions such as arterial and venous occlusions, as well as hyperoxia, hypoxia and hypercapnia induced by different mixtures of the inspired gas. The approach was also applied to study the effects of the x-ray contrast medium iodixanol on the kidney.

  20. Nest Predation by Commensal Rodents in Urban Bushland Remnants

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Exotic predators are a major threat to native wildlife in many parts of the world. Developing and implementing effective strategies to mitigate their effects requires robust quantitative data so that management can be evidence-based, yet in many ecosystems this is missing. Birds in particular have been severely impacted by exotic mammalian predators, and a plethora of studies on islands record predation of bird eggs, fledglings and adults by exotic species such as rodents, stoats and cats. By comparison, few studies have examined nest predation around mainland urban centres which often act as dispersal hubs, especially for commensal species such as rodents. Here, we experimentally examine nest predation rates in habitat patches with varying black rat (Rattus rattus) densities in Sydney, Australia and test whether these exotic rats have the effects expected of exotic predators using effect size benchmarks. In the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus spp., we expected that black rats, being more arboreal than native Rattus spp., would be a significant source of predation on birds because they can readily access the arboreal niche where many birds nest. We tested this idea using above-ground artificial nests to represent those of typical small bird species such as the New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae). We found that fewer eggs were depredated by rodents on sites where we removed black rats compared to unmanipulated sites, and that the effect size calculated from the total number of eggs surviving beyond the typical incubation period was similar to that expected for an exotic predator. Our results suggest that, although Australian birds have co-evolved with native Rattus species, in the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus species, exotic black rats appear to pose an additive source of predation on birds in remnant habitats, most likely due to their ability to climb more efficiently than their native counterparts

  1. Nest Predation by Commensal Rodents in Urban Bushland Remnants.

    PubMed

    Smith, Helen M; Dickman, Chris R; Banks, Peter B

    2016-01-01

    Exotic predators are a major threat to native wildlife in many parts of the world. Developing and implementing effective strategies to mitigate their effects requires robust quantitative data so that management can be evidence-based, yet in many ecosystems this is missing. Birds in particular have been severely impacted by exotic mammalian predators, and a plethora of studies on islands record predation of bird eggs, fledglings and adults by exotic species such as rodents, stoats and cats. By comparison, few studies have examined nest predation around mainland urban centres which often act as dispersal hubs, especially for commensal species such as rodents. Here, we experimentally examine nest predation rates in habitat patches with varying black rat (Rattus rattus) densities in Sydney, Australia and test whether these exotic rats have the effects expected of exotic predators using effect size benchmarks. In the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus spp., we expected that black rats, being more arboreal than native Rattus spp., would be a significant source of predation on birds because they can readily access the arboreal niche where many birds nest. We tested this idea using above-ground artificial nests to represent those of typical small bird species such as the New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae). We found that fewer eggs were depredated by rodents on sites where we removed black rats compared to unmanipulated sites, and that the effect size calculated from the total number of eggs surviving beyond the typical incubation period was similar to that expected for an exotic predator. Our results suggest that, although Australian birds have co-evolved with native Rattus species, in the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus species, exotic black rats appear to pose an additive source of predation on birds in remnant habitats, most likely due to their ability to climb more efficiently than their native counterparts

  2. Biocontrol in an impulsive predator-prey model.

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2014-10-01

    We study a model for biological pest control (or "biocontrol") in which a pest population is controlled by a program of periodic releases of a fixed yield of predators that prey on the pest. Releases are represented as impulsive increases in the predator population. Between releases, predator-pest dynamics evolve according to a predator-prey model with some fairly general properties: the pest population grows logistically in the absence of predation; the predator functional response is either of Beddington-DeAngelis type or Holling type II; the predator per capita birth rate is bounded above by a constant multiple of the predator functional response; and the predator per capita death rate is allowed to be decreasing in the predator functional response and increasing in the predator population, though the special case in which it is constant is permitted too. We prove that, when the predator functional response is of Beddington-DeAngelis type and the predators are not sufficiently voracious, then the biocontrol program will fail to reduce the pest population below a particular economic threshold, regardless of the frequency or yield of the releases. We prove also that our model possesses a pest-eradication solution, which is both locally and globally stable provided that predators are sufficiently voracious and that releases occur sufficiently often. We establish, curiously, that the pest-eradication solution can be locally stable whilst not being globally stable, the upshot of which is that, if we delay a biocontrol response to a new pest invasion, then this can change the outcome of the response from pest eradication to pest persistence. Finally, we state a number of specific examples for our model, and, for one of these examples, we corroborate parts of our analysis by numerical simulations.

  3. Blood and tissue distribution of posaconazole in a rat model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Cendejas-Bueno, E; Forastiero, A; Ruiz, I; Mellado, E; Gavaldà, J; Gomez-Lopez, A

    2017-02-01

    Posaconazole is the recommended prophylactic agent in patients at high risk of invasive fungal infection, since adequate drug levels seem to be reached in target sites despite the relatively low levels detected in blood. The objective of this study is to obtain pharmacokinetic (PK) information associated to blood and tissue distribution of posaconazole in an animal model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The PK parameters in lung samples were systematically higher than in serum. After multiple-dose administration of posaconazole, a significant accumulation of the drug was evident in lung tissue. The PK behavior of posaconazole in this particular experimental model is similar to that observed in humans. Thus, we believe this model could be a valid tool to evaluate posaconazole exposure-response relationship.

  4. Sleep and rhythm changes at the time of Trypanosoma brucei invasion of the brain parenchyma in the rat.

    PubMed

    Seke Etet, Paul F; Palomba, Maria; Colavito, Valeria; Grassi-Zucconi, Gigliola; Bentivoglio, Marina; Bertini, Giuseppe

    2012-05-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), or sleeping sickness, is a severe disease caused by Trypanosoma brucei (T.b.). The disease hallmark is sleep alterations. Brain involvement in HAT is a crucial pathogenetic step for disease diagnosis and therapy. In this study, a rat model of African trypanosomiasis was used to assess changes of sleep-wake, rest-activity, and body temperature rhythms in the time window previously shown as crucial for brain parenchyma invasion by T.b. to determine potential biomarkers of this event. Chronic radiotelemetric monitoring in Sprague-Dawley rats was used to continuously record electroencephalogram, electromyogram, rest-activity, and body temperature in the same animals before (baseline recording) and after infection. Rats were infected with T.b. brucei. Data were acquired from 1 to 20 d after infection (parasite neuroinvasion initiates at 11-13 d post-infection in this model), and were compared to baseline values. Sleep parameters were manually scored from electroencephalographic-electromyographic tracings. Circadian rhythms of sleep time, slow-wave activity, rest-activity, and body temperature were studied using cosinor rhythmometry. Results revealed alterations of most of the analyzed parameters. In particular, sleep pattern and sleep-wake organization plus rest-activity and body temperature rhythms exhibited early quantitative and qualitative alterations, which became marked around the time interval crucial for parasite neuroinvasion or shortly after. Data derived from actigrams showed close correspondence with those from hypnograms, suggesting that rest-activity could be useful to monitor sleep-wake alterations in African trypanosomiasis.

  5. Near-infrared oxymeter biosensor prototype for non-invasive in vivo analysis of rat brain oxygenation: effects of drugs of abuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespi, F.; Donini, M.; Bandera, A.; Congestri, F.; Formenti, F.; Sonntag, V.; Heidbreder, C.; Rovati, L.

    2006-07-01

    The feasibility of non-invasive analysis of brain activities was studied in the attempt to overcome the major limitation of actual in vivo methodologies, i.e. invasiveness. Optic fibre probes were used as the optical head of a novel, highly sensitive near-infrared continuous wave spectroscopy (CW-NIR) instrument. This prototype was designed for non-invasive analysis of the two main forms of haemoglobin: oxy-haemoglobin (HbO2) and deoxy-haemoglobin (Hb), chromophores present in biological tissues. It was tested in peripheral tissue (human gastrocnemius muscle) and then reset to perform the measurement on rat brain. In animal studies, the optical head was firmly placed using stereotaxic apparatus upon the sagittal line of the head of anaesthetized adult rats, without any surgery. Then pharmacological treatments with saline (300 µl s.c.) amphetamine (2 mg kg-1) or nicotine (0.4 mg kg-1) were performed. Within 10-20 min amphetamine substantially increased HbO2 and reduced Hb control levels. Nicotine produced a rapid initial increase followed by a decrease in HbO2. In contrast to amphetamine, nicotine treatment also reduced Hb and blood volume. These results support the capacity of our CW-NIR prototype to measure non-invasively HbO2 and Hb levels in the rat brain, that are markers of the degree of tissue oxygenation, thus providing an index of blood levels and therefore of brain metabolism.

  6. Efficacy of PTX3 and Posaconazole Combination in a Rat Model of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Vitor L.; Gaziano, Roberta; Pacello, M. Lucrezia; Arseni, Brunilde; Aurisicchio, Luigi; De Santis, Rita; Salvatori, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Posaconazole is currently used for the prophylaxis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). Limitations to posaconazole usage are drug-drug interactions and side effects. PTX3 is an innate immunity glycoprotein with opsonic activity, proven to be protective in IPA animal models. This study investigated the combination of posaconazole with PTX3. The results indicate synergy between PTX3 and posaconazole against aspergillosis, suggesting that a combination of reduced doses of posaconazole with the immune response enhancer PTX3 might represent a treatment option with a higher therapeutic index than posaconazole. PMID:25070103

  7. Efficacy of PTX3 and posaconazole combination in a rat model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Marra, Emanuele; Sousa, Vitor L; Gaziano, Roberta; Pacello, M Lucrezia; Arseni, Brunilde; Aurisicchio, Luigi; De Santis, Rita; Salvatori, Giovanni

    2014-10-01

    Posaconazole is currently used for the prophylaxis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). Limitations to posaconazole usage are drug-drug interactions and side effects. PTX3 is an innate immunity glycoprotein with opsonic activity, proven to be protective in IPA animal models. This study investigated the combination of posaconazole with PTX3. The results indicate synergy between PTX3 and posaconazole against aspergillosis, suggesting that a combination of reduced doses of posaconazole with the immune response enhancer PTX3 might represent a treatment option with a higher therapeutic index than posaconazole.

  8. Effect of PTX3 and Voriconazole Combination in a Rat Model of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Lo Giudice, Pietro; Campo, Silvia; De Santis, Rita

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the pharmacological activity of PTX3, administered in combination with voriconazole, in a rat model of pulmonary aspergillosis. The data indicated additive therapeutic activities of these compounds, as demonstrated by the amelioration of respiratory function changes, reduction of lung fungal burden, and increased survival. Overall, we provide clear evidence that the combination of PTX3 with a suboptimal dose of voriconazole might represent a therapeutic option under those clinical conditions where the use of voriconazole alone is not warranted for efficacy and tolerability reasons. PMID:23006752

  9. Non-invasive transcranial stimulation of rat abducens nerve by focused ultrasound

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyungmin; Taghados, Seyed Javid; Fischer, Krisztina; Maeng, Lee-So; Park, Shinsuk; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2012-01-01

    Non-pharmacological and non-surgical transcranial modulation of the nerve function may provide new opportunities in evaluation and treatment of cranial nerve diseases. This study investigates the possibility of using low-intensity transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) to selectively stimulate the rat abducens nerve located above the base of the skull. FUS (frequencies of 350 kHz and 650 kHz) operating in a pulsed mode was applied to the abducens nerve of Sprague-Dawley rats under stereotactic guidance. The abductive eyeball movement ipsilateral to the side of sonication was observed at 350 kHz, using the 0.36 msec tone burst duration (TBD), 1.5 kHz pulse repetition frequency (PRF), and the overall sonication duration of 200 msec. Histological and behavioral monitoring showed no signs of disruption in the blood brain barrier (BBB) as well as no damage to the nerves and adjacent brain tissue resulting from the sonication. As a novel functional neuro-modulatory modality, the pulsed application of FUS has potential in diagnostic and therapeutic applications in diseases of the peripheral nervous system. PMID:22763009

  10. Endovascular trophoblast invasion and associated structural changes in uterine spiral arteries of the pregnant rat.

    PubMed

    Caluwaerts, S; Vercruysse, L; Luyten, C; Pijnenborg, R

    2005-08-01

    The involvement of endovascular trophoblast in fibrinoid deposition, replacement of the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle breakdown is studied in spiral arteries of the mesometrial triangle from day 15 to day 21 of rat pregnancy, by examining arterial cross sections after staining for cytokeratin, PAS, CD31 and alpha-actin. From day 15 to day 18 of pregnancy, fibrinoid deposition underneath the endovascular trophoblast increases gradually, whereas the amount of endovascular trophoblast in invaded arteries remains constant. CD31 staining is significantly reduced in sub-ET (= underlying the endovascular trophoblast) as compared to extra-ET (= outside the endovascular trophoblast) and no-ET (= non-invaded arterial sections) at each time-point of pregnancy examined (P < 0.005 and P < 0.0005 at each day of pregnancy), whereas alpha-actin staining is reduced both in sub-ET and in extra-ET as compared to no-ET. During pregnancy, CD31 staining in sub-ET initially declines, but increases significantly on day 21 (P < 0.001 versus d20) suggesting re-endothelialization of the vascular wall. In conclusion, changes in spiral arteries of pregnant rats reveal striking similarities with physiological changes seen in human pregnancy, thus emphasizing the usefulness of this species as an experimental model for studying normal and complicated pregnancies in humans.

  11. Cascading top-down effects of changing oceanic predator abundances.

    PubMed

    Baum, Julia K; Worm, Boris

    2009-07-01

    1. Top-down control can be an important determinant of ecosystem structure and function, but in oceanic ecosystems, where cascading effects of predator depletions, recoveries, and invasions could be significant, such effects had rarely been demonstrated until recently. 2. Here we synthesize the evidence for oceanic top-down control that has emerged over the last decade, focusing on large, high trophic-level predators inhabiting continental shelves, seas, and the open ocean. 3. In these ecosystems, where controlled manipulations are largely infeasible, 'pseudo-experimental' analyses of predator-prey interactions that treat independent predator populations as 'replicates', and temporal or spatial contrasts in predator populations and climate as 'treatments', are increasingly employed to help disentangle predator effects from environmental variation and noise. 4. Substantial reductions in marine mammals, sharks, and piscivorous fishes have led to mesopredator and invertebrate predator increases. Conversely, abundant oceanic predators have suppressed prey abundances. Predation has also inhibited recovery of depleted species, sometimes through predator-prey role reversals. Trophic cascades have been initiated by oceanic predators linking to neritic food webs, but seem inconsistent in the pelagic realm with effects often attenuating at plankton. 5. Top-down control is not uniformly strong in the ocean, and appears contingent on the intensity and nature of perturbations to predator abundances. Predator diversity may dampen cascading effects except where nonselective fisheries deplete entire predator functional groups. In other cases, simultaneous exploitation of predator and prey can inhibit prey responses. Explicit consideration of anthropogenic modifications to oceanic foodwebs should help inform predictions about trophic control. 6. Synthesis and applications. Oceanic top-down control can have important socio-economic, conservation, and management implications as

  12. Bioinsecticide-Predator Interactions: Azadirachtin Behavioral and Reproductive Impairment of the Coconut Mite Predator Neoseiulus baraki

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Debora B.; Melo, José Wagner S.; Guedes, Nelsa Maria P.; Gontijo, Lessando M.; Guedes, Raul Narciso C.; Gondim, Manoel Guedes C.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic pesticide use has been the dominant form of pest control since the 1940s. However, biopesticides are emerging as sustainable pest control alternatives, with prevailing use in organic agricultural production systems. Foremost among botanical biopesticides is the limonoid azadirachtin, whose perceived environmental safety has come under debate and scrutiny in recent years. Coconut production, particularly organic coconut production, is one of the agricultural systems in which azadirachtin is used as a primary method of pest control for the management of the invasive coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae). The management of this mite species also greatly benefits from predation by Neoseiulus baraki (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Here, we assessed the potential behavioral impacts of azadirachtin on the coconut mite predator, N. baraki. We explored the effects of this biopesticide on overall predator activity, female searching time, and mating behavior and fecundity. Azadirachtin impairs the overall activity of the predator, reducing it to nearly half; however, female searching was not affected. In contrast, mating behavior was compromised by azadirachtin exposure particularly when male predators were exposed to the biopesticide. Consequently, predator fecundity was also compromised by azadirachtin, furthering doubts about its environmental safety and selectivity towards biological control agents. PMID:25679393

  13. Bioinsecticide-predator interactions: azadirachtin behavioral and reproductive impairment of the coconut mite predator Neoseiulus baraki.

    PubMed

    Lima, Debora B; Melo, José Wagner S; Guedes, Nelsa Maria P; Gontijo, Lessando M; Guedes, Raul Narciso C; Gondim, Manoel Guedes C

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic pesticide use has been the dominant form of pest control since the 1940s. However, biopesticides are emerging as sustainable pest control alternatives, with prevailing use in organic agricultural production systems. Foremost among botanical biopesticides is the limonoid azadirachtin, whose perceived environmental safety has come under debate and scrutiny in recent years. Coconut production, particularly organic coconut production, is one of the agricultural systems in which azadirachtin is used as a primary method of pest control for the management of the invasive coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae). The management of this mite species also greatly benefits from predation by Neoseiulus baraki (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Here, we assessed the potential behavioral impacts of azadirachtin on the coconut mite predator, N. baraki. We explored the effects of this biopesticide on overall predator activity, female searching time, and mating behavior and fecundity. Azadirachtin impairs the overall activity of the predator, reducing it to nearly half; however, female searching was not affected. In contrast, mating behavior was compromised by azadirachtin exposure particularly when male predators were exposed to the biopesticide. Consequently, predator fecundity was also compromised by azadirachtin, furthering doubts about its environmental safety and selectivity towards biological control agents.

  14. Predator richness has no effect in a diverse marine food web.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Mary I; Bruno, John F

    2009-07-01

    1. In many ecosystems, predator abundance, composition and diversity vary naturally among seasons and habitats. In addition, predator assemblages are changing due to overharvesting, habitat destruction and species invasions. 2. Predator species composition and richness can influence prey community structure and these effects can cascade to influence plant abundance and composition. 3. To test the effects of predator presence, composition and species richness on prey abundance, species richness and composition, we conducted three experiments in a subtidal marine food web. Experimental food webs were drawn from species pools of 5-7 predator species, 19-52 prey species, benthic micro-algae and 5 macro-algae. 4. Predators reduced prey abundance in the mesocosm experiment, but this effect was diminished or absent in field experiments. Predator species differed in their effects on prey, but we found no effect of predator richness (via complementarity or selection) on any aspect of prey community structure. 5. The absence of a predator richness effect could be due to several factors including potentially opposing effects of individual predator species, intraguild predation, or greater importance of colonization relative to competition in structuring prey assemblages. Although predators can have strong top-down effects in this system, selection or resource-use complementarity among predators do not affect prey community structure.

  15. 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)

  16. Development of a Non-Invasive Biomonitoring Approach to Determine Exposure to the Organophosphorus Insecticide Chlorpyrifos in Rat Saliva

    SciTech Connect

    Timchalk, Chuck; Campbell, James A.; Liu, Guodong; Lin, Yuehe; Kousba, Ahmed A.

    2007-03-01

    Abstract Non-invasive biomonitoring approaches are being developed using reliable portable analytical systems to quantify dosimetry utilizing readily obtainable body fluids, such as saliva. In the current study, rats were given single oral gavage doses (1, 10 or 50 mg/kg) of the insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF), saliva and blood were collected from groups of animals (4/time-point) at 3, 6, and 12 hr post-dosing, and the samples were analyzed for the CPF metabolite trichlorpyridinol (TCP). Trichlorpyridinol was detected in both blood and saliva at all doses and the TCP concentration in blood exceeded saliva, although the kinetics in blood and saliva were comparable. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) model for CPF incorporated a compartment model to describe the time-course of TCP in blood and saliva. The model adequately simulated the experimental results over the dose ranges evaluated. A rapid and sensitive sequential injection (SI) electrochemical immunoassay was developed to monitor TCP, and the reported detection limit for TCP in water was 6 ng/L. Computer model simulation in the range of the Allowable Daily Intake (ADI) or Reference Dose (RfD) for CPF (0.01-0.003 mg/kg/day) suggest that the electrochemical immunoassay had adequate sensitivity to detect and quantify TCP in saliva at these low exposure levels. To validate this approach further studies are needed to more fully understand the pharmacokinetics of CPF and TCP excretion in saliva. The utilization of saliva as a biomonitoring matrix, coupled to real-time quantitation and PBPK/PD modeling represents a novel approach with broad application for evaluating both occupational and environmental exposures to insecticides.

  17. Non-invasive detection and quantification of brain microvascular deficits by near-infrared spectroscopy in a rat model of Vascular Cognitive Impairment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallacoglu, Bertan; Sassaroli, Angelo M.; Rosenberg, Irwin H.; Troen, Aron; Fantini, Sergio

    2011-02-01

    Structural abnormalities in brain microvasculature are commonly associated with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. However, the extent to which structural microvascular abnormalities cause functional impairments in brain circulation and thereby to cognitive impairment is unclear. Non-invasive, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) methods can be used to determine the absolute hemoglobin concentration and saturation in brain tissue, from which additional parameters such as cerebral blood volume (a theoretical correlate of brain microvascular density) can be derived. Validating such NIRS parameters in animal models, and understanding their relationship to cognitive function is an important step in the ultimate application of these methods to humans. To this end we applied a non-invasive multidistance NIRS method to determine the absolute concentration and saturation of cerebral hemoglobin in rat, by separately measuring absorption and reduced scattering coefficients without relying on pre- or post-correction factors. We applied this method to study brain circulation in folate deficient rats, which express brain microvascular pathology1 and which we have shown to develop cognitive impairment.2 We found absolute brain hemoglobin concentration ([HbT]) and oxygen saturation (StO2) to be significantly lower in folate deficient rats (n=6) with respect to control rats (n=5) (for [HbT]: 73+/-10 μM vs. 95+/-14 μM for StO2: 55%+/-7% vs. 66% +/-4%), implicating microvascular pathology and diminished oxygen delivery as a mechanism of cognitive impairment. More generally, our study highlights how noninvasive, absolute NIRS measurements can provide unique insight into the pathophysiology of Vascular Cognitive Impairment. Applying this method to this and other rat models of cognitive impairment will help to validate physiologically meaningful NIRS parameters for the ultimate goal of studying cerebral microvascular disease and cognitive decline in humans.

  18. Influence of diet conditions on predation response of a predatory mite to a polyphagous insect pest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), an invasive polyphagous species, is an economically important pest. A modified standard petri dish assay method was employed to examine the functional response and predation capacity of predatory mites (Amblyseius swirskii Anthias-...

  19. Efficacy of aerosolized amphotericin B desoxycholate and liposomal amphotericin B in the treatment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in severely immunocompromised rats.

    PubMed

    Ruijgrok, E J; Vulto, A G; Van Etten, E W

    2001-07-01

    The effects of treatment with aerosolized amphotericin B desoxycholate and aerosolized liposomal amphotericin B were evaluated in severely immunosuppressed rats with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Aerosol treatment with amphotericin B desoxycholate consisted of a single dose (60 min) with amphotericin B concentrations in the nebulizer reservoir of 1, 2 and 4 mg/mL, respectively. For liposomal amphotericin B, aerosol treatment consisted of single, double or quadruple doses with a nebulizer reservoir concentration of 4 mg/mL of amphotericin B. Treatment, started at 30 h after inoculation, with aerosolized amphotericin B desoxycholate (nebulizer reservoir concentration 2 mg/mL) significantly prolonged survival of rats as compared with placebo-treated rats, whereas treatment with aerosolized amphotericin B desoxycholate with nebulizer reservoir concentration of 1 or 4 mg/mL did not have a significant effect on survival. Treatment with aerosolized liposomal amphotericin B significantly prolonged survival with all treatment regimens when compared with placebo-treated animals. Aerosol treatment did not prevent dissemination of the infection. The effects of amphotericin B desoxycholate and liposomal amphotericin B on pulmonary surfactant function were also evaluated in vitro. Amphotericin B desoxycholate inhibited surfactant function in a dose-dependent fashion. Liposomal amphotericin B had no detrimental effect on surface activity of surfactant. These results indicate that aerosol administration of amphotericin B, especially the liposomal formulation, could be an additional approach to optimizing treatment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

  20. 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.

  1. Exposure to a Predator Scent Induces Chronic Behavioral Changes in Rats Previously Exposed to Low-level Blast: Implications for the Relationship of Blast-Related TBI to PTSD.

    PubMed

    Perez-Garcia, Georgina; Gama Sosa, Miguel A; De Gasperi, Rita; Lashof-Sullivan, Margaret; Maudlin-Jeronimo, Eric; Stone, James R; Haghighi, Fatemeh; Ahlers, Stephen T; Elder, Gregory A

    2016-01-01

    Blast-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been unfortunately common in veterans who served in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The postconcussion syndrome associated with these mTBIs has frequently appeared in combination with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The presence of PTSD has complicated diagnosis, since clinically, PTSD and the postconcussion syndrome of mTBI have many overlapping symptoms. In particular, establishing how much of the symptom complex can be attributed to the psychological trauma associated with PTSD in contrast to the physical injury of traumatic brain injury has proven difficult. Indeed, some have suggested that much of what is now being called blast-related postconcussion syndrome is better explained by PTSD. The relationship between the postconcussion syndrome of mTBI and PTSD is complex. Association of the two disorders might be viewed as additive effects of independent psychological and physical traumas suffered in a war zone. However, we previously found that rats exposed to repetitive low-level blast exposure in the absence of a psychological stressor developed a variety of anxiety and PTSD-related behavioral traits that were present months following the last blast exposure. Here, we show that a single predator scent challenge delivered 8 months after the last blast exposure induces chronic anxiety related changes in blast-exposed rats that are still present 45 days later. These observations suggest that in addition to independently inducing PTSD-related traits, blast exposure sensitizes the brain to react abnormally to a subsequent psychological stressor. These studies have implications for conceptualizing the relationship between blast-related mTBI and PTSD and suggest that blast-related mTBI in humans may predispose to the later development of PTSD in reaction to subsequent psychological stressors.

  2. Exposure to a Predator Scent Induces Chronic Behavioral Changes in Rats Previously Exposed to Low-level Blast: Implications for the Relationship of Blast-Related TBI to PTSD

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Garcia, Georgina; Gama Sosa, Miguel A.; De Gasperi, Rita; Lashof-Sullivan, Margaret; Maudlin-Jeronimo, Eric; Stone, James R.; Haghighi, Fatemeh; Ahlers, Stephen T.; Elder, Gregory A.

    2016-01-01

    Blast-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been unfortunately common in veterans who served in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The postconcussion syndrome associated with these mTBIs has frequently appeared in combination with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The presence of PTSD has complicated diagnosis, since clinically, PTSD and the postconcussion syndrome of mTBI have many overlapping symptoms. In particular, establishing how much of the symptom complex can be attributed to the psychological trauma associated with PTSD in contrast to the physical injury of traumatic brain injury has proven difficult. Indeed, some have suggested that much of what is now being called blast-related postconcussion syndrome is better explained by PTSD. The relationship between the postconcussion syndrome of mTBI and PTSD is complex. Association of the two disorders might be viewed as additive effects of independent psychological and physical traumas suffered in a war zone. However, we previously found that rats exposed to repetitive low-level blast exposure in the absence of a psychological stressor developed a variety of anxiety and PTSD-related behavioral traits that were present months following the last blast exposure. Here, we show that a single predator scent challenge delivered 8 months after the last blast exposure induces chronic anxiety related changes in blast-exposed rats that are still present 45 days later. These observations suggest that in addition to independently inducing PTSD-related traits, blast exposure sensitizes the brain to react abnormally to a subsequent psychological stressor. These studies have implications for conceptualizing the relationship between blast-related mTBI and PTSD and suggest that blast-related mTBI in humans may predispose to the later development of PTSD in reaction to subsequent psychological stressors. PMID:27803688

  3. Non-Invasive In Vivo Imaging and Quantification of Tumor Growth and Metastasis in Rats Using Cells Expressing Far-Red Fluorescence Protein.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jon; Vonwil, Daniel; Shastri, V Prasad

    2015-01-01

    Non-invasive in vivo imaging is emerging as an important tool for basic and preclinical research. Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence dyes and probes have been used for non-invasive optical imaging since in the NIR region absorption and auto fluorescence by body tissue is low, thus permitting for greater penetration depths and high signal to noise ratio. Currently, cell tracking systems rely on labeling cells prior to injection or administering probes targeting the cell population of choice right before imaging. These approaches do not enable imaging of tumor growth, as the cell label is diluted during cell division. In this study we have developed cell lines stably expressing the far-red fluorescence protein E2-Crimson, thus enabling continuous detection and quantification of tumor growth. In a xenograft rat model, we show that E2-Crimson expressing cells can be detected over a 5 week period using optical imaging. Fluorescence intensities correlated with tumor volume and weight and allowed for a reliable and robust quantification of the entire tumor compartment. Using a novel injection regime, the seeding of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in the lungs in a rat model was established and verified.

  4. A Comparison of Surgical Invasions for Spinal Nerve Ligation with or without Paraspinal Muscle Removal in a Rat Neuropathic Pain Model

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yi-Gang; Zhang, Qing; Wu, Hao

    2016-01-01

    L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats is one of the most popular models for studying neuropathic pain because of its high reproducibility. During the surgery, a part of the L5 paraspinal muscle is usually removed, which produces extra trauma and may potentially affect the physiological processes involved in neuropathic pain. To reduce the surgical trauma, the paraspinal muscle retraction was developed for exposure of the spinal nerve. The current study was aimed at comparing the surgical invasions between the L5 SNL models with paraspinal muscle removal or retraction. The results showed that both methods induced similar neuropathic pain behavior. However, the paraspinal muscle retraction group exhibited an average of 2.7 mg less blood loss than the muscle removal group. This group also showed a significantly lower increase in serum myoglobin and creatine phosphokinase levels on postoperative days 1 and 2, as well as a lower increase in interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 levels on postoperative day 1. The paraspinal muscle maintained normal morphological features following paraspinal muscle retraction. Our results indicate that the SNL rat model with paraspinal muscle retraction is a reliable physiological model that is reproducible, readily available, and less invasive than the model with muscle removal. PMID:27597970

  5. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    PubMed

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  6. Production of coleopteran predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The research literature reveals moderate advances in technology to produce coleopteran predators especially lady beetles. We have several factitious prey/foods and insect-free artificial diets for polyphagous species. It might be more time and cost effective to develop artificial diet-based producti...

  7. Production of heteropteran predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter treats several key aspects of rearing procedures for predatory bugs. The value of natural, factitious, and artificial foods for the major species used in biological control is reviewed. Whereas several types of factitious foods are routinely used in the production of heteropteran predat...

  8. Developments in the rat adjuvant arthritis model and its use in therapeutic evaluation of novel non-invasive treatment by SOD in Transfersomes.

    PubMed

    Simões, S I; Delgado, T C; Lopes, R M; Jesus, S; Ferreira, A A; Morais, J A; Cruz, M E M; Corvo, M L; Martins, M B F

    2005-03-21

    The aim of this study was firstly to refine a rat model of arthritis, the adjuvant arthritis (AA) model, by studying the time course of the disease, introducing new evaluation methods such as haematological and biochemical parameters in order to identify the main stages of the disease. An optimisation of treatment schedule and evaluation criteria was developed. This refinement provided novel non-invasive anti-inflammatory treatment of the AA with SOD by using mixed lipid vesicles specially developed for transdermal delivery, Transfersomes (Tfs), this being the second major aim. The time course of AA includes a first stage: 1 day after the disease induction, the induced paw volume more than doubled and the paw circumference increased by approx. 50%. Two weeks later, another stage occurred where the disease shifted from the local arthritis form towards polyarthritis: an additional increase of volume and circumference of the induced and non-induced paws, occurred. The animals also started to loose weight around day 14 after the disease induction. Radiographic observable lesions increased correspondingly. Treatment of animals, started at day 1 after induction, by epicutaneous application of SOD-Tfs showed that 1 mg SOD/kg body weight is more efficient than 0.66 mg SOD /kg body weight. As a positive control, SOD liposomes intravenously injected were used for comparison and confirmed the biological efficiency of epicutaneously applied SOD in Tfs. SOD solution and empty Tfs epicutaneously applied exerted no effect. In addition, epicutaneous application of SOD-Tfs used prophylactically was able to suppress the induced rat paw oedema. Radiographic images showed less joint lesions in SOD-Tfs treated animals in comparison with control and placebo treated rats. It was shown for the first time that SOD incorporated into Tfs and applied onto a skin area not necessarily close to the inflamed tissue is able to promote non-invasive treatment of induced arthritis.

  9. Hierarchical levels of seed predation variation by introduced beetles on an endemic Mediterranean palm.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Marta; Delibes, Miguel; Fedriani, José M

    2014-01-01

    Seed predators can limit plant recruitment and thus profoundly impinge the dynamics of plant populations, especially when diverse seed predators (e.g., native and introduced) attack particular plant populations. Surprisingly, however, we know little concerning the potential hierarchy of spatial scales (e.g., region, population, patch) and coupled ecological correlates governing variation in the overall impact that native and introduced seed predators have on plant populations. We investigated several spatial scales and ecological correlates of pre-dispersal seed predation by invasive borer beetles in Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae), a charismatic endemic palm of the Mediteranean basin. To this end, we considered 13 palm populations (115 palms) within four geographical regions of the Iberian Peninsula. The observed interregional differences in percentages of seed predation by invasive beetles were not significant likely because of considerable variation among populations within regions. Among population variation in seed predation was largely related to level of human impact. In general, levels of seed predation were several folds higher in human-altered populations than in natural populations. Within populations, seed predation declined significantly with the increase in amount of persisting fruit pulp, which acted as a barrier against seed predators. Our results revealed that a native species (a palm) is affected by the introduction of related species because of the concurrent introduction of seed predators that feed on both the introduced and native palms. We also show how the impact of invasive seed predators on plants can vary across a hierarchy of levels ranging from variation among individuals within local populations to large scale regional divergences.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-07

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

  11. Predator-prey system with strong Allee effect in prey.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinfeng; Shi, Junping; Wei, Junjie

    2011-03-01

    Global bifurcation analysis of a class of general predator-prey models with a strong Allee effect in prey population is given in details. We show the existence of a point-to-point heteroclinic orbit loop, consider the Hopf bifurcation, and prove the existence/uniqueness and the nonexistence of limit cycle for appropriate range of parameters. For a unique parameter value, a threshold curve separates the overexploitation and coexistence (successful invasion of predator) regions of initial conditions. Our rigorous results justify some recent ecological observations, and practical ecological examples are used to demonstrate our theoretical work.

  12. Selective predation and productivity jointly drive complex behavior in host-parasite systems.

    PubMed

    Hall, Spencer R; Duffy, Meghan A; Cáceres, Carla E

    2005-01-01

    Successful invasion of a parasite into a host population and resulting host-parasite dynamics can depend crucially on other members of a host's community such as predators. We do not fully understand how predation intensity and selectivity shape host-parasite dynamics because the interplay between predator density, predator foraging behavior, and ecosystem productivity remains incompletely explored. By modifying a standard susceptible-infected model, we show how productivity can modulate complex behavior induced by saturating and selective foraging behavior of predators in an otherwise stable host-parasite system. When predators strongly prefer parasitized hosts, the host-parasite system can oscillate, but predators can also create alternative stable states, Allee effects, and catastrophic extinction of parasites. In the latter three cases, parasites have difficulty invading and/or persisting in ecosystems. When predators are intermediately selective, these more complex behaviors become less important, but the host-parasite system can switch from stable to oscillating and then back to stable states along a gradient of predator control. Surprisingly, at higher productivity, predators that neutrally select or avoid parasitized hosts can catalyze extinction of both hosts and parasites. Thus, synergy between two enemies can end disastrously for the host. Such diverse outcomes underscore the crucial importance of the community and ecosystem context in which host-parasite interactions occur.

  13. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Civitello, David J; Crumrine, Patrick W; Halstead, Neal T; Miller, Andrew D; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B; Beasley, Val R

    2015-03-10

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this "dilution effect" and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity-pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators--where they fall on an IG predation continuum--that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations.

  14. Bioluminescent imaging reveals novel patterns of colonization and invasion in systemic Escherichia coli K1 experimental infection in the neonatal rat.

    PubMed

    Witcomb, Luci A; Collins, James W; McCarthy, Alex J; Frankel, Gadi; Taylor, Peter W

    2015-12-01

    Key features of Escherichia coli K1-mediated neonatal sepsis and meningitis, such as a strong age dependency and development along the gut-mesentery-blood-brain course of infection, can be replicated in the newborn rat. We examined temporal and spatial aspects of E. coli K1 infection following initiation of gastrointestinal colonization in 2-day-old (P2) rats after oral administration of E. coli K1 strain A192PP and a virulent bioluminescent derivative, E. coli A192PP-lux2. A combination of bacterial enumeration in the major organs, two-dimensional bioluminescence imaging, and three-dimensional diffuse light imaging tomography with integrated micro-computed tomography indicated multiple sites of colonization within the alimentary canal; these included the tongue, esophagus, and stomach in addition to the small intestine and colon. After invasion of the blood compartment, the bacteria entered the central nervous system, with restricted colonization of the brain, and also invaded the major organs, in line with increases in the severity of symptoms of infection. Both keratinized and nonkeratinized surfaces of esophagi were colonized to a considerably greater extent in susceptible P2 neonates than in corresponding tissues from infection-resistant 9-day-old rat pups; the bacteria appeared to damage and penetrate the nonkeratinized esophageal epithelium of infection-susceptible P2 animals, suggesting the esophagus represents a portal of entry for E. coli K1 into the systemic circulation. Thus, multimodality imaging of experimental systemic infections in real time indicates complex dynamic patterns of colonization and dissemination that provide new insights into the E. coli K1 infection of the neonatal rat.

  15. Predator Avoidance in Extremophile Fish

    PubMed Central

    Bierbach, David; Schulte, Matthias; Herrmann, Nina; Zimmer, Claudia; Arias-Rodriguez, Lenin; Indy, Jeane Rimber; Riesch, Rüdiger; Plath, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Extreme habitats are often characterized by reduced predation pressures, thus representing refuges for the inhabiting species. The present study was designed to investigate predator avoidance of extremophile populations of Poecilia mexicana and P. sulphuraria that either live in hydrogen sulfide-rich (sulfidic) springs or cave habitats, both of which are known to have impoverished piscine predator regimes. Focal fishes that inhabited sulfidic springs showed slightly weaker avoidance reactions when presented with several naturally occurring predatory cichlids, but strongest differences to populations from non-sulfidic habitats were found in a decreased shoaling tendency with non-predatory swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) females. When comparing avoidance reactions between P. mexicana from a sulfidic cave (Cueva del Azufre) and the adjacent sulfidic surface creek (El Azufre), we found only slight differences in predator avoidance, but surface fish reacted much more strongly to the non-predatory cichlid Vieja bifasciata. Our third experiment was designed to disentangle learned from innate effects of predator recognition. We compared laboratory-reared (i.e., predator-naïve) and wild-caught (i.e., predator-experienced) individuals of P. mexicana from a non-sulfidic river and found no differences in their reaction towards the presented predators. Overall, our results indicate (1) that predator avoidance is still functional in extremophile Poecilia spp. and (2) that predator recognition and avoidance reactions have a strong genetic basis. PMID:25371337

  16. The influence of sulindac on diabetic cardiomyopathy: a non-invasive evaluation by Doppler echocardiography in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Krishna, Kota M; Gopal, Gopisetty S; Chalam, Chitrapu R V; Madan, Kalagara; Kumar, Veeravalli K; Prakash, Gomedhikam J; Annapurna, Akula

    2005-08-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the cardioprotective activity of sulindac as an aldose reductase inhibitor in the development of cardiomyopathy by non-invasive techniques; M-mode and Doppler echocardiography. Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin (45 mg/kg, iv) in the Sprague-Dawley rats. Echocardiography, biochemical and histological studies were carried out in normal control, diabetic untreated, diabetic vehicle (sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, 1%, po) and sulindac (6 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg, po) treated animals at varying time intervals. In the diabetic untreated and vehicle treated rats at 12 weeks after induction of diabetes, there was a significant decrease in the E-wave, an increase in the A-wave and corresponding decrease in the E/A ratio was observed. Significant decrease in the Eat was found after 12 weeks (P < 0.05). Whereas systolic function variables; ejection fraction and fractional shortening were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) after 12 weeks compared to their baseline data. In the sulindac treated animals, there were no significant alterations in the systolic and diastolic parameters were found throughout the study period. Myocardial fructose levels were significantly increased in the diabetic untreated animals compared to normal control rats (P < 0.05), whereas these were significantly decreased in the sulindac (6 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg) treated animals (301.11+/-37.98, 214.11+/-25.31, vs. 914.88+/-56.01 nmol/g) compared to diabetic vehicle treated group (P < 0.05). Extensive focal ischemic myocyte degeneration was observed in the diabetic untreated and vehicle treated rats, whereas in the sulindac (6 mg/kg) treated rats, minimal necrosis was found, with no evidence of necrosis in sulindac (20 mg/kg) group. Our results show for the first time that sulindac has a cardioprotective activity as this agent prevented the development of left ventricular dysfunction in STZ-induced diabetic rats in the 12-week chronic study.

  17. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; Civitello, David J.; Crumrine, Patrick W.; Halstead, Neal T.; Miller, Andrew D.; Schotthoefer, Anna M.; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B.; Beasley, Val R.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this “dilution effect” and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity–pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators—where they fall on an IG predation continuum—that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations. PMID:25713379

  18. Introduced rats indirectly change marine rocky intertidal communities from algae- to invertebrate-dominated.

    PubMed

    Kurle, Carolyn M; Croll, Donald A; Tershy, Bernie R

    2008-03-11

    It is widely recognized that trophic interactions structure ecological communities, but their effects are usually only demonstrated on a small scale. As a result, landscape-level documentations of trophic cascades that alter entire communities are scarce. Islands invaded by animals provide natural experiment opportunities both to measure general trophic effects across large spatial scales and to determine the trophic roles of invasive species within native ecosystems. Studies addressing the trophic interactions of invasive species most often focus on their direct effects. To investigate both the presence of a landscape-level trophic cascade and the direct and indirect effects of an invasive species, we examined the impacts of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) introduced to the Aleutian Islands on marine bird densities and marine rocky intertidal community structures through surveys conducted on invaded and rat-free islands throughout the entire 1,900-km archipelago. Densities of birds that forage in the intertidal were higher on islands without rats. Marine intertidal invertebrates were more abundant on islands with rats, whereas fleshy algal cover was reduced. Our results demonstrate that invasive rats directly reduce bird densities through predation and significantly affect invertebrate and marine algal abundance in the rocky intertidal indirectly via a cross-community trophic cascade, unexpectedly changing the intertidal community structure from an algae- to an invertebrate-dominated system.

  19. Eating the competition speeds up invasions.

    PubMed

    Hall, Richard J

    2011-04-23

    Many introduced species engage in intraguild predation (IGP), the consumption of species with which they compete for shared resources. While the factors influencing local persistence of IG predator and prey species are well-understood, using these factors to predict the invasion speed of an introduced IG predator has received less attention. Existing theory predicts that native competitors slow invasions via depletion of shared resources, but this fails to account for additional resources acquired when an invader consumes competitors. Here, I outline a general framework for understanding the effect of IGP on invasion speeds. I find that invaders that consume native competitors may be able to spread where invasion by pure competitors would fail, and that invasion speed increases with increasing levels of IGP. Notably, if the benefit from consuming competitors outweighs the loss of shared resources to competitors, invasion proceeds faster than invasion in the absence of competitors. This may explain empirical observations of rapid spread rates of invaders that feed at multiple trophic levels.

  20. Bat predation by spiders.

    PubMed

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (≈ 90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.

  1. Bat Predation by Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (∼90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed. PMID:23516436

  2. Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis in a rat model: shear wave elasticity imaging versus real-time elastography.

    PubMed

    Lin, Sen-Hao; Ding, Hong; Mao, Feng; Xue, Li-Yun; Lv, Wei-Wei; Zhu, Hong-Guang; Huang, Bei-Jian; Wang, Wen-Ping

    2013-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the diagnostic value of shear wave elasticity imaging (SWEI) and real-time elastography (RTE) in liver fibrosis induced by dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) and to compare the accuracy of these methods. Seventy male Wistar rats given a single intra-peritoneal injection of DMN and 10 control rats given a saline injection underwent SWEI and RTE to determine their shear wave velocity (V(s)) and liver fibrosis (LF) index, respectively. Correlations between V(s) or the LF index and histologic stage of liver fibrosis (S0-S4) were analyzed, and the diagnostic values of the techniques were assessed using a receiver operating characteristic curve. A positive correlation was found between V(s) and stage of liver fibrosis (r = 0.947, p < 0.001) and between LF index and stage (S) of liver fibrosis (r = 0.662, p < 0.001). For Vs, the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the diagnosis of fibrosis, S ≥ S1, S ≥ S2, S ≥ S3 and S = S4, were 0.983, 0.995, 0.999 and 0.964, respectively; for the LF index, the values were 0.871, 0.887, 0.761 and 0.839, respectively (all p < 0.001). Vs and the LF index values in rats with severe inflammatory activity were significantly higher than those in controls (p < 0.001). In conclusion, positive correlations exist between V(s) or the LF index and the severity of liver fibrosis in rats. Vs is more accurate than the LF index in predicting liver fibrosis in rats. However, severe inflammatory activity may reduce the accuracy of both techniques.

  3. Investigating Invasives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lightbody, Mary

    2008-01-01

    Invasive species, commonly known as "invasives," are nonnative plants, animals, and microbes that completely take over and change an established ecosystem. The consequences of invasives' spread are significant. In fact, many of the species that appear on the Endangered Species list are threatened by invasives. Therefore, the topic of invasive…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Intraguild predation in pioneer predator communities of alpine glacier forelands

    PubMed Central

    Raso, Lorna; Sint, Daniela; Mayer, Rebecca; Plangg, Simon; Recheis, Thomas; Brunner, Silvia; Kaufmann, Rüdiger; Traugott, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Pioneer communities establishing themselves in the barren terrain in front of glacier forelands consist principally of predator species such as carabid beetles and lycosid spiders. The fact that so many different predators can co-inhabit an area with no apparent primary production was initially explained by allochthonous material deposited in these forelands. However, whether these populations can be sustained on allochthonous material alone is questionable and recent studies point towards this assumption to be flawed. Intraguild predation (IGP) might play an important role in these pioneer predator assemblages, especially in the very early successional stages where other prey is scarce. Here, we investigated IGP between the main predator species and their consumption of Collembola, an important autochthonous alternative prey, within a glacier foreland in the Ötztal (Austrian Alps). Multiplex PCR and stable isotope analysis were used to characterize the trophic niches in an early and late pioneer stage over 2 years. Results showed that intraguild prey was consumed by all invertebrate predators, particularly the larger carabid species. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the DNA detection frequency of IGP prey was not significantly higher in early than in late pioneer stage, which was corroborated by the stable isotope analysis. Collembola were the most frequently detected prey in all of the predators, and the overall prey DNA detection patterns were consistent between years. Our findings show that IGP appears as a constant in these pioneer predator communities and that it remains unaffected by successional changes. PMID:24383765

  6. Over-invasion by functionally equivalent invasive species.

    PubMed

    Russell, James C; Sataruddin, Nurul S; Heard, Allison D

    2014-08-01

    Multiple invasive species have now established at most locations around the world, and the rate of new species invasions and records of new invasive species continue to grow. Multiple invasive species interact in complex and unpredictable ways, altering their invasion success and impacts on biodiversity. Incumbent invasive species can be replaced by functionally similar invading species through competitive processes; however the generalized circumstances leading to such competitive displacement have not been well investigated. The likelihood of competitive displacement is a function of the incumbent advantage of the resident invasive species and the propagule pressure of the colonizing invasive species. We modeled interactions between populations of two functionally similar invasive species and indicated the circumstances under which dominance can be through propagule pressure and incumbent advantage. Under certain circumstances, a normally subordinate species can be incumbent and reject a colonizing dominant species, or successfully colonize in competition with a dominant species during simultaneous invasion. Our theoretical results are supported by empirical studies of the invasion of islands by three invasive Rattus species. Competitive displacement is prominent in invasive rats and explains the replacement of R. exulans on islands subsequently invaded by European populations of R. rattus and R. norvegicus. These competition outcomes between invasive species can be found in a broad range of taxa and biomes, and are likely to become more common. Conservation management must consider that removing an incumbent invasive species may facilitate invasion by another invasive species. Under very restricted circumstances of dominant competitive ability but lesser impact, competitive displacement may provide a novel method of biological control.

  7. Quantitative Analysis of Lysobacter Predation

    PubMed Central

    Seccareccia, Ivana; Kost, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Lysobacter are considered to be facultative predators that use a feeding strategy similar to that of myxobacteria. Experimental data supporting this assumption, however, are scarce. Therefore, the predatory activities of three Lysobacter species were tested in the prey spot plate assay and in the lawn predation assay, which are commonly used to analyze myxobacterial predation. Surprisingly, only one of the tested Lysobacter species showed predatory behavior in the two assays. This result suggested that not all Lysobacter strains are predatory or, alternatively, that the assays were not appropriate for determining the predatory potential of this bacterial group. To differentiate between the two scenarios, predation was tested in a CFU-based bioassay. For this purpose, defined numbers of Lysobacter cells were mixed together with potential prey bacteria featuring phenotypic markers, such as distinctive pigmentation or antibiotic resistance. After 24 h, cocultivated cells were streaked out on agar plates and sizes of bacterial populations were individually determined by counting the respective colonies. Using the CFU-based predation assay, we observed that Lysobacter spp. strongly antagonized other bacteria under nutrient-deficient conditions. Simultaneously, the Lysobacter population was increasing, which together with the killing of the cocultured bacteria indicated predation. Variation of the predator/prey ratio revealed that all three Lysobacter species tested needed to outnumber their prey for efficient predation, suggesting that they exclusively practiced group predation. In summary, the CFU-based predation assay not only enabled the quantification of prey killing and consumption by Lysobacter spp. but also provided insights into their mode of predation. PMID:26231654

  8. Intraguild predation and competition impacts on a subordinate predator.

    PubMed

    Björklund, Heidi; Santangeli, Andrea; Blanchet, F Guillaume; Huitu, Otso; Lehtoranta, Hannu; Lindén, Harto; Valkama, Jari; Laaksonen, Toni

    2016-05-01

    Intraguild (IG) predation and interspecific competition may affect the settlement and success of species in their habitats. Using data on forest-dwelling hawks from Finland, we addressed the impact of an IG predator, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis (goshawk), on the breeding of an IG prey, the common buzzard Buteo buteo. We hypothesized that the subordinate common buzzard avoids breeding in the proximity of goshawks and that interspecific competitors, mainly Strix owls, may also disturb common buzzards by competing for nests and food. Our results show that common buzzards more frequently occupied territories with a low IG predation threat and with no interspecific competitors. We also observed that common buzzards avoided territories with high levels of grouse, the main food of goshawks, possibly due to a risk of IG predation since abundant grouse can attract goshawks. High levels of small rodents attracted interspecific competitors to common buzzard territories and created a situation where there was not only an abundance of food but also an abundance of competitors for the food. These results suggest interplay between top-down and bottom-up processes which influence the interactions between avian predator species. We conclude that the common buzzard needs to balance the risks of IG predation and interference competition with the availability of its own resources. The presence of other predators associated with high food levels may impede a subordinate predator taking full advantage of the available food. Based on our results, it appears that interspecific interactions with dominant predators have the potential to influence the distribution pattern of subordinate predators.

  9. Spreading and vanishing in the diffusive prey-predator model with a free boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Mingxin

    2015-06-01

    This paper deals with the diffusive Lotka-Volterra type prey-predator model with a free boundary over a one dimensional habitat. This problem may be used to describe the interaction between indigenous species and invasive species and the spreading of such two species, with the free boundary representing the expanding front. Our main purpose is to study the spreading and vanishing phenomena and long time behaviors of prey and predator.

  10. Dynamics of a plant-herbivore-predator system with plant-toxicity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feng, Zhilan; Qiu, Zhipeng; Liu, Rongsong; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2011-01-01

    A system of ordinary differential equations is considered that models the interactions of two plant species populations, an herbivore population, and a predator population. We use a toxin-determined functional response to describe the interactions between plant species and herbivores and use a Holling Type II functional response to model the interactions between herbivores and predators. In order to study how the predators impact the succession of vegetation, we derive invasion conditions under which a plant species can invade into an environment in which another plant species is co-existing with a herbivore population with or without a predator population. These conditions provide threshold quantities for several parameters that may play a key role in the dynamics of the system. Numerical simulations are conducted to reinforce the analytical results. This model can be applied to a boreal ecosystem trophic chain to examine the possible cascading effects of predator-control actions when plant species differ in their levels of toxic defense.

  11. Corridors cause differential seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.

    2005-06-01

    Orrock, John, L., and Ellen I. Damschen. 2005. Corridors cause differential seed predation. Ecol. Apps. 15(3):793-798. Abstract. Corridors that connect disjunct populations are heavily debated in conservation, largely because the effects of corridors have rarely been evaluated by replicated, large-scale studies. Using large-scale experimental landscapes, we found that, in addition to documented positive effects, corridors also have negative impacts on bird-dispersed plants by affecting seed predation, and that overall predation is a function of the seeds primary consumer (rodents or arthropods). Both large-seeded Prunus serotina and small-seeded Rubus allegheniensis experienced greater predation in connected patches. However, P. serotina experienced significantly less seed predation compared to R. allegheniensis in unconnected patches, due to decreased impacts of rodent seed predators on this large-seeded species. Viewed in light of previous evidence that corridors have beneficial impacts by increasing pollination and seed dispersal, this work demonstrates that corridors may have both positive and negative effects for the same plant species at different life stages. Moreover, these effects may differentially affect plant species within the same community: seeds primarily consumed by rodents suffer less predation in unconnected patches. By shifting the impact of rodent and arthropod seed predators, corridors constructed for plant conservation could lead to shifts in the seed bank.

  12. The paradox of the long-term positive effects of a North American crayfish on a European community of predators.

    PubMed

    Tablado, Zulima; Tella, José L; Sánchez-Zapata, José A; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2010-10-01

    Invasions of non-native species are one of the major causes of losses of native species. In some cases, however, non-natives may also have positive effects on native species. We investigated the potential facilitative effects of the North American red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) on the community of predators in southwestern Spain. To do so, we examined the diets of predators in the area and their population trends since introduction of the crayfish. Most predator species consumed red swamp crayfish, which sometimes occurred in over 50% of their diet samples. Moreover, the abundance of species preying on crayfish increased significantly in the area as opposed to the abundance of herbivores and to predator populations in other areas of Europe, where those predators are even considered threatened. Thus, we report the first case in which one non-native species is both beneficial because it provides prey for threatened species and detrimental because it can drive species at lower trophic levels to extinction. Increases in predator numbers that are associated with non-native species of prey, especially when some of these predators are also invasive non-natives, may increase levels of predation on other species and produce cascading effects that threaten native biota at longer temporal and larger spatial scales. Future management plans should include the complexity of interactions between invasive non-natives and the entire native community, the feasibility of successful removal of non-native species, and the potential social and economic interests in the area.

  13. Prenatal low-dose bisphenol A enhances behavioral responses induced by a predator odor.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Tetsuya; Kubo, Kazuhiko; Nishikawa, Yasuo; Aou, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental endocrine disrupter (EED). Previous studies by our group showed that pre- and postnatal administration of low-level BPA induced depression-like behavior in rats. In this study, we evaluated the effects of prenatal BPA on behavioral responses to a predator odor by using a novel cross-form apparatus consisting of 4 plastic chambers. On the first day, nothing was placed into the chambers (Session 1). On the second day, a predator odor (fox odor) was located in separate chambers at 2 opposite corners of the apparatus (Session 2). Pregnant Wistar rats were exposed to low-dose BPA (less than the reference dose) during the 7 days just before birth, and the offspring of the treated rats were evaluated as adults. The locomotor activity and avoidance response of each rat on both test days were compared. The control and BPA groups showed reduced locomotor activity in the presence of the predator odor, but the odor-avoidance response was significant only in the BPA rats. The BPA-exposed rats were obviously sensitive to the predator odor. These results suggest that prenatal BPA exposure has an amplifying effect on avoidance responses to predator odor stress.

  14. Induced changes in island fox (Urocyon littoralis) activity do not mitigate the extinction threat posed by a novel predator.

    PubMed

    Hudgens, Brian R; Garcelon, David K

    2011-03-01

    Prey response to novel predators influences the impacts on prey populations of introduced predators, bio-control efforts, and predator range expansion. Predicting the impacts of novel predators on native prey requires an understanding of both predator avoidance strategies and their potential to reduce predation risk. We examine the response of island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) to invasion by golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). Foxes reduced daytime activity and increased night time activity relative to eagle-naïve foxes. Individual foxes reverted toward diurnal tendencies following eagle removal efforts. We quantified the potential population impact of reduced diurnality by modeling island fox population dynamics. Our model predicted an annual population decline similar to what was observed following golden eagle invasion and predicted that the observed 11% reduction in daytime activity would not reduce predation risk sufficiently to reduce extinction risk. The limited effect of this behaviorally plastic predator avoidance strategy highlights the importance of linking behavioral change to population dynamics for predicting the impact of novel predators on resident prey populations.

  15. Stability of an intraguild predation system with mutual predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2016-04-01

    We examine intraguild predation (IGP), in which species both compete for resources or space and prey on each other. The IGP system is modeled here by a lattice gas model of the mean-field theory. First, we consider the IGP system of one species in which individuals of the same species cannibalize each other. The dynamical behavior of the model demonstrates a mechanism by which the intraspecific predation promotes persistence of the species. Then we consider the IGP system of two species with mutual predation. Global dynamics of the model exhibit basic properties of IGP: (i) When both species' efficiencies in converting the consumptions into fitness are large, the outcome of their interaction is mutualistic in form and the IGP promotes persistence of both species. (ii) When one species' efficiency is large but the other's is small, the interaction outcomes become parasitic in nature, in which an obligate species can survive through the mutual predation with a facultative one. (iii) When both species' efficiencies are small, the interaction outcomes are competitive in nature and the IGP leads to extinction of one of the species. A novel result of this work is that varying one parameter or population density of the species can lead to transition of interaction outcomes between mutualism, parasitism and competition. On the other hand, dynamics of the models demonstrate that over-predation or under-predation will result in extinction of one/both species, while intermediate predation is favorable under certain parameter ranges.

  16. Species coexistence of communities with intraguild predation: the role of refuges used by the resource and the intraguild prey.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhiguang; Zhang, Fengpan

    2013-10-01

    In this paper, we develop a three-species intraguild predation model which incorporates refuges used by the resource and the intraguild prey, and focus on the effects of refuges on the three species coexistence. The invasion condition and parameter region for coexistence are obtained using invasion analysis. The new invasion condition requires that all boundary states with one missing species can be invaded by the missing species. Numerical simulations show that refuges have a major influence on species coexistence of intraguild predation system, and the results strongly depend on the types of refuges introduced into the model. Our study also shows that prey's refuges are detrimental to species coexistence except the resource using refuges. In contrast to previous research, we find that spatial structure may play an important role in effects of refuges on species coexistence of intraguild predation systems. Our results may shed new light on understanding the mechanisms and the persistence of multi-species predators-prey system.

  17. Function of the Blood-Brain Barrier and Restriction of Drug Delivery to Invasive Glioma Cells: Findings in an Orthotopic Rat Xenograft Model of Glioma

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Sagar; Manchanda, Pooja; Vogelbaum, Michael A.; Ohlfest, John R.

    2013-01-01

    Despite aggressive treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, recurrence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is inevitable. The objective of this study was to show that the blood-brain barrier (BBB), through a combination of tight junctions and active efflux transporters in the brain microvasculature, can significantly restrict delivery of molecularly targeted agents to invasive glioma cells. Transgenic mice lacking P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (Bcrp) were used to study efflux of erlotinib at the BBB. A U87 rat xenograft model of GBM was used to investigate the regional distribution of erlotinib to the tumor, and brain regions surrounding the tumor. The effect of concurrent administration of elacridar on regional tumor distribution of erlotinib was evaluated. We show that erlotinib transport across an intact BBB is significantly restricted due to P-gp- and Bcrp-mediated efflux transport. We then show that the BBB is sufficiently intact in areas of brain adjacent to the tumor core to significantly restrict erlotinib delivery. Inhibition of P-gp and Bcrp by the dual inhibitor elacridar dramatically increased erlotinib delivery to the tumor core, rim, and normal brain. These results provide conclusive evidence of the impact that active efflux at the BBB has on the delivery of molecularly targeted therapy to different tumor regions in glioma. These data also support the possibility that the repeated failure of clinical trials of new drugs for gliomas may be in part due to a failure to achieve effective concentrations in invasive tumor cells that reside behind an intact BBB. PMID:23014761

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Invasive Species

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Invasive species have significantly changed the Great Lakes ecosystem. An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to an ecosystem, and whose introduction is likely to cause economic, human health, or environmental damage.

  20. Invasive Candidiasis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida . Unlike Candida ... mouth and throat (also called “thrush”) or vaginal “yeast infections,” invasive candidiasis is a serious infection that ...

  1. Integrated management of Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius: is control enhanced when seed predation is combined with prescribed fire or mowing?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Integrated weed management (IWM) strategies are being advocated and employed to control invasive plants species. Prescribed fire, mechanical removal, and biological control (seed predator Exapion fuscirostre) are used to manage the invasive plant, Cytisus scoparius, in prairies at Fort Lewis, Washi...

  2. Do intraspecific or interspecific interactions determine responses to predators feeding on a shared size-structured prey community?

    PubMed

    ten Brink, Hanna; Mazumdar, Abul Kalam Azad; Huddart, Joseph; Persson, Lennart; Cameron, Tom C

    2015-03-01

    Coexistence of predators that share the same prey is common. This is still the case in size-structured predator communities where predators consume prey species of different sizes (interspecific prey responses) or consume different size classes of the same species of prey (intraspecific prey responses). A mechanism has recently been proposed to explain coexistence between predators that differ in size but share the same prey species, emergent facilitation, which is dependent on strong intraspecific responses from one or more prey species. Under emergent facilitation, predators can depend on each other for invasion, persistence or success in a size-structured prey community. Experimental evidence for intraspecific size-structured responses in prey populations remains rare, and further questions remain about direct interactions between predators that could prevent or limit any positive effects between predators [e.g. intraguild predation (IGP)]. Here, we provide a community-wide experiment on emergent facilitation including natural predators. We investigate both the direct interactions between two predators that differ in body size (fish vs. invertebrate predator), and the indirect interaction between them via their shared prey community (zooplankton). Our evidence supports the most likely expectation of interactions between differently sized predators that IGP rates are high, and interspecific interactions in the shared prey community dominate the response to predation (i.e. predator-mediated competition). The question of whether emergent facilitation occurs frequently in nature requires more empirical and theoretical attention, specifically to address the likelihood that its pre-conditions may co-occur with high rates of IGP.

  3. Predator behaviour and predation risk in the heterogeneous Arctic environment.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Careau, Vincent; Gauthier, Gilles; Giroux, Jean-François

    2008-05-01

    1. Habitat heterogeneity and predator behaviour can strongly affect predator-prey interactions but these factors are rarely considered simultaneously, especially when systems encompass multiple predators and prey. 2. In the Arctic, greater snow geese Anser caerulescens atlanticus L. nest in two structurally different habitats: wetlands that form intricate networks of water channels, and mesic tundra where such obstacles are absent. In this heterogeneous environment, goose eggs are exposed to two types of predators: the arctic fox Vulpes lagopus L. and a diversity of avian predators. We hypothesized that, contrary to birds, the hunting ability of foxes would be impaired by the structurally complex wetland habitat, resulting in a lower predation risk for goose eggs. 3. In addition, lemmings, the main prey of foxes, show strong population cycles. We thus further examined how their fluctuations influenced the interaction between habitat heterogeneity and fox predation on goose eggs. 4. An experimental approach with artificial nests suggested that foxes were faster than avian predators to find unattended goose nests in mesic tundra whereas the reverse was true in wetlands. Foxes spent 3.5 times more time between consecutive attacks on real goose nests in wetlands than in mesic tundra. Their attacks on goose nests were also half as successful in wetlands than in mesic tundra whereas no difference was found for avian predators. 5. Nesting success in wetlands (65%) was higher than in mesic tundra (56%) but the difference between habitats increased during lemming crashes (15%) compared to other phases of the cycle (5%). Nests located at the edge of wetland patches were also less successful than central ones, suggesting a gradient in accessibility of goose nests in wetlands for foxes. 6. Our study shows that the structural complexity of wetlands decreases predation risk from foxes but not avian predators in arctic-nesting birds. Our results also demonstrate that cyclic

  4. Top predators affect the composition of naive protist communities, but only in their early-successional stage.

    PubMed

    Zander, Axel; Gravel, Dominique; Bersier, Louis-Félix; Gray, Sarah M

    2016-02-01

    Introduced top predators have the potential to disrupt community dynamics when prey species are naive to predation. The impact of introduced predators may also vary depending on the stage of community development. Early-succession communities are likely to have small-bodied and fast-growing species, but are not necessarily good at defending against predators. In contrast, late-succession communities are typically composed of larger-bodied species that are more predator resistant relative to small-bodied species. Yet, these aspects are greatly neglected in invasion studies. We therefore tested the effect of top predator presence on early- and late-succession communities that were either naive or non-naive to top predators. We used the aquatic community held within the leaves of Sarracenia purpurea. In North America, communities have experienced the S. purpurea top predator and are therefore non-naive. In Europe, this predator is not present and its niche has not been filled, making these communities top-predator naive. We collected early- and late-succession communities from two non-naive and two naive sites, which are climatically similar. We then conducted a common-garden experiment, with and without the presence of the top predator, in which we recorded changes in community composition, body size spectra, bacterial density, and respiration. We found that the top predator had no statistical effect on global measures of community structure and functioning. However, it significantly altered protist composition, but only in naive, early-succession communities, highlighting that the state of community development is important for understanding the impact of invasion.

  5. Ocean acidification alters predator behaviour and reduces predation rate.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Fields, Jennifer B; Munday, Philip L

    2017-02-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the emerging and likely widespread effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on marine invertebrate behaviour are still little understood. Here, we show that ocean acidification alters and impairs key ecological behaviours of the predatory cone snail Conus marmoreus Projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (975 µatm) increased activity in this coral reef molluscivore more than threefold (from less than 4 to more than 12 mm min(-1)) and decreased the time spent buried to less than one-third when compared with the present-day control conditions (390 µatm). Despite increasing activity, elevated CO2 reduced predation rate during predator-prey interactions with control-treated humpbacked conch, Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus; 60% of control predators successfully captured and consumed their prey, compared with only 10% of elevated CO2 predators. The alteration of key ecological behaviours of predatory invertebrates by near-future ocean acidification could have potentially far-reaching implications for predator-prey interactions and trophic dynamics in marine ecosystems. Combined evidence that the behaviours of both species in this predator-prey relationship are altered by elevated CO2 suggests food web interactions and ecosystem structure will become increasingly difficult to predict as ocean acidification advances over coming decades.

  6. Habitat segregation mediates predation by the benthic fish Cottus gobio on the exotic amphipod species Gammarus roeseli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaldonski, Nicolas; Lagrue, Clément; Motreuil, Sébastien; Rigaud, Thierry; Bollache, Loïc

    2008-09-01

    Predation is often considered as one of the most important biotic factor determining the success of exotic species. The freshwater amphipod Gammarus roeseli has widely colonized Western Europe, where it is frequently found in sympatry with the native species ( Gammarus pulex). Previous laboratory experiments revealed that G. roeseli may have an advantage over G. pulex through differential predation by native fish (brown trout). Morphological anti-predator defences (spines) were found responsible for lower rates of predation on the invasive G. roeseli. Here, using both field surveys and laboratory experiments, we tested if a differential of predation exists with other fish predators naturally encountered by gammarids. The main predators present in our field site were nocturnal benthic feeders (mainly bullheads, Cottus gobio). Fish diet analysis showed that, compared to its global availability in the river, G. roeseli was less consumed than G. pulex. In the field, however, G. roeseli was found mainly in the aquatic vegetation whereas G. pulex was found in all habitat types. Laboratory experiments in microcosms revealed that G. roeseli was less prone to predation by C. gobio only when vegetation was present. Depending on the type of predator, the differential of predation could therefore be mediated by antipredator behaviour, and a better usage of refuges, rather than by morphological defences.

  7. Modelling landscape-level numerical responses of predators to prey: the case of cats and rabbits.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Jennyffer; Glen, Alistair S; Pech, Roger P

    2013-01-01

    Predator-prey systems can extend over large geographical areas but empirical modelling of predator-prey dynamics has been largely limited to localised scales. This is due partly to difficulties in estimating predator and prey abundances over large areas. Collection of data at suitably large scales has been a major problem in previous studies of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and their predators. This applies in Western Europe, where conserving rabbits and predators such as Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is important, and in other parts of the world where rabbits are an invasive species supporting populations of introduced, and sometimes native, predators. In pastoral regions of New Zealand, rabbits are the primary prey of feral cats (Felis catus) that threaten native fauna. We estimate the seasonal numerical response of cats to fluctuations in rabbit numbers in grassland-shrubland habitat across the Otago and Mackenzie regions of the South Island of New Zealand. We use spotlight counts over 1645 km of transects to estimate rabbit and cat abundances with a novel modelling approach that accounts simultaneously for environmental stochasticity, density dependence and varying detection probability. Our model suggests that cat abundance is related consistently to rabbit abundance in spring and summer, possibly through increased rabbit numbers improving the fecundity and juvenile survival of cats. Maintaining rabbits at low abundance should therefore suppress cat numbers, relieving predation pressure on native prey. Our approach provided estimates of the abundance of cats and rabbits over a large geographical area. This was made possible by repeated sampling within each season, which allows estimation of detection probabilities. A similar approach could be applied to predator-prey systems elsewhere, and could be adapted to any method of direct observation in which there is no double-counting of individuals. Reliable estimates of numerical responses are essential

  8. Predators of the Whitetail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel B.

    1994-01-01

    white-tailed deer have long been important prey for large predators. Before Europeans colonized North America, deer roaming the forested region east of the Great Plains and areas along the Gulf of Mexico were hunted by wolves and mountain lions, and by Native Americans for food and clothing materials. Today, wolves and mountain lions are largely gone from the white-tailed deer range of the eastern United States. Deer still face the threat of wolves in northern Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and of mountain lions, to a limited extent, in Texas and south Florida. Relatively small populations of whitetails have expanded westward, showing up in the Great Plains and several areas west of the Continental Divide such as northwestern Montana, northern Idaho, and eastern Washington. More than half the prey killed by recolonizing wolves in northwestern Montana are white-tailed deer. Although it has not been well documented, these western whitetails undoubtedly also are preyed on by mountain lions. Wolves and mountain lions have evolved as effective killers of deer but with very different physical characteristics and hunting behaviors. Of course, for their part, whitetails have found ways to protect themselves.

  9. Non-invasive Parenchymal, Vascular and Metabolic High-frequency Ultrasound and Photoacoustic Rat Deep Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Giustetto, Pierangela; Filippi, Miriam; Castano, Mauro; Terreno, Enzo

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustics and high frequency ultrasound stands out as powerful tools for neurobiological applications enabling high-resolution imaging on the central nervous system of small animals. However, transdermal and transcranial neuroimaging is frequently affected by low sensitivity, image aberrations and loss of space resolution, requiring scalp or even skull removal before imaging. To overcome this challenge, a new protocol is presented to gain significant insights in brain hemodynamics by photoacoustic and high-frequency ultrasounds imaging with the animal skin and skull intact. The procedure relies on the passage of ultrasound (US) waves and laser directly through the fissures that are naturally present on the animal cranium. By juxtaposing the imaging transducer device exactly in correspondence to these selected areas where the skull has a reduced thickness or is totally absent, one can acquire high quality deep images and explore internal brain regions that are usually difficult to anatomically or functionally describe without an invasive approach. By applying this experimental procedure, significant data can be collected in both sonic and optoacoustic modalities, enabling to image the parenchymal and the vascular anatomy far below the head surface. Deep brain features such as parenchymal convolutions and fissures separating the lobes were clearly visible. Moreover, the configuration of large and small blood vessels was imaged at several millimeters of depth, and precise information were collected about blood fluxes, vascular stream velocities and the hemoglobin chemical state. This repertoire of data could be crucial in several research contests, ranging from brain vascular disease studies to experimental techniques involving the systemic administration of exogenous chemicals or other objects endowed with imaging contrast enhancement properties. In conclusion, thanks to the presented protocol, the US and PA techniques become an attractive noninvasive

  10. Non-invasive parenchymal, vascular and metabolic high-frequency ultrasound and photoacoustic rat deep brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Giustetto, Pierangela; Filippi, Miriam; Castano, Mauro; Terreno, Enzo

    2015-03-02

    Photoacoustics and high frequency ultrasound stands out as powerful tools for neurobiological applications enabling high-resolution imaging on the central nervous system of small animals. However, transdermal and transcranial neuroimaging is frequently affected by low sensitivity, image aberrations and loss of space resolution, requiring scalp or even skull removal before imaging. To overcome this challenge, a new protocol is presented to gain significant insights in brain hemodynamics by photoacoustic and high-frequency ultrasounds imaging with the animal skin and skull intact. The procedure relies on the passage of ultrasound (US) waves and laser directly through the fissures that are naturally present on the animal cranium. By juxtaposing the imaging transducer device exactly in correspondence to these selected areas where the skull has a reduced thickness or is totally absent, one can acquire high quality deep images and explore internal brain regions that are usually difficult to anatomically or functionally describe without an invasive approach. By applying this experimental procedure, significant data can be collected in both sonic and optoacoustic modalities, enabling to image the parenchymal and the vascular anatomy far below the head surface. Deep brain features such as parenchymal convolutions and fissures separating the lobes were clearly visible. Moreover, the configuration of large and small blood vessels was imaged at several millimeters of depth, and precise information were collected about blood fluxes, vascular stream velocities and the hemoglobin chemical state. This repertoire of data could be crucial in several research contests, ranging from brain vascular disease studies to experimental techniques involving the systemic administration of exogenous chemicals or other objects endowed with imaging contrast enhancement properties. In conclusion, thanks to the presented protocol, the US and PA techniques become an attractive noninvasive

  11. Is naïveté forever? Alien predator and aggressor recognition by two endemic island reptiles.

    PubMed

    Gérard, A; Jourdan, H; Cugnière, C; Millon, A; Vidal, E

    2014-11-01

    The disproportionate impacts of invasive predators are often attributed to the naïveté (i.e., inefficient or non-existing anti-predator behavior) of island native species having evolved without such predators. Naïveté has long been regarded as a fixed characteristic, but a few recent studies indicate a capacity for behavioral adaptation in native species in contact with alien predators. Here, we tested whether two reptiles endemic to New Caledonia, a skink, Caledoniscincus austrocaledonicus, and a gecko, Bavayia septuiclavis, recognized and responded to the odor of six introduced species (two rodents, the feral cat, and three species of ants). We used an experimental design in which reptiles had a choice of retreat sites with or without the odor of predators or aggressors. Skinks avoided two or three of the predators, whereas geckos avoided at most one. These results suggest that diurnal skinks are more responsive than nocturnal geckos to the odor of introduced predators. Neither skinks nor geckos avoided the three species of ants. Thus, the odors of alien predators are shown to influence retreat site selection by two native island reptiles. Moreover, the study suggests that this loss of naïveté varies among native species, probably as a consequence of the intensity of the threat and of time since introduction. These findings argue for re-thinking the behavioral flexibility of ectothermic reptiles in terms of their responses to biological invasion.

  12. Introduced Predator Elicits Deficient Brood Defence Behaviour in a Crater Lake Fish

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; McCrary, Jeffrey K.; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species represent one of the most serious global threats to biodiversity. In this field-based study, we assessed behavioural responses of brood tending cichlid fish to an invasive predator of their offspring. This was achieved by comparing parental defence responses of the endangered arrow cichlid (Amphilophus zaliosus), a fish species endemic to the crater lake Apoyo in Nicaragua, towards the bigmouth sleeper (Gobiomorus dormitor), a formidable predator of cichlid fry, and all other potential fish predators of offspring. The bigmouth sleeper was recently introduced into Apoyo but naturally co-exists with cichlids in a few other Nicaraguan lakes. Arrow cichlid parents allowed bigmouth sleepers to advance much closer to their fry than other predators before initiating aggressive brood defence behaviours. Interestingly, parents of a very closely related species, A. sagittae, which has coevolved with bigmouth sleepers in crater lake Xiloá, reacted to approaching bigmouth sleepers at comparable distances as to other predators of cichlid fry. These results provide a novel demonstration of the specific mechanism (i.e. naive parental behaviour) by which invasive predators may negatively affect species that lack the adequate behavioural repertoire. PMID:22253881

  13. Behavioral Hypervolumes of Predator Groups and Predator-Predator Interactions Shape Prey Survival Rates and Selection on Prey Behavior.

    PubMed

    Pruitt, Jonathan N; Howell, Kimberly A; Gladney, Shaniqua J; Yang, Yusan; Lichtenstein, James L L; Spicer, Michelle Elise; Echeverri, Sebastian A; Pinter-Wollman, Noa

    2017-03-01

    Predator-prey interactions often vary on the basis of the traits of the individual predators and prey involved. Here we examine whether the multidimensional behavioral diversity of predator groups shapes prey mortality rates and selection on prey behavior. We ran individual sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) through three behavioral assays to characterize individuals' behavioral phenotype along three axes. We then created groups that varied in the volume of behavioral space that they occupied. We further manipulated the ability of predators to interact with one another physically via the addition of barriers. Prey snails (Chlorostome funebralis) were also run through an assay to evaluate their predator avoidance behavior before their use in mesocosm experiments. We then subjected pools of prey to predator groups and recorded the number of prey consumed and their behavioral phenotypes. We found that predator-predator interactions changed survival selection on prey traits: when predators were prevented from interacting, more fearful snails had higher survival rates, whereas prey fearfulness had no effect on survival when predators were free to interact. We also found that groups of predators that occupied a larger volume in behavioral trait space consumed 35% more prey snails than homogeneous predator groups. Finally, we found that behavioral hypervolumes were better predictors of prey survival rates than single behavioral traits or other multivariate statistics (i.e., principal component analysis). Taken together, predator-predator interactions and multidimensional behavioral diversity determine prey survival rates and selection on prey traits in this system.

  14. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator-prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator-prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies.

  15. Mismatched anti-predator behavioral responses in predator-naïve larval anurans

    PubMed Central

    Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D.

    2015-01-01

    Organisms are adept at altering behaviors to balance the tradeoff between foraging and predation risk in spatially and temporally shifting predator environments. In order to optimize this tradeoff, prey need to be able to display an appropriate response based on degree of predation risk. To be most beneficial in the earliest life stages in which many prey are vulnerable to predation, innate anti-predator responses should scale to match the risk imposed by predators until learned anti-predator responses can occur. We conducted an experiment that examined whether tadpoles with no previous exposure to predators (i.e., predator-naive) exhibit innate antipredator behavioral responses (e.g., via refuge use and spatial avoidance) that match the actual risk posed by each predator. Using 7 treatments (6 free-roaming, lethal predators plus no-predator control), we determined the predation rates of each predator on Lithobates sphenocephalus tadpoles. We recorded behavioral observations on an additional 7 nonlethal treatments (6 caged predators plus no-predator control). Tadpoles exhibited innate responses to fish predators, but not non-fish predators, even though two non-fish predators (newt and crayfish) consumed the most tadpoles. Due to a mismatch between innate response and predator consumption, tadpoles may be vulnerable to greater rates of predation at the earliest life stages before learning can occur. Thus, naïve tadpoles in nature may be at a high risk to predation in the presence of a novel predator until learned anti-predator responses provide additional defenses to the surviving tadpoles. PMID:26664805

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  17. Adaptation of prey and predators between patches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendi; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro

    2009-06-21

    Mathematical models are proposed to simulate migrations of prey and predators between patches. In the absence of predators, it is shown that the adaptation of prey leads to an ideal spatial distribution in the sense that the maximal capacity of each patch is achieved. With the introduction of co-adaptation of predators, it is proved that both prey and predators achieve ideal spatial distributions when the adaptations are weak. Further, it is shown that the adaptation of prey and predators increases the survival probability of predators from the extinction in both patches to the persistence in one patch. It is also demonstrated that there exists a pattern that prey and predators cooperate well through adaptations such that predators are permanent in every patch in the case that predators become extinct in each patch in the absence of adaptations. For strong adaptations, it is proved that the model admits periodic cycles and multiple stability transitions.

  18. Living with the enemy: parasites and pathogens of the invasive alien ladybird Harmonia axyridis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harmonia axyridis is an invasive alien predator in many countries across the world. The rapid establishment and spread of this species is of concern because of the threat it poses to biodiversity as a generalist predator. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the success of this species ...

  19. Predation by signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus on fish eggs and its consequences for coregonid recruitment.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, J; Ruokonen, T J; MarjomäKi, T J; Martikainen, A; Pursiainen, M; Sarvala, J; Tarvainen, M; Ventelä, A-M

    2015-01-21

    The character and magnitude of predation by the invasive, ectothermic Pacifastacus leniusculus, a crayfish widely introduced to Europe and Japan from North America, on the eggs of coregonid fishes, vendace Coregonus albula and whitefish Coregonus lavaretus were examined by experimentation, modelling and field data. The present results showed that P. leniusculus has the potential to be very efficient predator of fish eggs under winter conditions, but the predation by P. leniusculus did not significantly decrease production of coregonid larvae during the years with a high P. leniusculus population in the study lake. Hence, the mortality caused by the novel invertebrate predator appeared to compensate for other yet unexplored mortality factors instead of having an additive effect on the present salmonids.

  20. Ficus whitefly, Singhiella simplex, and its predation by a coccinellid beetle, Delphastus catalinae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ficus whitefly, Singhiella simplex, is a pest of ficus plant such as Ficus benjamina, F. altissima, F. bengalensis and others. This invasive pest causes plants to exhibit leaf yellowing, wilting, and eventually, leaf drop. There is little information on the effectiveness of insect predators to contr...

  1. 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.

  2. Predation by Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) at an Outdoor Piggery

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Patricia A.; Dundas, Shannon J.; Lau, Yvonne Y. W.; Pluske, John R.

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Predation of piglets by red foxes is a significant risk for outdoor/free-range pork producers, but is often difficult to quantify. Using remote sensing cameras, we recorded substantial evidence of red foxes taking piglets from around farrowing huts, and found that piglets were most likely to be recorded as “missing” over their first week. These data suggest that fox predation contributed to the marked production differences between this outdoor farm and a similar-sized intensive farm under the same management, and warrant greater control of this introduced, invasive predator. Abstract Outdoor pig operations are an alternative to intensive systems of raising pigs; however for the majority of outdoor pork producers, issues of biosecurity and predation control require significant management and (or) capital investment. Identifying and quantifying predation risk in outdoor pork operations has rarely been done, but such data would be informative for these producers as part of their financial and logistical planning. We quantified potential impact of fox predation on piglets bred on an outdoor pork operation in south-western Australia. We used remote sensor cameras at select sites across the farm as well as above farrowing huts to record interactions between predators and pigs (sows and piglets). We also identified animal losses from breeding records, calculating weaning rate as a proportion of piglets born. Although only few piglets were recorded lost to fox predation (recorded by piggery staff as carcasses that are “chewed”), it is likely that foxes were contributing substantially to the 20% of piglets that were reported “missing”. Both sets of cameras recorded a high incidence of fox activity; foxes appeared on camera soon after staff left for the day, were observed tracking and taking live piglets (despite the presence of sows), and removed dead carcasses from in front of the cameras. Newly born and younger piglets appeared to be the most

  3. Time-dependent effects of rapamycin on consolidation of predator stress-induced hyperarousal.

    PubMed

    Fifield, Kathleen; Hebert, Mark; Williams, Kimberly; Linehan, Victoria; Whiteman, Jesse D; Mac Callum, Phillip; Blundell, Jacqueline

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies have indicated that rapamycin, a potent inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, blocks consolidation of shock-induced associative fear memories. Moreover, rapamycin's block of associative fear memories is time-dependent. It is unknown, however, if rapamycin blocks consolidation of predator stress-induced non-associative fear memories. Furthermore, the temporal pattern of mTOR activation following predator stress is unknown. Thus, the goal of the current studies was to determine if rapamycin blocks consolidation of predator stress-induced fear memories and if so, whether rapamycin's effect is time-dependent. Male rats were injected systemically with rapamycin at various time points following predator stress. Predator stress involves an acute, unprotected exposure of a rat to a cat, which causes long-lasting non-associative fear memories manifested as generalized hyperarousal and increased anxiety-like behaviour. We show that rapamycin injected immediately after predator stress blocked consolidation of stress-induced startle. However, rapamycin injected 9, 24 or 48h post predator stress potentiated stress-induced startle. Consistent with shock-induced associative fear memories, we show that mTOR signalling is essential for consolidation of predator stress-induced hyperarousal. However, unlike shock-induced fear memories, a second, persistent, late phase mTOR-dependent process following predator stress actually dampens startle. Consistent with previous findings, our data support the potential role for rapamycin in treatment of stress related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. However, our data suggest timing of rapamycin administration is critical.

  4. Diel patterns in sea urchin activity and predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. A. L.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2011-09-01

    Understanding diel patterns in sea urchin activity is important when assessing sea urchin populations and when interpreting their interactions with predators. Here we employ a combination of surveys and a non-invasive tethering technique to examine these patterns in an intact coral reef system on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We also assess local scale variation in relative diurnal predation pressure. Surveys revealed that sea urchins were active and exposed at night. Echinometra mathaei and Echinothrix calamaris were the most abundant species with significantly higher night densities (0.21 and 0.03 ind. m-2, respectively), than daytime densities (0.05 and 0.001, respectively). Bioassays revealed that exposed adult E. mathaei (the most abundant sea urchin species) were 30.8 times more likely to be eaten during the day than at night when controlling for sites. This observation concurs with widely held assumptions that nocturnal activity is a risk-related adaptive response to diurnal predation pressure. Despite relatively intact predator communities on the GBR, potential predation pressure on diurnally exposed E. mathaei assays was variable at a local scale and the biomass of potential fish predators at each site was a poor predictive measure of this variation. Patterns in predation appear to be more complex and variable than we may have assumed.

  5. Experimental evidence for emergent facilitation: promoting the existence of an invertebrate predator by killing its prey.

    PubMed

    Huss, Magnus; Nilsson, Karin A

    2011-05-01

    1. Recent theoretical insights have shown that predator species may help each other to persist by size-selective foraging on a shared prey. By feeding on a certain prey stage, a predator may induce a compensatory response in another stage of the same prey species, thereby favouring other predators; a phenomenon referred to as emergent facilitation. 2. To test whether emergent facilitation may occur in a natural system, we performed an enclosure experiment where we mimicked fish predation by selectively removing large zooplankton and subsequently following the response of the invertebrate predator Bythotrephes longimanus. 3. Positive responses to harvest were observed in the biomass of juvenile individuals of the dominant zooplankton Holopedium gibberum and in Bythotrephes densities. Hence, by removing large prey, we increased the biomass of small prey, i.e. stage-specific biomass overcompensation was present in the juvenile stage of Holopedium. This favoured Bythotrephes, which preferentially feed on small Holopedium. 4. We argue that the stage-specific overcompensation occurred as a result of increased per capita fecundity of adult Holopedium and as a result of competitive release following harvest. If shown to be common, emergent facilitation may be a major mechanism behind observed predator extinctions and patterns of predator invasions.

  6. Behavioral refuges and predator-prey coexistence.

    PubMed

    Křivan, Vlastimil

    2013-12-21

    The effects of a behavioral refuge caused either by the predator optimal foraging or prey adaptive antipredator behavior on the Gause predator-prey model are studied. It is shown that both of these mechanisms promote predator-prey coexistence either at an equilibrium, or along a limit cycle. Adaptive prey refuge use leads to hysteresis in prey antipredator behavior which allows predator-prey coexistence along a limit cycle. Similarly, optimal predator foraging leads to sigmoidal functional responses with a potential to stabilize predator-prey population dynamics at an equilibrium, or along a limit cycle.

  7. Geometric optimization for prey-predator strategies.

    PubMed

    Alshamary, Bader; Calin, Ovidiu

    2011-11-01

    This paper investigates several strategies for prey and predator in both bounded and unbounded domains, assuming they have the same speed. The work describes how the prey should move to escape from the predator and how predator should move to catch the prey. The approach is agent-based and explicitly tracks movement of individuals as prey and predator. We show that the prey escapes one or two competing predators, while might be caught in the case of three predators. The paper also describes a strategy for finding a well camouflaged static prey which emits signals.

  8. Spatiotemporal Analysis of Predation by Carabid Beetles (Carabidae) on Nematode Infected and Uninfected Slugs in the Field

    PubMed Central

    Hatteland, Bjørn Arild; Haukeland, Solveig; Roth, Steffen; Brurberg, May Bente; Vaughan, Ian P.; Symondson, William O. C.

    2013-01-01

    The dynamics of predation on parasites within prey has received relatively little attention despite the profound effects this is likely to have on both prey and parasite numbers and hence on biological control programmes where parasites are employed. The nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita is a commercially available biological agent against slugs. Predation on these slugs may, at the same time, result in intraguild predation on slug-parasitic nematodes. This study describes, for the first time, predation by carabid beetles on slugs and their nematode parasites on both spatial and temporal scales, using PCR-based methods. The highest nematode infection levels were found in the slugs Deroceras reticulatum and Arion silvaticus. Numbers of infected slugs decreased over time and no infected slugs were found four months after nematode application. The density of the most abundant slug, the invasive Arion vulgaris, was positively related to the activity-density of the carabid beetle, Carabus nemoralis. Predation on slugs was density and size related, with highest predation levels also on A. vulgaris. Predation on A. vulgaris decreased significantly in summer when these slugs were larger than one gram. Predation by C. nemoralis on slugs was opportunistic, without any preferences for specific species. Intraguild predation on the nematodes was low, suggesting that carabid beetles such as C. nemoralis probably do not have a significant impact on the success of biological control using P. hermaphrodita. PMID:24349202

  9. Spatiotemporal analysis of predation by carabid beetles (Carabidae) on nematode infected and uninfected slugs in the field.

    PubMed

    Hatteland, Bjørn Arild; Haukeland, Solveig; Roth, Steffen; Brurberg, May Bente; Vaughan, Ian P; Symondson, William O C

    2013-01-01

    The dynamics of predation on parasites within prey has received relatively little attention despite the profound effects this is likely to have on both prey and parasite numbers and hence on biological control programmes where parasites are employed. The nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita is a commercially available biological agent against slugs. Predation on these slugs may, at the same time, result in intraguild predation on slug-parasitic nematodes. This study describes, for the first time, predation by carabid beetles on slugs and their nematode parasites on both spatial and temporal scales, using PCR-based methods. The highest nematode infection levels were found in the slugs Deroceras reticulatum and Arion silvaticus. Numbers of infected slugs decreased over time and no infected slugs were found four months after nematode application. The density of the most abundant slug, the invasive Arion vulgaris, was positively related to the activity-density of the carabid beetle, Carabus nemoralis. Predation on slugs was density and size related, with highest predation levels also on A. vulgaris. Predation on A. vulgaris decreased significantly in summer when these slugs were larger than one gram. Predation by C. nemoralis on slugs was opportunistic, without any preferences for specific species. Intraguild predation on the nematodes was low, suggesting that carabid beetles such as C. nemoralis probably do not have a significant impact on the success of biological control using P. hermaphrodita.

  10. Hunting cooperation and Allee effects in predators.

    PubMed

    Teixeira Alves, Mickaël; Hilker, Frank M

    2017-04-21

    Cooperation is a ubiquitous behavior in many biological systems and is well-known for promoting Allee effects. However, few studies have paid attention to mechanisms inducing Allee effects in predators. Here, we focus on hunting cooperation and use a classical predator-prey system for identifying the impact of this mechanism. We add a cooperation term to the attack rate of the predator population, and investigate the equilibrium stability in phase plane and bifurcation diagrams. We show that hunting cooperation can be beneficial to the predator population by increasing the attack rate. We identify a scenario in which hunting cooperation produces Allee effects in predators and allows the latter to persist when the prey population does not sustain them in the absence of hunting cooperation. However, hunting cooperation can turn detrimental to predators when prey density drastically decreases because of increased predation pressure, which in turn decreases the predator intake. Hunting cooperation can also destabilize the system and promote a sudden collapse of the predator population. We generalize the model and prove that demographic Allee effects always occur when (1) the attack rate increases with the predator density, and (2) the functional response increases with the attack rate. We conclude that Allee effects in predators might be more widespread than expected. Mechanisms inducing such effects may strongly influence not only predators, but also the fate of ecosystems involving predators as in biological control programs.

  11. Functional traits determine formation of mutualism and predation interactions in seed-rodent dispersal system of a subtropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-02-01

    Network structure in plant-animal systems has been widely investigated but the roles of functional traits of plants and animals in formation of mutualism and predation interactions and community structure are still not fully understood. In this study, we quantitatively assessed interaction strength of mutualism and predation between 5 tree species and 7 rodent species by using semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest China. Seeds with high handling-time and nutrition traits (for both rat and mouse species) or high tannin trait (for mouse species) show high mutualism but low predation with rodents; while seeds with low handling-time and low nutrition traits show high predation but low mutualism with rodents. Large-sized rat species are more linked to seeds with high handling-time and high nutrition traits, while small-sized mouse species are more connected with seeds with low handling-time, low nutrition value and high tannin traits. Anti-predation seed traits tend to increase chance of mutualism instead of reducing predation by rodents, suggesting formation of mutualism may be connected with that of predation. Our study demonstrates that seed and animal traits play significant roles in the formation of mutualism and predation and network structure of the seed-rodent dispersal system.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Predators and the public trust.

    PubMed

    Treves, Adrian; Chapron, Guillaume; López-Bao, Jose V; Shoemaker, Chase; Goeckner, Apollonia R; Bruskotter, Jeremy T

    2017-02-01

    Many democratic governments recognize a duty to conserve environmental resources, including wild animals, as a public trust for current and future citizens. These public trust principles have informed two centuries of U.S.A. Supreme Court decisions and environmental laws worldwide. Nevertheless numerous populations of large-bodied, mammalian carnivores (predators) were eradicated in the 20th century. Environmental movements and strict legal protections have fostered predator recoveries across the U.S.A. and Europe since the 1970s. Now subnational jurisdictions are regaining management authority from central governments for their predator subpopulations. Will the history of local eradication repeat or will these jurisdictions adopt public trust thinking and their obligation to broad public interests over narrower ones? We review the role of public trust principles in the restoration and preservation of controversial species. In so doing we argue for the essential roles of scientists from many disciplines concerned with biological diversity and its conservation. We look beyond species endangerment to future generations' interests in sustainability, particularly non-consumptive uses. Although our conclusions apply to all wild organisms, we focus on predators because of the particular challenges they pose for government trustees, trust managers, and society. Gray wolves Canis lupus L. deserve particular attention, because detailed information and abundant policy debates across regions have exposed four important challenges for preserving predators in the face of interest group hostility. One challenge is uncertainty and varied interpretations about public trustees' responsibilities for wildlife, which have created a mosaic of policies across jurisdictions. We explore how such mosaics have merits and drawbacks for biodiversity. The other three challenges to conserving wildlife as public trust assets are illuminated by the biology of predators and the interacting

  15. A tour de force by Hawaii’s invasive mammals: Establishment, takeover, and ecosystem restoration through eradication

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steve

    2016-01-01

    Invasive mammals have irreversibly altered ecosystems of Hawai‘i and other tropical Pacific islands in numerous cases through novel herbivory, predation, and diseases, thereby causing the disproportionate extinction of flora and fauna that occur nowhere else on Earth. The control and eradication of invasive mammals is the single most expensive management activity necessary for restoring ecological integrity to many natural areas of Hawai‘i and other Pacific Islands, and have already advanced the restoration of native biota by removing herbivorous ungulates from >750 km2. Rodenticides which have been tested and registered for hand and aerial broadcast in Hawai‘i have been used to eradicate rats from remote islands to protect nesting seabirds and are now being applied to larger islands to protect forest birds. The exclusion of other invasive mammals is now being undertaken with more sophisticated control techniques and fences. New fence designs are capable of excluding all mammals from areas to protect endangered native birds. Although the eradication of mammals from large areas has resulted in the restoration of some ecosystem processes such as natural forest regeneration, changes in other processes such as fire regimes, nutrient cycling, and invasive plant proliferation remain more difficult to reverse at larger landscape scales.

  16. Intraguild Predation and Native Lady Beetle Decline

    PubMed Central

    Gardiner, Mary M.; O'Neal, Matthew E.; Landis, Douglas A.

    2011-01-01

    Coccinellid communities across North America have experienced significant changes in recent decades, with declines in several native species reported. One potential mechanism for these declines is interference competition via intraguild predation; specifically, increased predation of native coccinellid eggs and larvae following the introduction of exotic coccinellids. Our previous studies have shown that agricultural fields in Michigan support a higher diversity and abundance of exotic coccinellids than similar fields in Iowa, and that the landscape surrounding agricultural fields across the north central U.S. influences the abundance and activity of coccinellid species. The goal of this study was to quantify the amount of egg predation experienced by a native coccinellid within Michigan and Iowa soybean fields and explore the influence of local and large-scale landscape structure. Using the native lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata as a model, we found that sentinel egg masses were subject to intense predation within both Michigan and Iowa soybean fields, with 60.7% of egg masses attacked and 43.0% of available eggs consumed within 48 h. In Michigan, the exotic coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis were the most abundant predators found in soybean fields whereas in Iowa, native species including C. maculata, Hippodamia parenthesis and the soft-winged flower beetle Collops nigriceps dominated the predator community. Predator abundance was greater in soybean fields within diverse landscapes, yet variation in predator numbers did not influence the intensity of egg predation observed. In contrast, the strongest predictor of native coccinellid egg predation was the composition of edge habitats bordering specific fields. Field sites surrounded by semi-natural habitats including forests, restored prairies, old fields, and pasturelands experienced greater egg predation than fields surrounded by other croplands. This study shows that intraguild

  17. Differential predation of forage seed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In recent field experiments we observed that the main invertebrate seed predators of overseeded tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) or Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) seed in unimproved pastures were harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex sp.) and common field crickets (Gryllus sp.) To determ...

  18. Herbivory, Predation, and Biological Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Terence M.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Authors describe a set of controlled ecosystems that can be used to demonstrate the effects of herbivory on the health and growth of a plant population and of predation on the growth of a primary consumer population. The system also shows the effectiveness of biological pest control measures in a dramatic way. The construction of the ecosystems is…

  19. OVIGENY IN SELECTED GENERALIST PREDATORS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    “Ovigeny” refers to the process of egg production in adult insects. “Pro-ovigenic” adult insects emerge with a fixed complement of mature eggs; whereas, “synovigenic” species continuously produce and develop eggs throughout adulthood. Very little work has been done on ovigeny in insect predators. W...

  20. Neural circuit changes mediating lasting brain and behavioral response to predator stress.

    PubMed

    Adamec, Robert E; Blundell, Jacqueline; Burton, Paul

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews recent work which points to critical neural circuitry involved in lasting changes in anxiety like behavior following unprotected exposure of rats to cats (predator stress). Predator stress may increase anxiety like behavior in a variety of behavioral tests including: elevated plus maze, light dark box, acoustic startle, and social interaction. Studies of neural transmission in two limbic pathways, combined with path and covariance analysis relating physiology to behavior, suggest long term potentiation like changes in one or both of these pathways in the right hemisphere accounts for stress induced changes in all behaviors changed by predator stress except light dark box and social interaction. Findings will be discussed within the context of what is known about neural substrates activated by predator odor.

  1. A predator-prey model with generic birth and death rates for the predator.

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2014-02-01

    We propose and study a predator-prey model in which the predator has a Holling type II functional response and generic per capita birth and death rates. Given that prey consumption provides the energy for predator activity, and that the predator functional response represents the prey consumption rate per predator, we assume that the per capita birth and death rates for the predator are, respectively, increasing and decreasing functions of the predator functional response. These functions are monotonic, but not necessarily strictly monotonic, for all values of the argument. In particular, we allow the possibility that the predator birth rate is zero for all sufficiently small values of the predator functional response, reflecting the idea that a certain level of energy intake is needed before a predator can reproduce. Our analysis reveals that the model exhibits the behaviours typically found in predator-prey models - extinction of the predator population, convergence to a periodic orbit, or convergence to a co-existence fixed point. For a specific example, in which the predator birth and death rates are constant for all sufficiently small or large values of the predator functional response, we corroborate our analysis with numerical simulations. In the unlikely case where these birth and death rates equal the same constant for all sufficiently large values of the predator functional response, the model is capable of structurally unstable behaviour, with a small change in the initial conditions leading to a more pronounced change in the long-term dynamics.

  2. 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.

  3. Antagonistic interactions between an invasive alien and a native coccinellid species may promote coexistence.

    PubMed

    Hentley, William T; Vanbergen, Adam J; Beckerman, Andrew P; Brien, Melanie N; Hails, Rosemary S; Jones, T Hefin; Johnson, Scott N

    2016-07-01

    Despite the capacity of invasive alien species to alter ecosystems, the mechanisms underlying their impact remain only partly understood. Invasive alien predators, for example, can significantly disrupt recipient communities by consuming prey species or acting as an intraguild predator (IGP). Behavioural interactions are key components of interspecific competition between predators, yet these are often overlooked invasion processes. Here, we show how behavioural, non-lethal IGP interactions might facilitate the establishment success of an invading alien species. We experimentally assessed changes in feeding behaviour (prey preference and consumption rate) of native UK coccinellid species (Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella septempunctata), whose populations are, respectively, declining and stable, when exposed to the invasive intraguild predator, Harmonia axyridis. Using a population dynamics model parameterized with these experimental data, we predicted how intraguild predation, accommodating interspecific behavioural interactions, might impact the abundance of the native and invasive alien species over time. When competing for the same aphid resource, the feeding rate of A. bipunctata significantly increased compared to the feeding in isolation, while the feeding rate of H. axyridis significantly decreased. This suggests that despite significant declines in the UK, A. bipunctata is a superior competitor to the intraguild predator H. axyridis. In contrast, the behaviour of non-declining C. septempunctata was unaltered by the presence of H. axyridis. Our experimental data show the differential behavioural plasticity of competing native and invasive alien predators, but do not explain A. bipunctata declines observed in the UK. Using behavioural plasticity as a parameter in a population dynamic model for A. bipunctata and H. axyridis, coexistence is predicted between the native and invasive alien following an initial period of decline in the native species. We

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

    PubMed

    Kooi, B W

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Cannibalism and intraguild predation of eggs within a diverse predator assemblage.

    PubMed

    Takizawa, Tadashi; Snyder, William E

    2011-02-01

    Greater biodiversity among aphid predators sometimes leads to greater predator reproductive success. This could occur if cannibalism of predator eggs is consistently stronger than intraguild predation, such that diversity dilutes cannibalism risk when total predator densities remain constant across diversity levels. We compared the frequency of cannibalism versus intraguild predation by adult predators of four species [the lady beetles Coccinella septempunctata L. and Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville, and the predatory bugs Geocoris bullatus (Say) and Nabis alternatus Parshley] on the eggs of three predator species (all of these predators but Nabis). For both coccinellid species, egg predation averaged across all intraguild predators was less frequent than cannibalism. In contrast, Geocoris eggs were generally more likely to be consumed by intraguild predators than by conspecifics. Closer inspection of the data revealed that Geocoris consistently consumed fewer eggs than the other species, regardless of egg species. Indeed, for lady beetle eggs it was relatively infrequent egg predation by Geocoris that brought down the average across all heterospecific predators, masking the fact that adults of the two lady beetles were no more likely to act as egg cannibals than as intraguild predators. Nabis ate eggs of the two beetles at approximately equal rates, but rarely ate Geocoris eggs. Female predators generally consumed more eggs than did males, but this did not alter any of the patterns described above. Altogether, our results suggest that species-specific differences in egg predation rates determined the relative intensity of egg intraguild-predation versus cannibalism, rather than any more general trend for egg cannibalism to always exceed intraguild predation.

  6. Predator attack rate evolution in space: the role of ecology mediated by complex emergent spatial structure and self-shading.

    PubMed

    Messinger, Susanna M; Ostling, Annette

    2013-11-01

    Predation interactions are an important element of ecological communities. Population spatial structure has been shown to influence predator evolution, resulting in the evolution of a reduced predator attack rate; however, the evolutionary role of traits governing predator and prey ecology is unknown. The evolutionary effect of spatial structure on a predator's attack rate has primarily been explored assuming a fixed metapopulation spatial structure, and understood in terms of group selection. But endogenously generated, emergent spatial structure is common in nature. Furthermore, the evolutionary influence of ecological traits may be mediated through the spatial self-structuring process. Drawing from theory on pathogens, the evolutionary effect of emergent spatial structure can be understood in terms of self-shading, where a voracious predator limits its long-term invasion potential by reducing local prey availability. Here we formalize the effects of self-shading for predators using spatial moment equations. Then, through simulations, we show that in a spatial context self-shading leads to relationships between predator-prey ecology and the predator's attack rate that are not expected in a non-spatial context. Some relationships are analogous to relationships already shown for host-pathogen interactions, but others represent new trait dimensions. Finally, since understanding the effects of ecology using existing self-shading theory requires simplifications of the emergent spatial structure that do not apply well here, we also develop metrics describing the complex spatial structure of the predator and prey populations to help us explain the evolutionary effect of predator and prey ecology in the context of self-shading. The identification of these metrics may provide a step towards expansion of the predictive domain of self-shading theory to more complex spatial dynamics.

  7. Using the functional response of a consumer to predict biotic resistance to invasive prey.

    PubMed

    Twardochleb, Laura A; Novak, Mark; Moore, Jonathan W

    2012-06-01

    Predators sometimes provide biotic resistance against invasions by nonnative prey. Understanding and predicting the strength of biotic resistance remains a key challenge in invasion biology. A predator's functional response to nonnative prey may predict whether a predator can provide biotic resistance against nonnative prey at different prey densities. Surprisingly, functional responses have not been used to make quantitative predictions about biotic resistance. We parameterized the functional response of signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) to invasive New Zealand mud snails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum; NZMS) and used this functional response and a simple model of NZMS population growth to predict the probability of biotic resistance at different predator and prey densities. Signal crayfish were effective predators of NZMS, consuming more than 900 NZMS per predator in a 12-h period, and Bayesian model fitting indicated their consumption rate followed a type 3 functional response to NZMS density. Based on this functional response and associated parameter uncertainty, we predict that NZMS will be able to invade new systems at low crayfish densities (< 0.2 crayfish/m2) regardless of NZMS density. At intermediate to high crayfish densities (> 0.2 crayfish/m2), we predict that low densities of NZMS will be able to establish in new communities; however, once NZMS reach a threshold density of -2000 NZMS/m2, predation by crayfish will drive negative NZMS population growth. Further, at very high densities, NZMS overwhelm predation by crayfish and invade. Thus, interacting thresholds of propagule pressure and predator densities define the probability of biotic resistance. Quantifying the shape and uncertainty of predator functional responses to nonnative prey may help predict the outcomes of invasions.

  8. Effects of a Synthetic Predator Odor (TMT) on Freezing, Analgesia, Stereotypy, and Spatial Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Jon L.; Baez, Catherine; Hladky, Katherine J.; Camacho, Cheri A.

    2005-01-01

    Exposing rats to the predator odor of trimethylthiazoline (TMT), obtained from the red fox, was compared to exposure to the novel control odor of citronella. In Experiment 1, TMT produced defensive freezing and an analgesic reaction that was reversed by an opiate antagonist. In Experiment 2, TMT augmented response stereotypy induced by an…

  9. Landscape heterogeneity shapes predation in a newly restored predator-prey system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kauffman, M.J.; Varley, N.; Smith, D.W.; Stahler, D.R.; MacNulty, D.R.; Boyce, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    Because some native ungulates have lived without top predators for generations, it has been uncertain whether runaway predation would occur when predators are newly restored to these systems. We show that landscape features and vegetation, which influence predator detection and capture of prey, shape large-scale patterns of predation in a newly restored predator-prey system. We analysed the spatial distribution of wolf (Canis lupus) predation on elk (Cervus elaphus) on the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park over 10 consecutive winters. The influence of wolf distribution on kill sites diminished over the course of this study, a result that was likely caused by territorial constraints on wolf distribution. In contrast, landscape factors strongly influenced kill sites, creating distinct hunting grounds and prey refugia. Elk in this newly restored predator-prey system should be able to mediate their risk of predation by movement and habitat selection across a heterogeneous risk landscape. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Landscape heterogeneity shapes predation in a newly restored predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Kauffman, Matthew J; Varley, Nathan; Smith, Douglas W; Stahler, Daniel R; MacNulty, Daniel R; Boyce, Mark S

    2007-08-01

    Because some native ungulates have lived without top predators for generations, it has been uncertain whether runaway predation would occur when predators are newly restored to these systems. We show that landscape features and vegetation, which influence predator detection and capture of prey, shape large-scale patterns of predation in a newly restored predator-prey system. We analysed the spatial distribution of wolf (Canis lupus) predation on elk (Cervus elaphus) on the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park over 10 consecutive winters. The influence of wolf distribution on kill sites diminished over the course of this study, a result that was likely caused by territorial constraints on wolf distribution. In contrast, landscape factors strongly influenced kill sites, creating distinct hunting grounds and prey refugia. Elk in this newly restored predator-prey system should be able to mediate their risk of predation by movement and habitat selection across a heterogeneous risk landscape.

  11. Predators reduce abundance and species richness of coral reef fish recruits via non-selective predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinlein, J. M.; Stier, A. C.; Steele, M. A.

    2010-06-01

    Predators have important effects on coral reef fish populations, but their effects on community structure have only recently been investigated and are not yet well understood. Here, the effect of predation on the diversity and abundance of young coral reef fishes was experimentally examined in Moorea, French Polynesia. Effects of predators were quantified by monitoring recruitment of fishes onto standardized patch reefs in predator-exclosure cages or uncaged reefs. At the end of the 54-day experiment, recruits were 74% less abundant on reefs exposed to predators than on caged ones, and species richness was 42% lower on reefs exposed to predators. Effects of predators varied somewhat among families, however, rarefaction analysis indicated that predators foraged non-selectively among species. These results indicate that predation can alter diversity of reef fish communities by indiscriminately reducing the abundance of fishes soon after settlement, thereby reducing the number of species present on reefs.

  12. Predator-prey body size relationships when predators can consume prey larger than themselves.

    PubMed

    Nakazawa, Takefumi; Ohba, Shin-Ya; Ushio, Masayuki

    2013-06-23

    As predator-prey interactions are inherently size-dependent, predator and prey body sizes are key to understanding their feeding relationships. To describe predator-prey size relationships (PPSRs) when predators can consume prey larger than themselves, we conducted field observations targeting three aquatic hemipteran bugs, and assessed their body masses and those of their prey for each hunting event. The data revealed that their PPSR varied with predator size and species identity, although the use of the averaged sizes masked these effects. Specifically, two predators had slightly decreased predator-prey mass ratios (PPMRs) during growth, whereas the other predator specialized on particular sizes of prey, thereby showing a clear positive size-PPMR relationship. We discussed how these patterns could be different from fish predators swallowing smaller prey whole.

  13. Predator hunting mode and habitat domain alter nonconsumptive effects in predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Preisser, Evan L; Orrock, John L; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2007-11-01

    Predators can affect prey populations through changes in traits that reduce predation risk. These trait changes (nonconsumptive effects, NCEs) can be energetically costly and cause reduced prey activity, growth, fecundity, and survival. The strength of nonconsumptive effects may vary with two functional characteristics of predators: hunting mode (actively hunting, sit-and-pursue, sit-and-wait) and habitat domain (the ability to pursue prey via relocation in space; can be narrow or broad). Specifically, cues from fairly stationary sit-and-wait and sit-and-pursue predators should be more indicative of imminent predation risk, and thereby evoke stronger NCEs, compared to cues from widely ranging actively hunting predators. Using a meta-analysis of 193 published papers, we found that cues from sit-and-pursue predators evoked stronger NCEs than cues from actively hunting predators. Predator habitat domain was less indicative of NCE strength, perhaps because habitat domain provides less reliable information regarding imminent risk to prey than does predator hunting mode. Given the importance of NCEs in determining the dynamics of prey communities, our findings suggest that predator characteristics may be used to predict how changing predator communities translate into changes in prey. Such knowledge may prove particularly useful given rates of local predator change due to habitat fragmentation and the introduction of novel predators.

  14. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies

    PubMed Central

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Summary Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator–prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator–prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. PMID:25265905

  15. Predicted responses of invasive mammal communities to climate-related changes in mast frequency in forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tompkins, Daniel M; Byrom, Andrea E; Pech, Roger P

    2013-07-01

    Predicting the dynamics and impacts of multiple invasive species can be complex because ecological relationships, which occur among several trophic levels, are often incompletely understood. Further, the complexity of these trophic relationships exacerbates our inability to predict climate change effects on invaded ecosystems. We explore the hypothesis that interactions between two global change drivers, invasive vertebrates and climate change, will potentially make matters worse for native biodiversity. In New Zealand beech (Nothofagus spp.) forests, a highly irruptive invasive mammal community is driven by multi-annual resource pulses of beech seed (masting). Because mast frequency is predicted to increase with climate change, we use this as a model system to explore the extent to which such effects may influence invasive vertebrate communities, and the implications of such interactions for native biodiversity and its management. We build on an established model of trophic interactions in the system, combining it with a logistic probability mast function, the parameters of which were altered to simulate either contemporary conditions or conditions of more or less frequent masting. The model predicts that increased mast frequency will lead to populations of a top predator (the stoat) and a mesopredator (the ship rat) becoming less irruptive and being maintained at appreciably higher average abundances in this forest type. In addition, the ability of both current and in-development management approaches to suppress invasive mammals is predicted to be compromised. Because invasive mammals are key drivers of native fauna extinction in New Zealand, with the additional loss of associated functions such as pollination and seed dispersal, these predictions imply potentially serious adverse impacts of climate change for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem function. Our study also highlights the importance of long-term monitoring data for assessing and managing

  16. Scaphiopus couchii (Couch's spadefoot). Predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dayton, Gage H.; Jung, R.E.

    1999-01-01

    The observation described in this note appears to be the first record of ant predation upon anuran eggs. At an ephemeral pool in Big Bend National Park, Texas, we observed ants (Forelius mccooki) walking along a blade of grass onto the gelatin of a Couch?s spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) egg mass on the water surface. The ants had eaten through the gelatinous envelope and were harvesting the ovum and returning to their nest.

  17. Optimal control of native predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Julien; O'Connell, Allan F.; Kendall, William L.; Runge, Michael C.; Simons, Theodore R.; Waldstein, Arielle H.; Schulte, Shiloh A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Smith, Graham W.; Pinion, Timothy; Rikard, Michael; Zipkin, Elise F.

    2010-01-01

    We apply decision theory in a structured decision-making framework to evaluate how control of raccoons (Procyon lotor), a native predator, can promote the conservation of a declining population of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our management objective was to maintain Oystercatcher productivity above a level deemed necessary for population recovery while minimizing raccoon removal. We evaluated several scenarios including no raccoon removal, and applied an adaptive optimization algorithm to account for parameter uncertainty. We show how adaptive optimization can be used to account for uncertainties about how raccoon control may affect Oystercatcher productivity. Adaptive management can reduce this type of uncertainty and is particularly well suited for addressing controversial management issues such as native predator control. The case study also offers several insights that may be relevant to the optimal control of other native predators. First, we found that stage-specific removal policies (e.g., yearling versus adult raccoon removals) were most efficient if the reproductive values among stage classes were very different. Second, we found that the optimal control of raccoons would result in higher Oystercatcher productivity than the minimum levels recommended for this species. Third, we found that removing more raccoons initially minimized the total number of removals necessary to meet long term management objectives. Finally, if for logistical reasons managers cannot sustain a removal program by removing a minimum number of raccoons annually, managers may run the risk of creating an ecological trap for Oystercatchers.

  18. Invasive Candidiasis.

    PubMed

    McCarty, Todd P; Pappas, Peter G

    2016-03-01

    Invasive candidiasis is a collective term that refers to a group of infectious syndromes caused by a variety of species of Candida, 5 of which cause most cases. Candidemia is the most commonly recognized syndrome associated with invasive candidiasis. Certain conditions may influence the likelihood for one species versus another in a specific clinical scenario, and this can have important implications for selection of antifungal therapy and the duration of treatment. Molecular diagnostic technology plays an ever-increasing role as an adjunct to traditional culture-based diagnostics, offering significant potential toward improvement in patient care.

  19. Age and sex-selective predation moderate the overall impact of predators.

    PubMed

    Hoy, Sarah R; Petty, Steve J; Millon, Alexandre; Whitfield, D Philip; Marquiss, Michael; Davison, Martin; Lambin, Xavier

    2015-05-01

    Currently, there is no general agreement about the extent to which predators impact prey population dynamics and it is often poorly predicted by predation rates and species abundances. This could, in part be caused by variation in the type of selective predation occurring. Notably, if predation is selective on categories of individuals that contribute little to future generations, it may moderate the impact of predation on prey population dynamics. However, despite its prevalence, selective predation has seldom been studied in this context. Using recoveries of ringed tawny owls (Strix aluco) predated by 'superpredators', northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) as they colonized the area, we investigated the extent to which predation was sex and age-selective. Predation of juvenile owls was disproportionately high. Amongst adults, predation was strongly biased towards females and predation risk appeared to increase with age. This implies age-selective predation may shape the decline in survival with age, observed in tawny owls. To determine whether selective predation can modulate the overall impact of predation, age-based population matrix models were used to simulate the impact of five different patterns of age-selective predation, including the pattern actually observed in the study site. The overall impact on owl population size varied by up to 50%, depending on the pattern of selective predation. The simulation of the observed pattern of predation had a relatively small impact on population size, close to the least harmful scenario, predation on juveniles only. The actual changes in owl population size and structure observed during goshawk colonization were also analysed. Owl population size and immigration were unrelated to goshawk abundance. However, goshawk abundance appeared to interact with owl food availability to have a delayed effect on recruitment into the population. This study provides strong evidence to suggest that predation of other predators is

  20. 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.

  1. Shoaling behaviour enhances risk of predation from multiple predator guilds in a marine fish.

    PubMed

    Ford, John R; Swearer, Stephen E

    2013-06-01

    Predicting the consequences of predator biodiversity loss on prey requires an understanding of multiple predator interactions. Predators are often assumed to have independent and additive effects on shared prey survival; however, multiple predator effects can be non-additive if predators foraging together reduce prey survival (risk enhancement) or increase prey survival through interference (risk reduction). In marine communities, juvenile reef fish experience very high mortality from two predator guilds with very different hunting modes and foraging domains-benthic and pelagic predator guilds. The few previous predator manipulation studies have found or assumed that mortality is independent and additive. We tested whether interacting predator guilds result in non-additive prey mortality and whether the detection of such effects change over time as prey are depleted. To do so, we examined the roles of benthic and pelagic predators on the survival of a juvenile shoaling zooplanktivorous temperate reef fish, Trachinops caudimaculatus, on artificial patch reefs over 2 months in Port Phillip Bay, Australia. We observed risk enhancement in the first 7 days, as shoaling behaviour placed prey between predator foraging domains with no effective refuge. At day 14 we observed additive mortality, and risk enhancement was no longer detectable. By days 28 and 62, pelagic predators were no longer significant sources of mortality and additivity was trivial. We hypothesize that declines in prey density led to reduced shoaling behaviour that brought prey more often into the domain of benthic predators, resulting in limited mortality from pelagic predators. Furthermore, pelagic predators may have spent less time patrolling reefs in response to declines in prey numbers. Our observation of the changing interaction between predators and prey has important implications for assessing the role of predation in regulating populations in complex communities.

  2. 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.

  3. Dynamics of a intraguild predation model with generalist or specialist predator.

    PubMed

    Kang, Yun; Wedekin, Lauren

    2013-11-01

    Intraguild predation (IGP) is a combination of competition and predation which is the most basic system in food webs that contains three species where two species that are involved in a predator/prey relationship are also competing for a shared resource or prey. We formulate two intraguild predation (IGP: resource, IG prey and IG predator) models: one has generalist predator while the other one has specialist predator. Both models have Holling-Type I functional response between resource-IG prey and resource-IG predator; Holling-Type III functional response between IG prey and IG predator. We provide sufficient conditions of the persistence and extinction of all possible scenarios for these two models, which give us a complete picture on their global dynamics. In addition, we show that both IGP models can have multiple interior equilibria under certain parameters range. These analytical results indicate that IGP model with generalist predator has "top down" regulation by comparing to IGP model with specialist predator. Our analysis and numerical simulations suggest that: (1) Both IGP models can have multiple attractors with complicated dynamical patterns; (2) Only IGP model with specialist predator can have both boundary attractor and interior attractor, i.e., whether the system has the extinction of one species or the coexistence of three species depending on initial conditions; (3) IGP model with generalist predator is prone to have coexistence of three species.

  4. Can prey exhibit threat-sensitive generalization of predator recognition? Extending the Predator Recognition Continuum Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Maud C.O; Messier, François; Chivers, Douglas P

    2008-01-01

    Despite the importance of predator recognition in mediating predator–prey interactions, we know little about the specific characteristics that prey use to distinguish predators from non-predators. Recent experiments indicate that some prey who do not innately recognize specific predators as threats have the ability to display antipredator responses upon their first encounter with those predators if they are similar to predators that the prey has recently learned to recognize. The purpose of our present experiment is to test whether this generalization of predator recognition is dependent on the level of risk associated with the known predator. We conditioned fathead minnows to chemically recognize brown trout either as a high or low threat and then tested the minnows for their responses to brown trout, rainbow trout (closely related predator) or yellow perch (distantly related predator). When the brown trout represents a high-risk predator, minnows show an antipredator response to the odour of brown trout and rainbow trout but not to yellow perch. However, when the brown trout represents a low-risk predator, minnows display antipredator responses to brown trout, but not to the rainbow trout or yellow perch. We discuss these results in the context of the Predator Recognition Continuum Hypothesis. PMID:18445564

  5. Inhibition of mTOR kinase via rapamycin blocks persistent predator stress-induced hyperarousal.

    PubMed

    Fifield, Kathleen; Hebert, Mark; Angel, Rebecca; Adamec, Robert; Blundell, Jacqueline

    2013-11-01

    Traumatic, stressful life events are thought to trigger acquired anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent data suggests that the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays a key role in the formation of traumatic memories. The predator stress paradigm allows us to determine whether mTOR mediates the formation of both context-dependent (associative) and context-independent (non-associative) fear memories. Predator stress involves an acute, unprotected exposure of a rat to a cat which causes long-lasting non-associative fear memories manifested as generalized hyperarousal and increased anxiety-like behavior. Here, we show that rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, attenuates predator stress-induced hyperarousal, lasting at least three weeks. In addition, rapamycin blocks a subset of anxiety-like behaviors as measured in the elevated plus maze and hole board. Furthermore, when re-exposed to the predator stress context, rapamycin-treated stressed rats showed increased activity compared to vehicle controls suggesting that rapamycin blocks predator stress-induced associative fear memory. Taken together with past research, our results indicate that mTOR regulation of protein translation is required for the formation of both associative and non-associative fear memories. Overall, these data suggest that mTOR activation may contribute to the development of acquired anxiety disorders such as PTSD.

  6. Invasive species information networks: Collaboration at multiple scales for prevention, early detection, and rapid response to invasive alien species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simpson, Annie; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Madsen, John; Westbrooks, Randy G.; Fournier, Christine; Mehrhoff, Les; Browne, Michael; Graham, Jim; Sellers, Elizabeth A.

    2009-01-01

    Accurate analysis of present distributions and effective modeling of future distributions of invasive alien species (IAS) are both highly dependent on the availability and accessibility of occurrence data and natural history information about the species. Invasive alien species monitoring and detection networks (such as the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth) generate occurrence data at local and regional levels within the United States, which are shared through the US National Institute of Invasive Species Science. The Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network's Invasives Information Network (I3N), facilitates cooperation on sharing invasive species occurrence data throughout the Western Hemisphere. The I3N and other national and regional networks expose their data globally via the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN). International and interdisciplinary cooperation on data sharing strengthens cooperation on strategies and responses to invasions. However, limitations to effective collaboration among invasive species networks leading to successful early detection and rapid response to invasive species include: lack of interoperability; data accessibility; funding; and technical expertise. This paper proposes various solutions to these obstacles at different geographic levels and briefly describes success stories from the invasive species information networks mentioned above. Using biological informatics to facilitate global information sharing is especially critical in invasive species science, as research has shown that one of the best indicators of the invasiveness of a species is whether it has been invasive elsewhere. Data must also be shared across disciplines because natural history information (e.g. diet, predators, habitat requirements, etc.) about a species in its native range is vital for effective prevention, detection, and rapid response to an invasion. Finally, it has been our

  7. Phase transitions in predator-prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagano, Seido; Maeda, Yusuke

    2012-01-01

    The relationship between predator and prey plays an important role in ecosystem conservation. However, our understanding of the principles underlying the spatial distribution of predators and prey is still poor. Here we present a phase diagram of a predator-prey system and investigate the lattice formation in such a system. We show that the production of stable lattice structures depends on the limited diffusion or migration of prey as well as higher carrying capacity for the prey. In addition, when the prey's growth rate is lower than the birth rate of the predator, global prey lattice formation is initiated by microlattices at the center of prey spirals. The predator lattice is later formed in the predator spirals. But both lattice formations proceed together as the prey growth rate increases.

  8. Invasive species cause large-scale loss of native California oyster habitat by disrupting trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Kimbro, David L; Grosholz, Edwin D; Baukus, Adam J; Nesbitt, Nicholas J; Travis, Nicole M; Attoe, Sarikka; Coleman-Hulbert, Caitlin

    2009-06-01

    Although invasive species often resemble their native counterparts, differences in their foraging and anti-predator strategies may disrupt native food webs. In a California estuary, we showed that regions dominated by native crabs and native whelks have low mortality of native oysters (the basal prey), while regions dominated by invasive crabs and invasive whelks have high oyster mortality and are consequently losing a biologically diverse habitat. Using field experiments, we demonstrated that the invasive whelk's distribution is causally related to a large-scale pattern of oyster mortality. To determine whether predator-prey interactions between crabs (top predators) and whelks (intermediate consumers) indirectly control the pattern of oyster mortality, we manipulated the presence and invasion status of the intermediate and top trophic levels in laboratory mesocosms. Our results show that native crabs indirectly maintain a portion of the estuary's oyster habitat by both consuming native whelks (density-mediated trophic cascade) and altering their foraging behavior (trait-mediated trophic cascade). In contrast, invasive whelks are naive to crab predators and fail to avoid them, thereby inhibiting trait-mediated cascades and their invasion into areas with native crabs. Similarly, when native crabs are replaced with invasive crabs, the naive foraging strategy and smaller size of invasive crabs prevents them from efficiently consuming adult whelks, thereby inhibiting strong density-mediated cascades. Thus, while trophic cascades allow native crabs, whelks, and oysters to locally co-exist, the replacement of native crabs and whelks by functionally similar invasive species results in severe depletion of native oysters. As coastal systems become increasingly invaded, the mismatch of evolutionarily based strategies among predators and prey may lead to further losses of critical habitat that support marine biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  9. Predator diversity and density affect levels of predation upon strongly interactive species in temperate rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Guidetti, Paolo

    2007-12-01

    Indirect effects of predators in the classic trophic cascade theory involve the effects of basal species (e.g. primary producers) mediated by predation upon strongly interactive consumers (e.g. grazers). The diversity and density of predators, and the way in which they interact, determine whether and how the effects of different predators on prey combine. Intraguild predation, for instance, was observed to dampen the effects of predators on prey in many ecosystems. In marine systems, species at high trophic levels are particularly susceptible to extinction (at least functionally). The loss of such species, which is mainly attributed to human activities (mostly fishing), is presently decreasing the diversity of marine predators in many areas of the world. Experimental studies that manipulate predator diversity and investigate the effects of this on strongly interactive consumers (i.e. those potentially capable of causing community-wide effects) in marine systems are scant, especially in the rocky sublittoral. I established an experiment that utilised cage enclosures to test whether the diversity and density of fish predators (two sea breams and two wrasses) would affect predation upon juvenile and adult sea urchins, the most important grazers in Mediterranean sublittoral rocky reefs. Changes in species identity (with sea breams producing major effects) and density of predators affected predation upon sea urchins more than changes in species richness per se. Predation upon adult sea urchins decreased in the presence of multiple predators, probably due to interference competition between sea breams and wrasses. This study suggests that factors that influence both fish predator diversity and density in Mediterranean rocky reefs (e.g. fishing and climate change) may have the potential to affect the predators' ability to control sea urchin population density, with possible repercussions for the whole benthic community structure.

  10. Impacts of foraging facilitation among predators on predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Berec, Ludek

    2010-01-01

    Whereas impacts of predator interference on predator-prey dynamics have received considerable attention, the "inverse" process-foraging facilitation among predators-have not been explored yet. Here we show, via mathematical models, that impacts of foraging facilitation on predator-prey dynamics depend on the way this process is modeled. In particular, foraging facilitation destabilizes predator-prey dynamics when it affects the encounter rate between predators and prey. By contrast, it might have a stabilizing effect if the predator handling time of prey is affected. Foraging facilitation is an Allee effect mechanism among predators and we show that for many parameters, it gives rise to a demographic Allee effect or a critical predator density in need to be crossed for predators to persist. We explore also the effects of predator interference, to make the picture "symmetric" and complete. Predator interference is shown to stabilize predator-prey dynamics once its strength is not too high, and thus corroborates results of others. On the other hand, there is a wide range of model parameters for which predator interference gives rise to three co-occurring co-existence equilibria. Such a multi-equilibrial regime is rather robust as we observe it for all the functional response types we explore. This is a previously unreported phenomenon which we show cannot occur for the Beddington-DeAngelis functional response. An interesting topic for future research thus might be to seek for general conditions on predator functional responses that would produce multiple co-existence equilibria in a predator-prey model.

  11. Maternal intraguild predation risk affects offspring anti-predator behavior and learning in mites

    PubMed Central

    Seiter, Michael; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Predation risk is a strong selective force shaping prey morphology, life history and behavior. Anti-predator behaviors may be innate, learned or both but little is known about the transgenerational behavioral effects of maternally experienced predation risk. We examined intraguild predation (IGP) risk-induced maternal effects on offspring anti-predator behavior, including learning, in the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. We exposed predatory mite mothers during egg production to presence or absence of the IG predator Amblyseius andersoni and assessed whether maternal stress affects the anti-predator behavior, including larval learning ability, of their offspring as protonymphs. Protonymphs emerging from stressed or unstressed mothers, and having experienced IGP risk as larvae or not, were subjected to choice situations with and without IG predator traces. Predator-experienced protonymphs from stressed mothers were the least active and acted the boldest in site choice towards predator cues. We argue that the attenuated response of the protonymphs to predator traces alone represents optimized risk management because no immediate risk existed. Such behavioral adjustment could reduce the inherent fitness costs of anti-predator behaviors. Overall, our study suggests that P. persimilis mothers experiencing IGP risk may prime their offspring to behave more optimally in IGP environments. PMID:26449645

  12. Wanted dead or alive: scavenging versus predation by three insect predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many generalist insect predators may engage in facultative scavenging. If an apparent predator frequently consumes dead prey instead of live prey then the biological control services provided by that predator may be overestimated. The use of unique protein markers on live and dead prey of the same s...

  13. Maternal intraguild predation risk affects offspring anti-predator behavior and learning in mites.

    PubMed

    Seiter, Michael; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-10-09

    Predation risk is a strong selective force shaping prey morphology, life history and behavior. Anti-predator behaviors may be innate, learned or both but little is known about the transgenerational behavioral effects of maternally experienced predation risk. We examined intraguild predation (IGP) risk-induced maternal effects on offspring anti-predator behavior, including learning, in the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. We exposed predatory mite mothers during egg production to presence or absence of the IG predator Amblyseius andersoni and assessed whether maternal stress affects the anti-predator behavior, including larval learning ability, of their offspring as protonymphs. Protonymphs emerging from stressed or unstressed mothers, and having experienced IGP risk as larvae or not, were subjected to choice situations with and without IG predator traces. Predator-experienced protonymphs from stressed mothers were the least active and acted the boldest in site choice towards predator cues. We argue that the attenuated response of the protonymphs to predator traces alone represents optimized risk management because no immediate risk existed. Such behavioral adjustment could reduce the inherent fitness costs of anti-predator behaviors. Overall, our study suggests that P. persimilis mothers experiencing IGP risk may prime their offspring to behave more optimally in IGP environments.

  14. Intraguild interactions among three spider mite predators: predation preference and effects on juvenile development and oviposition.

    PubMed

    Rahmani, Hasan; Daneshmandi, Aliakbar; Walzer, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    A first step to evaluate potential negative effects of intraguild predation (IGP) when using multiple predators against a pest species is the determination of the predation behavior of the predators and the nutritional value of intraguild (IG) prey in terms of development and oviposition. Here, we investigated the predation preference of the female predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus, Typhlodromus bagdasarjani and Phytoseius plumifer, when having choice between larvae of the two other predatory mite species (IG prey) with and without extraguild prey, the spider mite Tetranychus urticae (EG prey). Additionally, we evaluated the juvenile development and oviposition of the three predator species when provided with larvae from each other species. Irrespective of EG prey, IG prey species affected neither the first attack nor attack times of the three female IG predator species. The IG predation rates of the predator females, however, were influenced by prey species in the absence of EG prey. Neoseiulus californicus females killed more P. plumifer than T. bagdasarjani larvae, whereas T. bagdasarjani and P. plumifer females killed more N. californicus than P. plumifer and T. bagdasarjani larvae, respectively. All IG predator species consumed significantly more EG than IG prey. IG prey species did not influence juvenile and adult survival probabilities of the IG predators. We conclude that IGP is a weak force among the three predators and the potential consequences of IGP should not result in the elimination of one by another tested predatory mite species at least in the presence of spider mites.

  15. Positive solutions of a prey-predator model with predator saturation and competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Mingxin; Wu, Qiang

    2008-09-01

    In this paper, we study the existence, multiplicity, bifurcation and stability of positive solutions to a prey-predator model with predator saturation and competition where and parameters are all positive constants, and u and v are the densities of the prey and predator, respectively.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-07

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

  17. Reduction in Subventricular Zone-Derived Olfactory Bulb Neurogenesis in a Rat Model of Huntington’s Disease Is Accompanied by Striatal Invasion of Neuroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Kandasamy, Mahesh; Rosskopf, Michael; Wagner, Katrin; Klein, Barbara; Couillard-Despres, Sebastien; Reitsamer, Herbert A.; Stephan, Michael; Nguyen, Huu Phuc; Riess, Olaf; Bogdahn, Ulrich; Winkler, Jürgen; von Hörsten, Stephan; Aigner, Ludwig

    2015-01-01

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene (HTT). The primary neuropathology of HD has been attributed to the preferential degeneration of medium spiny neurons (MSN) in the striatum. Reports on striatal neurogenesis have been a subject of debate; nevertheless, it should be considered as an endogenous attempt to repair the brain. The subventricular zone (SVZ) might offer a close-by region to supply the degenerated striatum with new cells. Previously, we have demonstrated that R6/2 mice, a widely used preclinical model representing an early onset HD, showed reduced olfactory bulb (OB) neurogenesis but induced striatal migration of neuroblasts without affecting the proliferation of neural progenitor cell (NPCs) in the SVZ. The present study revisits these findings, using a clinically more relevant transgenic rat model of late onset HD (tgHD rats) carrying the human HTT gene with 51 CAG repeats and mimicking many of the neuropathological features of HD seen in patients. We demonstrate that cell proliferation is reduced in the SVZ and OB of tgHD rats compared to WT rats. In the OB of tgHD rats, although cell survival was reduced, the frequency of neuronal differentiation was not altered in the granule cell layer (GCL) compared to the WT rats. However, an increased frequency of dopamenergic neuronal differentiation was noticed in the glomerular layer (GLOM) of tgHD rats. Besides this, we observed a selective proliferation of neuroblasts in the adjacent striatum of tgHD rats. There was no evidence for neuronal maturation and survival of these striatal neuroblasts. Therefore, the functional role of these invading neuroblasts still needs to be determined, but they might offer an endogenous alternative for stem or neuronal cell transplantation strategies. PMID:25719447

  18. Learning to distinguish between predators and non-predators: understanding the critical role of diet cues and predator odours in generalisation

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    It is critical for prey to recognise predators and distinguish predators from non-threatening species. Yet, we have little understanding of how prey develop effective predator recognition templates. Recent studies suggest that prey may actually learn key predator features which can be used to recognise novel species with similar characteristics. However, non-predators are sometimes mislabelled as predators when generalising recognition. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive investigation of how prey integrate information on predator odours and predator diet cues in generalisation, allowing them to discriminate between predators and non-predators. We taught lemon damselfish to recognise a predator fed a fish diet, and tested them for their response to the known predator and a series of novel predators (fed fish diet) and non-predators (fed squid diet) distributed across a phylogenetic gradient. Our findings show that damselfish distinguish between predators and non-predators when generalising recognition. Additional experiments revealed that generalised recognition did not result from recognition of predator odours or diet cues, but that damselfish based recognition on what they learned during the initial conditioning. Incorporating multiple sources of information enables prey to develop highly plastic and accurate recognition templates that will increase survival in patchy environments where they have little prior knowledge. PMID:26358861

  19. Responses of tadpoles to hybrid predator odours: strong maternal signatures and the potential risk/response mismatch.

    PubMed

    Chivers, Douglas P; Mathiron, Anthony; Sloychuk, Janelle R; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2015-06-22

    Previous studies have established that when a prey animal knows the identity of a particular predator, it can use this knowledge to make an 'educated guess' about similar novel predators. Such generalization of predator recognition may be particularly beneficial when prey are exposed to introduced and invasive species of predators or hybrids. Here, we examined generalization of predator recognition for woodfrog tadpoles exposed to novel trout predators. Tadpoles conditioned to recognize tiger trout, a hybrid derived from brown trout and brook trout, showed generalization of recognition of several unknown trout odours. Interestingly, the tadpoles showed stronger responses to odours of brown trout than brook trout. In a second experiment, we found that tadpoles trained to recognize brown trout showed stronger responses to tiger trout than those tadpoles trained to recognize brook trout. Given that tiger trout always have a brown trout mother and a brook trout father, these results suggest a strong maternal signature in trout odours. Tadpoles that were trained to recognize both brown trout and brook trout showed stronger response to novel tiger trout than those trained to recognize only brown trout or only brook trout. This is consistent with a peak shift in recognition, whereby cues that are intermediate between two known cues evoke stronger responses than either known cue. Given that our woodfrog tadpoles have no evolutionary or individual experience with trout, they have no way of knowing whether or not brook trout, brown trout or tiger trout are more dangerous. The differential intensity of responses that we observed to hybrid trout cues and each of the parental species indicates that there is a likely mismatch between risk and anti-predator response intensity. Future work needs to address the critical role of prey naivety on responses to invasive and introduced hybrid predators.

  20. Predation of caterpillars on understory saplings in an Ozark forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lichtenberg, J.S.; Lichtenberg, D.A.

    2003-01-01

    Predators of caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae) can indirectly enhance economic gains from plant resources by reducing herbivore damage to plants. For this study, we directly observed predation of caterpillars on understory trees in the Ozarks. Our objectives were to determine the relative importance of diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators, the time of day most diurnal predation events occur, and whether predators spend more time feeding in open or closed canopy areas. Once per month, June-September, we tethered caterpillars to understory saplings and recorded all predation events. Only invertebrate predators were observed feeding on caterpillars, and most predation events were attributed to ants and vespids (wasps, hornets and yellow jackets). Predation by vertebrate predators such as birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians was not observed. Most predation events took place at mid-day between 1200 and 1600 hrs. Predation pressure differed significantly over the four observation dates with peak ant predation in July and peak vespid predation in September. Canopy environment appeared to influence predation events as there was a trend towards higher vespid predation of caterpillars on open canopy as opposed to closed canopy saplings. Ants and vespids accounted for 90% of observed predation events; therefore they appear to be important predators of caterpillars during the summer months. Future studies at earlier sampling dates would be valuable in determining whether the relative importance of other diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators might be greater in the spring.

  1. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird

    PubMed Central

    Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio) that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments. PMID:26624619

  2. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird.

    PubMed

    Hollander, Franck A; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio) that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  4. Predator population depending on lemming cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Pinpointing Predation Events: A different molecular approach.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca vitripennis, protien marking system has been developed as a diagnostic tool for quantifying predation rates via gut content analysis. A field study was conducted to quantify predation rates on each of the GWSS lifestages. Specifically, two GWSS nymp...

  6. Bifurcation analysis of a predator-prey model with predators using hawk and dove tactics.

    PubMed

    Auger, Pierre; Kooi, Bob W; Bravo de la Parra, Rafael; Poggiale, Jean-Christophe

    2006-02-07

    Most classical prey-predator models do not take into account the behavioural structure of the population. Usually, the predator and the prey populations are assumed to be homogeneous, i.e. all individuals behave in the same way. In this work, we shall take into account different tactics that predators can use for exploiting a common self-reproducing resource, the prey population. Predators fight together in order to keep or to have access to captured prey individuals. Individual predators can use two behavioural tactics when they encounter to dispute a prey, the classical hawk and dove tactics. We assume two different time scales. The fast time scale corresponds to the inter-specific searching and handling for the prey by the predators and the intra-specific fighting between the predators. The slow time scale corresponds to the (logistic) growth of the prey population and mortality of the predator. We take advantage of the two time scales to reduce the dimension of the model and to obtain an aggregated model that describes the dynamics of the total predator and prey densities at the slow time scale. We present the bifurcation analysis of the model and the effects of the different predator tactics on persistence and stability of the prey-predator community are discussed.

  7. A multiple phenotype predator-prey model with mutation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

    An existing multiple phenotype predator-prey model is expanded to include mutation amongst the predator phenotypes. Two unimodal maps are used for the underlying dynamics of the prey. A predation strategy is also defined which differs for each of the predators in the model. Results show that the introduction of predator mutation enhances predator survival both in terms of the number of phenotypes and total population for a range of values of the predation rate. In general, the dominant predator phenotype is the one which is most focused on the prey phenotype with the largest population.

  8. Alien Invasions and the Game of Hide and Seek in Patagonia

    PubMed Central

    Lindegren, Martin; Vigliano, Pablo; Nilsson, P. Anders

    2012-01-01

    The introduction, establishment and spread of alien species is a major threat to biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services for human wellbeing. In order to reduce further loss of biodiversity and maintain productive and sustainable ecosystems, understanding the ecological mechanisms underlying species invasions and avoiding potentially harmful effects on native communities is urgently needed, but largely lacking. We here demonstrate, by means of hydroacoustics and advanced spatial modelling, how native fish species as a result of previous exposure to native predators may successfully respond to invasive novel predators through a complicated game of hide and seek, minimizing spatio-temporal overlap with predators, and potentially facilitating coexistence between native prey species (Galaxiids) and introduced novel predators (Salmonids) in a deep Andean lake, Patagonia. PMID:23071496

  9. Egg Predation by the Introduced Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Lowers Mortality but Raises Relative Risk for the Native Lady Beetle, Coccinella novemnotata.

    PubMed

    Turnipseed, Rakim; Ugine, Todd A; Losey, John E

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the native ninespotted lady beetle, Coccinella novemnotata Herbst, have undergone precipitous declines in North America following the establishment of the exotic sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata L. Recent volunteer efforts have made it possible to establish colonies of the now-rare C. novemnotata and test mechanisms contributing to its decline. We evaluated the relative frequencies of intraguild predation and cannibalism of eggs between these two species. A single C. novemnotata or C. septempunctata adult was exposed to conspecific and heterospecific eggs in either the presence or absence of pea aphids. The study revealed two expected results: 1) eggs of C. novemnotata were consumed more frequently than eggs of C. septempunctata by both species, and 2) egg consumption was higher when aphids were absent, independent of predator and egg species. There were also two unexpected results from the study: 1) the asymmetry between egg predation rates was higher when aphids were present, and 2) higher predation rates on C. novemnotata eggs in the absence of alternate prey was due to a relatively higher rate of intraspecific cannibalism. This implies that C. novemnotata would have suffered higher egg mortality rates before the invasion of C. septempunctata, but even though the aggregate rate of egg predation on C. novemnotata eggs is lower post-invasion, it is still significantly higher than the aggregate rate of predation of C. septempunctata eggs. This differential pattern of asymmetric predation could contribute to habitat compression and the overall decline of C. novemnotata.

  10. Egg Predation by the Introduced Lady Beetle, Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Lowers Mortality but Raises Relative Risk for the Native Lady Beetle, Coccinella novemnotata

    PubMed Central

    Turnipseed, Rakim; Ugine, Todd A.; Losey, John E.

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the native ninespotted lady beetle, Coccinella novemnotata Herbst, have undergone precipitous declines in North America following the establishment of the exotic sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata L. Recent volunteer efforts have made it possible to establish colonies of the now-rare C. novemnotata and test mechanisms contributing to its decline. We evaluated the relative frequencies of intraguild predation and cannibalism of eggs between these two species. A single C. novemnotata or C. septempunctata adult was exposed to conspecific and heterospecific eggs in either the presence or absence of pea aphids. The study revealed two expected results: 1) eggs of C. novemnotata were consumed more frequently than eggs of C. septempunctata by both species, and 2) egg consumption was higher when aphids were absent, independent of predator and egg species. There were also two unexpected results from the study: 1) the asymmetry between egg predation rates was higher when aphids were present, and 2) higher predation rates on C. novemnotata eggs in the absence of alternate prey was due to a relatively higher rate of intraspecific cannibalism. This implies that C. novemnotata would have suffered higher egg mortality rates before the invasion of C. septempunctata, but even though the aggregate rate of egg predation on C. novemnotata eggs is lower post-invasion, it is still significantly higher than the aggregate rate of predation of C. septempunctata eggs. This differential pattern of asymmetric predation could contribute to habitat compression and the overall decline of C. novemnotata. PMID:26090935

  11. Antagonistic and synergistic interactions among predators.

    PubMed

    Huxel, Gary R

    2007-08-01

    The structure and dynamics of food webs are largely dependent upon interactions among consumers and their resources. However, interspecific interactions such as intraguild predation and interference competition can also play a significant role in the stability of communities. The role of antagonistic/synergistic interactions among predators has been largely ignored in food web theory. These mechanisms influence predation rates, which is one of the key factors regulating food web structure and dynamics, thus ignoring them can potentially limit understanding of food webs. Using nonlinear models, it is shown that critical aspects of multiple predator food web dynamics are antagonistic/synergistic interactions among predators. The influence of antagonistic/synergistic interactions on coexistence of predators depended largely upon the parameter set used and the degree of feeding niche differentiation. In all cases when there was no effect of antagonism or synergism (a ( ij )=1.00), the predators coexisted. Using the stable parameter set, coexistence occurred across the range of antagonism/synergism used. However, using the chaotic parameter strong antagonism resulted in the extinction of one or both species, while strong synergism tended to coexistence. Whereas using the limit cycle parameter set, coexistence was strongly dependent on the degree of feeding niche overlap. Additionally increasing the degree of feeding specialization of the predators on the two prey species increased the amount of parameter space in which coexistence of the two predators occurred. Bifurcation analyses supported the general pattern of increased stability when the predator interaction was synergistic and decreased stability when it was antagonistic. Thus, synergistic interactions should be more common than antagonistic interactions in ecological systems.

  12. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  13. Biotic resistance to invasion along an estuarine gradient

    PubMed Central

    Hovel, Kevin A.

    2010-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the ability of native communities to repel the establishment of invasive species. Predation by native species may confer biotic resistance to communities, but the environmental context under which this form of biotic resistance occurs is not well understood. We evaluated several factors that influence the distribution of invasive Asian mussels (Musculista senhousia) in Mission Bay, a southern California estuary containing an extensive eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat. Asian mussels exhibit a distinct spatial pattern of invasion, with extremely high densities towards the back of Mission Bay (up to 4,000 m−2) in contrast with near-complete absence at sites towards the front of the bay. We established that recruits arrived at sites where adult mussels were absent and found that dense eelgrass does not appear to preclude Asian mussel growth and survival. Mussel survival and growth were high in predator-exclusion plots throughout the bay, but mussel survival was low in the front of the bay when plots were open to predators. Additional experiments revealed that consumption by spiny lobsters (Panulirus interruptus) and a gastropod (Pteropurpura festiva) likely are the primary factors responsible for resistance to Asian mussel invasion. However, biotic resistance was dependent on location within the estuary (for both species) and also on the availability of a hard substratum (for P. festiva). Our findings indicate that biotic resistance in the form of predation may be conferred by higher order predators, but that the strength of resistance may strongly vary across estuarine gradients and depend on the nature of the locally available habitat. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1700-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20602118

  14. Predator odor avoidance as a rodent model of anxiety: learning-mediated consequences beyond the initial exposure.

    PubMed

    Staples, Lauren G

    2010-11-01

    Prey animals such as rats display innate defensive responses when exposed to the odor of a predator, providing a valuable means of studying the neurobiology of anxiety. While the unconditioned behavioral and neural responses to a single predator odor exposure have been well documented, the paradigm can also be used to study learning-dependent adaptations that occur following repeated exposure to a stressor or associated stimuli. In developing preclinical models for human anxiety disorders this is advantageous, as anxiety disorders seldom involve a single acute experience of anxiety, but rather are chronic and/or recurring illnesses. Part 1 of this review summarizes current research on the three most commonly used predator-related odors: cat odor, ferret odor, and trimethylthiazoline (a component of fox odor). Part 2 reviews the learning-based behavioral and neural adaptations that underlie predator odor-induced context conditioning, one-trial tolerance, sensitization, habituation and dishabituation.

  15. Ensemble ecosystem modeling for predicting ecosystem response to predator reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Baker, Christopher M; Gordon, Ascelin; Bode, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Introducing a new or extirpated species to an ecosystem is risky, and managers need quantitative methods that can predict the consequences for the recipient ecosystem. Proponents of keystone predator reintroductions commonly argue that the presence of the predator will restore ecosystem function, but this has not always been the case, and mathematical modeling has an important role to play in predicting how reintroductions will likely play out. We devised an ensemble modeling method that integrates species interaction networks and dynamic community simulations and used it to describe the range of plausible consequences of 2 keystone-predator reintroductions: wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park and dingoes (Canis dingo) to a national park in Australia. Although previous methods for predicting ecosystem responses to such interventions focused on predicting changes around a given equilibrium, we used Lotka-Volterra equations to predict changing abundances through time. We applied our method to interaction networks for wolves in Yellowstone National Park and for dingoes in Australia. Our model replicated the observed dynamics in Yellowstone National Park and produced a larger range of potential outcomes for the dingo network. However, we also found that changes in small vertebrates or invertebrates gave a good indication about the potential future state of the system. Our method allowed us to predict when the systems were far from equilibrium. Our results showed that the method can also be used to predict which species may increase or decrease following a reintroduction and can identify species that are important to monitor (i.e., species whose changes in abundance give extra insight into broad changes in the system). Ensemble ecosystem modeling can also be applied to assess the ecosystem-wide implications of other types of interventions including assisted migration, biocontrol, and invasive species eradication.

  16. 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.

  17. Low-Reynolds-number predator.

    PubMed

    Ebrahimian, Mehran; Yekehzare, Mohammad; Ejtehadi, Mohammad Reza

    2015-12-01

    To generalize simple bead-linker model of swimmers to higher dimensions and to demonstrate the chemotaxis ability of such swimmers, here we introduce a low-Reynolds predator, using a two-dimensional triangular bead-spring model. Two-state linkers as mechanochemical enzymes expand as a result of interaction with particular activator substances in the environment, causing the whole body to translate and rotate. The concentration of the chemical stimulator controls expansion versus the contraction rate of each arm and so affects the ability of the body for diffusive movements; also the variation of activator substance's concentration in the environment breaks the symmetry of linkers' preferred state, resulting in the drift of the random walker along the gradient of the density of activators. External food or danger sources may attract or repel the body by producing or consuming the chemical activators of the organism's enzymes, inducing chemotaxis behavior. Generalization of the model to three dimensions is straightforward.

  18. Low-Reynolds-number predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebrahimian, Mehran; Yekehzare, Mohammad; Ejtehadi, Mohammad Reza

    2015-12-01

    To generalize simple bead-linker model of swimmers to higher dimensions and to demonstrate the chemotaxis ability of such swimmers, here we introduce a low-Reynolds predator, using a two-dimensional triangular bead-spring model. Two-state linkers as mechanochemical enzymes expand as a result of interaction with particular activator substances in the environment, causing the whole body to translate and rotate. The concentration of the chemical stimulator controls expansion versus the contraction rate of each arm and so affects the ability of the body for diffusive movements; also the variation of activator substance's concentration in the environment breaks the symmetry of linkers' preferred state, resulting in the drift of the random walker along the gradient of the density of activators. External food or danger sources may attract or repel the body by producing or consuming the chemical activators of the organism's enzymes, inducing chemotaxis behavior. Generalization of the model to three dimensions is straightforward.

  19. The emergence of defective predators who never hunt by themselves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xueting; Pan, Qiuhui; Kang, Yibin; He, Mingfeng

    2013-06-01

    We propose a lattice Monte Carlo model of two populations, predators and prey. We divide predators into cooperative predators and defective predators. Cooperative predators participate in hunting. On the other hand, defective predators only participate to dominate, i.e. take possession of, the food when a kill has already been made by a cooperative predator. Numerous factors have been taken into account in our research, such as individual mobility, predation and hunger time. The model we have constructed displays the features of the population that evolve through time and the spatial distribution of the population. We focus on the emergence of defective predators and how the parameters affect the system. The results indicate that prey can profit from the appearance of these defective predators in some specific situations. It has even been shown that the emergence of defective predators can sometimes save endangered systems.

  20. Evans blue-mediated white-light detection of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer: A preclinical feasibility and safety study using a rat bladder urothelial cell carcinoma model

    PubMed Central

    Elsen, Sanne; Lerut, Evelyne; Van Der Aa, Frank; Van Cleynenbreugel, Ben; Van Poppel, Hendrik; De Witte, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) improves the detection of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). However, white-light (WL) cystoscopy remains the technique routinely used in urological clinics. A more cost-effective but equally performant alternative to PDD may encompass the use of an intense tumoritropic dye in combination with WL cystoscopy. Using a preclinical setting, we investigated the practical aspects of the use of Evans blue (EB) dye for the possible future detection of NMIBC using WL cystoscopy. A solution of 1 and 5 mM EB was instilled into healthy and AY-27 tumor-bearing rat bladders. The bladders were then rapidly dissected and the inner walls were inspected for EB using WL stereomicroscopy. EB present in the bladders and the plasma was also quantified using high performance liquid chromatography. To assess the effects of repeated instillations on normal rat bladders, EB was instilled for 7 consecutive days, after which time the bladder wall was investigated histologically. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying the selective accumulation of EB in malignant urothelium, RNA sequencing of urothelial tissue and subsequent comparative analysis were performed, with a specific focus on cell adhesion. The concentrations of EB were substantially higher in malignant bladders compared with those in healthy bladders, matching the blue staining of the inner bladder wall observed by stereomicroscopy. EB was equally present in the plasma of healthy and tumor-bearing subjects, although at low concentrations. Importantly, EB did not cause any abnormalities in the urothelium after 7 days of repeated instillation in normal rats. RNA sequencing of the urothelium indicated an abnormal expression of several genes related to cell adhesion in malignant urothelium compared with the normal urothelium. Our findings may be important for future clinical developments in the field of diagnostics for bladder cancer. Implementing the more cost-effective protocol of EB

  1. Neonatal mortality of elk driven by climate, predator phenology and predator community composition.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Kathleen A; Hebblewhite, Mark; Robinson, Hugh S; Zager, Peter; Barber-Meyer, Shannon M; Christianson, David; Creel, Scott; Harris, Nyeema C; Hurley, Mark A; Jackson, DeWaine H; Johnson, Bruce K; Myers, Woodrow L; Raithel, Jarod D; Schlegel, Mike; Smith, Bruce L; White, Craig; White, P J

    2011-11-01

    1. Understanding the interaction among predators and between predation and climate is critical to understanding the mechanisms for compensatory mortality. We used data from 1999 radio-marked neonatal elk (Cervus elaphus) calves from 12 populations in the north-western United States to test for effects of predation on neonatal survival, and whether predation interacted with climate to render mortality compensatory. 2. Weibull survival models with a random effect for each population were fit as a function of the number of predator species in a community (3-5), seven indices of climatic variability, sex, birth date, birth weight, and all interactions between climate and predators. Cumulative incidence functions (CIF) were used to test whether the effects of individual species of predators were additive or compensatory. 3. Neonatal elk survival to 3 months declined following hotter previous summers and increased with higher May precipitation, especially in areas with wolves and/or grizzly bears. Mortality hazards were significantly lower in systems with only coyotes (Canis latrans), cougars (Puma concolor) and black bears (Ursus americanus) compared to higher mortality hazards experienced with gray wolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus horribilis). 4. In systems with wolves and grizzly bears, mortality by cougars decreased, and predation by bears was the dominant cause of neonatal mortality. Only bear predation appeared additive and occurred earlier than other predators, which may render later mortality by other predators compensatory as calves age. Wolf predation was low and most likely a compensatory source of mortality for neonatal elk calves. 5. Functional redundancy and interspecific competition among predators may combine with the effects of climate on vulnerability to predation to drive compensatory mortality of neonatal elk calves. The exception was the evidence for additive bear predation. These results suggest that effects of predation by

  2. Spreading of families in cyclic predator-prey models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravasz, Mária; Szabó, György; Szolnoki, Attila

    2004-07-01

    We study the spreading of families in two-dimensional multispecies predator-prey systems, in which species cyclically dominate each other. In each time step randomly chosen individuals invade one of the nearest sites of the square lattice eliminating their prey. Initially all individuals get a family name which will be carried on by their descendants. Monte Carlo simulations show that the systems with several species (N=3,4,5) are asymptotically approaching the behavior of the voter model, i.e., the survival probability of families, the mean size of families, and the mean-square distance of descendants from their ancestor exhibits the same scaling behavior. The scaling behavior of the survival probability of families has a logarithmic correction. In case of the voter model this correction depends on the number of species, while cyclic predator-prey models behave like the voter model with infinite species. It is found that changing the rates of invasions does not change this asymptotic behavior. As an application a three-species system with a fourth-species intruder is also discussed.

  3. Environmental and biotic correlates to lionfish invasion success in Bahamian coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Anton, Andrea; Simpson, Michael S; Vu, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    Lionfish (Pterois volitans), venomous predators from the Indo-Pacific, are recent invaders of the Caribbean Basin and southeastern coast of North America. Quantification of invasive lionfish abundances, along with potentially important physical and biological environmental characteristics, permitted inferences about the invasion process of reefs on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Environmental wave-exposure had a large influence on lionfish abundance, which was more than 20 and 120 times greater for density and biomass respectively at sheltered sites as compared with wave-exposed environments. Our measurements of topographic complexity of the reefs revealed that lionfish abundance was not driven by habitat rugosity. Lionfish abundance was not negatively affected by the abundance of large native predators (or large native groupers) and was also unrelated to the abundance of medium prey fishes (total length of 5-10 cm). These relationships suggest that (1) higher-energy environments may impose intrinsic resistance against lionfish invasion, (2) habitat complexity may not facilitate the lionfish invasion process, (3) predation or competition by native fishes may not provide biotic resistance against lionfish invasion, and (4) abundant prey fish might not facilitate lionfish invasion success. The relatively low biomass of large grouper on this island could explain our failure to detect suppression of lionfish abundance and we encourage continuing the preservation and restoration of potential lionfish predators in the Caribbean. In addition, energetic environments might exert direct or indirect resistance to the lionfish proliferation, providing native fish populations with essential refuges.

  4. Environmental and Biotic Correlates to Lionfish Invasion Success in Bahamian Coral Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Anton, Andrea; Simpson, Michael S.; Vu, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    Lionfish (Pterois volitans), venomous predators from the Indo-Pacific, are recent invaders of the Caribbean Basin and southeastern coast of North America. Quantification of invasive lionfish abundances, along with potentially important physical and biological environmental characteristics, permitted inferences about the invasion process of reefs on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Environmental wave-exposure had a large influence on lionfish abundance, which was more than 20 and 120 times greater for density and biomass respectively at sheltered sites as compared with wave-exposed environments. Our measurements of topographic complexity of the reefs revealed that lionfish abundance was not driven by habitat rugosity. Lionfish abundance was not negatively affected by the abundance of large native predators (or large native groupers) and was also unrelated to the abundance of medium prey fishes (total length of 5–10 cm). These relationships suggest that (1) higher-energy environments may impose intrinsic resistance against lionfish invasion, (2) habitat complexity may not facilitate the lionfish invasion process, (3) predation or competition by native fishes may not provide biotic resistance against lionfish invasion, and (4) abundant prey fish might not facilitate lionfish invasion success. The relatively low biomass of large grouper on this island could explain our failure to detect suppression of lionfish abundance and we encourage continuing the preservation and restoration of potential lionfish predators in the Caribbean. In addition, energetic environments might exert direct or indirect resistance to the lionfish proliferation, providing native fish populations with essential refuges. PMID:25184250

  5. Predation on lake trout eggs and fry: A modeling approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savino, Jacqueline F.; Hudson, Patrick L.; Fabrizio, Mary C.; Bowen, Charles A.

    1999-01-01

    A general model was developed to examine the effects of multiple predators on survival of eggs and fry of lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, associated with spawning reefs. Three kinds of predation were simulated: epibenthic egg predators consuming eggs on the substrate surface during spawning, interstitial egg predators that can move in rocky substrate and consume incubating eggs, and fry predators. Also simulated was the effect of water temperature on predation rates. The model predicted that interstitial predation on eggs accounted for most (76 to 81%) of the predation on early life history stages of lake trout; epibenthic egg predation (12 to 19%) and fry predation (0 to 12%) had less effect on lake trout survival. Initial predation conditions chosen for the model were: epibenthic egg predation peaked at 2 eggs/mA?/d over 30 d, insterstitial egg predation at 2 eggs/mA?/d over 180 d, and fry predation at 1 fry/mA?/d over 60 d. With a starting egg density of 100 eggs/mA? and initial predation conditions, no lake trout were estimated to survive to swim-up. At egg densities of 250 eggs/mA?, 36% of the lake trout survived. At the highest egg densities examined, 500 to 1,000 eggs/mA?, estimated survival increased to about 70 to 80%. Simulated survival rates of lake trout decreased dramatically as predation rate increased but were not as sensitive to increases in the duration of predation.

  6. Mesopredator suppression by an apex predator alleviates the risk of predation perceived by small prey.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher E; Feit, Anna; Grüber, Jennifer; Letnic, Mike

    2015-03-07

    Predators can impact their prey via consumptive effects that occur through direct killing, and via non-consumptive effects that arise when the behaviour and phenotypes of prey shift in response to the risk of predation. Although predators' consumptive effects can have cascading population-level effects on species at lower trophic levels there is less evidence that predators' non-consumptive effects propagate through ecosystems. Here we provide evidence that suppression of abundance and activity of a mesopredator (the feral cat) by an apex predator (the dingo) has positive effects on both abundance and foraging efficiency of a desert rodent. Then by manipulating predators' access to food patches we further the idea that apex predators provide small prey with refuge from predation by showing that rodents increased their habitat breadth and use of 'risky' food patches where an apex predator was common but mesopredators rare. Our study suggests that apex predators' suppressive effects on mesopredators extend to alleviate both mesopredators' consumptive and non-consumptive effects on prey.

  7. Predator olfactory cues generate a foraging–predation trade-off through prey apprehension

    PubMed Central

    Siepielski, Adam M.; Fallon, Eric; Boersma, Kate

    2016-01-01

    Most animals are faced with the challenge of securing food under the risk of predation. This frequently generates a trade-off whereby animals respond to predator cues with reduced movement to avoid predation at the direct cost of reduced foraging success. However, predators may also cause prey to be apprehensive in their foraging activities, which would generate an indirect ‘apprehension cost’. Apprehension arises when a forager redirects attention from foraging tasks to predator detection and incurs a cost from such multi-tasking, because the forager ends up making more mistakes in its foraging tasks as a result. Here, we test this apprehension cost hypothesis and show that damselflies miss a greater proportion of their prey during foraging bouts in response to both olfactory cues produced by conspecifics that have only viewed a fish predator and olfactory cues produced directly by fish. This reduced feeding efficiency is in addition to the stereotypical anti-predator response of reduced activity, which we also observed. These results show that costs associated with anti-predator responses not only arise through behavioural alterations that reduce the risk of predation, but also from the indirect costs of apprehension and multi-tasking that can reduce feeding efficiency under the threat of predation. PMID:26998324

  8. Predation on Rose Galls: Parasitoids and Predators Determine Gall Size through Directional Selection

    PubMed Central

    László, Zoltán; Sólyom, Katalin; Prázsmári, Hunor; Barta, Zoltán; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2014-01-01

    Both predators and parasitoids can have significant effects on species’ life history traits, such as longevity or clutch size. In the case of gall inducers, sporadically there is evidence to suggest that both vertebrate predation and insect parasitoid attack may shape the optimal gall size. While the effects of parasitoids have been studied in detail, the influence of vertebrate predation is less well-investigated. To better understand this aspect of gall size evolution, we studied vertebrate predation on galls of Diplolepis rosae on rose (Rosa canina) shrubs. We measured predation frequency, predation incidence, and predation rate in a large-scale observational field study, as well as an experimental field study. Our combined results suggest that, similarly to parasitoids, vertebrate predation makes a considerable contribution to mortality of gall inducer larvae. On the other hand, its influence on gall size is in direct contrast to the effect of parasitoids, as frequency of vertebrate predation increases with gall size. This suggests that the balance between predation and parasitoid attack shapes the optimal size of D. rosae galls. PMID:24918448

  9. Mesopredator suppression by an apex predator alleviates the risk of predation perceived by small prey

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Christopher E.; Feit, Anna; Grüber, Jennifer; Letnic, Mike

    2015-01-01

    Predators can impact their prey via consumptive effects that occur through direct killing, and via non-consumptive effects that arise when the behaviour and phenotypes of prey shift in response to the risk of predation. Although predators' consumptive effects can have cascading population-level effects on species at lower trophic levels there is less evidence that predators' non-consumptive effects propagate through ecosystems. Here we provide evidence that suppression of abundance and activity of a mesopredator (the feral cat) by an apex predator (the dingo) has positive effects on both abundance and foraging efficiency of a desert rodent. Then by manipulating predators' access to food patches we further the idea that apex predators provide small prey with refuge from predation by showing that rodents increased their habitat breadth and use of ‘risky′ food patches where an apex predator was common but mesopredators rare. Our study suggests that apex predators' suppressive effects on mesopredators extend to alleviate both mesopredators' consumptive and non-consumptive effects on prey. PMID:25652837

  10. Predation on rose galls: parasitoids and predators determine gall size through directional selection.

    PubMed

    László, Zoltán; Sólyom, Katalin; Prázsmári, Hunor; Barta, Zoltán; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2014-01-01

    Both predators and parasitoids can have significant effects on species' life history traits, such as longevity or clutch size. In the case of gall inducers, sporadically there is evidence to suggest that both vertebrate predation and insect parasitoid attack may shape the optimal gall size. While the effects of parasitoids have been studied in detail, the influence of vertebrate predation is less well-investigated. To better understand this aspect of gall size evolution, we studied vertebrate predation on galls of Diplolepis rosae on rose (Rosa canina) shrubs. We measured predation frequency, predation incidence, and predation rate in a large-scale observational field study, as well as an experimental field study. Our combined results suggest that, similarly to parasitoids, vertebrate predation makes a considerable contribution to mortality of gall inducer larvae. On the other hand, its influence on gall size is in direct contrast to the effect of parasitoids, as frequency of vertebrate predation increases with gall size. This suggests that the balance between predation and parasitoid attack shapes the optimal size of D. rosae galls.

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

    PubMed

    Krivan, Vlastimil

    2007-11-01

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

  12. Predator olfactory cues generate a foraging-predation trade-off through prey apprehension.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Fallon, Eric; Boersma, Kate

    2016-02-01

    Most animals are faced with the challenge of securing food under the risk of predation. This frequently generates a trade-off whereby animals respond to predator cues with reduced movement to avoid predation at the direct cost of reduced foraging success. However, predators may also cause prey to be apprehensive in their foraging activities, which would generate an indirect 'apprehension cost'. Apprehension arises when a forager redirects attention from foraging tasks to predator detection and incurs a cost from such multi-tasking, because the forager ends up making more mistakes in its foraging tasks as a result. Here, we test this apprehension cost hypothesis and show that damselflies miss a greater proportion of their prey during foraging bouts in response to both olfactory cues produced by conspecifics that have only viewed a fish predator and olfactory cues produced directly by fish. This reduced feeding efficiency is in addition to the stereotypical anti-predator response of reduced activity, which we also observed. These results show that costs associated with anti-predator responses not only arise through behavioural alterations that reduce the risk of predation, but also from the indirect costs of apprehension and multi-tasking that can reduce feeding efficiency under the threat of predation.

  13. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  14. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote (Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye (Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  15. Bald eagle predation on common loon egg

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeStefano, Stephen; McCarthy, Kyle P.; Laskowski, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The Common Loon (Gavia immer) must defend against many potential egg predators during incubation, including corvids, Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), fisher (Martes pennanti), and mink (Neovison vison) (McIntyre 1988, Evers 2004, McCann et al. 2005). Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been documented as predators of both adult Common Loons and their chicks (Vliestra and Paruk 1997, Paruk et al. 1999, Erlandson et al. 2007, Piper et al. 2008). In Wisconsin, where nesting Bald Eagles are abundant (>1200 nesting pairs, >1 young/pair/year), field biologists observed four instances of eagle predation of eggs in loon nests during the period 2002–2004 (M. Meyer pers. comm.). In addition, four cases of eagle predation of incubating adult loons were inferred from evidence found at the loon nest (dozens of plucked adult loon feathers, no carcass remains) and/or loon leg, neck, and skull bones beneath two active eagle nests, including leg bones containing the bands of the nearby (<25 m) incubating adult loon. However, although loon egg predation has been associated with Bald Eagles, predation events have yet to be described in peer-reviewed literature. Here we describe a photographic observation of predation on a Common Loon egg by an immature Bald Eagle as captured by a nest surveillance video camera on Lake Umbagog, a large lake (32 km2) at Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge (UNWR) in Maine.

  16. Birds as predators in tropical agroforestry systems.

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

    Insectivorous birds reduce arthropod abundances and their damage to plants in some, but not all, studies where predation by birds has been assessed. The variation in bird effects may be due to characteristics such as plant productivity or quality, habitat complexity, and/or species diversity of predator and prey assemblages. Since agroforestry systems vary in such characteristics, these systems provide a good starting point for understanding when and where we can expect predation by birds to be important. We analyze data from bird exclosure studies in forests and agroforestry systems to ask whether birds consistently reduce their arthropod prey base and whether bird predation differs between forests and agroforestry systems. Further, we focus on agroforestry systems to ask whether the magnitude of bird predation (1) differs between canopy trees and understory plants, (2) differs when migratory birds are present or absent, and (3) correlates with bird abundance and diversity. We found that, across all studies, birds reduce all arthropods, herbivores, carnivores, and plant damage. We observed no difference in the magnitude of bird effects between agroforestry systems and forests despite simplified habitat structure and plant diversity in agroforests. Within agroforestry systems, bird reduction of arthropods was greater in the canopy than the crop layer. Top-down effects of bird predation were especially strong during censuses when migratory birds were present in agroforestry systems. Importantly, the diversity of the predator assemblage correlated with the magnitude of predator effects; where the diversity of birds, especially migratory birds, was greater, birds reduced arthropod densities to a greater extent. We outline potential mechanisms for relationships between bird predator, insect prey, and habitat characteristics, and we suggest future studies using tropical agroforests as a model system to further test these areas of ecological theory.

  17. Predation limits spread of Didemnum vexillum into natural habitats from refuges on anthropogenic structures.

    PubMed

    Forrest, Barrie M; Fletcher, Lauren M; Atalah, Javier; Piola, Richard F; Hopkins, Grant A

    2013-01-01

    Non-indigenous species can dominate fouling assemblages on artificial structures in marine environments; however, the extent to which infected structures act as reservoirs for subsequent spread to natural habitats is poorly understood. Didemnum vexillum is one of few colonial ascidian species that is widely reported to be highly invasive in natural ecosystems, but which in New Zealand proliferates only on suspended structures. Experimental work revealed that D. vexillum established equally well on suspended artificial and natural substrata, and was able to overgrow suspended settlement plates that were completely covered in other cosmopolitan fouling species. Fragmentation led to a level of D. vexillum cover that was significantly greater than was achieved as a result of ambient larval recruitment. The species failed to establish following fragment transplants onto seabed cobbles and into beds of macroalgae. The establishment success of D. vexillum was greatest in summer compared with autumn, and on the underside of experimental settlement plates that were suspended off the seabed to avoid benthic predators. Where benthic predation pressure was reduced by caging, D. vexillum establishment success was broadly comparable to suspended treatments; by contrast, the species did not establish on the face-up aspect of uncaged plates. This study provides compelling evidence that benthic predation was a key mechanism that prevented D. vexillum's establishment in the cobble habitats of the study region. The widespread occurrence of D. vexillum on suspended anthropogenic structures is consistent with evidence for other sessile invertebrates that such habitats provide a refuge from benthic predation. For invasive species generally, anthropogenic structures are likely to be most important as propagule reservoirs for spread to natural habitats in situations where predation and other mechanisms do not limit their subsequent proliferation.

  18. Predation Limits Spread of Didemnum vexillum into Natural Habitats from Refuges on Anthropogenic Structures

    PubMed Central

    Forrest, Barrie M.; Fletcher, Lauren M.; Atalah, Javier; Piola, Richard F.; Hopkins, Grant A.

    2013-01-01

    Non-indigenous species can dominate fouling assemblages on artificial structures in marine environments; however, the extent to which infected structures act as reservoirs for subsequent spread to natural habitats is poorly understood. Didemnum vexillum is one of few colonial ascidian species that is widely reported to be highly invasive in natural ecosystems, but which in New Zealand proliferates only on suspended structures. Experimental work revealed that D. vexillum established equally well on suspended artificial and natural substrata, and was able to overgrow suspended settlement plates that were completely covered in other cosmopolitan fouling species. Fragmentation led to a level of D. vexillum cover that was significantly greater than was achieved as a result of ambient larval recruitment. The species failed to establish following fragment transplants onto seabed cobbles and into beds of macroalgae. The establishment success of D. vexillum was greatest in summer compared with autumn, and on the underside of experimental settlement plates that were suspended off the seabed to avoid benthic predators. Where benthic predation pressure was reduced by caging, D. vexillum establishment success was broadly comparable to suspended treatments; by contrast, the species did not establish on the face-up aspect of uncaged plates. This study provides compelling evidence that benthic predation was a key mechanism that prevented D. vexillum’s establishment in the cobble habitats of the study region. The widespread occurrence of D. vexillum on suspended anthropogenic structures is consistent with evidence for other sessile invertebrates that such habitats provide a refuge from benthic predation. For invasive species generally, anthropogenic structures are likely to be most important as propagule reservoirs for spread to natural habitats in situations where predation and other mechanisms do not limit their subsequent proliferation. PMID:24349228

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gestoso, Ignacio; Arenas, Francisco; Olabarria, Celia

    2015-03-01

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

  20. Nutrient-Specific Foraging in Invertebrate Predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayntz, David; Raubenheimer, David; Salomon, Mor; Toft, Søren; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

    Many herbivores and omnivores adjust their food selection behavior to regulate the intake of multiple nutrients. Carnivores, however, are generally assumed to optimize the rate of prey capture rather than select prey according to nutrient composition. We showed experimentally that invertebrate predators can forage selectively for protein and lipids to redress specific nutritional imbalances. This selection can take place at different stages of prey handling: The predator may select among foods of different nutritional composition, eat more of a prey if it is rich in nutrients that the predator is deficient in, or extract specific nutrients from a single prey item.

  1. Predators induce cloning in echinoderm larvae.

    PubMed

    Vaughn, Dawn; Strathmann, Richard R

    2008-03-14

    Asexual propagation (cloning) is a widespread reproductive strategy of plants and animals. Although larval cloning is well documented in echinoderms, identified stimuli for cloning are limited to those associated with conditions favorable for growth and reproduction. Our research shows that larvae of the sand dollar Dendraster excentricus also clone in response to cues from predators. Predator-induced clones were smaller than uncloned larvae, suggesting an advantage against visual predators. Our results offer another ecological context for asexual reproduction: rapid size reduction as a defense.

  2. a Numerical Study on Predator Prey Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laham, Mohamed Faris; Krishnarajah, Isthrinayagy; Jumaat, Abdul Kadir

    Stochastic spatial models are becoming a popular tool for understand the ecological and evolution of ecosystem problems. We consider the predator prey interactions in term of stochastic representation of this Lotka-Volterra model and explore the use of stochastic processes to extinction behavior of the interacting populations. Here, we present simulation of stochastic processes of continuous time Lotka-Volterra model. Euler method has been used to solve the predator prey system. The trajectory spiral graph has been plotted based on obtained solution to show the population cycle of predator as a function of time.

  3. Behavioral responses of anuran larvae to chemical cues of native and introduced predators in the Pacific Northwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Adams, Michael J.; Schuytema, Gerald S.; Nebeker, A.V.

    2003-01-01

    We compared behavioral responses of larvae of three Pacific Northwest anurans from different hydroperiods to water borne cues of native and introduced predators. Two native anurans (Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla, and Northern Red-Legged Frog, Rana aurora aurora) and introduced Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) responded to water conditioned by native Redside Shiners (Richardsonius balteatus) by increasing refuge use. The larvae of the two native anurans differed in their response to introduced predator cues. Rana aurora aurora, which occur in temporary and permanent waters, responded to both introduced Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) and introduced Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). Pseudacris regilla, which occur primarily in temporary ponds, did not respond to water borne cues from either introduced predator. The broader responses of R. a. aurora may indicate greater behavioral plasticity or more exposure to novel predators than experienced by P. regilla. Larvae of introduced R. catesbeiana responded strongly to cues from two fish native to the Pacific northwest but did not alter behavior in response to any of five potential predators with which they coexist in their native range. Fish that occur with R. catesbeiana in their native range generally find Bullfrog larvae unpalatable. This pattern suggests that Bullfrog larvae can recognize cues of novel predators that may find them palatable, which could contribute to their success as an invasive species in the region.

  4. Effects of invasive plants on arthropods.

    PubMed

    Litt, Andrea R; Cord, Erin E; Fulbright, Timothy E; Schuster, Greta L

    2014-12-01

    Non-native plants have invaded nearly all ecosystems and represent a major component of global ecological change. Plant invasions frequently change the composition and structure of vegetation communities, which can alter animal communities and ecosystem processes. We reviewed 87 articles published in the peer-reviewed literature to evaluate responses of arthropod communities and functional groups to non-native invasive plants. Total abundance of arthropods decreased in 62% of studies and increased in 15%. Taxonomic richness decreased in 48% of studies and increased in 13%. Herbivorous arthropods decreased in response to plant invasions in 48% of studies and increased in 17%, likely due to direct effects of decreased plant diversity. Predaceous arthropods decreased in response to invasive plants in 44% of studies, which may reflect indirect effects due to reductions in prey. Twenty-two percent of studies documented increases in predators, which may reflect changes in vegetation structure that improved mobility, survival, or web-building for these species. Detritivores increased in 67% of studies, likely in response to increased litter and decaying vegetation; no studies documented decreased abundance in this functional group. Although many researchers have examined effects of plant invasions on arthropods, sizeable information gaps remain, specifically regarding how invasive plants influence habitat and dietary requirements. Beyond this, the ability to predict changes in arthropod populations and communities associated with plant invasions could be improved by adopting a more functional and mechanistic approach. Understanding responses of arthropods to invasive plants will critically inform conservation of virtually all biodiversity and ecological processes because so many organisms depend on arthropods as prey or for their functional roles, including pollination, seed dispersal, and decomposition. Given their short generation times and ability to respond rapidly to

  5. The Use of Protein Markers to Pinpoint Predation Events

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Identifying the feeding choices and amount of prey consumed by generalist predators is difficult. Often the only evidence of arthropod predation is in the stomach contents of predators. Currently, the state-of-the-art predator stomach content assays include prey-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  7. Quantifying the Impact of Woodpecker Predation on Population Dynamics of the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)

    PubMed Central

    Jennings, David E.; Gould, Juli R.; Vandenberg, John D.; Duan, Jian J.; Shrewsbury, Paula M.

    2013-01-01

    The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive beetle that has killed millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) since it was accidentally introduced to North America in the 1990s. Understanding how predators such as woodpeckers (Picidae) affect the population dynamics of EAB should enable us to more effectively manage the spread of this beetle, and toward this end we combined two experimental approaches to elucidate the relative importance of woodpecker predation on EAB populations. First, we examined wild populations of EAB in ash trees in New York, with each tree having a section screened to exclude woodpeckers. Second, we established experimental cohorts of EAB in ash trees in Maryland, and the cohorts on half of these trees were caged to exclude woodpeckers. The following spring these trees were debarked and the fates of the EAB larvae were determined. We found that trees from which woodpeckers were excluded consistently had significantly lower levels of predation, and that woodpecker predation comprised a greater source of mortality at sites with a more established wild infestation of EAB. Additionally, there was a considerable difference between New York and Maryland in the effect that woodpecker predation had on EAB population growth, suggesting that predation alone may not be a substantial factor in controlling EAB. In our experimental cohorts we also observed that trees from which woodpeckers were excluded had a significantly higher level of parasitism. The lower level of parasitism on EAB larvae found when exposed to woodpeckers has implications for EAB biological control, suggesting that it might be prudent to exclude woodpeckers from trees when attempting to establish parasitoid populations. Future studies may include utilizing EAB larval cohorts with a range of densities to explore the functional response of woodpeckers. PMID:24349520

  8. Putting prey back together again: integrating predator-induced behavior, morphology, and life history.

    PubMed

    Hoverman, Jason T; Auld, Josh R; Relyea, Rick A

    2005-07-01

    The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of studies exploring predator-induced plasticity. Recently, there has been a call for more comprehensive approaches that can identify functional relationships between traits, constraints on phenotypic responses, and the cost and benefits of alternative phenotypes. In this study, we exposed Helisoma trivolvis, a freshwater snail, to a factorial combination of three resource levels and five predator environments (no predator, one or two water bugs, and one or two crayfish) and examined ten traits including behavior, morphology, and life history. Each predator induced a unique suite of behavioral and morphological responses. Snails increased near-surface habitat use with crayfish but not with water bugs. Further, crayfish induced narrow and high shells whereas water bugs induced wide shells and wide apertures. In terms of life history, both predators induced delayed reproduction and greater mass at reproduction. However, crayfish induced a greater delay in reproduction that resulted in reduced fecundity whereas water bugs did not induce differences in fecundity. Resource levels impacted the morphology of H. trivolvis; snails reared with greater resource levels produced higher shells, narrower shells, and wider apertures. Resource levels also impacted snail life history; lower resources caused longer times to reproduction and reduced fecundity. Based on an analysis of phenotypic correlations, the morphological responses to each predator most likely represent phenotypic trade-offs. Snails could either produce invasion-resistant shells for defense against water bugs or crush-resistant shells for defense against crayfish, but not both. Our use of a comprehensive approach to examine the responses of H. trivolvis has provided important information regarding the complexity of phenotypic responses to different environments, the patterns of phenotypic integration across environments, and the potential costs and benefits

  9. Quantifying the impact of woodpecker predation on population dynamics of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis).

    PubMed

    Jennings, David E; Gould, Juli R; Vandenberg, John D; Duan, Jian J; Shrewsbury, Paula M

    2013-01-01

    The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive beetle that has killed millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) since it was accidentally introduced to North America in the 1990s. Understanding how predators such as woodpeckers (Picidae) affect the population dynamics of EAB should enable us to more effectively manage the spread of this beetle, and toward this end we combined two experimental approaches to elucidate the relative importance of woodpecker predation on EAB populations. First, we examined wild populations of EAB in ash trees in New York, with each tree having a section screened to exclude woodpeckers. Second, we established experimental cohorts of EAB in ash trees in Maryland, and the cohorts on half of these trees were caged to exclude woodpeckers. The following spring these trees were debarked and the fates of the EAB larvae were determined. We found that trees from which woodpeckers were excluded consistently had significantly lower levels of predation, and that woodpecker predation comprised a greater source of mortality at sites with a more established wild infestation of EAB. Additionally, there was a considerable difference between New York and Maryland in the effect that woodpecker predation had on EAB population growth, suggesting that predation alone may not be a substantial factor in controlling EAB. In our experimental cohorts we also observed that trees from which woodpeckers were excluded had a significantly higher level of parasitism. The lower level of parasitism on EAB larvae found when exposed to woodpeckers has implications for EAB biological control, suggesting that it might be prudent to exclude woodpeckers from trees when attempting to establish parasitoid populations. Future studies may include utilizing EAB larval cohorts with a range of densities to explore the functional response of woodpeckers.

  10. Dynamics of additional food provided predator-prey system with mutually interfering predators.

    PubMed

    Prasad, B S R V; Banerjee, Malay; Srinivasu, P D N

    2013-11-01

    Use of additional/alternative food source to predators is one of the widely recognised practices in the field of biological control. Both theoretical and experimental works point out that quality and quantity of additional food play a vital role in the controllability of the pest. Theoretical studies carried out previously in this direction indicate that incorporating mutual interference between predators can stabilise the system. Experimental evidence also point out that mutual interference between predators can affect the outcome of the biological control programs. In this article dynamics of additional food provided predator-prey system in the presence of mutual interference between predators has been studied. The mutual interference between predators is modelled using Beddington-DeAngelis type functional response. The system analysis highlights the role of mutual interference on the success of biological control programs when predators are provided with additional food. The model results indicate the possibility of stable coexistence of predators with low prey population levels. This is in contrast to classical predator-prey models wherein this stable co-existence at low prey population levels is not possible. This study classifies the characteristics of biological control agents and additional food (of suitable quality and quantity), permitting the eco-managers to enhance the success rate of biological control programs.

  11. Predator cognition permits imperfect coral snake mimicry.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, David W; Pfennig, David W

    2010-12-01

    Batesian mimicry is often imprecise. An underexplored explanation for imperfect mimicry is that predators might not be able to use all dimensions of prey phenotype to distinguish mimics from models and thus permit imperfect mimicry to persist. We conducted a field experiment to test whether or not predators can distinguish deadly coral snakes (Micrurus fulvius) from nonvenomous scarlet kingsnakes (Lampropeltis elapsoides). Although the two species closely resemble one another, the order of colored rings that encircle their bodies differs. Despite this imprecise mimicry, we found that L. elapsoides that match coral snakes in other respects are not under selection to match the ring order of their model. We suggest that L. elapsoides have evolved only those signals necessary to deceive predators. Generally, imperfect mimicry might suffice if it exploits limitations in predator cognitive abilities.

  12. Predator-dependent species-area relationships.

    PubMed

    Ryberg, Wade A; Chase, Jonathan M

    2007-10-01

    In addition to having a positive effect on species richness (species-area relationships [SARs]), habitat area can influence the presence of predators, which can indirectly influence prey richness. While these direct and indirect effects of area on richness occur simultaneously, no research has examined how predation might contribute to SAR variation. We extend MacArthur and Wilson's equilibrium theory of island biogeography by including predation-induced shifts in prey extinction and predict that predators will reduce slopes of prey SARs. We provide support for this with data from two insular ecosystems: orthopteran richness in Ozark glades (rocky herbaceous communities within a forested matrix) with and without insectivorous lizards and zooplankton richness in freshwater ponds with and without zooplanktivorous fishes. Our results emphasize that anthropogenic activities yield simultaneous changes in processes altering diversity and that it is critical that we understand how these components of anthropogenic change interact to impact diversity.

  13. Patterns of detection and capture are associated with cohabiting predators and prey.

    PubMed

    Lazenby, Billie T; Dickman, Christopher R

    2013-01-01

    Avoidance behaviour can play an important role in structuring ecosystems but can be difficult to uncover and quantify. Remote cameras have great but as yet unrealized potential to uncover patterns arising from predatory, competitive or other interactions that structure animal communities by detecting species that are active at the same sites and recording their behaviours and times of activity. Here, we use multi-season, two-species occupancy models to test for evidence of interactions between introduced (feral cat Felis catus) and native predator (Tasmanian devil Sarcophilus harrisii) and predator and small mammal (swamp rat Rattus lutreolus velutinus) combinations at baited camera sites in the cool temperate forests of southern Tasmania. In addition, we investigate the capture rates of swamp rats in traps scented with feral cat and devil faecal odours. We observed that one species could reduce the probability of detecting another at a camera site. In particular, feral cats were detected less frequently at camera sites occupied by devils, whereas patterns of swamp rat detection associated with devils or feral cats varied with study site. Captures of swamp rats were not associated with odours on traps, although fewer captures tended to occur in traps scented with the faecal odour of feral cats. The observation that a native carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil, can suppress the detectability of an introduced eutherian predator, the feral cat, is consistent with a dominant predator-mesopredator relationship. Such a relationship has important implications for the interaction between feral cats and the lower trophic guilds that form their prey, especially if cat activity increases in places where devil populations are declining. More generally, population estimates derived from devices such as remote cameras need to acknowledge the potential for one species to change the detectability of another, and incorporate this in assessments of numbers and survival.

  14. Patterns of Detection and Capture Are Associated with Cohabiting Predators and Prey

    PubMed Central

    Lazenby, Billie T.; Dickman, Christopher R.

    2013-01-01

    Avoidance behaviour can play an important role in structuring ecosystems but can be difficult to uncover and quantify. Remote cameras have great but as yet unrealized potential to uncover patterns arising from predatory, competitive or other interactions that structure animal communities by detecting species that are active at the same sites and recording their behaviours and times of activity. Here, we use multi-season, two-species occupancy models to test for evidence of interactions between introduced (feral cat Felis catus) and native predator (Tasmanian devil Sarcophilus harrisii) and predator and small mammal (swamp rat Rattus lutreolus velutinus) combinations at baited camera sites in the cool temperate forests of southern Tasmania. In addition, we investigate the capture rates of swamp rats in traps scented with feral cat and devil faecal odours. We observed that one species could reduce the probability of detecting another at a camera site. In particular, feral cats were detected less frequently at camera sites occupied by devils, whereas patterns of swamp rat detection associated with devils or feral cats varied with study site. Captures of swamp rats were not associated with odours on traps, although fewer captures tended to occur in traps scented with the faecal odour of feral cats. The observation that a native carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil, can suppress the detectability of an introduced eutherian predator, the feral cat, is consistent with a dominant predator – mesopredator relationship. Such a relationship has important implications for the interaction between feral cats and the lower trophic guilds that form their prey, especially if cat activity increases in places where devil populations are declining. More generally, population estimates derived from devices such as remote cameras need to acknowledge the potential for one species to change the detectability of another, and incorporate this in assessments of numbers and survival

  15. Regional diversity reverses the negative impacts of an alien predator on local species-poor communities.

    PubMed

    Loewen, Charlie J G; Vinebrooke, Rolf D

    2016-10-01

    Species diversity is often an implicit source of biological insurance for communities against the impacts of novel perturbations, such as the introduction of an invasive species. High environmental heterogeneity (e.g., a mountainous gradient) is expected to beget greater regional species diversity and variation in functional traits related to environmental tolerances. Thus, heterogeneous metacommunities are expected to provide more tolerant colonists that buffer stressed local communities in the absence of dispersal limitation. We tested the hypothesis that importation of a regional zooplankton pool assembled from a diverse array of lakes and ponds lessens the impacts of a novel predator on local species-poor alpine communities by increasing response diversity (i.e., diversity of tolerances to environmental change) as mediated by variation in functional traits related to predator evasion. We also tested whether impacts varied with temperature, as warming may modify (e.g., dampen or amplify) invasion effects. An eight-week factorial experiment ([fishless vs. introduced Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout)] × [ambient temperature vs. heated] × [local vs. local + regional species pool]) was conducted using 32 1,000-L mesocosms. Associations between experimental treatments and species functional traits were tested by R-mode linked to Q-mode (RLQ) and fourth-corner analyses. Although the introduced predator suppressed local species richness and community biomass, colonization by several montane zooplankters reversed these negative effects, resulting in increased species diversity and production. Invasion resistance was unaffected by higher temperatures, which failed to elicit any significance impacts on the community. We discovered that the smaller body sizes of imported species drove functional overcompensation (i.e., increased production) in invaded communities. The observed ecological surprise showed how regionally sourced biodiversity from a highly

  16. Esophagectomy - minimally invasive

    MedlinePlus

    Minimally invasive esophagectomy; Robotic esophagectomy; Removal of the esophagus - minimally invasive; Achalasia - esophagectomy; Barrett esophagus - esophagectomy; Esophageal cancer - esophagectomy - laparoscopic; Cancer of the ...

  17. Selective signalling by cuttlefish to predators.

    PubMed

    Langridge, Keri V; Broom, Mark; Osorio, Daniel

    2007-12-18

    Rather than simply escaping, prey animals often attempt to deter an attack by signalling to an approaching predator, but this is a risky strategy if it allows time for the predator to draw closer (especially when the signal is a bluff). Because prey are vulnerable to multiple predators, the hunting techniques of which vary widely, it could well be beneficial for a prey animal to discriminate predators and to signal only to those that are likely to be deterred. Higher vertebrates make alarm calls that can identify the type of predator to the signaller's conspecifics, and a recent study shows that squirrels direct an infrared deterrent signal specifically at infrared-sensitive pit-vipers and not at other snakes. We show here that naïve juvenile cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis L.) use a visual signal selectively during encounters with different predatory species. We analysed sequences of defensive behaviours produced by cuttlefish, to control for effects of relative threat level (or 'response urgency'). This showed that a high contrast 'eyespot' signal, known as the deimatic display, was used before flight against visually oriented teleost fish, but not crabs and dogfish, which are chemosensory predators.

  18. Techniques for identifying predators of goose nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

    We used cameras and artificial eggs to identify nest predators of dusky Canada goose Branta canadensis occidentalis nests during 1997-2000. Cameras were set up at 195 occupied goose nests and 60 artificial nests. We placed wooden eggs and domestic goose eggs that were emptied and then filled with wax or foam in an additional 263 natural goose nests to identify predators from marks in the artificial eggs. All techniques had limitations, but each correctly identified predators and estimated their relative importance. Nests with cameras had higher rates of abandonment than natural nests, especially during laying. Abandonment rates were reduced by deploying artificial eggs late in laying and reducing time at nests. Predation rates for nests with cameras were slightly lower than for nests without cameras. Wax-filled artificial eggs caused mortality of embryos in natural nests, but were better for identifying predator marks at artificial nests. Use of foam-filled artificial eggs in natural nests was the most cost effective means of monitoring nest predation. ?? Wildlife Biology (2006).

  19. In vitro and non-invasive in vivo effects of the cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) agonist AM841 on gastrointestinal motor function in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Abalo, R; Chen, C; Vera, G; Fichna, J; Thakur, GA; López-Pérez, AE; Makriyannis, A; Martín-Fontelles, MI; Storr, M

    2015-01-01

    Background Cannabinoids have been traditionally used for the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, but the associated central effects, through cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1R), constitute an important drawback. Our aims were to characterize the effects of the recently developed highly potent long-acting megagonist AM841 on GI motor function and to determine its central effects in rats. Methods Male Wistar rats were used for in vitro and in vivo studies. The effect of AM841 was tested on electrically-induced twitch contractions of GI preparations (in vitro) and on GI motility measured radiographically after contrast administration (in vivo). Central effects of AM841 were evaluated using the cannabinoid tetrad. The non-selective cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) was used for comparison. The CB1R (AM251) and CB2R (AM630) antagonists were used to characterize cannabinoid receptor-mediated effects of AM841. Key results AM841 dose-dependently reduced in vitro contractile activity of rat GI preparations via CB1R, but not CB2R or opioid receptors. In vivo, AM841 acutely and potently reduced gastric emptying and intestinal transit in a dose-dependent and AM251-sensitive manner. The in vivo GI effects of AM841 at 0.1 mg kg−1 were comparable to those induced by WIN at 5 mg kg−1. However, at this dose, AM841 did not induce any sign of the cannabinoid tetrad, whereas WIN induced significant central effects. Conclusions & Inferences The CB1R megagonist AM841 may potently depress GI motor function in the absence of central effects. This effect may be mediated peripherally and may be useful in the treatment of GI motility disorders. PMID:26387676

  20. Effects of straight alkyl chain, extra hydroxylated alkyl chain and branched chain amino acids on gastric emptying evaluated using a non-invasive breath test in conscious rats

    PubMed Central

    Uchida, Masayuki; Kobayashi, Orie; Iwasawa, Kaori; Shimizu, Kimiko

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Some amino acids been known to influence gastric emptying. Thus we have evaluated the effects of straight alkyl chain, extra hydroxylated alkyl chain and branched chain amino acids on gastric emptying. Materials and Methods: Gastric emptying was evaluated in rats after feeding with Racol (nutrient formulae) containing [1-13C] acetic acid. Using a breath test, the content of 13CO2 in their expired air was measured by infrared analyzers. Rats were orally administered with test amino acids, while control rats were administered orally with distilled water. Results: The expired 13CO2 content in the expired air increased with time, peaked after about 30 min and decreased thereafter. Among the amino acids having an alkyl chain, l-serine, l-alanine and l-glycine, significantly decreased the 13CO2 content and Cmax, and delayed Tmax, suggesting inhibition and delay of gastric emptying. AUC120 min values of l-alanine and l-glycine also decreased significantly. l-Threonine significantly decreased 13CO2 content and delayed Tmax, but had no influence on Cmax and AUC120 min values, suggesting a delay of gastric emptying. l-Isoleucine and l-leucine and l-valine significantly decreased 13CO2 content, suggesting inhibition of the gastric emptying, but Cmax, Tmax and AUC120 min values were not significantly affected. Conclusion: The results show that the amino acids used in the present study had different effects on gastric emptying. Moreover, it was found that inhibition and delay of gastric emptying were clearly classifiable by analyzing the change in 13CO2 content of the expired air and the Cmax, Tmax and AUC120 min values. PMID:27169776

  1. Energy Deregulation Precedes Alteration in Heart Energy Balance in Young Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats: A Non Invasive In Vivo 31P-MR Spectroscopy Follow-Up Study

    PubMed Central

    Deschodt-Arsac, Veronique; Arsac, Laurent; Magat, Julie; Naulin, Jerome; Quesson, Bruno; Dos Santos, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Gradual alterations in cardiac energy balance, as assessed by the myocardial PCr/ATP-ratio, are frequently associated with the development of cardiac disease. Despite great interest for the follow-up of myocardial PCr and ATP content, cardiac MR-spectroscopy in rat models in vivo is challenged by sensitivity issues and cross-contamination from other organs. Methods Here we combined MR-Imaging and MR-Spectroscopy (Bruker BioSpec 9.4T) to follow-up for the first time in vivo the cardiac energy balance in the SHR, a genetic rat model of cardiac hypertrophy known to develop early disturbances in cytosolic calcium dynamics. Results We obtained consistent 31P-spectra with high signal/noise ratio from the left ventricle in vivo by using a double-tuned (31P/1H) surface coil. Reasonable acquisition time (<3.2min) allowed assessing the PCr/ATP-ratio comparatively in SHR and age-matched control rats (WKY): i) weekly from 12 to 21 weeks of age; ii) in response to a bolus injection of the ß-adrenoreceptor agonist isoproterenol at age 21 weeks. Discussion Along weeks, the cardiac PCr/ATP-ratio was highly reproducible, steady and similar (2.35±0.06) in SHR and WKY, in spite of detectable ventricular hypertrophy in SHR. At the age 21 weeks, PCr/ATP dropped more markedly (-17.1%±0.8% vs. -3,5%±1.4%, P<0.001) after isoproterenol injection in SHR and recovered slowly thereafter (time constant 21.2min vs. 6.6min, P<0.05) despite similar profiles of tachycardia among rats. Conclusion The exacerbated PCr/ATP drop under ß-adrenergic stimulation indicates a defect in cardiac energy regulation possibly due to calcium-mediated abnormalities in the SHR heart. Of note, defects in energy regulation were present before detectable abnormalities in cardiac energy balance at rest. PMID:27622548

  2. Kisspeptins and the placenta: regulation of trophoblast invasion.

    PubMed

    Hiden, Ursula; Bilban, Martin; Knöfler, Martin; Desoye, Gernot

    2007-03-01

    The invasion of extravillous trophoblasts into the uterine wall is of crucial importance for placental and fetal development, and its dysregulation has been implicated in a wide spectrum of abnormal pregnancies. Mechanistically, trophoblast invasion strongly resembles the invasion of tumour cells, but differs from it by tight regulation in time and space. This regulation is accomplished by different factors including cytokines and hormones, which are produced by both fetal as well as maternal tissues i.e., placenta and uterus, respectively. Recently, products of the KiSS-1 gene (kisspeptins) have been identified to not only inhibit metastasis in various tumours, but also to repress trophoblast invasion via binding to the G protein-coupled receptor KiSS-1R. In the placenta, expression levels of kisspeptins and their receptor are highest in the first trimester in humans and at day 12.5 in rats, respectively. This coincides with the time when invasiveness peaks and invasion regulation is of central importance. Human kisspeptins are predominantly produced by the syncytiotrophoblast, whereas KiSS-1R is additionally expressed on the invading extravillous trophoblasts indicating a paracrine regulation of extravillous trophoblast invasion by the syncytiotrophoblast. In the structurally different rat placenta both KiSS-1 and its receptor are predominantly expressed by the invasive trophoblast giant cells, thus establishing an autocrine system in the invasion regulation of this trophoblast subpopulation. Amongst all kisspeptins the highly conserved kisspeptin Kp-10 has strongest invasion inhibiting effects suggesting its major role in regulation of trophoblast invasion.

  3. It's a predator-eat-parasite world: how characteristics of predator, parasite and environment affect consumption.

    PubMed

    Orlofske, Sarah A; Jadin, Robert C; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the effects of predation on disease dynamics is increasingly important in light of the role ecological communities can play in host-parasite interactions. Surprisingly, however, few studies have characterized direct predation of parasites. Here we used an experimental approach to show that consumption of free-living parasite stages is highly context dependent, with significant influences of parasite size, predator size and foraging mode, as well as environmental condition. Among the four species of larval trematodes and two types of predators (fish and larval damselflies) studied here, parasites with larger infective stages (size >1,000 μm) were most vulnerable to predation by fish, while small-bodied fish and damselflies (size <10 mm) consumed the most infectious stages. Small parasite species (size approx. 500 μm) were less frequently consumed by both fish and larval damselflies. However, these results depended strongly on light availability; trials conducted in the dark led to significantly fewer parasites consumed overall, especially those with a size of <1,000 μm, emphasizing the importance of circadian shedding times of parasite free-living stages for predation risk. Intriguingly, active predation functioned to help limit fishes' infection by directly penetrating parasite species. Our results are consistent with established theory developed for predation on zooplankton that emphasizes the roles of body size, visibility and predation modes and further suggest that consumer-resource theory may provide a predictive framework for when predators should significantly influence parasite transmission. These results contribute to our understanding of transmission in natural systems, the role of predator-parasite links in food webs and the evolution of parasite morphology and behavior.

  4. Vulnerability of black grouse hens to goshawk predation: result of food supply or predation facilitation?

    PubMed

    Tornberg, Risto; Helle, Pekka; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2011-07-01

    The plant cycle hypothesis says that poor-quality food affects both herbivorous voles (Microtinae spp.) and grouse (Tetraonidae spp.) in vole decline years, leading to increased foraging effort in female grouse and thus a higher risk of predation by the goshawk Accipiter gentilis. Poor-quality food (mainly the bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus) for these herbivores is induced by seed masting failure in the previous year, when the bilberry is able to allocate resources for chemical defence (the mast depression hypothesis; MDH). The predation facilitation hypothesis (PFH) in turn states that increased searching activity of vole-eating predators during or after the decline year of voles disturbs incubating and brooding grouse females. The behaviours used by grouse to avoid these terrestrial predators make them more vulnerable to predation by goshawks. We tested the main predictions of the MDH and PFH by collecting long-term (21-year) data from black grouse Tetrao tetrix hens and cocks killed by breeding goshawks supplemented with indices of bilberry crop, vole abundance and small carnivores in the vicinity of Oulu, northern Finland. We did not find obvious support for the prediction of the MDH that there is a negative correlation of bilberry crop in year t with vole abundance and with predation index of black grouse hens in year t + 1. We did find obvious support for the prediction of the PFH that there is a positive correlation between predator abundance and predation index of grouse hens, because the stoat Mustela erminea abundance index was positively related to the predation index of black grouse hens. We suggest that changes in vulnerability of grouse hens may mainly be caused by the guild of vole-eating predators, who shift to alternative prey in the decline phase of the vole cycle, and thus chase grouse hens and chicks to the talons of goshawks and other avian predators.

  5. Limited spatial response to direct predation risk by African herbivores following predator reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew B; Tambling, Craig J; Kerley, Graham I H; Asner, Gregory P

    2016-08-01

    Predators affect ecosystems not only through direct mortality of prey, but also through risk effects on prey behavior, which can exert strong influences on ecosystem function and prey fitness. However, how functionally different prey species respond to predation risk and how prey strategies vary across ecosystems and in response to predator reintroduction are poorly understood. We investigated the spatial distributions of six African herbivores varying in foraging strategy and body size in response to environmental factors and direct predation risk by recently reintroduced lions in the thicket biome of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, using camera trap surveys, GPS telemetry, kill site locations and Light Detection and Ranging. Spatial distributions of all species, apart from buffalo, were driven primarily by environmental factors, with limited responses to direct predation risk. Responses to predation risk were instead indirect, with species distributions driven by environmental factors, and diel patterns being particularly pronounced. Grazers were more responsive to the measured variables than browsers, with more observations in open areas. Terrain ruggedness was a stronger predictor of browser distributions than was vegetation density. Buffalo was the only species to respond to predator encounter risk, avoiding areas with higher lion utilization. Buffalo therefore behaved in similar ways to when lions were absent from the study area. Our results suggest that direct predation risk effects are relatively weak when predator densities are low and the time since reintroduction is short and emphasize the need for robust, long-term monitoring of predator reintroductions to place such events in the broader context of predation risk effects.

  6. Keystone effects of an alien top-predator stem extinctions of native mammals.

    PubMed

    Letnic, Mike; Koch, Freya; Gordon, Chris; Crowther, Mathew S; Dickman, Christopher R

    2009-09-22

    Alien predators can have catastrophic effects on ecosystems and are thought to be much more harmful to biodiversity than their native counterparts. However, trophic cascade theory and the mesopredator release hypothesis predict that the removal of top predators will result in the reorganization of trophic webs and loss of biodiversity. Using field data collected throughout arid Australia, we provide evidence that removal of an alien top-predator, the dingo, has cascading effects through lower trophic levels. Dingo removal was linked to increased activity of herbivores and an invasive mesopredator, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and to the loss of grass cover and native species of small mammals. Using species distribution data, we predict that reintroducing or maintaining dingo populations would produce a net benefit for the conservation of threatened native mammals across greater than 2.42 x 10(6) km(2) of Australia. Our study provides evidence that an alien top predator can assume a keystone role and be beneficial for biodiversity conservation, and also that mammalian carnivores more generally can generate strong trophic cascades in terrestrial ecosystems.

  7. Community-wide distribution of predator-prey interaction strength in kelp forests.

    PubMed

    Sala, Enric; Graham, Michael H

    2002-03-19

    The strength of interactions between predators and their prey (interaction strength) varies enormously among species within ecological communities. Understanding the community-wide distribution of interaction strengths is vital, given that communities dominated by weak interactions may be more stable and resistant to invasion. In the oceans, previous studies have reported log-normal distributions of per capita interaction strength. We estimated the distribution of predator-prey interaction strengths within a subtidal speciose herbivore community (45 species). Laboratory experiments were used to determine maximum per capita interaction strengths for eight species of herbivores (including amphipods, isopods, gastropods, and sea urchins) that graze on giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) microscopic stages. We found that maximum per capita interaction strength saturated as a function of individual herbivore biomass, likely caused by predator/prey size thresholds. Incorporating this nonlinearity, we predicted maximum per capita interaction strength for the remaining herbivore species. The resulting distribution of per capita interaction strengths was bimodal, in striking contrast to previous reports from other communities. Although small herbivores often had per capita interaction strengths similar to larger herbivores, their tendency to have greater densities in the field increased their potential impact as grazers. These results indicate that previous conclusions about the distributions of interaction strength in natural communities are not general, and that intermediate-sized predators can under realistic circumstances represent the most effective consumers in natural communities.

  8. Assessing the potential for fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): Insight from bioenergetics models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eggleton, M.A.; Miranda, L.E.; Kirk, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Rates of annual food consumption and biomass were modeled for several fish species across representative rivers and lakes in eastern North America. Results were combined to assess the relative potential of fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Predicted annual food consumption by fishes in southern waters was over 100% greater than that in northern systems because of warmer annual water temperatures and presumed increases in metabolic demand. Although generally increasing with latitude, biomasses of several key zebra mussel fish predators did not change significantly across latitudes. Biomasses of some less abundant fish predators did increase significantly with latitude, but increases were not of the magnitude to offset predicted decreases in food consumption. Our results generally support the premise that fishes in rivers and lakes of the southern United States (U.S.) have inherently greater potential to impact zebra mussels by predation. Our simulations may provide a partial explanation of why zebra mussel invasions have not been as rapid and widespread in southern U.S. waters compared to the Great Lakes region. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

  9. Genetic variation in flowering phenology and avoidance of seed predation in native populations of Ulex europaeus.

    PubMed

    Atlan, A; Barat, M; Legionnet, A S; Parize, L; Tarayre, M

    2010-02-01

    The genetic variation in flowering phenology may be an important component of a species' capacity to colonize new environments. In native populations of the invasive species Ulex europaeus, flowering phenology has been shown to be bimodal and related to seed predation. The aim of the present study was to determine if this bimodality has a genetic basis, and to investigate whether the polymorphism in flowering phenology is genetically linked to seed predation, pod production and growth patterns. We set up an experiment raising maternal families in a common garden. Based on mixed analyses of variance and correlations among maternal family means, we found genetic differences between the two main flowering types and confirmed that they reduced seed predation in two different ways: escape in time or predator satiation. We suggest that this polymorphism in strategy may facilitate maintain high genetic diversity for flowering phenology and related life-history traits in native populations of this species, hence providing high evolutionary potential for these traits in invaded areas.

  10. Divergent responses of exposed and naive Pacific tree frog tadpoles to invasive predatory crayfish.

    PubMed

    Pease, Katherine M; Wayne, Robert K

    2014-01-01

    Invasive predators can devastate native species and ecosystems. However, native species may be able to coexist with invasive predators through a variety of mechanisms, such as changes in morphology or behavior due to a plastic response or selection on fixed anti-predator traits. We examined whether exposed and naive populations of Pacific tree frog tadpoles (Pseudacris regilla) display divergent morphological and behavioral traits in response to the invasive predatory red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). Tadpoles were collected from three study streams with and three without crayfish, in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. We analyzed tadpole morphology and tested anti-predator behavior and survival in the laboratory. Tadpoles from streams with crayfish had shallower, narrower tails than tadpoles from streams without crayfish. Tadpoles from streams with and without crayfish were less active after exposure to crayfish chemical cues. The divergent morphology of naive and exposed tadpoles is consistent with tadpoles exhibiting a plastic response to crayfish or undergoing selection from crayfish predation. In laboratory predation experiments, we found no difference in survival between tadpoles from streams with and without crayfish but tadpoles that survived predation had deeper tail muscles than those that were killed or injured. Our results suggest that deeper tails are advantageous in the presence of crayfish, yet tadpoles from crayfish streams had shallower tails than those from crayfish-free streams. Shallower tails may have an alternative unmeasured advantage or there may be a physiological constraint to developing deeper tails in the wild. These results highlight the ability of a native frog to respond to an invasive predatory crayfish, potentially allowing for coexistence.

  11. Bistability induced by generalist natural enemies can reverse pest invasions.

    PubMed

    Madec, Sten; Casas, Jérôme; Barles, Guy; Suppo, Christelle

    2017-01-17

    Analytical modeling of predator-prey systems has shown that specialist natural enemies can slow, stop and even reverse pest invasions, assuming that the prey population displays a strong Allee effect in its growth. We aimed to formalize the conditions in which spatial biological control can be achieved by generalists, through an analytical approach based on reaction-diffusion equations. Using comparison principles, we obtain sufficient conditions for control and for invasion, based on scalar bistable partial differential equations. The ability of generalist predators to control prey populations with logistic growth lies in the bistable dynamics of the coupled system, rather than in the bistability of prey-only dynamics as observed for specialist predators attacking prey populations displaying Allee effects. As a consequence, prey control is predicted to be possible when space is considered in additional situations other than those identified without considering space. The reverse situation is also possible. None of these considerations apply to spatial predator-prey systems with specialist natural enemies.

  12. Global ecological impacts of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gallardo, Belinda; Clavero, Miguel; Sánchez, Marta I; Vilà, Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    The introduction of invasive species, which often differ functionally from the components of the recipient community, generates ecological impacts that propagate along the food web. This review aims to determine how consistent the impacts of aquatic invasions are across taxa and habitats. To that end, we present a global meta-analysis from 151 publications (733 cases), covering a wide range of invaders (primary producers, filter collectors, omnivores and predators), resident aquatic community components (macrophytes, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates and fish) and habitats (rivers, lakes and estuaries). Our synthesis suggests a strong negative influence of invasive species on the abundance of aquatic communities, particularly macrophytes, zooplankton and fish. In contrast, there was no general evidence for a decrease in species diversity in invaded habitats, suggesting a time lag between rapid abundance changes and local extinctions. Invaded habitats showed increased water turbidity, nitrogen and organic matter concentration, which are related to the capacity of invaders to transform habitats and increase eutrophication. The expansion of invasive macrophytes caused the largest decrease in fish abundance, the filtering activity of filter collectors depleted planktonic communities, omnivores (including both facultative and obligate herbivores) were responsible for the greatest decline in macrophyte abundance, and benthic invertebrates were most negatively affected by the introduction of new predators. These impacts were relatively consistent across habitats and experimental approaches. Based on our results, we propose a framework of positive and negative links between invasive species at four trophic positions and the five different components of recipient communities. This framework incorporates both direct biotic interactions (predation, competition, grazing) and indirect changes to the water physicochemical conditions mediated by invaders (habitat

  13. Blunted hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis response to predator odor predicts high stress reactivity.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Annie M; Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2015-08-01

    Individuals with trauma- and stress-related disorders exhibit increases in avoidance of trauma-related stimuli, heightened anxiety and altered neuroendocrine stress responses. Our laboratory uses a rodent model of stress that mimics the avoidance symptom cluster associated with stress-related disorders. Animals are classified as 'Avoiders' or 'Non-Avoiders' post-stress based on avoidance of predator-odor paired context. Utilizing this model, we are able to examine subpopulation differences in stress reactivity. Here, we used this predator odor model of stress to examine differences in anxiety-like behavior and hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function in animals that avoid a predator-paired context relative to those that do not. Rats were exposed to predator odor stress paired with a context and tested for avoidance (24h and 11days), anxiety-like behavior (48h and 5days) and HPA activation following stress. Control animals were exposed to room air. Predator odor stress produced avoidance in approximately 65% of the animals at 24h that persisted 11days post-stress. Both Avoiders and Non-Avoiders exhibited a heightened anxiety-like behavior at 48h and 5days post-stress when compared to unstressed Controls. Non-Avoiders exhibited significant increases in circulating adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) concentrations immediately following predator odor stress compared to Controls and this response was significantly attenuated in Avoiders. There was an inverse correlation between circulating ACTH/CORT concentrations and avoidance, indicating that lower levels of ACTH/CORT predicted higher levels of avoidance. These results suggest that stress effects on HPA stress axis activation predict long-term avoidance of stress-paired stimuli, and build on previous data showing the utility of this model for exploring the neurobiological mechanisms of trauma- and stress-related disorders.

  14. Blunted Hypothalamo-pituitary Adrenal Axis Response to Predator Odor Predicts High Stress Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Whitaker, Annie M.; Gilpin, Nicholas W.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with trauma- and stress-related disorders exhibit increases in avoidance of trauma-related stimuli, heightened anxiety and altered neuroendocrine stress responses. Our laboratory uses a rodent model of stress that mimics the avoidance symptom cluster associated with stress-related disorders. Animals are classified as ‘Avoiders’ or Non-Avoiders' post-stress based on avoidance of predator-odor paired context. Utilizing this model, we are able to examine subpopulation differences in stress reactivity. Here, we used this predator odor model of stress to examine differences in anxiety-like behavior and hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function in animals that avoid a predator-paired context relative to those that do not. Rats were exposed to predator odor stress paired with a context and tested for avoidance (24 hours and 11 days), anxiety-like behavior (48 hours and 5 days) and HPA activation following stress. Control animals were exposed to room air. Predator odor stress produced avoidance in approximately 65% of the animals at 24 hours that persisted 11 days post-stress. Both Avoiders and Non-Avoiders exhibited heightened anxiety-like behavior at 48 hours and 5 days post-stress when compared to unstressed Controls. Non-Avoiders exhibited significant increases in circulating adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) concentrations immediately following predator odor stress compared to Controls and this response was significantly attenuated in Avoiders. There was an inverse correlation between circulating ACTH/CORT concentrations and avoidance, indicating that lower levels of ACTH/CORT predicted higher levels of avoidance. These results suggest that stress effects on HPA stress axis activation predict long-term avoidance of stress-paired stimuli, and builds on previous data showing the utility of this model for exploring the neurobiological mechanisms of trauma- and stress-related disorders. PMID:25824191

  15. Evidence of intraguild predation on a key member of the cotton predator complex

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding trophic level interactions of arthropods is vital for identifying the biological control services provided by the predator complex. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed to examine the gut contents of the cotton predator community for the presence of the DNA of green l...

  16. Testing the threat-sensitive predator avoidance hypothesis: physiological responses and predator pressure in wild rabbits.

    PubMed

    Monclús, Raquel; Palomares, Francisco; Tablado, Zulima; Martínez-Fontúrbel, Ana; Palme, Rupert

    2009-01-01

    Predation is a strong selective force with both direct and indirect effects on an animal's fitness. In order to increase the chances of survival, animals have developed different antipredator strategies. However, these strategies have associated costs, so animals should assess their actual risk of predation and shape their antipredator effort accordingly. Under a stressful situation, such as the presence of predators, animals display a physiological stress response that might be proportional to the risk perceived. We tested this hypothesis in wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), subjected to different predator pressures, in Doñana National Park (Spain). We measured the concentrations of fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) in 20 rabbit populations. By means of track censuses we obtained indexes of mammalian predator presence for each rabbit population. Other factors that could modify the physiological stress response, such as breeding status, food availability and rabbit density, were also considered. Model selection based on information theory showed that predator pressure was the main factor triggering the glucocorticoid release and that the physiological stress response was positively correlated with the indexes of the presence of mammalian carnivore predators. Other factors, such as food availability and density of rabbits, were considerably less important. We conclude that rabbits are able to assess their actual risk of predation and show a threat-sensitive physiological response.

  17. Interactions of bullfrog tadpole predators and an insecticide: Predation release and facilitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2003-01-01

    The effect of a contaminant on a community may not be easily predicted, given that complex changes in food resources and predator-prey dynamics may result. The objectives of our study were to determine the interactive effects of the insecticide carbaryl and predators on body size, development, survival, and activity of tadpoles of the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). We conducted the study in cattle tank mesocosm ponds exposed to 0, 3.5, or 7.0 mg/l carbaryl, and no predators or two red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), or crayfish (Orconectes sp.). Carbaryl negatively affected predator survival by eliminating crayfish from all ponds, and by eliminating bluegill sunfish from ponds exposed to the highest concentration of carbaryl; carbaryl exposure did not effect survival of red-spotted newts. Because crayfish were eliminated by carbaryl, bullfrogs were released from predation and survival was near that of predator controls at low concentrations of carbaryl exposure. High concentrations of carbaryl reduced tadpole survival regardless of whether predators survived carbaryl exposure or not. Presence of crayfish and newts reduced tadpole survival, while bluegill sunfish appeared to facilitate bullfrog tadpole survival. Presence of carbaryl stimulated bullfrog tadpole mass and development. Our study demonstrates that the presence of a contaminant stress can alter community regulation by releasing prey from predators that are vulnerable to contaminants in some exposure scenarios.

  18. Predator interference effects on biological control: The "paradox" of the generalist predator revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parshad, Rana D.; Bhowmick, Suman; Quansah, Emmanuel; Basheer, Aladeen; Upadhyay, Ranjit Kumar

    2016-10-01

    An interesting conundrum in biological control questions the efficiency of generalist predators as biological control agents. Theory suggests, generalist predators are poor agents for biological control, primarily due to mutual interference. However field evidence shows they are actually quite effective in regulating pest densities. In this work we provide a plausible answer to this paradox. We analyze a three species model, where a generalist top predator is introduced into an ecosystem as a biological control, to check the population of a middle predator, that in turn is depredating on a prey species. We show that the inclusion of predator interference alone, can cause the solution of the top predator equation to blow-up in finite time, while there is global existence in the no interference case. This result shows that interference could actually cause a population explosion of the top predator, enabling it to control the target species, thus corroborating recent field evidence. Our results might also partially explain the population explosion of certain species, introduced originally for biological control purposes, such as the cane toad (Bufo marinus) in Australia, which now functions as a generalist top predator. We also show both Turing instability and spatio-temporal chaos in the model. Lastly we investigate time delay effects.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Predator personality structures prey communities and trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Start, Denon; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2017-03-01

    Intraspecific variation is central to our understanding of evolution and population ecology, yet its consequences for community ecology are poorly understood. Animal personality - consistent individual differences in suites of behaviours - may be particularly important for trophic dynamics, where predator personality can determine activity rates and patterns of attack. We used mesocosms with aquatic food webs in which the top predator (dragonfly nymphs) varied in activity and subsequent attack rates on zooplankton, and tested the effects of predator personality. We found support for four hypotheses: (1) active predators disproportionately reduce the abundance of prey, (2) active predators select for predator-resistant prey species, (3) active predators strengthen trophic cascades (increase phytoplankton abundance) and (4) active predators are more likely to cannibalise one another, weakening all other trends when at high densities. These results suggest that intraspecific variation in predator personality is an important determinant of prey abundance, community composition and trophic cascades.

  1. Integrating biological invasions, climate change and phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Engel, Katharina; Tollrian, Ralph; Jeschke, Jonathan M

    2011-05-01

    Invasive species frequently change the ecosystems where they are introduced, e.g., by affecting species interactions and population densities of native species. We outline the connectedness of biological invasions, climate change and the phenomenon of phenotypic plasticity. Integrating these hot topics is important for understanding the biology of many species, their information transfer and general interactions with other organisms. One example where this is particularly true is the zooplankton species Daphnia lumholtzi, which has successfully invaded North America. The combination of a high thermal tolerance and a phenotypically plastic defense in D. lumholtzi might be responsible for its invasion success. Its morphological defense consists of rigid spines and is formed after sensory detecting the presence of native fish predators. The integration of biological invasions, climate change and phenotypic plasticity is an important goal for integrative biology.

  2. Predators target rare prey in coral reef fish assemblages.

    PubMed

    Almany, Glenn R; Peacock, Lisa F; Syms, Craig; McCormick, Mark I; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2007-07-01

    Predation can result in differing patterns of local prey diversity depending on whether predators are selective and, if so, how they select prey. A recent study comparing the diversity of juvenile fish assemblages among coral reefs with and without predators concluded that decreased prey diversity in the presence of predators was most likely caused by predators actively selecting rare prey species. We used several related laboratory experiments to explore this hypothesis by testing: (1) whether predators prefer particular prey species, (2) whether individual predators consistently select the same prey species, (3) whether predators target rare prey, and (4) whether rare prey are more vulnerable to predation because they differ in appearance/colouration from common prey. Rare prey suffered greater predation than expected and were not more vulnerable to predators because their appearance/colouration differed from common prey. Individual predators did not consistently select the same prey species through time, suggesting that prey selection behaviour was flexible and context dependent rather than fixed. Thus, selection of rare prey was unlikely to be explained by simple preferences for particular prey species. We hypothesize that when faced with multiple prey species predators may initially focus on rare, conspicuous species to overcome the sensory confusion experienced when attacking aggregated prey, thereby minimizing the time required to capture prey. This hypothesis represents a community-level manifestation of two well-documented and related phenomena, the "confusion effect" and the "oddity effect", and may be an important, and often overlooked, mechanism by which predators influence local species diversity.

  3. Introduced northern pike predation on salmonids in southcentral Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, Adam J.; Rutz, David S.; Ivey, Sam S.; Dunker, Kristine J.; Gross, Jackson A.

    2013-01-01

    Northern pike (Esox lucius) are opportunistic predators that can switch to alternative prey species after preferred prey have declined. This trophic adaptability allows invasive pike to have negative effects on aquatic food webs. In Southcentral Alaska, invasive pike are a substantial concern because they have spread to important spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids and are hypothesised to be responsible for recent salmonid declines. We described the relative importance of salmonids and other prey species to pike diets in the Deshka River and Alexander Creek in Southcentral Alaska. Salmonids were once abundant in both rivers, but they are now rare in Alexander Creek. In the Deshka River, we found that juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and coho salmon (O. kisutch) dominated pike diets and that small pike consumed more of these salmonids than large pike. In Alexander Creek, pike diets reflected the distribution of spawning salmonids, which decrease with distance upstream. Although salmonids dominated pike diets in the lowest reach of the stream, Arctic lamprey (Lampetra camtschatica) and slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) dominated pike diets in the middle and upper reaches. In both rivers, pike density did not influence diet and pike consumed smaller prey items than predicted by their gape-width. Our data suggest that (1) juvenile salmonids are a dominant prey item for pike, (2) small pike are the primary consumers of juvenile salmonids and (3) pike consume other native fish species when juvenile salmonids are less abundant. Implications of this trophic adaptability are that invasive pike can continue to increase while driving multiple species to low abundance.

  4. Importance of the predator's ecological neighborhood in modeling predation on migrating prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Petersen, James H.

    2001-01-01

    Most mathematical descriptions of predator-prey interactions fail to take into account the spatio-temporal structures of the populations, which can lead to errors or misinterpretations. For example, a compact pulse of prey migrating through a field of quasi-stationary predators may not be well described by standard predator-prey models, because the predators and prey are unlikely to be well mixed; that is, the prey may be exposed to only a fraction of the predator population at a time. This underscores the importance of properly accounting for the ecological neighborhood, or effective feeding range, of predators in models. We illustrate this situation with a series of models of salmon smolts migrating through a reservoir arrayed with predators. The reservoir is divided into a number of longitudinal compartments or spatial cells, the length of each cell representing the upstream-downstream range over which predators can forage. In this series of models a 100-km-long reservoir is divided, successively into 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 cells, with respective cell lengths of 50, 20, 10, 4, 2, 1, 0.5, and 0.25 km. We used a detailed individual-based simulation model at first, but to ensure robustness of results we supplemented this with a simple analytic model. Both models showed sharp differences in the predicted mortality to a compact pulse of smolt prey moving through the reservoir, depending on the number of spatial cells in the model. In particular, models with fewer than about 10 cells vastly overpredicted the amount of mortality due to predators with activity ranges of not more than a few kilometers. These results corroborate recent theoretical and simulation studies on the importance of spatial scale and behavior in modeling predator-prey dynamics.

  5. Predator-driven elemental cycling: the impact of predation and risk effects on ecosystem stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Leroux, Shawn J; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-11-01

    Empirical evidence is beginning to show that predators can be important drivers of elemental cycling within ecosystems by propagating indirect effects that determine the distribution of elements among trophic levels as well as determine the chemical content of organic matter that becomes decomposed by microbes. These indirect effects can be propagated by predator consumptive effects on prey, nonconsumptive (risk) effects, or a combination of both. Currently, there is insufficient theory to predict how such predator effects should propagate throughout ecosystems. We present here a theoretical framework for exploring predator effects on ecosystem elemental cycling to encourage further empirical quantification. We use a classic ecosystem trophic compartment model as a basis for our analyses but infuse principles from ecological stoichiometry into the analyses of elemental cycling. Using a combined analytical-numerical approach, we compare how predators affect cycling through consumptive effects in which they control the flux of nutrients up trophic chains; through risk effects in which they change the homeostatic elemental balance of herbivore prey which accordingly changes the element ratio herbivores select from plants; and through a combination of both effects. Our analysis reveals that predators can have quantitatively important effects on elemental cycling, relative to a model formalism that excludes predator effects. Furthermore, the feedbacks due to predator nonconsumptive effects often have the quantitatively strongest impact on whole ecosystem elemental stocks, production and efficiency rates, and recycling fluxes by changing the stoichiometric balance of all trophic levels. Our modeling framework predictably shows how bottom-up control by microbes and top-down control by predators on ecosystems become interdependent when top predator effects permeate ecosystems.

  6. Defensive behaviour of Apis mellifera against Vespa velutina in France: testing whether European honeybees can develop an effective collective defence against a new predator.

    PubMed

    Arca, Mariangela; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Mougel, Florence; Rortais, Agnès; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Tardy, Pascal; Thiéry, Denis; Silvain, Jean-François; Arnold, Gérard

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the prey-predator interactions between the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, which first invaded France in 2004 and thereafter spread to neighbouring European countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Our goal was to determine how successfully honeybees are able to defend their colonies against their new predator in Europe. Experiments were conducted in the southwest of France-the point of entry of the hornet in Europe-under natural and semi-controlled field conditions. We investigated a total of eight apiaries and 95 colonies subjected to either low or high levels of predation. We analyzed hornet predatory behaviour and collective response of colonies under attack. The results showed that A. mellifera in France exhibit an inefficient and unorganized defence against V. velutina, unlike in other regions of Europe and other areas around the globe where honeybees have co-evolved with their natural Vespa predators.

  7. Long-lasting, selective, anxiogenic effects of feline predator stress in mice.

    PubMed

    Adamec, Robert; Walling, Sue; Burton, Paul

    2004-12-15

    Lasting increases in anxiety-like behavior (ALB) are produced by brief exposure of rats to a cat [Adamec RE, Shallow T, Lasting effects on rodent anxiety of a single exposure to a cat, Physiol. Behav., 54 (1993) 101-109.]. Mice also respond defensively to natural predator stimuli. Moreover, chronic exposure of mice to rat odor has immediate anxiogenic effects in plus maze and lasting (7 days) and effects on acoustic startle. The present study examined the lasting (7 days) after effects on ALB of a brief unprotected exposure of male CFW mice to a cat. Lasting effects on ALB of exposure to the cat exposure room were also assessed. Effects on behavior were studied in the hole board and elevated plus-maze (EPM). An ethological analysis of behavior revealed that risk assessment in the EPM was increased the most in predator-stressed mice. Mice exposed to the cat exposure room showed increased risk assessment falling between controls and cat exposed mice. Behavior in the hole board was unaffected, as were most other behaviors in the plus maze. Factor analysis revealed independence of risk assessment from other measures of ALB, activity and exploration, consistent with findings in rats. Aspects of the stress experience were highly predictive of later response to the cat. Cat biting and pawing, mouse fleeing and mouse weight measured at the time of cat exposure together accounted for 71% of the variance of risk assessment in cat exposed mice. The significance of these findings for vulnerability to cat predator stress of mice and for the use of predator stress in mice as a model of aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are discussed.

  8. Resetting predator baselines in coral reef ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Darcy; Conklin, Eric; Papastamatiou, Yannis P.; McCauley, Douglas J.; Pollock, Kydd; Pollock, Amanda; Kendall, Bruce E.; Gaines, Steven D.; Caselle, Jennifer E.

    2017-01-01

    What did coral reef ecosystems look like before human impacts became pervasive? Early efforts to reconstruct baselines resulted in the controversial suggestion that pristine coral reefs have inverted trophic pyramids, with disproportionally large top predator biomass. The validity of the coral reef inverted trophic pyramid has been questioned, but until now, was not resolved empirically. We use data from an eight-year tag-recapture program with spatially explicit, capture-recapture models to re-examine the population size and density of a key top predator at Palmyra atoll, the same location that inspired the idea of inverted trophic biomass pyramids in coral reef ecosystems. Given that animal movement is suspected to have significantly biased early biomass estimates of highly mobile top predators, we focused our reassessment on the most mobile and most abundant predator at Palmyra, the grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos). We estimated a density of 21.3 (95% CI 17.8, 24.7) grey reef sharks/km2, which is an order of magnitude lower than the estimates that suggested an inverted trophic pyramid. Our results indicate that the trophic structure of an unexploited reef fish community is not inverted, and that even healthy top predator populations may be considerably smaller, and more precarious, than previously thought. PMID:28220895

  9. Resetting predator baselines in coral reef ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Darcy; Conklin, Eric; Papastamatiou, Yannis P; McCauley, Douglas J; Pollock, Kydd; Pollock, Amanda; Kendall, Bruce E; Gaines, Steven D; Caselle, Jennifer E

    2017-02-21

    What did coral reef ecosystems look like before human impacts became pervasive? Early efforts to reconstruct baselines resulted in the controversial suggestion that pristine coral reefs have inverted trophic pyramids, with disproportionally large top predator biomass. The validity of the coral reef inverted trophic pyramid has been questioned, but until now, was not resolved empirically. We use data from an eight-year tag-recapture program with spatially explicit, capture-recapture models to re-examine the population size and density of a key top predator at Palmyra atoll, the same location that inspired the idea of inverted trophic biomass pyramids in coral reef ecosystems. Given that animal movement is suspected to have significantly biased early biomass estimates of highly mobile top predators, we focused our reassessment on the most mobile and most abundant predator at Palmyra, the grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos). We estimated a density of 21.3 (95% CI 17.8, 24.7) grey reef sharks/km(2), which is an order of magnitude lower than the estimates that suggested an inverted trophic pyramid. Our results indicate that the trophic structure of an unexploited reef fish community is not inverted, and that even healthy top predator populations may be considerably smaller, and more precarious, than previously thought.

  10. Inducible defenses in prey intensify predator cannibalism.

    PubMed

    Kishida, Osamu; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Nishimura, Kinya; Ohgushi, Takayuki

    2009-11-01

    Trophic cascades are often a potent force in ecological communities, but abiotic and biotic heterogeneity can diffuse their influence. For example, inducible defenses in many species create variation in prey edibility, and size-structured interactions, such as cannibalism, can shift predator diets away from heterospecific prey. Although both factors diffuse cascade strength by adding heterogeneity to trophic interactions, the consequences of their interactioh remain poorly understood. We show that inducible defenses in tadpole prey greatly intensify cannibalism in predatory larval salamanders. The likelihood of cannibalism was also strongly influenced by asymmetries in salamander size that appear to be most important in the presence of defended prey. Hence, variation in prey edibility and the size structure of the predator may synergistically affect predator-prey population dynamics by reducing prey mortality and increasing predator mortality via cannibalism. We also suggest that the indirect effects of prey defenses may shape the evolution of predator traits that determine diet breadth and how trophic dynamics unfold in natural systems.

  11. Stability of a Prey-Predator Model with Behavior Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wendi

    2010-04-01

    A prey-predator system with hawk and dove behavior changes is studied, which allows the same time scale for population growth and individual behavior changes. Through stability analysis, we find that the four patterns in dynamical behaviors persist when the restriction is removed that the time scale of the behavior changes is much faster than that of population growth. The patterns include the bistability of an eqUilibrium of predator survival and an equilibrium of predator extinction, the coexistence of two stable equilibria of predator survival, a monostable equilibrium that describes the coexistence of prey and predators, and the extinction of predators for all positive initial values.

  12. Evidence of leopard predation on bonobos (Pan paniscus).

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Danielle E; Hohmann, Gottfried; Fruth, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    Current models of social organization assume that predation is one of the major forces that promotes group living in diurnal primates. As large body size renders some protection against predators, gregariousness of great apes and other large primate species is usually related to other parameters. The low frequency of observed cases of nonhuman predation on great apes seems to support this assumption. However, recent efforts to study potential predator species have increasingly accumulated direct and indirect evidence of predation by leopards (Panthera pardus) on chimpanzees and gorillas. The following report provides the first evidence of predation by a leopard on bonobos (Pan paniscus).

  13. Predators exert top-down control of soybean aphid across a gradient of agricultural management systems.

    PubMed

    Costamagna, Alejandro C; Landis, Douglas A

    2006-08-01

    The discovery of soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matusumura, in North America in 2000 provided the opportunity to investigate the relative strength of top-down and bottom-up forces in regulating populations of this new invasive herbivore. At the Kellogg Biological Station Long Term Ecological Research site in agroecology, we contrasted A. glycines establishment and population growth under three agricultural production systems that differed markedly in disturbance and fertility regimes. Agricultural treatments consisted of a conventional-tillage high-input system, a no-tillage high-input system, and a zero-chemical-input system under conventional tillage. By selectively restricting or allowing predator access we simultaneously determined aphid response to top-down and bottom-up influences. Irrespective of predator exclusion, our agricultural manipulations did not result in bottom-up control of A. glycines intrinsic rate of increase or realized population growth. In contrast, we observed strong evidence for top-down control of A. glycines establishment and overall population growth in all production systems. Abundant predators, including Harmonia axyridis, Coccinella septempunctata, Orius insidiosus, and various predaceous fly larvae, significantly reduced A. glycines establishment and population increase in all trials. In contrast to other systems in which bottom-up forces control herbivore populations, we conclude that A. glycines is primarily controlled via top-down influences of generalist predators under a wide range of agricultural management systems. Understanding the role of top-down and bottom-up forces in this context allows agricultural managers to focus on effective strategies for control of this invasive pest.

  14. Intraguild relationships between sympatric predators exposed to lethal control: predator manipulation experiments

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Terrestrial top-predators are expected to regulate and stabilise food webs through their consumptive and non-consumptive effects on sympatric mesopredators and prey. The lethal control of top-predators has therefore been predicted to inhibit top-predator function, generate the release of mesopredators and indirectly harm native fauna through trophic cascade effects. Understanding the outcomes of lethal control on interactions within terrestrial predator guilds is important for zoologists, conservation biologists and wildlife managers. However, few studies have the capacity to test these predictions experimentally, and no such studies have previously been conducted on the eclectic suite of native and exotic, mammalian and reptilian taxa we simultaneously assess. We conducted a series of landscape-scale, multi-year, manipulative experiments at nine sites spanning five ecosystem types across the Australian continental rangelands to investigate the responses of mesopredators (red foxes, feral cats and goannas) to contemporary poison-baiting programs intended to control top-predators (dingoes) for livestock protection. Result Short-term behavioural releases of mesopredators were not apparent, and in almost all cases, the three mesopredators we assessed were in similar or greater abundance in unbaited areas relative to baited areas, with mesopredator abundance trends typically either uncorrelated or positively correlated with top-predator abundance trends over time. The exotic mammals and native reptile we assessed responded similarly (poorly) to top-predator population manipulation. This is because poison baits were taken by multiple target and non-target predators and top-predator populations quickly recovered to pre-control levels, thus reducing the overall impact of baiting on top-predators and averting a trophic cascade. Conclusions These results are in accord with other predator manipulation experiments conducted worldwide, and suggest that Australian

  15. Ultimate Predators: Lionfish Have Evolved to Circumvent Prey Risk Assessment Abilities

    PubMed Central

    Lönnstedt, Oona M.; McCormick, Mark I.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species cause catastrophic alterations to communities worldwide by changing the trophic balance within ecosystems. Ever since their introduction in the mid 1980's common red lionfish, Pterois volitans, are having dramatic impacts on the Caribbean ecosystem by displacing native species and disrupting food webs. Introduced lionfish capture prey at extraordinary rates, altering the composition of benthic communities. Here we demonstrate that the extraordinary success of the introduced lionfish lies in its capacity to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities as it is virtually undetectable by prey species in its native range. While experienced prey damselfish, Chromis viridis, respond with typical antipredator behaviours when exposed to a common predatory rock cod (Cephalopholis microprion) they fail to visibly react to either the scent or visual presentation of the red lionfish, and responded only to the scent (not the visual cue) of a lionfish of a different genus, Dendrochirus zebra. Experienced prey also had much higher survival when exposed to the two non-invasive predators compared to P. volitans. The cryptic nature of the red lionfish has enabled it to be destructive as a predator and a highly successful invasive species. PMID:24146775

  16. Ultimate predators: lionfish have evolved to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities.

    PubMed

    Lönnstedt, Oona M; McCormick, Mark I

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species cause catastrophic alterations to communities worldwide by changing the trophic balance within ecosystems. Ever since their introduction in the mid 1980's common red lionfish, Pterois volitans, are having dramatic impacts on the Caribbean ecosystem by displacing native species and disrupting food webs. Introduced lionfish capture prey at extraordinary rates, altering the composition of benthic communities. Here we demonstrate that the extraordinary success of the introduced lionfish lies in its capacity to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities as it is virtually undetectable by prey species in its native range. While experienced prey damselfish, Chromis viridis, respond with typical antipredator behaviours when exposed to a common predatory rock cod (Cephalopholis microprion) they fail to visibly react to either the scent or visual presentation of the red lionfish, and responded only to the scent (not the visual cue) of a lionfish of a different genus, Dendrochirus zebra. Experienced prey also had much higher survival when exposed to the two non-invasive predators compared to P. volitans. The cryptic nature of the red lionfish has enabled it to be destructive as a predator and a highly successful invasive species.

  17. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-05

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

  18. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Histopathology of Incontinence-Associated Skin Lesions: Inner Tissue Damage Due to Invasion of Proteolytic Enzymes and Bacteria in Macerated Rat Skin

    PubMed Central

    Mugita, Yuko; Minematsu, Takeo; Huang, Lijuan; Nakagami, Gojiro; Kishi, Chihiro; Ichikawa, Yoshie; Nagase, Takashi; Oe, Makoto; Noguchi, Hiroshi; Mori, Taketoshi; Abe, Masatoshi; Sugama, Junko; Sanada, Hiromi

    2015-01-01

    A common complication in patients with incontinence is perineal skin lesions, which are recognized as a form of dermatitis. In these patients, perineal skin is exposed to digestive enzymes and intestinal bacterial flora, as well as excessive water. The relative contributions of digestive enzymes and intestinal bacterial flora to skin lesion formation have not been fully shown. This study was conducted to reveal the process of histopathological changes caused by proteases and bacterial inoculation in skin maceration. For skin maceration, agarose gel containing proteases was applied to the dorsal skin of male Sprague-Dawley rats for 4 h, followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa inoculation for 30 min. Macroscopic changes, histological changes, bacterial distribution, inflammatory response, and keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation were examined. Proteases induced digestion in the prickle cell layer of the epidermis, and slight bleeding in the papillary dermis and around hair follicles in the macerated skin without macroscopic evidence of erosion. Bacterial inoculation of the skin macerated by proteolytic solution resulted in the formation of bacteria-rich clusters comprising numerous microorganisms and inflammatory cells within the papillary dermis, with remarkable tissue damage around the clusters. Tissue damage expanded by day 2. On day 3, the proliferative keratinocyte layer was elongated from the bulge region of the hair follicles. Application of proteases and P. aeruginosa induced skin lesion formation internally without macroscopic erosion of the overhydrated area, suggesting that the histopathology might be different from regular dermatitis. The healing process of this lesion is similar to transepidermal elimination. PMID:26407180

  1. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R. Michael; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Manly, B.F.

    2004-01-01

    Nesting success of Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis) has declined greatly since a major earthquake affected southern Alaska in 1964. To identify nest predators, we collected predation data at goose nests and photographs of predators at natural nests containing artificial eggs in 1997-2000. To document feeding behavior by nest predators, we compiled the evidence from destroyed nests with known predators on our study site and from previous studies. We constructed a profile for each predator group and compared the evidence from 895 nests with unknown predators to our predator profiles using mixture-model analysis. This analysis indicated that 72% of destroyed nests were depredated by Bald Eagles and 13% by brown bears, and also yielded the probability that each nest was correctly assigned to a predator group based on model fit. Model testing using simulations indicated that the proportion estimated for eagle predation was unbiased and the proportion for bear predation was slightly overestimated. This approach may have application whenever there are adequate data on nests destroyed by known predators and predators exhibit different feeding behavior at nests.

  2. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, E.M.; Esler, Daniel; Boyd, W.S.; Evenson, J.R.; Nysewander, D.R.; Ward, D.H.; Dickson, R.D.; Uher-Koch, B. D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, J.W.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (???0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  3. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for Scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Eric J.; Esler, Daniel N.; Sean, Boyd W.; Evenson, Joseph; Nysewander, David R.; Ward, David H.; Dickson, Rian D.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, Jerry

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (≤ 0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  4. Tadpoles balance foraging and predator avoidance: Effects of predation, pond drying, and hunger

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.

    2002-01-01

    Organisms are predicted to make trade-offs when foraging and predator avoidance behaviors present conflicting demands. Balancing conflicting demands is important to larval amphibians because adult fitness can be strongly influenced by size at metamorphosis and duration of the larval period. Larvae in temporary ponds must maximize growth within a short time period to achieve metamorphosis before ponds dry, while simultaneously avoiding predators. To determine whether tadpoles trade off between conflicting demands, I examined tadpole (Pseudacris triseriata) activity and microhabitat use in the presence of red-spotted newts (Notopthalmus viridescens) under varying conditions of pond drying and hunger. Tadpoles significantly decreased activity and increased refuge use when predators were present. The proportion of active time tadpoles spent feeding was significantly greater in predator treatments, suggesting tadpoles adaptively balance the conflicting demands of foraging and predator avoidance without making apparent trade-offs. Tadpoles responded to simulated drying conditions by accelerating development. Pond drying did not modify microhabitat use or activity in the presence of predators, suggesting tadpoles perceived predation and hunger as greater immediate threats than desiccation, and did not take more risks.

  5. The impact of parasite manipulation and predator foraging behavior on predator-prey communities.

    PubMed

    Fenton, A; Rands, S A

    2006-11-01

    Parasites are known to directly affect their hosts at both the individual and population level. However, little is known about their more subtle, indirect effects and how these may affect population and community dynamics. In particular, trophically transmitted parasites may manipulate the behavior of intermediate hosts, fundamentally altering the pattern of contact between these individuals and their predators. Here, we develop a suite of population dynamic models to explore the impact of such behavioral modifications on the dynamics and structure of the predator-prey community. We show that, although such manipulations do not directly affect the persistence of the predator and prey populations, they can greatly alter the quantitative dynamics of the community, potentially resulting in high amplitude oscillations in abundance. We show that the precise impact of host manipulation depends greatly on the predator's functional response, which describes the predator's foraging efficiency under changing prey availabilities. Even if the parasite is rarely observed within the prey population, such manipulations extend beyond the direct impact on the intermediate host to affect the foraging success of the predator, with profound implications for the structure and stability of the predator-prey community.

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

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Unidirectional prey-predator facilitation: apparent prey enhance predators' foraging success on cryptic prey.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yixin; Richardson, John S

    2007-06-22

    Food availability can strongly affect predator-prey dynamics. When change in habitat condition reduces the availability of one prey type, predators often search for other prey, perhaps in a different habitat. Interactions between behavioural and morphological traits of different prey may influence foraging success of visual predators through trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs), such as prey activity and body coloration. We tested the hypothesis that foraging success of stream-dwelling cutthroat trout (Onchorhyncus clarki) on cryptically coloured, less-active benthic prey (larval mayfly; Paraleptophebia sp.) can be enhanced by the presence of distinctly coloured, active prey (larval stonefly shredder; Despaxia augusta). Cutthroat trout preyed on benthic insects when drifting invertebrates were unavailable. When stonefly larvae were present, the trout ate most of the stoneflies and also consumed a higher proportion of mayflies than under mayfly only treatment. The putative mechanism is that active stonefly larvae supplied visual cues to the predator that alerted trout to the mayfly larvae. Foraging success of visual predators on cryptic prey can be enhanced by distinctly coloured, active benthic taxa through unidirectional facilitation to the predators, which is a functional change of interspecific interaction caused by a third species. This study suggests that prey-predator facilitation through TMIIs can modify species interactions, affecting community dynamics.

  8. Parametric analysis of a predator-prey system stabilized by a top predator.

    PubMed

    Morozov, Andrew Y; Li, Bai-Lian

    2006-08-01

    We present a complete parametric analysis of a predator-prey system influenced by a top predator. We study ecosystems with abundant nutrient supply for the prey where the prey multiplication can be considered as proportional to its density. The main questions we examine are the following: (1) Can the top predator stabilize such a system at low densities of prey? (2) What possible dynamic behaviors can occur? (3) Under which conditions can the top predation result in the system stabilization? We use a system of two nonlinear ordinary differential equations with the density of the top predator as a parameter. The model is investigated with methods of qualitative theory of ODEs and the theory of bifurcations. The existence of 12 qualitatively different types of dynamics and complex structure of the parametric space are demonstrated. Our studies of phase portraits and parametric diagrams show that a top predator can be an important factor leading to stabilization of the predator-prey system with abundant nutrient supply. Although the model here is applied to the plankton communities with fish (or carnivorous zooplankton) as the top trophic level, the general form of the equations allows applications of our results to other ecological systems.

  9. Top predators as biodiversity regulators: the dingo Canis lupus dingo as a case study.

    PubMed

    Letnic, Mike; Ritchie, Euan G; Dickman, Christopher R

    2012-05-01

    Top-order predators often have positive effects on biological diversity owing to their key functional roles in regulating trophic cascades and other ecological processes. Their loss has been identified as a major factor contributing to the decline of biodiversity in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Consequently, restoring and maintaining the ecological function of top predators is a critical global imperative. Here we review studies of the ecological effects of the dingo Canis lupus dingo, Australia's largest land predator, using this as a case study to explore the influence of a top predator on biodiversity at a continental scale. The dingo was introduced to Australia by people at least 3500 years ago and has an ambiguous status owing to its brief history on the continent, its adverse impacts on livestock production and its role as an ecosystem architect. A large body of research now indicates that dingoes regulate ecological cascades, particularly in arid Australia, and that the removal of dingoes results in an increase in the abundances and impacts of herbivores and invasive mesopredators, most notably the red fox Vulpes vulpes. The loss of dingoes has been linked to widespread losses of small and medium-sized native mammals, the depletion of plant biomass due to the effects of irrupting herbivore populations and increased predation rates by red foxes. We outline a suite of conceptual models to describe the effects of dingoes on vertebrate populations across different Australian environments. Finally, we discuss key issues that require consideration or warrant research before the ecological effects of dingoes can be incorporated formally into biodiversity conservation programs.

  10. Does predation contribute to tree diversity?

    PubMed

    Beckage, Brian; Clark, James S

    2005-04-01

    Seed and seedling predation may differentially affect competitively superior tree species to increase the relative recruitment success of poor competitors and contribute to the coexistence of tree species. We examined the effect of seed and seedling predation on the seedling recruitment of three tree species, Acer rubrum (red maple), Liriodendron tulipifera (yellow poplar), and Quercus rubra (northern red oak), over three years by manipulating seed and seedling exposure to predators under contrasting microsite conditions of shrub cover, leaf litter, and overstory canopy. Species rankings of seedling emergence were constant across microsites, regardless of exposure to seed predators, but varied across years. A. rubrum had the highest emergence probabilities across microsites in 1997, but Q. rubra had the highest emergence probabilities in 1999. Predators decreased seedling survival uniformly across species, but did not affect relative growth rates (RGRs). Q. rubra had the highest seedling survivorship across microsites, while L. tulipifera had the highest RGRs. Our results suggest that annual variability in recruitment success contributes more to seedling diversity than differential predation across microsites. We synthesized our results from separate seedling emergence and survival experiments to project seedling bank composition. With equal fecundity assumed across species, Q. rubra dominated the seedling bank, capturing 90% of the regeneration sites on average, followed by A. rubrum (8% of sites) and L. tulipifera (2% of sites). When seed abundance was weighted by species-specific fecundity, seedling bank composition was more diverse; L. tulipifera captured 62% of the regeneration sites, followed by A. rubrum (21% of sites) and Q. rubra (17% of sites). Tradeoffs between seedling performance and fecundity may promote the diversity of seedling regeneration by increasing the probability of inferior competitors capturing regeneration sites.

  11. Nest predation and maternal care in the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) at Lake St Lucia, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Combrink, Xander; Warner, Jonathan K; Downs, Colleen T

    2016-12-01

    Information regarding nest predation, nest abandonment, and maternal care in the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is largely restricted to anecdotal observations, and has not been studied quantitatively. Consequently, we investigated their nesting biology using camera-traps over four years at Lake St Lucia, South Africa. We obtained 4305 photographs (daylight captures=90.1%, nocturnal=9.9%) of 19 nest-guarding females. Of 19 monitored nests, 37% were raided by predators (mean=12.1±6.2days subsequent to camera placement). All females returned to their nests following first predation, and on average returned three times between predator raids before nest abandonment. Water monitors (Varanus niloticus) and marsh mongoose (Atilax paludinosus) were the main egg predators. Nesting raids lasted 5.9±1.6days. Diurnally females were seldom on the nest, except during cool/cloudy weather or rain, preferring to guard from nearby shade. Females defended nests aggressively against non-human intruders. Five Nile crocodile females were observed liberating their hatchlings from nests. A detailed sequence of a mother excavating and transporting hatchlings revealed 13 excursions between nest and water over 32.5h. This, after months of continual nest attendance and defence, is illustrative of the high level of maternal care in Nile crocodiles. Camera-trapping is an effective, non-invasive method for further crocodile nesting behaviour research.

  12. Behavioural response of adult sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) to predator and conspecific alarm cues: evidence of additive effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Di Rocco, Richard T.; Imre, Istvan; Johnson, Nicholas; Brown, Grant B

    2016-01-01

    Sea lampreys Petromyzon marinus, an invasive pest in the Upper Great Lakes, avoid odours that represent danger in their habitat. These odours include conspecific alarm cues and predator cues, like 2-phenylethylamine hydrochloride (PEA HCl), which is found in the urine of mammalian predators. Whether conspecific alarm cues and predator cues function additively or synergistically when mixed together is unknown. The objectives of this experimental study were to determine if the avoidance response of sea lamprey to PEA HCl is proportional to the concentration delivered, and if the avoidance response to the combination of a predator cue (PEA HCl) and sea lamprey alarm cue is additive. To accomplish the first objective, groups of ten sea lampreys were placed in an artificial stream channel and presented with stepwise concentrations of PEA HCl ranging from 5 × 10−8 to 5 × 10−10 M and a deionized water control. Sea lampreys exhibited an increase in their avoidance behaviour in response to increasing concentrations of PEA HCl. To accomplish the second objective, sea lampreys were exposed to PEA HCl, conspecific alarm cue and a combination of the two. Sea lampreys responded to the combination of predator cue and conspecific alarm cue in an additive manner.

  13. Warming increases chlorpyrifos effects on predator but not anti-predator behaviours.

    PubMed

    Dinh Van, Khuong; Janssens, Lizanne; Debecker, Sara; Stoks, Robby

    2014-07-01

    Recent insights indicate that negative effects of pesticides on aquatic biota occur at concentrations that current legislation considers environmentally protective. We here address two, potentially interacting, mechanisms that may contribute to the underestimation of the impact of sublethal pesticide effects in single species tests at room temperature: the impairment of predator and antipredator behaviours and the stronger impact of organophosphate pesticides at higher temperatures. To address these issues we assessed the effects of chlorpyrifos on the predator and antipredator behaviours of larvae of the damselfly Ischnura elegans, important intermediate predators in aquatic food webs, in a common-garden warming experiment with replicated low- and high-latitude populations along the latitudinal gradient of this species in Europe. Chlorpyrifos reduced the levels of predator behavioural endpoints, and this reduction was stronger at the higher temperature for head orientations and feeding strikes. Chlorpyrifos also impaired two key antipredator behavioural endpoints, activity reductions in response to predator cues were smaller in the presence of chlorpyrifos, and chlorpyrifos caused a lower escape swimming speed; these effects were independent of temperature. This suggests chlorpyrifos may impact food web interactions by changing predator-prey interactions both with higher (predators) and lower trophic levels (food). Given that only the interaction with the lower trophic level was more impaired at higher temperatures, the overall pesticide-induced changes in food web dynamics may be strongly temperature-dependent. These findings were consistent in damselflies from low- and high-latitude populations, illustrating that thermal adaptation will not mitigate the increased toxicity of pesticides at higher temperatures. Our study not only underscores the relevance of including temperature and prey-predator interactions in ecological risk assessment but also their potential

  14. Re-examining the relationship between invasive lionfish and native grouper in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Valdivia, Abel; Bruno, John F; Cox, Courtney E; Hackerott, Serena; Green, Stephanie J

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the idea that native species negatively affect the invasion success of introduced species, but whether this can occur at large spatial scales is poorly understood. Here we re-evaluated the hypothesis that native large-bodied grouper and other predators are controlling the abundance of exotic lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Caribbean coral reefs. We assessed the relationship between the biomass of lionfish and native predators at 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions while taking into consideration several cofactors that may affect fish abundance, including among others, proxies for fishing pressure and habitat structural complexity. Our results indicate that the abundance of lionfish, large-bodied grouper and other predators were not negatively related. Lionfish abundance was instead controlled by several physical site characteristics, and possibly by culling. Taken together, our results suggest that managers cannot rely on current native grouper populations to control the lionfish invasion.

  15. Re-examining the relationship between invasive lionfish and native grouper in the Caribbean

    PubMed Central

    Bruno, John F.; Cox, Courtney E.; Hackerott, Serena; Green, Stephanie J.

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is the idea that native species negatively affect the invasion success of introduced species, but whether this can occur at large spatial scales is poorly understood. Here we re-evaluated the hypothesis that native large-bodied grouper and other predators are controlling the abundance of exotic lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) on Caribbean coral reefs. We assessed the relationship between the biomass of lionfish and native predators at 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions while taking into consideration several cofactors that may affect fish abundance, including among others, proxies for fishing pressure and habitat structural complexity. Our results indicate that the abundance of lionfish, large-bodied grouper and other predators were not negatively related. Lionfish abundance was instead controlled by several physical site characteristics, and possibly by culling. Taken together, our results suggest that managers cannot rely on current native grouper populations to control the lionfish invasion. PMID:24765582

  16. Ecological immunization: in situ training of free-ranging predatory lizards reduces their vulnerability to invasive toxic prey

    PubMed Central

    Ward-Fear, G.; Pearson, D. J.; Brown, G. P.; Rangers, Balanggarra; Shine, R.

    2016-01-01

    In Australia, large native predators are fatally poisoned when they ingest invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina). As a result, the spread of cane toads has caused catastrophic population declines in these predators. Immediately prior to the arrival of toads at a floodplain in the Kimberley region, we induced conditioned taste aversion in free-ranging varanid lizards (Varanus panoptes), by offering them small cane toads. By the end of the 18-month study, only one of 31 untrained lizards had survived longer than 110 days, compared to more than half (nine of 16) of trained lizards; the maximum known survival of a trained lizard in the presence of toads was 482 days. In situ aversion training (releasing small toads in advance of the main invasion front) offers a logistically simple and feasible way to buffer the impact of invasive toads on apex predators. PMID:26740565

  17. Ecological immunization: in situ training of free-ranging predatory lizards reduces their vulnerability to invasive toxic prey.

    PubMed

    Ward-Fear, G; Pearson, D J; Brown, G P; Rangers, Balanggarra; Shine, R

    2016-01-01

    In Australia, large native predators are fatally poisoned when they ingest invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina). As a result, the spread of cane toads has caused catastrophic population declines in these predators. Immediately prior to the arrival of toads at a floodplain in the Kimberley region, we induced conditioned taste aversion in free-ranging varanid lizards (Varanus panoptes), by offering them small cane toads. By the end of the 18-month study, only one of 31 untrained lizards had survived longer than 110 days, compared to more than half (nine of 16) of trained lizards; the maximum known survival of a trained lizard in the presence of toads was 482 days. In situ aversion training (releasing small toads in advance of the main invasion front) offers a logistically simple and feasible way to buffer the impact of invasive toads on apex predators.

  18. Invader danger: lizards faced with novel predators exhibit an altered behavioral response to stress.

    PubMed

    Trompeter, Whitney P; Langkilde, Tracy

    2011-07-01

    Animals respond to stressors by producing glucocorticoid stress hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT). CORT acts too slowly to trigger immediate behavioral responses to a threat, but can change longer-term behavior, facilitating an individual's survival to subsequent threats. To be adaptive, the nature of an animal's behavior following elevated CORT levels should be matched to the predominant threats that they face. Seeking refuge following a stressful encounter could be beneficial if the predominant predator is a visual hunter, but may prove detrimental when the predominant predator is able to enter these refuge sites. As a result, an individual's behavior when their CORT levels are high may differ among populations of a single species. Invasive species impose novel pressures on native populations, which may select for a shift in their behavior when CORT levels are high. We tested whether the presence of predatory invasive fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) at a site affects the behavioral response of native eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) to elevated CORT levels. Lizards from an uninvaded site were more likely to hide when their CORT levels were experimentally elevated; a response that likely provides a survival advantage for lizards faced with native predatory threats (e.g. birds and snakes). Lizards from a fire ant invaded site showed the opposite response; spending more time moving and up on the basking log when their CORT levels were elevated. Use of the basking log likely reflects a refuge-seeking behavior, rather than thermoregulatory activity, as selected body temperatures were not affected by CORT. Fleeing off the ground may prove more effective than hiding for lizards that regularly encounter small, terrestrially-foraging fire ant predators. This study suggests that invasive species may alter the relationship between the physiological and behavioral stress response of native species.

  19. Are local filters blind to provenance? Ant seed predation suppresses exotic plants more than natives.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Icasatti, Nadia S; Hierro, Jose L; Bird, Benjamin J

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species' origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species' traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species' origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific plant densities not commonly seen in native assemblages, suggesting that exotic species may respond to community filters differently than natives. Here, we tested whether exotic and native species differed in their responses to a local community filter by examining how ant seed predation affected recruitment of eighteen native and exotic plant species in central Argentina. Ant seed predation proved to be an important local filter that strongly suppressed plant recruitment, but ants suppressed exotic recruitment far more than natives (89% of exotic species vs. 22% of natives). Seed size predicted ant impacts on recruitment independent of origins, with ant preference for smaller seeds resulting in smaller seeded plant species being heavily suppressed. The disproportionate effects of provenance arose because exotics had generally smaller seeds than natives. Exotics also exhibited greater emergence and earlier peak emergence than natives in the absence of ants. However, when ants had access to seeds, these potential advantages of exotics were negated due to the filtering bias against exotics. The differences in traits we observed between exotics and natives suggest that higher-order introduction filters or regional processes preselected for certain exotic traits that then interacted with the local seed predation filter. Our results suggest that the interactions between local filters and species traits can predict invasion outcomes, but understanding the role of provenance will require quantifying filtering processes at multiple hierarchical scales and evaluating interactions between filters.

  20. Dissection of a single rat muscle-tendon complex changes joint moments exerted by neighboring muscles: implications for invasive surgical interventions.

    PubMed

    Maas, Huub; Baan, Guus C; Huijing, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to investigate mechanical functioning of a single skeletal muscle, active within a group of (previously) synergistic muscles. For this purpose, we assessed wrist angle-active moment characteristics exerted by a group of wrist flexion muscles in the rat for three conditions: (i) after resection of the upper arm skin; (ii) after subsequent distal tenotomy of flexor carpi ulnaris muscle (FCU); and (iii) after subsequent freeing of FCU distal tendon and muscle belly from surrounding tissues (MT dissection). Measurements were performed for a control group and for an experimental group after recovery (5 weeks) from tendon transfer of FCU to extensor carpi radialis (ECR) insertion. To assess if FCU tenotomy and MT dissection affects FCU contributions to wrist moments exclusively or also those of neighboring wrist flexion muscles, these data were compared to wrist angle-moment characteristics of selectively activated FCU. FCU tenotomy and MT dissection decreased wrist moments of the control group at all wrist angles tested, including also angles for which no or minimal wrist moments were measured when activating FCU exclusively. For the tendon transfer group, wrist flexion moment increased after FCU tenotomy, but to a greater extent than can be expected based on wrist extension moments exerted by selectively excited transferred FCU. We conclude that dissection of a single muscle in any surgical treatment does not only affect mechanical characteristics of the target muscle, but also those of other muscles within the same compartment. Our results demonstrate also that even after agonistic-to-antagonistic tendon transfer, mechanical interactions with previously synergistic muscles do remain present.

  1. Ectoparasitic mite and fungus on an invasive lady beetle: parasite coexistence and influence on host survival

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harmonia axyridis is an invasive generalist predator originating in Asia, but now distributed in North and South America, Europe and southern Africa. The naturally occurring enemies (parasites, pathogens, parasitoids) that attack H. axyridis are not well-known. A parasitic mite, Coccipolipus hippoda...

  2. Prey-predator communication: for your sensors only.

    PubMed

    Page, Rachel A

    2007-11-20

    Prey have evolved myriad strategies to escape predation. Ground squirrels tailor their defensive signals to the predator at hand and use infrared warning signals in response to heat-sensitive rattlesnakes.

  3. Effects of spatial grouping on the functional response of predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cosner, C.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Ault, J.S.; Olson, D.B.

    1999-01-01

    A unified mechanistic approach is given for the derivation of various forms of functional response in predator-prey models. The derivation is based on the principle-of-mass action but with the crucial refinement that the nature of the spatial distribution of predators and/or opportunities for predation are taken into account in an implicit way. If the predators are assumed to have a homogeneous spatial distribution, then the derived functional response is prey-dependent. If the predators are assumed to form a dense colony or school in a single (possibly moving) location, or if the region where predators can encounter prey is assumed to be of limited size, then the functional response depends on both predator and prey densities in a manner that reflects feeding interference between predators. Depending on the specific assumptions, the resulting functional response may be of Beddington-DeAngelis type, of Hassell-Varley type, or ratio-dependent.

  4. Local and landscape drivers of predation services in urban gardens.

    PubMed

    Philpott, Stacy M; Bichier, Peter

    2017-01-13

    In agroecosystems, local and landscape features, as well as natural enemy abundance and richness, are significant predictors of predation services that may result in biological control of pests. Despite the increasing importance of urban gardening for provisioning of food to urban populations, most urban gardeners suffer from high pest problems, and have little knowledge about how to manage their plots to increase biological control services. We examined the influence of local, garden scale (i.e., herbaceous and arboreal vegetation abundance and diversity, ground cover) and landscape (i.e., landscape diversity and surrounding land use types) characteristics on predation services provided by naturally occurring predators in 19 urban gardens in the California central coast. We introduced sentinel pests (moth eggs and larvae and pea aphids) onto greenhouse-raised plants taken to gardens and assigned to open or bagged (predator exclosure) treatments. We found high predation rates with between 40% and 90% of prey items removed in open treatments. Predation services varied with local and landscape factors, but significant predictors differed by prey species. Predation of eggs and aphids increased with vegetation complexity in gardens, but larvae predation declined with vegetation complexity. Smaller gardens experienced higher predation services, likely due to increases in predator abundance in smaller gardens. Several ground cover features influenced predation services. In contrast to patterns in rural agricultural landscapes, predation on aphids declined with increases in landscape diversity. In sum, we report the relationships between several local management factors, as well as landscape surroundings, and implications for garden management.

  5. Episodic disturbance events modify predator prey interactions in soft sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksson, S. P.; Wennhage, H.; Norkko, J.; Norkko, A.

    2005-08-01

    Physical disturbance events are common in shallow soft-sediment habitats and can have significant effects on predator-prey interactions. While several studies have reported on predator aggregations following disturbance events, few studies have investigated the mechanisms and interactive effects of predation and physical disturbance on prey survival in shallow soft-sediment habitats. In this study the interactive effects of sediment resuspension and predation by two contrasting epibenthic predator species were tested on the survival of the amphipod Corophium volutator in a laboratory experiment. The shrimp Crangon crangon and juvenile plaice Pleuronectes platessa were used as predators, both numerical dominants in shallow soft sediments on the Swedish west coast. In addition we quantified epibenthic predator aggregation in the field following small-scale disturbances. In the laboratory, synergistic negative effects of predation and non-lethal disturbance on Corophium survival were found with both predator species, and rapid aggregation of several mobile epibenthic predator species following disturbance was demonstrated in the field. Abundances of C. crangon, the numerically dominant predator in the field, were doubled in disturbed patches within 2 min following disturbance. Our study emphasises the importance of considering episodic small-scale disturbances when interpreting predation effects and trophic interactions in shallow soft-sediment systems.

  6. Predator personality and prey behavioural predictability jointly determine foraging performance.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Chen; Teo, Huey Yee; Norma-Rashid, Y; Li, Daiqin

    2017-01-17

    Predator-prey interactions play important roles in ecological communities. Personality, consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour, of predators, prey or both are known to influence inter-specific interactions. An individual may also behave differently under the same situation and the level of such variability may differ between individuals. Such intra-individual variability (IIV) or predictability may be a trait on which selection can also act. A few studies have revealed the joint effect of personality types of both predators and prey on predator foraging performance. However, how personality type and IIV of both predators and prey jointly influence predator foraging performance remains untested empirically. Here, we addressed this using a specialized spider-eating jumping spider, Portia labiata (Salticidae), as the predator, and a jumping spider, Cosmophasis umbratica, as the prey. We examined personality types and IIVs of both P. labiata and C. umbratica and used their inter- and intra-individual behavioural variation as predictors of foraging performance (i.e., number of attempts to capture prey). Personality type and predictability had a joint effect on predator foraging performance. Aggressive predators performed better in capturing unpredictable (high IIV) prey than predictable (low IIV) prey, while docile predators demonstrated better performance when encountering predictable prey. This study highlights the importance of the joint effect of both predator and prey personality types and IIVs on predator-prey interactions.

  7. Predator personality and prey behavioural predictability jointly determine foraging performance

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chia-chen; Teo, Huey Yee; Norma-Rashid, Y.; Li, Daiqin

    2017-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions play important roles in ecological communities. Personality, consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour, of predators, prey or both are known to influence inter-specific interactions. An individual may also behave differently under the same situation and the level of such variability may differ between individuals. Such intra-individual variability (IIV) or predictability may be a trait on which selection can also act. A few studies have revealed the joint effect of personality types of both predators and prey on predator foraging performance. However, how personality type and IIV of both predators and prey jointly influence predator foraging performance remains untested empirically. Here, we addressed this using a specialized spider-eating jumping spider, Portia labiata (Salticidae), as the predator, and a jumping spider, Cosmophasis umbratica, as the prey. We examined personality types and IIVs of both P. labiata and C. umbratica and used their inter- and intra-individual behavioural variation as predictors of foraging performance (i.e., number of attempts to capture prey). Personality type and predictability had a joint effect on predator foraging performance. Aggressive predators performed better in capturing unpredictable (high IIV) prey than predictable (low IIV) prey, while docile predators demonstrated better performance when encountering predictable prey. This study highlights the importance of the joint effect of both predator and prey personality types and IIVs on predator-prey interactions. PMID:28094288

  8. Turing instabilities in prey-predator systems with dormancy of predators.

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, Masataka

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we study the stationary and oscillatory Turing instabilities of a homogeneous equilibrium in prey-predator reaction-diffusion systems with dormant phase of predators. We propose a simple criterion which is useful in classifying these Turing instabilities. Moreover, numerical simulations reveal transient spatio-temporal complex patterns which are a mixture of spatially periodic steady states and traveling/standing waves. In this mixture, the steady part is the stable Turing pattern bifurcated primarily from the homogeneous equilibrium, while wave parts are unstable oscillatory solutions bifurcated secondarily from the same homogeneous equilibrium. Although our criterion does not exclude the occurrence of oscillatory Turing instability, we have not yet found stable traveling/standing waves due to oscillatory Turing instability in our simulations. These results suggest that dormancy of predators is not a generator but an enhancer of spatio-temporal Turing patterns in prey-predator reaction-diffusion systems.

  9. Scaling laws of marine predator search behaviour.

    PubMed

    Sims, David W; Southall, Emily J; Humphries, Nicolas E; Hays, Graeme C; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Pitchford, Jonathan W; James, Alex; Ahmed, Mohammed Z; Brierley, Andrew S; Hindell, Mark A; Morritt, David; Musyl, Michael K; Righton, David; Shepard, Emily L C; Wearmouth, Victoria J; Wilson, Rory P; Witt, Matthew J; Metcalfe, Julian D

    2008-02-28

    Many free-ranging predators have to make foraging decisions with little, if any, knowledge of present resource distribution and availability. The optimal search strategy they should use to maximize encounter rates with prey in heterogeneous natural environments remains a largely unresolved issue in ecology. Lévy walks are specialized random walks giving rise to fractal movement trajectories that may represent an optimal solution for searching complex landscapes. However, the adaptive significance of this putative strategy in response to natural prey distributions remains untested. Here we analyse over a million movement displacements recorded from animal-attached electronic tags to show that diverse marine predators-sharks, bony fishes, sea turtles and penguins-exhibit Lévy-walk-like behaviour close to a theoretical optimum. Prey density distributions also display Lévy-like fractal patterns, suggesting response movements by predators to prey distributions. Simulations show that predators have higher encounter rates when adopting Lévy-type foraging in natural-like prey fields compared with purely random landscapes. This is consistent with the hypothesis that observed search patterns are adapted to observed statistical patterns of the landscape. This may explain why Lévy-like behaviour seems to be widespread among diverse organisms, from microbes to humans, as a 'rule' that evolved in response to patchy resource distributions.

  10. Predators, prey, and natural disasters attract ecologists.

    PubMed

    Mlot, C

    1993-08-27

    Some 2200 ecologists turned out for the 78th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), held in Madison, Wisconsin, 31 July to 4 August. Among the offerings: reports on the effect of dams and levees on large river ecology, predator-prey interactions, how parasites might control evolution, and the impact of clearcutting on soil organisms.

  11. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean.

    PubMed

    Worm, Boris; Lotze, Heike K; Myers, Ransom A

    2003-08-19

    Concentrations of biodiversity, or hotspots, represent conservation priorities in terrestrial ecosystems but remain largely unexplored in marine habitats. In the open ocean, many large predators such as tunas, sharks, billfishes, and sea turtles are of current conservation concern because of their vulnerability to overfishing and ecosystem role. Here we use scientific-observer records from pelagic longline fisheries in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to show that oceanic predators concentrate in distinct diversity hotspots. Predator diversity consistently peaks at intermediate latitudes (20-30 degrees N and S), where tropical and temperate species ranges overlap. Individual hotspots are found close to prominent habitat features such as reefs, shelf breaks, or seamounts and often coincide with zooplankton and coral reef hotspots. Closed-area models in the northwest Atlantic predict that protection of hotspots outperforms other area closures in safeguarding threatened pelagic predators from ecological extinction. We conclude that the seemingly monotonous landscape of the open ocean shows rich structure in species diversity and that these features should be used to focus future conservation efforts.

  12. The sensory ecology of nonconsumptive predator effects.

    PubMed

    Weissburg, Marc; Smee, Delbert L; Ferner, Matthew C

    2014-08-01

    Nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) have been shown to occur in numerous systems and are regarded as important mechanisms by which predation structures natural communities. Sensory ecology-that is, the processes governing the production, propagation, and masking of cues by ambient noise-provides insights into the strength of NCEs as functions of the environment and modes of information transfer. We discuss how properties of predators are used by prey to encode threat, how the environment affects cue propagation, and the role of single sensory processes versus multimodal sensory processes. We discuss why the present body of literature documents the potential for strong NCEs but does not allow us to easily determine how this potential is expressed in nature or what factors or environments produce strong versus weak NCEs. Many of these difficulties stem from a body of literature in which certain sensory environments and modalities may be disproportionately represented and in which experimental methodologies are designed to show the existence of NCEs. We present a general framework for examining NCEs to identify the factors controlling the number of prey that respond to predator cues and discuss how the properties of predators, prey, and the environment may determine prey perceptive range and the duration and frequency of cue production. We suggest how understanding these relationships provides a schema for determining where, when, why, and how NCEs are important in producing direct and cascading effects in natural communities.

  13. Sexually Violent Predators and Civil Commitment Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beyer Kendall, Wanda D.; Cheung, Monit

    2004-01-01

    This article analyzes the civil commitment models for treating sexually violent predators (SVPs) and analyzes recent civil commitment laws. SVPs are commonly defined as sex offenders who are particularly predatory and repetitive in their sexually violent behavior. Data from policy literature, a survey to all states, and a review of law review…

  14. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    J. L . Orrock; B. J. Danielson; M. J. Burns; D. J. Levey

    2003-02-03

    J.L. Orrock, B.J. Danielson, M.J. Burns, and D.J. Levey. 2003. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation. Ecology, 84(10):2589-2599. Abstract: Corridors that connect patches of disjunct habitat may be promising tools for mediating the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation, but little is known about how corridors affect ecological interactions. In eight 12-ha experimental landscapes, we examined how corridors affect the impact of invertebrate, rodent, and avian seed predators on pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. Over 13 months in 2000 and 2001, we quantified the effects of patch shape, connectivity, and predator type on the number of seeds germinating in the field (germinants), seed removal, and the viability of remaining seeds. Corridors did not affect the number of P. americana germinants in experimental exclosures or the viability of seeds remaining in exclosures. However, corridors affected the removal of seeds in a predator-specific manner: invertebrates removed more seeds in unconnected patches, whereas rodents removed more seeds in connected patches. Seed removal by birds was similar in connected and unconnected patches. Total seed removal by all seed predators was not affected by corridors, because invertebrates removed more seeds where rodents removed fewer seeds, and vice versa. Overall, seed predation signi®cantly reduced the number and viability of remaining seeds, and reduced the number of germinants in 2000 but not in 2001. The abundance of naturally occurring P. americana plants in our experimental patches in 2000 decreased with increasing seed removal from exclosures but was not related to viability or germinants in 2000, suggesting that seed removal may shape the distribution and abundance of this species. Complementary patterns of seed removal by rodents and invertebrates suggest that corridors alter the effects of these predator taxa by changing the relative amounts of edge and core

  15. Density-Dependent Growth in Invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans)

    PubMed Central

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E.

    2013-01-01

    Direct demographic density dependence is necessary for population regulation and is a central concept in ecology, yet has not been studied in many invasive species, including any invasive marine fish. The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is an invasive predatory marine fish that is undergoing exponential population growth throughout the tropical western Atlantic. Invasive lionfish threaten coral-reef ecosystems, but there is currently no evidence of any natural population control. Therefore, a manipulative field experiment was conducted to test for density dependence in lionfish. Juvenile lionfish densities were adjusted on small reefs and several demographic rates (growth, recruitment, immigration, and loss) were measured throughout an 8-week period. Invasive lionfish exhibited direct density dependence in individual growth rates, as lionfish grew slower at higher densities throughout the study. Individual growth in length declined linearly with increasing lionfish density, while growth in mass declined exponentially with increasing density. There was no evidence, however, for density dependence in recruitment, immigration, or loss (mortality plus emigration) of invasive lionfish. The observed density-dependent growth rates may have implications for which native species are susceptible to lionfish predation, as the size and type of prey that lionfish consume is directly related to their body size. The absence of density-dependent loss, however, contrasts with many native coral-reef fish species and suggests that for the foreseeable future manual removals may be the only effective local control of this invasion. PMID:23825604

  16. Density-dependent growth in invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans).

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2013-01-01

    Direct demographic density dependence is necessary for population regulation and is a central concept in ecology, yet has not been studied in many invasive species, including any invasive marine fish. The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is an invasive predatory marine fish that is undergoing exponential population growth throughout the tropical western Atlantic. Invasive lionfish threaten coral-reef ecosystems, but there is currently no evidence of any natural population control. Therefore, a manipulative field experiment was conducted to test for density dependence in lionfish. Juvenile lionfish densities were adjusted on small reefs and several demographic rates (growth, recruitment, immigration, and loss) were measured throughout an 8-week period. Invasive lionfish exhibited direct density dependence in individual growth rates, as lionfish grew slower at higher densities throughout the study. Individual growth in length declined linearly with increasing lionfish density, while growth in mass declined exponentially with increasing density. There was no evidence, however, for density dependence in recruitment, immigration, or loss (mortality plus emigration) of invasive lionfish. The observed density-dependent growth rates may have implications for which native species are susceptible to lionfish predation, as the size and type of prey that lionfish consume is directly related to their body size. The absence of density-dependent loss, however, contrasts with many native coral-reef fish species and suggests that for the foreseeable future manual removals may be the only effective local control of this invasion.

  17. Interclonal proteomic responses to predator exposure in Daphnia magna may depend on predator composition of habitats.

    PubMed

    Otte, Kathrin A; Schrank, Isabella; Fröhlich, Thomas; Arnold, Georg J; Laforsch, Christian

    2015-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of one genotype to express different phenotypes in response to changing environmental conditions, is one of the most common phenomena characterizing the living world and is not only relevant for the ecology but also for the evolution of species. Daphnia, the water flea, is a textbook example for predator-induced phenotypic plastic defences; however, the analysis of molecular mechanisms underlying these inducible defences is still in its early stages. We exposed Daphnia magna to chemical cues of the predator Triops cancriformis to identify key processes underlying plastic defensive trait formation. To get a more comprehensive idea of this phenomenon, we studied four genotypes with five biological replicates each, originating from habitats characterized by different predator composition, ranging from predator-free habitats to habitats containing T. cancriformis. We analysed the morphologies as well as proteomes of predator-exposed and control animals. Three genotypes showed morphological changes when the predator was present. Using a high-throughput proteomics approach, we found 294 proteins which were significantly altered in their abundance after predator exposure in a general or genotype-dependent manner. Proteins connected to genotype-dependent responses were related to the cuticle, protein synthesis and calcium binding, whereas the yolk protein vitellogenin increased in abundance in all genotypes, indicating their involvement in a more general response. Furthermore, genotype-dependent responses at the proteome level were most distinct for the only genotype that shares its habitat with Triops. Altogether, our study provides new insights concerning genotype-dependent and general molecular processes involved in predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in D. magna.

  18. Attacking invasive grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.

    2015-01-01

    In grasslands fire may play a role in the plant invasion process, both by creating disturbances that potentially favour non-native invasions and as a possible tool for controlling alien invasions. Havill et al. (Applied Vegetation Science, 18, 2015, this issue) determine how native and non-native species respond to different fire regimes as a first step in understanding the potential control of invasive grasses.

  19. Seasonal shifts in predator body size diversity and trophic interactions in size-structured predator-prey systems.

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Volker H W

    2012-05-01

    1. Theory suggests that the relationship between predator diversity and prey suppression should depend on variation in predator traits such as body size, which strongly influences the type and strength of species interactions. Prey species often face a range of different sized predators, and the composition of body sizes of predators can vary between communities and within communities across seasons. 2. Here, I test how variation in size structure of predator communities influences prey survival using seasonal changes in the size structure of a cannibalistic population as a model system. Laboratory and field experiments showed that although the per-capita consumption rates increased at higher predator-prey size ratios, mortality rates did not consistently increase with average size of cannibalistic predators. Instead, prey mortality peaked at the highest level of predator body size diversity. 3. Furthermore, observed prey mortality was significantly higher than predictions from the null model that assumed no indirect interactions between predator size classes, indicating that different sized predators were not substitutable but had more than additive effects. Higher predator body size diversity therefore increased prey mortality, despite the increased potential for behavioural interference and predation among predators demonstrated in additional laboratory experiments. 4. Thus, seasonal changes in the distribution of predator body sizes altered the strength of prey suppression not only through changes in mean predator size but also through changes in the size distribution of predators. In general, this indicates that variation (i.e. diversity) within a single trait, body size, can influence the strength of trophic interactions and emphasizes the importance of seasonal shifts in size structure of natural food webs for community dynamics.

  20. A field test of attractant traps for invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) in southern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, R.N.; Hart, K.M.; Rodda, G.H.; Mazzotti, F.J.; Snow, R.W.; Cherkiss, M.; Rozar, R.; Goetz, S.

    2011-01-01

    Context. Invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) are established over thousands of square kilometres of southern Florida, USA, and consume a wide range of native vertebrates. Few tools are available to control the python population, and none of the available tools have been validated in the field to assess capture success as a proportion of pythons available to be captured. Aims. Our primary aim was to conduct a trap trial for capturing invasive pythons in an area east of Everglades National Park, where many pythons had been captured in previous years, to assess the efficacy of traps for population control.Wealso aimed to compare results of visual surveys with trap capture rates, to determine capture rates of non-target species, and to assess capture rates as a proportion of resident pythons in the study area. Methods.Weconducted a medium-scale (6053 trap nights) experiment using two types of attractant traps baited with live rats in the Frog Pond area east of Everglades National Park.Wealso conducted standardised and opportunistic visual surveys in the trapping area. Following the trap trial, the area was disc harrowed to expose pythons and allow calculation of an index of the number of resident pythons. Key results. We captured three pythons and 69 individuals of various rodent, amphibian, and reptile species in traps. Eleven pythons were discovered during disc harrowing operations, as were large numbers of rodents. Conclusions. The trap trial captured a relatively small proportion of the pythons that appeared to be present in the study area, although previous research suggests that trap capture rates improve with additional testing of alternative trap designs. Potential negative impacts to non-target species were minimal. Low python capture rates may have been associated with extremely high local prey abundances during the trap experiment. Implications. Results of this trial illustrate many of the challenges in implementing and interpreting results

  1. Predation of Alouatta puruensis by Boa constrictor.

    PubMed

    Quintino, Erika Patrícia; Bicca-Marques, Júlio César

    2013-10-01

    Reports of successful predator attacks on primates are rare. Primates from all major radiations are particularly susceptible to raptors, carnivores, and snakes. Among New World primates, reports of snake predation are limited to medium- and small-bodied species. Here, we report the first documented case of successful predation of an atelid by a snake-an adult female Purús red howler monkey, Alouatta puruensis, that was subdued by a ca. 2-m-long Boa constrictor in an arboreal setting at a height of 7.5 m above the ground. The victim belonged to a group composed of six individuals (one adult male, two adult females, two juveniles, and one infant) that inhabited a ca. 2.5-ha forest fragment in the State of Rondônia, western Brazilian Amazon. The boa applied the species' typical hunting behavior of striking and immediately coiling around its prey and then killing it through constriction (probably in less than 5 min), but the entire restraint period lasted 38 min. The attack occurred around noon. The howler was swallowed head-first in 76 min. The only group member to respond to the distress vocalization emitted by the victim was the other adult female, which was closest to the location where the attack occurred. This female ran toward the snake, also vocalizing, and hit it with her hands several times, but the snake did not react and she moved off to a nearby tree from where she watched most of the interaction. The remaining group members stayed resting at a height approximately 15 m above the victim in a nearby tree without showing any overt signs of stress, except for a single whimper vocalization. This event indicates that even large-bodied atelids are vulnerable to predation by large snakes and suggests that B. constrictor may be a more common predator of primates.

  2. A multi-stage anti-predator response increases information on predation risk.

    PubMed

    Hemmi, Jan M; Pfeil, Andreas

    2010-05-01

    Optimal escape theory generally assumes that animals have accurate information about predator distance and direction of approach. To what degree such information is available depends not only on the prey's sensory capabilities but also on its behaviour. The structure of behaviour can strongly constrain or support the gathering of information. The ability of animals to collect and process information is therefore an important factor shaping predator avoidance strategies. Fiddler crabs, like many prey animals, escape predators in a multi-step sequence. In their initial response, they do not have accurate information about a predator's distance and approach trajectory and are forced to base their response decision on incomplete information that is not strictly correlated with risk. We show here that fiddler crabs gather qualitatively different visual information during successive stages of their escape sequence. This suggests that multi-stage anti-predator behaviours serve not only to successively reduce risk but also to increase the quality of information with regards to the actual risk. There are countless reasons why prey animals are not able to accurately assess risk. By concentrating on sensory limitations, we can quantify such information deficits and investigate how improving risk assessment helps prey optimise the balance between predation risk and escape costs.

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

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuan; Abaid, Nicole

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Tameness and stress physiology in a predator-naive island species confronted with novel predation threat.

    PubMed

    Rödl, Thomas; Berger, Silke; Romero, L Michael; Wikelski, Martin

    2007-02-22

    Tame behaviour, i.e. low wariness, in terrestrial island species is often attributed to low predation pressure. However, we know little about its physiological control and its flexibility in the face of predator introductions. Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on the Galapagos Islands are a good model to study the physiological correlates of low wariness. They have lived virtually without predation for 5-15 Myr until some populations were first confronted with feral cats and dogs some 150 years ago. We tested whether and to what extent marine iguanas can adjust their behaviour and endocrine stress response to novel predation threats. Here, we show that a corticosterone stress response to experimental chasing is absent in naive animals, but is quickly restored with experience. Initially, low wariness also increases with experience, but remains an order of magnitude too low to allow successful escape from introduced predators. Our data suggest that the ability of marine iguanas to cope with predator introductions is limited by narrow reaction norms for behavioural wariness rather than by constraints in the underlying physiological stress system. In general, we predict that island endemics show flexible physiological stress responses but are restricted by narrow behavioural plasticity.

  5. Tameness and stress physiology in a predator-naive island species confronted with novel predation threat

    PubMed Central

    Rödl, Thomas; Berger, Silke; Michael Romero, L; Wikelski, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Tame behaviour, i.e. low wariness, in terrestrial island species is often attributed to low predation pressure. However, we know little about its physiological control and its flexibility in the face of predator introductions. Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on the Galápagos Islands are a good model to study the physiological correlates of low wariness. They have lived virtually without predation for 5–15 Myr until some populations were first confronted with feral cats and dogs some 150 years ago. We tested whether and to what extent marine iguanas can adjust their behaviour and endocrine stress response to novel predation threats. Here, we show that a corticosterone stress response to experimental chasing is absent in naive animals, but is quickly restored with experience. Initially, low wariness also increases with experience, but remains an order of magnitude too low to allow successful escape from introduced predators. Our data suggest that the ability of marine iguanas to cope with predator introductions is limited by narrow reaction norms for behavioural wariness rather than by constraints in the underlying physiological stress system. In general, we predict that island endemics show flexible physiological stress responses but are restricted by narrow behavioural plasticity. PMID:17476779

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan; Abaid, Nicole

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Invasive species in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural production of food, feed, fiber or fuel is a local human activity with global ecological impacts, including the potential to foster invasions. Agriculture plays an unusual role in biological invasions, in that it is both a source of non-indigenous invasive species (NIS) and especially s...

  8. Effects of Paternal Predation Risk and Rearing Environment on Maternal Investment and Development of Defensive Responses in the Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Detecting past experiences with predators of a potential mate informs a female about prevailing ecological threats, in addition to stress-induced phenotypes that may be disseminated to offspring. We examined whether prior exposure of a male rat to a predator (cat) odor influences the attraction of a female toward a male, subsequent mother–infant interactions and the development of defensive (emotional) responses in the offspring. Females displayed less interest in males that had experienced predator odor. Mothers that reared young in larger, seminaturalistic housing provided more licking and grooming and active arched back-nursing behavior toward their offspring compared with dams housed in standard housing, although some effects interacted with paternal experience. Paternal predation risk and maternal rearing environment revealed sex-dependent differences in offspring wean weight, juvenile social interactions, and anxiety-like behavior in adolescence. Additionally, paternal predator experience and maternal housing independently affected variations in crf gene promoter acetylation and crf gene expression in response to an acute stressor in offspring. Our results show for the first time in mammals that variation among males in their predator encounters may contribute to stable behavioral variation among females in preference for mates and maternal care, even when the females are not directly exposed to predator threat. Furthermore, when offspring were exposed to the same threat experienced by the father, hypothalamic crf gene regulation was influenced by paternal olfactory experience and early housing. These results, together with our previous findings, suggest that paternal stress exposure and maternal rearing conditions can influence maternal behavior and the development of defensive responses in offspring. PMID:27896313

  9. Absence of neurogenic response following robust predator-induced stress response.

    PubMed

    Lau, Catherine; Hebert, Mark; Vani, Marc A; Walling, Sue; Hayley, Shawn; Lagace, Diane C; Blundell, Jacqueline

    2016-12-17

    Traumatic events contribute to a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Identifying the neural mechanisms that affect the stress response may improve treatment for stress-related disorders. Neurogenesis, the production of neurons, occurs within the adult brain and disturbances in neurogenesis in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus have been linked to mood and anxiety disorders. Chronic stress models have mainly suggested correlations with stress reducing adult SGZ neurogenesis, whereas acute stress models and those with a naturalistic component that are also associated with long-lasting behavioral changes have produced inconsistent results. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to examine the effects of acute predator stress on adult neurogenesis. Predator stress involved a single 10-min unprotected rat to cat exposure that has previously been shown to produce contextual fear, hyperarousal, and anxiety-like behavior lasting at least 3weeks. As expected, predator stress produced a stress response as detected by elevated corticosterone (CORT) levels immediately after stress. Despite this robust stress response, there was no significant difference between stressed and handled control rats in the number of proliferating or surviving cells as assessed by a 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine-immunoreactive (BrdU-IR) labeling 2h or 4weeks post-stress throughout the rostro-caudal axis of the SGZ, respectively. Additionally, 90% of 4-week-old BrdU-IR cells in both conditions expressed NeuN, suggesting no change in cell fate with stress exposure. Overall, these data give caution to the notion that acute predator stress can alter the production or survival of adult-generated cells.

  10. Predator dispersal determines the effect of connectivity on prey diversity.

    PubMed

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A

    2011-01-01

    Linking local communities to a metacommunity can positively affect diversity by enabling immigration of dispersal-limited species and maintenance of sink populations. However, connectivity can also negatively affect diversity by allowing the spread of strong competitors or predators. In a microcosm experiment with five ciliate species as prey and a copepod as an efficient generalist predator, we analysed the effect of connectivity on prey species richness in metacommunities that were either unconnected, connected for the prey, or connected for both prey and predator. Presence and absence of predator dispersal was cross-classified with low and high connectivity. The effect of connectivity on local and regional richness strongly depended on whether corridors were open for the predator. Local richness was initially positively affected by connectivity through rescue of species from stochastic extinctions. With predator dispersal, however, this positive effect soon turned negative as the predator spread over the metacommunity. Regional richness was unaffected by connectivity when local communities were connected only for the prey, while predator dispersal resulted in a pronounced decrease of regional richness. The level of connectivity influenced the speed of richness decline, with regional species extinctions being delayed for one week in weakly connected metacommunities. While connectivity enabled rescue of prey species from stochastic extinctions, deterministic extinctions due to predation were not overcome through reimmigration from predator-free refuges. Prey reimmigrating into these sink habitats appeared to be directly converted into increased predator abundance. Connectivity thus had a positive effect on the predator, even when the predator was not dispersing itself. Our study illustrates that dispersal of a species with strong negative effects on other community members shapes the dispersal-diversity relationship. When connections enable the spread of a

  11. Cues of intraguild predators affect the distribution of intraguild prey.

    PubMed

    Choh, Yasuyuki; van der Hammen, Tessa; Sabelis, Maurice W; Janssen, Arne

    2010-06-01

    Theory on intraguild (IG) predation predicts that coexistence of IG-predators and IG-prey is only possible for a limited set of parameter values, suggesting that IG-predation would not be common in nature. This is in conflict with the observation that IG-predation occurs in many natural systems. One possible explanation for this difference might be antipredator behaviour of the IG-prey, resulting in decreased strength of IG-predation. We studied the distribution of an IG-prey, the predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris (Acari: Phytoseiidae), in response to cues of its IG-predator, the predatory mite Iphiseius degenerans. Shortly after release, the majority of IG-prey was found on the patch without cues of IG-predators, suggesting that they can rapidly assess predation risk. IG-prey also avoided patches where conspecific juveniles had been killed by IG-predators. Because it is well known that antipredator behaviour in prey is affected by the diet of the predator, we also tested whether IG-prey change their distribution in response to the food of the IG-predators (pollen or conspecific juveniles), but found no evidence for this. The IG-prey laid fewer eggs on patches with cues of IG-predators than on patches without cues. Hence, IG-prey changed their distribution and oviposition in response to cues of IG-predators. This might weaken the strength of IG-predation, possibly providing more opportunities for IG-prey and IG-predators to co-exist.

  12. Predator Dispersal Determines the Effect of Connectivity on Prey Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A.

    2011-01-01

    Linking local communities to a metacommunity can positively affect diversity by enabling immigration of dispersal-limited species and maintenance of sink populations. However, connectivity can also negatively affect diversity by allowing the spread of strong competitors or predators. In a microcosm experiment with five ciliate species as prey and a copepod as an efficient generalist predator, we analysed the effect of connectivity on prey species richness in metacommunities that were either unconnected, connected for the prey, or connected for both prey and predator. Presence and absence of predator dispersal was cross-classified with low and high connectivity. The effect of connectivity on local and regional richness strongly depended on whether corridors were open for the predator. Local richness was initially positively affected by connectivity through rescue of species from stochastic extinctions. With predator dispersal, however, this positive effect soon turned negative as the predator spread over the metacommunity. Regional richness was unaffected by connectivity when local communities were connected only for the prey, while predator dispersal resulted in a pronounced decrease of regional richness. The level of connectivity influenced the speed of richness decline, with regional species extinctions being delayed for one week in weakly connected metacommunities. While connectivity enabled rescue of prey species from stochastic extinctions, deterministic extinctions due to predation were not overcome through reimmigration from predator-free refuges. Prey reimmigrating into these sink habitats appeared to be directly converted into increased predator abundance. Connectivity thus had a positive effect on the predator, even when the predator was not dispersing itself. Our study illustrates that dispersal of a species with strong negative effects on other community members shapes the dispersal-diversity relationship. When connections enable the spread of a

  13. Optimal Control In Predation Of Models And Mimics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsoularis, A.

    2007-09-01

    This paper examines optimal predation by a predator preying upon two types of prey, modes and mimics. Models are unpalatable prey and mimics are palatable prey resembling the models so as to derive some protection from predation. This biological phenomenon is known in Ecology as Batesian mimicry. An optimal control problem in continuous time is formulated with the sole objective to maximize the net energetic benefit to the predator from predation in the presence of evolving prey populations. The constrained optimal control is bang-bang with the scalar control taken as the probability of attacking prey. Conditions for the existence of singular controls are obtained.